(Closed) Beware of Iconsphotography … NOT recommended

posted 10 years ago in Beehive
Post # 3
25 posts

Deposits are totally negotiable any part of a contract is negotiable actually. Deposits generally range from 10-30% of the total cost. $2000 is a pretty large deposit. There are a couple of things you can do. You should report him to the better business bureau and you can take him to small claims court. I think $2000 is still in the range of small claims. I know a few people whom have taken a vendor to small claims and had success.
We are working with a photographer on payments in thirds. 1/3 as a deposit, 1/3 on the wedding day and the remaining 1/3 when I receive my album and DVD. I want to insure that I am not waiting forever for the final project because they have all their money and don’t care that I am waiting.

Post # 4
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2008 - United Methodist Cathedral & historic downtown hotel in Cleveland

Generally, a deposit is just that: a deposit which would commit you to that date.  If you do not uphold your end of the contract (providing him work for that date) he keeps the deposit.  That is why vendors have you pay a deposit in the first place- to keep people from canceling on them at the last minute.  It’s also why you don’t pay the entire fee up front.  It is alsowhy he is entitled to keep the entire deposit.

Deposit amounts are often negotiable before you pay the deposit, not afterwords.  That’s something to keep in mind as you look at booking another photographer.

Post # 5
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

yeah.. $2000 is a big deposit which i was very hesitant as well to pay a ny photographer $1000 for his.  everything is negotiable and in the end, we went with a different photographer whose deposit was only $500 and local.  this way, we aren’t throwing that much money out if we do have to cancel.  i think now that you signed the contract and everything and want to cancel now, you may not be getting any of it back.  he did his job just not as well and that’s really not his fault.  you could have done more research on him before settling and that is neither here nor there.  i don’t mean to point any fingers. just stating an opinion.  anyways.. good luck in getting the money back if you can!

Post # 6
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2005

Does it say the words "non-refundable" in front of it in the contract?

Post # 7
3 posts

spring08bride – i booked Icons Photography as well, but have not worked with him yet. I will send you a PM.

Post # 8
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

You could take him to small claims court, you don’t need an lawyer for that it’s basically you giving your story and him giving his in front of a judge. Though you are entitled to representation if you wish to provide it for yourself.

But if the contract doesn;t actually say the deposit is non-refundable, then you have a loop hole already that won’t cost you a day in court. Maybe just a lot of arguing and phone calls.

Either way I’d contact BBB and just keep seeing what you can do to get it back!

Good luck! 

Post # 9
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Small claims court is a great option – generally the court will look really disfavorably on anyone who shows up without having first made any attempt to resolve the issue.  So just having him served notice by the court may result in you getting back your deposit in excess of services already rendered.  If you do have to go to court, its just a couple of hours of your time.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t make enough money that I wouldn’t take a half day off work to try to get over $1000 back.

Honestly, I have been to small claims court and its not difficult or time-consuming, and there is a good chance he’ll realize how bad his story will look and settle before the court date.  If you have already tried politely to get your money and he is not cooperating, I would go ahead and file – quite wasting your time.  How many hours are you going to spend arguing and just getting more upset?  It will take less time to file against him, even if you actually have to go to court.

Post # 10
471 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

If it says the deposit is non-refundable, I think you’re out of luck.

Post # 11
2030 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Rather than lose your deposit, can you reduce his services to equal $2,000? Will he agree to perform an amount of work equal to your deposit, then you can hire an additional photog for the wedding day? Or can you ask him if you can sell your contract to another bride, so she pays the remainder of the balance and you get a portion of your deposit from her as well?

Post # 12
168 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Don’t give up.  Send a written letter via certified mail demanding that he return the balance of the deposit, minus what you owe him for the engagement session.  Include in the letter that you are paying him for services rendered, but that you do not believe he has done what he’s supposed to in a timely manner.  Detail a list of all of your complaints, including his non-responsiveness to phone calls (state dates and times) and other failings.  Say that you are terminating the contract due to his failure to address your complaints.  Threaten legal action if he does not return your deposit.

It’s very important to do this in writing.  It makes him understand that you are serious about this and that you are willing to pursue this aggressively.  It will also provide a written record in case you do need to go to small claims, but if you are diligent about it (and document everything) he will likely prefer to refund your money than fight it out in court.

Post # 13
212 posts
Helper bee

it also helps to get delivery confirmation or send stuff via certified mail.  i had a dispute with my landlord (over him not fixing my roof that caved in) and i moved out – breaking my lease.  i basically documented everything, told him that if no resolution is reached, i would take him to small claims court.  we settled.

Post # 14
6 posts

the key is the contract. look over it and see what it says…

Post # 15
1 posts
  • Wedding: September 2002


I recently had my wedding photos done by Icons Photography, and I was very much satisfied with the service and professionalism. He was recommended to me by a close girl friend as well. I’m not sure why you had such bad service regarding his work. I’m not a person who likes traditional types of wedding photos, and I wanted it to be unique in an artsy fashion. His photos reflected all I was looking for, and I was extremely happy with the outcome. Good luck and hopefully everything works out for you!

Post # 16
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2003

To the OP, I’m a full-time photographer and might be able to help.

If your deposit was a huge chunk – say 50% or more – you have a decent chance of getting some back in court even if it does say "non-refundable." Now, you are going to have to show that your photographer didn’t live up to his contract. This might be the difficult part. Simply saying "I’m firing him because he didn’t give me good pictures" can likely come across as you simply changing your mind – it can be seen as too subjective a matter – which won’t really do much in a court of law. But like I said, unless your pricing was around $8,000 or higher, your deposit is quite high. My deposit is a non-refundable $500, and that’s fairly average for the San Diego area. A judge could potentially see it as an unreasonable deposit and grant you some of the deposit back – so long you can provide some good evidence for your case.

Feel free to message me with your details – how much he charged, what you feel he didn’t deliver, your wedding date – if you want my my objective assessment 🙂 Sorry about your troubles… Don’t let it affect the fact that you’re getting married! Congrats!

Bobby Earle

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