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.

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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

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

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?

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.

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!

Touché!!

Oh snap!

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

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

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.

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.

"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.

Sure, now homosexuality is "science". Probably you think that stupidity is also science and you are a scientist.

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 !

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.

Check a book of biology, honey, it's very real. It has pictures, too.
No science can say that you "deserve rights".

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.

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"

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}

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.

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