A wedding photographer in Washington state was recently issued a wake-up call when it comes to client contracts. The photographer had made a verbal agreement to photograph a wedding and give the couple all of the raw images files rather than prints–a practice commonly referred to within the industry as “shoot to burn”– so they could make the edits themselves. Once they received the images the couple posted them to their personal Facebook pages, receiving many positive comments on the quality of the photography. That didn’t stop the couple, one of which is an attorney, from writing a threatening letter to the photographer demanding a large sum of money or else be faced with an $300,000 lawsuit on the grounds that the photographer ruined their wedding by taking poor quality images:
“Lesson to be learned here, use a contract when you shoot a wedding. Here’s the big lesson, even if you’re an expert photographer and you do an incredible job you could get really screwed. Even if you had a contract, there are people out there who will take advantage of you.”
The case has already drawn the attention of many and has caused a public outrage among photographers who are sympathetic for the recipient of the letter. As Gary Fong points out the photographer did make a couple crucial mistakes; however, the couple have made a few mistakes of their own. How do you think this case will or should turn-out?
Update – more details on the case as it develops. The photographer’s name is Nelson Tang and he continues to fight against the attorney trying to intimidate him:
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