mother of bride signed contract

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by karin_kelly_burns, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. I can't seem to find this in the forum so forgive me if it has been covered. The mother of the bride signed our wedding agreement and now the bride doesn't want her mother to have access to the pictures on our portfolio site. She also doesn't want her husband's picture on Facebook although she requested the wedding to be blogged initially. We took down the blog after she said he didn't want his pictures online. Now the problem is, are we legally obligated to the mother, who actually hired us to take the wedding pictures (just like any other event). We do not have a release specifically signed by the bride. Do we need a release signed by the mother of the bride to even let the bride see the pictures?
    Obviously from now on we will have all parties sign, but we did not on this agreement.
    Thanks,
    Karin
     
  2. Karin -
    Without reading or seeing your contract - none of us can comment on the legality / legal issues (besides would you really take legal advice from an internet forum of photographers?) involved in this situation.
    However - from a customer service perspective - I'll comment:
    First off - I assume that the wedding has happened and the bride has seen the photos - is maybe is kinda happy with them? Although I wonder about that since she doesn't want you to post photos of her husband on FB.
    1) There's no feud like a blood feud and that's what you have here. Relatives aren't chosen by us they're chosen for us - so - all bets are off.
    2) Customer Service wise - the bride is a customer - you need to try to keep her happy. Removing the photos from FB and your blog is a good start.
    3) If the photos are visabile in a "Portfolio" showcasing your work (not for customers to order from) and that is what the bride is objecting to - then remove them.
    4) If the bride is saying that she doesn't want mom to see any of the photos ever - then you (customer service wise - not legal in any way, shape or form) need to make a call - because you're going to make one of your customers very unhappy (either the bride - because you're going to show mom the photos or mom - because you're not showing her the photos.)
    My advice - Not legal nor intended to be - Remove the photos from your website completely (along with FB) - Tell the bride and MOB that if they wish to view / order photos - they can come to your studio (not at the same time) and view / order. If you provide photos on CD - provide to the person that your contract states (typically the couple, but your's may be worded differently.) Finally keep copies of EVERYTHING - EMAILS, Notes, Etc.... IMAGES - Don't even think about deleting any images.
    Dave
     
  3. Dave,
    Thanks for your advice. The bride has only seen a preview via the blog that she LOVED but her husband objected to the Facebook thing, which we understand as he is very private. She said we could leave them up on our website blog, but we took them down. She doesn't want her mother to see the engagement session that we did. All these are locked with a password on a portfolio site. Her mother is going to try to reason with her, and realizes we don't want to get caught in the middle.
    We haven't yet posted the wedding pics to the portfolio site so no one has the password yet. But the mother paid for the wedding pics and signed the agreement. Our contract states "client"...although the client would seem to be the bride, legally it is the mother of bride since she signed. The mother is not going to give us a hard time, but in reality she IS the client.
    We are trying to be very respectful of all parties involved and not step on any toes.
    Respectfully,
    Karin
     
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Have they paid you ALL the money owing?
    Who paid it?
    Have they taken possession of ALL the goods?
    Are you intending to sell them, anything extra?
    WW
     
  5. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Two more questions if you please . . .
    Was the "Engagement Session" part of the "Wedding Booking" for which the Mother paid?
    Do you work in the USA?
    WW
     
  6. The mother of the bride signed our wedding agreement... ...are we legally obligated to the mother, who actually hired us?​
    It depends on what the contract says.
    Do we need a release signed by the mother of the bride to even let the bride see the pictures?​
    Why? Does the contract forbid showing the bride the images?
    Obviously from now on we will have all parties sign​
    That can either improve or further complicate the situation depending on the contract language so it really isn't obvious at all. The contract should spell out how the images are to be distributed (and other issues such who has creative control ect.) next time no matter who is a party to it.
     
  7. Karin -
    Does the bride not want her to see the engagement photos or the whole wedding?
    I agree (again - NOT LEGAL ADVICE) that the mother would appear to be the client in this case and therefore entitled to see the photos...
    Good news appears to be that the mother is trying to be reasonable and not blaming you for the situation.
    Interested to see how this turns out.
    Dave
     
  8. WW
    Yes, the mother of the bride paid all the money owing. They have not yet taken possession of all the goods. Photos are not yet up on proofing site, album is not yet ordered. Not intending to sell anything extra. The engagement session was part of the package. We are in California.
    John H,
    The contract does not forbid us showing the images to the bride. The bride is trying to forbid us from showing the pictures to her mother....not allowing her mother the password to the portfolio site. We erroneously thought our contract was with the bride, but after looking it over, we realized it is actually with the mother. The client has the right to the images for non commercial usage and we have the right to use them as samples of our work. We don't mind not using them. We aren't trying to rock the boat.
    Our contract is very clear. The photos belong to the "client". The "client" is the mother. We just don't want to get the bride upset. She has a history of getting upset easily and we are walking on eggshells for obvious reasons. No one is mad at us now and we'd like to keep it that way.
    If this wasn't a wedding involving 2 people (bride and groom), it would be clear cut that the client owns all the pictures. Since it's a wedding it's a bit more difficult being that the bride and groom did not sign the agreement.
    Thanks for your comments. I agree, if 3 parties sign....bride, groom, actual person paying, then you may have a can of worms with distribution...but it is stated on the contract that the client has the right to the images so the client is whoever signs the contract.
    Thanks,
    Karin
     
  9. To the OP (Karin): Sorry to hear about this. Sounds quite awkward. I once had something remotely similar, but only remotely.
    To everybody else: Does your contract address this issue preemptively? Is there a way to deal with this?
    Will
     
  10. Will,
    Great question. I surely want to avoid this in the future. Usually the mother pays and could surely sign the agreement. The bride seems to be in a tiff with her mother although hopefully it will be sorted out. The mother understands our predicament and is totally on our side and trying to work it out with her daughter. I really think it's related to the husband, but not sure why the bride would not allow her mom to see the pics. It's very bizarre.
    karin
     
  11. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for answering.
    From a business perspective and if your assessment of the personalities involved are reasonably accurate then the course of action would be to service the Bride’s wishes and keep the communication channels open between you and the Mother, leveraging the fact that she (the Mother) bought the Photography Service subsequent Wedding Photos FOR her daughter so implicit in that gift she would want her daughter to be happy with the gift.
    If you can traverse that little river with adept people management skills, then I would be getting the album selection under way quickly: so you can wrap and pack.
    If I were in your situation I would make it obvious to the Mother that she will having access to the images, “later” if the issue between her and her daughter does not blow away. I would only indicate this to the Mother if I determined that she is as astute and mature, as your describe. I would have a face to face meeting with the Mother.
    I make no legal comments, just indicating how I would manage the business and customer service side of it.
    WW
     
  12. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "To everybody else: Does your contract address this issue preemptively? Is there a way to deal with this?"​
    I believe mine does/did.
    I don’t care about the origin of payment.
    The Bride or Groom ALWAYS sign the contract as the Client.
    If the Mother paid (often it would be the Father of the Bride for me) he simply gives the money (or we had gift certificates) to the Bride and the receipt and invoice is made out in the Bride’s (or Groom’s) name.
    This arrangement suited my circumstances and location apropos determining who the “Client” in the Contract was – and it also made it very simple for our Copyright Laws and how I managed those.
    I very rarely had issues.
    I did have one doozy and it was quite bizarre. And it was with a second cousin. The resolution, though tense, was in essence simple as I was dealing only with the Groom as "My Client".
    When I saw these issues getting worse I wrapped the preview prints and the album with the Groom really quickly - and to his advantage. The aftermath issues with the in-laws and them getting prints and etc was an issue they had to manage with him and not me.
    "It is beyond my control" was my polite retort – "the Client has everything" – (see the movie "Dangerous Liaisons")
    I have no idea about legal nuances in the USA, if, for example a Credit Card of the Mother is used to pay . . . but the Bride signs the contact . . . But I suggest that a the Mother buying the Gift Certificate, might be an answer to that.
    WW
     
  13. William Porter wrote:
    To everybody else: Does your contract address this issue preemptively? Is there a way to deal with this?​
    Mine didn't, but I'm thinking about how it might.
    One could add clause indicating that images shall initially be revealed solely to the bride and groom, who shall have exclusive authority to approve further distribution and release of images and galleries to family, friends and others for personal use. I would want an additional clause indicating that this approval process shall not be construed to limit in any way the photographer's use of the images for professional purposes, as authorized in paragraph XX (i.e., the model release and photographer's use paragraph).
    This is an interesting story, and the potential for this kind of conflict is one reason I generally insist on having the bride and groom sign the contract, regardless of who intends to pay for the photography. I don't include parents as parties to the contract.
     
  14. I'm glad WW raised the question of who pays as it relates to the contract, which must involve consideration. If the parents pay for the photography, formally treating their purchase as a gift certificate probably solves that problem, but the need to do that might not have been obvious.
     
  15. William W: I'm pretty sure I remember now that you've mentioned before that you always have the bride and groom sign. This and/or some clause as suggested by Ian I. might do the trick.
    I wish I could remember the problem I had that was of this general type. It was a couple of years ago. The bride didn't want me to publish the URL to the gallery generally. Since I do NOT do this routinely, complying with her request wasn't really a problem. But I do recall that she wanted to keep the images from being seen by somebody, just can't remember whom.
    In the past, when photographers simply delivered prints to the client, did these issues arise? Did the bride's long-lost natural father get to buy prints directly from the studio? Or did studios deal exclusively with their official, legal clients?
    Will
     
  16. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "William W: I'm pretty sure I remember now that you've mentioned before that you always have the bride and groom sign. This and/or some clause as suggested by Ian I. might do the trick."
    If I have written that before, it was a little error.
    I have the Bride OR Groom sign.
    I ONLY deal with ONE CLIENT.
    I do this with all contracts, but especially this is MOST important for me (and IMO for many others) when dealing with a contract for "commissioned photographs of a personal nature, within the bounds of privately owned property", which Wedding Photography, mainly is.
    I have a (limited) general understanding of USA laws: strict adherence to "one signatory only" might be overkill in the USA or it might open up other problems which I have not thought about - I don't know.
    But I suggest that my method is a worthwhile investigating for those who work in G.B., Canada, N.Z. and AUS. Dealing with only ONE client, and only ONE signatory on the contract, is how I do it.
    WW
     
  17. This issue has come up a few times before here on the forum but it would be difficult to pull up in a search since the topic is listed in several different ways. You now find yourself in the middle of a family spat and both sides can lay a claim on how you deal with this. Since Mom signed the contract, you're in a bit of a pickle that could have been avoided if you would have dealt directly with the B or G.
    Like WW, I always have the bride or groom sign the contract and it doesn't matter who pays or hands over the check. Since I also post the images online it's understood that family/friends have access to the images, the sale of reprints is a part of the contract. If a B/G did not want the images online and available it could be password protected but it would also affect the price of their package which would increase. It's funny how family spats can be dissipated when it actually adds a cost to one or more of the parties. Dealing directly with the B/G before the event will also help you manage expectations about how the day is covered and also post-wedding products & deliverables. Managing client expectations is the lion-share of customer service when shooting weddings.
     
  18. William W: Thank you for the correction. I am sure the mistake here was mine. One client only. Yes, I think that's good practice here in the US of A as well.
    *
    David S. writes:
    If a B/G did not want the images online and available it could be password protected but it would also affect the price of their package which would increase. It's funny how family spats can be dissipated when it actually adds a cost to one or more of the parties.
    Ah, sage and practical advice, which I shall follow in the future!
    Managing client expectations is the lion-share of customer service when shooting weddings.
    Truer words were never spoken.
    Will
     
  19. David wrote:
    If a B/G did not want the images online and available it could be password protected but it would also affect the price of their package which would increase.​
    David, is that because print- and individual-image sales are a significant element of your pricing model? Or is your reasoning that publication and widespread viewing of your images is of value to you, in terms of attracting future clients?
     
  20. Ian, the reprint sales are a significant element to the pricing model. In some cases, the prints ordered by family/guests can rival the number of images ordered by the B/G. The digital images are included in the top package and are also available ale' cart.
    Thanks Will.
     
  21. So how long is this lady, who supposedly holds no authority to control anything, going to be allowed to override everyone else who does and essentially dictate new terms for the contract she isn't even a party to? Is the concern to avoid conflict for the sake of avoiding conflict or avoiding being badmouthed or something else?
     
  22. The answer to your original question is that you are legally obligated to the mother. On the plus side, you are very lucky in that she seems to be very tolerant and willing to acceed to the bride's wishes. And unless you were intending to use these photos as a prime example of your skill I don't see that you will lose anything by removing the pictures from any publicly accessible place.
    I thinkyou need to sit down with the mother and agree with her a strategy for dealing with the bride - explain you realise this is a very difficult situation and you are grateful for her for being so understanding. If it all works out well you will probably get huge kudos from both parties for how well you handled the situation.
     
  23. Set up a meeting with all of them and work it out as best as you can. Explain to each of them that you are caught in the middle and need everyone's cooperation.....-TED :)
     
  24. Thank you all for your sage advice. I wrote a kind email to the mother of the bride explaining that she indeed was the 'client' and privy to the images. Since they are all password protected I gave her the password. She is very thankful and understands the delicateness of the situation. It will all turn out well because the mother is not trying to cause any sort of trouble at all and just would like to see the images.
    The other aside to this is, when we first posted the pictures to the blog and facebook, the bride asked us to take it off our blog because her husband was 'private' and didn't want his pictures on facebook. She said we could leave them on our blog, but we didn't. We immediately took every picture down that had their likeness. Then the bride posted 'our' photos, even removed our watermark/logo from one of herself, and put them on her facebook. Now we could raise a stink about this, but will just consider it a lesson learned. In the end we just want everyone to be happy. Hopefully mother and daughter will work out their differences but it's out of my hands now.
    I am considering discussing this with future clients though. This could certainly come up again with a parent that pays and then is not allowed to see the pictures, which I think is unfair. It could be added into the contract that X parent will be allowed to view the pictures and signed by the bride or groom, whatever side the payment is coming from. Any ideas on this?

    Thanks everyone,
    Karin
     
  25. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I am considering discussing this with future clients though. This could certainly come up again with a parent that pays and then is not allowed to see the pictures, which I think is unfair. It could be added into the contract that X parent will be allowed to view the pictures and signed by the bride or groom, whatever side the payment is coming from.
    Any ideas on this?”​
    Yes. I do have strong views on this.
    DO NOT open it up to “discuss it”.
    DO NOT put extra "rules" into your contract
    Have a procedure and provide information.
    IMO a good procedure is the parents give the gift of the photography by giving the money to the bride or the groom and they pay and the contract for you to supply goods and services is with one of them (as I described above).
    By all means explain how the viewing procedure will work and fully explain when and where the images will be posted or distributed.
    As to “Family Disputes” down the track and after you have concluded your part of the activity: such is in the aegis of a “Dispute Resolver”.
    IMO you do not want your yourself involved in that process, if it crops up.
    WW
    PS - BTW I would not bat an eyelid that “your” photos were placed on the Bride’s face-book page.
    Once the B&G are given the files /prints / on line access you should expect that – this is the method to show off photos, today.
     
  26. The 'gift' idea is a little confusing....what if the mother of the bride is making payments. Do you have a line item in your contract that stipulates that the photography is a gift?

    I don't have any problem with cross posting on Facebook. Only that we were asked to take the photos down, but then the bride posted them herself. They were not given the files yet....this was a 'sneak preview' of the wedding. It's just a little weird but nothing I'm going to lose sleep over. The bride and mother are being friendly to us....the whole thing just really revolves around the payee's rights to see the pictures.
    Even if it was considered a 'gift certificate', each payment would have to be considered as such. Our contract is very legal as it now stands and I hesitate to start adding something that could be disputed.
    karin ;-)
     
  27. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "The 'gift' idea is a little confusing....what if the mother of the bride is making payments. Do you have a line item in your contract that stipulates that the photography is a gift?"​
    I don't have any line in my contacts about gifts. My contract is exceptionally simple and I believe quite tight: but less than one A4 page.
    On the protocol about which you are confused:
    I don’t know the ins and outs of Account Keeping in the USA: you should check the details with your Accountant or Tax Agent – but all that is required is to have a procedure of initial payment which is divorced from the wedding contract: and then the Gift Certificate is applied to the Wedding Contract.
    MY example:
    If, for example, the Wedding Photography costs $1000. Let’s say I expect to receive 5 x $200 payments and they will be from the Mother – I would not expect that many Photographers would have more than 5 payments?
    The Mother simply buys a Gift Certificate for Photography with my business. I receipt $200 to the Mother with Invoice as “Gift Certificate #123456”.
    I then apply Gift Certificate #123456 (as requested by the Mother) to Wedding Job #7890 (the Daughter’s Wedding and the Daughter having signed the Contract for it). I receipt the Daughter in the amount of $200 against her Wedding Contract.
    The whole matter could be done over the phone with Credit Card on instruction from the Mother - Or if I receive a cheque from the Mother – with instructions – the paper work is the same.
    I cannot envisage the accounting procedure to be very dissimilar to what I have outlined.
    Gift Certificates are a very popular and widely used commodity where I work – Just about Everyone from Large Department stores to Restaurants to a variety of Small Traders will sell one to you if you ask – exceptionally Popular for Weddings – often a group of People will “buy” the Photography for the Bride and Groom – I surprised it is not, (if it is not), a popular idea in the USA?
    It is good that you are not losing sleep over the face-book posting. Yes I agree the action seems a little weird. People’s actions often seem weird, especially when we are not fully across their motivations and situation – I think it’s best not to lose sleep about other’s weird actions - unless the action constitutes immediate and present danger.
    WW
     
  28. William W,
    Thanks for your responses. I think the gift certificate idea is a great idea and yes, they are popular in the US. Really just wasn't sure how to handle the payment idea with checks from mom, and keep it contractually simple.
    Thanks again,
    Karin
     
  29. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Good, I understand. Glad it is clearer to you now. Good Luck with it.
    WW
    PS. You are welcome.
     
  30. This does not constitute legal advice, but is just my opinion without knowing all the facts or the law in the relevant area in question. I am responding because this is a bit of a legal pickle if I remember all of my California law correctly. Here are the issues I see...
    1. California has some law that makes it illegal to benefit from pictures of people without their written consent where the persons likeness or image is clearly ascertainable and creating the value in the photo. Thus, the bride and groom could, if they wanted create a bit of a headache for any commercial use of their wedding photos.
    2. You may be doing work for hire or some other fancy term, but you are clearly contractually obligated to mom. I haven't seen the contract. I think you did a smart thing by giving mom what she paid for, access to and approval for a wedding album of the bride and groom.
    I have no real answers for you. I would take down all photos of the bride and groom from FB and your website as you have done. No commercial use of those images without a release. I would write to the bride and ask that she remove the images from facebook if they do not contain your watermark. I would then offer to horse trade her the use sans watermark for a release so you can put the images back up on your website. Everyone is happy. As to the hubby, he may absolutely not want his photo on facebook. I know a few people like that.
    I am a bit confused though. Why do you care what the bride wants? She's not the client in this situation. She's only the object of the photograph. I would instead defer to Mom, which I believe that you did, since Mom appears to be your client. My conversation with Bride would be short and simple, you need to work that out with Mom since Mom is my client and I am contractually obligated to give Mom access. I'll hold off for 48-72 hours as a courtesy, then Mom gets a new password. And, if Mom decides brides access to photos could be revoked. Then I'd let them work it out.
    Just my two cents. In the future, I would probably change the contract to reflect the contracting party is the paying party and have the bride and groom consent to terms and conditions as to use of the photos.
     
  31. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    "Why do you care what the bride wants? She's not the client in this situation. She's only the object of the photograph. . . . My conversation with Bride would be short and simple, you need to work that out with Mom . . . "​
    Simply put: Because if one is building a business (and want to stay in the business) of WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY . . .
    The BRIDE is an important element of each sale and an even more important advocate (or not) of future sales.
    WW
     
  32. my initial reaction would be to give everything to the mom and let the chips fall where they may..... but really this is definitely a case where you should pay an attorney to advise you on the best course of action... and then learn from it. Personally I keep a line in my contract that states regardless of who signs... the contract is between the company and the bride & groom, and no one else.
     
  33. WW, single page contracts huh? Another something we have in common :)
     
  34. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    . . . yeah, we probably say "please", "thank you", "sir" and "'mam" and wait for everyone to arrive at the table before we begin eating . . .
    if I don't get another chance (at the end of the thread when no one else is reading) - Merry Christmas & the best in health for 2011. . .
    Maybe next year . . . I will use more flash fill. Cheers.
     
  35. WW - Isn't Mom's referral just as valuable? In keeping my business alive, I tend to take care of my customer who is footing the bill over someone who is merely getting the benefit of my customer's generosity, if I have to make a choice. That was my point. Seems like the OP put a lot of energy into servicing the non-paying bride, when MOM is the customer of her business. Just my thought, but then again, I am not in the business of wedding photography.
     
  36. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    The Mother's referral is valuable.
    Generally, the relationship between the Mother of the Bride and the Bride, before, on and after the Wedding day, is complex and multifaceted. Generally the Mother of the Bride will still protect her young.
    It might be contractually sound to take an attitude to not care about what the Bride wants with a view that: “She's not the client in this situation. She's only the object of the photograph" and to tell her in short and simple terms that, “you need to work that out with Mom. . .
    But with that business approach, IMO it is very likely that the Mum AND the BRIDE would not be recommending the Photographer at all.
    Basically the problem is a business and customer management issue requiring a little finesse - and not a black and white contractual answer - that was my point.
    WW
     
  37. Everything WW said, times two. And:
    Why do you care what the bride wants?​
    Seriously? [facepalm]
     
  38. WW- And my point, I guess, was that I, as a business owner, am not gonna get caught in the middle of a family dispute. As you say, Mom will ultimately protect Bride when all is said and done. So for me, I would start with an explanation of my obligations to Mom. Short and simple doesn't mean to not use finesse, but the message would be the same. Since Mom signed the contract and paid the fee, I'm contractually obligated to Mom. I'd explain that to the bride and give her a courtesy period to try to work it out before releasing photos and information to Mom. The fact that the bride, who is not my customer, wants me to lock out Mom would never be something that I would agree too and frankly would be low on my to even consider list.
    Ian - Yes, seriously. I know it may seem foolish, but my priority in dealing with client disputes is to protect my client's interests first. I asked the question because it struck me as strange. I wasn't being flippant or snarky. The bride has not put a single shilling in my pocket. If I can make her happy and Mom happy awesome. But in a dispute between my paying client and her daughter/bride, I'm gonna take directions only from my client. I'd rather lose some fictional referral from someone who hasn't paid me, than a paying client who may refer me to someone else throwing a wedding/gifting photos for their daughter or daughter-in-law to be. Your comment doesn't do anything to help me understand the issue.
    I guess my point is that the Mom is the one putting current money in my pocket, and is the one I'd be looking to for referrals in this situation and not necessarily the bride. I'd consider referrals from the bride as a bonus, but not the primary goal since that would be to make my client, Mom, happy with her purchase.
     
  39. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Jemal:
    As you extend your commentary the closer to agreement we might become.
    If we re-read and analyse you last comment, IMO, it has a much different flavour to: "Why do you care what the Bride wants . . . she is only the object . . . and etc
    I agree entirely in not being caught in a family dispute.
    BUT, IMO one delays the "you guys sort it out" as the closing and last play, rather than the opening gambit.
    Short and Simple can indeed use finesse, but, “finesse” was not what I read in your first commentary, rather, it was quite structured and methodical and singularly referring to the contractual situation - i.e. rather lacking finesse, it seemed to me.
    Your initial method to address the situation might be indeed similar to how I would go about dealing with the matter - and our discussion might be only a misinterpretation of the words written and the meaning meant.
    But, as we only have the written word to canvass these ideas, one must read the commentaries literally, and answer the questions accordingly – and you did ask, "Why should the OP care what the Bride wants"
    IMO, that question and the protocol you suggested lacked finesse: but moreover it also lacked an understanding of the worth of the Bride's referral - no matter who be the signatory to the contract, and my replies sought to address those points and questions you raised.
    WW
     
  40. WW- Thank you for your considered reply. My initial response was because I had read several pages of people giving great deference to Bride. It struck me as odd because contractually Bride is not the client. Set aside the contract talk, the bottom line is the Bride is not the person that walked into my office and hired me. The person that I have to do a great job for is Mom. While I realize that this is all in the context of wedding photography, would the situation be different if it was a huge company like Nike and the model called up and said "I don't like them or want Nike to see them." I think Nike would have the photos and we'd all be laughing over the story while drinking beers in some bar watching football. Dropping a few photos from production and not giving the paying party what they bought are two different things. And yes, I'd treat Madonna differently than some unknown model, but nothing in the original post made Bride out to be a megastar. So again, I do not see why there is so much excitement over Bride in this context, other than as a potential lost referral that one should try to keep if possible.
    Reading your response, it appears that the other issue is that my original response was an analysis of the contractual and other issues that are present in the situation. I was not really addressing tact or politeness. I assumed the OP or anyone else reading it would apply tact and politeness as needed.
    Happy black friday everyone.
     
  41. It doesn't matter who wants to pay for a wedding photographer, it matters who the photographer is photographing for. For me (even though my opion may not hold merit with the vast majority) the client is the bride. If the client is the bride, regardless of who is paying the bill, SHE is the client. So, she is the one who signs the contract. NO EXCEPTIONS! Don't even think about considering the mom or aunt or grandma as the client! The bride signs and she is the client. PERIOD! It's her wedding, not mom's or grandmas or aunt Betty's! Having a mom or anyone else sign is ASKING for litigation. Mom or anyone else paying is not my problem. Satisfying the BRIDE is my job. Not mom. Mom is paying for the bride, not herself. No matter what she thinks. It should be the bride who decides who photographs her wedding and that choice can be PAID for by mom, but after that, the bride is BOSS!
    That lesson has been learned by countless imagers the hard way. Satisfy the client. (There is only one client in a wedding, the bride! The groom usually {sic} doesn't care!)
    What more is there to say?
    In this case, the Mom has some say! She signed the contract! (Your BIG mistake!) So you are stuck as to what should be done.
    Satisfy your client.
     
  42. Hi I am not a photographer, but I am a sales executive for a resort property. Our corporate lawyer says we are legally obligated to whoever signs the contract. We always try to encourage the bride and groom to sign the contract themselves, but some decline the opportunity to do so because of the legal and fiscal obligations set forth in the contract. Mom trying to settle the situation with her daughter is definitely the best option. However, if mom wants to, she can pull rank and demand you fulfill the contract. I have had to tell a bride that I am sorry, but we are legally bound to the contract signee.
     

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