Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by michael_doran, Sep 14, 2019.

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  1. I am seeking some help about a photo job I am uncomfortable with. I placed an add on a Facebook job specifically looking for models. I had a person reach out to me about doing some family pictures. We discussed my prices and scheduled the session. After we scheduled the session, they proceeded to send me the last picture they had done together and it was a picture of them with Neo-Nazi flags and banners. I am not comfortable with this at all and I did not respond back yet to the message. I am looking for help before I respond because I am scared. I do not want to do this because of the ramifications that this may bring. I am also afraid that I if I say no after the fact that I scheduled the session, it will lead to other ramifications. I only scheduled the session we did not sign anything in terms of paperwork or anything like that. Just scheduled a session. That is all. Can I refuse the job because I am not comfortable with the session at all? I am in no way shape or form a racist nor do I believe any of the ideology. Looking for some help here. Any direction would be great. Again I am really scared here and just need some advice.
  2. Well, its a choice you have to make. It seems you know you don't want to do it. What ramifications are you worried about? That no-one on the alt-right will want to hire you? In short, if you think they are neo-nazis and you don't want to take pictures of them, then don't.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  3. 2d


    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  4. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    I can understand, and sympathise fully with your dilemma - surely the easiest way would be to reply and say that you are sorry, but that you cannot currently undertake this assignment, and wish them luck in finding another photographer. No explanation, no comments on their lifestyle, just plain and simple. You have not stated where you are, but I am assuming the USA. I do not know what the law is regarding such activities - maybe a local community law expert could assist you, free of charge ?

    Good luck anyway.
    mikemorrell likes this.
  5. I guess my biggest worry is getting sued for discrimination as crazy at it sounds these days. If you read my original post. We discussed my prices and scheduled the session first, I did not know who/what the person was until after scheduling the session. It was then after the scheduling they sent me a photo with their neo-Nazi propaganda. I definitely do not want to do the session at all. I am wondering how to approach the situation with tact, that is all.
  6. Thanks Tony, much appreciated.
  7. In this age of PC, getting sued for refusing to photograph neo-nazis is hardly likely. But heck, if you did end up getting sued, you can bet that 37 lawyers would be lined up to take your case pro bono.

    Tact? Forget tact. Stand up for what is right.
    michael_doran and tholte like this.
  8. Just say NO!
    Sanford likes this.
  9. Are they saying they want more photos with nazi symbols?You have a right to free speech as an artist, which includes the right to not create art that promotes racist politics.
  10. Posting this publicly may not have been a good idea, but simply saying that you can't do the job (no explanation needed or advisable) is probably best.

    These people may well be dangerous, so cutting off communication is good. Arguing with them will only inflame their sense of "injury".
    denny_rane likes this.
  11. A lot of photographers would relish the opportunity to photograph that world from the inside.
  12. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Sanford has a point - immediately become a "Documentarian" and you can photograph anything!
  13. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

    Just say you need a signed contract, then fill it with conditions nobody in their right mind would sign. :eek:
    DavidTriplett and robert_bowring like this.
  14. My guess is that they sent you the photo in order to give you a chance to back out now rather than later: from a purely practical point of view, they wouldn't be wanting a photographer who didn't want to be there. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't hesitate to turn down the job.
    DavidTriplett and Supriyo like this.
  15. If you do not feel comfortable doing it then don't do it.
    denny_rane likes this.
  16. Then “a lot of photographers” should go right ahead and take the job. We know at least one photographer, Michael Doran, who doesn’t want to do it.

    So I suggest to Michael, who asked the question, no further contact.
  17. The fact that they sent you previous photos with flags may have been to inform you what they want and may have been to give you a chance to refuse if you were uncomfortable with such photos.
  18. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    Does 'In their right minds' actually apply in this case ?
    denny_rane, Roger G and andylynn like this.
  19. Once you discovered the content they wanted you to photograph, of course, you can decline the job. These days your own reputation could be on the line if it turns out you were the photographer. People could accuse you of supporting those values.
    If they had wanted you to , for example, take nude photos of their underage would refuse that too. You could pesonally get into trouble.
    I think you have to protect your professional reputation and your personal values and decline this contract. You original negotiations were based on incomplete information and you would not have negotiated as far as you did had you known what you later found out.
    If a baker can decline to bake a can decline to take a photo.
    michael_doran likes this.
  20. Interesting problem. If you normally do this type of photography, it's likely you often photograph people with beliefs and/or ideologies that don't match your own, but you simply don't know it. Since you already set everything up, perhaps you can tell them that you'll gladly take their pictures, but you aren't comfortable with those particular props. If they still want the shots, make sure you write into the contract, and make them fully aware, that any props used in the pics are subject to the approval of the photographer. That's probably something that should be in there anyway.
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