Would you decline to shoot this wedding?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by spurcell, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. First a couple of details. I am in Southern California and the wedding in question is in Northern California.
    In February of this year I received an email from a friend of my sister-in-law (SIL) saying that my SIL told her I would be providing photography services for her wedding and that they had booked me a room at the hotel which the wedding will be taking place. She didn't tell me the date, just that its in June -no other information provided. I immediately emailed my SIL to let her know about the email and asked why she told her friend this and asked if she had any other info. SIL replied that she had told her to contact me and hoped I could do the wedding and that she (my SIL) and her boyfriend would be paying for it as their gift to the B&G.
    I then replied to the friend and kindly asked her what her wedding date in June is as I already have 2 weddings that month and if I had that date available I would be happy to discuss more details with her.
    Next day she replies that the wedding is June 4th. It turns out I had that date available so I let her know right away and proceeded to ask her my usual questions to find out what their wedding photography needs are and suggested she look at the packages I offer to assist with deciding. It took her 6 weeks to get back to me and even then she didn't provide much information but said the very basics would be fine.
    In the meantime, I had several emails back and forth with my SIL trying to find out from her what, if any limit they had for how much they had planned to pay since this is their gift to friend. Took her a few weeks to respond as well and eventually about March 24 SIL replied that they could not afford my prices and was hoping to get a discount. I agreed to give a discount since she is family but the discount I offered was still too much for them and they were hoping to only spend $500 and would help pay for my flight up North. I quickly let her know that I could not do $500 that as it would end up costing me $$ which I could not afford to do. I countered with slightly higher fee and SIL finally replied on April 1st that they would pay that fee.
    Ok, still not what I believe I should be paid but I decided to do my SIL a favor and I felt bad because time is is almost out for the B&G to find a new photographer. On April 6th I emailed the B with my wedding contract that had all the details of what they would get for the price being paid and let her know that I needed to her and her groom to sign right away so that I could also forward it to SIL and her boyfriend to sign and get me my required deposit. Needless to say, I didn't hear back by the end of the week as I had requested.
    In fact, I still have not heard back from the B&G and it's now April 25th. Since SIL is their friend, on April 17 I asked her to contact her friend and light a little fire under them to get that contract back to me. I still have not heard anything.

    Since this is not a local wedding it will take additional planning including booking a flight (which only gets pricier as the date gets closer) and renting of additional equipment that I just don't have in my arsenal yet.
    This is not how I usually do business and I'm feeling as though they're possibly taking advantage of the fact that I'm family especially after agreeing to a huge discount. I'm seriously unsure of how to handle this. I don't want to upset my SIL and I would feel bad that the B&G had to scramble to find another photographer that would take the job at such a low price but there's nothing I can do if they don't respond. However, I don't feel I should have to scramble at the last minute to get things together.
    For the moment I am giving them until this Friday to respond.
    At this point I'm ready to respectfully decline the job. What would you do? Have you had this experience before and how did you handle it?
    Thank you so much for your time and suggestions. (Sorry for the run-on sentences, lol)
  2. For the moment I am giving them until this Friday to respond.
    At this point I'm ready to respectfully decline the job. What would you do?​
    That seems more than reasonable.
  3. Ouch - business and family - not a good mix.
    The problem is (and it will come back to you believe me) - is that it is so close to their wedding date that if you back out now - they will have difficulty finding someone at any price for June 4.
    The other problem is that even without a written contract - you have a verbal agreement - now put forth in writing on a public website which is goggle-able under your name.
    At this point - I'd bite my tongue - til it bleeds... Call your SIL and tell her that here's what you will be providing and what you won't be providing. Don't e-mail, don't mail... CALL. Make sure you get the money from SIL, plus Hotel confirmation (Call Hotel) and Plane Tickets.
    Chalk this one up to the school of hard knocks and learn from it.
  4. I agree with David about the circumstances and the red flags were everywhere right at the very beginning. Unfortunately, your decisions allowed your in law relative to get away with all this nonsense. In any event, order needs to be implemented now. Since the SIL has a boyfriend, I gather she is your husband's sister. SInce this has been made in to a family affair, why isn't he reading his sister the riot act over this and telling her to comply with your needs and requirements immediately?
  5. Personally, I think this is family oriented. Period. It isn't subject to normal dealings or rational thought. Make it work, and do it with a smile on your face.
    However, diplomatically inform family that you cannot afford to lose money for their friend's sake in this down economy. It's tough for everyone.
  6. They will be able to find the right photographer for them - a student on craigslist - by then. And, they will not have to house or fly them up, so they'll actually save money.
    I would give them an ultimatum that by Friday if the deposit is not paid and the contract not signed, you will not be doing the wedding.
    John has a point - you're worried about the way you might be treating your sister-in-law if you back out, but how have they been treating you? Certainly not as a professional - and that treatment won't likely end with a signed contract.
    Walk away as respectfully as you can.
  7. I would guess that the reason you haven't gotten a concrete response is because they don't really want to pay what they've agreed to. Maybe they don't have it, maybe they do. I can virtually guarantee that the money issue is the source of the contract issue.
    With all the wifflewaffling on (to be fair) both sides, maybe they think they'll be able to plead hardship and walk on you some more. I'd say the 'friday deadline' is very reasonable, and be ready to walk. You WILL be the bad guy, but sometimes when dealing w/ family (which defines this relationship) you just have to be. Don't try to sugarcoat it anymore to preserve feelings. Sometimes you have to run, not walk, away. Be ready to specifically rationalize your reaction to the inevitable family backlash...
  8. Time for a family meeting I think. No more emails. Work it out face to face.
  9. I agree face to face with you Sister in Law - and the contract should be signed by the one paying the bill - not the bride and groom - i only deal with the client that writes the check. Any other details to be worked out with the B&G should be dealt with after a deposit has been made.
  10. I agree with Pete. Time to have a conversation "in house" about this.
  11. I have a standard response: I do not do paid work for friends and family. There is always a problem, and the photographer always gets taken advantage of. As far as favors and unpaid work: never a wedding, never in season and only for very close family, not friends of relatives.
  12. $500.00 fee (or maybe slightly above according to you), and you have to pay for a flight, and you have to rent gear, and you have no assurance that the "booked" hotel room is actually paid for . . .
    Wow, I've heard of families taking photographic relatives for a ride, but this takes the cake!
    I think it's time for you to put your big-girl pants on and either call or visit the SIL in person and provide a solid deadline to sign the contract and pay the deposit. The B&G are not your clients the SIL is. And, I disagree that you have a verbal contract to do anything. Unless there is some sort of consideration (fee) provided, and there is agreement about the services, there is no meeting of the minds, and therefore no contract.
    If the SIL fails to sign the contract and pay the deposit on or before your deadline, you walk. If the SIL actually comes through (which I think is unlikely based on what's happened so far), then you're stuck doing the shoot and you're certainly going to lose money. But, you allowed it to get this far, so you'll have to take your lumps.
  13. This isn't advice. Its merely what I would do... Have the family Pow Wow. Make clear that the time for being strung along is over and that the failure to commit makes the situation untenable and there is no obligation to proceed under such circumstances. A short deadline will be granted with unchangeable terms. All of which must be tendered by the date or the shoot goes off. That any risk of loss (such as not getting a refund on a ticket) for failing to tender all items is on the sister in law. A longer deadline is not feasible and that there will need to be enough time for a new photographer to be secured in any event. A polite follow up email or letter sent to follow up on any terms or a rejection would be sent to avoid "confusion". Unfortunately, walking also means dealing with the B&G since communications were also made with them. CYA communication would include references to failure to actaully commit to an arrangement and that an agreement was never able to be reached.
    What a mess.
  14. I disagree that you have a verbal contract to do anything. Unless there is some sort of consideration (fee) provided, and there is agreement about the services, there is no meeting of the minds, and therefore no contract.​
    Fess don't have to actually be "provided". Indeed, the amount of the fee in some contracts sometimes doesn't even need to be specified. A mere promise to pay is consideration. This is why wedding contracts often contain specific deadlines for specific payments before an obligation arises. That way the photographer won't be obligated if not paid by a certain point and won't have to chase the fee later on. In my post above of what I would do, I adopted your position but with some posturing to try to hedge against any contractual claim. The uncertainty of whether that would actually be upheld was why I explained my comments were not advice. Like I said, this is a mess and this aspect is just one of many reasons.
  15. I very much appreciate all of the opinions and avice provided. When I started my business 2 years ago I was on this site all of the time reading and gathering information to try to do things right and be smart about it. I even made sure I had a contract for my very first wedding (which was for a friend of my own) just to be safe. Luckily, that went off without a hitch) and I am well aware that may not be the norm (this situation is case in point).
    I have been careful and direct with all of my clients since and it has worked out well. Though I have read the horror stories on here and elsewhere about working for family, I obviously didn't take that advise as seriously as I should have. My own fault for trying to accommodate and then some. A lot of lessons learned here.
    I think what I will do is contact my SIL and let her know I need the contract and deposit from her by Friday or I will have to respectfully decline and explain why. I will try to be kind but firm as possible. If they can provide what I reqeust I will happily do the wedding and give my best as usual. Unfortunately, talking in person is not an option since she also lives up North and there are no upcoming opportunities for us to get together before the wedding date.
    After this mess I will be, once again, revising my contract and will be laying down a few more ground rules with every new potential client.
    Again, thank you so much for your replies.
  16. You're afraid of offending your sister in law. But she doesn't seem at all worried about offending you. Commiting you to shooting the wedding without asking you first. Saying that she will pay your bill as a present, then not agreeing to your discounted price. It sounds like she has a real cheek.
    If I were you I would just say that as you haven't heard from them and that they are not happy with the specially discounted price, you think it would be better not to mix family and work, and it would be better if they got someone else to shoot the wedding. Try to be helpful and suggest some other people they might contact.
    If you go ahead, the way they are treating you, you can be fairly sure it will end in tears, and will cause even more family friction and rupture than if you break it off now. If they think they can treat you badly and shaft you now, just think what they will be like at the wedding, and when they go through the pictures they will want blood. Avoid unreasonable clients like the plague.
    The mistake was ever to countenance doing it in the first place. Being committed to a wedding without telling you about it should have been enough warning, you should have drawn a line then. Better late than never, use the opportunity of their lack of response to draw a line now.
    As for discounts, it's not even as though you would be shooting the wedding for a close relative or a close friend of your own. It's just a friend of your sister in law. This person is neither your relative nor your direct friend. Do you even know her? Your sister in law is in effect asking for a special favour, while treating you badly simultaneously.
    Just tell them you don't want to do it.
  17. p.s. that's assuming that you didn't leave them with a copy of the contract already signed by you, and that you haven't said/written anywhere 'yes, I will shoot the wedding'.
  18. Simon, no I have not signed the contract. I always sign last and let them know it's not a done deal until I have the deposit and I provide a copy of a fully executed contract to them.
    Thank you for your advise as well.
  19. I'm curious about something. If you're doing business with your sister-in-law, why do you need the Bride and Groom to sign the contract? They're not your client.
  20. Ted, I have never been in a situation like this and thought since they were the ones ultimately getting the photos they should know and agree to the details so that they don't come back and ask for anything later.
    Again, another lesson learned and a mistake I won't repeat.
  21. I'd always get the bride and groom to sign. They're the ones you really responsible towards, it's their wedding. The fact that someone else may be paying or organising is another matter - it's good to get a written commitment from the payer to pay, but it needs to be clear that the B&G are the ones you're responible to. Otherwise things could get messy.
  22. Perhaps in this type of situation, it would be better for them purchase a "gift card" or "gift certificate" for a specified dollar amount and only deal with the Bride and Groom?
  23. Simon, thanks for that additional info. My first instinct was to include them since they would be the one's in the end unhappy but then I was questioning it because they, thus far, have not seemed to put a lot of priority in getting me the information and contract needed.
    New question for you or anyone if I may... When a B&G come to you for their wedding and after you send the contract for them to sign (assuming you haven't signed it yet) and they say to you, "Oh, btw my Uncle is paying so i'll try to get the deposit for you as soon as possible". Do you then tell them you need to revise the contract to include the Uncle? I haven't had this situation but now after this current dilemna I'm in my busy little mind is creating possible scenarios to prepare for. ;)
  24. When a B&G come to you for their wedding and after you send the contract for them to sign (assuming you haven't signed it yet) and they say to you, "Oh, btw my Uncle is paying so i'll try to get the deposit for you as soon as possible". Do you then tell them you need to revise the contract to include the Uncle?​
    I wouldn't include the Uncle in the contract. The only reason you might theoretically want to is if you think the bride and groom might not have enough money to pay and you might want to sue the Uncle. In practise, it's unlikely that you're really going to sue the Uncle directly. But your real lever to get them to get him to pay is that if he or the couple don't pay, then they may not get their wedding photographed. So getting the Uncle to sign would be a bit of an unnecessary technicality with more downsides than pluses.
    Keep it clean - keep it clear who your client is, and that should be the couple that is getting married. Getting anyone else to sign just means you may have responsibilities towards other people. What if those other people tell you to do one thing, and the bride and groom another? To be avoided.
  25. You poor bastard!
    First: there is no contract. All correspondence has shown that a contract is conditioned on the existence of a signed contract. Since there is none, you can back out now.
    Do the smart thing. Tell everyone concerned that there is no contract, and that they are left with the option of finding another photographer. You are out.
    If you do anything else, you will live to regret it.
  26. About turning the wedding down, it seems to me that honesty is the best policy. If you try to make an excuse then they'll blame you, thinking that you had committed to it then backed out.
    If you explain honestly that you felt uncomfortable about being told that you had booked a wedding without being consulted about it, that you didn't commit to the wedding, that they weren't prepared to accept the discounted price that you offered, that they haven't replied to your queries within a reasonable timeframe, and haven't sent you a contract, therefore don't feel you need to bend over backwards to do them a favour, then they may not be happy about that, but ought at least to get the message that you are the one that feels aggrieved. Even if sister in law doesn't get the message, other members of the family ought to.
    If you make up some excuse about having some other commitment or whatever, family may get the impression that you backed out after committing yourself.
  27. John's non-advice is very good - get the SIL on the phone ASAP - and talk to her - find out what is going on...
    My business law instructor in college used to say - "There's no feud like a blood feud...." and he's been proven right over and over again.
    The risk to you at this point is two fold -
    1) you follow your gut and the advice of most on here and walk away - what do you gain? What do you lose? - You gain the freedom from a long trip, for a wedding with a couple that you don't know, who didn't engage you to do their wedding photos. You lose the relationship with your sister-in-law - and perhaps put a wedge between you and your spouse - depending on his relationship with his sister... At best family gatherings will be a bit awkward for a while...
    2) You risk the possibility of being brought to small claims court for the cost of the photographer that they end up getting... As John pointed out - whether you have an agreement or contract or not will and can vary by court and jurisdiction. You roll the dice with some judges - and sometimes you win - other times you lose...
    This is not advice - but what I would do....
    Call my SIL - tell her that 1) I need the contract signed by her and back - immeadiately - along with the ticket and hotel confirm number... If there is a delay in payment or a problem with the fees - let's talk about that and deal with it... Ask her if the bride and groom (and their family are OKAY with me doing the photography... She may not have even consulted with the bride and groom before offering a photographer (I've had that happen before). If they are not okay with it - then there is an out... use it... If they are okay - come to an agreement with SIL - about a) signed agreement, and b) payment. If SIL doesn't want to sign - I explain to her that I do not do any work without a signed contract.
  28. Normally, I'd say you need to stick to your guns and get the signed contract or decline the wedding. However, with family involved, everything changes. I agree with Marc Williams. If you want to be able to 'live' with your brother and sister in law from now on, you need to shoot the wedding, even if you don't have the signed contract.
    You can still do everything possible to get the signed contract before the wedding, but I would not threaten to walk or decline shooting the wedding. If the signed contract does not appear to be coming, have a talk with your sister in law. Explain your discomfort, repeat how you are not making much of a profit, if any, and nicely remind her that you are doing the wedding for the sake of your relationship with her and your brother. But get on the plane and shoot the wedding, regardless.
    I am shooting a wedding on June 4 (I am in Northern California), but let me know where your wedding is. I may be able to help you by providing information or something.
  29. All correspondence has shown that a contract is conditioned on the existence of a signed contract.​
    All we were told was "I emailed the B with my wedding contract that had all the details of what they would get for the price being paid and let her know that I needed to her and her groom to sign right away so that I could also forward it to SIL and her boyfriend to sign and get me my required deposit" and "I always sign last and let them know it's not a done deal until I have the deposit". Where's all this correspondence showing a "signed contract" is prerequisite to being bound? Merely saying you 'need' it for some purpose other than creating the obligation isn't the same as noticing a party that it is a perquisite for an obligation to be created.
    Arguably no contract exists but declaring it as such doesn't make it a sure thing. Especially when the grounds cited in support are factually incorrect as seen here. Also, on another issue, we weren't even told that a deposit is a prerequisite to be bound. Merely that it is required. No date is given so it could be tendered at any time. Like just before the wedding.
  30. It's not a question of legal risk, there isn't any at this stage. The legal risk starts if the OP agrees to go ahead and shoot the wedding. It's a question of family relationships. And what the OP wants to do.
    Shannon is probably in the best position of any of us to judge whether going ahead and shooting the wedding is more likely to do harm to family relations than not shooting it. Family relationships include Shannon's own feelings, it's not just a question of what sister in law thinks. Probably damage has already been done to family relationships just by the fact of Shannon being put in this position. Other members of the family might also be annoyed if they have seen what is going on. Going ahead and shooting the wedding isn't necessarily going to be good for family relationships.
    And what if the friend of the sister in law isn't happy with the results for whatever reason, rational or irrational. What if the bride/groom are demanding and unreasonable? Her actions so far aren't very promising. What if the friend wanted some different types of photos from the ones you give her, and tells everyone she's unhappy, or complains or even sues you for some reason? What if sister-in-law thinks that despite all the discounts, you are still overcharging, and feels ripped off? What if you don't forgive your sister-in-law? What if other members of your family see what happened, and blame your sister-in-law for taking advantage of you? None of that will be good for family relationships.
    To me, there look like too many risks to family harmony in going ahead. And ultimately: do you want to?
    But only Shannon can really assess the dynamics of relations in the situation.
  31. To repeat; get out now! You haven't even gotten to the post production complaint period yet. Even if you are the veritable Rembrandt of photography, you won't even recognize how bad the photos are until you are told by the SIL and the B&G. Not to mentioln the Bride's mother.
    This is nothing but a disaster on its way to happening.
    My advice comes from many years as a practicing lawyer. When people are extra picky and annoying going into a contract, they are worse when the work is completed.
  32. Just to clarify, my SIL is the sister of my husband. Their relationship is not stellar and I'm not that close with her or their family. However, I don't want to purposely create a problem. I just am feeling taken advantage of and want to draw the line somewhere. I believe I did more than bend over backwards and they still expect more which is incredibly rude.
    I had/have no intentions of making up any stories to back out. I would do it based on the factual reasons only and just trying to decide how to approach it politely but firmly as possible.
    Nadine, the wedding will be in Auburn. I would like to fly into Sacramento since flights cost less into that airport but I am waiting for, yet again, more info from my SIL (who lives in Marin) on if they are driving up there the friday night before the wedding or the morning of since they would be picking me up at the airport. I am hoping for friday night because I prefer not to fly in and have to instantly get started but I'll do what I have to if this deal goes through.
    Again, I truly appreciate all of the input you all have provided. Extremely helpful! :)
  33. John, my last post sounds like I'm trying to contradict you - I wasn't trying to do that, I hadn't seen yours when I posted mine.
    We could get into a happy discussion of why we think there is/isn't a legal risk - for a whole host of reasons I really don't think there is any risk at all yet, judging from what the OP has described. There will be legal risk however if Shannon signs up.
    But I think it would be a diversion from the real issue: the family relationships one.
  34. Simon -
    Not to hijack the thread - but if Shannon has a signed contract and payment in hand - her legal risk is greatly reduced IMHO.
    She (and other parties) are then bound by the legal terms (and limitations) of the contract - not by he said / she said things - and not by relationships and friendships.
    The risk of her signing on at this point is that she ends up with a "picky" client - and that client keeps asking for or demanding re-do's / re-edits / extra copies / etc.... None of which we have been given any indication that the couple will be - other than the couple or SIL (I forgot which) saying that the OP's fee was a bit higher than they expected to pay for a package - and that perhaps none of her packages where exactly what they (couple) wanted.
  35. if Shannon has a signed contract and payment in hand - her legal risk is greatly reduced IMHO​
    I meant that if Shannon decides not to go ahead, tells the B&G and SIL that she doesn't want to shoot the wedding and won't sign the contract, and she doesn't in fact shoot the wedding then pragmatically there's no legal risk. If she goes ahead and signs the contract, and agrees to do the wedding, she always has a real legal risk, contract or no contract - eg. she could be sued for not doing a good enough job, or because she broke her leg and couldn't turn up, or because the images were destroyed by a thunderstorm etc. etc.
  36. Shannon, if you're not putting a favorable relationship at risk in the first place, get out now. Run for the hills. There's a real problem when family hires you to do something. I call it "Powdered Butt Syndrome" which means if someone powdered your butt when you were a kid, they can never think of you as a professional anything. Same principle applies to the "A prophet is not without honor save in his own land." This actually applies even more so to in-laws and other indirect family members, for some reason. If you are a family member, you automatically can be taken for a ride and not treated as a professional. That professional distance, no matter how "close" we get with the bride and groom on their wedding day and beyond, must still exist. Your SIL has shown pretty clearly that she does not respect you and your professional entity - do you think it's going to get better when the photos are delivered? What about the forty-eight retouches she is going to hound you for without giving you anything for your time? Family "favors" are nothing but a time-suck. They don't respect your financial business considerations, what makes you think they will respect your time considerations?
    Run, Forrest, Run!
  37. I havent read all the comments, so I'll only give my immediate reaction, because I've been caught in the same kind of trap (my own fault).
    It sounds like you have definitely dug yourself into a hole.
    Having to justify things when you know people are going to get all bent out of shape (and you just KNOW they will, right?) is a real PITA.
    Going ahead and doing the job might be a real pain in the a$$ as well, but I would suggest you do this:
    - Figure out if the trip is going to be profitable. If not, then maybe you can put across a good argument for not doing it.
    If you're going to make poor money or even if it becomes an expense, maybe just turn around your thinking and tell yourself it's a vacation and you're doing a favour. Then resolve to have a really great time and a change of scenery and throw yourself into it.
    - Learn to recognise the 'favour' jobs a bit earlier if you can (they can sneak up on you!).
    - Smack your SIL and tell her not to put you in the same position again.
    - Get the paperwork sorted, of course! :)
  38. They want a budget photographer, so provide them with a budget wedding. If, for some reason, you need to *rent* equipment and do the wedding as a favor to your sister-in-law, you need far more advice than anyone on Photo Net can muster up.
    Those that must have a Porsche for the price of a VW....should not seek *budget* wedding photographers.
  39. We could get into a happy discussion​
    Indeed. But I agree there is substantially more risk going forward and legal risk now is questionable. The details are somewhat vague. Anyway, I would offer the quick deadline in this scenario (not that I would permit the situation to arise in the first place) largely because I agreed in principle to do it and left the door open for these delays. It would provide one last chance for the relatives to get their act together.
    That said, others say they would pursue another course and they seem well within the bounds of sound reason. Is a very sketchy situation. There may be no one best answer. Time is not on Shannon's side. Whatever course is pursued, a decision must be implemented soon.
  40. Hi Shannon: To keep peace in the family, I suggest this: Tell SIL to send you airline ticket, pick you up at the airport and pay for the hotel rooms and any meals. Also tell her the cash amount she needs to pay you. If you have no contract with B&G, you have no responsibility to them. Provide them with whatever you think appropriate. Do not think of this as paid job but a favor to your SIL. If you do not care to do her a favor then just decline by giving a plausible reason. You will need to give a reason for SIL to save face with B&G. Sandy
  41. Sandy; I hate to contradict but there is a responsibility to the B&G. This would be a "third party beneficiary contract" which can be enforced by the "real" beneficiary.
  42. No matter what happens, let us know how this plays out, what a soap opera.

    Good luck
  43. There is plenty of time for them to find a $500 photographer. I wouldn't touch this wedding with a ten ft (or longer) pole. Neither of the parties value you or your business. Walk away. No - RUN away!!!
  44. Do not think of this as paid job but a favor to your SIL​
    Another thought. I don't know of course, but I think it's very likely that the SIL thinks that she is actually doing Shannon a favour. She probably thinks that $500 is a crazily high amount of money for turning up and snapping a few pictures. She probably think that any hesitation on Shannon's side is ingratitude. If Shannon goes ahead and does it, SIL will probably think that Shannon really owes her one now.
    Just another reason to avoid the whole thing like the plague.
  45. Please consider being involved in letting this wedding go.
    Do you know or can you research a good wedding photographer in the local area of the wedding location to see if there is a wedding photographer who can step in and do a nice job in your place.
    It can be important to you, as a professional wedding photographer, to see this debacle to a conclusion. If you have to shoot the wedding then do so and take the lose like a man (smile) and if you can find a local photographer to do the wedding then you've gracefully backed away.
    It's better, for you, imo, as a pro photographer, to see this through to the end and count your lessons learned. Do the right thing ... you've learned a set of valuable lessons so you might actually be indebted to the sil and the wedding couple. Give thanks and move on.
  46. Send written notice NOW declining the job to the B&G and the SIL. Don't even think about walking into this swamp.
  47. Hi all,
    I thought I would pop in and give you an update as to what happened with this situation.
    I took the advice of some and gave them a deadline of 4/30/11 to provide the contact and deposit and expressed my concern with the lack of response as well as the fact that I felt I had been more than accomodating with no respect in return. At that time my SIL apologized for the delay and said she understood my frustration. She also informed me that it was not her paying and that it was her boyfriend and the groom paying and that she would letting them handle it from then on out. I let her know that I wish I had that information in the beginning because I would have then dealt with them only.
    I didn't hear from anyone for a week or until after the deadline so I respectfully declined the job. I did provide a referral as well as suggestions on how to find a student or first year photographer but received no response. I did see on Facebook that my SIL had posted a desperate request for anyone that knew a great photographer for her friends wedding. I don't know if they've found anyone to date as I haven't heard from her. However, I am relieved to not be doing this wedding. I just think the whole situation would have continued to be unorganized and probably chaotic - which is not a situation I want to be in if I don't have to be.
    Thank you again for all of your advice and opinions. Much appreciated!
  48. Whatever your religion, check with your spritual advisor for a prayer of thanks for having managed a narrow escape. Utter it and go on with your life.
  49. "I would feel bad that the B&G had to scramble to find another photographer"
    Why? They do not appear that concerned about their wedding Photography, why then, should you?
    The cheaper or free-er wedding photography becomes for the bride, the less your time and talent are valued.
    Decline - they can find someone local for $500.00 who will do it on the drop of of dime and give them exactly what they deserve.

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