Photographer stands up to bullies

Jennifer McKendrick, a photographer from Indiana County, PA, became a Facebook celebrity in August when she refused to photograph school bullies for their senior portraits.

The Huffington Post reports that McKendrick discovered a Facebook page with nasty comments from high school girls whose names matched her upcoming clients. She was so appalled by their viciousness that she canceled their appointments.

McKendrick then posted on her blog, “i won’t photograph ugly people”:

Now I realize it’s going to be hard to know that every person that ever contacts me isn’t a bully, I understand that…but in this specific instance it was right in front of my face. I saw it with my own eyes… it wasn’t hearsay, it was right there… with their smiling face right beside such an ugly statement. I couldn’t forget about it, I mean how I could spend 2 hours with someone during our session trying to take beautiful photos of them knowing they could do such UGLY things. Realistically, I know by canceling their shoots it’s not going to make them “nicer people” but I refuse to let people like that represent my business.

This morning I sent out 4 emails to those clients while CC’ing in their parents explaining WHY I was canceling their shoots. I also included screen shots of the comments they made. They couldn’t deny it, I had the picture of what they said. I informed them that I’d be sending their deposits back and that they’d have to find another photographer.

I have received two emails back from their parents that claimed (I’m paraphrasing) they were shocked that this had happened. They apologized that their child acted in such a way and that they would deal with the matter. So far I haven’t received any backlash but I’m ready for it. I’m a small business owner and I have the luxury of making that decision. If you are ugly on the inside, I’m sorry but I won’t take your photos to make you look pretty on the outside!

Since then, McKendrick’s Facebook page has been flooded with hundreds of supportive and appreciative comments.

Three lessons teens can take from this:

1) Your actions have consequences. What you say or do to others can boomerang right back at you.

2) The Internet is your permanent record. Anything you say can and will be used against you.

3) McKendrick is right. No matter what you look like on the outside, if you’re ugly on the inside, you’re just plain ugly.

16 thoughts on “Photographer stands up to bullies”

  1. Despite some potential economic hardship in these trying times, Jennifer McKendrick DID THE RIGHT THING!!! May we follow bravely in her footsteps.

  2. It’s too bad that we have to call that bravery when really we should all be like that. We all need to have a backbone. Well done jennifer. You’re my type of girl!

  3. Little things aren’t so little when it comes to making important changes. You have changed the attitudes and actions of more than one person through your good example. Keep up the good work.

  4. Well done Jennifer. It is people like you that make our world better. Keep on doing the right thing. You will be rewarded for your effort.

  5. You go Jen McKen!
    Life is a great big river, but your good deeds have built a sturdy raft for you.
    Well done, sister.

  6. Way to go, Jennifer,
    That was a great thing to do. The internet is a faster reflection of how God adjusts everyone’s karma based on actions or thoughts. Those bullies can wisen up and change that behavior and be better people for the rest of their lives. It all starts somewhere and you were a great catalyst working together with their parents. Love and togetherness beat hatred and separation.

  7. Super, Jennifer! You are the kind of persons who give hope to us! If nobody does anything to these kids, they’ll think that what they are doing is ‘cool’–because the media wants them to believe that is the case–when, in reality, they are sick.

  8. Jennifer modeled what integrity and character is. The message she sent was worth far more than the money she would have made photographing these girls.

  9. Congratulations Jen! Thank you for being a TRUE Role Model for ALL PEOPLE!!!!!! : ) Bullying of any kind is not admirable, pretty, cool or popular; it is just IGNORANT!

  10. You did the right thing. If there were more positive role models like yourself, it would help young people to be strong and make better decisoins.

  11. You did the right thing!!! If there were more positive role models like yourself, it would help young people to be strong and make better decisions!!!!!

  12. I’m glad to hear that people like them won’t be doing that. I’ve seen so many people being cyber bullied and i didn’t want to stand there for an hour watching the whole thing so i did something. So maybe we all should take Jennifer Mckendrick’s advice.

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