Photographer is not giving me my wedding photos after agreement!!! Please help :(

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by iv_cali, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. Good evening everyone,
    I have a big of a problem dealing with unpro photographer.. I attended college with a person that I asked to take the pictures of my wedding. In the beginning he seemed to be a cool guy and I saw how hard he was trying to get everyone to work in the college. I knew that he has some of the equipment to take some good shots and I saw that he made some good ones on his facebook webpage (several). I made an offer for him texting him on Facebook if he would be interested to make an easy 100$ in 3 hours. He asked whats the job so I said it right away to take pictures of my wedding. He said he has never taken any pictures of the wedding and he is not experienced enough to do so. I said that it doesnt matter to me, I just need this event to be photographed that my wife and I could remember it and we could send out some pictures to her family and my family whom couldn't attend the wedding because it happened in another side of the world (US, California). I said I just need to take the pictures, I dont need editing because I didnt want to put more work on his head because the guy is working 40 hours at the starbucks to make a living for himself. So I decided to give him an opportunity to make some additional money. At the beginning he didnt want to do it because he was scared of it and he wasn't experienced enough but again I repeated myself that it doesn't matter how its gonna go for him because he is not a pro and I just need someone to take the pictures and because he has some of the equipment he could just take the shots and it doesn't matter how its gonna turn out. I also said that it will be a great experience for him to develop his photography skills since he never took any of the wedding shots. So finally he agreed on it. We set up the time that we could go to the place to practice for a little bit, I said I expect only one shot that I wanted to be specific on because the place was by the fountain with palm trees with a view to the mountains and the rest of them would be good as he'll get. So we met that day, he practiced for a little bit just to see of what he can get out of it and we were done till the wedding date. I said I could edit the pictures by myself but he refused it because thats his work and he wants to do everything or at least a part of it and I repeated myself again that even RAW material will satisfy my needs and I wont touch it. He agreed on facebook to this also. In addition, some people from the college were coming there too and I told him that you are coming as a friend also because we know many people who are attending the wedding and he can also coming to have fun. He also agreed on it. The wedding went smooth, he took in my opinion around 1000 photos ( I know for sure that it was a lot of them). After the wedding was done I gave him a 100$ and he said he will let me know when he will be ready. He also said that he'll edit some of them and the rest of them he will give me unedited in the cd or he'll transfer it to USB flash drive. After a day I asked him on facebook his opinion of how long it will take to do some pictures? He said that it will take him 1-2 weeks to do the work. After a day he posted 1 picture with me and my wife eating a cake which turned out to be a beautiful picture and I was very excited to see more. I text him after 2 weeks how is he doing with pictures, he answered to me like this...... Hey I had concerts for 2 weeks so he barely did some work... I said I understand, but when I can expect them because I have to say something to my family because everyone is keep asking to me about the pictures... He said I need some more time... Well I was like its okey, its just 2 weeks and he was busy so Ill text him after a week.. A week later... I text him the same thing, Hey Name, how is it going with pictures? He didn't respond... I repeated myself after a day... Hey Name, How is it going with pictures? He answered... Man Im working 40 hours a week I have to make money for myself to eat... I was in shock... I just ask how is it going with pictures and he is answering to me the whole story of his life... After a week again I texted the same thing... Because its been more than 5 weeks... no response... I repeated myself again... no response...So I told my wife to text him... She asked the same thing.. Finally he responded on Facebook, Hey, the pictures are ready. Some of them are ready and edited and everything else is a RAW material we can somehow meet up and you can pick them up at any time. So my wife asked him about the time and the place where we could meet to get them... After this message never got a response... After couple days I got his number and I texted him on his cellphone, Hey Name, when can we pick up the pictures because my wife told me that they are ready and he was dealing mainly with me but he responded to her and I just want to know when can we pick them up... The guy responded like this... Now Im on vacation so Im looking for the best way to give them to you and I dont respond well to rude messages.. What did I say so rude? There was nothing at all what possibly even would sound rude.. I said what kind of best way? Because we need them to make an albums for guests and families and they are bugging us so bad because my wives family is a bit interesting and her mom is picking on us so I just want to know... He answered to me like this... So you have to pick good people in your life... Than I said you know what? You are rude and I want to get of what we agreed on and because I paid for it right after the wedding! He said like this, if you'll be rude there is nothing preventing not to give you the pictures at all... Now I'm lost at all... I didn't even respond... Im just missing words and I dont know what should I do... I have the whole conversation on facebook of what we agreed on but there was no written contract... Only facebook conversation and (verbal, oral) agreement in a front of my wife. She read all the messages and there was nothing rude of what I said just all the time wondering about when he will be done with pictures! Is Facebook conversation is enough to sue him? And show that he was very disrespectful to my families? I didnt repeat exactly of what he said but it was so mean and offensive and in the end of the conversation over the cellphone he said there is nothing preventing not to give pictures at all... Is enough for the proof to prove that there was an oral agreement? And get my wedding pictures? They are so important because we also have to go through immigration process and they will be asking for the pictures as well... The stress that he is giving to us... Offended both families by saying mean things like you have to pick right people in your life? (which doesn't make sense at all because how can you pick families?) Please give some kind of advice that would work to grab his ass and prove that he is completely wrong and that we could get the pictures :(
     
  2. You are not going to like my response, but I'll be very honest with you: you got exactly what you paid for. Next time, hire a professional, and sign a proper contract. Of course, it will cost you more (a lot more), but then at least you will have a proper foundation to complain. Right now, your complaints make no sense whatsoever. You complain this guy isn't acting professional. Well, guess what: he is not a professional, and you knew that all along. He even did not want this job, remember?
    You convinced him to take a job he really did not want to do. You pay him very little money for it. He rightly insists to edit his own photos before delivering them to you - so the $100 never was for 3 hours of work, it's a lot more work. Plus the time he took to prepare with you. Let's say, it's $100 for 10-12 hours. Basically, you forced him to work for very little money with no contract.
    And now you treat him like he must deliver to you first, while you knew upfront that 1) he is no professional, 2) he already has a fulltime job, and 3) you never made any agreements on when the photos had to be delivered. You complain about the disrespect he showed your family. But you should ask yourself how much respect you showed him.
    You can really only blame yourself. You've got nothing to "grab his ass" and he isn't wrong. You do not need legal advice, there is nothing to sue about.
    My take? Try being polite with him, tell him you really need some photos for the immigration service and that you'll be happy to pay for the efforts he is putting into editing the photos, if that can help a more speedy delivery. Apologise for pushing him all the time. Tell him you understand he has a full time job, and that he too needs holiday every now and then, but that this immigration thing is giving you stress, and you took it out on him, which is wrong. Sincere apologies, and a sincere amount of money worth of his efforts.
     
  3. My take on the situation as described:
    You have formed an informal contract with an acquaintance, and there appears to be sufficient evidence to make the contract enforceable by law.
    If you don't get anywhere over the next acceptable time period, you can send him a registered letter outlining the sequence of events as they've occurred and give him 10 days to reply in the affirmative; in the alternative, you will make a claim through legal channels (small claims court), or you can pay an attorney to write this letter but it'll cost some money (about $200 in my area) which you can add to your claim.
     
  4. You are not going to like my response, but I'll be very honest with you: you got exactly what you paid for. Next time, hire a professional, and sign a proper contract. Of course, it will cost you more (a lot more), but then at least you will have a proper foundation to complain. Right now, your complaints make no sense whatsoever. You complain this guy isn't acting professional. Well, guess what: he is not a professional, and you knew that all along. He even did not want this job, remember?
    You convinced him to take a job he really did not want to do. You pay him very little money for it. He rightly insists to edit his own photos before delivering them to you - so the $100 never was for 3 hours of work, it's a lot more work. Plus the time he took to prepare with you. Let's say, it's $100 for 10-12 hours. Basically, you forced him to work for very little money with no contract.
    And now you treat him like he must deliver to you first, while you knew upfront that 1) he is no professional, 2) he already has a fulltime job, and 3) you never made any agreements on when the photos had to be delivered. You complain about the disrespect he showed your family. But you should ask yourself how much respect you showed him.​
    That's a bit harsh. No one forced this joker to photograph their wedding. He made a choice. I don't know what the answer is, but if I didn't get my photo's out of him, I'd trash his reputation any way I legally could.
     
  5. Try approaching him through a common friend. Maybe even offer him an extra 100 bucks if you could just get the raw unedited files.
    Also, contact guests at your wedding and request them to send you any pics they took on their cameras, phones, tablets etc.
    Good luck!
     
  6. IV, what you are dealing with is a young Gen Y entitlement brat who has no respect for authorities nor the establisment and cannot follow protocal self absorbing hippies who thinks being a team member at Starbucks yelling out Grande Venti Late Mocah double no cream is his purpose in life who is destined to run this country in the future.
    Bascially, he's just a guy who cannot handle pressure like your earlier multiple text. All he has to do is to dumb the files onto a USB/DVD and meet with you. And that's hard for him to do. So you can make it easy on him by offering to meet him at his work place at certain time. Have a "let's be friend" chat with him and forget about all those legal mumbo jumbo becasue we all know how well that works on people like him.
     
  7. That's a bit harsh... ...I'd trash his reputation any way I legally could.​
    That's even more harsh.
     
  8. Except that I wasn't being harsh to a member here. Big difference.
     
  9. I tend to agree with Wouter although the person involved should be making more effort to live up to expectations he establishes or explaining why they can't be met. We can all agree to that and, sure, the issue can be enforced legally if needed but lets put it in perspective. After pushing the guy to do something he didn't want to do, with all the extra work ect, for a paltry hundred bucks, I suggest to change the attitude towards this guy, make nice with him and give him a reason to want to produce the results more quickly.
    Also, all the relevant information entire original post should have been condensed to, at least, a quarter of what it is. Its a real pain to read something that drags on like that.
     
  10. Except that I wasn't being harsh to a member here. Big difference.​
    Mostly irrelevant. Unless you think people in other communities should be held to lower standards.
     
  11. you can pay an attorney to write this letter but it'll cost some money (about $200 in my area) which you can add to your claim.​
    That may be so in your country but recovering attorney fees in the U.S. generally requires special statutory authority on the subject or including it in the relevant contract. Most unlikely here.
     
  12. although the person involved should be making more effort to live up to expectations he establishes or explaining why they can't be met​
    John, agreed. Based on the OPs story, the photographer is moving slow. The extend to which the OP is pushing him (which would also make me slow down if it was a $100 on the side shoot) isn't clear, and with no agreement in place on when the job ought to be finished, I should judge that point more mildly. In this respect, I've been too harsh probably.
    Otherwise, yes, my judgement is harsh, but really, I can see no single point whatsoever for the OP to sue his friend for. You seriously cannot say "No one forced this joker to photograph their wedding", after reading this:
    At the beginning he didnt want to do it because he was scared of it and he wasn't experienced enough but again I repeated myself that it doesn't matter how its gonna go for him because he is not a pro and I just need someone to take the pictures and because he has some of the equipment he could just take the shots and it doesn't matter how its gonna turn out. I also said that it will be a great experience for him to develop his photography skills since he never took any of the wedding shots. So finally he agreed on it.​
    The OP forced more than enough, and really shouldn't play the innocent victim now. Maybe the other guy isn't acting properly either, but we have only one side of the story, and the story sounds extremely biased. So, calling somebody else a "joker" or a "young Gen Y entitlement brat who has no respect for authorities nor the establisment" based on a highly single-sided story isn't exactly winning prizes either.
    Being nice to the OP because he is a member here, since today (with one post and nothing else), and trashing the reputation of some other guy, basically because he's not a member here? Sorry, never knew signing up here got me this kind of unconditional forgiveness too.
     
  13. Looks like my attempt at humor was lost in my previous post. I bet the actual situation was and ultimate resolution will be much simplier than what was proposed here. I have worked with people like that when all I needed was for that guy to push a few buttons to get me some data dump. And I had to schedule appointments with them for those precious minutes of their time. These could be last gen growups or Gen Y newbies. There are people like that so I do doubt this is who the OP encountered.
     
  14. "I have a big problem dealing with unpro photographer.." Well, there it is right there.

    You offered $100 for three hours of around 1000 photos and thought that to be "easy money".

    I assume that the place where the wedding was with the palm trees and fountain and mountains was a lot more.

    It sounds to me like you seriously sucked this guy into something that he was in no way equipped to handle and offered
    him a super low ball figure to cheap out, and now it's all a big fail and can't get resolved. Good luck!
     
  15. just ridiculous!
     
  16. I think basically at this point it would be best to apologize sincerely and say that the photographer can take their time on the editing phase and if desired, you can compensate financially for the extra time spent on editing as long as you get the pictures in ca. 2 months. I think to newcomer in wedding photography, the amount of work in the editing phase is bewildering and pride may prevent him from giving unedited files to you (as it should be to any self-respecting photographer). What you paid for is basically akin to giving bread crumbs to a slave. The manner of recruitment was such that you basically brought this upon yourself; he was repeatedly unwilling to do it but it sounds like you essentially harrassed him into doing it. And you continued to harrass him about giving the pictures before he feels he is ready. Which is why I think the apology is most urgently needed. I'm assuming the OP is sincere in this story.
     
  17. The best way to get your pictures? pay him money for them, tell him you'll give an extra $100-150 for copies of all the pics (edited or not - doesn't matter), you can give him the USB stick to put them on, while laying out $20s in front of him. When he brings back a full stick, he gets to keep the money. No worries, no stress, no criticism, no lawyers.
    Cheaper and easier for you, no further work for him... a win win, and for a cool $250 you got wedding pics.... that's a heckuva deal, even if they suck.
     
  18. If it IS legit, here's the cardinal rule ... speed, quality, price: Pick two, you cannot have all three.
    I'm sure the photographer had no idea how much work is involved after a wedding shoot. That breeds seething resentment and a feeling of being talked into it, and bugging him just pours gas on the open flame.
     
  19. I reviewed the whole conversation. I showed it to some people, 5-5 people said that I was patient enough of how the deal was made. In the conversation was nothing mean of what I said to him at all. Delightful and happy mood before the wedding. I dont want to post the whole conversation because he might find it online this conversation as well. But Ill give you the beginning of it of how it was to show you that I did not force him and he agreed right away.
    Me:
    Hey Name! I have couple questions for you! Are you gonna be in town on July 6th? Would you like to make 100$ for several hours of easy job?
    Photographer:
    What's the job?
    Me:
    Be a photographer for like 5 hours? Its for my wedding :)
    Photographer:
    Of course I would! I've never photographed a wedding before though. If you'd rather hire someone with more experience, I'd understand.
    Me:
    I dont want anyone else:) I know that you like taking pictures and I would like you to do it because I know you do it well:) If you are free at that date I would appreciate your help a lot:) You'll get some experience from this and a little bit of money:) plus food is included and some very cool people are coming like Dr.Frog Dr. Butterfly, some girls will be there also :)) I think should be fun:) So if you are interested I would be very happy:) I just need to know for sure because it is very important date in my life:)
    Photographer:
    I will mark my calendar.

    And so on and so on. Never said anything bad and that shows that I didn't force him to get in to this! Also, in the conversation he agreed to the price and that he would be delivering pictures within 1-2 weeks. Also in our conversation he agreed not to post any of the pictures unless I approve!

    Me:
    Wednesday works perfectly to me. What time would work the best for you and how and where should we meet? Like I said I could pick you up from somewhere and we could start from there? The only reason I said that we could transfer it to my computer because I didnt want you to work to much but if you'll do the editing and stuff like that so I wont need to do it and you can definitely keep them and you can use them for your future projects for your photography Just some of the pictures can't be posted because of the safety of other people because there might be some people from military so I wouldn't like that their identity would be posted somewhere in public or internet. Ill let you know further info about it on wednesday. Does that sound cool?
    Photographer:
    I wont post anything unless you approve it, I just don't want you to have to go through 3000-4000 photos. Haha. I'll edit the best ones and send you my main shots, and then I can send you any unedited shots you still want.
    Any time will work for me. Maybe some time around when the ceremony will be taking place so I can get an idea of what the light will be like.

    So he even agreed not to post any of the pictures unless I approve it! Guess what he did, he posts couple pictures of me and my wife without me approving it!!!

    In any part of conversation I haven't used any bad language words, any of statements that could offend him or anything like that!

    In addition, he hasn't worked even for 3 hours, the wedding helper agreed on the timing that he worked less than even 2 hours! Conversation shows that I never forced him, and I offered to transfer pictures to my computer right after the wedding. And I paid him right away and he took the money. As well he agreed to deliver our pictures in 1-2 weeks in a front of my wife! The deal was made and he agreed on it!!! It wasn't even like I said in the beginning.. Sorry for the confusion.. Than in the end I gave him more time that he asked for! And than more time after ME asking Hey Name, How is it going with pictures? :) No response for 2 days... I repeated the same thing without smile.. Never got response... Than like I said before he responded to my wife that the pictures are ready and we can pick them up at any time. She tried to ask him when we can come by, and he again never responded back. So I got his cell and said like this..

    ME:
    Hey name, my wife told me that the pictures are ready so Im wondering when we could pick them up..
    Do you guys see anything mean in this message above?
    Photographer:
    Now Im on vacation etc. etc. and I dont respond well to rude messages..
    Never said anything rude.. After that I asked same questions about pictures that I want to know when I possibly could get them because our families are getting on us! So than he offended all the sides! And how not to be mean for this guy? But I kept calm explaining everything.. And instead of getting his explanations I got rude answers and he was calling me a Jackass for him being rude to me basically! but stating that Im being rude to him.. I Never said anything rude.. Than he threatens not give the pictures at all..
    Thats how I ended it and I asked that maybe my wife would be able to talk to him. We will see where we stand today. Im sorry that I can't give the whole conversation there are some important details about our agreement that I want to keep for the lawyer next week because it will be not just the case for the pictures but some things more. Im going to get a legal advice next week, and if you could provide me with some more information based on of what I gave you already, I would very appreciate it! Thank you!
     
  20. I thought Wouter Willemse gave some good sage advize. You many want to try using some if it!
     
  21. p.s. the more important issue in this whole matter is that you are happy with your decision to wed, and that your marriage lasts a long time. The pictures are nice but a happy marriage is nicer.
     
  22. For some absurd reason Cali, you seem to think that we should all be sucked into this drama of your $100 wedding
    through a Facebook arrangement. You now indicate in your vast amount of writing that you secured an attorney to
    handle this $100 booking. OK, so then you're all set, they will advise you accordingly.
     
  23. All that matters here are that you get your pictures. If you threaten to sue or upset him to much he might delete all the images and then you will never be able to get your images.

    Treat this guy with the utmost respect and even have your wife contact him in all future conversations. In the first instance have her contact him asking for a time and place where she can pick up the photos as her family are waiting to see them.

    Do what ever it takes to get your images, then and only then once you have all the images then you can tell him what you think of him.
     
  24. I am sorry this has all blown up on you. However, just how well did you know this guy ? Why did you want to risk such and important event on some dude with a camera and no experience ? Why do you think contacting a lawyer, at $300 an hour to work on a $100 contract is going to go anywhere ? If there was no written contract, there can't be a breach of contract. If you simply sue for damages, that's going to be $100. Go to small claims court. I do feel for you, really. You got hosed in the deal. But, some of the above posters could probably see this coming a mile away.
     
  25. He probably told you 1-2 weeks because he had not done a wedding before & didn't know how much time it really takes. Yes, its his fault for give you that timeframe, but I think maybe all your texts asking him about the photos bothered him & he feels pressured. I'd quit asking about it for now, you can wait awhile longer. I know the family is bugging you, just say it takes time to get the photos back & you don't need to tell the photographer that your family is waiting.

    What I would do is mail him a note apologizing if you were rushing him or pressuring him & that you are happy to wait for him to complete the photos. Maybe give him a gift card to somewhere you know he likes to go? I usually say a coffee gift card - all those long hours, but since he works there maybe not that! In the note thank him for his time at the wedding, etc. You can provide your mailing address there & just ask him to mail them to you. No worrying about meeting up & it won't matter what part of the world he's in, there's always a post office or fedex/ups somewhere nearby.

    Also, although he agreed to the price, that is very low. I think if you have the money you should pay him more than $100. I wouldn't say anything until you actually have the photos, go through them, etc. How long was he there for?
     
  26. Yeah, so now it's turning into 'you're a meany!' 'No I'm not! You're a meany!' This should end well.
    I guess you've already learned your lesson, but seriously, he's got you by the short curlies. Your next text (whatev' happened to emails?) should start with 'Youre right, sorry dude! I was kind of a whiney jerk... ' then you can go on and be like 'wife/fam's been giving me a helluva time about them pics, and I don't want you to get to stressed over it. Tell you what, don't worry about doing any more work, just burn all of them onto a USB stick, and I'll make it worth your while if I can get a copy of them as is by next week - say $150?'
    My opinion is: Suck it up, you'll have to really nice if you EVER want to get those pics...
     
  27. I want to keep for the lawyer next week because it will be not just the case for the pictures but some things more. Im going to get a legal advice next week, and if you could provide me with some more information based on of what I gave you already, I would very appreciate it!
    Okay, I'll bite. Prepare yourself for three possibilities with the lawyer:
    (1) Lawyer: 'You mean to tell me you want me to represent you in a claim against some non-professional who you convinced to take pictures of your wedding for $100? Ahahahahahahahahahahahaha. I thought you wanted to sue some high-end professional photographer who told you your wedding would look like Ivanka Trump's and already charged you $10,000. Uh, no. Goodbye.'
    (2) Lawyer: 'I'd be happy to represent you. My charge will be $250 an hour for my time, plus costs that I estimate will be between $200 and $1000, and you have to pay me a $2,000 retainer up front, before I do any work.' (Actually it may well me more than this.)
    (3) Lawyer: 'Okay, I won't make any promises--you shouldn't expect much--but I'll try to help you because you [insert one of these alternatives] [a] are now my brother-in-law, saved my mom from drowning the the ocean, [c] have video of me horizontal-dancing with my secretary at the No-Tell Motel and have threatened to send a copy to my wife.'
    Seriously, your chance of getting satisfactory redress in the courts seems low. It will take a lot of your time, or cost you a lot of money (waaaaay more than the $100 you paid), or both. Your best bet is to apologize to the photographer and try to be nice and patient from here on out. Good luck.
     
  28. This thread is a major disappointment. There's clearly one party in the wrong here, and it is the person who has reneged on their agreement. That he happens to be a "wedding photographer" for a brief moment in time, seems to have the other wedding photographers here fighting over themselves. How someone can seriously say that you "forced" them to shoot your wedding, is ridiculous. And what I find really ironic here, is that wedding photographers, of all people, don't understand that this is about MORE than just $100. A wedding is a (hopefully) one time event, and the pictures can't be recreated after the event.
    It's clear you aren't going to get any love here. I'm sorry that you've had this experience here.
     
  29. he agreed right away.​
    This contradicts your original claim that "At the beginning he didnt want to do it...and that ...finally he agreed on it." Whatever credibility you had as to this story has been lost. If we heard the other person's versions of events, its likely to be dramatically different than the version we have been given.
    It also appears that you are not interested in considering the advice everyone has provided here and merely wish to obtain affirmation of your per-conceived notions about the situation. Its becoming more clear as to why the other person would react negatively to the situation.
     
  30. Some of the advice has to be seek legal redress. The OP is following that advice. Are you perhaps upset because he isn't following your advice?
     
  31. If the situation described is real, then I would have to agree with Bernie West's comment above.
    To appease the photographer with more money than the original agreement is tantamount to caving in to extortion. Legalities aside, a gentleman's handshake is a gentleman's handshake even if you got the raw end of the deal.
    I'm sure no one enter into the agreement with malice. Both parties likely grossly underestimated the amount of work involved, especially the photographer if he finds out how much wedding photographers are typically paid will likely feel cheated to further aggravate the situation.
    All this can be resolved amiably if both parties are willing, even if it means revising the original agreement in light of what is newly learned by both parties. Lawyer are there to resolve a situation when two parties sitting across the table can not resolve differences by themselves. In this instance, I think there is a great deal of incentive for both parties to resolve this matter without further ill feelings, hostility, or escalation.
     
  32. If there was no written contract, there can't be a breach of contract.​
    Eschewing a discussion as to this particular case, the statement above is nonsense. If verbal contracts could not be breached, there would be no such thing as verbal contracts which there obviously are.
     
  33. Well said Michael Chang. Totally agree with you
     
  34. There's clearly one party in the wrong here​
    The OP has already changed the story. Moreover, there was no discussion about any actual contract terms about time of delivery. Merely, post parol talk about when and a description of a deteriorating relationship by someone who seems to be rather hard headed. Plus, the amount of time predicted easily could have been underestimated may someone so unseasoned. The guy may be taking his time now but there is no "clear" breach here yet.
    That he happens to be a "wedding photographer" for a brief moment in time, seems to have the other wedding photographers here fighting​
    Contributors here tend to pounce when they hear one of their own fails to abide by contractual obligations. In this instance, they appear to be considering the context of the situation and probably harbor some doubt as to the accuracy of the portrayal provided here.
    How someone can seriously say that you "forced" them to shoot your wedding, is ridiculous.​
    Pretty much everyone else recognizes that the word isn't being used literally. That the OP's original story featured some pressure to do the shoot.
    I find really ironic here, is that wedding photographers, of all people, don't understand that this is about MORE than just $100.​
    Again, contributors know this. They are providing perspective for the OP to think about.
    Someone on the first page even had the brainsnap to suggest "next time you do this"... Oh yes. Next time I get married, I'll definitely not make that mistake. Wait on, am I getting divorced??​
    This was a classic figurative type discussion. No one is actually predicting the future. You're reading in to things too literally.
    The OP is following that advice. Are you perhaps upset because he isn't following your advice?​
    The OP is doing that regardless of the advice. So we are told anyway. It does not appear that they are seeking or considering any actual advice.
     
  35. If the situation described is real​
    Which one? The story has already been changed as it is.
    To appease the photographer with more money than the original agreement is tantamount to caving in to extortion... ...All this can be resolved amiably if both parties are willing, even if it means revising the original agreement in light of what is newly learned by both parties.​
    Extortion one minute. Mere revision the next.
     
  36. I don't see where the story has been changed.

    This is simple. An agreement was made. One party has paid up-front, and the other party hasn't delivered. Not sure why the need to be so disrespectful to the OP. I'll be steering clear of this sub-forum in the future if this is the state of play here.
     
  37. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    MODERATOR NOTE:
    Keep the commentary ON the TOPIC -
    and NOT directed AT a PERSON.
    Thank you.​
     
  38. I agree with Wouter and I also believe you should offer to pay him for edited photos. You
    basically paid him enough to drive there. I only read half the replies so I apologize if it's
    already been said but I personally would never give my raw images to anyone. I suggest
    you offer to pay for edited images. My guess is he was not happy with how they turned
    out. Maybe he realized how much work goes into editing a wedding & calculated how
    little he is getting paid.

    I suggest you apologize just as Wouter suggested & offer another $100 for 25 edited
    images. If you like them, make him another offer.
     
  39. I of course agree with William W. No need to get into the faces of people trying to offer help.

    What Photo.net needs is an attorney thats a photographer and perhaps a contract attorney.

    I have no idea what the laws are.

    From past posts from past years you can google some of the wedding posts regarding getting your photos.

    I don't think that money should be a cause of non delivery. I repeat, I am not a lawyer, however in some states, the Small Claims courts are much more forgiving about signed contracts. Often the facebook talks and cell phone texting and even a verbal agreement could be enough. Please don't jump all over me if I'm wrong.

    As for the pictures I hate emails, texting, computers in general in this situation. You need to see the person face to face. Perhaps he messed up and deleted the CF or SD cards and your wedding is history.

    Well it's not the end of the world. Often couples and the families can recreate alot of the photos. You don't have to use the same photographer. Rent the tuxes, often at a big discount, the flowers, whatever it takes to get some really great photo's.

    Hopefully the photographer still has the images. I know from experience that the SD or the CF cards can be fixed. I did this for a few years, saving wedding photographers images and from these cards. I don't do this anymore. There's a place called drivesavers. You can give them my name and you will get a 10 percent discount.

    Hope this helps you a bit.
     
  40. This is simple. An agreement was made. One party has paid up-front, and the other party hasn't delivered.​
    What was the delivery date contained in this simple pre-wedding agreement?
     
  41. John, the first OP said 1-2 weeks which apparently became more than 5 weeks.
    I think we can all agree that the photographer is at least under ethical obligation to act in good faith, which he apparently hasn't having accepted payment. It would be a clear breach of contract if he outright refuses to deliver or stalls indefinitely without an acceptable reason.
     
  42. " I just need this event to be photographed that my wife and I could remember it and we could send out some pictures to her family and my family whom couldn't attend the wedding because it happened in another side of the world (US, California). I said I just need to take the pictures, I dont need editing . . . "
    " I just need someone to take the pictures and because he has some of the equipment he could just take the shots and it doesn't matter how its gonna turn out."
    " They are so important because we also have to go through immigration process and they will be asking for the pictures as well."
    Was this photographer shooting a wedding or providing documentation of what appears to be a wedding for immigration purposes? No one else at the wedding took a photo that could be used to document a wedding ceremony for immigration purposes?
    If you don't care how the pictures turn out (What if no pics turned out at all?), I'm sure there are plenty of cell phone pics of the event so save yourself the aggravation. Chalk off the hundred bucks as a lesson that if something as important as a wedding and establishing immigration credibility is only worth a hundred bucks to you, you got what you paid for.
     
  43. Michael,
    I think we can all agree that the photographer is at least under ethical obligation to act in good faith, which he apparently hasn't having accepted payment. It would be a clear breach of contract if he outright refuses to deliver or stalls indefinitely without an acceptable reason.​
    I think nobody disputes that. But this OP is just as much party in this chain of events as is the photographer. So far, we only have one side of the story, and that story already changed on a rather vital point. Without hearing the side of the photographer, it's really quite hard to say how things really went down and how this deal was really forged. As the contract is a verbal one, nodoy can quote the factual contents of the contract. So, any advice to go to court because of breach of contract to me seems a slippery slope, as the contract might turn out to be vastly different than what we've heard so far.
     
  44. Wouter, here's my take on the OP's situation as described, from a lay perspective with no more than common knowledge of the law:
    There was "offer and acceptance" as alleged by the OP by way of written communication via Facebook. This forms the foundation for a provable contract. The $100 paid to the photographer constitutes "consideration" which is the second essential element of contract formation, and the third element, "performance", completes the contract.
    So, legally, there was a binding contract formed if the first two elements (offer and acceptance, and consideration) exist. Failure to deliver the promised performance therefore constitutes breach of contract.
     
  45. Michael, again, I do not dispute the existance of a contract; I understand the premises of these. But being a verbal contract, and having heard only one of the two parties, I am not too certain of the actual content of the contract. The quotes in the second post of the OP are not literal, and leave out any part that would give us a clear understanding on the agreement on the promised performance.
    The case would be the inability or unwillingness to deliver according to the contractual terms. Point is, we have no real idea about the actual contractual terms without hearing the other side as well. So saying the OP is right, and the other guy wrong, is premature and biassed.
     
  46. "I made an offer for him texting him on Facebook if he would be interested to make an easy 100$ in 3 hours."

    So how was the "easy" part of the agreement met?
     
  47. ... and how was the job a mere 3 hours?
    That may have been the shooting time, but the 'job' requirements are obviously far far beyond that.
     
  48. Can some people not read the OP? He says:

    "I said I just need to take the pictures, I dont need editing because I didnt want to put more work on his head because the guy is working 40 hours at the starbucks to make a living for himself. ",

    He didn't want the guy to do any editing at all. The decision to do editing was the guy's decision and was outside of the original contract specification.

    Sheesh.
     
  49. From my law school of many years ago I learned that there are five elements to a contract; an offer, acceptance of that offer in the exact terms of the offer, a meeting of the minds, legal subject matter, and consideration. I did not finish law school so I am in no way a lawyer, but if one tried to prove that an actual contract existed given the above circumstances it would be, to my mind, very difficult. It works much more easily if there is written evidence of a contract in the eyes of most courts. I suspect there are difficulties with proving a meeting of the two minds in this case. Someone suggested a face to face meeting to resolve these difference. In my former work, I managed major contracts where there are extensive written documents. However, ultimately most significant issues of which I was aware were most efficiently resolved by verbal, face to face agreement before being codified in a contract change. The same is true here. Get together and work this out. Whether a big agreement or small issues, things are much cheaper in emotional and monetary cost when parties work together. This was true when I managed contracts in my career then and when I contracted for weddings after I retired from that career. I have also been involved when things blew all out of proportion with really bad consequences for both parties in a large contract. Everyone gets hurt.
     
  50. Can some people not read the OP? He says... ...The decision to do editing was the guy's decision and was outside of the original contract specification. Sheesh.​
    Can you not read what the OP says? That's part of the story the OP changed his from the photographer resisting doing the shoot over and "finally" agreeing to agreeing "right away".
    "I said I just need to take the pictures, I dont need editing... ...At the beginning he didnt want to do it because he was scared of it and he wasn't experienced enough but again I repeated myself that it doesn't matter how its gonna go for him because he is not a pro and I just need someone to take the pictures and because he has some of the equipment he could just take the shots and it doesn't matter how its gonna turn out... ...So finally he agreed on it... ...I said I could edit the pictures by myself but he refused it because thats his work and he wants to do everything or at least a part of it and I repeated myself again that even RAW material will satisfy my needs and I wont touch it. He agreed on facebook to this also."

    Not only is there a credibility issue with what was actually agreed on, the OP changes the story YET AGAIN by reporting to us a discussion where the OP tells the photographer he is agreeable to editing...
    "The only reason I said that we could transfer it to my computer because I didnt want you to work to much but if you'll do the editing and stuff like that so I wont need to do it and you can definitely keep them and you can use them for your future projects for your photography"
    and registered no disagreement to the photographer telling him...
    I'll edit the best ones and send you my main shots, and then I can send you any unedited shots you still want.
    Then he conceded that the story has changed when he said...
    "It wasn't even like I said in the beginning.
    As to the main issue, timeliness, he tells us...
    "I gave him more time"

    The OP's words, in quotes show him agreeing to editing and more time.
     
  51. You all, of course, realize that you spent more of your time and thus money on this than the original poster was willing to pay for the photos in the first place?
     
  52. And yet, John, the "photographer" STILL hasn't delivered. And even more reprehensibly, he is threatening NEVER to deliver.
     
  53. "you spent more of your time and thus money on this than the original poster"​
    That would be true if we would otherwise be billing for work every waking moment of our lives. People tend occupy some of their spare time with all manner of silly trivial matters. This happens to be one of them. But, to some extent, these kind discussions provides some perspective for people which can be utilized in their own activities. Identifying problems leading to solutions or avoidance.
     
  54. he is threatening NEVER to deliver.​
    Given the lack of credibility the OP has demonstrated here even as to his own version of events, I question the accuracy of this claim. I'm not calling him a troll or accusing anyone of lying, just pointing out a big problem with the story. It may just be a perception issue. I don't know.
     
  55. ERRmmm...wake up! You are not going to get your pictures using legal route for a $100 with no agreement. You probably spend that $100 paying for gas to drive to the courthouse, filing the small claim fee, paying ridiculous parking fees for 2 visits, trying to track down the photographer's information, and taking hours off work. You are not thinking right when you hire someone in this manner for your big wedding day, and after this is over using another set of expectations on this individual. And then thinking about suing him you are STILL not thinking right.
    Agree with everyone else's comments on here. Apologize, be nice, give him his entire lifetime to work on the pictures because he is not obligated to give you anything, offer some additional cash to try to get them back QUICKER for your own benefits.
    Again, we are not talking about 3 hrs. It's several hours at the practice shoot, 3 hours at the wedding, 1 hr equipment prep, download and backing up, and edits and screening for 1000 pictures. PLUS mileage and gas expenses, 1000 click wear on his camera, flash and lens. Easily 3 times the amount of time agreed.
    Obviously you dont value photography very much because you think pictures for your wedding day is worth $100, so why bother about the pictures now? Be good to your wife and have a great life together. The pictures? offer $300 to get them back, and hopefully the photographer will show up when he is short of cash, some day
     
  56. Regardless of what was or was not paid the photographer agreed to shoot the wedding and now within a reasonable timeframe needs to produce the pictures and get them to the couple.
    I doubt the either party really realized what was involved in the whole process so they were promised too quickly. If the pictures were said to be ready in a couple of weeks then it is only natural to ask if they are ready after a couple of weeks.
    I suspect the inexperienced photographer became snowed under with the post processing so needed more time. At some point though he needs to have the pictures ready and they won't process themselves so that he needs to get on with it and get the job done.
    The couple needs to relax and let the guy produce the pictures. They also have to remember that they themselves asked the inexperienced photographer shoot the wedding in the first place.
     
  57. An excellent realistic post by Stuart. This thing can still be fixed.
     
  58. As a photographe and a lawyer, let me suggest an arbitration pathway here not uncommon in legal disputes and based on sound legal principal. Let a third party determine the fair market value of the service and the photographs and that should be the settlement amount upon delivery in a reasonable time.
     
  59. Virginia, I think it will be difficult to determine fair market value through arbitration in this case where perceived value is an intangible, made worse by a photographer with no professional experience.

    I believe, at least in Canada, the worth of an individual's work is valued based on their typical income, in other words you can not claim exorbitant professional fees unless you've been paid those amounts in prior contractual arrangements.
     
  60. The poor photographer who sounds like he has limited experience and has probably never shot or looked at Raw files before. He was asked to shoot the wedding in Raw and I wonder if he got home looked at the files and thought that they were all flat and lifeless and is having trouble bringing some life into these files. Depending on what software he has he could be having a real problem and he might just think he has done something wrong. Just a thought....
     
  61. Tell him to post them all here, we'll do them for him! ;)
     
  62. Seeing the number of responses, this seems to have touched a nerve in the community... my two bits, best is to be really nice and understanding, acknowledge the other guy's point before pressing your own, try to salvage at least a few best ones, enrol a friend or two rather than a lawyer. This is the advice given to me in a problem with a tenant who had stopped paying the rent. Law was not offered as an option. It makes losers of all...
    OOps.. sorry I forgot to follow my own advice... should have said before anything, that we all feel sorry for OP, his new wife, and all the family and friends... it's not really your fault, you trusted the guy and had a g's agreement... Best is to get wife to talk to him how much you appreciate, and understand the pressure on him (feel for him!), but could he please just dump the whole thing on a flash drive or give at least a few of the snaps...
     
  63. Bernie may have a good way of doing it. We could probably reach a consensus. The value would be "market" value. Not what that particular photographer might have charged, but what the market would accept. Fair market value is defined as "What a willing buyer would pay a willing seller, neither being under a compulsion to buy or sell." If the images are of poor quality, they may not be worth much. If they are of high quality, they might be worth a lot. Who knows. Sometimes the risk of either a high or low valuation in an arbitration drives the parties to a settlement.
     
  64. An arbitration isn't going to happen. The OP needs to lighten up and change his attitude and approach towards the guy he pushed to do the shoot and has been pushing since then. Then he'll get his images.
     
  65. Seeing how many responses this thread gets and other similar threds got, I think this subject of this forum has changed from wedding photography to wedding photography dispute resolution.
     
  66. Is there a divorce lawyer in the house?
     
  67. Thank you for all the responses here. [COMMENTS DIRECTED AT PEOPLE WERE REMOVED] Ill answer to everyone :)
    The conversation that I have a record on facebook is valid proof, and it was an agreement which shows a breach of the contract:) It had all the parts that it could be considered as a valid agreement. Ill repeat myself again that I never said anything rude to the photographer and even though after he attacked me! I completely have a right to ask after the time passed how is it going with the pictures!? Instead of the normal answers he explains his whole story of his life etc. He had to deliver pictures on time as promised. The End!
    Everyone understands if the person is having some issues in his life which delayed his work and I gave him more time. After I give him more time he should appreciate my understanding of his life situation because things happen to everyone and this is normal. This is the life, but it became an offensive issue of what he texted me and it might move on further on. In this case, he threatened me that he might not deliver pictures at all and we value those pictures way more and thats our right to do it. In addition he promised not to upload any pictures on the internet unless I approve! He never asked me and he still posted the picture. Even though this is his art and the pictures were made by him, he didn't have a right to upload them anywhere without asking me for permission. I'll still wait for it and hopefully he will deliver the pictures. I don't want to threaten to sue him or do something that would waste both of our times. I just want to get the pictures. If it won't happen, than we will talk in a front of third party.
    And everyone should remember this, if you have any kind of proof of the agreement by 2 parties, E-mails, messages, conversations, screenshots, anything! Hold on to it and get what belongs to you!
     
  68. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Well it is good that this seems to be resolved.
     
  69. THE END
     
  70. Amen!
     
  71. I was just reading a past post of the OP!

    It doesn't matter, but if the photographer took 4000 shots in 5 hours, well thats 800 shots per hour and that translates to 13 shots per minute!

    All for $100

    I think the poor guy just needs time to edit 4000 images.

    I'm not making light of the situation.

    I'm just having fun playing the numbers game.

    I wish you the very best. Keep us posted since half the world knows about this now!
     
  72. He just said the number out of his head to make it big to show it as an example how much work it is. As far as I understand looking at that conversation. Plus, he wants to do the editing and he offered to do so. Im not requiring him to do anything with those pictures. I have photoshop as well and I've been working on it in the mean while so I have a pretty good idea how to do what I need to do. I just need the pictures.
     
  73. [ . . .]...it was an agreement which shows a breach of the contract:) It had all the parts that it could be considered as a valid agreement.​
    You just don't get it. People merely disagree with you and [you make insulting comments at them]?. The issue here isn't rally about legalities and contracts. Its about practicalities and how to deal with people. Even with this latest posting, it is revealed that you have a problem with that. Being hard headed and pushy with a negative attitude has not served you well here. Otherwise you would have had your images long ago regardless of your legal status.
     
  74. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    IV Cali: there was an explicit warning about commenting ONLY on the topic and NOT making comments directed AT people.
    This situation asked about seems resolved.
     

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