The professional, who calls himself Wedding Dude, explained his predicament in a Reddit post, writing: “Earlier this summer I shot a wedding. My typical second shooter couldn’t make it, so I found someone else online who I felt did good work.
“Anyways her [sic] and I did the wedding, and everything seemed business as usual. Photos were edited, delivered to client, all was good.”
However, he continued: “Then this morning I got an email from the bride. She was wanting a refund because the lady I had hired as second shooter for the day ended up sleeping with her husband at some point after the wedding, and she also included photos from his phone to prove it.”
Addressing his community on the Wedding Photography sub-Reddit, he then asked: “I haven't responded yet, but what's the best thing to do here?
“She hired me for a job and the job was completed and product was delivered. But I also feel like this would be as if I were a professional dog walker who walked a client's dog, then came back and shot it later.”
But, he pointed out: “Of course the second shooter is considered a private contractor and not an employee....”
Wrapping up his story, he asked: “What is the best thing to do here? I really feel for this lady, but that's also a lot of money to have to give back for work that was done.”
The wedding photographer pointed out that he and his colleague had "delivered" the work for which they'd been hirediStock
Fellow Redditors were quick to support Wedding Dude, insisting he shouldn’t have to pay for other people’s mistakes.
“This sounds harsh, but her husband was going to cheat on her regardless of who your second shooter was. It’s not your fault that she married him,” one wrote.
“Tell them you are sorry to hear that but there isn’t a way for you to refund for a service that has been completed per your contract,” recommended another, advising him to reply: “I cannot refund you because something unfortunate happened that I had no control over,” they added.
Another penned a passionate defence of photographers’ rights as service providers, writing: “How about you had been the bartender... ‘Hey bartender, my husband got drunk with your booze and cheated on me, give me a refund!’ Lol no, they wouldn't even ask. It doesn't happen with other vendors.
“Clients keep asking for unreasonable refunds to photographers because we keep enabling that behaviour. Job completed and delivered. You can't take out the eggs after the cake was baked.”
Agreeing, another added: “We are human, and can feel remorse for others, but we are also a business. Unless there were serious issues with the work or deliverables, no person in their right mind would expect to get their money back.
“If she wants a refund for a wedding service, she can sue her ex-husband. This is an open and shut no.”
However, another Redditor was quick to refute their recommendations, writing: “I don't know what the people here are talking about, I would refund her fully. If she shares this story all over the place, online, reviews, podcasts, it is YOUR name on the photography contract.”
Others pointed out that Wedding Dude risked seeing his own name dragged through the mud over the issueiStock
They went on: “I would say, ‘I am totally sorry this happened, I had no idea. Even though I did my job properly I am going to refund you just because of the situation and I feel for you. Please also sign this NDA that you agree not to leave me a bad review of anything because of this person’. At the end of the day hiring people, especially that you don't know, its all on you.”
They continued: “I have refunded weddings for less than this because reputation is everything and its just not worth it, before adding: “Also don't hire randoms from the internet.”
Another endorsed this as the “smartest answer here,” stressing: “Your name is your most valuable asset. Why deliberately destroy it over a point of principle?”
And a third commented: “Imagine that story being the second Google result for your business. Honesty, not worth the risk. Sometimes, through no fault of our own, we have to pay for problems to go away.”
Meanwhile, others offered more jokey recommendations as to how he should respond, with one suggesting: “Offer her a discount on her next wedding.”
Asked what the 20-year-old had to say when Wedding Dude confronted her about the matter, he said: “She denied it, then claimed he said he was in an open relationship.”
He then offered more details on the photos the wife had sent him saying they were “pornographic in nature” and appeared to have been taken in a hotel room.
One user asked if the tryst had begun “on the clock” to which he replied: “Not sure if any affair happened on the clock but he certainly established a relationship of sorts then. All the photos are from after the wedding.”
It’s not clear whether he now plans to refund the devastated bride or not.
Good luck to them both, we say.
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