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Thread started 11 Jan 2007 (Thursday) 16:50
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Wedding Photographer Suing a Couple

 
Old ­ Coot
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Apr 07, 2013 11:25 |  #61

LBaldwin wrote in post #15798049 (external link)
...I would have asked you to stop shooting...
...I try very quietly to remove financial threats to my business during events I am hired to shoot...
...So I quietly sugest that they desist from shooting. After 35 years of photography I get my point across quite quickly, and have often been very aggressive about it...

Really? Wow, just wow. If the guest refuses to put their camera away, then what? How far do you choose to escalate a situation? What will happen to your business when you get arrested for assaulting a wedding guest because he had a camera? Or what if the wedding guest does not take too kindly to your harassment and aggressive behavior and closes your face for you? Will you be able to fulfill your contractual obligations from jail or the hospital?


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ssim
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Apr 07, 2013 20:49 as a reply to  @ Old Coot's post |  #62

Trudeau, I am from Canada and can speak to this to some degree as I went over this exact issue with my lawyer. I would not send an email to the lawyer asking what grounds he has to sue. I would say to him that the images you did were at the requet of the bride and before you posted them on facebook you cleared it with the bride. So if he has an issue it is with the bride and not with you. Limit your communication with him and keep it factual and to the point.

When I went full-time I had my lawyer go over all of my contracts and other documents. He suggested that I remove the clause in my wedding contract that says that we are the exclusive photographer and if we find other photographing we reserve the right to withdraw our services at that point. We would still supply images up to that point but we would not be obligated to live up to everything contained in the contract. This would only be possible if we had advised the bride or groom and request that they ask the person to cease and desist and to not publish what they had taken thus far. I had gotten this language from a friend in the US and in retrospect it did sound silly. According to my lawyer this was essentially unenforceable and most judges apply some degree of common sense in cases such as this and simply kick everyone out of the courtroom. I have left it in my wedding contract but toned it down because there can be cause for it to be used in some circumstances.

Say you are a guest at the wedding and you bring along your professional looking equipment and take a few dozen shots. If you have the permission of the bride and groom but have not entered into a paid agreement then you are just another guest taking some shots for yourself when it comes to the legality of it. Now I wouldn't suggest shooting over the contract pro's shoulder on groupings that he had taken time to set up but as far as shooting some candids we will never stop those from happening. I have taken another different approach in the last couple of years. It is inevitable that someone is going to show up with a DSLR and good glass. I don't worry about them but I do introduce myself and if they tell me they are an aspiring or working pro I advise them that I do have exclusivity with the bride and groom but they are free to shoot as much as they want of their friends for their own personal use. In fact when I do formal groups in view of the public I step aside and tell everyone with their DSLR's ad/or point and shoots to step in and take their shots but once I step in again I ask them to stop. This allows me to control the eye movement of the people I am shooting instead of one of them peeking at aunt Sally that might be shooting to one of my sides. Have I lost any post wedding sales because of this, I don't think so but I suppose it is possible.

I find that those that have to put this in their contracts and defend it with the threat of legal action are not secure enough in their work. I have left it in mine as a one line statement but have never used it against anyone and in all honesty I hardly ever ask the bride to agree to that because of the way I conduct myself with others at the wedding. If you have gone to the effort of billing yourself as a professional photographer and get spooked by someone else at the wedding with a DSLR then you should rethink your career options.

In the question from Mr. Trudeau I would suggest that he simply refer the questions to the bride and groom and not to engage this other guy that seems to be scared for some reason.


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600dinmyhand
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Apr 08, 2013 05:31 |  #63

I tagged onto a "pro" at my SD's wedding, he charged £GBP500 (mates rates) and produced 40 images, I charged nothing, produced 100+ AND a couple of vids. the "pro" got a bit edgy when i was taking shots over his shoulder.....tough

2 other daughters paid £GBP200 each to final year student and the results were dire




  
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vengence
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Apr 08, 2013 09:58 |  #64

If it was my wedding, and the photographer tried to prevent someone else from taking pictures, I'd tell him to shut up or GTFO. No one is buying photos from the other people in the crowd, and if one of them can take pictures that are of a high enough quality to rival your work, then you clearly aren't work paying if he's willing to doing it for free. Because let's face it, he's not doing it for free if he's a pro, and if an non-pro is taking better pictures than you are, why the hell am I paying you?

Feel free to threaten all you want about your silly little contract, it amounts to **** as there isn't a lawyer who will bother taking it to court.




  
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ssim
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Apr 08, 2013 16:46 as a reply to  @ vengence's post |  #65

600dinmyhand wrote:
the "pro" got a bit edgy when i was taking shots over his shoulder.....tough

Nice attitude and I'm sure that you would be equally appreciative if someone was doing that to you. It is easy to lose control of the subjects when you have so many other people shooting over your shoulder, beside you, etc. That is why I let the people do their thing and then I stop them and do my own images. I guess if one has to shoot over a photographer's shoulder in order to get the poses that the other one has set up then that is what you do.


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icacphotography
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Apr 08, 2013 21:31 |  #66

Lav wrote in post #2527441 (external link)
I hope I dont make too many enemies with my first post, but I'd just like to describe a similar situation that happened to me but from the "other guys" point of view.

Im not a professional photographer and have never charged for any photography services so lets just get that cleared up. However it is a hobby of mine and when i attaended a good friends wedding recently I took along my camera as requested by my friend the bride. She did tell me that she was paying a professional photographer. The pro though did not have a clue when taking the job that I was going to be there with my gear.

Heres how it panned out. We get to the wedding I start getting set up for what I wanted to do with my shots when the wedding is all happening Im getting some good shots the pro is getting obviously some good shots as he seemed pretty happy but within about 2 minutes he comes over to me and says "are you getting payed as well?" I say "no Im one of the brides friends" He says "How do you like your new 400D?" I say "its ok but a bit hard to hold onto"

Anyway to cut a long story short this guy showed me a lot that day and he handled it really well and showed no sign of being intimidated by me, made room for each other and even gave me some pointers.

Maybe the problem wasnt that that guy you speak of was there but instead your lack of ability to communicate and take control of the situation.

And yes I would post my pics of that wedding on my site too, why not I took them.......

Sounds like the pro photog who shot my best friend's wedding. Showed up beforehand and asked if it was cool if I took photos. He said yea sure go ahead just try not to be in my shots. I said no problem at all I'll be shooting from my seat which was on the aisle for the ceremony. Got some great shots from where I was sitting and then when he was posing everyone for the group shots he was chatting with me and the other photog friend who came to the wedding about our gear and what sorts of things we liked to shoot and such. He took a bunch of pics of the formal stuff at the reception then packed up and was invited to stay by the B&G for the fun. He stayed and partied with the rest of us but didn't take any more posed shots. In fact he was chilling with myself and the other photog friend and taking a look at our shots every now and then actually seemed quite impressed. Ended up friending him on facebook a few months later after chatting with him and dropping by his studio and what was just a casual chat with a paid wedding photog turned into a "here's my card write down your cell number and I'll call you in the summer I need some 2nd shooters and you guys have the stuff and the talent I'm looking for" Well this past summer rolls around and I ended up getting 3 wedding calls from him 2nd shot them all and made myself a nice little 15% cut off each one worked out to be about $300 each wedding not to mention I had a great time doing it.

I think at the end of the day as long as you don't step on the paid pros toes and you treat them like people you can really network well if you're good at it.

On the original topic of the thread. Twisted sister all I can say is there no way you can come out of this without looking absolutely ridiculous and hurting your business. If the other photog is out of state and not local to you how exactly is that going to hurt you? Do you honestly think they are good enough people would pay their travel expenses to have them shoot locally where you are? if not let it go and move on.

EDIT: just re read your post Twisted sister I thought you were the photog. Sorry about that. my point still stands to whoever the original photog referenced in the story was.


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stillinamerica
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Apr 08, 2013 23:20 |  #67

Lav...it took you 8 years to post???. Anyway this is a good example of how us pros should respond, if the other photog is kind too.

I'm going to the first wedding as a guest in July, I have shot 30 weddings. You better believe I am not so much as taking my iPhone to snap any pictures, I will leave that to the pro. I am going to drink beer and dance!!!

Lav wrote in post #2527441 (external link)
I hope I dont make too many enemies with my first post, but I'd just like to describe a similar situation that happened to me but from the "other guys" point of view.

Im not a professional photographer and have never charged for any photography services so lets just get that cleared up. However it is a hobby of mine and when i attaended a good friends wedding recently I took along my camera as requested by my friend the bride. She did tell me that she was paying a professional photographer. The pro though did not have a clue when taking the job that I was going to be there with my gear.

Heres how it panned out. We get to the wedding I start getting set up for what I wanted to do with my shots when the wedding is all happening Im getting some good shots the pro is getting obviously some good shots as he seemed pretty happy but within about 2 minutes he comes over to me and says "are you getting payed as well?" I say "no Im one of the brides friends" He says "How do you like your new 400D?" I say "its ok but a bit hard to hold onto"

Anyway to cut a long story short this guy showed me a lot that day and he handled it really well and showed no sign of being intimidated by me, made room for each other and even gave me some pointers.

Maybe the problem wasnt that that guy you speak of was there but instead your lack of ability to communicate and take control of the situation.

And yes I would post my pics of that wedding on my site too, why not I took them.......


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stillinamerica
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Apr 08, 2013 23:28 |  #68

Oh...sorry just seeing this post is from 2007...Lav...sorry mate!


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olafs ­ osh
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Apr 09, 2013 02:52 |  #69

Mr. Trudeau - just ha chuckle about this e-mail. It's nothing but a compliment to you. I agree with others - just write a short and precise note to take the issue with the bride [or whoever the tog has a contract with] and take a chillpill.


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Curtis ­ N
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Apr 09, 2013 16:22 |  #70

Trudeau wrote in post #15793098 (external link)
I received an email from the wedding photographer telling me to take down my pictures of she was going to take legal action.

I figure we may as well have fun with such idiots.

I would give her my home address and tell her the best time of day for the Sheriff to stop by to serve the summons. I would also offer to recommend a good lawyer if she didn't already have one.


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iMAGEN ­ STUDIOS
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Apr 09, 2013 18:13 as a reply to  @ Curtis N's post |  #71

Here are my thoughts.

1). You and couple signed a contract agreeing that you will be the photogarpher and that YOU will be the exclusive photogarpher.

2.) you showed up and did what you were paid to do. however, there was a second photographer there.


3.) This photographer stayed out of your way and you were still able to execute your job.

4.) The couple recieves images from this other photographer and makes great comments about his photos.

So,if I had a friend who was getting married and hired another photogapher to do thier wedding, I cannot show up to the wedding with my camera and take picures?

I really do not understand the nature of your intended lawsuit. So long as i get paid for the job i was hired to do. as a matter of fact i enjoy shooting with others. sometimes i ask if they could hold the reflector or lights for me.




  
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one2nite
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Apr 11, 2013 12:29 |  #72

This is why I dont like 90% photographers


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kjonnnn
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Apr 11, 2013 12:51 |  #73

Exclusivity can easily be interpreted to mean that other photographers will not be hired, not necessarily that others won't show up. lol




  
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600dinmyhand
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Apr 12, 2013 03:09 |  #74

ssim wrote in post #15804825 (external link)
Nice attitude and I'm sure that you would be equally appreciative if someone was doing that to you. It is easy to lose control of the subjects when you have so many other people shooting over your shoulder, beside you, etc. That is why I let the people do their thing and then I stop them and do my own images. I guess if one has to shoot over a photographer's shoulder in order to get the poses that the other one has set up then that is what you do.

It was a good job I did what I did as his (pro) 40 shots for £500 were a joke...about 10 were exclusive, only because I had to take my seat inside the church for the ceremony...




  
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Apr 12, 2013 05:39 |  #75

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