Robert Edward Lee Shell (born 1946) is an American photographer and author who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the death of his model, Marion Franklin, in his Radford, Virginia studio. The events surrounding his case have focused attention on photographers’ professional conduct, and boundary issues with their models.
Bob Shell trained in zoology and, after college, worked for the Smithsonian Institution. He also studied fine art and worked as a natural history painter. His paintings and drawings were widely published and included wildlife conservation stamps for the National Wildlife Federation. His father was an avid photographer and cinematographer and Shell followed in his footsteps, learning photography and film making at an early age. In the 1970s Shell decided to change careers and began to pursue photography and writing. He wrote his first articles for Shutterbug magazine in 1973 and continued his association with that magazine, later becoming its Editor, a position he held until 2003.