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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 18 Jul 2011 (Monday) 16:37
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First all-Asian wedding - a complete disaster!

 
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Owain ­ Glyndwr
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Aug 09, 2011 00:47 |  #361

dariussutherland wrote in post #12899061 (external link)
This js getting out of hand now.

Email them or send a recorded delivery letter. Stating that you are a professional and will uphold your end of the bargain, process the images to your usual standard once full payment has been made otherwie he is in breach of your contract.

they already are in breach of contract.


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Sirrith
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Aug 09, 2011 02:41 |  #362

Ebwly wrote in post #12895643 (external link)
also, speaking from someone who studies law and knows about contracts, unless you have a clause in your contract that entitles you to destroy the photos if they don't pay, not only will you never get your money back, they could also counter-sue you to recover the damages from the lost images.

Just to point out something here (as someone who has graduated from law school, I may be slightly rusty on contracts):
they would have no right whatsoever to sue if he deleted their photos as they have not performed their part of the contract i.e. payment, and therefore they have no loss of any kind upon which to base their claim for damages.


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Iscariotau
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Aug 09, 2011 03:07 |  #363

Sirrith wrote in post #12902187 (external link)
they would have no right whatsoever to sue if he deleted their photos as they have not performed their part of the contract i.e. payment, and therefore they have no loss of any kind upon which to base their claim for damages.

This was bouncing around in my mind to. I see no way they could sue for destruction of the phtotos gven they have neither paid nor taken possesion of the product, which to me means the photots are not theirs. Without payment, they can go suck eggs, so to speak.

For the people suggesting that the OP hand the photos over and then hope that they will make payment just doesnt work for me. My experience in Australia is that one must pay the photographer prior to delivery along with a significant deposit prior to the event.


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pwm2
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Aug 09, 2011 03:17 |  #364

The important issue is that a photographer may think that only an edited photo is a real photo.

For most of the population, what you get out from the camera is a real photo.

So sending out a CD with unedited photos without first having received the money means no money. An uncritical eye don't consider any negative space. Or how spot on the exposure is. Or if there are details hidden in the shadows or highlights. Or if a person is walking out of a picture. If they see Uncle Harry clearly (especially if he happens to do something they recognize him to often do), then lots of people thinks "great photo". That is one reason why people have been happy with Pocket Instamatic cameras for many years.

If they get unedited photos on a CD, they could copy the CD, send the CD back and be no longer interested in any more money transfers. Or if it gets to a court, try to claim that they want to break the contract and - at the most - pay for the time you were at the wedding - minus the dinner ;) - but that they don't want any photos from you and should not pay for the post-processing step.


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Apollo.11
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Aug 09, 2011 04:03 |  #365

Just read the whole thread, well, I skimmed alot of it.

I'm Vietnamese and the gift we give at weddings is cash. Sounds like this couple was strapped for cash and was counting on some money from the wedding gifts to pay you the same day. Unfortunately, many couples think of the wedding as a money making machine and invite everyone but the kitchen sink. This has gotten a lot of couples in trouble as they have to pay the restaurant no matter how many no shows you have. Invite 500 people and only 250 show up, pay for all 500 (at somewhere like $30-50 a head).

If your description of the account is accurate, then you either have some dead beat clients, or broke ones. Either way, it doesn't look good for you.


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dariussutherland
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Aug 09, 2011 04:13 |  #366

Owain Glyndwr wrote in post #12901860 (external link)
they already are in breach of contract.


This is why I think a real meal has been made of it. He has a contract. We all try to be reasonable at 1st but it's not working. There is no reason to get caught up in all this apparent mess.

So..

A firm letter, letting them know your stance on the situation. Payment, breach of contract, court proceedings e.t.c Then leave it at that. Specify a time limit to respond to the letter before you either. Delete the images, file a claim for your losses e.t.c

I don't think it has been particularly handled the best way from the start but you live and learn and these things teach you.


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Nomofica
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Aug 09, 2011 04:31 |  #367

I find it ridiculous that there doesn't appear to be any progress. Really, just sue them. You have legal grounds to do so (breach of contract, fraud, and maybe even theft if the judge thinks these people are really stupid).


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dariussutherland
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Aug 09, 2011 04:56 |  #368

Nomofica wrote in post #12902394 (external link)
I find it ridiculous that there doesn't appear to be any progress. Really, just sue them. You have legal grounds to do so (breach of contract, fraud, and maybe even theft if the judge thinks these people are really stupid).

It's a 3 course meal. He's waiting for his desserts now..


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pwm2
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Aug 09, 2011 06:44 |  #369

Nomofica wrote in post #12902394 (external link)
I find it ridiculous that there doesn't appear to be any progress. Really, just sue them. You have legal grounds to do so (breach of contract, fraud, and maybe even theft if the judge thinks these people are really stupid).

What is your legal background?

How many times have you sued anyone?

What was the outcome?

What specific reasons do you have for suggesting that he sues? That it is possible? Or do you have more specific reasons, based on real evaluations of costs, probabilities of outcomes etc?

On a web forum, people always like to suggest (or use) the heavy artillery. But is that really often a good idea?


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SMP_Homer
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Aug 09, 2011 08:10 |  #370

going to court is an option, but not one I'm considering right now (or possibly ever)
I have a few lawyer friends, have already discussed this issue with someone over beer and wings (same lawyer who I spent a lot of time with getting my contract done).

He agrees with me that I don't have time to do the legal thing - i.e. formally sit with him or another lawyer, spend a couple hours explaining what happened, etc... I have a lot of time to get there, and he tells me it will look a whole lot better on my end if I have time on my side (i.e. give the couple lots of time to do stupid things - the more often they fail to live up to new agreements/deadlines, the better)

As per my contract - no late fees or penalties for missing the payment (there is a NSF fee, and it has been applied). However, it does indicate that I treat the day as not having happened should there be a payment issue (which there clearly is). If I want to delete pictures and totally move on from this, I'm free to do so (I'm not there yet) but he suggests that I wait for the 2nd post-dated check to bounce. I wasn't going to deposit that one, but he suggests that until she tells you not to, she gave you that check to deposit, and you don't want to tell a judge you didn't receive any type of payments if you have a check in hand that you didn't cash for whatever reason, as the couple will go out of their way to say/show there's enough funds there to cover it.

My friend also tells me I should have left the bride on the morning of the wedding to seek out payment from the groom, or ask the assistant to do so. As good as my intentions were that morning, his wording on the contract has me on the sidelines that day until payment agreements are met. He's a bit peeved at me for delaying for a few hours. He also thinks I should have told the groom off when he implied I was insulting him asking for payment, after already putting in a few good-faith hours on his terms.

And finally, we had never discussed this originally, but he will draft me a 2nd contract - one for times where the couple wants to split payments between wedding day and delivery. His suggestion is to include a longer delivery time, stiffer penalties for any late or NSF payments, etc... in the hopes that when a couple sees the 2nd contract, they will like the 1st contract better...

The reason for thinking of not ever taking this issue to court... Should I win that little battle, I get the money.... Might be one big payment, or might be monthly payments that take forever... And then have to fulfill my end of the deal. At this point, I suspect the couple (and so far, I expect the unexpected with them) will seek out every reason to complain about everything I give them, which will cause me to spend more time trying to 'please' them or fight off their BS. If they're not satisfied, they will use me suing them and not being generally happy with them as reason that any work I give them is not suitable (based on their tastes) and may want to take this to a judge as well...

So am I better off never getting a dime, or open the door to waiting for payment + dealing with potentially troublesome clients I don't want to deal with?


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pwm2
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Aug 09, 2011 08:46 |  #371

SMP_Homer wrote in post #12902891 (external link)
And then have to fulfill my end of the deal. At this point, I suspect the couple (and so far, I expect the unexpected with them) will seek out every reason to complain about everything I give them, which will cause me to spend more time trying to 'please' them or fight off their BS.

This was the reason why I wonder why people are so interested in recommending you to sue. It sounds so "cool" to take someone to the court. But it is a process that often have two losers, with only the lawyers as winners.

There must be a very explicit advantage of taking someone to court for it being a reasonable step. If I buy a house, and the builder did a bad job or used second-rate materials, then there is a very strong reason to go to court.

But this is not weeks or months or years of savings we are talking about. The extra time needed to (maybe) get a gain can quickly cost just as much as the already spent time for the actual event.

And it is about the delivery of a product that can only have a subjective value, making it way harder to define what is an acceptable delivery.

It really is way easier to park the photos on a USB disk and go on with other things. If these photos have enough perceived value, the customer may return in a different mood. But that is a different deal, based on a new decision. A decision where it might be wise to show a set of unedited photos and have the customer agree on them being acceptable (signed on paper) before doing any editing. Just because of their troublesome history.


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Aug 09, 2011 08:50 |  #372

i dont think you should offer two contracts. you are again bending over backwards for a potential customer. there are always bad apples in a batch and unfortunately, you have exactly just that -- a bad apple. just chalk this up to experience. maybe revise your existing contract to say half as deposit to lock the date, and payment in full the day of (or a week before as many have suggested). good luck! (just sharing my .02.)




  
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Owain ­ Glyndwr
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Aug 09, 2011 08:53 |  #373

-MasterChief- wrote in post #12903049 (external link)
i dont think you should offer two contracts. you are again bending over backwards for a potential customer. there are always bad apples in a batch and unfortunately, you have exactly just that -- a bad apple. just chalk this up to experience. maybe revise your existing contract to say half as deposit to lock the date, and payment in full the day of (or a week before as many have suggested). good luck! (just sharing my .02.)

I don't think the suggestion was to offer two different contracts right from the start but to have a second contract as a back-up ready to bring out of the drawer if the clients really insist on later payments.


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SMP_Homer
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Aug 09, 2011 08:59 |  #374

-MasterChief- wrote in post #12903049 (external link)
i dont think you should offer two contracts. you are again bending over backwards for a potential customer. there are always bad apples in a batch and unfortunately, you have exactly just that -- a bad apple. just chalk this up to experience. maybe revise your existing contract to say half as deposit to lock the date, and payment in full the day of (or a week before as many have suggested). good luck! (just sharing my .02.)

The idea behind the 2nd contract is to push those that want their terms to my original contract, and back to my terms. A handful every year want to change their terms, and maybe 1/2 of those will agree to my terms once we discuss their and my reasons. The 2nd contract is for the rest that don't want to, as the current contract has no penalties for late payments, other than late=no work will be done.
The lawyer's suggestion is that a client that's given the choice will be easier to deal with than a client that was forced into accepting something he doesn't want...
but contract #2 isn't official...as I said, he will draft one, I'll review it, I'll end up buying more wings and beers, and go from there...


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jmg181
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Aug 09, 2011 09:02 |  #375

pwm2 wrote in post #12903035 (external link)
This was the reason why I wonder why people are so interested in recommending you to sue. It sounds so "cool" to take someone to the court. But it is a process that often have two losers, with only the lawyers as winners.

*shrug* I usually hand over paperwork, and discuss several subjects at once when I have to deal with my lawyer. Makes it easier to deal with. The sums are typically substantial enough, and I don't recall seeing any numbers posted, so I don't know whats left to pay here. However, some money is better than no money - so as long as theres a possibility of getting at least something in return, I wouldn't rule it out as an option.


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