(Closed) Breaking up with my photographer- advice please!

posted 4 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 2
577 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969 - City, State

I think the only reason you should feel bad is not because you want to cancel, but because you want some of your deposit back.  Let your photographer know you’ve decided to go in a different direction, and leave it at that.  The deposit is rightfully his.



Post # 3
108 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I don’t think you should expect any of the deposit back. Just email him and say you would like to terminate the contract and thank him for his time.

Post # 4
6311 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

View original reply
niiina027 :  You should not expect to get any money back and honestly I think it would be laughable if you even asked. Not only are you breaking your contract, but he’s also aready booked travel to come out and shoot your engagement session. Yes I totally know he happily agreed to come out at no additional fee for the session, but I’m sure that’s when he was under the impression he’d be making his entire package fee.

Speaking as a wedding photographer there’s nothing wrong with deciding you’d rather go another route. We as photographers take what we do and our style seriousy….we’d never want to work with a client who preferred someone elses work over ours. That being said, you signed a contract and agreed to the terms of a non-refundable retainer. The retainer paid is his and he would be dumb to even consider giving you any sort of a refund.

I constantly see these posts pop up on the bee about people who want to cut ties with {insert vendor here} and try to get money back. That’s the whole point of a contract!

Post # 5
314 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

You say the deposit is nonrefundable and then ask if you should ask for it back…? You said yourself it’s nonrefundable.

Post # 6
9990 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Nonrefundable means nonrefundable.  You can break the contract, but that deposit is his for the the trouble. 

Post # 7
10283 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

I don’t understand why he would have offered to fly out there for free to shot an engagement session. That’s super weird, and unprofessional. Is he new in the business? 

At any rate, in addition to PP’s point about contracts, I would feel very awkward canceling with someone who has already paid for airfare to shoot an engagement session. I wonder if you are willing to pay his travel fees if he can’t get them refunded in full? There’s a lot going on here and potential for issues, so I would be prepared to pay his travel fees in full in addition to the deposit. 


Post # 8
2544 posts
Sugar bee

Legally you can’t get the deposit back, and I wouldn’t ask for it. That’s the whole point of deposits – to protect the business owner. He’s put time into making arrangements, blocked off time that he could have used for other jobs, he might even have already used the money to purchase equipment he wouldn’t have otherwise etc. etc. Honestly I’d be crossing my fingers that he doesn’t ask you to cover his travel expenses in addition to the deposit. 

I know it’s a long way off, but if you weren’t sure then you should have held off on signing the contract. I know it sucks, but it’ll suck for him as well. 

Post # 10
15 posts
  • Wedding: April 2019

View original reply
niiina027 :  Don’t consider it a mistake!  More of a change in heart.  As long as you polietly tell them that you wish to terminate the contract… so be it! Cut your losses and move on.
* Make sure the other one is available first!!! lol

Good luck!

Post # 11
4795 posts
Honey bee

Read your contract to make sure you don’t owe him the entire contracted fee.

Post # 12
588 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

At least it is enough in advance.  I switched dj’s close to the date, maybe a month before, and the first dj got pissed!  He agreed not to charge me the whole amount and instead charged me half.  But I didn’t appreciate him screaming at me, I was planning a wedding not in the area where I live, so my time to meet with vendors was limited, and I hadn’t heard from him, and then when he did call me so close to the date he wanted to meet during the week, not sure why the area code didn’t tip him off that I couldn’t meet with him during the few hours that he apparently had open, and also the venue was private so I couldn’t just go there anytime and all my other vendors had arranged to visit with me – he hadn’t actually ever done a wedding there, and seriously I feel like he could have touched base with me much sooner.  But anyway, a contract was a contract and so we worked it out though I could have done without the yelling.  However I must say that he offered to give me the break of 1/2 price and not the full amount that he could have demanded, I would not have asked him to give me that break – the only break I would have appreciated would have been not getting yelled at but oh well.

Post # 13
345 posts
Helper bee

How did it go? I had to break up with a photographer prior to my first wedding (his engagement photos turned out to be not at all what I had been hoping for – this was 2010, before you could see a ton of everyone’s work on Instagram). He went psycho and threatened to show up at our wedding anyway! We didn’t ask for our deposit back and we paid him for the engagement photos and everything.

He kept sending me weird messages and leaving me voicemails saying “I am planning on coming anyway because I am your photographer!” We finally had to send him a cease and desist letter! 

I hope your breakup went better than mine! 

Post # 14
7 posts

We used the EventCha app for our wedding and crowdsourced everyone’s photos and videos – worked great! 

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