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02-06-2017, 10:00 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Montreal Photogrrapher refuses to shoot gay wedding - how would you handle this?

Montreal photographer allegedly refuses to shoot gay wedding | CTV News


*not me, I have no relationship to this individual, nor do I know who he is*

I'm siding with the photographer

-----------------------------------------------

I'm going to start off my opinion of this quite simple: the splash page to my professional website (Luke Kowand Photogrpahy) features a lesbian wedding. Obviously I have no problem with sexuality when it comes to photography. In fact the handful of homosexual couples I have shot have been some of my most enjoyable and memorable weddings and couple sessions! These are people who deserve beautiful photographs, just like anyone else getting married.

So, why do I support the photographer if I think that the couple deserves beautiful photographs?

Quite simple: Weddings are intimate, stressful, and you need to be fully invested in your couple to create the beautiful images they deserve. If you are not fully invested in the project, the quality of your work will suffer, and now that one special day will not be captures properly and lead to even worse issues. Nip this in the butt at the time of hire and you can save yourself a lot of heat after the fact.

Did he handle it poorly? Maybe.

One response that keeps on getting thrown around our local facebook shooters page is: "He should have just stated the date was unavailable." Let's actually assume that the date was already agreed upon at the start of the process. It appears he declined once he found out it was a same sex wedding. So now he is trapped. By law he cannot discriminate due to religion, sex, race, age... etc. etc. But he is not comfortable shooting this event. So how does he deal with this properly?

How would you respond to this if the wedding has elements you were not comfortable with shooting?

02-06-2017, 10:19 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
So, why do I support the photographer if I think that the couple deserves beautiful photographs?

Quite simple: Weddings are intimate, stressful, and you need to be fully invested in your couple to create the beautiful images they deserve. If you are not fully invested in the project, the quality of your work will suffer, and now that one special day will not be captures properly and lead to even worse issues. Nip this in the butt at the time of hire and you can save yourself a lot of heat after the fact.
Dang! I thought I was the only one that gets this simple fact regarding providing "wedding services". The last thing the couple needs is a photographer, baker, florist, DJ, or coordinator that is not fully invested in the event and in the couple and their union.

I don't shoot for money and only do events for personal friends, so will limit my comments to the above.


Steve
02-06-2017, 10:19 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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Well, that's slippery territory for sure...

Although I find it silly to refuse a wedding shot on the basis of it being "at odds with [his] personal religious beliefs", if he felt unconfortable then it was a sound decision to cancel, instead of risking to deliver a botched job; so, all in all, I reluctantly agree with the p.o.v. you expressed in your post.

I'd say that the real issue lies upstream... but I won't delve into it, and won't say what I think of the photographer's "beliefs".
I just hope the couple has a happy wedding
02-06-2017, 10:31 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
I'd say that the real issue lies upstream... but I won't delve into it, and won't say what I think of the photographer's "beliefs".
I just hope the couple has a happy wedding
This is what caused a lot of debate in our Facebook group.

I'm going to paraphrase... but one shooter responded with "as a practicing christian who takes their religion very seriously I would also decline. As a Christian photographer, and I advertise as such, I only take on weddings that can have the blessing of our lord God. I have nothing against the LGBQT community, and respect that they can live life the way they want. But I should also be treated with the same respect. This couple, like every couple, deserve to have beautiful images of their wedding day. I myself cannot help them with this however".

This woman was then called a biggot and homophobe....

02-06-2017, 10:32 AM - 6 Likes   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
and you need to be fully invested in your couple to create the beautiful images they deserve
No you don't. You need to be a professional. Do your job.
02-06-2017, 10:46 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
No you don't. You need to be a professional. Do your job.
I think that for many people, photography is more art than job. - at least that's how I see it
That said, I've always been very selective about the jobs I chose(don't do it anymore). ie, if for any reason I didn't feel comfortable, or short handed in terms of inspiration, I'd simply pass. And so form that perspective, I can see where photographers would reserve the right to choose their clients.
02-06-2017, 10:47 AM - 3 Likes   #7
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"Nip this in the butt at the time of hire and you can save yourself a lot of heat after the fact."

Bud. The phrase you were reaching for is "nip it in the bud."
02-06-2017, 10:49 AM - 3 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
This is what caused a lot of debate in our Facebook group.

I'm going to paraphrase... but one shooter responded with "as a practicing christian who takes their religion very seriously I would also decline. As a Christian photographer, and I advertise as such, I only take on weddings that can have the blessing of our lord God. I have nothing against the LGBQT community, and respect that they can live life the way they want. But I should also be treated with the same respect. This couple, like every couple, deserve to have beautiful images of their wedding day. I myself cannot help them with this however".

This woman was then called a biggot and homophobe....
I don't condone that kind of response. And I understand and respect the perspective of photographers in this case. But...how do you prevent personal preference not turning into discrimination? How do you prevent a photographer specializing in "Wedding photography for straight white couples."?

02-06-2017, 11:01 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
I don't condone that kind of response. And I understand and respect the perspective of photographers in this case. But...how do you prevent personal preference not turning into discrimination? How do you prevent a photographer specializing in "Wedding photography for straight white couples."?
I guess a follow up question would be, "should you prevent such a photographer from existing?"

Another question could be, "Has their photography business benefitted in any way from a gov't perk - loans, taxes, etc?" If so, shouldn't they be required to abide by the law of the land? If not - if they've done it completely on their own with personal/private funding, then is it the gov'ts business?
02-06-2017, 11:12 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Oh yeah, "in b4 the lock".
02-06-2017, 11:13 AM   #11
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I wonder, if he'd said that he can't shoot the wedding because he pukes if he sees two dudes kiss, if that'd be ok. Can you really be expected to work in a situation that sickens you? I mean, if he declined a religious ceremony b/c the incense they burn makes him puke, would he be lambasted? Food for thought (or puking).
02-06-2017, 11:18 AM - 1 Like   #12
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Any photographer has the right to accept only such job which he likes to accept. Without having to justify himself. Anybody trying to defame him has poor (if any) freedom understanding.
02-06-2017, 11:19 AM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
How do you prevent a photographer specializing in "Wedding photography for straight white couples."?
You don't. Being able to rent a place to live or obtain legal counsel, medical services, etc. are rights that cannot be and should not be subject to discrimination. Photographers are not obligated to work for clients they don't like (for whatever reason) and if they chose to advertise that they are unreasonably particular about who they accept as clients, then the market for their services will be reduced accordingly.

Making anyone conform to the beliefs, opinions or personal preferences of a group is the worst kind of discrimination. The types of business transactions that are treated as undeniable human rights should be restricted as tightly as possible without taking away the necessities of life. Everything else should be worked out through the free interaction of competent adults, until someone tries to use their social power to force a change in the behaviour of someone else.
02-06-2017, 11:21 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Has their photography business benefitted in any way from a gov't perk
If there is a paved road leading to the studio, that is a gov't benefit. If the studio catches fire, the local fire dep't is there. Should they need police protection, they have it.

A business offering a service to the general public is obligated to serve the public.

A photo studio is not a church. And, where exactly in the holy book does it say: "Thou shall not photograph same sex weddings?"
02-06-2017, 11:24 AM - 1 Like   #15
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The photographer's response was discriminatory and illegal. His discrimination has likely just cost him his professional career.
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