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Bride demands refund from wedding photographer over Black Lives Matter support

Bride demands refund from wedding photographer over Black Lives Matter support

An American wedding photographer said a couple tried to cancel their contract after she expressed her support for Black Lives Matter in a social media post.

Shakira Rochelle, a photographer based in Cincinnati, Ohio, shared her support of the movement on her social media pages. The post read: “Shakira Rochelle Photography stands in solidarity with the black community. The black lives matter movement has my endless support.”

View this post on Instagram

Shakira Rochelle Photography stands in solidarity with the black community. The black lives matter movement has my endless support ✊🏼.

A post shared by Shakira Rochelle🌿 (@shakirarochellephotographyy) on Jun 5, 2020 at 5:34pm PDT

Rochelle later received a text message from a client requesting her deposit back.

“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 bride wrote on the text.

“We … feel that you aren’t stable enough to complete the job we need from you.”

Rochelle told the bride that the deposit was non-refundable, as per their signed contract. “I wish you a lifetime of growth and I would like to thank you for your donation to Black Lives Matter,” the photographer concluded.

The bride told Rochelle she would be “hearing from our attorney”.

The screenshots of the messages – which Rochelle posted on her personal Facebook account – went on to become viral on social media sites. A Twitter post with pictures of the exchange has received more than 1.1 million likes.

On Wednesday, Rochelle released a statement addressing claims that her post was fabricated.

“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 said.

“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.”

Rochelle explained that prior to the incident, she had been booked until winter and was not seeking for more clients.

“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,” she said.

“Please know that what you saw from me was the complete story.”   

Black Lives Matter protests have been initiated across the US and around the world following the killing of George Floyd in police custody on May 25.