Texas photographer offers assistance in wake of photo shoot confrontation

By Sofia Ojeda - Anchor/Reporter, Cory McCord - Digital News Editor

HOUSTON - After a video surfaced of a family being berated for taking photos in a Houston neighborhood, Texans are stepping up to help in whatever way they can.

A photographer from Columbus saw the video and she said it broke her heart to see the family being harassed over a photo shoot.

She contacted the family to offer help on any upcoming photo shoots it has in mind.

"I just wanted to reach out to them and let them know there are still nice people in the area," Mary Digiovanni said.

Digiovanni is a photographer. She owns KND Photography.

As a business owner, she's always wanted to make the photo shoot experience the best it can possibly be.

When she saw the video of Franci Neely screaming and hitting a couple during their baby's birthday shoot in Broadacres on Saturday, she said she started crying.

"It broke my heart. Like I said, it doesn't take very much to show compassion," Digiovanni said. "I think you can handle things with a little decency."

She said she wanted to do something nice for the family.

"Whatever they need -- if they want family photos, Easter photos, they can call me and they've got a friend from here on out to do whatever they want, free of charge," Digiovanni said.

The Allen family, who shot the video, said it is in the process of pressing charges against Neely, but according to the Houston Police Department, those charges not yet been filed.

Neighbors who live in Broadacres said some people get upset with the constant photography.

The families taking pictures is not the problem, but the residents say some photographers just get out of hand.

"I think it's the photographers coming ... setting up all day ... bringing all their clients through as if its a studio and then leaving trash. I think that was the biggest objection," Marci Arnold, a Broadacres resident, said.

Other neighbors said that regardless of the contentious issue, there is a better way to react to the situation than how Neely handled it.

"They could have handled it a different way, saying it nicer," Logan Petruski said.

"There's a nice way to ask people to leave. You know this is a public right of way so anyone can come and walk," Arnold said.

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