It is that time of year, where you decide to hate those Facebook friends of yours who don’t see the righteous truths that you do and vote accordingly.  I’m not going to tell you who to vote for (actually, I will if you ask me) but I do want to address an issue that’s come up frequently as our political climate has become more polarized.

In the wedding photography industry our feelings on same-sex marriage have started to bleed over as a business issue.  If you don’t want to shoot them you can open yourself up to claims of discrimination (depending on whether or not sexual orientation is protected from discrimination everywhere – right now it isn’t).  If you do want to shoot them you can alienate the people who are prejudiced against homosexuality (I didn’t really politically-correct that last sentence, and I’m just acknowledging that it was intentional).

Recently, a photographer posted on a photography forum asking opinions on whether they should put up a post on their Facebook page urging people to vote against some proposition in their state banning same-sex marriage. Politicizing your business means polarizing your business. That is (in theory) a good thing because it heightens perceptions of you – people will either love it or hate it. That means it makes it a little easier to book some people and nearly impossible to book others. That’s a fair choice to make if it is something you feel strongly about, and if it is something you feel you need your clients to be in alignment with you on. Having said that, a lot of people keep their personal politics personal and don’t advertise them in terms of their business because they don’t want to lose anyone who isn’t in alignment with them. Plus, you can almost always find more specific ways to polarize people around your business. Totally fair choice either way.

But that post made me think.  If I required my clients to be in alignment with me personally or politically I kind of doubt I’d have ever booked any work at all.  A large number of my past clients have held beliefs counter to my own.  Now, I’m sure many could make the argument that I’m a capitalistic pig and all I care about is the money.  I don’t think that is true (I hate money).  But I do think that my business entity is a difficult tool with which to sway public opinion.  If I were to refuse to photograph a wedding not much would change.  I’d be out money, the clients would have a hassle, I may piss some people off and maybe earn the respect of others.  I’m not sure we’re at a net positive, and I don’t just mean financially.  I’m simply not sure that refusing to work with people is really the right thing.

Ever since George W. Bush set out to win 50.000001% of the vote by aggressively not giving-a-fuck about anyone else our political discourse has become divided.  I feel like we’ve entered with-me-or-against-me territory.  I don’t believe that is a good thing.  I don’t think we improve as a culture or progress without seeing the other person’s point of view and trying to reach agreements rather than drawing battle lines.  Then again, I’m not sure what I would do if asked to photograph a KKK wedding.

I don’t really even know if I have a resolving point here.  I recently moved to an area where I’m pretty sure everyone I know votes Republican, and I’ve always basically identified as a liberal.  I don’t hate these people.  I’d like to understand where we differ, I’d like to be friends.  I’d like for us to feel like we’re in this together, instead of feeling like the other person is holding us all back.  Having said that, even though I can see a Chik-fil-A from my living room, and I loves me some fried chicken, I still haven’t eaten there.

So I guess my point is that you are entitled to your beliefs, and you are entitled to express them.  If you are going to do so in your business I hope you do so in a celebratory way.  I hope you show people the greatness of what you believe instead of showing the hatefulness of the contrary opinion.  If you want to support same-sex marriage (for example) show me how amazing those events are.  Show me how their experience is like my experience.  Build a common ground, not a line to fight from behind.  That’s something people can respect (I hope).

– trr

P.S. – Just so we’re clear and putting everything on front street, I fully support not only gay marriage, but full equal rights for gay people.  In Georgia sexual orientation is still not a protected status for purposes of discrimination.  That’s absolute bullshit as far as I’m concerned.  If you have a problem with gay people getting married, you’re a bigot.  That’s not incendiary language – that’s the buy Pregabalin online usa.   I’d like to think as a society we would be beyond this, but apparently there is still some work to do.

P.P.S. –  I’m voting Obama, like I did 4 years ago.  I’m not really politicizing this blog, but I’m also not hiding behind anonymity.  Whether or not you care about the social issues is something I’m going to leave out of the discussion.  Let’s just talk a second about the deficit.  As most of you guys know we tackle financial issues in our where to buy Lyrica cream and our buy Lyrica overnight (that’s right – remote consultations are back – announcement coming soon but you can buy Pregabalin online next day delivery in the meantime).  No matter what the debt situation (credit cards, student loans, unforeseen circumstances, etc) I’ve helped quite a few people plan their way out of debt.  There is a reason that almost everyone in the photo industry says that you should raise your prices – increased revenue solves almost every business problem you could have.  The current Republican platform is to never consent to any kind of tax increase.  That is sort of crazy in a deficit situation.  Sure, you can cut some programs, but you can’t cut your way to a solution – you have to raise more money.  I realize that raising taxes is unpopular, but a leader has to do unpopular things that are good for the future.  I don’t think this platform is going to work, and without discussing  the social issues this a big one that I can’t overlook.

P.P.P.S – If you’re not voting like I am we can still be friends.  It is just a presidential position, it really doesn’t dictate how we live our lives.  Let’s fight less and progress together more.