A wedding photographer in Ohio said a bride-to-be asked for a refund because the businesswoman is “not stable enough” to handle the shoot due to her support for Black Lives Matter, according to a report.
Shakira Rochelle, who owns her photography business in Cincinnati, said she joined the BLM movement and decided to take part in protests after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, Fox 19 reported.
But when Rochelle’s client noticed her social media postings supporting the cause, the woman sent her a text asking for her money back.
“I’m sorry to say that we are requesting a refund on the deposit for our wedding,” she wrote, according to a screenshot of the text message shared with the news outlet.
“We have done a lot of talking and we cannot bring ourselves to support anyone who is so outspoken on matters that simply do not concern them as well as someone that does not believe that ALL lives matter,” the client wrote.
“We would be truly embarrassed to have you at our event and feel that you aren’t stable enough to complete the job we need from you. Please let me know when and how we can expect our refund and we are requesting to be relieved from our contract. Thanks.”
Rochelle was undeterred, though, and sent the woman her own missive.
“I am sorry to hear that. Unfortunately, the contract you signed states that your deposit is nonrefundable. I will email you a cancellation agreement shortly that will require your signature to forfeit your date,” she wrote.
“I wish you a lifetime of growth and I would like to thank you for your donation to Black Lives Matter,” added Rochelle, who also posted the message in social media.
“Just to be like, ‘hey, this stuff is still happening, look at this, this is a bummer that somebody feels this way,’” said Rochelle, whose Facebook page gained over 90,000 likes, according to Fox 19.
“It was definitely overwhelming, and the positive support was a good feeling but at the same time I’m like, ‘I don’t deserve anything,’” she said. “I was just simply sharing a story that I felt needed to be seen.” Rochelle said she donated the $160 deposit to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, adding that she didn’t want the episode to be about her.
“I lost a day of work. It doesn’t even begin to compare of what our friends and our people of color go through every day just waking up,” said Rochelle, who recently expressed her support for the BLM in social media.
“Shakira Rochelle Photography stands in solidarity with the black community. The Black Lives Matter movement has my endless support,” she wrote.
On Wednesday, she posted a message on Facebook to refute the notion that he was seeking publicity.
“Today I woke up to something that hurt my soul. There is a photoshopped screenshot circulating stating that coming forward with this story was a business tactic to make a profit on the blm movement,” she wrote.
“This is the most incredibly absurd thing I have ever heard. The original post started out private until a friend asked if she could share it. I never had the intentions or the desire to go viral for this or anything else.”
She added: “I have always stood up for human rights and will continue to do so. I have marched with my loved ones as well as alone. My intentions are pure.”
Fox 19 said it was unable to reach the client for comment.
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