This bridezilla threatened to withhold pay unless the photographer shot everything on her list

Mar 21, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

This bridezilla threatened to withhold pay unless the photographer shot everything on her list

Mar 21, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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This is why I don’t shoot weddings. Ok, it’s not the only reason why I don’t shoot weddings, but having to deal with people like this is the main reason why I don’t shoot weddings – especially when most of them don’t want to pay the photographer what they deserve or even need to charge in order to thrive and survive as a business.

One bride in particular, though, has taken crazy to a whole new level. She’s created a five-page checklist of photos she wants the photographer to get, and is refusing to pay them unless they show her every single last one of them having been captured. She also posted her checklist to Facebook for those who might want some tips for booking their own wedding photographer.

I’ve actually seen posts like these a few times over the past couple of months now. There must be some new misinformed article going around in a wedding magazine again. But, it’s ok, Facebook was quick to point out that that isn’t quite how things work for wedding photographers.

Naturally, somebody who’s never had a wedding of their own before, and never dealt with organising one before might not understand how things typically work when it comes to wedding photography. And common sense also isn’t quite as common as it once was. But it is a firm reminder to wedding photographers to make sure you have a solid contract in place. Because if a bride presents you with a list like this and you don’t have your backside covered, you might find yourself in small claims court being ordered to provide a full refund. You might also want to make sure that you’re paid in advance, too.

Demands like this certainly aren’t common and don’t represent the majority of wedding clients. I know many wedding photographers who have nothing but wonderful things to say about most of the people who approach them to photograph their wedding. But I just don’t have the patience to deal with ones like this when they inevitably approach. Plus, I can’t stand weddings. Even if they do have an open bar. And there are usually children there, and I like them even less than I like weddings.

How would you respond to a potential client making a shot list request like this?

[via Fstoppers]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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25 responses to “This bridezilla threatened to withhold pay unless the photographer shot everything on her list”

  1. Richard Doney Avatar
    Richard Doney

    No thanks would be my response

  2. Alexandre Ayoubi Avatar
    Alexandre Ayoubi

    3 letters : GFY

    1. Paula Gemin Bell Avatar
      Paula Gemin Bell

      Alexandre Ayoubi ??????

  3. Vincent Bui Avatar
    Vincent Bui

    Would love to know which idiot will agree to be her photographer

  4. Gayle Bevan Avatar
    Gayle Bevan

    I’d say “I’m not your photographer”.

  5. Alan Laighleis Avatar
    Alan Laighleis

    I’d hate to be her husband to be that’s all I’m saying

  6. Cameron Reaves Avatar
    Cameron Reaves

    I’d turn up to the event without a camera, lens or lights and go “you haven’t paid me so you haven’t covered the cost of hiring my kit or skills” then I’d leave…

  7. Räymōnd Cāsilläs Avatar
    Räymōnd Cāsilläs

    “Go honeymoon yourself!”

  8. Jeremy Deihl Avatar
    Jeremy Deihl

    If I showed up to a wedding I was hired to shoot and they handed me this list, AND did not pay me before the event began I would simply walk away. Have fun getting that huge shot list with no photographer the hour your wedding begins… Her 5 page list just went down to a 0 images received list and they would still receive a bill since that’s what my contract indicates.

  9. Brian Drourr Avatar
    Brian Drourr

    I don’t pick up my camera for a wedding until the bill.is paid in full. No negotiations.

  10. Kryn Sporry Avatar
    Kryn Sporry

    Looks like she hasn’t actually hired anyone yet, which means there’s no payment to withhold.
    And as indicated in the article, usually there is a contract, and usually there is a shoot list. 5 pages is somewhat pedantic, but a shortlist is quite normal.
    If I were to see such a post online, and the same person actually contacts me, I probably would decline, as this type of person will cause trouble you don’t want. It’s likely they will find something to complain about and it’s just not worth it.

    1. Adrian J Nyaoi Avatar
      Adrian J Nyaoi

      Kryn Sporry …decline? She will sue you for discrimination.lol

    2. Kryn Sporry Avatar
      Kryn Sporry

      Ha. She can try. I have my own life. If I decline saying I’m busy, that should be good enough for anyone. If not sue back for harassment

  11. Petar Maksimovic Avatar
    Petar Maksimovic

    So what is the problem? Photographer is there to shoot what clients want. Respond with a price quote.

    1. John G Schickler Avatar
      John G Schickler

      Petar Maksimovic 10K

  12. Marvin Løvenfeldt Avatar
    Marvin Løvenfeldt

    Double my rates

  13. Karen Danks Avatar
    Karen Danks

    I was disappointed. I wanted to see the full 5 pages she wrote. (Looked but I might have missed them)
    What a wackaloon

  14. Pat Cochrane Avatar
    Pat Cochrane

    I get the impression that this marriage won’t last anyways … tell her to take a hike.

  15. Hugh Mobley Avatar
    Hugh Mobley

    What, All photo work must be COD paid up front! just because of this!

  16. Matthias Avatar
    Matthias

    I would love to see a study on how a couple’s investment in wedding photography relates to how long the marriage actually holds. Investment would be measured in terms of money, time, and generally being a pain in the ass. I remember some years ago someone was able to show a pretty good correlation between how expensive the engagement ring was and how soon the marriage crashes (not a surprise when you think of it) but I’d be happy to sponsor a case of beer to whatever PhD student gets the first peer-reviewed publication on this subject (and provides me with a copy of said paper of course)

  17. John Sable Avatar
    John Sable

    I don’t know of any serious wedding photographer who doesn’t get paid up front. So the idea of withholding pay until pictures makes no sense to me.

    We don’t work from shot lists. I’d be happy to refer a client with such demands to a photographer that does.

  18. Tom Dahm Avatar
    Tom Dahm

    easy. id laugh and walk away.

  19. Anthony Woodruffe Avatar
    Anthony Woodruffe

    It‘s not like it‘s impossible. It‘s just this type of service will require 4x the initial offered fee . The 4000€ none refundable downpayment is for securing the appointment date and has no connection to any services given on the day. Only none edited low-res images with be supplied for verification purposes and only once full payment has been received, will the Hi-Res developed be delivered to the client.

  20. Tom Robson Avatar
    Tom Robson

    My process..

    30% non-refundable booking fee and full payment upfront 2 weeks before the big day. – Contract clause explaining how I shoot and what to expect. No exceptions.

    All photographers should protect themselves from clients like this.

  21. Chris Cameron Avatar
    Chris Cameron

    Imagine ending up married to that.