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Help? I shot my first wedding and I'm being threatened?

David Ross , Jun 13, 2012; 01:56 a.m.

Hello everyone. I need your advice and help. I shot my very first wedding and I made a ton of mistakes. I had "friends" who wanted to use me and I said I had never shot a wedding before. What I guaranteed were 10 fully edited (LR, Photoshop) photos an hour. I would not give them poor quality photos and they agreed to my conditions. I charged them $1200 total. Being that I did not have a DSLR, I spent the money renting a Nikon D800, SB900, and lenses. I wanted to create a contract but they did not want a contract. They would only pay cash. This should have been a red flag for me and I should've backed out. I did receive all of my money but here is what happened. Instead of 10 fully edited photos per hour, I was surprised that I was able to get 20 fully edited photos per hour. Other than this there are a lot of junk photos. Just 6 weeks after the wedding, the groom tonight threatened me. He is demanding every single shot that I took. I do not want to give him the poor quality photos. What should I do. Yes, I know I blew it on many levels but what do I do now. What do the pros agree to when shooting weddings? Do you provide the bride and groom with every single photograph that you shot. I was told not to do this as these photos could come back to haunt me.


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Denis Germain , Jun 13, 2012; 02:08 a.m.

because people own a DSLR...they claim to be Pros.
even worst... you rented one! and charged more money that the "mom with a DSLR wedding"....

Good Luck !

David Ross , Jun 13, 2012; 02:10 a.m.

I never claimed to be a pro. They knew very well my position. I was up front with everything.

Zane Johnson , Jun 13, 2012; 02:19 a.m.

He's threatening you in what way, exactly?

Michael Chang , Jun 13, 2012; 02:35 a.m.

David, you weren't clear about whether you've delivered the photos yet.

I think you have fulfilled your contractual obligations if you have delivered the 10 (or more) fully edited photos per hour. I don't think the groom is entitled to alter the terms of your agreement after the fact.

David Ross , Jun 13, 2012; 02:49 a.m.

Zane, I was approached at my job and threatened physically. I too don't think he is entitled to any more photos than our agreement but he is so pissed and abusive, I think I should just send him all of the photos and call it a day. There was no physical contract, only a verbal contract. I want to know what other photographers who are professional (unlike myself) would do in this situation.

Tom Mann , Jun 13, 2012; 02:59 a.m.


a) Had you agreed to give them every shot, or had this not come up in conversation? My guess is that the reason behind their request for all your shots is that they probably have completely lost confidence in your photographic skills and they may think that there are some gems hidden among your rejects that someone more skilled in post processing could "save". From that POV, their request is not as unreasonable as it might first appear.

b) In what way did the groom threaten you? physically? to sue you? bad-mouth you on Internet forums? etc.?

c) How much of the $1200 went towards equipment rentals? Do the B&G realize that equipment rental costs $$$?

d) To defuse the situation and extricate yourself from this mess, would you consider returning all of their money that didn't go to out-of-pocket expenses and just give them all your images?? IMHO, at this point, you have little to lose.

e) I'm sure you now realize this and don't need to have it rubbed in your face, but I am utterly flabbergasted that anyone could be so naive that they would assume they could rent a camera as complicated as a d700 and immediately get good pix out of it. I've owned two d700s since they first were introduced, use them for lots of event work, and I'm still learning how to best use them.

The best of luck,

Tom M

Peter Zack , Jun 13, 2012; 03:00 a.m.

Yes you made a ton of mistakes and you know that now. We'll leave that alone but it certainly is a message to all.
I assume you delivered all the photos you feel were 'good' and omitted the bad shots? If that is so, you've done your job. No one delivers the out of focus, poorly lit or mistake shots. No one. If he physically threatened you, do you have a witness? If so, take some of that $1200 and have a lawyer send him a letter that you will seek a restraining order if he contacts you ever again for any reason.

Soon as you have the letter sent out, go back to your day job.....

Steve Smith , Jun 13, 2012; 03:03 a.m.

Help? I shot my first wedding and I'm being threatened?

Statements or questions?

If so, take some of that $1200 and have a lawyer send him a letter that you will seek a restraining order if he contacts you ever again for any reason.

I wouldn't bother wasting any money on a lawyer. Just send a letter stating that you have taken legal advice and you will be persuing a restraining order if he continues harassing you. I think 'contacting you for any reason' is going a bit too far.

Michael Chang , Jun 13, 2012; 03:09 a.m.

" If he physically threatened you....have a lawyer send him a letter..."

Peter, the police will do that for free.

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