A moral dilemma

Greeting Blogpickers.  Today’s post is a little different as there is no link.  Instead I wanted to muse on something that happened to me today.

As you know (or should know by now!) I am a photographer.  In my work I do a little of everything but the topic today is weddings.  In fact, I shot a wedding today for a lovely couple, Amanda and Dave.  Most of the weddings I have been involved with have been fun affairs with happy people involved and this was no exception.  However something happened today at the wedding which caused me pause.  It has happened at previous weddings too but today it made me actually stop and think a little about it.

That issue is anti-gay jokes, homophobia, etc….surprise.  While we were out shooting after the service, I was doing some work with all of the guys, i.e. the groom, best man, grooms men, and ushers.  They were all horsing around, as guys do, and being…well, macho men.  There is always an abundance of testosterone around at weddings….

While doing shots of the groom and each individual grooms man, they requested one serious shot and one silly shot.  The first “silly” shot was of the groom kissing another guy on the cheek.  This elicited all sorts of “gay” comments.  Then there was a comment about “why don’t you have a civil union with him next.  After all he doesn’t have health insurance”.  And on it went.  Each shot elicited some more comments.  Nearly all of the comments were derogatory toward gay people.  But I just carried on, rolling my eyes internally.

The groom was a good man, as was the bride (well, a woman really, but you get my drift…).  I didn’t get any sense of any homophobia or anti gay feeling from them.  They have no idea that I am gay either.  It seemed to just be macho horse-play at work.  But I wondered whether I should have said anything or not.  At what point does it become acceptable to say hurtful things about someone else?  I don’t want to ruin their day or to put a damper on their spirits, but I did feel bad and uncomfortable for a moment or two.  Also, if I said anything then all chances of getting relaxed easy poses and shots would have ended instantly.

I decided that next time I shot a wedding and am involved in pre-meets with the bride and groom to be that I would mention James, my husband, and our wedding.  That might at least raise the awareness.  If they decided they don’t want to proceed with me as their photographer because of that, then it will also be a good thing to have found out.

So there we have it.  What do you think, dearest readers?

On a different note I have decided to change up the self portraits a little.  Now that things are coming along okay on the blog I have chosen to light the self portraits better and to make a few other technical changes too.  It wasn’t that I was being sloppy at the beginning (honest…) I just wanted to make sure all was working well before tweaking started.

Big love,

DMx

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6 thoughts on “A moral dilemma

  1. Testosterone does tend to turn up the Loud and the Dumb dials, don’t it?
    Mentioning yr wedding early in the process (ie before the gay jokes begin) sounds like a smart approach. I admire your ability to keep a cool head and not throw punches and/or mud.
    Love “The groom was a good man, as was the bride…”
    Good stuff–keep it comin!

  2. David, I applaud you for keeping your cool during such an (I can only imagine) uncomfortable experience! I, too, agree with your mentioning your wedding to James when meeting with clients beforehand. It not only breeches the subject without actually having to come out and directly talk about your sexuality. It may also may set the couple at ease knowing you understand what it is like to go through the process of a wedding. If it were my wedding, I know I would appreciate a photographer who has been on the other side of a camera on top of experience. I also know if I were your client, I would be interested to hear about your wedding in particular, but I am also a very open-minded person (the type of person I wish you could always meet and work with, even though I know that is not the case.)

  3. Dear David,

    When we are behind a camera taking pictures professionally, we are as invisible as a maid servant or a really good waiter, doing what needs to be done, but not interacting with the folks who are paying. I am proud of you that you kept your cool and didn’t cause a ruckus. There are enough jilted lovers and in-laws around to ruin the wedding without us “professionals” doing it.

    I do feel for your sensibilities though, and I understand them as I worked as a female professional in an all male world for many years, and heard all kinds of insulting things, even from my bosses. I think comments and actions that are inappropriate reflect on the individuals making them, not on us.

    Best wishes, Michele

    • Michele, that is very true. They DO reflect on the individuals making the comments. The trouble is those people are usually not self-reflective enough to realise that what they say makes an impact on anyone else, other than getting people to laugh at their “jokes”. Still, we’ll see how things progress!

      DMx

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