(Closed) Might need legal help for wedding pics

posted 7 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: Can I sue her?

    Yes, you can sue her for the $400

    Yes, you can sue her for more than the $400

    No, legally you can't sue her

    She's family- drop it

  • Post # 34
    1140 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    @2strapscool: if you haven’t taken that route of going to see her in person, then I have to question it.

    Post # 35
    2478 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I’m sorry to say that what you are experiencing is one of the dangers of getting a professional job done by a complete amateur. Without a proper contract it is difficult to see how you have a case that would stand up. Over here you could try the Small Claims Court but without anything that purports to be a contract she could simply say she was a member of the family doing you a favour. Has she even got $400 to return to you and if you do get your money back, how does this actually help get what you really want, your wedding pictures?

    To be honest, it doesn’t sound as if she was ever trying to cheat you out of the photographs so I doubt that paying her on delivery would have helped get you your pictures. Instead, she sounds like a truly incompetent and scatty girl who hasn’t the faintest idea what she is doing. And waiting to be paid wouldn’t alter that. 

    Post # 36
    7367 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    You dont have much of a case, no contract, you gifted her the money. Its just a sad lesson to learn that business and family when it comes to weddings is always a risk. Sorry OP.

    Post # 37
    70 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    You could sue her in small claims court since the amount is small. It’ll probably take about $100 in filing fees and the court may consider the money a gift instead of payment, BUT it could make her take you seriously. A small claims court won’t grant you specific performance (make her fulfill her terms of the agreement-giving you your pics), but if she’s avoiding you altogether, it would make her appear. Keep in mind it’ll also likely REALLY piss her off and if you go through with it and win, the judgment will go on her credit and make it difficult to get a house or car.

    An out of court conversation would of course be better, but not having a written contract doesn’t mean you can’t sue.

    Post # 39
    784 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    View original reply
    @Ellicott:  I agree with contacting her parents.  Seems like the most effective method.

    Post # 40
    1609 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2014

    Only way to know for sure is to talk to an attorney.  If there was no contract signed I’m not sure what your options would be.

    Post # 41
    772 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2013 - Dalhousie Castle

    I wouldn’t think taking legal action would be worth all the hassle and upset for $400. If they are truly gone then they are kind of irreplaceable and $400 is not really going to make up for it. I would recommend going over to her place to talk to her in person to really get to the bottom of the situation. 

    If the photos are really goen your options are to try to track down the person that took the laptop, to get some of the best of the guest photos together for an album or do a bride and groom photoshoot? It’s not the same, but at least it would be something. 

    Post # 42
    4766 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Do you live close to her? I’d show up at her door, demand pics, but unfortunately it seems like she lost them.

    Sorry you learned a rough lesson a really hard way, it blows. I don’t think there is anything legally you can do, maybe try to get 400 dollars back, but you’ll spend more on legal fees.


    have you asked for the money back?

    Post # 43
    811 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    @2strapscool:  Ugh I’m so sorry you are going through this. Do you at least have some of the pics she posted on facebook originally? I think it would be a good idea to write her an email outlining how you feel and let her know that she needs to be honest with you. Would you have her do them again? Have her pay for the suit rentals?

    Post # 44
    621 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    View original reply
    @2strapscool:  Yikes. I am so sorry. In all honesty, she does not have these photos anymore. Something happened to them and she is too afraid to be up front about that. This is a terrible situation for you to be in and I hate it for you, but I think it’s important to start accepting that they are gone so you can start healing emotionally. If she had them she would have given them to you by now, if you’ve been asking for over a year. 


    You do not have any grounds to sue her – she is not a pro photographer, there was no contract, etc. There are so so many of these people running around out there taking money for jobs they can’t handle (i.e. a real professional, except under extreme circumstances, is going to make sure your images are backed up and not lost).

    I would recommend drafting a certified letter, which she has to personally sign for, that states the date by which you need to receive your images. If she does not deliver by that date you will be taking her to small claims court. She is 20 years old and this will scare the shit out of her and will give you a definitive answer – she will either fess up that she doesn’t have them and beg you not to take her to court/give you money back (though it sounds like she is broke and doesn’t have the money to refund you) or she will deliver the images. Either way you’ll get an answer and be able to move on without spending additional money and time actually going to court. 

    Post # 45
    838 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2008

    View original reply
    @2strapscool:  The contract was (if there was no written contract) that she’d do them for free. Therefore you have a case for zero dollars. Your $400 payment to her wasn’t a fee for her services, it was basically a tip.

    Post # 46
    3229 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    I think you need to ask a lawyer and not the hive since you are getting some really bad legal advise here.  Verbal contracts are legally binding and yes you can sue for more than the $400.  You can get the legal fees that you are charged for filing.  You could also ask the judge to waive the judgement IF she produces the pictures which if she was smart she would actually show up with them to court.  At least this is how it works in my state of California.  Go talk to a legal service there are plenty that will give you a free consultation.  Or you could find a law school program that may give you legal advice.  They have different organization to give advice as practice for the students.

    Post # 47
    621 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    View original reply
    @NovaRising:  Re-read the OP’s post. It seems pretty clear that they were shot for free and the OP gifted her $400 for doing it. Therefore the verbal contract is for $0. What most of us are saying here is that it is just not worth it to go to court over – this 20 year old (who mentions her electricity was cut off) probably can’t even pay back the $400 much less pay additional legal fees, even if court ordered. She could just as easily file for bankruptcy and the OP would be SOL. 

    The topic ‘Might need legal help for wedding pics’ is closed to new replies.

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