Bride Arrested for Allegedly Forcing the Photographer to Pay for the Privilege of Shooting Her Wedding

We've seen several cases this past year where couples have expected wedding photographers to work for free in return for the highly valuable exposure bills, but this time a bride is raising the bar by asking a photographer to pay her for the privilege of shooting her wedding. What can go wrong?

This story begins on Reddit, where one user posted their account of what happened. A bride-to-be, who was also their friend, approached the photographer with a proposition. It entailed the photographer paying the bride $50, which would allow the photographer to take photos throughout the wedding day and then sell them to people who may want to purchase them. The bride's attempt to justify this working arrangement came down to "that way we can use the money for the wedding and you still might get paid". 

The photographer refused, but kindly offered to cover the wedding for just $50. This led to bride being upset and crying, and going as far as calling the photographer a "bad friend" and that she would do the same for the photographer if roles were reversed. Unfortunately, the story doesn't simply end here but continued with the bride and her friends and family harassing the photographer by leaving angry messages. Even when the photographer offered to do the wedding for free after all, the bride refused and requested to be paid for this privilege.

A few nasty messages turned into several dozen calls in one day, several hundred texts, and even visits which became more threatening. To stop this, the photographer agreed to pay the bride and shoot the wedding without any intentions of actually showing up for the job. Next time the photographer heard from the bride was on the day of the wedding, when no one had arrived up to do the photography. After a flurry of text messages, phone calls, and voicemails, the bride's dad showed up at the photographer's house and started beating on the door, yelling for the photographer to answer the door.

Allegedly, the situation didn't defuse after the wedding either, which forced the photographer to contact the authorities, who arrested the bride and her dad, using the evidence collected from social media and the messages submitted by the photographer. Currently, the photographer explains they don't know what is happening next but they are glad that action is at least being taken, and that the phone calls, messages, and stop-ins have stopped. 

Even in this bizarre case not everyone was on photographer's side due to them agreeing to cover the wedding without the intention of actually doing the job, however, harassment and abuse from clients is unacceptable in any shape or form. People working in wedding industry will likely come across situations where emotions and tensions are running high for some clients, so to survive it's crucial to have thick skin and be clear headed when it comes to reacting to moments like these.

Have you ever had a wedding client from hell?

Log in or register to post comments


Dana Goldstein's picture

Well, the new husband can’t say he wasn’t warned. 😳

Zack Schindler's picture

The photographer should offer to photograph the divorce proceedings for free.

Steve White's picture

Does he have a time-slot next week?

Robby MacGillivray's picture

Her next three weddings will probably turn out better ;)

Trevor Brown's picture


Johnny Rico's picture

You quite honestly just copy and pasted a reddit post..

chris bryant's picture

Isn't that what copy and paste is for?

Johnny Rico's picture

I mean you could at least provide a link to the content you are going to steal and haphazardly narrate without quotations.

Carsten Schlipf's picture

On the bottom right there is actually a link. Not very well visible, but yes, there is one.

Jeff McCollough's picture

While I agree with Johnny, you sir made me laugh. Thank you.

Fred Teifeld's picture

The one thing the photographer did wrong was to agree then not show up, although its easy to see how they might have thought that would have been the end of it, even though the bride and farther were clearly well over the edge.

I have been in similar situations where so-called friends would try to shame me into doing my duty as a friend, which of course never, ever worked. I'd always respond to a "what kind of friend......?" type question with just plain flipping it around on them, knowing that any further explanation would prove that teaching algebra to a dog would be a much easier task.

Fortunately I rarely get asked these kinds of things these days because 1: I'm no longer friends with that type and 2: my true friends know better.

William Faucher's picture

While I agree with you, we don't exactly know the context in full, given how nuts this bride was, it would not surprise me if the photographers refusal was refused, and was threatened to agree. Given that the Photographer actually paid the 50$ just to get them off their back, it seems overall like a hellish situation to be in.

Ivan Lantsov's picture

this is friend? both stupid

Daniel Medley's picture

"Bride Arrested for Allegedly Forcing the Photographer to Pay for the Privilege of Shooting Her Wedding"

Misleading headline. I doubt there's a charge for "forcing him to pay for shooting a wedding." More likely charges were for harassment, or something along those lines.

Jim Bolen's picture

One of the main reasons I don't shoot weddings anymore- the Entitled Generation.

LA M's picture

This is a pretty bad post...misleading title for starters.

As someone else stated, this case "if true" is about harassment.

Why in the world would someone agree to shoot a wedding with the intentions of not honouring that?


Daniel Medley's picture

Plus the fact there are no source links or any other information that indicates this is actually a real story.

Unfortunately we do live in an era in which unsubstantiated scuttlebutt passes as news.

Michael Perry's picture

There is technically a "via" link to the Fox 35 Orlando article this article originated from.

You can get to the original Reddit link from there.

LA M's picture

Kinda why I stated "if true".

Links or not the entire thing sounds phoney.

In the event that it isn't, the photographer should have caught some legal grief. Who agrees to providing a service knowing full well they won't honour it?!

Daniel Medley's picture

Noted. But it's all based on a Reddit thread? At the end of the day, it's a news story derived from an online forum with no corroboration.

Deleted Account's picture

Just to get rid of her and to screw her over for being a bitch. I'd do the same.

LA M's picture

Too much effort...

Deleted Account's picture

No effort at all and payback that lasts a lifetime.

LA M's picture

lol...remind me never to get on your bad side!

Mr Blah's picture

Maybe to make the harrassement stop for a few hours?

Jay Galvan's picture

"paying the bride $50, which would allow the photographer to take photos throughout the wedding day and then sell them to people who may want to purchase them"

That was a good deal, he could have sold all the photos as stock.

Robert Nurse's picture

If the bride was a Kardashian or Beyoncé, yeah, I'd pay $50 plus and assume full ownership of the photos. Otherwise, PAY ME!

Jeff McCollough's picture

I thought the same but then I'd rather setup a mock wedding with models and other vendors to do that. Less stress.

Patrick Hall's picture

As someone who finds planning shoots to be the most frustrating part of the process, I have to laugh that you think planning a mock wedding with that many vendors and moving parts would be easier than just showing up to an already arranged wedding.

Christian Lampe's picture

It would be way better. Its a shoot. You have control. Theres no rushing off to let the bride do anything. And no one said it would be easier, just less stress. A mock wedding would be WAY easier then dealing with this crap just to get some stock

Jeff McCollough's picture

Exactly. And you have way more control. As the whole goal is to shoot images there will be a lot more collaboration with the photographers. When shooting a real wedding everything revolves around the bride and groom.

Patrick Hall's picture

Oh yeah I totally agree you have more control and would probably get more usable photos....but gathering 50 people in suits and wedding attire along with a bride and groom and bridesmaids/groomsmen seems like such a pain in the ass. I can't even imagine trying to do that unless I hired someone to handle that.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Well commercial photography is a different ball game and it's not for everyone.

Scott Spellman's picture

It is terrible journalism for FStoppers and this author to publish a "story" without any verifiable information at all. Not a single name, city, date, police record, or anything. There is no evidence, no details, or even any attempt to confirm that any of this ever happened.

Robert Nurse's picture
Jeff McCollough's picture

What did you expect from the CNN of the photo industry?

No offense to Patrick and Lee(love those guys) but the writers and editors here have agendas and don't know what they are doing.

Scott Spellman's picture

It's incredible that I can post on Reddit the story of my pet octopus Octo the wedding photographer with 8 cameras and then blogs like Fstoppers will pay me to copy and paste it as featured content.

Deleted Account's picture

Something about wedding photography that just sparks the tabloid headlines every time.
I'm glad I quit doing them. Nothing but misery waiting to happen.

Andrew Almeida's picture

This is why I don't do weddings at any price.

Robert Nurse's picture

In all this, you know who I feel the sorriest for? The groom. He got a full throated view of life after the wedding and didn't flee for his life.

Heratch Ekmekjian's picture

I know this story only refers to the bride and her parent, but there's no reason to think the groom may be an innocent party here. If this story is true at all...he's just as likely to have been in on the scheme.

Chiel Broerse's picture

This story doesn't make sense on so many levels that I honestly think most of it must be made up.
Most of the article details problems around the enormous sum of $50. How, in the context of a wedding, can you get into a fight about $50 with one of your friends? I don't buy that at all. If this was about $500 I would have believed (half of) the story, but $50?
Then, asking for $50 and saying you could use the money for your wedding? How? For what kind of wedding does $50 make a difference? Again, if she had asked for $500 I would have believed it.
Then, the photographer agrees to the deal, but decides to not show up. So, you have a fight with your friend about $50. She's really mad about this. What in heavens name makes you decide to pull this unbelievably stupid stunt on this same friend? I don't buy that either.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Sell photos to those who want to buy them? Sounds like something they do here in Bolivia. Take little portable printers to weddings and sell prints to guests. lolz

Rob Davis's picture

I think it’s important to practice saying no. Not that that might’ve avoided the situation, but just in general. Practice calmly yet firmly saying no. Don’t offer a lengthy explanation, don’t get defensive and lecture about what artists go through — just calmly say no and move on. If it’s a friend or family member and they get upset, that’s okay. You can’t control other people’s feelings.

More often than not if you do this people will realize they are being unreasonable without you having ever said so. If they don’t, now you know who to limit in your life.

Peter Gargiulo's picture

"bride refused and requested to be paid for this privilege" Nonsense! How does one ask a photographer to PAY to do a job that THEY get paid for?

Todd Phillips's picture

What in the hell is wrong with people!? FUBAR

Robert Montgomery's picture

Reminds me of the social media influencer that wanted free work in exchange for exposure on social media to all of their followers about a year ago. My response was a quote of $1,500 for "privilege" of allowing them to showcase/own copyrighted original work. Still waiting for the response. It's pay to play. Free "exposure " does not pay the bills .

Kirk Schwarz's picture

I'd have agreed off the bat.

I'd have paid the 50 quid.

I'd have turned up.

I'd have shot it with a smile on my face.

I'd have charged them 2x my usual fee to purchase the photos, as they requested.

I'd have made money like a boss.

Erpillar Bendy's picture

This is too weird.

Timothy Turner's picture

The more I hear about wedding horror stories, the more I enjoy photographing leaves and rocks

More comments