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Couple Refuses To Pay Engagement Photographer Over Her Unprofessional Behavior And ‘Negative’ Attitude

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When it came time to have engagement photos taken, Redditor cjcreggisqueen and their partner hired a photographer that came highly recommended by a friend.

Unfortunately, the session was beset by a multitude of problems that led the Original Poster (OP) to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for not paying my engagement photographer?”

In the throwaway post, the OP wrote:

“My partner and I just had our engagement photos taken (safely, with precautions). The photographer was recommended to us by a friend whose photos impressed us so we contacted the photographer, paid their deposit, and hired them for the day, which was day before yesterday.”

“My partner and I chose a location that meant a great deal to us, is easy to access but somewhat remote, as to avoid other people in our shots or outside influence in our photos.”

“My partner and I arrived on time at the location ready to shoot. There was nothing we needed to do to get ready.”

“The photographer was half an hour late before they called us to let us know they were late and they were a further hour late. When the photographer arrived they had their young child as well. They didn’t tell us they’d be bringing a child with them when we booked nor did they tell us when they called us to say they’d be late.”

“They explained that their childcare fell through and they couldn’t find a replacement but we were their only appointment for the day so it wasn’t an issue (on their end).”

“It took nearly half an hour for the photographer to set up their equipment. Mind you at this point we had been supposed to begin an hour before and, figuring we’d not be finished anytime soon, my partner had to cancel our plans for after the shoot, upsetting many people and causing disappointment.”

“Their attitude was also incredibly brusque and abrupt. They were also kind of pushy and bossy.”

“When the photographer finally started shooting their child began acting out and they had to stop every few minutes to parent the child. It sort of ruined the afternoon for us because when the photographer wasn’t paying attention my partner and I were trying to keep the child from getting hurt.”

“The photographer took an hour’s worth of photos and we all departed. On the way home I told my partner I wasn’t paying for any of it because the photographer was stopping every few moments to watch the child, the child causes massive disruptions, and how the photographer was late and had a negative attitude.”

“This morning the photographer emailed us the photos they’d taken and despite everything the photos were actually really good. That said, I told the photographer that we wouldn’t be using the photos or paying her because of everything I listed above.”

“The photographer started blowing up my phone with nasty texts. When they threatened a law suit I blocked them. My partner deleted the photos that had been emailed to us because we didn’t want them.”

“Our friend who recommended the photographer to us said she was surprised because the photographer had been great for her and her fiancé. She said we suck because we let the photographer do all the work for nothing. I mean, we did pay a deposit (nonrefundable).”

“Are we a**hole for refusing to pay?”

Strangers on the internet were asked to declare one of the following:

NTA – Not The A**hole
YTA – You’re The A**hole
ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
NAH – No A**holes Here

While some Redditors agreed the photographer mishandled the shoot, the OP was not given a free pass for denying payment.

“I get that she ruined the whole photoshoot experience with her unprofessionalism. I also understand that you could have felt ‘trapped’ in that situation: you commited and didn’t want to bail out last minute.”

“BUT you knew right after the photoshoot that you wouldn’t pay her. You should have told her right then, even through email or texts.”

“Instead, you let her do all the editing just for you to announce you wouldn’t pay her… that’s quite an AH move.”

“Also, she can’t be sure you deleted the pictures, on her end, you could have scammed her to get (almost) free photos.”

“Just pay her and leave a bad review.”

“I’ll vote ESH.” – tahitian_kitty

“The decision had been made to not pay in the car on the way home. Fine, fair enough. But call up straight away and let the photographer know there’s no point editing the photos.”

“As irritating and unprofessional as the photographer was, getting a babysitter during a pandemic when your original one falls through probably is a nightmare and she still brought them out to get the shoot done.”

“In a very unprofessional way, but still… props to her for trying.” – Pengalin

“Allowing the photographer to put the work into editing the photos knowing you have no intention of paying her is a real a**hole move.” – 0biterdicta

“OP played themselves. What is the point of letting waiting and letting [her] take the pics if they were going to auto reject.” – trippygg

“ESH. They were unprofessional, but they did the job, and took nice photos. That’s what you were paying for – not a pleasant afternoon.”

“And if you were angry about the lateness and the photographer’s unprofessional manner, you should have made that clear at the time, not let them do the job and then said ‘by the way, we’re not paying you.'” – WebbieVanderquack

The general consensus was ESH and, after reading through the comments, the OP wrote the following update.

“I’m reading all the comments and I hear everyone. I would like to add that my contract with this person said I would receive 300 photos, which I did not.”

“That being said I am going to contact the photographer and offer to pay for the 100 photos delivered. I didn’t receive what was agreed upon in totality but I am ready to do the right thing.”

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo