Brides Sueing Photographers

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by LaserSailor, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. LaserSailor

    LaserSailor TPF Noob!

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    I've been hearing about this more and more, but havn't really read any specifics.

    As there's a few wedding photographer lurking around here I'd like to present a few questions.

    First what are your thoughts on this recent trend? Do you feel most lawsuits are the result of neglence on the photographer's part or completly unwarranted?

    What steps are you taking to protect yourself from lawsuit?

    I'm trying to break into the field of wedding photography, but as a newbie it's likely that I'll screw up at least once. So this is an important topic to me.
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Make sure you have a well written and well thought out contract.
    Make sure that your portfolio properly represents the work that you can consistently deliver.
    Make sure that the clients understand what they are getting into
    Make sure you are comfortable in your own skills to be able to say "no" to a contract you feel you cannot fully deliver on.
     
  3. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think it would really need to be looked at on a case-by-case basis to make that judgment call.

    That's probably the most important point.

    If something on the photographers part a contract is not fulfilled or if the photos look like Uncle Fred's crappy snaps, a lawsuit may be completely justified.

    If the wedding couple simply decides that they don't like photos that fulfill the contract and are of professional quality, they're just litigious morons.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Practical ways to protect yourself are to have a good contract and good insurance.
    I may be wrong but I think the PPA might have a legal defense team for it's members.

    On the more personal side...make sure that you and your clients know what you're getting into. As mentioned, you need to be able to deliver the goods but they also need to know that their cooperation is essential for the success of their wedding photos.

    I haven't really heard that this was on the rise...or becoming a trend. It's likely that the new agencies are just slow and find this interesting to report on, so it gets more attention than usual.
     
  5. FrankLamont

    FrankLamont TPF Noob!

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    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    The contract can ultimately protect you...
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]...Client(s) agrees to indemnify and defend Photographer ...against any and all claims, liability, damages, costs, and expenses, ... etc etc[/FONT]
     
  6. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    Honestly, IF a bride pays £800 for a photog to do her wedding, and he boasts he has great shots but forgets to mention he has only been doing photography for 5 months...
    I would route for the bride to win the case tbh...

    I personally feel that photography is an art, a talent that should be studied and developed not "broken into"
    By which i guess you realise it is a good money maker...
    which i am totally against, You should do weddings because you like the feeling it gives you, not because of the payout....

    Thats just my vies, but with hundreds of toggers buying a camera then doing wedding straight away to make a quick £1000 - 2000 there isn't much we can do...
    Unless we make a Wedding photography License organisation then make it illegal to do wedding photography without the license but until that day...

    I hope the government are listening to this post, Ya hear government, More money for you :) less noobs for us :) more happy brides :) very good plan :)
    But a board of pro toggers should be hired to inspect the applicant's images, and decide wither they are good enough to be a satisfactory wedding tog, or if they are rubbish, Also they should check the prices too, too low = no common sense, Too high with no evidence to prove they are worth that much.. = expecting too much

    Unfortunately there is no such rules =[
     
  7. doogan

    doogan TPF Noob!

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    As a fairly new wedding photographer I find this topic
    very interesting, and mildly disturbing.

    I suppose I should get a lawyer to draw up a really good
    contract. The one I'm using now I drew up myself; a lawyer
    would most likely be horrified if s/he read it.

    Meanwhile, I tend not to worry about something like this.
    I make sure I am able to deliver everything that's in the
    contract, and then I over-deliver.

    For instance, the contract states that the client will get
    28 optimized images and I typically give them a dozen more.
    If I was sued I really can't see how a judge could rule in
    favor of the client.

    Well, after saying all that, when I get enough money ahead
    I will most likely contact a lawyer to draw up a better contract.
    It seems like the smart thing to do.
    ____________________________________________________

    http://www.dreamworldimages.ca
    Pet Photography Business
    Child Photography
     
  8. ocular

    ocular TPF Noob!

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    Do you have a news article for this ? I've never heard of that before.
     
  9. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Bingo. That's your defence right there. I would toss in "hold harmless" too but whatever. In the US you can pretty much sue someone for anything. It'd suck if you got mugged on the way back from the wedding, and they stole your memory cards, and then you get sued for you know, not defending yourself better against a dude with a gun. :lol:
     
  10. mariusz

    mariusz TPF Noob!

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    have a contract with liability close preventing them to sue you and be honest about your style and prices.
     
  11. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use a very simple contract for weddings... mostly to limit my liability. I won't go out without it signed. Period. It hasn't changed much in over 25 years. Maybe I should re-examine it.

    Anyway... I've never been threatened with a lawsuit over a wedding. I believe that it has much to do with a desire to serve my clients. I imagine myself in their place. They have much at stake. They will hire just one photographer and need to feel good about their decision. And, I want them for life. I want to be "their photographer"... much like their doctor or their lawyer.

    I never loose site of the thought that I'm working for them. I'm on their side. What they want, I want. And they know it.

    I would never use the contract to say, "Gotcha!" If my clients find something lacking, I want to resolve the issue and not simply justify it with contract terms. But be careful with this. If you ever agree to additional service to resolve an issue, you're essentially making a new contract.

    Have fun!

    -Pete
     

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