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Wedding photography can be quite tricky. There’s a lot riding on the photos coming out well, and that can heap a lot of stress on the photographer’s shoulders, even if they’re a professional. Once those pics are taken, what’s left is to edit and polish them, and to receive payment for all of that effort. You’d expect the happy couple to honor that agreement, r-right?
Unfortunately, not everyone keeps their promises. And redditor u/MostFitBobo can attest to that. The ‘semi-pro’ photographer turned to the AITA online community for their verdicts and wisdom after revealing how they deleted their cousin’s wedding photos after she didn’t pay for them. Check out the full story and the internet’s reactions as you scroll down.
Wedding photography is a tough line of work to be in, and it’s vital that the clients pay on time
Image credits: Orhan Pergel (not the actual photo)
One photographer shared how unwilling their cousin was to fork over the cash for her own wedding pictures
Image credits: Tranmautritam (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Anete Lusina (not the actual photo)
Image credits: MostFitBobo
Image credits: Elisa Ventur (not the actual photo)
The situation escalated after the bride found out what the photographer did
The wedding photographer, redditor u/MostFitBobo, explained that they had a clear agreement with their cousin. Namely, that she’d pay them after the wedding, before getting the pictures. Soon enough, the situation soured. The bride decided that she wanted to set up a payment plan but get the pictures ASAP.
Naturally, the photographer refused, wanting to stick to the original agreement. However, they were met with a wall of silence after they got to see a few samples of the pics. Eventually, the OP got fed up and decided that the entire situation wasn’t worth the hassle.
They’d saved the photos on their roommate’s flash drive and let him delete them when they needed the space. The photographer then sent the 20-or-so pics they had saved on their phone to their cousin, without charge, and explained the situation. This, however, may have been the wrong thing to do as the bride blew up and escalated the conflict.
“That was last month and I’m still getting flamed for this. She’s been slandering me online and it’s quite literally created a division between our families and to the point that our mums don’t talk now,” u/MostFitBobo wrote on the AITA subreddit.
Image credits: Ketut Subiyanto (not the actual photo)
It’s vital that photographers have proper contracts that iron out the details
Many redditors thought that the photographer was completely within their rights to delete the pictures. They had an agreement with their cousin, but she didn’t stick to it, so, she had no claim to the photos whatsoever. A few internet users, however, were confused as to why the OP didn’t keep more backups of the photos, just in case. Others thought that nobody was blameless in this situation.
You’d think that when it comes to family, one’s relatives would be more likely to keep their promises. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, as we just saw. The sad reality is that some people see their family members and their talents as something that can be exploited for free or at least far cheaper than hiring another professional. And while some people are happy to help (it’s family we’re talking about!), others understand that boundaries, professionalism, and contracts are necessary for healthy relationships. Especially when there’s money involved.
Ideally, all wedding photographers should sign contracts with the happy couple, detailing the entire flow of their work: what’s expected of them, what the timeframes for sending the photos are, what the payment will be, and when the money should be sent through. What really helps build a sense of trust is if there’s a focus on transparency, as well as a partial upfront payment for the photographer’s services.
‘Shoot Dot Edit’ urges photographers to communicate with their clients as professionally as possible if there are any delays in the payment. It’s important not to jump to conclusions too quickly, and politeness can be a very powerful tool in your arsenal. You could, for instance, cordially explain how late payments affect you as a professional and offer some alternatives, like paying slightly later or in installments. Enforce boundaries when needed but show some flexibility if you feel that it’s warranted.
Image credits: Unseen Studio (not the actual photo)
Photographers shouldn’t feel pressured to help out their family members for free
As we’ve mentioned before on Bored Panda, verbal contracts can also be binding, depending on where you live. So even if you don’t have a written contract, so long as both parties are open and transparent about the photo shoots at the wedding, and upfront about any doubts they might have, everything should go swimmingly.
Every photographer needs to decide for themselves whether they’re fine with doing favors for their family and friends (and whether they’ll do it for free). Essentially, you have to be very honest with yourself about what your goals and values are, and what decisions you’re likely to regret. If your gut tells you that you’d regret not helping out your relatives, then offer them your services.
Similarly, if your internal alarm bells are ringing because you have a sneaking suspicion someone you care about is using you, draw some gentle boundaries and back out of the deal. Just because you refuse to do your family a favor doesn’t mean that you don’t care about them.
In the meantime, when you’re out in the field as a photographer, it’s paramount that you take care of your health, too. You can’t ignore your needs. Remember to stay hydrated, bring a few snacks with you, and remember to wear a pair of comfortable shoes. You’ll be on your feet for the most of the day, so you need need to stay sharp!
Image credits: Thiago (not the actual photo)
The photographer revealed some more information about what happened
Some readers thought that the author was clearly in the right
Others, however, thought that everyone messed up, big time
Some internet users believed that the photographer was far from blameless