Kelyn and Isaiah set up a photo shoot for their daughter’s first birthday on a clear and sunny Houston afternoon. They thought they found the perfect environment: A picturesque walking trail in the community of Broadacres, often frequented by local families and photographers. In addition to a simple setup of birthday balloons, Kelyn and Isaiah sat their daughter on a pink, fluffy blanket.
But a woman stopped her car in the middle of the photo shoot and approached the family, claiming the photo shoot blocked the entire passageway.
The parents pulled out their phone and started recording, capturing the moment the angered woman smacked their balloons, dragged the pink blanket, and slapped the phone out of Isaiah’s hand. The baby girl cried and screamed in the background.
The woman was identified as Franci Neely, a socialite from Houston. Together with other Broadacres neighbors, she says there are too many photo shots in her neighborhood that damage the property. Neighbors posted signs prohibiting these so-called “disruptive” photo shots. However, the city of Houston says the esplanade and the streets around it are public property.
Franci Neely released the following statement to ABC13: “The Broadacres Homeowners Association Invests lots of money paying to maintain the trees, grass and walkways in our neighborhood. The high volume of commercial photography damages the property that Broadacres HOA pays to maintain and interferes with dog walkers and others who merely want to walk under the pretty trees. We asked the commercial photographers to please stop.
“I am very sorry that I got upset on late Saturday afternoon. Putting it in context, however: I saw three commercial photography 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 walkway was not. It’s hard to remain composed when confronted by shouted threats of lawsuits and false, inflammatory accusations.”
After this story went public, a very similar event resurfaced. In spring 2018, a Houston dad says his daughters and their friends were taking prom photos along the same walking trail. In footage he recorded on his cellphone, the same woman furiously confronted the group of teens.