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Groom Livid After Photographer Sibling Refuses To Take Wedding Pictures Free Of Charge

Wedding photographer taking photos of bride and groom
TriggerPhoto/Getty Images

Why is it that weddings bring out the worst in, well, everyone?

Redditor Critical_Trick_816 is a professional photographer and shoots a lot of weddings on the side.

The Original Poster’s (OP’s) brother is getting married and naturally wanted their sibling to take the photos.

But the OP threw in one catch.

They want to be paid.

This caused a bit of drama between the siblings, leading the OP to subReddit, “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).

They asked:

“AITA for buying my brother a present off his wedding registry rather than helping at the wedding.”

They went on to explain.

“I’m a photographer. Mostly I do industrial photography. If you have ever seen a brochure for a company, you understand the kind of work I do.”

“I have taken more pictures of warehouses, bulldozers, building sites, and work crews than you can imagine.”

“I also do wedding photos on the side. Whenever my friends and family ask me to do their pictures, I offer to do them at a steep discount. So far, everyone has taken me up on it.”

“Let’s just say that there is no way they would pay less than three times what I offer to do the wedding for if they went with another PROFESSIONAL photographer.”

“Twice, it was sort of an issue. They objected to me wanting to be paid. One came back and apologized when they shopped around and saw what the real price was.”

“The other chose to get her neighbor’s son “who is really good with his camera,” to do the pictures.”

“I brought my camera but not all my equipment to that wedding and enjoyed taking pictures as a guest.”

“I ended up giving them an album of my pictures for their first anniversary, and they were insanely thankful. They never said anything to me because they were embarrassed, but the kid f*cked up.”

“So now the story. My brother asked me to take pictures at his wedding.”

“I said sure and quoted him a price. He said that I should just do it as a wedding gift. I said the price was my wedding gift. He said that his fiancee also expected me to get them a gift off the registry.”

“I said no. I said I would be more than happy to attend as a guest and got on my phone in front of him and got a gift off their registry.”

“I said since I had now purchased a gift, I would not be taking pictures. I will probably still bring my camera because I like taking pictures.”

“He said I’m being an a**hole and cheap since it doesn’t cost me anything to take pictures, and I shouldn’t try and make money off him.”

“I told him that I needed my bathroom remodel done, and I wanted done at the cost of materials since he is a contractor and it will cost him nothing in labor if he does all the work himself.”

“Our parents are staying out of it because they know I have always been paid for taking pictures. Only my brother and the bride’s side of the family think I’m in the wrong.”


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors decided:

“So OP, is your brother gonna do your bathroom for you on those terms?”

“(I kid….of course he isn’t)” – ncgrits01


“Why would you need to get them a gift and gift them the wedding photos? Your brother sounds demanding.”

“I would probably skip the games and not even bring the camera for the wedding.” – Crazy_Past6259

“NTA. I think that’s a fair trade. You do photos for free, and he does remodeling for free.” – meep221b

“My husband’s in heating and cooling. Recently made that trade with a friend who owns a landscaping business.”

“He redid her HVAC system since the default construction company for the subdivision completely screwed everything up, even the ventilation.”

“Her company added external drains and landscaping to our place.”

“Now he keeps getting calls from other people in the subdivision who want him to check out their houses, and we keep recommending her when people bring up our yard.”

“Still paid material, and they both get free advertising.”

“Brother should have accepted the deal. It’s a pretty good one.” – Normal_Stranger5476


“For some reason, the idea of “this job is literally my livelihood” goes over peoples’ heads when it’s their friends and family.”

“‘But it’s just taking pictures!’ Doesn’t matter. It’s your full-time job. Not to mention the steps such as editing that they conveniently seem to forget about.”

“‘But you love your job!’ Doesn’t matter. Still a job, still need to be paid.”

“I’m a behavioral therapist. Should I give my clients free sessions because I love my job, and you could sum it up to me talking with kids?”

“Nope. Still a job, even if I love it and no matter how simply you view the work. (It’s not simple, therapy or photography; people just like to be willfully ignorant.)” – monstrance-cock


“Smart thing to charge. Otherwise, folks will take your effort for granted. As for making an exception for siblings, that depends entirely on the relationship.”

“I’m assuming you brothers aren’t very close and that he wouldn’t go out of his way to make your day special.”

“But the fiancee expecting a registry gift on top is plain greedy.” – Sea-Horse1517

“NTA. Your brother and future sister-in-law are a**holes for expecting free professional work just because you are family.”

“Let him pay someone else full price or get some kid with an iPhone to take the pictures. I hope you have a great time at the wedding.” – International_Set522


“Family and friends demanding free services from people who have their own businesses are so wild to me.”

“Even wilder that he called you “cheap” when he is the one trying to get hours and hours of free labor from you when you already offered it at a steep discount from your standard rates.” – DeviantAvocado

“What an excellent personal analogy! Well articulated, pointed, not rude.”

“I love when that happens.”

“NTA obviously.” – PracticalPrimrose

“NTA. Your lament sounds like so many when a family member has a profession related to weddings. Baker, stylists, clothes makers, etc are always expected to donate their time and talent.”

“You bought them a gift like any other guest. Stop discussing it and enjoy yourself.”

“I have similar experiences when touring internationally.”

“I bring a ton of heavy bulky equipment, and everyone else brings their cell phones. They all give me their email addresses and what’s app link so I can send them the best photos.” – feminist1946


“I don’t know what it is about photographers, but people often seem to think that you owe them your labor for free.

“And as you point out, these people don’t have the same expectations of a plumber or electrician. Presumably, at some level, they don’t think of being a photographer as actual work.”

“Your work has value. You offered them a steep discount on your normal rates as a gift. They chose not to accept.”

“Personally, I wouldn’t hire my sister to work my wedding. I’d want her to be present as a guest, and celebrating as a guest, and being in the photos, and not behind the camera.”

“Although I’d certainly be asking my photographer sister for recommendations.”

“But your brother clearly doesn’t value your work at all.” – _mmiggs_

“NTA, and as a hairstylist who is always expected to offer to do hair for every female in the wedding for free, I so understand, and I respect and admire your level of petty!”

“Well played, sir! Well played.” – workdistraction4me

“NTA he wants you to work for free and fiancée “expected” you to buy a gift off the registry. You’re better than me. I would have laughed in his face and walked out.”

“What entitled and greedy people. People love to pretend that photographers don’t put in hours of real work during and after an event.” – Cookies_2

“You were nice to buy this entitled moron anything at all quite frankly. NTA, props for not letting people take advantage of you.”

“The number of people who still think photography is simply low-effort camera holding is staggering.” – MutantsAtTableNine

“NTA. I’m always amazed when family act as if they are entitled to professional services for free. You’re providing a family discount. That is more than enough of a wedding gift.”

“But takes the cake in this case is that they wanted a gift from the registry in addition to free services.”

“So, to summarize: you get to work for free rather than to enjoy the ceremony and the party, as well as to give a gift as the price of admission. Explain to me: why are you going?” – Individual_Ad_9213


“Unless he fixes everyone’s house for free, why on earth should you do your professional job for free?”

“People have no idea how many hours and how much skill is needed for post-processing. They just think you spent an hour or so taking the photos.”

“They would probably underestimate the cost of the equipment by many magnitudes and if they knew wouldn’t understand why you need more than one lens.” – OneMinuteSewing

Looking forward to that free bathroom renovation update 👀.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)