Shakira Rochelle, like millions of other Americans, have been protesting police brutality and systemic racism in the name of the Black Lives Matter movement by holding signs at rallies, donating to organizations, or in Rochelle’s case, simply posting the message on their social media pages.
Rochelle shared the post on her Instagram on June 5, the caption reading:
“Shakira Rochelle Photography stands in solidarity with the black community,” Rochelle wrote in her post caption.
“The Black Lives Matter movement has my endless support,” she added, along with a fist bump emoji.
Rochelle is a well-established photographer based in Cincinnati, where she regularly photographs families, maternity portraits and weddings.
Rochelle routinely uses social media accounts to share information and spread messages about her values, and lately, they have been about racial equality and social injustice.
“I shared a lot of things on my profiles in hopes of educating people and showing support, as well as attended protests and even stood alone with a sign on the sidewalk in my own small town weeks ago,” the photographer said.
And while she was not certain what exactly ticked off this particular bride, it was made clear that she was not pleased with Rochelle’s call to action.
One bride who Rochelle was scheduled to photograph in an upcoming wedding was so upset with her that she decided to cancel their agreement and demand a full refund.
Rochelle later shared two screenshots to Twitter of the conversation.
In the bride’s first text, she requests a “full refund” of her wedding deposit and asks to cancel her services.
She then adds how both she and her partner “cannot bring ourselves to support anyone who is so outspoken on matters that simply do not concern them as well as someone who 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,” the bride continued.
“Please let me know when and how we can expect our refund and we are requesting to be relieved from our contract. Thanks.”
Rochelle was, rightfully so, shocked by the text but kept her head on straight and fired back a professional and epic response.
“I am sorry to hear that,” the photographer wrote back, before reminding the bride that she signed a non-refundable contract, which means she can’t get her deposit back. However, canceling their agreement was no problem.
“I will email you a cancellation agreement shortly that will require your signature to forfeit your date,” Rochelle continued. “I wish you a lifetime of growth and I would like to thank you for your donation to Black Lives Matter.”
The story has since gone viral, Rochelle has “not heard anything from her,” she informed In The Know. “She has deactivated social media and she has yet to sign the release of contract that I have sent her.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.