TWiP #298 – Just Say No


This week Frederick Van Johnson, Martin Bailey and Don Komarechka get set for an engaging conversation about:

  • Photographers and the law
  • And an interview with Canadian street photographer Sara Collaton

Martin: ProCamera iPhone app & Jeffrey Friedl's plug-in Data Explorer. Want a free copy of the ProCamera App?! Be one of the first 6 to email Martin Bailey at (If the email bounces back, you were too late.)

Don: Camera Axe (shutter or flash trigger based on various sensors)

Frederick: GoPro Hero3 review by Dave Dugdale of

Interview with Sara Collaton

This week, Frederick enjoyed a chat with Canadian street photographer Sara Collaton. Join the conversation as Sara tells of how an art teacher's criticism helped to launch her photography career. Sara also shares tips about how to get close to your subject, lens choices and more.

Submit your photographs for “Critique of the Week”

Be a part of This Week in Photo's newest segment. Post your best photo on the Google+ TWiP Community page and have the chance to be critiqued by the TWiP panel on an upcoming episode. Good luck!

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Connect with Our Hosts & Guests:

Martin Bailey: Website, Twitter, Google+

Don Komarechka: Website, Twitter, Google+

Frederick Van or or Google+


Pre-production by: Patrick Reed

Post production by: Suzanne Llewellyn

Bandwidth provided by: Cachefly

Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro

Photo Credits: Shutterstock


  1. A chef of culinary “arts” putting up a sign in his restaurant that says “no coloreds allowed” as his freedom of speech? Wedding photography isn’t a religion, and one should f**king be a professional and act like one or go be a landscape photographer.

    The right to free speech comes with great deal of responsibility that are within the boundaries of the law. I appreciate and respect all of you guys at TWIP, but this episode showed extreme selfishness and ignorance. Don’t hide behind the word “Art!” We are human first.

  2. Another way to sort focal length and other EXIF data in Lightroom is to use Smart Collections. This allows finding photos between 35 and 55 mm or any other range, for example, and this can be narrowed down by camera, date, iso, etc.

  3. unless your a slave you have the god given right not to be forced to do work your not comfortable with and or don’t believe in.

    1. hmmm… your god may say otherwise, but there is this little law called the anti discrimination act that everyone has to follow

    2. If you choose to be part of a society, you must abide by that society’s laws and rules. Choosing to be a business is choosing to be part of the society, you can’t pick and choose which laws to follow – “my religion states that I shall pay no tax…” or that “I shall never let anything but air touch my skin…” or that “those that are not of my religion must be smote…” religious arguments have no place outside of a private place of worship…

    3. Your critical thinking and wittiness have convinced me. Let go watch the 700 club together.

    4. no, no, no… don’t conflict religion with individual rights…

      they are opposite..

      I back society and cooperation… and when applicable within the cosen society, individual rights. but the society and community should alway be put above those who have fixed the rules to their benefit…

  4. I’m surprised at the one-sided treatment given to the story about the New Mexico case regarding the same-sex commitment ceremony. From the show title and graphic “Just Say No” (Say “No” to what, exactly?) to linking just to the ADF defense brief and the discussion.

    Would the panelists agree that it is acceptable to refuse to shoot an interracial marriage? Should restaurants be allowed to refuse service to gays? What about non-artistic wedding providers, say someone who rents tents, can they refuse to work with same-sex marriages? The NM courts so far have said no. It’ll be interesting to see what the NM Supreme Court rules. If you revisit the topic after the ruling I hope you’ll include informed voices from both sides of the issue.

    As to the “We have the right to refuse service” signs, they do not provide any legal cover to violate the public accommodation laws, so suggesting such a statement is off base.

    Martin Bailey’s “tactful” suggestion of lying is offensive and easily revealed to be deceit. I hope no wedding photographers take his suggestion.

    Finally, the couple in question did not force the photographer to do the ceremony but instead found another photographer and then filed a complaint with the NM human rights commission.

    I like TWIP but am frequently frustrated at your lack of preparation. In this instance it is irritating that you are clearly on one side but pretend to be unbiased. State your biases and move on.

    How about more content about actual photography — your area of expertise?

    1. I think the only thing missing is the fact that there is a law. It is called the anti discrimination act. In addition, I was under the impression, that to be religious was to be tolerant. Seems not to have been applied in this case. I would have done the job, irrespective of how I felt, because that is what the word professional embodies.

    2. religion has no place in business… and art has no place in business… An artist can be a business person, but as soon as they become “for hire” they give up their “right” to decide what their art will be… a wood business can say they will not sell or build something out of concrete but they cannot say they will not sell wood to a type of person – a wedding photographer can say they will not sketch a wedding but they cannot say they won’t photograph a certain type of persons wedding…

      Don’t confuse artistic integrity with business…

    3. I’m a photographer from NM and have paid close attention to this story. It was not about the fact it was refused, but HOW the photographer refused. There is a LOT about this story that has not reached the public. After the judgment and 2 appeals that upheld it, some information is seriously lacking in the debate. I’ve read dozens of articles on this and no-one has made a statement of what the basis of the charges are. Was she just rude? Did she refuse at the last minute after accepting the job forcing the couple to get another photographer on short notice? Did she keep a deposit? For the courts to be so decisive on this, there had to be a signed contract involved. The courts would not have been so clear in their decision based on a verbal agreement. None of these details have been covered in any report I’ve found. In NM, the courts often fall on the more conservative side. For at least 3 judgments to go against her, she had to have done something blatantly wrong.

      The coverage on this is so polarized and screaming “right” or “wrong”, no-one seems to be getting past that and into the details of the judgment itself. There is no information out there to have an informed debate.

      I have to side with Martin on this problem. If I were asked to do a job I was uncomfortable with, I would just refuse without explanation, for nothing else but to protect myself legally. If pressed I’d say I was not available for the date, but I certainly wouldn’t sign an agreement without knowing what I’m getting into.

  5. Martin hit the best way out is to say busy. 1 point not covered was was did the photographer have a style the couple wanted, or known for?

    If push came to shove, would I want work from someone who was counter our beliefs? Not I.

  6. Having not missed one of the 298 episodes (and I’ll probably just hang in until 300) I’m getting pretty tired of not hearing or learning much about photography but listening to people who just want to promote their peripheral enterprises.

  7. This started in 2008?

    Would the courts have ruled the same had this been any number of other religions that would have done the same? One article also states that a Santa Fe hairdresser was cheered for refusing to cut the Governor’s hair because the gov. was against same sex marriage. Should that hairdresser not also be sued?

    As for “I’m busy” one article says this: According to the court’s verdict, the trouble began for Elane Photography when the company was contacted by lesbian Vanessa Willock asking if they could photograph a “commitment ceremony” for Willock and her “partner.” The company, owned by Christian couple Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, responded stating that they only shoot traditional weddings, and do not do “same-sex weddings,” but thanked Willock for her interest.

    The following day, Willock’s anonymous “partner” sent an email to Elane Photography stating that she was going to “marry,” without stating that the “marriage” would be between herself and a woman. She asked if the company could travel to the location of the event, and was told that it could.

    The two emails would be used as proof that the Huguenins were discriminating against Willock in her suit against the company, and resulted in a judgment of $6,637.94 against the defendant.

  8. Brad Crittenden (below) already said most of what I wanted to say but I wanted to add my voice to the crowd since the panel’s reaction to this story disappointed me greatly.

    I really don’t care how much of your art is involved in your business but if you run a business you really don’t get to choose who you want to serve and who you don’t. It’s not only offensive but illegal.

  9. As for the TSA discussion, they most certainly can and do confiscate photo gear with no explanation. They took two SB-900 flash units I had in my checked luggage and I had no recourse to get them back because I didn’t notice they were gone until I got home. Had I noticed immediately and reported the incident at the airport they told me that I might have had a claim. Instead, there was a TSA ticket informing me that my bags had been searched sitting in the empty place where the flash units once were.

  10. I agree with Brad Crittenden and Jim Blanchard – and since it was advertised in the beginning as an “in depth talk about law in photography” i was thrilled to go deeper (although i am from austria and we might have a different law here).

    I hope the panel (or at least the host) is preparing a bit better the next time also taking both sides into consideration. Since its a topic that touches photography and law: what about inviting an expert to the panel to give some facts and not just guessting-statements?

  11. Yet another Don Komarechka episode. When will you people at TWIP learn? Also way too long on the wedding photographer story. Way too long. And no need for Fredrick to make it about race. I am seriously losing interest in TWIP. I might stop at 300 as well.

  12. Don Komarechka is a terrible host. WAY WAY WAY TOO much time on that wedding photography story. Brutal! I might just pull the plug on TWIP as well. Going down hill fast. Fredrick you complain about the negative feedback, but you should considered feedback from people that enjoy the show and want to see it improved. TWIP services a board audience and it can not always be about Fredrick.

  13. I am behind on my TWIP and I was looking forward to catching up until I saw Don Komarechka’s name as a host. Terrible host and just painful topic. Should have been a few minutes, but that wedding story went on forever. Really do not want to listen to 299 or 300. Don Komarechka makes me want to quit TWIP and this episode left a sour taste in my mouth.

  14. Sorry just getting caught up with this pod cast and after listening to it twice I am still flabbergasted at the one side persecutive of the commentators… At worst it felt nearly homophobic and at best un informed. Im am very disappointed. As a gay photographer who is trying to make a living I would be a complete ass if I passed up work presented to me by straight clients… given how hard it is to make a living. If I were to refuse to shoot an Asian wedding or a Jewish wedding I would be in the same situation! To say that this is different in 2013 is just plain crazy… Given the one sidedness of the discussion it would be in TWIP best interest to host a LGBT photographer to get another side… In fact it might be interesting to have an LGBT photographer on from time to time to feature their work.

  15. The TSA/DHS story was way wrong. Unless you are talking about some other case. The recent court decision was that a person entering the country had their laptop confiscated AT THE BORDER. If I remember correctly it was not terrorism, but child porn they were looking for. Then they transported it to site away from the border for examination. That transportation was at issue and the court rules that the DHS could move it. No one ever said that if you were 99 mines from the border an agent could stop you and seize your camera.