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Author Topic: How low will you go?  (Read 4247 times)
snickgrr
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« on: February 27, 2008, 05:10:26 PM »
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First off, I understand this may not be the correct forum for this question but I believe that many of MFDB shooters here are working photographers like myself.  If the powers to be want to move this to what they consider more a appropriate home then so be it.

My question is have any of you refused a job based upon a clash with your personal morals or ethics?  Would you shoot for a gun/military/munitions company or for a group that is opposed to your philosophy?  Political leaders, parties, drug companies (legal or not), etc etc.

I shot porn for a couple years when I first started, some may or may not have a problem with that. I've shot for a magazine promoting illegal drugs, don't have a problem with that.  If George Bush called me up...I would have a problem with that.

Personally I've never turned down a job based on my beliefs.  I'm only asking since I received a call today about a job that causing me to ponder.  I'm not really looking for guidance here, it just got me thinking if this sort of thing has happened to you.
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samuel_js
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2008, 06:31:38 PM »
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First off, I understand this may not be the correct forum for this question but I believe that many of MFDB shooters here are working photographers like myself. If the powers to be want to move this to what they consider more a appropriate home then so be it.

My question is have any of you refused a job based upon a clash with your personal morals or ethics? Would you shoot for a gun/military/munitions company or for a group that is opposed to your philosophy? Political leaders, parties, drug companies (legal or not), etc etc.

I shot porn for a couple years when I first started, some may or may not have a problem with that. I've shot for a magazine promoting illegal drugs, don't have a problem with that. If George Bush called me up...I would have a problem with that.

Personally I've never turned down a job based on my beliefs. I'm only asking since I received a call today about a job that causing me to ponder. I'm not really looking for guidance here, it just got me thinking if this sort of thing has happened to you.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=177823\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'd say no without doubt. There's some areas more sensitive to me like weapons, child pornography, women violence or politics like nazist or other extreme ideologies, ect... But everyone can enter almost every area if you put an artistic point of view... (Think of Benetton campaigns)
But of course I'd drink water from a big bullshit if I was starving to death. But that's not my case...
Last week a journalist asked my about some of my pictures to complete a season book about some church... I could say I'm antireligious but I din't have a problem with that al all.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2008, 06:39:45 PM by samuel_js » Logged
snickgrr
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2008, 06:39:20 PM »
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One of the large oil companies is headquartered here in the Bay Area, I've made all kinds of money off of them.  I understand your reluctance to allow them to use your stuff for ads.
But wow!  Bicycling to a job..gotta hand it to you on that.

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I've turned down several job offers based upon my beliefs. I work a lot for a very large oil company and there my limit is reached when asked to make images for ads. In my contracts with stock companies I have a clause saying that my images may never be used for political or religious purposes. Of course some companies don't want this and thus I will not sell my images to them. I also refuse jobs that require flying to the shooting location, because I find flying too environmentally hostile. If possible I take the train or bicycle to work on my assignments instead of a car. Do I still get jobs? Obviously. I just don't tell my contractors too much about my personal beliefs. I don't need to preach. Living my ideals is enough and they usually accept it as long as I deliver the goods.
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2008, 06:49:59 PM »
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I have turned down pornography, and also turned down a client who I felt was completely unethical. If you are desperate for money there are other ways.
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Bruce MacNeil
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2008, 07:58:38 PM »
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I turn down weddings where the couple is too jesus freaky - that is where I draw the line.
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2008, 08:02:11 PM »
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I turn down weddings where the couple is too jesus freaky - that is where I draw the line.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=177854\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Huh?Huh
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snickgrr
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2008, 08:18:38 PM »
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That's pretty funny.  I've shot three weddings in my years, all for friends.  Two of them I ended up drinking too much and I learned two things from that.  Don't drink too much if you're shooting a wedding and don't shoot weddings if you do.

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I turn down weddings where the couple is too jesus freaky - that is where I draw the line.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=177854\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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MarkKay
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2008, 09:45:44 PM »
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It was interesting because there was a photographer who was hired to do a wedding and when the bride and groom found out he was not religious ---- un-hired him just before the wedding.   I guess they asked him about his religious beliefs.  If it was so important to the couple, they should have asked up front. There are clearly things I might have trouble with.  BTW sounds like your beliefs are in line enough to hire you for a gig I am moderating on March 9th   http://www.auroraforum.org/



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That's pretty funny.  I've shot three weddings in my years, all for friends.  Two of them I ended up drinking too much and I learned two things from that.  Don't drink too much if you're shooting a wedding and don't shoot weddings if you do.
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snickgrr
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2008, 10:10:28 PM »
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I'll pass on shooting it, but certainly may come down and listen.  Looks pretty interesting.
Couple days ago went to a great lecture by genetic scientist Craig Venter put on by the Long Now foundation
http://www.longnow.org/

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It was interesting because there was a photographer who was hired to do a wedding and when the bride and groom found out he was not religious ---- un-hired him just before the wedding.   I guess they asked him about his religious beliefs.  If it was so important to the couple, they should have asked up front. There are clearly things I might have trouble with.  BTW sounds like your beliefs are in line enough to hire you for a gig I am moderating on March 9th   http://www.auroraforum.org/
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MarkKay
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2008, 10:18:16 PM »
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Well if you want a couple of tix.. let me know.  Craig is somewhat of a controversial guy but he clearly did a great job on getting the human genome sequenced..

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I'll pass on shooting it, but certainly may come down and listen.  Looks pretty interesting.
Couple days ago went to a great lecture by genetic scientist Craig Venter put on by the Long Now foundation
http://www.longnow.org/
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=177886\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2008, 11:27:30 PM »
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I don't shoot images for a living, but I have turned down jobs that were against my ethics.  For example, one was for a company looking for an environmental consultant who would say that it was okay if they put a golf course in an area that was very environmentally sensitive.  Another time I was hired (one of those on the side things) to patch some drywall for a guy who was selling the place and leaving the country.  Roof leaked and left a hole.  Started tearing out the wet drywall and the entire inside was full of black mold.  Pointed this out and he told me to cover it over.  Since that would be not only immoral but illegal, I left it where it was and left.  Did send him a bill for my time though.  I heard he did find someone else to patch it up for him, but it wasn't me.

Mike.
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Dustbak
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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2008, 01:11:41 AM »
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I turn down weddings where the couple is too jesus freaky - that is where I draw the line.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=177854\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I turn down weddings period...


I have not yet encountered situations where I ran into an assignment that I had to turn down because of moral ethics (hey, I live in the Netherlands some would say ).

I do turn down assignments if I cannot stand the client or if I don't like the assignment itself.

I turn down assignments where I feel my knowledge and expertise is lacking.

In most cases I will redirect these assigments to friends that I know can, will or want to do them.
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NBP
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2008, 03:37:29 AM »
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Personally I fortunately haven't had to yet - directly.
Although the food industry is becoming more ethically murky quite rapidly - I'm not going to be shooting for a certain UK supermarket chain again for example for a number of reasons that I'm not comfortable with - but they haven't asked me to for a while so, I'll just a low profile with regards to them.

Trouble is that you also have to weigh up the consequences and be a little diplomatic about saying no if you feel that way - For example, the work that I did do for this supermarket in the past was through a contract publisher who I enjoy a good relationship with, and they provide me with quite a bit of other work that's not related to this supermarket client - they could easily mis interpet/ mis understand a direct stance as a snub to them or too political for their pereption: ie "what's your problem? it's just the fluffy world of nice food pics" etc.

I also have great respect for another photographer I know, who had shot - very lucratively - stuff for a posh clothing company for a few years and told them he was not prepared to be associated with them anymore when they decided to pay lots of money to an ex gangster to be their 'cover boy'  - as was UK's media fascination with all things East End gangster a few years ago - convieniently forgetting that this 'diamond geezer' that they were now glorifying, had a history of very horrific & very real murders, for which he'd just spend the past 25 years in jail.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 03:38:19 AM by NBP » Logged
mahleu
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2008, 03:49:24 AM »
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It was interesting because there was a photographer who was hired to do a wedding and when the bride and groom found out he was not religious ---- un-hired him just before the wedding.   I guess they asked him about his religious beliefs. 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=177879\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's why I take a deposit to cover things like weddings.

I haven't been asked to do anything morally questionable yet, i'm not sure what I would do. I guess it depends what was asked.
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JessicaLuchesi
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« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2008, 06:43:44 AM »
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Folks, I'm turning down a job right now, because the last time I worked with this company (I used to do small assignments for them without issues, but last time it was a big one, where I had for the first time, direct contact with the inner workings of the company), they showed a really bad streak of amateurism and of blant lies about nearly everything, that honestly, they're not people I want to be associated with. Sometimes it's not about politics, enviroment ( I'm the only photographer I know over here who recaptures the carbon emissions of my daily life and jobs ) or religion... sometimes it's just the ethics of people you'll be associated with, and the fact you don't submit yourself to working under certain terms, with some sort of people, some set of behaviors you strongly disapprove, and that's enough.

An old woman sometime ago said on TV "Sadness doesn't pay the bills". I wish I met her in person, because that's a great life philosophy.

PS: I don't do weddings, because I dislike the fact you kind of have to become a show host during the event, but I know photographers who like it. I don't think weddings are an example here of ethics and morals, it's just another line of work that some people do, some people don't, like any other area of commercial photography.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 06:55:58 AM by JessicaLuchesi » Logged
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