Case Study (Courtesy of AVVO)
“We hired a wedding photographer for our wedding in October 2012. Package included wedding day photos and a photo book with 100 of our favorite photos. We did get our wedding day photos, but have not received the photo book. We’ve called, emailed, sent letters, and filed a complaint to Better Business Bureau. We have received no responses and no photo book. What do we do?
Response (from Attorney Rob Schenk):
I’m sorry to hear that you did not receive your photo book, and even more sorry to hear that you cannot get a response from the Photographer. That is absolutely not professional and you did the right thing by reporting this Photographer to the BBB.
In terms of a legal claim, you can bring a Breach of Contract action against the Photographer because you did not receive the total value of what you bargained (paid) for. Your damages (cash compensation) are going to be the amount of money that is represented by the photo book (for example, if the contract is itemized and lists the photo book as $400, your damages will be $400). Or, you may take your pictures, pick out your 100 favorites, go to another Photographer, and have them do the work of putting together a photo book. In that case, your damages will be the amount of money that you paid to the new Photographer to put the photo book together. Either way, the law is going to place you in the position that you would have been had the Photographer fulfilled his/her end of the contract.
A cheaper alternative may be for you to have an attorney draft a demand letter and scare the pants off the Photographer. Many attorneys offer this at a small flat fee, and often such letters produce immediate results.
I wish you the best of luck both in this matter and your new marriage.
Moral of the Story: Don’t hide the ball. A lot of times, lawsuits can be avoided by owning up to things. For example, “I’m really sorry I forgot about the Photo Book. How can I make it up to you?”