Photographer faces law suit

Started Aug 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
larrytusaz Senior Member • Posts: 2,437
Artists Should Be Able to Choose Their Subjects, Period

I consider myself a hobbyist photographer. I am not skilled enough to do weddings professional for-hire, although I have done a couple as a courtesy for a friend, or for cheap for broke people who would otherwise have someone using a junkie smartphone camera for their special day, I at least will be better than that, which is enough for them.

However, even just as a hobbyist, I think I'm qualified to say that photography is a different thing altogether than, say, a McDonald's hamburger, to compare denying someone your photography skills to denying someone service at a restaurant. Besides the obvious reality that we all have to eat & deserve decent food, the process photography vs food preparation is altogether different. Especially if you're talking about fast food, you're talking about something that has no "vision" or "inspiration" etc behind it at all. It's very much a mechanical "3+6=9" sort of thing. A person who is a chef & a 16 year old who can barely microwave a Hot Pocket will obtain the exact same results making a burger at Burger King or Wendy's etc, because all the creativity has been removed from the process, you simply follow the outlined steps verbatim, and because the endeavor is not one based on inspiration, vision, creativity, or any sort of connection to a subject or event.

However, speaking for myself & for people whom I know, photography is something that we get into because we want to photograph what we WANT TO PHOTOGRAPH, and this applies not only for someone like me who does it strictly as a hobby but even somewhat for professionals offering their services. You offer your services for things you LIKE to photograph. There are photographers I know who used to photograph portraits of couples, children, weddings, family reunions etc that have decided to photograph just infants because that's what they really are inspired by, I know some who no longer do weddings because they have found they just don't like them and aren't inspired by them.

That's how it goes with photography or pretty much any artistic type of endeavor. As such, you don't ask, say, a children's photographer to photograph your wedding or "couples" pictures of you & your spouse if that doesn't inspire them anymore than you ask Tom Petty to record a rap album or Jay-Z to record a bluegrass album. It's a violation of artistic integrity, it doesn't typically result in the excellence sought, and it's just ridiculous to ask Tom Petty to rap for you when Jay-Z is right there, or vice versa.

The same thing goes for a wedding photographer who doesn't relate to or doesn't agree in principle with a gay/lesbian wedding. If they don't want that sort of photography as part of their portfolio, they shouldn't have to do it, not even if they're a professional, and not even if they're a professional in New Mexico.

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