Bride Ordered to Pay Photographer $89k for Posting Nasty Reviews

NeoNemesis

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If I recall correctly, I paid about $5000 for my wedding photos. They gave us a selection of edited photos on a DVD, several leather bound photo books (which are fantastic) a DVD filled with about ~5200 unedited photos.

I personally liked getting all the unedited photos because, while they obviously weren't the photographers' (there was a whole team of them) best work, they still have some great memories attached to them.
 

sfsuphysics

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Fucking the diamond industry and the wedding industry fucking ruining it for men by making them think that if they don't get a house mortgage worth of 'gifts' for getting married then you don't love them.

Luckily my wife is frugal and was more than happy with getting married in a hot air balloon, cost of wedding about $500 including the license!
 

snowcrash

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Fucking the diamond industry and the wedding industry fucking ruining it for men by making them think that if they don't get a house mortgage worth of 'gifts' for getting married then you don't love them.

Luckily my wife is frugal and was more than happy with getting married in a hot air balloon, cost of wedding about $500 including the license!
What kind of BS attitude is that? If you don't want to spend $5k+ for a professional photographer with the industry standard of the photographer owning the originals, feel free to hire someone from Craigslist or a friend to cover the wedding for you.

I simply don't get it. You're paying for someone's expertise. That costs money. They are not holding a gun to your head that forces you to have to use them. Is it everyone's opinion that they are always underpaid for their skill while other people are grossly overpaid?
 
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nutzo

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No, you worked with an amateur photographer who didn't know better.

The reason professional photographers do not provide raws/negatives as practice is that it is not representative of their work. Unedited photos are absolutely nothing like edited photos. In the digital age, I'm not going to trust anyone not to do a hackjob edit on my photos and when asked they use my name as the photographer. Any photography work I do is absolutely and utterly my property, you are licensing it from me for reproduction. Photography is artwork and it is protected intellectual property.

You could take a raw/negative and make it look like shit/nothing like what I produce. Most people don't realize how fucking expensive it is to actually do a wedding well. It's not just being some person with a camera, take some photos, then show how and collect your money check and bilk people for prints later.

If I shoot your wedding and I bring 15K in gear, that gear wears out. It costs money to insure, it costs money in software, computer equipment, long term storage, fuel, vehicle, logistics/planning. Business costs, taxes, health insurance, medicaide/ss. The list goes on very long, much more than "just have a camera and show up".

If I shoot a job for someone I hold onto files forever, because what happens if your house burns down, your hard drives crash, you lose the files I sent you?

There can be a LOT of time involved in post processing images. Sometimes you can skate with 5-10 minutes work, sometimes it can take 1-2 hours per.

People who think a wedding photographer worth a shit should only be a few hundred to a grand or clearly do not understand the effort involved nor the years of experience required to do the job well.

Actually he was a professional photographer (don't remember the exact business, but I think he ran a photography studio.)
The wedding picture business was a side job he like to do for a little extra cash and he had been doing it for many years.
He was very specific in his sales pitch that always gave you the negatives, and that he retained no rights to the photos.
His price was very reasonable, and he used good quality medium format camera. (2x2)

Since this was before digital pictures, there wasn't that much to do when making the prints. No photo shop or other editing. Just centering, cropping, ect.
Plus, we wanted realistic pictures of the wedding & reception, not some over processed, airbrush painting that some photographers where pushing (expensive)

Also stayed away from the lower cost photographers that thought 35mm film was good enough. :eek:
Wife was happy with the pictures (what really matters), but then she wasn't a raging bridezilla either. :p
 

nutzo

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What kind of BS attitude is that? If you don't want to spend $5k+ for a professional photographer with the industry standard of the photographer owning the originals, feel free to hire someone from Craigslist or a friend to cover the wedding for you.

I simply don't get it. You're paying for someone's expertise. That costs money. They are not holding a gun to your head that forces you to have to use them. Is it everyone's opinion that they are always underpaid for their skill while other people are grossly overpaid?

After all the wedding shows the wife-to-be dragged me to, I don't think ANY of the photographers we talk to where worth anywhere near that amount.
Lots of fancy brochures, and expensing packages (usually with a lot of stuff we wouldn't even want), but when you talked to them, they sounded like amateurs, and most had only been in business a couple years.
Considering what I saw back then, I under stand why there are so many complaints about wedding photographers.

Guess it depends on what you want.
We just wanted pictures of the wedding & reception, and of course the typical posed pictures (bride, groom, wedding party, etc.)
So many of the expensive photographers tried to justify their expensive prices by practically taking over the wedding.
 

nutzo

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If I recall correctly, I paid about $5000 for my wedding photos. They gave us a selection of edited photos on a DVD, several leather bound photo books (which are fantastic) a DVD filled with about ~5200 unedited photos.

I personally liked getting all the unedited photos because, while they obviously weren't the photographers' (there was a whole team of them) best work, they still have some great memories attached to them.

Not including the wife's dress, I don't think we paid much more than that for the entire wedding & reception. This was almost 20 years go, but we where paying for it ourselves.
A friend of the wife baked the wedding cake (yes she was a professional baker) and her friends in the church band provided the music, both as wedding gifts to her.

Too many people are more concerned about creating a perfect production instead of just enjoying the day.
 

ND40oz

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Let's see if additional information changes your view of this case.



You guys know what proofs are, they aren't the finished product.



This looks to be much more than a single bad review.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/chinese-wedding-weibo-defamation-1.4556433


Might as well throw in some details from the court document;


http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/sc/18/02/2018BCSC0260cor1.htm

Actually, the court document alone is worth reading almost in it's entirety if anyone wants to get a clear picture of what happened.

Reading through all of this, I'm still trying to find where she was guilty of something like libel.

Weatherill rejected Liao's defence of fair comment for the defamation, finding that she was motivated by malice.

So her comments were fair, but that doesn't matter since she was motived by malice?
 

ChoGGi

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Reading through all of this, I'm still trying to find where she was guilty of something like libel.
Here's a few:

we found out that this wedding service provider is already in violation of fair practice or fair trade, and is involved in hostile business operations, plus extortion and illegal business tactics.

this evil business not only engaged in bait and switch tactics, but also scammed me out of several thousand dollars,

Stay away from this photography mill. They are running a major bait and switch scam. They have tons of excuses to shut you up. We paid $6000 for about $0 worth of product and services.

They would sneak out during the wedding, without any apology and refused be responsible for their actions.

photographers from Amara Wedding don’t have any back up equipment available. If the equipment malfunctions, the clients will lose their wedding photos for sure and Amara Wedding will come up with all sorts of underhanded tactics such as lies to avoid responsibility and compensation.
 

polonyc2

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I don't agree with the court ruling...the lady wasn't happy with the pre-wedding prints she received and was promised they would improve after editing...so the company acknowledges that there were issues that needed improving...doesn't matter is she went on 100 websites posting negative reviews...that is her right as a customer...it's not like she was never a customer and posted tons of negative reviews...she should be able to post her experiences in dealing with the company
 

ChoGGi

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she should be able to post her experiences in dealing with the company
damn I really seem to be defending this company :)
Anyways, back on topic; you are quite within your rights to document your experiences, you can't make up shit though.
 

ND40oz

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Here's a few:

we found out that this wedding service provider is already in violation of fair practice or fair trade, and is involved in hostile business operations, plus extortion and illegal business tactics.

this evil business not only engaged in bait and switch tactics, but also scammed me out of several thousand dollars,

Stay away from this photography mill. They are running a major bait and switch scam. They have tons of excuses to shut you up. We paid $6000 for about $0 worth of product and services.

They would sneak out during the wedding, without any apology and refused be responsible for their actions.

photographers from Amara Wedding don’t have any back up equipment available. If the equipment malfunctions, the clients will lose their wedding photos for sure and Amara Wedding will come up with all sorts of underhanded tactics such as lies to avoid responsibility and compensation.

Was she found guilty of making this up though?
 

ChoGGi

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That's what the judge says:
[71] The plain and ordinary meaning of the English-language and translated Publications, in their totality, was that the plaintiff was a major scam shop and deceitful photography mill business engaged in extortion, dishonesty, unfair practices, bait and switch and other dirty tactics, lies to its customers who it tricks and coerces to enter into contracts which it breaches and attempts to falsify, had provided raw unfinished photographs under the guise of the finished product, had destroyed evidence, used a secret, fictional identity and had threatened the defendants.

[72] In this case, the words used in the Publications are such that it is unnecessary to go beyond the words themselves to prove that they were defamatory of the plaintiff. They plainly were.

[90] I find that none of the defamatory statements published by Emily about the plaintiff were true.

[91] Counsel for the defendants wisely abandoned this defence during his submissions.

[94] Although I accept that the Publications engaged the public interest regarding the protection of consumer rights of those planning weddings, the defendants have failed to prove that the facts upon which they were based were “generally true”. Indeed, the evidence is overwhelming that none of them were true. Counsel for the defendants conceded as much during his submissions.

[95] There is no doubt that Emily was dissatisfied with what she perceived as poor quality Wedding photographs. However, she has failed to prove that her displeasure was justified. The defendants did not introduce any evidence that the plaintiff’s photographic work and produce was below industry standards or otherwise in breach of the terms of the Contract.

Edit: stuck it in a quote box and added some bold
 
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Uvaman2

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I don't think this was just 'nasty reviews' this reads like straight up harassment, for a service that wasn't even paid for just WTF.
 

lcpiper

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Reading through all of this, I'm still trying to find where she was guilty of something like libel.



So her comments were fair, but that doesn't matter since she was motived by malice?


I don't agree with the court ruling...the lady wasn't happy with the pre-wedding prints she received and was promised they would improve after editing...so the company acknowledges that there were issues that needed improving...doesn't matter is she went on 100 websites posting negative reviews...that is her right as a customer...it's not like she was never a customer and posted tons of negative reviews...she should be able to post her experiences in dealing with the company

There is a difference between a bad review and what this woman did. I posted a link above to the court documents and the Judge's ruling on each point. Right down the line, the Judge found every complaint the customer had to be false, at every point he found the business behaved properly and within the contract agreement. The news article tries to give both sides an equal hearing and leave it up to us to discuss/argue over, like now. But if you just go back to the actual court documents and look it over, the customer was wrong, completely wrong. And she destroyed this couple's business.

The customer was the bride, I think the business is used to dealing with brides and all their amped up emotions. I think even the Judge would understand and give some leeway except that this wasn't one bad review, it was an attack delivered on all the major social media and business resource outlets that are favored by the Chinese Community in Canada. She went everywhere that Chinese Canadians go and smeared this studio's name with lies.

You don't have to take the authors word, or mine, go read the court document yourself. Since the trial, this woman has been writing apologies and retractions, she's trying to recover her "face" in the Chinese Community. She shamed herself, she knows it, her people in Canada know it. Now she has to do damage control because other Chinese won't want to deal with her, She might attack their businesses unfairly, they won't trust her. You might not see this as important but our culture is very different from Asian cultures, my wife is Korean and I am very familiar. I learned the hard way not to do anything that might embarrass her in public or around her friends. She always tells me that she doesn't want this or that "because they all like to talk ......." It's foreign to us, but hey, they're foreigners even if they become citizens.

You can take the girl out of Bangkok but ..............well I should just leave it there :sneaky:
 

lcpiper

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Photographer's note:

No photographer should ever provide RAW files to an end-user client.........................

I think you misinterpreted the story, the photographer provided unmodified proofs made from the raw files to give the customer a feel for the photos that were taken. The customer should have understood that these weren't the final products and they were going to look really different later, but I think the bride had some serious pre-wedding jitters and worries going on and just freaked about them because she must not know much about photography and thought that the photos should just come out good right from the start, like from her cell phone camera right.
 

raz-0

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It's also in Canada, except the USA could have some cases like this that the judge or court may look at international cases. One thing is true, free speech is under attack, they couldn't work it out and one decided to let others know their opinion, and a judge in Canada has said that they crossed the line from having an opinion to attempting to destroy the business.

Tough call. If other potential customers don't know of any problems that have happened in the past, is that right? Basically the judge says the customer went too far, except how does one determine that? The customer was not happy and went to tell others, and now in Canada you better be careful doing that.


Jeez people the frikin court decision is linked and includes the posts that caused issue.

Lies and libel are not protected speech. The lady pissing and moaning made shit up that was provably made up. Don't sign a contract and lie about the terms of said contract. Don't lie about what occured between you and a business then later admit in court under oath that something different happened than what you plastered everywhere.


I think the fact that she put a stop to the check before the wedding and still had the photographer come out and waste their time taking photos means that since no payment was rendered that the photos shouldn't have existed in the first place. Therefore they should have a value of 0. As well as typically for wedding photographers, you don't own the pictures. You get a license for them so the wedding photographer can use them to promote their own business. That's just the typical way it goes in that line of work.

This is perhaps the most unclear piece of text I have ever read.

Typically, wedding photographs are done under a contract that either has the photographer/photography company listed as the copyright owner in perpetuity, and usually grants the client a perpetual license after some period of time, or it is a work for hire where the clients are the copyright holder and the photographer and studio are granted a perpetual license, and the terms of the work for hire don't hand over the product until a specified duration passes.

Pre digital, it was clearer, and you know you owned it and the right to do what you wish once, if ever, the negatives were handed over. Now you'll usually get several DVDs with full res shots to mark the transition. Usually a few years later.
 

xorbe

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Just to play devil's advocate. I had a Chinese friend (woman) who also was attempting to run a business, and let me tell you, she would do anything to pinch a penny including hiring cut-rate people to actually do the work. She too had to shut down, quality of resulting services. I found all this out because she lied to me to hang out one day, what she was looking for was free labor. I put an end to that real fucking fast.
 

ChoGGi

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OK, if she was guilty of libel than no issue. Why didn't they just come out and say that though?
Why didn't who? She (the photographer) did...Written defamation of someone's character is libel.

Just to play devil's advocate. I had a Chinese friend (woman) who also was attempting to run a business, and let me tell you, she would do anything to pinch a penny including hiring cut-rate people to actually do the work. She too had to shut down, quality of resulting services. I found all this out because she lied to me to hang out one day, what she was looking for was free labor. I put an end to that real fucking fast.
6500 for:
the make-up, hair-do, photography, flower and master of ceremony services
seems like the bride was looking for something cheap as well.

The photographer made about 40 the year before, so it seems like her business was at least something people enjoyed.
 

mope54

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What kind of BS attitude is that? If you don't want to spend $5k+ for a professional photographer with the industry standard of the photographer owning the originals, feel free to hire someone from Craigslist or a friend to cover the wedding for you.

I simply don't get it. You're paying for someone's expertise. That costs money. They are not holding a gun to your head that forces you to have to use them. Is it everyone's opinion that they are always underpaid for their skill while other people are grossly overpaid?
Wedding services cost more than comparable services simply because they have "wedding" in front of them. This is easily verified by scheduling a venue for a "wedding" vs. a 200 person event and the same for caterers ("weddings vs. "corporate" catering even for the same menu and plates). I won't even get started on the entire diamond industry. Vendors get away with that kind of crap because most people either only do these kinds of things once in a lifetime or think they'll only do it once in a lifetime so they don't have the same market exposure as say, buying things from grocery stores where we'd have a good idea one place was trying to rip us off if they were selling oranges for $40/lb even without having to compare prices somewhere else. Wedding participants are under a lot of timelines and stresses and if they balk at all about a specific price they'll get pressured like your post does questioning their intent, judgement, and sense of quality.

If other industries did this we'd shit our pants. Imagine getting a quote for brakes and someone tells you it'll be $3,000 and you say, wow man the other guy said he could do it for $300. And this new mechanic says, well I dunno man, I don't know what kind of person you are, but I sure wouldn't trust the life of my family to some hack job.
 
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NoOther

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It's also in Canada, except the USA could have some cases like this that the judge or court may look at international cases. One thing is true, free speech is under attack, they couldn't work it out and one decided to let others know their opinion, and a judge in Canada has said that they crossed the line from having an opinion to attempting to destroy the business.

The photographer might have done engagement photos, rehearsal photos or some other photos prior to the wedding that might have caused the bride to stop payment. We don't know the details of the contract. If she was told Chan was going to be the photographer and someone else took her place, that could explain the "bait and switch" comment.

Since this was in Canada and free speech is not guaranteed, it's hard to know how this should have been adjudicated.

If this is was in the United States, you have to defer to the 1st Amendment, unless this is a clear case of libel. I am not siding with bridezilla, but it seems like a lot of details are left out of the story.

STOP, just stop. This has ZERO to do with the first amendment. The first amendment is between a citizen and the government, not other citizens, not businesses, only the government. It is not a free speech issue at all. Here read the freaking amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It specifically says Congress shall make no law.

Why do people mess this up soo much soo often.


Also, this was Canada not the United States.
 

ND40oz

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Why didn't who? She (the photographer) did...Written defamation of someone's character is libel.

None of the quoted articles nor the judges statement said it. It took digging through the written court records to find it out. The articles make is sound like she overly criticized someone on the internet and was found guilty of being too malicious.
 

ChoGGi

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The articles both mentioned it in the title:
Bride ordered to pay photographer $89K for posting defamatory statements online
Disgruntled bride ordered to pay $115K after defamatory posts ruin Chinese wedding-photo business

(prices for dpreview are CAD to USD)
 

ND40oz

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The articles both mentioned it in the title:
Bride ordered to pay photographer $89K for posting defamatory statements online
Disgruntled bride ordered to pay $115K after defamatory posts ruin Chinese wedding-photo business

(prices for dpreview are CAD to USD)

And then make no mention of what was defamatory or libelous throughout the article. You get better information from some user on the internet forum than you get from a news source.
 

Patton187

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Yea if it's that bad and this is from USA, take photographer to court for damages. Trolling online should definitely have consequences, for some reason people think it doesn't.

I've left negative online reviews ONLY after I have given them the benefit of the doubt, and after I've had a day or two to think about it.
Soccer mom post.
 

sfsuphysics

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What kind of BS attitude is that? If you don't want to spend $5k+ for a professional photographer with the industry standard of the photographer owning the originals, feel free to hire someone from Craigslist or a friend to cover the wedding for you.

I simply don't get it. You're paying for someone's expertise. That costs money. They are not holding a gun to your head that forces you to have to use them. Is it everyone's opinion that they are always underpaid for their skill while other people are grossly overpaid?
Yes you don't get it. I'm not complaining about the high cost of hiring a professional, I totally get that cost money, and while I don't always agree with costs that's not where my attitude is. My attitude is the industries that are pushing these dreams into women's heads that spending that kind of money for a wedding when you don't have lots of disposable income is a fucking sane thing to do, remember I'm not bashing the cost of the photographer that price is cheap compared to everything else associated with the wedding cost.

The idea that having your parents put a second mortgage on their house to pay for little pumpkin's fancy wedding dreams because that's what she really wants is absolutely batshit bonkers. You, or someone else, should not have to go into massive debt just for what effectively is a fucking party. You want to go into debt because you're buying a house, then fine, you want a car, fine, you want a one "special" day (and ask any person who paid big money... that special day is one of the most stressful days out there) and a few keepsakes with your friends and family and you end up dropping the cost of a car? God damn not even Disney fucks you over so hard (well unless you do the Disney wedding package, them lube up too)
 
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Yes you don't get it. I'm not complaining about the high cost of hiring a professional, I totally get that cost money, and while I don't always agree with costs that's not where my attitude is. My attitude is the industries that are pushing these dreams into women's heads that spending that kind of money for a wedding when you don't have lots of disposable income is a fucking sane thing to do, remember I'm not bashing the cost of the photographer that price is cheap compared to everything else associated with the wedding cost.

The idea that having your parents put a second mortgage on their house to pay for little pumpkin's fancy wedding dreams because that's what she really wants is absolutely batshit bonkers. You, or someone else, should not have to go into massive debt just for what effectively is a fucking party. You want to go into debt because you're buying a house, then fine, you want a car, fine, you want a one "special" day (and ask any person who paid big money... that special day is one of the most stressful days out there) and a few keepsakes with your friends and family and you end up dropping the cost of a car? God damn not even Disney fucks you over so hard (well unless you do the Disney wedding package, them lube up too)

This ad illustrates your point. While it may be specific to diamonds, it's all the same idea:
https://matheahc.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/de-beers-ad.jpg
 

lcpiper

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I'm not interpreting the story- I'm adding a photographer's perspective on RAW files :)


I guess I got lost, how were RAW files pertinent to the story if they weren't part of it?

Or did the conversation slide off topic and I didn't catch it ?
 

IdiotInCharge

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I guess I got lost, how were RAW files pertinent to the story if they weren't part of it?

Or did the conversation slide off topic and I didn't catch it ?

It was for those that ask for 'RAW' files as a response to how the story unfolded.
 

ChoGGi

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I guess I got lost, how were RAW files pertinent to the story if they weren't part of it?
Well they did mention "raw" pictures, but who knows if that means raw or RAW.

[25] The defendants’ dissatisfaction with the pre-Wedding photograph proofs was unrelenting. Kevin testified that the pre-Wedding photographs were “raw”, “untouched” and “unfinished” and that the reason the plaintiff did not take steps to put them in “finished” form was that the defendants had stopped payment of the balance of the Contract price.
 

lcpiper

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Yes you don't get it. I'm not complaining about the high cost of hiring a professional, I totally get that cost money, and while I don't always agree with costs that's not where my attitude is. My attitude is the industries that are pushing these dreams into women's heads that spending that kind of money for a wedding when you don't have lots of disposable income is a fucking sane thing to do, remember I'm not bashing the cost of the photographer that price is cheap compared to everything else associated with the wedding cost.

The idea that having your parents put a second mortgage on their house to pay for little pumpkin's fancy wedding dreams because that's what she really wants is absolutely batshit bonkers. You, or someone else, should not have to go into massive debt just for what effectively is a fucking party. You want to go into debt because you're buying a house, then fine, you want a car, fine, you want a one "special" day (and ask any person who paid big money... that special day is one of the most stressful days out there) and a few keepsakes with your friends and family and you end up dropping the cost of a car? God damn not even Disney fucks you over so hard (well unless you do the Disney wedding package, them lube up too)

I agree with you, but it has less to do with this situation. Asians don't do it this way, Asians do it much bigger and they have for a long while now.

See, for most Asians, it's not just a big wedding, it's also usually a full setup for the newlyweds, a place to live, all the appliances, more as well. It's a huge outlay for the ones that can afford it and they will usually find away to do what they need to do in order to meet what's expected of them. $6,000 for a fancy wedding is not even one of the larger bills involved. Family members pool money and help if needed, they borrow if needed, if they were able then they were each saving up long beforehand for the day. I say each because each side of the family is responsible for different costs per tradition. So it's not just little Princess' Mom and Dad who are digging deep, in fact, I think it's actually the Groom's Family who digs the deepest but I am not positive about that one.
 
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