Has anyone cancelled a photographer?

funfetticake2345funfetticake2345 Posts: 4 New bride
edited December 2018 in Your planning threads

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  • Unfortunately that's exactly what deposits are for. 
    You may be able to ask that if they are able to re-book the date at the same cost, (unlikely at this point - most people book photographers first so anyone with a date 9 months away will be expecting a discount) then you get it back but they have no legal obligation to return any of that deposit to you. 


  • It's a strange one.  As a photographer I spend a lot of time on forums/facebook groups etc and general consensus is that you cannot keep an unreasonable amount of a deposit.  Yes contracts are there for a reason, but if the contract isn't fair to begin with then legally it won't hold up.

    A deposit should be proportionate to the amount of work undertaken at that point.  Has he done 50% of the work involved? Of course not, so he should not be keeping that amount.  It is fair and reasonable of him to retain funds that cover any admin work already undertaken, as well as anything like pre wedding shoots/visits etc, but if you were to take him to court over it, he will almost certainly lose.  
    Obviously I'm not suggesting you take such drastic action!  Perhaps going down the route of "we are giving you 9 months notice etc, would you be willing to give us a partial deposit refund as a gesture of good will"?  Being nice will usually get you better results, but if it doesn't work then perhaps you could go down the harsher route?  9 months is still a good amount of time too be able to rebook a date (as a former member of this forum, it is easy to think that everyone plans their wedding with 2 years to go, but the reality is around half of my bookings book with less than a year to go).

    Another thing to consider... does your package include any products/albums etc?  As in that case you are effectively paying or half a product you wouldn't be receiving (i.e. making his profits even greater).  This might be worth mentioning if he doesn't budge.

    Please don't quote me on any of this - as I said, this is from what I've picked up along the way.  Thankfully I've never been taken to court (!) so I can't comment for sure x
  • My OH runs a business that requires a deposit and it drives us both absolutely insane that people think a "deposit" is refundable.  A deposit is in place to protect both the buyer and the seller, and usually by definition, is not refundable. 
    That being said, if you are at all uncomfortable with the photographer you initially selected, I highly recommend re-arranging your budget to accommodate getting a different one.  For my prev nuptials, I was hesitant on the 'tog my OH selected in a hurry and the guy was beyond AWFUL.  I can't even describe to you how poor he was on the day of and how terrible our pics were once we finally got them - and that was the pics he was even bothered enough to take. Don't stick with a 'tog you're not comfortable with.  It's worth cutting out favours and dressing robes and other such non-essential nonsense to have pics you will cherish for the rest of your life.
  • funfetticake2345funfetticake2345 Posts: 4 New bride
    edited December 2018
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  • We ask for a £500 deposit on a product that sells for £1600 (a different product obviously).  I think consumers under-estimate how difficult it can be to re-sell a spot or a product.  In our case, we will turn away many, many other would-be customers, so there is opportunity cost.  A 'tog may have turned down one or more weddings on that date because he had it reserved; you can't get those clients back, they've gone somewhere else.  They aren't just holding a date; they are turning down other business on your behalf.  And then there's the time/ expense that goes into re-marketing the product or service that you now have, and yes, that cost is real. 

    Thinking of it in reverse, most brides would be LIVID if their 'tog canceled with 9 months to go.

    You can always ask; it hurts nothing to ask if the tog would consider giving the deposit back, or part of it. But if they say no, I can see the point.

    I still think it's worth going with a photographer you love though, even if it means losing a deposit. That is, assuming there is one you love available to book with just 9 months to go.  Of all the things you'll spend money on for your wedding, the pictures and the rings need to last the longest.
  • funfetticake2345funfetticake2345 Posts: 4 New bride
    edited December 2018
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