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Photographer Irate After Sister Tries To Trick Them Into Shooting Her Surprise Wedding

Wedding photographer
Jamie Grill/Getty Images

When you have a family member who works in an industry or provides a service you’d like to partake in, you often hope that you might reap the benefits.

Perhaps receiving free merchandise from time to time, or getting a significant discount, if not a completely free service.

Of course, we should never expect this from them, as it isn’t a guarantee. If they do choose to do this for us, it should be out of generosity, not obligation.

Redditor mrenville68 was surprised when their family showed little to no concern after they were admitted to the hospital.

The original poster (OP) later learned that their anger stemmed from the fact that a family gathering they ended up missing was a bit more important than they thought.

An event they were expected to provide their professional services at it.

Having trouble grasping this whole situation, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for not photographing a wedding I didn’t know about?”

The OP explained how they were less than thrilled to learn that they were the only ones left out of the loop for an important milestone in their sister’s life.

My sister announced she was throwing herself a surprise birthday party and she talked about it for months.”

“I had never been invited to her house before, and honestly, I was a little sour about it, given how close we’ve always been.”

“My mom asked if I’d take some pictures since I am a photographer.”

“My mom nagged me for a couple of months because everyone was going to be there.”

Things took a turn for OP before this party.

“I won’t go into details, but the day before, I wound up in the emergency room.”

“The ER doctor ran a bunch of tests and an MRI and ended up admitting me and called in the neurosurgeon and booked an operating room for emergency surgery.”

“It was now the morning of my sister’s birthday, and I texted my mom to tell her I couldn’t be there and explained why, and she was pissed.”

“Later that evening, she texted me a picture of my sister in a wedding dress getting married to her boyfriend.”

“I asked who all knew, and she said everyone except you. We wanted it to be a surprise.”

“AITA for getting upset that I was basically being tricked into a full on wedding photography without knowing I was supposed to do it and everyone else knew it was a wedding and not her surprise birthday party?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

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

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for not being there to photograph their sister’s surprise wedding.

Everyone was baffled by the fact that not only was the shutterbug the only one who didn’t know about their sister’s wedding and expected them to photograph the wedding completely gratis and displayed no concern for their hospital visit.

“What did I just read?”

“Where is the concern for your health?”

“And rushing to your bedside?”

“Your mum sucks.”

“I wish you a quick and full recovery.”

“Second part, why would the wedding need to be a surprise to you?”

“And just you?”


“Your family is hella messed up.”- solo_throwaway254247


“Your family is strange.”

‘Did not tell you about the wedding and are pissed that you don’t show up.”

“Treated you like a vendor.”

“Do not care for your health.”- NixKlappt-Reddit

“You have every right to be upset that, one, you were being tricked into photographing her wedding, two, that everyone knew except you, and three, they are upset that you didn’t attend because you needed emergency surgery.”

“I hope you are recovering well, and NTA.”- Wanderful-Woman

“NTA and JFC, what is wrong with your family?”- PsiBlaze

“Not only are you not the a**hole, but I’m concerned that your mother had the audacity to think it’s ok to reprimand you after EMERGENCY SURGERY.”

“Is this status quo on how they treat you?”- MauiValleyGirl

“So they tried to manipulate you into being their wedding photographer instead of just asking?”

“You may well have said yes had they been honest or at least helped set them up with another photographer from your contacts if you didn’t want the responsibility and just wanted to attend as a guest.”

“They are mad that you didn’t show up to an event you didn’t know about?”

“You were under the impression you were backing out of a birthday party, not her wedding, and certainly not canceling as her wedding photographer.”

“The reason you didn’t go is that you were admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery.”

“You didn’t exactly bail on them for something unavoidable, and if you’d agreed upfront to photograph a wedding, you’d have still ended up in an operating theatre that day.”

“After the event, they now only care about their wedding photos and are mad that their manipulation tactics failed.”

‘They haven’t asked about your well-being after the surgery, not even your own mother?”

“You are absolutely NTA.”- bothsidesofthemoon

“Ok, besides the obvious lack of concern for your health and the attempt to get free wedding photography, what I’m confused about is why they thought a wedding is a surprise for the bride’s sibling?”

“I could understand if every guest was surprised, but why specifically you?”

“Other than to get free wedding photos, obviously.”

“It’s such a weird random thing to say.”-HelloAll-GoodbyeAll

“I’m sorry, OP, but you aren’t close with your sister.”

“You need to step back and evaluate how often you are being taken advantage of by your family.”

“Because this is complete bullsh*t.”

“You were in the ER for emergency surgery, and your family didn’t give a sh*t?”

“You deserve so much better.”

“Please, focus on recovery.”

“Maybe block your AH mom for a while too.”

“NTA.”- no_rxn


“I hope that you are fullback after the trip to the ER.”

“It’s not your fault that your sister tricked you, and the result is karma for your sister.”

“Do not keep a grudge about it. It’s not worth the hassle.”- Swiss_El_Rosso


“You are ok to realize where your mum’s priorities lie and alter your relationship with her accordingly after what I have just read.”

“Hope you are recovering well.”

“Look after you, because it appears your family won’ :(“- engie_945


“Why are you even talking to them?”

“Should these people be in your life?”- Cpt_Riker




“But no one cares that you had emergency surgery instead tried to guilt you into recovering from life-saving surgery quicker so you could go do free labor!”

“So far on the NTA scale as you can go.”

“Your family, though.”

“They’re all a**holes.”- LetsGetsThisPartyOn


“1 ‘I had never been invited to her house before.'”

“2 ‘My mom asked if I’d take some pictures since I am a photographer.’ My mom nagged me for a couple of months.'”

“3 ‘called in the neurosurgeon and booked an operating room for emergency surgery.'”

“4 ‘I asked who all knew, and she said everyone except you. We wanted it to be a surprise.'”

“5 This is supposed to be a remark about how everybody was worried about your health, but no: ‘I couldn’t be there and explained why, and she was pissed.'”

“Definitely NTA.”

“But your family sure is.”- DoIwantToKnow6417

“NTA, so you had to have emergency neurosurgery, and they are just pissed that you missed the wedding they wanted you to photograph, which you weren’t aware of or invited to as a guest.”

“Your family is truly and utterly horrid.”- Nienna000


“They could have hired someone.”- albinosquirel

“They wanted to force you to take wedding photos for free.”

“Pretty sure they’ve used you in the past without offering compensation.”

“Makes me wonder if they had a seat for you?”

“None of them cared about this serious medical situation you were in.”

“They should have been rushing to your side.”

“They are toxic af.”

“They’ve guilted you your whole life to make you think you’re being selfish.”

“I hope you can keep your distance from them to realize just how appalling they all are.”

“NTA.”- nicasreddit


“Your mom, sister, and everyone involved in this wedding are the A-Hs!”

“Hope you’re doing better today.”

“Sending you healing love for a speedy recuperation.”- FormalRaccoon637

“I am also a photographer, and there’s nothing I hate more than invitations to ‘friends of friends’ baby showers- and btw, bring your camera.'”- elyseh8s2bu

“Like the camera does all the work on its own?”

“They were snap-trapping you, NTA!”

“Hope you’re feeling ok.”

“Sorry your family sucked today.”- elyseh8s2bu

Based on everything they said, it’s hard to imagine that the OP’s family kept the wedding a surprise for them for any reason other than making them feel obligated to serve as the photographer.

Which is a pretty frightening form of manipulation.

The only thing more frightening is their complete lack of concern when they ended up in the hospital.

Baffling, to say the least.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.