Bride Arrested for Allegedly Forcing the Photographer to Pay for the Privilege of Shooting Her Wedding

Bride Arrested for Allegedly Forcing the Photographer to Pay for the Privilege of Shooting Her Wedding

We've seen several cases this past year where couples have expected wedding photographers to work for free in return for the highly valuable exposure bills, but this time a bride is raising the bar by asking a photographer to pay her for the privilege of shooting her wedding. What can go wrong?

This story begins on Reddit, where one user posted their account of what happened. A bride-to-be, who was also their friend, approached the photographer with a proposition. It entailed the photographer paying the bride $50, which would allow the photographer to take photos throughout the wedding day and then sell them to people who may want to purchase them. The bride's attempt to justify this working arrangement came down to "that way we can use the money for the wedding and you still might get paid". 

The photographer refused, but kindly offered to cover the wedding for just $50. This led to bride being upset and crying, and going as far as calling the photographer a "bad friend" and that she would do the same for the photographer if roles were reversed. Unfortunately, the story doesn't simply end here but continued with the bride and her friends and family harassing the photographer by leaving angry messages. Even when the photographer offered to do the wedding for free after all, the bride refused and requested to be paid for this privilege.

A few nasty messages turned into several dozen calls in one day, several hundred texts, and even visits which became more threatening. To stop this, the photographer agreed to pay the bride and shoot the wedding without any intentions of actually showing up for the job. Next time the photographer heard from the bride was on the day of the wedding, when no one had arrived up to do the photography. After a flurry of text messages, phone calls, and voicemails, the bride's dad showed up at the photographer's house and started beating on the door, yelling for the photographer to answer the door.

Allegedly, the situation didn't defuse after the wedding either, which forced the photographer to contact the authorities, who arrested the bride and her dad, using the evidence collected from social media and the messages submitted by the photographer. Currently, the photographer explains they don't know what is happening next but they are glad that action is at least being taken, and that the phone calls, messages, and stop-ins have stopped. 

Even in this bizarre case not everyone was on photographer's side due to them agreeing to cover the wedding without the intention of actually doing the job, however, harassment and abuse from clients is unacceptable in any shape or form. People working in wedding industry will likely come across situations where emotions and tensions are running high for some clients, so to survive it's crucial to have thick skin and be clear headed when it comes to reacting to moments like these.

Have you ever had a wedding client from hell?

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66 Comments

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Jeff McCollough's picture

Exactly. And you have way more control. As the whole goal is to shoot images there will be a lot more collaboration with the photographers. When shooting a real wedding everything revolves around the bride and groom.

Patrick Hall's picture

Oh yeah I totally agree you have more control and would probably get more usable photos....but gathering 50 people in suits and wedding attire along with a bride and groom and bridesmaids/groomsmen seems like such a pain in the ass. I can't even imagine trying to do that unless I hired someone to handle that.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Well commercial photography is a different ball game and it's not for everyone.

Scott Spellman's picture

It is terrible journalism for FStoppers and this author to publish a "story" without any verifiable information at all. Not a single name, city, date, police record, or anything. There is no evidence, no details, or even any attempt to confirm that any of this ever happened.

Jeff McCollough's picture

What did you expect from the CNN of the photo industry?

No offense to Patrick and Lee(love those guys) but the writers and editors here have agendas and don't know what they are doing.

Scott Spellman's picture

It's incredible that I can post on Reddit the story of my pet octopus Octo the wedding photographer with 8 cameras and then blogs like Fstoppers will pay me to copy and paste it as featured content.

Rob Mitchell's picture

Something about wedding photography that just sparks the tabloid headlines every time.
I'm glad I quit doing them. Nothing but misery waiting to happen.

Andrew Almeida's picture

This is why I don't do weddings at any price.

Robert Nurse's picture

In all this, you know who I feel the sorriest for? The groom. He got a full throated view of life after the wedding and didn't flee for his life.

Heratch Ekmekjian's picture

I know this story only refers to the bride and her parent, but there's no reason to think the groom may be an innocent party here. If this story is true at all...he's just as likely to have been in on the scheme.

This story doesn't make sense on so many levels that I honestly think most of it must be made up.
Most of the article details problems around the enormous sum of $50. How, in the context of a wedding, can you get into a fight about $50 with one of your friends? I don't buy that at all. If this was about $500 I would have believed (half of) the story, but $50?
Then, asking for $50 and saying you could use the money for your wedding? How? For what kind of wedding does $50 make a difference? Again, if she had asked for $500 I would have believed it.
Then, the photographer agrees to the deal, but decides to not show up. So, you have a fight with your friend about $50. She's really mad about this. What in heavens name makes you decide to pull this unbelievably stupid stunt on this same friend? I don't buy that either.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Sell photos to those who want to buy them? Sounds like something they do here in Bolivia. Take little portable printers to weddings and sell prints to guests. lolz

Rob Davis's picture

I think it’s important to practice saying no. Not that that might’ve avoided the situation, but just in general. Practice calmly yet firmly saying no. Don’t offer a lengthy explanation, don’t get defensive and lecture about what artists go through — just calmly say no and move on. If it’s a friend or family member and they get upset, that’s okay. You can’t control other people’s feelings.

More often than not if you do this people will realize they are being unreasonable without you having ever said so. If they don’t, now you know who to limit in your life.

Peter Gargiulo's picture

"bride refused and requested to be paid for this privilege" Nonsense! How does one ask a photographer to PAY to do a job that THEY get paid for?

What in the hell is wrong with people!? FUBAR

Reminds me of the social media influencer that wanted free work in exchange for exposure on social media to all of their followers about a year ago. My response was a quote of $1,500 for "privilege" of allowing them to showcase/own copyrighted original work. Still waiting for the response. It's pay to play. Free "exposure " does not pay the bills .

I'd have agreed off the bat.

I'd have paid the 50 quid.

I'd have turned up.

I'd have shot it with a smile on my face.

I'd have charged them 2x my usual fee to purchase the photos, as they requested.

I'd have made money like a boss.

This is too weird.

Timothy Turner's picture

The more I hear about wedding horror stories, the more I enjoy photographing leaves and rocks

I'm guessing that what comes next is this woman/wife will invoice the husband for sex. I wonder what she'll charge?

Her usual $50 rate. Why should he get a discount?

The Emily Post Institute has something to say:

https://emilypost.com/advice/how-to-say-no-graciously/

You might save yourself untold grief.

Nothing wrong with paying for a privilege, then not taking it. If I paid to go to a Play at the Arsht Center, then not show up, the lead actor is not going to come knocking on my door, demanding me to come.

I can pay for any privilege I want, and not show. My choice. The person selling the privilege has no say.

If I showed up, and the wedding was called off, that would be different. “You promised me a wedding, and took my money. Dagnamit, you are getting married today to someone! Not me, though, but someone! I paid for a service, you better deliver.”

That's nonsense in this particular situation. Paying the bride was part of an agreement in which the photographer agreed and committed to taking pictures. As bride, you should be able to trust a pohotographer. If anything, the photographer did all wedding photographers not a very big favour by not showing up.
If you want an analogy with a play, then what the photographer did amounts to paying to play a part in a play and than not showing up. Which would be very, very bad for your career.

You must not shoot weddings. The photographer did us all a favor by doing exactly what we have all thought about but wouldnt do. And he is 100 percent right. Especially if he really did pay her. He is now the client, not her. He did not commit to anything. He paid for it. If you pay for a plane ticket and dont use it, the air lines dont come to your house to harass you.

And this would be like he payed money to be apart of the play. It would be like if he payed money to see the play and write a review, and then didnt write the review.

But honestly, it seems like a fake story to me.

He paid for the privileged to shoot. Perhaps, even the right to shoot, but he did not pay for the obligation to shoot.

A contract has an exchange of valuable consideration. She got her money, he got his privileged. Contract fulfilled. He did the payment, she was under the obligation to deliver. His only obligation, if any, was to allow people to buy any photographs he had taken. He has not failed on that count. They can still buy all the images he took.

"Even in this bizarre case not everyone was on photographer's side due to them agreeing to cover the wedding without the intention of actually doing the job"

Pretty sure those people are ok with pressuring someone into sex then calling it consensual.

What the actual fuck.

I would have accepted the job, taking along my trusty 10mm fisheye lens. Would have been fun seeing the horror on the brides face upon delivery of the photos.

Zack Schindler's picture

And with LOTS of closeups!

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