[News] WTF!? Another Reason I Won't Shoot Weddings.

It's no secret, I hate shooting weddings. I've always felt that way and then Lee took me on an actual wedding gig and confirmed two things. 1) I really do hate shooting weddings and 2) I'm pretty shitty at it. They are way too much work, way too many creative restrictions, way too little lighting options and way to many guys and gals running around with cameras, far better than mine, pretending to be photographers. Don't even get me started on the potential for having to deal with bride-zillas. And now this story caught my eye, where a client is suing a studio for missing the last 15 minutes of his wedding. Sounds reasonable, you say? Well get this: not only was the wedding done in 2003, but the client is also divorced and is suing to have the whole wedding reinacted for $48,000 plus the original $4100 fee. Studio owner Dan Fried says that the cost of defending themselves in court has already matched the sum demanded by Remis (the client), and calls the case “...an abuse of the legal system.” I can't wait to see all your comments on this one, so leave them below.
 
via [NewYorkTimes] [PetaPixel]
 
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49 Comments

Previous comments
Randy Richards's picture

"An abuse of the legal system" is quite right. I hope I never have to encounter a client like that.

Garrett Graham's picture

I have shot one wedding and participated in a few others and I do find them challenging. I don't think photographers charge enough for weddings most of the time. The other problem is you might find your self competing with Tom, the guy who just bought a XSI package at Best Buy this weekend and told your potential client he can do the whole thing for $100.00. It is hard to do weddings and I totally respect those who do it and do it well.

Kenn Tam's picture

I agree.  Lee and Patrick are a couple of guys who do it well and they do it with a smile.  They always look like they are having so much fun at weddings.

Jayge Dreier's picture

I also hate photographing weddings. I hate what wedding photographers have turned the whole industry into. Now every bride and groom expect me to "take photos at a park, or an urban building" or someplace similar between the wedding and reception. Why would you want to go out of your way to take photos at some abandoned building or in some park in the middle of the afternoon? Only cause everyone expects to now. Screw that, just let me capture your REAL wedding day. Not some contrived memory that might look cool on a photographers blog. 

I also like having weekends off :) 

What's lame is that he opened the door for other sue happy people that will make our lives a living hell whether he wins or not? Unfortunately there are those types out there that will always try and find a loophole. I don't mind helping a buddy out and being a second shooter but I am definitely rethinking being the main in the whole wedding photography thing and for now and just sticking with bands and models. The last thing I want is to get sued over not shooting the grooms brother because he was at the bar getting his drink on early. Yea no thanks.

Björn Terlegård's picture

I love shooting weddings! Theres so much going on and you make tons of new friends every time. I will be in charge and decide where and what to shoot. Complete freedom and perfect if you are creative and like to make things up as you go along. I think talking to your couple before the wedding about what kind of photography you do is key. If they dont like your style they shouldnt hire you. There, wedding photographers out there, be encouraged ^^

Marko Ditkun's picture

I shoot weddings because I like the money.

Its the photographers fault for not having a contract with terms that cover his ass

Lane Shurtleff's picture

This case has been so overly exploited on the internet. Everyone needs to get the facts from both sides and not make judgements. Remis tried to correct the failure on H&H Studios part, but was completely ignored.

I used to shoot weddings years ago, this is why I don't waste my time any more.

The law is LEGAL, not LOGICAL.  Here's the remedy.  Legal Insurance!!!  It wouldn't have cost this photographer nearly as much if he had a "LegalShield" membership.  I can help him & anyone else.  Here's my site to learn more.

https://www.prepaidlegal.com/MS/Multisite?site=hub&assoc=mauriocrawford

I'm a photographer also.  Nothing to fear! I do weddings, but if I ever ran into this problem I have a team of attorneys ready to handle it for me.

he only missed 15 minutes so the photographer should only reimburse those 15 minutes.

Shannon Wimberly's picture

thats what insurance is for..... I am insured for a million dollars.....

Chuck Carver's picture

I agree with all of you who have said that this is an abuse of the legal system. The judge should have thrown it out, since Remis never paid the full balance of the money due to H&H. It would be one thing to restage a couple of dances at the reception, but the whole thing, never.
 The bigger question is why? They are divorced now, who would want to go through all of that with someone that they have divorced?
Does Remis need the money that badly? Why doesn't his daddy just give it to him, rather than saddling someone within his firm to spend the time on this?

It's a wonder that Mr. and Mrs. Remis are no longer.

I've shot over 3K weddings and choose to not do them any more. This is one of the reasons, life is to short for stuff like this.

Henry Orth's picture

Well - Lee and Patrick, I'm with you guys.  I happen to love weddings!  I love the risk, the adrenaline rush and the creative challenge in making the photographic memories better than the actual event but not equal to the love and dreams that are the hope of almost every couple that marries.  

I value marriage, friendship, children and friends - doing this I get the privilege of documenting the things I value the most through imagery and art that reflects the hopes of the event and not just the events itself!

It's not for everyone - but I love it!  As for the crazy guy suing - that sucks!!!  I carry a two million dollar policy with a one million dollar limit per event. Up to four are covered per event and includes other items such as rented equipment (with limits), hired autos, non-owned autos.  Also covers $30,000 worth of personal equipment damage or theft ($500 deductible).

Henry Orth
www.orthphotograpahy.com

p.s.
Just checked with my insurance and it DOES NOT cover errors and omissions - oh s#i$ so I will be looking to get a new policy or add to this one!!!  I also carry pre-paid legal (ARAG) and will check with them to see if they cover me on this?!?

@they cover me on this?!? = SOL. Creative process is not insurable. Defining parameters of obligations would cover you contractually but has to be very specific. In respect to the "last 15 minutes", when is that in a wedding? At 2 or 3 in the morning when the bride and groom have finally left? Determine start and finish times and allow an agreed window of delay (helpful if you have a couple of gig's lined up in the same day) and the primary events and specific people that the client expects to be recorded.

Henry Orth's picture

ARAG does not cover this either - damn!!! 

Never trust a man with micro small lips.

I'm surprised that there wasn't some sort of clause in the contract for this. Something along the lines of a refund of fees for any technical or data loss problem. It also doesn't say what the photographer was doing to miss the time. Was it a tech issue? Staff meals? Maybe hired up to a certain time that ended prior to the end of the wedding?  But I suppose this is an unforeseen event for the photographer. 

I had a nasty situation happen recently: through my own error I lost the last 20 mins of the wedding which unfortunately included the cake cutting and toss. The bride got about 900 beautiful photos for me but she went ballistic and started threatening emotional damage etc. I could see where that was heading. She wanted 100% of the fee back "or else".
Fortunately I have a lawyer and insurance so I countered 50% and settled. Not fun.