[News] UK Wedding Photographers Driven Bankrupt by Angry Customers

[News] UK Wedding Photographers Driven Bankrupt by Angry Customers

This is a situation that seems to be getting more and more common. A couple in the United Kingdom were so upset by the atrocious images they received from their wedding photographer that they demanded a refund. Unfortunately Westgate Photography went out of business. The photographers had charged a paltry £750 (about $1200 USD), and the bride and groom obviously overpaid.

To me, the problem here is less that Westgate Photography (owned by Ian McCloskey and Nikki Carter) shot the wedding, but more that couple hired them thinking they would get an amazingly documented wedding. The price point is far too low, and the couple likely did no research into what kind of results they were to expect from the now bankrupt business. The bride and groom asked for a refund, but unfortunately the photographers went out of business and were only able to pay back half their investment. McCloskey said that "They were the first couple we had a complaint from. If I could have paid all the money back I would’ve.

They weren’t happy with the images and neither were we. We did all we could to try and make it right. We ended up with terrible photos and put our hands up to that and we have attempted to pay them back as much money as we can but unfortunately we are going bankrupt." McCloskey added that they had set up the business "at the wrong time" and had decided to call it a day to ensure the same thing didn't happen to anyone else.

He said one of their cameras broke and rather than give the couple half the number of pictures they offered them all of them. Yay.

Below are some examples of the photos from the wedding. Full story and More Photos: [DailyMail]

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If they shot this kind of photography quality no wonder they went out of business.

no wonder they went out of business. but are you serious? i bet uncle bob with the fancy camera take better picture then this. and these photographers with crazy low rate are the ones that makes our clients doesn't value our work. and yup, they set up their bussiness at a wrong time, they should have wait for PS CS6 to come out so they can fix up all the camera shake pictures.

Akhil Menon's picture

dont tell me these were the post worthy photos for 1200$ ...not impressed..

Norm Cooper's picture

where's Judge Brown with his 'fast lens'!

Gus Munoz's picture

Ha ha ha ha. True, he's a classic. 

Jay Lawrence Goldman's picture

All the photos here are crappy images indeed. However, highlighting the kid's hand with the toy motorcycle and the kid's head at the bottom of the stairs is stupid and misses the point.  Seems like the kids were brats.  Those problems are easy to fix with a proper crop.

Alex Masters's picture

whadoya mean?

Alex Masters's picture

Front row, second from left.

NewLife Set's picture

 I don't get it...

ah okay - internet reveals she's holding a toy prince harry gave her.

I must say while it is a thorn in one's eye, it cannot compare to the photos above.... or maybe it was McCloskey's intention to bring across perceived royalty by including toys and rowdy children in his photos? :D

Alex Masters's picture

I just find it amusing that of all the things that are wrong with that picture, they go for the toy that's crept into the scene like somehow not noticing that makes the photographer incompetent.

I also noticed that they circled that toy and still dont think thats a huge mistake, but looking at other images different story

Michael Kormos's picture

It's called shoot 'n burn guys. It's not about quality, just quantity. $1200, all inclusive. You ge a CD with RAWs, and never hear (or find me) again. Craigslist brides rejoice :-) they got a good deal.

Everybody has the way how to run business.

Paul Monaghan's picture

That is some crazy bad images..

While I'm not a wedding photographer, I have shot a few for friends and family and a lot of the time the venue's can be rather difficult but part of being a photographer is problem solving so you work around it.

You take your chances these days looking for a photographer as there are so many people willing to do shoots for next to nothing and even some of the ones charging more haven't long had there camera but think that's all they need.

Wedding Photography is an art in itself.. not just because of the difficult venues but a great understanding of people as well as your equipment is a must.

I feel sorry for this couple but at the same time, they could have asked for examples of his work so they knew what they were getting into...  so its as much a lack of them doing research (unless they did do this and they sent them amazing images) as it is bad photography.

Elabua's picture

Great example of how a kit lens can be used to do a pro level wedding. 

Idris FLury's picture

i wonder if they`re bankrupt why there page is still online
i have to say i didn`t liked what i saw....

Joop van Roy's picture

This is on the front page:

"Please note that we are in no way associated
with the Westgate Photography mentioned in the article published by the
Telegraph on the 20th April 2012. We pride ourselves on delivering the
best possible service to our clients and maintaining successful and long
lasting relationships."

How unfortunate for them... :(

Mike Distras's picture

Its still poop

Joop van Roy's picture

This is a Daily Mail article for a reason guys... i'm not that interested in gossip and low-blows.

Dan Heffernan's picture

Did they not ask to see a portfolio before hiring this photographer? or did they just call around and find the cheapest person they could find and then expect that what they would get was just as good as the more expensive photographers in town.

watisthisidonteven's picture

Some people only want to get a "good deal". 

It usually bites them in the end, but most people are too daft to realize it. Shame.

Mike Distras's picture

If this went to caught (hopefully not Judge Brown haha) - Surely they would have got away with it, and they wouldnt of had to pay back any money to the client.

Yes the photos are absolutely terrible - However surely they hired them based on their portfolio...
With a low quality portfolio, what did the client really expect...

Client:They hired them based on current portfolioProbably signed a contract... You get what you pay for!

Rick Moore's picture

Anyone that has been shooting for a couple of decades knows that bad days happen. The price points in my wedding market area have dropped so low and the expectations from the brides have risen so high that I shut down the wedding division of my photo business last year. It was a tough decision but has turned out to be one of the best photo business decisions I have ever made. 
I congratulate anyone that is extremely successful in today's wedding market. Good on you. Someone has to do it. :)

President_Putin's picture

How do you take a blurry pick OUTSIDE?????? 

Tristan Neuhaus's picture

I´ve just came back home from a wedding. My partner and I have been there for 15 hours and when I now see this post it makes me sad! It´s the most beautiful day of your life and as memories you get this sh**? Even with a iPhone you are able to take better pictures. It´s 70% all about how you compose your image and interact with the people!
If you are interested in what we do, check out www.twoskills.de

Ero's picture

Where is your quality control ? Some pictures need to be deleted NOW.

Tristan Neuhaus's picture


bissam's picture

 2 people are pissing???????? is that really on your portfolio? OMG most of these photos are so amateur. come on people are you real? and another photo with someone with big head and another man making a victory sign over it. Bad composition and over contrast and very bad B&W. I will never hire you guys never.

Niels van Veen's picture

Dude, that's the "Photobooth".. You know, where people get in a cubicle, press the remote shutter release and make a nice and/or funny picture of yourself. Which will result in people making an ass out of themselves (because that is how most people interpret :funny:)
Whatever you think about the pictures the photographer made, you cannot hold this against him.

Dave Roberts's picture

Well, I suppose that would be one less idiot that Tristan would have to deal with...  honestly, how can you say those pictures are awful?! Are you blind?

bissam's picture

 Yes Ero you are so right. In fact most of them. Specially the grained ones and with so much noise. 

Dave Roberts's picture

It's like The March of The Idiots in here...

watisthisidonteven's picture

$1200 ladies and gentlemen.  If only this sent a message to all the likeminded cheapies that money really is quality for photography.

Sadly, this story will repeat itself, over, and over again.  No one ever learns.

Nicholas's picture

That's why I give so much respect to the consistently excellent photographers out there. A 9 to 5 job, one can have a tough day and get through it unscathed (albeit by the skin of one's teeth). Even the Pastor can fumble the lines of the Bible a bit. A wedding photographer HAS to succeed; must deliver. No matter how many weddings I may do, this is what agonizes me, as well as encourages me to not let anyone down. 

I won't cast spurs on the photographers responsible for this wedding. I wouldn't wish the humiliation on anyone. And I pray it never happens to me.

Ero's picture

Been wedding photographer for a while, but even when I started I could not let myself not to delete pictures like that. Better to say you lost them all than give this crap.


Julian Jones's picture

They said instead of giving them half, they gave them all the pictures since their camera broke. That means they gave them even the ones they didn't edit or supposedly didn't have time to edit because of their situation. I want to see the ones they did edit. 

Michael Adkins's picture

It is easy to say now what should have been done.  This looks like a case where someone bought a nice camera and said, I can do weddings for $1,200 dollars without first considering what goes into wedding photography.  I tell my students not to even think about doing a wedding even for free till you have spent at least two years working with a professional wedding photographer.  And then only if you totally understand the technical aspects of photography and know how to connect with people.  Wedding photography is hard work and not an easy money ride.  It takes knowing everything about photography and being able to handle every situation.  It also takes a special personality to be able to communicate with the subjects without being pushy or getting in the way.  A wedding photographer I think is like being a war photojournalist.  You have to be invisible at times, anticipate what is going to happen, be ready to jump, tuck and move, and not get killed in the process. In my opinion one of the worlds best wedding photographer is Jerry Ghionis http://www.jerryghionisphotography.com  - Watch his behind the scenes videos and you will start to understand the magistracy, art and tallest he possesses.        

maciejczop's picture

This is not wedding photography, this is intricately planned - conceptualized - and thoroughly posed portrait photography with a strong influence of fashion photography that just happens to be taken of brides and grooms. Did you see how much money was being thrown at these shoots? That's something maybe 1% of couples can afford. Great photos, but not on the fly war photography by any means. Can you imagine? Hey rebel fighter turn your face slightly to the right while you fire that AK. What a ridiculous statement, and an insult to war photographers.

Jake Stewart's picture

What the f*** were you reading?

I think this entire store is most likely blown way out of proportion ( they should have brought back up cameras to a wedding though ) I would like to see the photos they edited. 

bissam's picture

How they started their business from the first place? didn't they see what is there? either they were drunk or high. 

killerflakes's picture

Such a waste of a great location!

Sam's picture

in all fairness, there are far worse... like Barry the Photographer