When Pretending Not To Speak English Just Isn’t Enough

It is with a sad and heavy heart that we announce effectively immediately, Ben Lau Photography will no longer be providing wedding photography services in the City of New York (we’re still okay in NJ though!) due to a cease-and-desist order we recently received from the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation – which I’ve copied and pasted below, with permission from the sender.

Fletcher Reede, Attorney at Law
Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce LLP
641 W 51st Street
New York, NY 10019

To the attention of Ben Lau:

On behalf of our client, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation (hereinafter known as “client”) and in the matter of your company, we duly request that you cease-and-desist all future photography works, projects and undertakings on any city property under the jurisdiction of our client, pursuant to the precedent set forth in case #DOPR-3452-24623562. We issue this notice in response to the following items of content discussed forthwith:

Article 1) On March 9, 2013, you entered the Museum of Modern Art at the 11 W53rd Street location and proceeded to photograph your subjects without a commercial photography permit, which is clearly stated as required on our client’s website. Despite being escorted off the premises that morning, you returned later that afternoon wearing a different hat. We object to this type of conduct because it is disruptive and demeaning to the intelligence of the museum’s security team.

Article 2) On March 16, 2013, you entered the Conservatory Garden in Central Park, and again, proceeded to photograph your subjects without a commercial photography permit, which is also clearly stated as required on our client’s website. While issuing you a citation, security personnel discovered previous, similar infractions which took place on the following dates: June 20, 2012, August 11, 2012 and February 10, 2013. It was also documented that you pretended not to speak English in any of those instances. We have now learned this to be untrue.

Article 3) On March 23, 2013, you attempted to photograph your subjects dipping on the Brooklyn Bridge, while holding balloons. While there are no laws, statutes or ordinances prohibiting this type of vapidity, your commercial use of these resulting photographs will be considered an insult to your profession, in addition to sullying the reputation and prestigious image of the Brooklyn Bridge, which is wholly owned by His Honorable Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Article 4) On March 24, 2013, you were apprehended in Times Square for photographing a bride and groom in what appeared to be the reenactment of a famous World War 2 photograph. We consider any attempts to stage photo opportunities in the middle of Times Square to be cruel and unusual punishment to tourists, NYC residents, NJ residents posing as NYC residents, and future grooms/brides alike, so we’ve forwarded this citation to the appropriate authorities at the NJ Board of Professional Photographers with the recommendation to revoke your creative license, due to your blatant misuse of it.

We appreciate your cooperation in this matter. Should you wish to challenge or respond to this request, please contact me at (718) 867-5309.


Fletcher Reede, Esq.

Docket #04012013

Caught in the act :).

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