Last week, in their ruling that wedding photographers in New Mexico can’t refuse on moral or religious grounds to provide services to same-sex couples, the state supreme court justices were careful to note that state anti-discrimination law does not apply to commercial or fine-art photographers. The justices said the level of a wedding photographer’s artistry doesn’t matter, and referenced the work of Annie Leibovitz and Peter Lindbergh as a hypothetical example to make the point.
The appellant in the case, Elane Photography, was asking the state’s high court to overturn a ruling by a lower court that said Elane Photography had violated the law by refusing to photograph a commitment ceremony of a same-sex couple.
In rejecting Elane Photography’s appeal, the high court noted that the ruling applies only to photographers who offer their services to the general public:
“The reality is that because [Elane Photography] is a public accommodation [ie, a business offering services to the general public], its provision of services can be regulated, even though those services include artistic and creative work. If Elane Photography took photographs on its own time and sold them at a gallery, or if it was hired by certain clients but did not offer its services to the general public, the law would not apply to Elane Photography’s choice of whom to photograph or not,” the court said in its decision.
“This determination has no relation to the artistic merit of photographs produced by Elane Photography. If Annie Leibovitz or Peter Lindbergh worked as public accommodations in New Mexico, they would be subject to [the state’s anti-discrimination laws].”
The NewsGuild of New York, the union representing The New York Times staffers, told members in a newsletter this morning that it will fight The Times’ proposed 20 percent reduction in photo desk staff via buyout. “As the Times makes changes to become a more ‘visually oriented’ news source, it is simply illogical to buy... More ›
By Rob Goodman When Tara Donne left her career as a magazine photo editor for a life as a professional photographer, she had stockpiled a good amount of knowledge just from working in the industry. But nothing truly prepares you for the leap into freelancing. You need a little faith and a clear game plan... More ›
In a lecture last weekend at the Blue Earth Alliance Collaborations for Cause conference in Seattle, nature and culture photographer Art Wolfe spoke about the strategies that have helped him publish more than 100 books in a career spanning five decades. Wolfe has traveled the world photographing endangered indigenous cultures, animals and natural landscapes, and... More ›