Photographer Receives Cancellation Request After Supporting Gay Marriage And Responds Perfectly

Photographer Receives Cancellation Request After Supporting Gay Marriage And Responds Perfectly

There has been a lot of fan fare about the recent legislation that allows nationwide marriage for gay couples in the USA but not everyone is happy or excited. One photography business has been the target of this intolerance when their support of gay marriage resulted in a cancellation request from a wedding client. The response they provided was perfect.

As I am sure most of you have noticed by now, your Facebook feeds are full of rainbow colored profile pictures. This is no coincidence but rather a celebration of the monumental legislation that allows for nationwide gay marriage in the USA. Florida based Brentwood Photography did their part to participate in the celebration and show their support for gay couples across America.

This show of support was met quickly with a cancellation request from one of their clients who was not quite as eager to celebrate. The client demanded their retainer be returned. Brentwood Photography took the opportunity to answer the client and did the most honorable thing with the clients retainer.

I am standing and slowly clapping Brentwood Photography. Kudos. Go check them out at http://www.brentwoodphotography.com/, and show some love on their FB page Brentwood Photography.

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156 Comments
Hunter Zieske's picture

Love it! Great job Brentwood Photography

Jonas Karlsson's picture

hah! I hope he mails them the transaction receipt for the $1500 to GLAD. Maybe in a nice frame too.

Mr Blah's picture

I"d make the donation in their names, and send them the paperwork for their income tax deduction.

They'll have a nice little dilemma on their hands!

Richard Viehmann's picture

What would be even more funny is make him shoot the wedding and retract your former statement of canceling then be super anti-gay and make him document every bit of it. Then if he slipped up at all or went outta of his way to not do the work as promised sue him for everything he is worth!!!!

The only reason this article has gotten any attention is because of the LBGT involved in it. His move is just being an asshole towards the couple for difference in opinion... So really who is the bigot here?

Bailey Summers's picture

Actually they broke contract. Everything he did was legal and everything these bigots did was earned.

Richard Viehmann's picture

Actually without seeing the real contract you are only assuming that what he did was legal. Also and most likely he will end up being sued over this and if any past weddings have ever been canceled and retainers returned will probably lose the case to precedence. The point isn't that only that hes an asshole for not being the bigger person. A simple email back stating that he is sorry for their viewpoint an that unforutantly the retainer can't be returned. Posting it to the internet is not going to help his case any other than getting him a few likes here and a few dislikes over there.

Also tired of everyone condemning these people for there view... get over yourselves and this one way of thinking. They don't agree with you so they are bigots. Nothing in there message states that only they support traditional marriage.

Also my original post was SARCASIM, playing devils advocate, in that they probably could turn the table on him if need be and make him break contract or do something he doesn't want to do.

Watch how you pull the leash on the dog... eventually it bites back.

richard harries's picture

personally I think you need to read what was actually put in their message. and it reads as follows.

A) Greetings Brentwood. We would just like to inform you that we will NOT be using your services for out wedding.

B) My finance and I support traditional marriage between man and woman and don’t want our money going to places that support otherwise.

C) secondly I would like to inquire about how we can get our retainer back from you. Thank you

Spy Black's picture

Man, that was awesome. LOL!

Chip Kalback's picture

This is awesome, what a perfect response!

lexpaul's picture

Touché!!

Prefers Film's picture

Oh snap!

Prefers Film's picture

I made a totally ambiguous comment to prove that there are dickheads on this site, and they did not disappoint.

Bailey Summers's picture

Yeah there's a lot of asshattery and bigotry being seen here.

Brian Jansen's picture

I'm sorry, but I think that's pretty low by the photographer. I'm not for homosexuality for religious reasons, but I would never treat somebody who disagreed with me like that. Even if they breached a contract, I would give them their money back and certainly would never use their money to spite them.

Tim Caisley's picture

You're dealing with a hot trigger subject, disagree with the LGBT community as much as you like, but know that your prejudice towards them on something that they have no control over stems from a conscious choice you have made.

Its a civil matter, not one of Faith.

The monies paid were a retainer & as per the T&Cs of the contract, alluded to within the Photographer's response, are non refundable, as such, once the retainer was paid, it ceased to be the client's money. So in actuality, all that the Photographer is doing is making a $1,500 donation to GLAAD. There is nothing spiteful there & he acknowledges that he wouldn't of been able to make such a donation without them.

Now, I fully expect the client to attempt to kick up a fuss & seek legal consultation, to which their failure to acknowledge the difference between extending the civil contract of marriage to Same Sex couples & that of the Religious Ceremony to which Churches are still permitted to, should they so desire, withhold from the LGBT Community.

Mr Blah's picture

"I'm not for homosexuality for religious reasons, " I stopped reading there.

It's a bit like science. You don't have to agree with it for it to exist and be ok.

Samten Norbù's picture

I don't need to be a scientist to see that you are a perfect dumbass saying this kind of bigotry !

Bailey Summers's picture

Bobbi really that wasn’t what was said sweetie. What was said sugarlump was gay people have rights, all LGBTQIA + people have and deserve rights in a very real way contrary to faith which isn't very real.

Eric Lefebvre's picture

Brian, did you know that it is ILLEGAL for me, as a business to refuse to work with someone based on their gender, age, race, religion OR SEXUAL PREFERENCE?

Example:

"The New Mexico Supreme Court on Thursday affirmed a decision against a photography studio that was sued after refusing to photograph a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony in 2006, saying the First Amendment does not permit businesses that offer services for a profit to choose whom to serve."

And the US Supreme Court has declined to review the New Mexico Supreme court decision.

I think the photographers response was a bit over the top ... he had complete right to keep the retainer (note how it is a retainer and not a deposit ... huge legal difference) but baiting them like that was not productive.

A simple "I'm sorry you feel that way. Unfortunately, the retainer is non-refundable. Good luck with your search for a new photographer." would have sufficed.

That being said, the couple are bigots and I have no pity for them.

I also wonder if the couple will cancel their account or stop their patronage of: Facebook, Apple, Starbucks, Google, eBay, Nike, Gap, Ben & Jerrys, Banana Republic, Levis, Microsoft, Mastercard, AT&T, Instagram, Johnson & Johnson, the Makers of Oreo cookies (Mondelēz International), Marriott International ... so on so forth as they have OPENLY as far back as 2013 supported LGBT rights.

Vincent Pohl's picture

I do not agree with the stance of the photography company side, seems like bad business when it comes to traditional marriage between a man and woman. Simple sorry for your view and return the money. Hey, with all the new LGBT weddings going to happen, its not like they will need the money. Its a choice for the couple, they are not getting what they feel they are paying for. Why should they be punished? LGBT people have been punished for their choices, so now its everyone that is not LGBT turn to be punished? Strange world we live in now.

As far as the reference to the other companies that support LGBT? Who cares? They are not involved in the marriage ceramony so what does that reference have to do with anything??

I have many close LGBT friends, and I am very happy for them and would shoot their wedding if asked. But at the same time I am not going punish those who would not want my services because of it. Everyone needs to get a grip.

all I see is that the photography company was rejected based on their choices and are retaliation is the only way they know how to respond. Sad....very sad...

Benjamin Thomson's picture

Im not for oppressing others, for religious reasons. I am a straight christian man, engaged to be married. Gay marriage doesnt change my marriage in any way whatsoever. But it makes a hell of a difference to my lgbt friends.

One day you will look back and see how bigoted your opinion was and how little religion had to do with it.

Tor Ivan Boine's picture

did you read it? The retainer is nonrefundable.

Kolade Agunbiade's picture

You don't get back at clients. After all the advise I've seen on Fstoppers this is quite bad calling it a "PERFECT RESPONSE". Hope this does not bring up issues with clients that do not support gay marriage but still do not mind shooting with you. It is an "in your face statement"

Tim Caisley's picture

The client could of just said :

"Dear Brentwood Photography, we hereby inform you that we no longer wish to avail of your services, please can you advise with regards to the policy on reclaiming the retainer fee".

The client clearly didn't have an issue with the Photographer until it was apparent that he was Pro Marriage Equality, in fact, the client made it abundantly clear that that was the grounds for the termination of the contract.

Whilst I agree that it is quite over the top, it has netted him a significant increase in Social Media presence (1.5k increase in Facebook followers), Mainstream Media & has become a trending topic within the LGBT Community. The 'stunt' has paid off significantly.

Kolade Agunbiade's picture

when you put it like that then its no longer about being professional but when not to be in order to achieve favour as you rise on a clients mistake. {using a scapegoat}

Tim Caisley's picture

It is & it isn't, its very much a double edged sword. The Social Media gains are going to be worth next to nothing unless the majority increase is US based.

The other online sources, Bussfeed (just published) & the likes, will further push the story until it's picked up by heavier hitters. From there, who knows.

Its marketing, pure & simple, but he has successfully leveraged the Nation's heightened emotional state to his benefit. Politicians, & other professions, do it all the time.

Kolade Agunbiade's picture

Yes, I'm sure it is marketing, but this is about professional ethics. Can not be any clearer. I am pretty sure marketing schools won't teach to take advantage of such situations.

Anders Madsen's picture

Oh yes, they do, I can guarantee you that. My teacher called it "riding the wave", and it's basically a matter of identifying a strong public trend and use whatever means necessary to be on the top of the wave in the public eye.

Kolade Agunbiade's picture

"Whatever means necessary" means its up to you to decide, not an excuse to be unethical. He would still be on top of the wave if he was not impolite in return. Get it? He'll probably even get more respect on all sides.... (That's how I choose to interpret that statement cos I think its the best way to go and that you would rather have me as that photographer if you were the client even if the names were hidden.)... except otherwise.

Mr Blah's picture

That client was a bit in his face too when denying him revenu just for political alignement.

Sometime, you have to leave the politically correct BS in the locker room and stand for what you believe in. Their clients did, why should he wuss out?

Kolade Agunbiade's picture

I really do not know.

Tim Caisley's picture

Actually its a statement that they are an Inclusive Business that wont discriminate based on Sexual Orientation with regards to provision of service. The client disagreed with this policy & elected to void their contract with Brentwood Photography.

In the Client's response to Brentwood's message, they are openly more hostile & frankly, homophobic.

Tim Caisley's picture

So its relatively safe to assume that you believe in the Biblical ideology of Marriage?

As the commentary you're referring to, I've read that.

Cameron McKinlay's picture

"It's client's money!"
Incorrect. As per the contract it is now the photographers money. 'Non-refundable deposit', People seem to be struggling with what that really means in a signed contract here. And quite frankly, I wouldn't shoot for such a client who discriminates against equality in the human race either. I applaud the photog for his actions even if it was a publicity stunt. IT WORKED!
More people need to stand up to such childish and disgusting discrimination.
Im still waiting for that Pastor from Texas to set himself ablaze!

Timothy Linn's picture

I realize Peter wants to promote a POV with his post but he picked the wrong way to do it. The photographer's response was, at best, unprofessional. At best.

taytus's picture

I totally agree with you. Also, a hole article based on a screenshot that could perfectly be 100% made up :/

michael buehrle's picture

first let me say that i can care less if someone is gay or not. if that's your thing then great. what i don't really understand is why so many companies take sides or promote such red hot issues. me as a photog will shoot anyone doing just about anything (legal of course). i don't get why they will put themselves out there like that when they know that some people have such strong feelings on both sides of the issue and will take offense to their stand. he lost money because of it. to me that's not good business. you support gay marriage great, place an ad in a gay marriage paper or website to promote yourself and make money from it. he will never know how many clients he lost because of it. brentwood has gotten free press from this yes but will it help them or hurt them in the long run ? only time will tell.

david donan's picture

what a piece of shit to keep the deposit and worse to give it to a fundraiser that the couple doesnt even believe in, out of spite. The couple shouldve gotten a sense of what an asshole the photographer was, unless hes a real good liar as well.

Tim Caisley's picture

Its not a deposit, its a retainer, there is a significant difference. Also it wasn't their money he donated, it was his. It ceased to be theirs when they paid the retainer.

Eric Lefebvre's picture

Here is a good article on retainers vs deposits.
http://www.thelawtog.com/use-deposit-retainer-photography-contract/

Also, THEY are the ones in breach of contract, not him.

Richard Viehmann's picture

Cool you can marry whom you want... the bigger issue is two clients respectfully decided to take their business elsewhere for their own viewpoints. The photographer comes across as a bigot declaring there viewpoint intolerant of his own. Again they respectfully (notice they didnt condemn anyone but voiced there own view on a topic that they have every right to have) wrote in and wanted to cancel. The photographer being a bigot an not excepting of anyone else viewpoint out of spite is making a donation with their retainer.

Lets look at it differently and had they canceled because he wasn't for gay marriage and only promoted tradition marriage, would you all be here stating how awesome he is.... no you would be calling him an asshole bigot.

see the Forest Trough The Trees

Benjamin Thomson's picture

"Lets look at it differently and had they canceled because he wasn't for gay marriage and only promoted tradition marriage, would you all be here stating how awesome he is.... no you would be calling him an asshole bigot."

Duh. The whole point of this article is that bigotry is unacceptable.

Igor Butskhrikidze's picture

i am not try to offend no one but here is my thoughts...

1st - client is not motivate someone to hate or offend or attack gays at all.
2nd - can we imagine the situation where a client dont want to work with this photographer because he shoot the wedding of their neighbor whose dog made a pee on their paper... so how do u think will photographer make public post like this? look like its just the way he wont to earn a point on gay community or smthng like that...
3rd - dont you think that religion of the client suppose traditional marriage? *see point number one
4th - this is private point of view and client show it on personal message... they are not public persons as i realized...
5th - client do not motivate (or lean on ) the photographer to do not shoot gay's weddings...

isnt this double standards?

sorry for my english...

Mr Blah's picture

1- Client thinks some humans should not have the same rights as other. That pretty fucked up IMO.
2- are you fucking comparing gay right to a incontinent dog??? Think this one again....
3- nothing in religion suppose any kind of hetero or gay marriage. depends on which stupid chapter you follow.
4- It's still a aprivate view since names are blacked out so ... yeah.
5- I'm pretty sure if the photographer promised not to shoot gay weddings, they would have come around. Religious zealots looooove redemption...

Your english isn't that bad, but you mind could be a little more opened (you celarly try to defend those client in a politically correct way when they have 0 grounds for it...)

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