Report: #978904

Complaint Review: Meryl Schenker

  • Submitted: Thu, December 06, 2012
  • Updated: Sat, February 16, 2013
  • Reported By: RK — Washington United States of America
  • Meryl Schenker

    Seattle, Washington
    United States of America

Meryl Schenker Meryl Schenker Photography, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Recorder Unprofessional Conduct... Seattle, Washington

*Author of original report: Rebuttal misses the point.

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Meryl is a highly-regarded and talented pro

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 Meryl Schenker presents herself as a working member of the media at local events in order to access designated press areas. She is recurrently antagonistic, physically aggressive and verbally insulting to the other photographers present. Her continued use of media credentials is questionable in itself, as she has not been employed or contracted by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer since 2009.

As just one example of her egregious conduct, she was among the many photographers present at the King County licensing division  on December 6, 2012, when the states first marriage licenses  for same-sex couples were issued. This was a historic event that was obviously important to the participants involved. As the first couple received their license from King County Executive Dow Constantine, Schenker aggressively shoved another photographer (AP) in the face in order to move APwho actually does work for a legitimate media outlet-- out the way, because she wanted to be in APs spot. [continued below]....
.....  AP had been in that position first. Schenkers fingernails left red scratch marks on the left side of APs face. About 10 minutes later, Schenker nonchalantly asked AP about  the scratches. AP told Schenker that she caused the scratches. Rather than apologizing, Schenker replied loudly that she had shoved AP on the right side, not on the left. Schenker continued attempting to argue directionals with AP, while other same-sex couples were in the room were
preparing to receive their licenses, and while photographers, radio stations
and television cameramen were attempting to cover the event.  This was a distraction that nobody needed.
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/06/2012 11:04 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

Rebuttal misses the point.

AUTHOR: Fredo - (USA)

Hello Ms. Thompson:

It's understandable that you defend your close friend,  but your rebuttal misses some key points. While you're correct that photojournalism does involve some physical contact between its participants, leaving scratch marks on another photographer's face and then attempting to argue which side was scratched, all while a historic event is taking place, are fortunately uncommon acts. This is not the first event at which Schenker was excessively physically antagonistic and verbally insulting to her peers.

Moreover, Schenker's use of media credentials at the event were indeed questionable. She openly boasted that she cited Zuma Press in order to attain credentials from King County, but she was actually there to photograph her private wedding photography clients. Due to good luck, as well as her fellow photographers' avoidance of her and her grating conduct that night, she was fortunate to shoot a notable photo that she could market through Zuma. Congratulations to her for that.
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#2 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Meryl is a highly-regarded and talented pro

AUTHOR: E - (United States of America)

Meryl Schenker is one of the most professional, talented and highly-regarded photojournalists in our region. The anonymous posting accusing her of unbecoming conduct could not be further from the truth and I am terribly saddened to see such an off-base, bizarre and, inexplicably mean-spirited diatribe written against her.

Im quite certain that I am the photographer who was wrongly purported to have been shoved by Meryl as we, along with a very large number of other photographers, videographers, bloggers, writers and others reported on or were simply present for the first marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in King County. I was glad to see my friend and colleague Meryl covering the event with me that night, as Ive worked side-by-side with her for 16-some years and its always a pleasure to see the best pros, not to mention good friends, out covering important stories.

As is often the case in a big news story, it was a crowded event, but nothing were not used to. To a casual observer, our jockeying around into different positions, trying to find good spots to work from while doing our best to not get in the way of others may have been misinterpreted. Im pretty sure that I bumped into more than a few people that night, but thats the way it goes sometimes. As I joked with another photographer at a similar event days later, photojournalism is sometimes a contact sport, and theres no one Id rather be making contact with than my colleagues in Seattle.

Meryl is an independent photojournalist and on that day was properly credentialed and working for a well-known agency that distributed photographs. Theres no question of her right to be at that, or any, news event. The poster however, in hiding behind anonymous and cruel words has no claim on any level of legitimacy, only that of cowardice and maybe some sort of bizarre personal vendetta.

The record deserves to be set straight. Meryl is not only a tremendously talented photographer (who I have referred clients to time and again), but a consummate professional. She is thoughtful and kind in working with colleagues, has a great heart and I think her knack of being able to connect with people is one of the reasons that her portraits are so wonderful. Shes a gem.


Elaine Thompson
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