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Newbie Bride July 2015

Photographer cancelled 2 weeks before wedding!

BrideLeanne, 28 June 2015 at 02:04 Posted on Wedding Planning 0 45
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Hi all,

I'm new here and looking for advice so hoping you can help please.

I had an email at 11:30pm from my photographer who has said she now cannot attend my wedding as she was just informed a family member would be getting married on the same day as me and has no choice but to cancel my booking.

I paid the full balance for her services in January this year and she has offered me a full refund.

In the contract it states:

Attendance

In the unlikely event of the assigned Photographer being unable to attend your wedding due to unforeseen circumstances, we reserve the right to appoint another photographer to attend your wedding on our behalf to undertake the wedding photography to his/her best ability.

However, she is not providing us with another photographer and has just left us in the S**t (apologies for the language but I am very upset).

Is there anything we can do legally as she has broken the contract?

Does anyone know of a good photographer in Kent for a decent price?

Thanks so much in advance,
Leanne

45 replies

Latest activity by Ash953, 3 July 2015 at 17:22
  • A
    Newbie Bride March 2015
    Ash953 ·
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    First, I am sorry this has happened. It sucks and I can completely understand that you're angry. I'd be f***ing furious.

    Second, get your cash back asap and a new photographer asap. Tell your old photographer that in getting the refund that it is not meant as a waiver of her obligations under the contract and that you reserve your rights.

    If the new photographer is more expensive than the old photographer or if you cannot find a new photographer, see a lawyer/CAB after your wedding and have them draft a letter setting out the old photographer's breach of contract and damages. If it is a nominal amount, you may wish to skip this all together - as it might be a waste of time considering the effort.

    Your first priority is to get a new photographer. You can deal with the old one after the wedding.

    Best of luck.

    • Reply
  • overtherainbow
    overtherainbow ·
    • Report

    Really sorry to hear this. I'm sure some of the togs on here will be able to recommend someone in your area that can help. I'm a bit suspicious of the reason she gives to be honest. If she is cancelling you to do the photos for a family friend, she must have known about it sooner than this. Personally, even if it's true, I can't imagine any professional cancelling a long standing booking customer who has paid in full to do a family wedding. Any normal thinking family would surely understand that she was already booked and wouldn't expect her to cancel your booking to do their wedding.

    I would get your money back asap and then seek advice regarding the contract. As she isn't providing another photographer as mentioned in the contract, then you should have some recompense for this as well as the full refund.

    • Reply
  • B
    Newbie Bride July 2015
    BrideLeanne ·
    • Report

    Thanks Ash for your reply, I'm devestated about it all, was up till nearly 3am trying to find other photographers who may have availability for a Saturday wedding in July.

    I will definitely look at what I can do after the wedding.

    x

    • Reply
  • B
    Newbie Bride July 2015
    BrideLeanne ·
    • Report

    Hi Overtherainbow,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I completely agree with what you said, how could she not have known that the family member would be getting married sooner? I also said to her that as a business woman she should honour full paying customers who have been booked in prior. I also said that as she has breached the contract would I be entitled to compensation to cover the costs of a new photographer and she basically just said no!

    I'm definitely going to see what I can do about it as I'm fuming. I have Which? legal advice so will probably give them a call and see what, if anything I can do about it.

    x

    • Reply
  • B
    Bruce Neville Photography ·
    • Report

    Sorry to say but this is becoming more common and using the same excuse of a family member getting married☹️, what has happened is she booked you in on a cheap/startup price and now has a higher paid client booked, so she drops her cheaper client, We all could do this but we are more professional, the amount of enquiries I get for the same date is unreal and I too could name my price, its disgusting what these new photographers are doing, honestly really sorry for this.

    Not sure how much you paid her or your max budget is but I'm sure there is a photographer on here in your budget.

    • Reply
  • Sam&Louise
    Newbie Bride September 2015
    Sam&Louise ·
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    So sorry to hear the awful situation this photographer has left you in. Try not to be too put out by the fact that she hasn't provided another photographer- IMO that is a blessing.

    She could, under that clause appoint anyone and you don't know what you're getting until it's too late. You could end up with someone who is completely rubbish, has a totally different style to what you wanted etc. At the very least, try to see the positive in the fact you get to choose who you want now. I know that wont be much comfort at the moment, but it may help a little.

    I think Laura is in your area https://lauradebourdephotography.com/

    I really hope you manage to find someone soon.

    • Reply
  • AuntieBJ
    Newbie Bride September 2014
    AuntieBJ ·
    • Report

    So sorry to hear this! My togs are based in whit stable but travel all over Kent http://www.robertmarriottphotography.co.uk I know they are pretty much fully booked but they may be able to help or at least give you some other options. I hope you find someone x

    • Reply
  • K
    Newbie Bride May 2016
    kat_jen ·
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    So sorry this has happened to you, this is just totally unacceptable behaviour good luck with the legal advice. I don't know anyone is your area as such but I know our photographer travels. He's a reasonable price and a lovely person too. Search Benjamin mathers photography if your interested we're based in Norfolk and he recently shot a wedding in London so could be a possibility?

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  • overtherainbow
    overtherainbow ·
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    Trading Standards are also very helpful and will let you know the best course of action to take. They may also have a note of any previous complaints about her too which could further help your cause. Hope you find someone soon.

    • Reply
  • Wedding Photography By Bill Haddon
    Wedding Photography By Bill Haddon ·
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    View quoted message

    This is unforgivable behavior, and does not sound real to me. As has been said - she has just found out 2 weeks before does not sound plausible and even if it is true then so what - she shouldn't be cancelling a pre booked wedding, to do what, attend it as a guest ? or shoot it for them ? and if that is the case then she would then be loosing x amount of £ from your booked wedding for the privilege of attending or shooting theirs for free, there must be another reason behind it.

    How much did you pay

    Is she a full time pro

    Does she have a website or is she someone you found on facebook

    • Reply
  • T
    Newbie Bride
    Teal ·
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    I cant really give any advice, but am so sorry to hear about the whole situation. An added stress I'm sure you don't need. In the long run, you will be better off, because I wouldn't want someone with that attitude photographing my wedding. Nor would I want another one that she recommends.

    There are some lovely TOG's on here, and I'm sure they will recommend a reputable one for you.

    • Reply
  • Chris Giles Photography
    Chris Giles Photography ·
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    Hi,

    I'm a member of several groups of photographers who, when they are already booked post the wedding detail so as to source some who are available for the couple.

    If you'd like me to do this for you I'll need the date, venue details and your budget and I'd have a list of names for you in under 24 hours.

    And BTW, I think the other wedding doesn't exist.

    • Reply
  • Peter
    Peter ·
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    As said by many....unforgivable and unprofessional. This photographer is a blight on our industry. Once I have committed to a job, only a severe accident would prevent me attending....and then, the back up plans would slip in to place to cover any weddings.

    Couples need peace of mind and confidence in the suppliers they have chosen running up to their wedding, not situations like this......

    Peter

    • Reply
  • Paula @ Ollievision
    Paula @ Ollievision ·
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    I agree with the others, it's a disgraceful excuse. How could anyone find out about a "family members" wedding only 2 weeks before it? My clients weddings take priority over any family events. I missed my son's confirmation last summer and have missed family weddings too.

    If you haven't found anyone feel free to check out my site. I live in Yorkshire but cover weddings across the UK.

    • Reply
  • B
    Newbie Bride July 2015
    BrideLeanne ·
    • Report

    Hi all,

    Thanks so much for all your responses, it's much appreciated :-)

    I found the photographer through Wowcher (when I was just browsing) and thought it was a fabulous deal, too good to be missed. She was offering 8 hours photography with 300 images for £199 down from her usual price of £800. After checking availability with her first, I then made the payment in full. We have had lots of conversations discussing the style of shots and what we wanted from our day.

    Since I made the booking, she must have had at least 100 more bookings through Wowcher, she is currently on there now with 44 new bookings.

    Obviously with it being so late in the day, my wedding budget is nearly gone and looking around at some packages they are well above a stretched budget but I can't not have photos of my wedding day :'-(

    Leanne

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  • Peter
    Peter ·
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    With Wowchers cut, she is making virtually nothing on weddings....this is unsustainable.....

    • Reply
  • Peter
    Peter ·
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    I would also post what date your wedding is and more precise location, in case a member on here can help out......it won't be at those prices though......you may be able to cut a late booking deal for a "proper" tog with a space in their diary......

    Peter

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  • B
    Bruce Neville Photography ·
    • Report

    Wowcher ☹️ she wont be in business to shoot any ones weddings, when will people learn, if its too good to be true then it is. Sorry but as I said she wont be in business charging so little in the first place then Wowcher takes their 50% cut as well, she will soon learn wedding photography doesn't pay at those prices.

    • Reply
  • B
    Newbie Bride July 2015
    BrideLeanne ·
    • Report

    I'm getting married on 11th July at a church in Swanley with the reception in Brandshatch later.

    I'm open to anything at the moment and if it means I don't have bridal prep pics then I can live with that, I'm not looking for an album just the images on a disc etc.

    Sorry, I'm quite new to the forum, what does tog mean?

    Thanks,
    Leanne

    • Reply
  • Peter
    Peter ·
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    The "one" positive from this is that you have two weeks notice to sort something....that may sound odd, although its better than having a tog "no appearance" on the day itself.....

    Peter

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  • Peter
    Peter ·
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    Tog is short for pho-TOG-rapher.....

    • Reply
  • Wedding Photography By Bill Haddon
    Wedding Photography By Bill Haddon ·
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    And another one is fauxtographer being someone pretending to be a professional when they are not, which sadly looks like what we have here.

    If you were local to me and I was available I would of been happy to sort something special for you but it would still of been more than you were paying. Dont fall into the same trap again by getting just a just as cheep replacement.

    • Reply
  • B
    Newbie Bride July 2015
    BrideLeanne ·
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    Thanks Peter and Bill for your responses :-)

    • Reply
  • MadamRed
    Newbie Bride April 2017
    MadamRed ·
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    I can't help with a photographer, but just wanted to say you should also contact Wowcher ASAP. 1) If you bought a voucher through them for her services, you may be able to reclaim the cost of the voucher from them; 2) If they are getting this sort of feedback a lot (seems likely), they may decide to reconsider allowing her to advertise and sell through their site.

    We had a couple of issues with Groupon, where we'd bought vouchers for a restaurant (which went bust) and a jetpack experience (which cancelled its West Midlands location and started only offering experiences in London). In both cases, we were able to claim a refund for the cost of the voucher through Groupon and (I assume) they pursued the supplier separately.

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  • Peter
    Peter ·
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    View quoted message

    If you would care to email me the details of the tog, I would be interested to look at their website......Those that have known me on this forum for over 10 years know that this would be done for the right reasons. I have helped countless brides over the years. Any comments would be private and never passed on or around.

    ************@*****.***

    Peter

    • Reply
  • Paula @ Ollievision
    Paula @ Ollievision ·
    • Report

    Ahh... sadly it makes much more sense now. Professional wedding photographers don't use "coupon offers" as if you pay £200 I think the photographer gets less than half of that. Those of us who do wedding photography as a full time job will all tell you that it's simply not possible to work for that rate of pay.

    We regularly hear of discount voucher photographers cancelling at short notice... there are repeated claims of "illness" "family emergency" or even just going bust and closing completely.

    I posted this response on another thread here in January "I shot a wedding last summer for a couple let down by a Wowcher deal photographer. So many of them go bust because they are not making enough money to live on. The photographer didn't even tell them she had folded. They started doing web searches after they had problems contacting her before the wedding. That led them to a newspaper article about lots of angry clients let down."

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  • Chris Giles Photography
    Chris Giles Photography ·
    • Report

    I know I said I'd ask but that's way lower than anyone I know charges. Saturdays in July are peak season, they probably got a much better offer. I started at £150 and that's when I'd never shot a wedding before.

    Beware of any deal site. Lots of horror stories attached to them. I hope you find someone but I'd advise looking to pay £800+

    • Reply
  • L
    Newbie Bride October 2014
    LalaC1988 ·
    • Report

    Aww honey I am genuinely gutted for you to read this :-(

    i don't really have anything constructive to say, really to back what auntiebj said about her photographer she has some really lovely photos. And was very reasonably priced

    also as another suggestion have you facebook? Have you told people in there your problem, a lot of people nowadays have an interest in photography and have some very good equipment although not professionally, they may be able to do a reasonably good job at capturing your day for you. Also, if you can afford it, get a couple of cheap digital cameras and ask a couple of your guests to be in charge of getting special memories captured, again they won't be professional but you may be suprised some of the photos you will get, also get yourself some web space where everybody can put alol their photos on for the day for you.

    • Reply
  • Karen84
    Newbie Bride July 2016
    Karen84 ·
    • Report

    Leanne, try Ashley Cummins photography. He's a friend of mine, he's just started doing photography full time so he might have availability at short notice. He's based in Rochester. Good luck!

    • Reply
  • yorkshirekiwi
    Newbie Bride August 2014
    yorkshirekiwi ·
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    Hi BrideLeanne,

    So sorry that this has happened to you. I know that you're on a tight budget and deadline - you've had some good suggstions here so I hope you find something that suits you. Just one other thought.

    You may be able to find a keen amateur through your local camera club or art college - my own photographer was an amatuer doing a camera course. She was recommended to me by a friend of a friend as I was on a tight budget. Mine was the 4th wedding she had shot solo, and she had done a couple of others working alongside a pro as second tog. She charged me 150quid for a full days work - from bridal preparation through to speeches and, and provided me with over 1000 images from my day on disk. Fair enough they are not profssionally edited, but she signed over all the rights to me so I can get them professionally edited later if I want. To be honest I probably wont bother, I was more than happy with her work.

    I know many of the professionals on here warn against using amateurs and fair enough, but at such short notice for you, something must be better than nothing!

    Also, I would encourage you to set up a Wedpics account or similar and get your guests to share their photos, we had one to supplement the pictures our Tog took and I love browsing it. We got over 1000 guest photos that way - things that the TOG would never have seen or captured but that capture a different angle of our special day.

    • Reply
  • Anna Zofka Photography
    Anna Zofka Photography ·
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    Sorry to hear this happened to you Smiley sad

    Photographer's behaviour is absolutely unacceptable and the excuse is ridiculous. It's beyond me how any wedding supplier can say something like this to a client two weeks before the wedding.

    Sadly when a deal sounds too good to be true, there is usually a reason for it. £200 is not much more than one-off wedding costs, let alone overheads or profit. As others said - the photographer probably got better paid gig or closed the business as it wasn't sustainable.

    We are actually available on the 11th 🙂 We're based just south of Cambridge, but cover the whole country (and more 🙂 ). Feel free to have a look on our website (www.annazofka.com) and drop us a line if you would like to have a chat.

    Andy

    • Reply
  • M
    Newbie Bride July 2015
    MrsWebberToBe ·
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    That's really awful, I hope you manage to find someone else, then if I were you, I'd see who you could complain to. I'd also be tempted to name and shame as I'd be that mad!

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