(Closed) Photographer totally broke our contract… What to do?

posted 10 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 32
Member
1269 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

I can’t speak for the others but I stated you waited too long because I personally, a year later, would want to let it go. 

Post # 33
Member
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

If the statue of limitations is four years, you didn’t wait to long. Personally this is what I would do:

– Shoot the guy an email outlining your concerns and offer a fair solution. 

– If he doesn’t respond well to the email or doesn’t begin negotiations you have two choices: Contact a laywer and get some advice. Don’t threaten him with legal action, whenever people do this it reminds me of the part of a movie where the guy has a gun pointed to whoever he wants to kill and instead of shooting begins explaining their whole diabolical scheme. Option 2: Let it go.

 You’re going to lose money on lawyer and court fees, but you’ll have piece of mind. It sounds like your photographer didn’t uphold the terms of your contract, but again, you need to have an actual lawyer review the contract and they can tell you how best to proceed.

 If I recieved a negative response from the first email- I would drop it. However, I would leave reviews on every single website I could (especially google) so people know what this person is about. When doing this make sure you’ve written reviews for other places as well because the buisness can have them removed. I left a bad review for a horrible vetrinarian’s office and last month. I looked a few days ago and they contested  numerous bad reviews on google. Mine was the only one that stuck because I review everything.

 

Post # 34
Member
1403 posts
Bumble bee

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@maureen9004:  Eh, is it really worth all that at this point?

Post # 35
Member
415 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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@summerhill:  When did he cancel the 2nd shooter?  Like was it day of? 

I have photographer friends (that are legit, not amateurs) and they sometimes start looking for “2nd’s” not until like a week before.  I wonder if he forgot to look for a 2nd, or he couldn’t find one in time.  

 

I personally would be telling him in a very detailed registered letter (like paper mail) that you did not receive a 2nd shooter as per the contract, and you are giving him a chance to correct his mistake or compensate you for the missed photography (maybe word it like he gave you 50% of the services for 100% of the price, aka you want 50% of the money back)…. and if he chooses not to, you will seek further legal action. 

You could go to small claims court and easily win.  Easily. 

The leaving early thing or detail shots… you won’t be able to win on those, because it is subjective.  But, fiar and square, you WILL win on the 2nd shooter issue.  Espeically if he did not clear it with you, or has documentation saying it might not happen.  

I would suggest you read the fine print of the contract before pursuing legal action, but if you find no “small print” things that will save his ass – I would go to court.  Especially if you paid like 5 grand.  

Post # 36
Member
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

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@USER876: It’s a personal decision.

 If it were me, I would have talked to him right after the wedding and left reviews if he dismissed me. Since the OP is just now thinking about it, it’s entirely up to her. I do think it’s good to leave reviews for this photographer- he can publicly respond and tell his side of the story. It’s hard for anyone to give advice when we can’t see the contract and don’t know what was said between the two parties. I don’t know how many times a client has told me I said one thing, but I know (and have proof) I said something totally different. This is why I really only work through email.

 

 .. And an edit to my last post, I meant ‘peace of mind” among other things. It’s been a long day.

Post # 37
Member
1403 posts
Bumble bee

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@jacinda10:  A second shooter is not worth 50% of the contract, esp if the photographer gave her a DVD of the images, prints, or albums,etc.  I don’t know what the OP paid, but typically a second shooter adder is small compared to the total, and in PA the going rate is around 250-500 depending on number of hours.  He may even of used free labor, students he was mentoring,etc.  It’s also hard to prove how much the second was worth since there is no adder advertised by the photographer or defined on the contract so it seems.

Also, unless it’s a team, typically the second shooter is paid in full directly by the couple on the day of.  This simplifies the lead photographers paperwork by not having to prepare taxforms because they didn’t work as an employee for them that day vs if they paid them out instead of you.

 

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