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Business / Philosophy of Photography Taking pics is one thing, but understanding why we take them, what they mean, what they are best used for, how they effect our reality -- all of these and more are important issues of the Philosophy of Photography. One of the best authors on the subject is Susan Sontag in her book "On Photography."

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Legal action over wedding kiss (media report)
Old 01-09-2013   #1
lynnb
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Legal action over wedding kiss (media report)

A couple took the wedding photographer to court claiming damages for failing to capture the wedding kiss.
They also claimed costs for re-staging the wedding photos.
The photographer counter-claimed the unpaid balance of the bill plus court costs, a missed meal, and a penalty fee, according to the above report.
The court tribunal found that it was not always possible to catch the kiss, but that the photography company had failed to deliver value and should compensate the claimant. The claimant was ordered to pay for the missed meal.
Anyone doing wedding work without at least an insurance cover is taking a risk.
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Old 01-09-2013   #2
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Learning:
1. Some customers will always be a pain
2. Don't do weddings
3. Also lawyers need a job
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Old 01-09-2013   #3
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I don't feel bad for the photographer.
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Old 01-09-2013   #4
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I've seen photographers miss all the high points of a wedding. Was at one recently where the photographer forgot his wide angle lens (it was in a small church - it would have been at the top of my list), and missed the cake cutting. For the price of a wedding photographer today, these things shouldn't get missed. IMHO
And yes, I've done a lot of weddings, and worked very hard not to miss the important things.
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Old 01-09-2013   #5
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I've shot one wedding and that was only because if my wife and I didn't do it, there would've been no pictures at all. I don't know how people do it by themselves and cover everything, honestly. I just know that we're never doing it again! We felt like we'd ran a marathon and had been beaten severely at the finish line when it was all done.
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Old 01-09-2013   #6
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My wife and I have recently started shooting weddings together. We booked about 6 this year, which isn't bad for our first year doing it. We've gotten a few clients by word-of-mouth from previous clients, too. So that means we're doing something right.

To say I hate shooting weddings would be an understatement. I don't like the pressure of all of the "one shot" moments. I don't like the lingering mothers and sisters and friends. I don't like the cell phones, point and shoots and uncles with DSLRs. And I especially don't like wedding planners.

But to miss "the kiss" is inexcusable. Missing the bride's little brother doing the worm on the dance floor because you're out photographing the groom and his posse doing whatever grooms and their posses do is one thing. But during the ceremony you have but one objective: The Kiss. That's it. Where the hell was this photographer when they were kissing? My wife and I tag-team the ceremony. I typically shoot with something wide and something semi-normal (17 and 35 or 50) and she shoots with an 85 or 70-200 or something. We stay out of each other's way and we both capture as much of it as possible from different angles. Why this photographer didn't have a second shooter or at least have their camera ON THE BRIDE AND GROOM during the ceremony is beyond me.

But I don't feel sorry for them at all. They blew it, and in my opinion, they should have to refund ALL of the money they were paid. I don't, however, think they should be responsible for giving these people a new wedding. They should just take their refund (that I think they are due) and go find another photographer to photograph them kissing at their favorite coffee shop or park or mall or whatever. It'll be a much better experience and give them a great story to share one day.

Missed the kiss... Wow.
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Old 01-09-2013   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icebear View Post
Learning:
1. Some customers will always be a pain
2. Don't do weddings
3. Also lawyers need a job
Funny and cruel but true!
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Old 01-09-2013   #8
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Now I remember why I don't shoot weddings...
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Old 01-09-2013   #9
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My wife and I have recently started shooting weddings together. We booked about 6 this year, which isn't bad for our first year doing it. We've gotten a few clients by word-of-mouth from previous clients, too. So that means we're doing something right.

To say I hate shooting weddings would be an understatement. I don't like the pressure of all of the "one shot" moments. I don't like the lingering mothers and sisters and friends. I don't like the cell phones, point and shoots and uncles with DSLRs. And I especially don't like wedding planners.

But to miss "the kiss" is inexcusable. Missing the bride's little brother doing the worm on the dance floor because you're out photographing the groom and his posse doing whatever grooms and their posses do is one thing. But during the ceremony you have but one objective: The Kiss. That's it. Where the hell was this photographer when they were kissing? My wife and I tag-team the ceremony. I typically shoot with something wide and something semi-normal (17 and 35 or 50) and she shoots with an 85 or 70-200 or something. We stay out of each other's way and we both capture as much of it as possible from different angles. Why this photographer didn't have a second shooter or at least have their camera ON THE BRIDE AND GROOM during the ceremony is beyond me.

But I don't feel sorry for them at all. They blew it, and in my opinion, they should have to refund ALL of the money they were paid. I don't, however, think they should be responsible for giving these people a new wedding. They should just take their refund (that I think they are due) and go find another photographer to photograph them kissing at their favorite coffee shop or park or mall or whatever. It'll be a much better experience and give them a great story to share one day.

Missed the kiss... Wow.
Well..

As someone who has shot weddings for the past 12 years I can tell you that at some point, for some reason, you WILL miss portions of the ceremony because not all ceremonies are the same (unless you limit to doing only judeo-christian ceremonies or only Greek Orthodox or Islamic or Hindu etc. etc. etc.) - and unless you are intimately familiar with pacing of the ceremony, whether it's a full ceremony/partial ceremony or "quickie" then you could, in fact, miss something as important as the kiss OR the ring exchange (if there are rings) OR drinking of the wine or what have you.

With respect to why the shooter didn't have "second shooter" one can only surmise but try approaching some clients and explain to them that, in order for them to attain a second shooter, they require a further $400/$600 (this depends on the cost for a second shooter - put it out there and see if you had to hire a second how much it would cost for a full day). Many clients balk at this and then figure that the one photographer could actually do it themselves. If they can't, they find someone (like the person in the story) who could or who will (or at least who will SAY they can/will).

Weddings are not easy by any stretch of the imagination and just because this photographer didn't get it right doesn't mean that we all would or could under similar circumstances.

Dave
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Old 01-09-2013   #10
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America is the paradise for attorneys...
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Old 01-09-2013   #11
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America is the paradise for attorneys...
While this may be the case, and not being an American, did you even look at the article to see where the story originated and was being reported from?

Dave
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Old 01-09-2013   #12
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America is the paradise for attorneys...
You just called Australians "Americans"....
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Old 01-09-2013   #13
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I was at a distant friend's wedding, who changed her mind about letting me be the photographer. She instead used a DSLR girlfriend who "was a photographer" (as of the purchase of the camera, from what I could tell). Guess what she missed? The kiss. And she was standing right there on stage. But I got it from my seat....
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Old 01-09-2013   #14
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Originally Posted by goamules View Post
I was at a distant friend's wedding, who changed her mind about letting me be the photographer. She instead used a DSLR girlfriend who "was a photographer" (as of the purchase of the camera, from what I could tell). Guess what she missed? The kiss. And she was standing right there on stage. But I got it from my seat....
Was the friend distant before or after the wedding? I wouldn't blame you :-)
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Old 01-09-2013   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goamules View Post
I was at a distant friend's wedding, who changed her mind about letting me be the photographer. She instead used a DSLR girlfriend who "was a photographer" (as of the purchase of the camera, from what I could tell). Guess what she missed? The kiss. And she was standing right there on stage. But I got it from my seat....
People don't seem to appreciate how hard it is to do a wedding properly until after the damage is done.

I've been asked to photograph people's weddings before and I always say no...and that they should hire someone who actually does weddings for a living. Then, I make extra photos of the in-between moments and they are happy.
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Old 01-09-2013   #16
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Learning:
1. Some customers will always be a pain
2. Don't do weddings
3. Also lawyers need a job
Rule #2 should be Rule #1...
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Old 01-09-2013   #17
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I hope you charged an arm and both legs for the picture.
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Old 01-09-2013   #18
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You just called Australians "Americans"....
well they are learning from someone

meanwhile I am blessed to live in a country where even the police support your legal rights...
more chance of getting a traffic ticket while using a camera in public

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Old 01-09-2013   #19
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America is the paradise for attorneys...
Australia is now a U.S. state??
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Old 01-09-2013   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnb View Post
A couple took the wedding photographer to court claiming damages for failing to capture the wedding kiss.
They also claimed costs for re-staging the wedding photos.
The photographer counter-claimed the unpaid balance of the bill plus court costs, a missed meal, and a penalty fee, according to the above report.
The court tribunal found that it was not always possible to catch the kiss, but that the photography company had failed to deliver value and should compensate the claimant. The claimant was ordered to pay for the missed meal.
Anyone doing wedding work without at least an insurance cover is taking a risk.

That's why there should be a contract. And this is also why sometimes there's stuff in contracts that seem rather ridiculous, but it's to avoid a ridiculous situation such as this. Getting sued for missing the kiss?? I don't see a lasting future for that couple, if they're resorting to spending time and energy on this. The divorce is going to be ultra nasty.
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Old 01-09-2013   #21
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To refuse to pay some 20% of the total price because you are not satisfied with what the photographer delivered is something I can imagine. But to ask to pay for the full re-shoot is ridiculous irrespectively from the nationality. After all - the 'happy' couple are probably not trained models as most marrying couples are not (that is why some shots simply do not look good).

And let me come back to the commentary (in the linked article) under the first photograph: "Not artistic ...." - I mean - look at the room - you can not really expect miracles there unless you start to clone away all the disturbing elements ...

But the bottom line is - what is going to mark the beginning of their marriage - a happiness of the moment or all that stress and anger from the less than perfect photos and the law-suit instead of honeymoon?
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Old 01-09-2013   #22
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starting to have 2nd thoughts about the wedding i'm shooting next month...
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Old 01-09-2013   #23
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... I don't see a lasting future for that couple, if they're resorting to spending time and energy on this. The divorce is going to be ultra nasty.
LOL
We should start a poll on this:
a) less than 6 month
b) 6 - 12 month
c) less than 5 years
d) until death does them part
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Old 01-09-2013   #24
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Now I remember why I don't shoot weddings...
Me too. Don't shoot anything but corporate / advertising.

Whether the photographer was good or bad the lesson is there are folks out there just waiting for the moment to file a lawsuit. Wedding photographers are easy pickings. Want to be photographers and those doing this on the side should take note.
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Old 01-09-2013   #25
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I know why avoid weddings at all, not just photography-wise ...
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Old 01-09-2013   #26
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Now I remember why I don't shoot weddings...
That quote could be used for any vocation...so it's rather silly and simple.
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Old 01-09-2013   #27
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That quote could be used for any vocation...so it's rather silly and simple.
man, its just the internet..nothing should be taken seriously..your comment included
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