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].”
Robyn Cohn, a New York-based CPA who has provided bookkeeping and tax services to photographers for more than a decade, offers advice that PDN readers can act on right now to minimize taxes on their 2016 income—and manage their finances better in the future. PDN: What would you advise photographers to do before the end... More ›
In 2013, Robert Herman self-published The New Yorkers, a book of mostly 1970s and ‘80s street photos that is now on its third printing. In a seminar at PhotoPlus Expo last week, Herman described the steps he took to turn his archive of thousands of images into a successful photo book, from designing and printing... More ›
Commercial and portrait photographer John Keatley believes that the more time you spend planning and pre-visualizing every aspect of a shoot, the more time you have to interact with your subjects on set, and the more value you have in the eyes of your clients. During his PhotoPlus Expo seminar, “Managing Clients and Workflow on... More ›