[Video] Judge Brown Tears Cheap Wedding Photog a New One

[Video] Judge Brown Tears Cheap Wedding Photog a New One

I have to say up front I'm a little ashamed at posting this. I don't watch American trash TV or "reality TV", in fact, I don't even have cable. My TV is reserved for my PS3, Wii, Netflix and avi files. But when I saw this video of Judge Joe Brown ripping this professional wedding photographer a new one I couldn't help but chuckle at this ridiculous exchange. I apologize ahead of time for all the stupid in this video but there is a lot to say about this one so...

via [KEHBlog]
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Previous comments

Everybody is missing the point. 

Did the pictures delivered match the samples shown? If yes, the bride is being a (insert favorite derogatory term here) and should pay the photographer for wasting her time. If they didn't, the photographer refunds the money and the bride give the images back.Anything else is bullying and noise.

Well said!   

Really have to agree here--as easy as it is to get into the argument whether the photographer marketed herself as a professional and why or why not the technical details of the gear mattered, what it comes down to is what was promised for the negotiated pricing.

As Michael said, if the advertised samples matched the quality of the results, the photographer clearly has a leg up. None of this was discussed (at least from the in-point set on the embedded video.)

Well, not exactly I think. If the pictures didn't match the samples shown, what about compensation for the lost moments that photographer should've captured? And how can you sum it in money?

Rogelio Hernandez's picture

"We have taken hundreds of weddings" Really? And you still use a kit lens and a Rebel? Nothing wrong with the Rebel if used properly, but you would think she would have invested in something more versatile if she has done "hundreds" of weddings. I mean, even keep the body but get a faster lens.

"You don't know that until you get there" Has she ever heard of something called scouting?

I used to represent corporations in small claims courts to get judgments against non paying costumers. One thing I learned form the very first trial... You do not speak unless spoken to, you do not answer unless asked something, and you certainly never ever piss of the judge.

I could not see all of the pictures, and the quality of the video is not enough to notice the sharpness or lack of it, but the pose seemed nice enough to me.

But yes, this does not sound like a professional photographer to me at all.

Obviously they were not "professional" - saying they wouldn't know about whether or not they could use flash until they got there is rubbish as you should *always* at the very least try and check these things out beforehand. In fact, you should visit the venue(s) beforehand (again, where possible, obviously) to speak to the people there to find out what is and what not allowed, as well as to find the best places to take photos from, see what light is available and to plan what lens/settings/whatever to use where.

But as has been mentioned, I think JB had already made his mind up and wasn't even letting the photographer defend themselves. Saying that though, I think if they tried they probably would have dug themselves a deeper hole.

And that old saying comes to mind - "if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys". The B&G must take some responsibility here - they must have seen the quality of previous work, and if you go for the "cheap" option, there usually is a reason why it's cheap.

If you have skill then you don't need to visit the venue before. I guess you should go back to your kit lens.

Wow. I could take that as a personal insult, but I don't want to get into a bitch fight right now so will give you the benefit of the doubt when you say "you" you mean "in general" and not just me...

But personally, no matter how good I (or anyone for that matter) may or may not be, I would rather be prepared than to be surprised at the last minute. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail, and all that.

Luckily I am fortunate enough to travel for many weddings I shoot and I am not paid to go to venues multiple times before hand. How would you propose handling that situation? I feel that your comment "always" refers to at least %80 of the time a photographer should be location scouting. Almost "always" my weddings are either a plan ride away or a few hour drive. I feel a "good" photographer not even a great photographer should be able to be thrown into just about any circumstance and come out with amazing results. 

Please re-read my original comment and you'll see that I said "(again, where possible, obviously)". I know it's not always possible to visit venues/locations beforehand. I know I could perhaps have worded it better, but I'm not that ignorant.

@ajmills, I think you worded it perfectly and I completely agree with you. Putting zero planning into photographing an event "because you have skill" as suggested by another poster doesn't make one a professional, it makes one pompous. If I were hiring a photographer, I'd bet on the one who plans rather than the one "who is thrown into just about any circumstance" every time. Certainly there are times where any type of light planning or scouting is not possible, but that's hardly something to brag about.

I wish everyone asked why my lens is not fast enough. 

For the given amount paid for that wedding... You spend as much as you need to on rental equipment. And I believe the "photographers" friend, assistant or something confesses to them only having shot 1 wedding in the past. Another point for the lack of professionalism, there wasn't a contract presented. Also, the T2i has a good enough sensor for large prints, I wouldn't be surprised if the images were saved in a bad resolution and sent to print, given the ridiculousness of it all as it is. I particularly enjoyed the photoshopped image of the couple inside of a wreath.
Thanks for posting that, fairly entertaining.

1. Did the customer get what she paid for?

2. Where her expectations for paid services realistic?

3. Did the photographer deliver what she was contracted to

4. Did  the photographer
misrepresent or mislead the customer?

The answer to the first 3 question would mostly be subjective.
The answer to question number 4 is more easily answered and relies more on
facts then on opinion.

A. You cannot run a successful wedding photography business
if you are charging between $1000.00 - $1300. 00

B. Kit lens?

C. f-stop?

D. Flash or no flash in a church?

E. Low light environment, slow lens, no tripod?

She (the photographer) demonstrated that she is either not a
professional or is a very incompetent professional photographer and it is for
this reason that she lost the case.

The judge ruled correctly even if you don't care for his
rough around the edge style.

Save Joe Brown, they are all idiots.  When will people learn that no pro would devalue them self and do a whole wedding for $1,300.  You get what you pay for, people should pay attention when they are hiring someone.  Just the same, those ladies calling themselves "pros" is a farce and gross misrepresentation - which also needs to stop.

Is this still going around? I think this is over a year old. I wonder how their business is going now?

Wayne Leone's picture

The equipment thing is not important here. You can use whatever gear you want, the high end stuff just makes it easier to produce high quality. You can deliver good quality with lower end but you face restrictions. High end doesn't make you a professional. Low end doesn't make you an amateur.

The thing that stopped me in my tracks and was when she was asked what speed her lens was and she didn't know. I got the impression she didn;t even know what that meant. That there is a amateur, and a poor one at that.

All that being said, being an amateur doesn't make them guilty. Setting and expectation with the client and then not delivering on it - that makes you guilty.

Well, a bad photographer that gives the product to the client in time... or a great photographer that takes 3 years to  to give the photos to the client.. you can choose :)

Brandy Fortune's picture

good one.


Brent Barrie's picture

Those women are clearly not professional photographers in the least. What they are, are girls with digital cameras that think auto is sufficient, and photoshop will save their arses.

You can shoot a wedding on an EF kit lens, you really can. But to not double check with the pastor about the flash, and to not understand the basics of photography?

Hardly professional. 

And with a paycheck like that, they should know their stuff, because it was only a matter of time until they were ripped on by someone else, and in this case. Judge Brown delivered what was coming to them.

It's insanely irritating seeing people like this making money. Just because they have the confidence to line up their DSLR's body to the A on the dial, make sure the lens is full auto, and can use the on camera flash.

It's degrading to the real photography scene. I could shoot better photos on a consumer point and shoot. Which is basically what these ladies turned their DSLR's into.

*slow clap*

This is from early 2010.  Judge Joe was way out of line with his grandstanding, badgering and abuse of buzz words.  Disgusting.

Candice Cossel's picture

I pretty sure the bride knew the photog was crappy from their portfolio.  You get what you pay for. She should have invested. 

Sorry..but you get what you pay for.

LOL I'm surprised at some of these comments. The judge was out of line completely. It is up to the client to research what they are buying.  He's trying to show he knows something about photography and he just sounds like a fool. "Where's your 1 series?" Umm why would you want to shoot anything besides the 5dmk2 around the airing of this show anyway if he wants to pull rank on pro choice cameras?

He's a jerk and I feel bad for these photographers. I'm also wagering to bet many people that are dissing these women, don't shoot much better than them yet advertise themselves as pros when they are using flikr as their website and still doing color isolations on black and white photos.

These women were trying to make a start and unfortunately ran into a crappy bride and groom. The judge insulted the two photographers while trying to build himself up.  Many of you started off bad I'm sure and realized how difficult it was to learn the tricks of the trade without going to school for it.

Shame on those who put these women down in their first attempts to shoot.  The photographers offered to compensate the plaintiffs but the judge went beyond reason just so he could prove he knew about Canon cameras. And how lame are those stupid people in the audience applauding like the even know what an fstop is. 

This clip almost made me punch my screen. But my laptop is hot sexy time and I wont do that to my lil lady.

Please don't post Judge Joe Brown again. He makes me not like black people........AND I'M BLACK! 

You're missing the fact that they claimed they have shot "100's of weddings"...

Oh. I totally missed that they claimed to have shot that many. I thought she said that was their first. ewww if I did.

If they have shot 100's of weddings then why in the world would they go to a wedding with a kit lens when they say it's no flash allowed?  Take $200 out of each one of their 100's of wedding and at least they could have had a couple of 5Dmk1's, 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4, 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8 with some change to spare.  Low light, fast lens...even their outdoor shots were bad.

The only thing that you got right is that the judge is a jerk. Everything else is way off,your perception of the facts and reality of this case is disturbing.

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