Photographer not following through

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10042008Bride Posts : 82 Registered: 9/11/07
Photographer not following through
Posted: Nov 5, 2008 2:38 PM

I need some advice and to vent a little.  The photographer that I hired for my wedding had just started out when I met with him.  He had done about 6 weddings before which I got to see whole albums for and they were great.  However, he didn't do contracts which kind of concerned me at the time but I loved him from the minute I met him and felt like it would be okay. 

At the original first meeting he told me that I would get the CD of wedding pictures 2-3 weeks after the wedding.  Great!  The night of the wedding when he was leaving he told me a week or so.  Well, it's been almost 5 weeks since the wedding and still nothing.  He did get my pics put up on his website but just last Thursday after 2 weeks of me hounding him.  He told me on Thursday that he would bring the CD by on Friday.  Friday came and went.  I called him, no response.  On Monday I called him again and he answered and I asked what was going on, where's the CD?  He blamed it on work on Friday and said he would bring it by on Tuesday.  Well, Tuesday came and went with still no CD.  I called him when I got off from work yesterday and he didn't answer.  He had the nerve to send me a text message back that said he'd had a minor car accident while voting.

 I hate to say this but I do not believe him.  When I responded to the text, I didn't get anything else.  I'm starting to freak out that I may never get my wedding pictures and I don't know what to do.  I'm tempted to go in to his regular job  and make a scene but I'm not sure that would solve anything and may just prolong what's already going on.  I know that I should have made him sign a contract but it's too late for that now.

 Any advice? Thoughts?

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MagicalMomentsP... Posts : 742 Registered: 3/6/06
Re: Photographer not following through
Posted: Nov 5, 2008 2:54 PM Go to message in response to: 10042008Bride

While you don't have a written contract, you do have an oral contract.  Those are much harder to enforce but it can be done.   The first step would be to write a fact based, unemotional letter to your photographer.  Unless your photographer disputes your letter, it becomes written documentation of your oral contract.  Make sure you include what you paid and what products you should receive in return.  The concluding paragraph of your letter should say something like "If I don't receive xyz by November 26, 2008, I will have no other alternative but to take additional steps to enforce our agreement."  If all you are missing is a disk with the files, three weeks should be sufficient to produce and deliver it to you.  Once your letter is complete, send it to your photographer certified return receipt mail.  Hopefully upon receiving the letter, your photographer will step upto his responsibilities and get you what you are due.  Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance or you have more questions.

Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer

Magical Moments Photography


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10042008Bride Posts : 82 Registered: 9/11/07
Re: Photographer not following through
Posted: Nov 5, 2008 3:17 PM Go to message in response to: MagicalMomentsP...

Thanks for your reply Howard.  You know, I don't even have an address for this photographer.  I'll get to digging.  Thanks!

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MagicalMomentsP... Posts : 742 Registered: 3/6/06
Re: Photographer not following through
Posted: Nov 5, 2008 4:13 PM Go to message in response to: 10042008Bride

If you have his phone numbers you can do a reverse lookup on most of the on-line phone directories.  For a cell phone you may have to pay $15.00 for the address associated with the number but the information is out there.  If worst comes to worst, you did mention you know where he works.  As a last resort, you can send the letter to his place of employment.

Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer

Magical Moments Photography


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ispwp Posts : 15 Registered: 9/17/08
Re: Photographer not following through
Posted: Nov 7, 2008 4:03 PM Go to message in response to: MagicalMomentsP...

I'm sorry you've having to deal with this! Unfortunately there are many new and inexperienced wedding photographers out there who don't have a track record of customer service. And as I'm sure you're found out, when you don't have a contract it can lead to misunderstandings.

While I would assume none of this was intentional on his part, he may have just been overhwlelmed by the post processing required by today's professional digital equipment. But that's no excuse for charging you money and not delivering. It can't hurt to first try the formal, unemotional, fact-based letter and see if he responds. If not, then you may have to consider small claims court. 

One other option is to Google his name and see if his other former clients posted anything about him online. Perhaps you can find more clues about him or even how other people resolved their issue. Good luck!


Joe Milton, ISPWP

International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers

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10042008Bride Posts : 82 Registered: 9/11/07
Re: Photographer not following through
Posted: Nov 7, 2008 5:14 PM Go to message in response to: ispwp

Thank you to both of you for your help. He actually brought the cd's to me at work today.  His customer service skills suck.  He never called me back but at least I have the pictures now.  I will not be referring anyone I know to him.  Thanks again.

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