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    Need Advise Please!!!
    Need Advise Please.


    Iím a wedding photographer who shoots between 40-60 weddings per year. Since weddings mostly happen on weekend, every weekend date is considered valuable because there are only a limited number of weekend dates. Furthermore some weekend dates are considered ďHigh ReasonĒ dates because they are more popular.
    Here in South Florida winter dates are considered high season dates. High season in South Florida ends around late August early Sepetember this is because it get very hot here are we are going into hurricane season.

    Because a wedding photographer can only shoot one wedding at a time we all have contracts. Part of our contract states the following:

    2. In the event of a postponement or cancellation of the wedding or event, the studio MUST be notified in writing. In addition deposits paid are not refundable. If Studio is available and retained by Client for a rescheduled Event, Client may apply the deposits paid, plus an additional deposit of $1000.00, towards Studioís services at rescheduled Event. In addition client is required to pay current package prices (ie: if wedding is moved to the following year, an adjustment in price will apply). A $200.00 rescheduling fee will also be collected if event date is changed. If the Event is canceled or postponed within 4 months of the Event date, the Client is liable for the entire balance. This contract cannot be canceled unless agreed to by both client and studio.

    We have this because almost all serious clients will hire their photographer between one year and 6 months in advance. Once the wedding date gets within 4 months of the wedding most good photographers are already booked and the chances of booking a wedding are greatly reduced.

    So, here is my situation: I was hired to shoot a wedding on 5-27-17 the client (brideís father) asked me to hold the date 1 -1/2 years before the wedding date as soon as his daughter got engaged. At the one year point we started receiving calls from potential clients for their date of 5-27. I called the client and told the brideís father I need money and a contract as well as a deposit because we are getting calls and unless I have a contract and money I will have to meet with these potential clients. He came in and booked his daughters wedding with a $2500.00 deposit and a signed contract.

    About 2 months before the wedding we saw on Facebook his daughter had an elaborate bridal shower. We saw the Facebook photos and assumed everything was
    Fine.
    The following weekend the father called telling us the wedding is off.
    This is only 2 months before the wedding! We tried and could not re-book this date.
    He told me and the band confirmed that the bride (His daughter decided after the bridal shower that she just didnít want to get married.
    At this point the client owes a balance of about $7000.00 which according to the contract is due. I spoke to the father who basically told me that considering he sent me 5 weddings I should forget it and be happy with the $2500.00 deposit. Keep in mind that out of the deposit I had to pay our videographer a deposit. As Iím sure you can imaging my freelance videographer is pissed because he turned away other clients as did I. I also had to tell my second photographer who really needs this job she has no job on one of the most popular Saturdays of the season.

    Now about this family, This would have been the second wedding I shot for this family. I shot the brides sisters wedding 2 years ago. They know many other clients of ours and I have no doubt that when my name comes up they talk favorably about me. Iím shooting a very small party in 2 months that they directly sent. However this client is only paying $600.00 for 3 hours. The father claims he sent me 5 weddings. I very highly doubt that. Iím sure he may have told 5 clients Iím great but having directly sent me 5 direct weddings? Very unlikely.
    He did refer to me his son in lawís sister wedding. However, they spent hours asking questions and asking for advise only in the end to hire someone else.

    Anyway, Iím not sure how to handle this. I spoke to the owner of the band who told me he is going after his balance as per his contract. He will go the court if he needs to but he is willing to settle for a lesser amount. Keep in mind that there are very few good wedding bands and he really does not have to worry about referrals he has plenty of business and future booking are not too much of a concern for him.

    As for myself, I pride myself on having happy clients. We do whatever it takes to try and see to it that our clients are happy. I realize that there is a huge amount of competition and itís not in my best interest to have a single unhappy client. However, after what would have been my expenses which includes, Album, Album design, retouching, and so on, I would have still be been left with an additional profit of $5000.00.
    I think $5000.00 is a good chunk of money to loose. If he did refer 5 clients directly we usually give a gift such as a nice wall print and a family photo session. All of which doesnít amount to even close to $5000.00. Iím sure that if I took him to small claims court I would get some compensation. Maybe not the full $5000.00 but I donít think the judge would tell me I should walk away and lick my wounds.

    Iím not sure what to do here. I hate loosing this money knowing I could have booked a different wedding. I also donít want to feel like a complete sucker.
    Maybe the bride should have given some thought about getting married way before 2 months before her wedding date. I have spoken to the father twice up until now and both times he has told me how stressful this is for him. Then he followed up with, ďbut I sent you 5 weddingsĒ. Think about all the wedding I can send you in the future. By the way I only hear Iím going to send you business when the client either doesnít want to pay, or when they want something for free. In other words Iím going to send you business is code for (Iím not sending you anything) The clients that refer me the most business never tell me they sent business. They just do.

    On one hand I hate to turn a happy client into an unhappy client but I also hate the thought of being a complete sucker. I would love some good advise.


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    Maybe, it's worth working for some company that would solve such problems for you? Like this https://www.poptop.uk.com/glasgow/su...-photographer/. I don't think they have such kind of a headache.


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    I would recommend processing the photo of this site free lightroom presets. Here is a whole collection of free professional presets for photo processing. You can download directly from the site, click on the link. This improves the quality, lighting, and shades make it look like an image on photo networks of experienced photographers with the level of work. Have a good day!


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