Baby’s first tooth, first word and first photo shoot are supposed to be happy moments to remember forever.
But a Texas family won’t be looking back fondly on a photgraphy session for their 1-year-old daughter.
They say the event escalated into a screaming match with a woman — all because they were blocking a walkway.
A picturesque part of Houston is a spot where a photo is truly worth a thousand words. “The serenity of the area. Lots of foliage, trees, the lighting is pretty good.”
The natural beauty is why Isaiah and Kelyn Allen selected this place for their baby’s first professional shoot. But on Saturday, the laughs quickly turned into tears. “My little daughter is crying now because of you.”
During the shoot, Franci Neely, who is Astros owner Jim Crane’s former wife, asked the family to leave because they were blocking a walkway. “I’m moving this stuff because it is not your property,” Neely said. The words escalated and Neely took aim at the father’s cell phone.
Neely eventually left, and the couple turned to social media. “I don’t think any mother alive would feel good about someone charging towards their child,” said Kelyn Allen.
The Allens did more than share their piece with friends, they also went to the police. “If it wasn’t us, it could have potentially been someone else,” said Isaiah Allen.
In fact, an eyewitness sent us another incident.
“Do you pay to maintain this?” Neely asked.
“I pay taxes, yes.”
“No, sir. You don’t. We maintain this.”
The viewer, who didn’t want to be identified, says a couple years ago Neely also took aim at his cell phone during a photo shoot.
We reached out to Neely about this incident, she says she reacted after the man taunted her about where she lived.
She also responded to the recent incident saying, “I am very sorry that I got upset on late Saturday afternoon. Putting it in context, however: I saw three commercial photographer shoots in one block at the same time, something that happens frequently. When I explained the situation to the first and third groups, they were respectful. The couple whose photo shoot obstructed the walkways was not. It’s hard to remain composed when confronted by shouted threats of lawsuits and false, inflammatory accusations.”
For more than a year, neighbors have raised issues with photographers. The city says it’s public property, but photographers aren’t supposed to block walkways.
The Allens are glad their daughter won’t remember the incident, but they say it does ruin what was a baby’s first shoot.
“I hate the fact that when I look at those photos that’s what I have to remember,” Kelyn Allen said.