Choosing a wedding photographer can be a tricky ordeal. Bay Area photographers need to be adept in shooting in all sorts of bizarre weather conditions, sneaky enough to shoot those private moments, and friendly enough to make their subjects feel at ease.
A gay couple were approaching their wedding day, and opted for the services of UrLoved, a wedding photography company based in San Rafael. As is often the case, photographers might sometimes decline to shoot a wedding date because they’ve already been booked—that’s expected. What’s not expected, however, is a photography company declining to shoot a wedding because they don’t approve of gay marriage.
Unfortunately for UrLoved, it crosses over into legally debatable territory when those beliefs are translated into business practices.
Per Jezebel, this is the email that the couple received after reaching out to book a shoot:
Thanks so much for contacting us and for your very kind words. We feel that photographing a gay wedding is not the best match for us, however we can refer you to a colleague who would make a great match. Her name is [redacted]. You can find her work at [redacted]. Let her know urloved Photography sent you and she’ll take good care of you!
We wish you the very best! Please let us know if you have any questions!
Now, it’s one thing to not agree with a lifestyle or to personally be against gay marriage. Even in the Bay Area, everyone is allowed to think and believe what they’d like. The problem is that it is illegal to translate those beliefs into business practices.
UrLoved, however, has taken swift action. The company has since apologized to the couple, and has shut down their wedding photography business (at least for the time being), saying:
Unfortunately, our artistic passion for excellence and personal beliefs were misinterpreted. That was never our intent. We have been flooded with hate calls, emails and accusations that inaccurately depict our business. On top of that we have come to a difficult decision that we will no longer be in the wedding photography business. We are grateful for this experience as it has caused us to think about how our personal beliefs intersect with our business practices.
Chances are that it’s only a matter of time before UrLoved re-enters the game under different branding, but hopefully by then they will have learned their lesson: discrimination doesn’t pay.
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