PJ and/or Traditional Photography... Law Suit?WTF

Discussion in 'Photo Assignments & Technical Challenges' started by IgsEMT, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not sure where to put it, I hope it was right place

    So here's something interesting ;)

    More often then not, I work for studio. About 6mns ago was given an interesting assignment, to shoot an engagement party. So I show up early, setup the lights, ready to go (nothing out of ordinary).
    Couple shows up, we head outdoor, shoot some candids come back into the restaurant, and thats where fun starts. Number of family and friends show up & see a strobe light in the corner (mind you, couple saw it there, didn't say a word and owners of the place had no problem with it being there). So, groom's dad asks me why I have a light there and not in terms of photography but rather WHY I HAVE IT. So I explain to him the benefit of it and such and he walks away. Meanwhile I'm following B&G and shooting them with their friends and whoever else wants to be in front of the camera.
    About an hour later, same Daddy shows up and again starts asking me about the light but this time tells me how that light wasn't part of the contract. All this goes on loud enough for guests to hear :( as you know "clients are always right" so I keep my mouth shot just to keep tension as low as possible.
    Sometime before end of my time there I asked B&G if I can get a pic of them with parents and grandparents. No Problem.
    I finish the job from hell (with Daddy looking over my shoulder). Deliver it, tell the story what happened we have a laugh about it... About a week later, studio owner calls me asking me about confrontation that i had with groom's father. Apperently, he called the studio, complaining that they got "some traditional photographer who doesn't know what he is doing. He was rude to the guest and did some posing pictures". Then he threatened to sue the studio for not providing product they agreed on.
    Now, no where in the contract does it say what "style" must be shot, #2 to keep the profit up, rather then getting an assistant WITH A SECOND LIGHT, I just took a second light. So I got permission to call B&G to find out what was the problem. They had no problems and gave me phone number of his father; the moment he heard who I was he started screaming and cursing at me. So, I apologized to him for...I don't know what...and called my boss back. Week later B&G came to pick up the proofs and signed the contract for wedding. Few days after, nutty Dad called the studio saying he is suing and already filed papers with his lawyer.
    SO FINALLY, me, studio-owner, Dad, B&G got all together to find out what exactly is the problem; and problem was that he was under impression that they are getting a photojournalist not someone who comes "with a lot of gear".
    My minimal gear is 2 bodies, 2 flash units, 3 lenses and one strobe light or an assistant with light; on average wedding, I have 4 lights - two for formals if needed and 2 to cover everything else + assistant

    COURT DATE: judge read the contract, saw the images, heard daddy's arrangements, heard mine explanation of what is what, there were no witnesses to both sides. PLUS I brought the new contract that B&g signed for wedding. He dismissed the case against us and ordred pops to pay all court fees.

    NOW that all this is behind me,I'm wondering if I actually did do something wrong or not.
    Oh, I can't show the images since they are studio's property :(
    Thanks
     
  2. pcacj

    pcacj TPF Noob!

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    Court ruled in your favor so you have the blessing of the local legal system. I am no lawyer, but I cannot see anything you did wrong according to your version of events. Was the contract with the Dad or the B&G ? Sounds like the Dad heard that you can screw photographers out of their pay and maybe get a little extra cash (or maybe he was in wedding sticker-shock and was looking to get free photography).
     
  3. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    That's what happens when you have 2 captains on one ship so to speak. Sounds like Dad wanted to be in charge as well as the B&G. Dad apparently wanted more candid photos while the B&G were happy with what you were doing.

    Sounds more like something they needed to discuss with each other rather than taking it out on you, but who knows... 'Dad' isn't on this forum to explain his side of the story, but it sounds like the judge agreed with yours.
     
  4. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Contract was with B&G while pops was paying for it (at least thats what I understood it to be).
    I haven't shot one single formal portrait there. It was a strobe bouncing into the ceiling as the back light and my on-camera flash doing its thingy-thingy.
     
  5. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    He sued you for having too much gear? (Even though you didn't really bring that much...)

    That's kinda what it sounds like to me...

    Glad to hear that the case got thrown out, and daddy got to pay all court costs. Still sucks that you had to waste your time going to court though.
     
  6. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Perhaps he expected some1 with just a camera and nothing else. I don't go on assignments with just one body but once you take all backup, it turns into a large backpack + lights if/when needed :)
     
  7. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    i'm sad for you that you had to justify your dedication to the task and sad for the guy that he felt so aggrieved/cheated. sounds a really crazy situation.. i don't understand it.
     
  8. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Me neither, thats why I posted it here to get world wide perspective and not subjective opinion from ppl who know me personally
     
  9. JeffieLove

    JeffieLove TPF Noob!

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    I think dad was just a little overboard... I don't see anything that you or the studio did wrong ;)
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    What an interesting and very different post! It seems like managing the expectations of clients is one of the most successful parts of making things go smoothly. Sounds like the father was also a bit of a control freak--but I am glad to hear that he took your company to court and LOST!
     
  11. Crazydad

    Crazydad No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow! It is just crazy that he went so far as to actually file and go to court over the phot equipment you brought. Especially when he obviously has no idea what it was for or how you were using it. Dad needs to relax before his head explodes...... Whatever happened to trusting the professional to do their job?

    Plus, if I was the bride, I would seriously start wondering what kind of family I'm marrying into. Yikes....
     
  12. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So... you used the equipment necessary to achieve the quality that was likely the reason you were chosen by the client in the first place. Where's the wrong in that? (hint: nowhere)

    I honestly can't figure out what "daddy's" angle is, other than that he is a complete wack-job.
     

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