Countless angry and frustrated photographers have shared stories about couples who have demanded they shoot their weddings for free, insisting that the ‘exposure’ should be enticement enough — but one American photographer says a bride actually demanded he pay her for the privilege of shooting her wedding.
The snapper, who shared his story on Reddit, said a now-former friend asked him to lend his talents for her big day, but demanded that he pay her $50 and then try to make money by selling the photos to guests.
Worse still, when the photographer refused to those baffling terms, the bride, her friends, and her family harassed him, calling dozens of times a day, sending hundreds of texts, and even visiting his home unannounced, accusing him of being selfish.
Outrageous: One American photographer says a bride actually demanded he pay her for the privilege of shooting her wedding
The photographer recounted his side of the story in a post last week, saying that the bride, whom he isn’t particularly close to, reached out to him a few months before her wedding and asked that he take pictures.
She reportedly told him: ‘You pay us $50 and then start taking photos that you can sell at the wedding to people who want them. That way we can use the money for the wedding and you still might get paid.’
How much does it cost to hire a wedding photographer?
According to Wedding Wire, wedding photographers in the US typically charge between $1,150 and $3,000.
The average cost is $2,000.
The price varies based on the photographer’s experience, the package type, and the location.
with the average wedding photographer cost hovering around $2,000. Your wedding photographer will likely comprise about 12 percent of your overall wedding budget.
The photographer says he ‘obviously’ said no to this, but tried to be nice about it, even offering to do the wedding if she paid him just $50.
‘She was very upset with this and started to cry when I said I’d do the wedding for just $50, which is way below my rate,’ he said.
‘She started with the bridezilla anger stuff, which I had to deflect for an hour until she called me a “bad friend” and said she’d do the same for me.’
But the drama didn’t end there. The photographer said that he started being contacted by their mutual friends, as well as family member he’d never met.
‘Soon I’m getting messages from people saying I’m selfish and that I’m ruining my best friend’s wedding (they overestimate our friendship) and even that I should be ashamed for leaving a friend “out in the cold.”‘
Feeling pressured, the photographer eventually agreed to do the wedding for free.
But that wasn’t enough — the bride still insisted that he pay her.
‘Phone calls and messages persisted, getting all scorched earth. Several dozen calls in the same day and several HUNDRED texts,’ he said.
‘We would get a “stop in” at least once per day which became increasingly threatening.’
Annoyed, he eventually lied and told her he’d do it on her terms, just to get her to back off.
‘I never had intention of showing up at this point. Because they just wouldn’t f*** off no matter how many times I told them to. This was about three weeks before from the wedding.’
Finally, the wedding day rolled around. The photographer slept in to skip the nuptials, but at noon, he started getting angry phone calls.
‘I got literally a hundred or more texts in 30 minutes and a half a dozen phone calls complete with angry voicemails,’ he said. ‘I didn’t pick up.’
‘Around 3, I see a car roll up to my place and it’s her dad. He starts beating on my door and yelling after I won’t answer. After a few minutes he f***s off, and the text messages stopped later in the evening.’
But he received more phone calls and text the next day, from multiple people, to chew him out. Apparently, the bride was counting on that $50 to pay the officiant, and had to ask other guests to chip in at the ceremony.
The only pictures the couple had were from guests’ cell phones, and the best man even ‘called out’ the photographer during his speech.
‘The story is all over all my social media and everyone is mad at me,’ he said.
In the aftermath, he said he even contacted law enforcement because of the harassment and gave police a statement.
‘Bridezilla and her Dad were both arrested last night after I called it in,’ he said. ‘[Police] had all the evidence they needed from social media and the messages I submitted.’
The photographer’s story has left Redditors shocked and appalled.
‘She expected you to pay her for a service you provided? What the hell? And she won’t even accept it if you do it for free. Wow. Tbh she deserves no wedding photos for acting like that,’ wrote one.
‘I’m petty enough that I would have shown up and taken the WORST photos ever and then sent them off with a note saying, “You get what you paid for,”‘ said another.