(Closed) No Show Photographer… What to do?

posted 10 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018 - The Desmond Hotel in Malvern, PA

I’m so sorry to hear that you had to deal with this.  What she did would be considered breach of contract (assuming you had a signed contract); I am not law-savvy, but I think you could take her to small claims court to get back your deposit and make sure that she gives you all of the proofs that she DOES have from the day.  It’s obviously a case of more than just breach of contract — she missed the most important event of your life that you can never get back.  She should have to pay for that and you should not have to lose a penny.

Post # 4
Member
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018 - The Desmond Hotel in Malvern, PA

And by the way, congratulations   Despite the photographer heartbreak, at least you’re married to your honey!!!!

Post # 5
Member
438 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

she should, if she was professional, give you your money back, and give you the pictures she did take.  I would imagine that the entire wedding the night before also got sick if that story is true….it seems very strange.  Its her reputation on the line, and if she wants to save it, she should give you everything she has and your money.  Contracts usually protect the vendor in cases like this – so that may not work out to your benefit….check it and see what it says.

Post # 6
Member
39 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Mrs Pom!!! OH NO! I am SO SORRY THIS HAPPENED!

First, I would shoot an email or call your guests and ask them to send any copies of the photos (via an online website you set up or ) or send you a CD of the pictures. That way you can at least compile some remnants of your day. Did you have a videographer? Perhaps you can take some of their stills? I AM SO SORRY!  Also, as for this photographer…I would 100% NOT pay the remainder of my balance. Check your contract for some kind of clause. There should be something in there that states you will pay "for services rendered" or for the specifc time frame you set. There may even be a vendor out clause which would say something along the lines of "if the vendor fails to show, provide services, etc you don’t need to pay. I would work something out and explain how they not only missed the majority of your event (and the most important part) but that it was completely unprofessional not to call or send a replacement or anything. I would definitely publicize who they are in forums like weddingbee so others are warned of their business practices. And finally, I would definitely report them to the better business bureau.

I am so sorry you were forced into a situation like this. It’s so hard to think about your day and how beautiful everything is and then begin to wonder if you will remember it as well in the future because you do not have the photos. My heart truly goes out to you! Just try to remember that your relationship and this new journey you’ve begun for you and Mr. Pom is all that matters. You were there, he was there, your families were there and it happened. Its hard not to have the photos, but hang in there!

Post # 7
Member
148 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

I’m so sorry to hear that!  Don’t pay her until you check the contract thoroughly.  That sucks, but stuff like that happens from time to time.  I’m glad you still managed to have fun 🙂

Post # 8
Member
601 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

My heart aches for you.

I’m so sorry.

I hope the reception photos are marvelous, and will bring you great joy.  I think what the photographer did was DEPLORABLE.  most photographers have a back up plan, cause life happens and things come up.  BUT TO NOT EVEN CALL YOU. I want to scream and shake that person for you.

I hope a lengthy apology comes from that person and they offer you lots of compensation- monetary and an additional photo shoot or two.

Please keep us updated! 

Post # 9
Member
202 posts
Helper bee

completely unprofessional on her part. that is so awful. i’m soo sorry to hear this happened. =/  the contract should have stated terms in the event that she is ill unexpectedly. either way, it should have said something along the lines of a substitute photographer in this case, or a refund. i would just talk to her about it all, that you are sorry to hear that was had gotten sick however, you are disappointed that you have no photographs of the getting ready, pre-ceremony and ceremony parts as well as having to give up time with your guests during cocktail hour; thus, you feel that she did not fulfill her end of the contract. hopefully, the contract mentioned specific times? either way, good luck!!!

you are married, and that is the happiest part!! 🙂 don’t worry about everything else, things that you can’t change right now. you’ll have plenty of times to take more meaningful photographs!  

Post # 10
Member
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I can’t even imagine the level of your disappointment right now.  However, she will hopefully have some great shots once she did show up so stay focused and do everything possible to get those high-res pictures.

Talk to her first before you go the legal route.  She would be an idiot to not want to work with you.  Tell her that you’d like to see the images that she has first.  If they are satisfatory to you, you can decide if you want to let her keep the 50% deposit in exchange for the pictures.  Then take your pictures elsewhere for the album production because you probably won’t really want to rely on her for anything at this point.

It’s definitely not about the 7 hours she committed to, it’s about capturing the moments, like you said.  Since she was extremely unprofessional, she needs to make good. Most photog contracts state that if your photog is ill, they will supply a similar-quality photog.  The responsibility was on her to find you a replacement photo if she was sick, not yours.

Best of luck, I hope you were able to enjoy most of your wedding regardless.  You married the man of your dreams and that’s most important.

Post # 11
Member
49 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2008

i’m so sorry to hear that!  i’m glad your wedding was fun and i’m sure you will have a lot beautiful shots to look back on.  if i were you, i would demand a price break or some deal thrown into the package, you shouldn’t pay for the full package. what’s fair, is only paying for the hours she was there for at a discounted rate. she was in breach of her contract for not being there for 7 hrs. good luck!

this happened to my friend but he called the night before the wedding and cancelled last minute.  he had the lamest excuse for not showing too – "really bad allergies" which is so ridiculous!  she paid and booked for this photographer 2 years in advance! i felt so bad for her.  luckily, that photographer sent a replacement and that photographer actually was pretty good.  this made me concerned about my photographer after i seen what happened to her wedding. my photographer cancelled and rescheduled our engagement session twice (on the day of).  so this really made me worried that i emailed them about my concerns. they tried to reassure me but you never know how things pan out until the day of.  like they said "anything can happen"… my wedding is in 3 wks & we finally took our engagement pix last friday. crossing my fingers for the wedding! 

Post # 12
Member
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

I’m so sorry that happened to you! I make an appointment to meet with her. You flat out under no circumstances should pay her the balance. What she did was breech of contract. If she starts making a fuss about it I would start throwing around the terms better business bureau, local news station human interest story and law suit. I would then ask for the pictures she did take and at least a portion of the deposit if not the entire deposit returned to you. If she refuses, I would follow through with the threats. And honestly, as much as she doesn’t want a law suit, she doesn’t want negative publicity even more, so the first call I would make would be to your local news affiliate. And then I would post her name on your local here and at the Knot, regardless of whether or not she refunds your money. And then *I* would slash her tires, but that’s just me… Good luck and congratulations on your wedding!

Post # 14
Member
88 posts
Worker bee

wanted to add one more thing!

from this point forward, i would communicate through mail only. This way you have a paper trail, and she knows you are serious about taking her to small claims court if need be.

I would make the first communication a letter addressing every specific clause in the contract that she broke, what the contract outlined as the repercussions of that, and what you want from her (refund, digital files taken) to settle it.

I would rationally outline in a few sentences the impact that this had on your wedding and explain emotional damages that you and your guests suffered.

THEN i would send this letter through certified mail — again, she will know that you are very serious and you will have no doubts that she received it.

I have had very few instances of unpaid bills as a freelancer that weren’t solved through a stern certified letter! 

Post # 15
Member
30 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2008

I swear my family has a wedding photographer curse.  My parents photographer didn’t show up (he actually told them that he had a better offer). 

The photographer for my brother’s wedding showed up but then got sick halfway though the ceremony (as in puking over the side rails of the gazebo during the ceremony – the musicians finally pulled him out of the way).  They got very few professional shots of the ceremony and none of the reception.   

I was married 2 weeks ago.  Our photographer did show up but her performance was pathetic.  She was so slow that we didn’t get even half the pictures we wanted before we had to leave for the reception.  She sent us the proofs within a week with an apology letter and a refund as her pictures were horrible. She apparently had gotten some new equipment and hadn’t bothered to try it out before our wedding. All of the pictures of the ceremony are so dark you can hardly tell there is anything in the picture.  She tried to lighten them but they came out looking blurry and unnatural. 

I felt the same way you did – that I am missing out on all these wonderful photos of this incredible day.  I spent a few days in tears then started putting out the word to guests.  In the past few days, we’ve had several friends and relatives who have sent us their non-pro pics and many of them are beautiful.  

Put out the word about what happened and I’m positive you will find that you had some guests who had hidden photography talents and took some great shots that they can share with you. 

Post # 16
Member
218 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

gee i would be pissed off…mostly for the fact that she was so darn expensive.  My friend does wedding photos for half that w/ the same 7 hrs and pics on cd/dvd (and I still think it’s way too much).

I would definately not pay the remainning, and get all the copies of the pic…and maybe even get the depsoit back.

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