Post # 1
I met this photographer at my cousins wedding this past January, She was really friendly and seemed to be very attentive to detail ( I liked that) So after the wedding the photographer and I exchanged contact info in hopes of getting together to photograph my upcoming wedding. We talked back and forth (via email) for about 2 weeks. I wanted to meet with her to view some of her final products ( aside from the website) But she had none!.. That was strange to me, Being that photography is her career (this should have been my first sign) She insisted on ordering her proof book so that I could view her final product, I let her being that, that was all I was really requesting. So on Feb 1st we met at a local restuarant for lunch, She brought 2 canvans with baby photos and a little spiral proofing book with the same photos but on different paper and in different finishes. The photo paper was nice But I had become skeptical that she kept using the exact same photo on every page. I told her I wasn’t sure and would get back to her later (because of the whole book thing) she told me that this was all she could do on such short notice and ensured me that all of my wedding day photos would come out as nice as the 1 copied over in her book… To make things even better she offered me a referral discount which was half of the price of any package I picked. I thought that she had offered me a great deal, So I gave her $300 of her $583.00 deposit. She didnt have a receipt book or a contract (on hand) and promised to email me them both as soon as she got home. About 2 1/2 weeks later I got a contract in my email inbox, It had stated everything she promised and how much I still owed her. I was supposed to print & sign 2 copies and return 1 to her. I never did. I called my cousin ( the previous bride) to see if she had proofed her wedding photos (it had been 6 weeks so I was sure she had them by now) She said that she hated them and was so dissapointed that the photographer had missed so many special moments! So I called the photographer to get her intake on my cousin’s wedding photos. Obviously the photographer thought she had done a great job and said she "freelanced" the wedding because my cousin had no direction and did not know what she wanted. I kinda took offense to that comment but kept it to myself, I asked the photgrapher if I could view my cousins proofs for my own opinion and she allowed me to… The pictures were not at all what I expected them to be. Some were blurry and shot at the wrong angle, they did not look like a experienced photographer took the photos! So I emailed the photographer and asked for my money back, Now we are arguing back and fourth about my refund. She feels that I have no right to a refund even though I have not signed a contract…. Please advise me on what I should do. I feel like I am entitled to my $300 back and that she still has plenty of time to book someone else in my spot.
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2018 - The Desmond Hotel in Malvern, PA
I’m not really familiar with a lot of legal stuff, but I think you could take her to small claims court to get your money back. However, you really should never give someone a deposit unless you are signing something, so unfortunately you might be out of luck. You could threaten the small claims thing (after doing some research to see if this could really be a possibility) and maybe she’ll back down and return your money.
Sorry you went through this….. even if you do never see that $300 again, at least take solace in the fact that you figured out her work wasn’t up to par BEFORE your wedding and you can still hire another better photographer, since you will always regret having bad pictures of your wedding day.
Post # 4
lots of gray area here. I’m sorry you are going through this.
First I hope this is a lesson to all the ladies that if the deal sounds too good to be true, it is!!! Even when it comes from a referral. I have no doubt that this persons work is 100% crap but sometimes it’s hard to see that when the ‘it’s a good deal’ vibe is out there.
Depending on what state you are in, I believe that once she cashed that check of yours or received the cash, that became your bond for services. God, the fact that she was clearly so desperate for work, I mean, what vendor gives a ‘referral’ discount to the incoming clien!? That is at best reserved for the client that referred the work!!!! RED FLAG RED FLAG.
Check with a lawyer friend about what the state laws are. But you need to be prepared to just walk away from this minus your $300.
Post # 5
What a horrible story! I think mentioning "small claims court" would do a number on her. You might also want to mention "Better Business Bureau" or "Chamber of Commerce"……if she’s new and doesnt have a portfolio yet (which is what it sounds like) she probably wouldnt want her name in the mud this early.
But also, like glittergrl said, be prepared to walk away from $300. Some people just don’t have class and there’s nothing you can do about it! Good luck with everything!
Post # 6
I also wouldn’t be surprised if she spent the money and does have it to cough back up to you.
Like LovelyRita mentioned —- Your best bet is to let the photographer know that you will be taking the matter to your lawyer. If this hack doesn’t budge, have a legal friend write up a letter of retained services.
Post # 7
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Hi Ladies! Thanks for all your advice. After mentioning taking her to Small claims court and adding her company to the Better Business Bureau she has decided to refund my money … Once again, Thank you all for your help! And Good luck with all your future wedding plans!
Post # 8
Congratulations! That’s so great. Best of luck finding a new photographer. And for future reference, the main reason to write a deposit to someone like a photographer, who has no actual investment in materials specifically for your wedding, is to reserve their time. So unless they are tremendously in demand such that you’re afraid they will get snapped up for your date pretty quick, there’s no earthly reason to write a deposit check.
Post # 9
Would you mind postiner her name or company name so none of us bees fall into her trap? 🙂