Disclaimer: The photo above does not depict the couple or wedding mentioned in this article, nor is it associated with Pink Penguin Studios LLC. It is included solely for illustrative purposes, while certain Reddit threads I discovered online have proven useful.

As a Wedding and Portrait photographer, I always prioritize my clients' needs. If, by any chance, I have to cancel, I'll make sure to personally reach out to explain the situation. I understand and respect my clients time, so I'll immediately refund them the money, allowing them to quickly find another talented photographer.

If my clients are impressed enough with my work and choose to proceed, they have the option to retain the deposit. I have a fantastic backup photographer - my dear friend Sydney from WhatSydneySees. She is a highly rated photographer in our area. I will personally handle the editing process of Sydney's captured shots to ensure that the desired style remains intact.

As for taking a legal route, is it worth the time and money to hire a lawyer, for a refund after some work has already been done?

wedding photographer wilmington nc

Source: Reddit | u/Quillson

wedding photographer wilmington nc

Source: Reddit | u/ohlaph

"Did you sign a contract?" u/ohlaph

This. ☝️

A proper Client-Photographer relationship will always use a contract that protects the photographer from any misuse of product from the client's end, ie. using photos commercially, selling them improperly without photographers consent, printing them, editing them, adding watermarks, etc.

The same contract also protects the client from having the photographer from taking the money and running off, double booking, if they're a solo photographer, makes sure that the job is properly handled.

In a case where cancellations, where the photographer cancels, the refund is a little more tricky.

wedding photographer wilmington nc

Source: Reddit | u/Quillson

"Yes I did. As far as refunds it says there will be no refunds if the client cancels the booking, does not specify if the vendor cancels the booking" u/Quillson

However, the client didn't cancel but the photographer did.

wedding photographer wilmington nc

Source: Reddit | u/Jackof_All

"Probably getting a lawyer to send an official letter would be enough to scare them into giving you a refund."

Lawyer will charge you hourly for a letter which can cost around $400/hr.

I don't think this is worth the stress and trouble.

Should the photographer refund if they've partially completed some work?

wedding photographer wilmington nc

Source: Reddit | u/Azian6er

"I'm an attorney and a photographer. Your photog broke the contract. Ask for your deposit back. You can also sue for the difference in cost if you have to hire a more expensive photographer due to a late notice."

I'm pretty sure this is terrible advice for a lawyer.

You can't just give legal advices online because it can do more harm than good. You can't also claim someone to be a lawyer in Reddit lmao 🤣

I don't think the court will care if you tell them you hired a more expensive photographer.

wedding photographer wilmington nc

Source: Reddit | u/Quillson

"She did say she had a backup photographer that would shoot if she was unable to attend on the day of. I will explore that avenue as I do think the photographer does great work."

This ☝️

People are very brutal online.

They don't know a single thing about the photographer.

Yet, people will always take them to court.

A small business owner should be judged by how they correct the problem.

wedding photographer wilmington nc

Source: Reddit | u/MaxsAcct | u/entomologurl | u/Azian6er

"I'd be hesitant about using a photographer of her choosing. Are they going to do a good job?" Asks u/MaxAcct

I wouldn't want a negative review fly back to me, I will always shoot with someone of the same caliber as me.

"Or is she going to still be the one doing the editing or be in charge of those photos?" Asks u/entomologurl

Will be in the works!

"OP should insist the replacement photographer is of her choosing" u/Azian6er

This can be arranged!

wedding photographer wilmington nc

Source: Reddit | u/Ashe81751214

"I used to be a full-time studio owner and portrait photographer...."

Here we go! ☕️

"You photographer spent time doing that session with you, she worked, she showed up, she posed you and created images for you, and she edited them and delivered them."

Yes. Naturally

"I totally understand your being upset about booking a photographer and then that vendor canceling, and if she had taken your deposit and then canceled prior to doing any work than I absolutely believe she should have refunded 100% no question about it. "


"But she did work, she gave you a finished product. And a judge will see that as well."


"These are the same questions a judge and jury would propose. So something to think about before pursuing this thinking you are completely in the right."

This makes sense 100%. Better than "I'm a lawyer" dude. I know that I might be bias because I also own a studio and this is the best response there is.

What do you think?

Should she take take her replacement or go through a legal advice?

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If you're in the early and beginning stages of wedding planning, my friend Devon who owns a wedding planning business might be able to help out!