Photographer claims her support of Black Lives Matter caused client to cancel wedding contract

Photographer claims her support of Black Lives Matter caused client to cancel wedding contract

AURORA, Ind. (FOX19) - A wedding photographer claims a bride to be canceled her wedding contract because she supports Black Lives Matter.

Shakira Rochelle has been a professional photographer for five years. She said she felt compelled to join Black Lives Matter protests in our area in the wake of what happened to George Floyd.

When a client saw a few posts Rochelle made on social media supporting BLM she got a text from the soon to be bride, which she says left her shocked and upset.

Rochelle gave FOX19 NOW the screenshot of the text exchange.

The message from her client reads:

“Hi Shakira. I’m sorry to say that we are requesting a refund on the deposit for our wedding. 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. 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 responded in with a text:

“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. I wish you a lifetime of growth and I would like to thank you for your donation to Black Lives Matter.”

After the exchange, Rochelle posted the screenshot to 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.

Since making that post, her professional photographer page on Facebook has gained over 90,000 likes and her review page has been filled with positive reviews.

“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,’” said Rochelle. “I was just simply sharing a story that I felt needed to be seen.”

Rochelle said she doesn’t want this incident to be about her.

“I lost a day of work,” said Rochelle. “It doesn’t even begin to compare to what our friends and our people of color go through every day just waking up.”

Rochelle said she donated the $160 deposit for the contract to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

FOX19 NOW tried to speak with the bride to allow her to respond but we have not been able to get in contact with her yet.

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