Sunbather 'Ruins' Wedding Photos by Refusing to Move Out of Shot: Who Is in the Right?

Sunbather 'Ruins' Wedding Photos by Refusing to Move Out of Shot: Who Is in the Right?

Photoshoots in public spaces are never without hurdles, particularly if they inadvertently involve members of the public. Case in point: the family whose wedding photo story is making headlines after they complained a female sunbather “ruined” their pictures after refusing to move out of shot.

Mark Ling, 49, and Mandy Cripwell, 35, got married on Saturday before heading to a nearby park, Tessier Gardens in Torquay, England, which happens to be a local hotspot for wedding pictures.

The groom’s son, Marcus Ling, recalls:

I went up to her and asked her to move and she pretended to be asleep. Later she was asked to move again by the limo driver and she did but she left her stuff in plain view. It's a well-known wedding spot where you have photos taken, so she would have known it goes on there. Half of Torquay have their wedding photos in that garden.

Another of the groom’s relatives, Natalie Ling, added, “She was surrounded by wedding guests, the couple were behind her and the photographer kept calling different people over for pictures — so she knew what was going on.”

According to the family, the predicament continued for 10 minutes before the sunbather decided to relocate, although apparently she decided to leave all her belongings where they were.

Naturally, we’re all aware how frustrating it can be when members of the public happen to be in shot. On the one hand, most sunbathers would have moved instinctively had they been surrounded by a camera crew and wedding party, intimidated by the size of the party and the prospect of being in shot. However, it seems the approach the wedding crew took of asking her to move rubbed her up the wrong way, and instead she decided to stay put. Noting the importance of their day, do you think the bride and groom had the right to take over the park? Or was the sunbather entitled to the space since she arrived first? Who was in the right here?

Lead image by Hisu lee via Unsplash.

Jack Alexander's picture

A 28-year-old self-taught photographer, Jack Alexander specialises in intimate portraits with musicians, actors, and models.

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Sunbather.. Shes actually doing what the park was designed for.

And the wedding couple is doing what the gazebo was designed for. WIN WIN

Gazebo was not designed for wedding photography.. The dark was designed for people to hang out in the sun and nature.

Sunbather. Stop acting entitled, sure it may have been nice of them to move, but they were inconveniencing her just as much as they felt inconvenienced.

EDIT: Just saw that there was a video. Any photographer worth a damn could have worked around her. Clearly this guy was having some issue?

The wedding party didn’t rent the space and thus had no more “right” to the location than the sunbather. Noting the location as a popular spot for wedding photos, or whether the sunbather “should have known this,” has no bearing on the argument. In fact, it makes the wedding party sound even more entitled had they said nothing. Public parks are first come, first served. It’d be no different if someone arrived to kick out the sunbather for a family bbq.

This is poor planning on the photographer’s part, plain and simple. Anyone arguing otherwise has narcissistic personality disorder.

I dont know why, but I have a strong feeling if the wedding photographer would have went over and chit chatted with the lady first, worked some charisma, then offered to help relocate her she may have moved. But at the same time as a way of apologizing to her ahead of time that it was about to get real busy over there due to the bride and groom having their heart set of having photo's there.

I just picture some bitch bridesmaid that is wearing a dress 3 sizes too small sayng "ummmmmm lady will you please move already your in the way" as first contact lolol

Of course the wedding photographer the right to ask her to move, and she had the right to stay put.
These professional photographers are no different than a food truck vendor setting up shop in the park without a permit. The park is made for everyone to use as a park, not a photo studio... They are doing business in a public place, so either work around the public or get a permit to reserve the area that you want to shoot in.
Or gripe about it on SM

Where do these “rights” come from? Legislation, or some vague invocation from “invisible” friends?

Are you drunk or did you not read what he wrote?

Yes, Legislation. Most parks are owned by the council and governed by bye-laws that prohibit commercial use (such as a professional photographer using it as their studio) without permission.

I am quite surprised by everyone here, what about just being nice to each other? I would have certainly moved, it is really not that hard.

I dont know how they originally approached her. They might have asked her to leave.. Or acted entitled to the area. I'm which case I'd have probably photo bombed their shots.

thats very nice of you, but she is not you. public space.

What would being nice do for her?She was there first, and shouldn't be inconvenienced because this couple decided a public park was the best place for wedding shots. The mere fact that they asked her multiple times show how utterly entitled they were. I would feel harassed after the first time.

You people, with your common decency! Don't you know that we have long since progressed from such oppression?! 😁

Everything now a days is a fuggin fight. Holy shit. Why can't we just be considerate? Sunbathing compared to wedding photos? For fuck sake...yes she was there first, who gives a shit. They're trying to take wedding photos. Ask politely for her to move for a little bit, and be gracious to her. Offer her a drink. This isn't entitlement...this is just a simple act of putting a wedding above your tanning.

I don’t know if or how anyone in the Wedding Party asked her to move. Anyone with any level of compassion and social grace would have found another spot to hangout.

Ever tried to shoot where people are hanging out.. Eventually those people still end up in your shot as you turn and try to find good light/ angles. The only way would be to ask her to leave.

Compassion? Is that only a one sided thing? Perhaps this chick is going thru something and needed a break. Maybe she needed some vitamin d due to chemo or some other aliment and the public park was her best bet. Who's to say really, but you're under the assumption that the wedding party trumps her rights because it's such a 'special' day. She was there first at this public park. Compassionate would be giving a homeless person some bottled water on a hot day, not moving because some wedding party decided to crash a public park.

It would have been nice for the sunbather to move, but she was under no obligation whatsoever to do so. It's a public park! Unless the wedding party had reserved the spot, they had a lesser claim on the spot as they arrived second. And, any photog worth their salt could and should have shot around the sunbather. Poor form on the wedding party and the photographer.

No one here knows the whole story. Maybe wedding photogs had been taking over the park. Maybe they were rude to her. Maybe she was crazy..

It's a park, I can't imagine they couldn't shoot another direction, but given that photo directions can change eventually she'd be back in a photo somewhere, maybe they asked her to just leave so she wouldn't be in any shots. In the video it didn't look like she was in the direction of the shots.

Again, she was there first.. She is why the park was created. The gazebo was not made for wedding photographers, it was made to hang out at.. They were the ones inappropriately using the space, and MAYBE this lady drove on her only day off to go lay at the park during her free hour and people came up being rude.. Its all conjecture, but since you don't know the story, you only have basic facts presented. She was there first, in a public place. She had the right.

The entitlement in this article.. :(

Astonishingly self-centred and self-indulgent!

Public park? No permit? No reservation? Sunbather isn't obligated to do anything. Of course it would have been nice to the wedding party if she decided to be accommodating, but that's a different issue altogether.

Maybe if they had offered her a slice of wedding cake she would have been more amenable.

I am with the sunbather. Marriages are temporary but skin cancer is for life.



I am from Maui folks will either move when they see or not ? so who cares photographer needs to learn to adjust for things IMHO

It's down to basic kindness and courtesy. It's not about right or wrong. Taking wedding photos of the whole family would not take that long and the best spot was the gazebo. It would be kind to just let the family enjoy the moments and go back to your spot when they are done.

The sun hits the whole park, moving a few meters would not be of any difference.

We really should stop with the who is entitled or who is right or wrong. Basic kindness, that's it. Something we seem to forget way too often.

Do you know how much time the sunbather had?
Do you know how she was approached by the photogs?
Do you know what they asked her to do.. Move or leave?

I can't walk into Walmart and do a photoshoot on the toy isle and expect everyone to stop shopping while I do it.

Doesn't matter if the sunbather was there for two weeks. Public area.
No, we don't know, but it's a PUBLIC AREA. She has no reason to move.
No, we don't know, repeat the second sentence.

You're right, you can't walk into a Wal Mart or a Costco or Publix or a K-Mart or Marshall's and expect everyone to stop; IT'S PRIVATE PROPERTY!!!!!! Chances are you'd be told to leave by security.

I do not have the answer to all your questions. However, if all things equal -that is the person was asked nicely to give the wedding party a few minutes- it's just basic courtesy, that's it.

The park is a common place for wedding photography, Walmart is a private property. Mind you, I am sure if you asked a Walmart manager he/she would likely allow you to take wedding photos there (if you so incline). Free promotion.

A Walmart manager technically does not have the authority to give you permission to take wedding photos there. Just FYI. Corporations, liability, and such...

Probably not, you'r right.

She was asked multiple times tho, and probably only moved for fear of what this party might do. The wedding party is pretty entitled to harass a sunbather at a public park.

Nowhere I saw that she actually moved. You assume more than you know. For all you know this person is a genuine self righteous jerk. Like you, I just assume.

Apparently you did not read the article "the predicament continued for 10 minutes before the sunbather decided to relocate" . She relocated because she was asked yet again by the limo driver. Which is, again, in the article. That = harassment. She has the freedom and right to enjoy the park without being harassed.

How am I a self righteous jerk? Because I believe the sunbather was in the right, and the wedding party was in the wrong? Because I believe the wedding party was acting like entitled pricks for assuming they have superiority over a PUBLIC park? She was there FIRST, period! Why does her day have to be ruined because some wedding party decided to crash it? The photographer and couple should have scouted for better locations BEFORE doing photos, esp in a well known PUBLIC park.

Kindness does go a long way, but where was the kindness shown to her? Why is her time valued less? Because of some poorly planned wedding photographer did not take into consideration that people might be at a PUBLIC park?

What's self righteous is a couple, their family, friends and photographer (if you google the story you will see the trash they are talking), are DEMONIZING this lady that was just enjoying her day. You don't know if this lady was having a very rough day, and needed a break in the park. It's pretty judgemental and self righteous of you to ASSume this woman is a jerk, and unkind. Kindness was not shown to her by an ENTITLED wedding party that video taped her.

But hey, whatever. I'm just making assumptions right? I mean, not like there is an article above that shows the harassment and entitlement from this horrid wedding party.

How about some basic kindness from the wedding conglomerate?

Not sure what you mean. Asking her to let them take some photos was unkind? So if someone is in your way and you politely ask them to move aside for a bit, you are being unkind?

You can ask, they can always say no but if they courteous they might oblige.

Bitching after the fact and in public about their unwillingness to move is unkind. Asking is not unkind, but refusing to gracefully take "no" for an answer is.
The photographer is the real problem here. He led his clients into a public situation where they'd have no control and and didn't prepare them or himself to deal with the possible complications.

the headline is wrong, the subather did nothing. this headline accuses her of ruining the photos. the photographer, if anyone , ruined the photos.

I poked around a bit online. While I couldn't find whether photography or usage permits are required for this garden, I did discover that children are not allowed in this garden, even if they're accompanied by adults.

So this wedding party was in error on that count.

As for the matter of sunbather vs the wedding party, it sounds like people got off on the wrong foot, and the whole to-do could've been avoided if both camps had made concessions.

Nobody is completely in the right here.

No, the sunbather is completely in the right. The fact that it was this couple's "special day" has nothing to do with the sunbather or anyone else. Sure, it would have been kind of the sunbather to move, but why? What would she get out of the inconvenience? You could say that she would get the satisfaction of being a courteous person, but maybe that's not something that she happens to get satisfaction from. If it was that important to them, maybe they should have offered her $100 to pick up and sunbathe a few yards away.

I agree it would have been kind for her to move. She was not kind when she could have been, therefore she was not completely in the right, morally.

Then neither were the couple nor the photographer "kind" either.

Exactly. As I said, nobody is completely in the right here.

Whoever was there first gets the spot. I've found if you ask really nicely people will move though.

Perfect example of what's wrong today in the big picture of things. This whole thread is about who is right? We are no longer civil, people think it's more important to be right.. What happened to being civil, considerate, thoughtful, thinking of others. How about plain old just being nice. Nobody is more important than anybody else. Nobody is better than anybody else. I'm not talking about pie in the sky crap either. smh

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