August 1, 2017

"broke down and chose our wedding album photos...80 out of 4000 yeah that was like sophies choice"

Tweeted the bride, who went big with the story that wedding photographer was holding her wedding pictures "hostage."

"We are hoping that our story makes the news and completely ruins her business," she tweeted a friend.

But the wedding photographer was following a normal business practice that was spelled out in the contract, and now the jury has awarded the photographer $1 million for the tort of malicious defamation, WaPo reports.

Sophie's choice — in the novel "Sophie's Choice" — was a mother's forced decision, upon entering a Nazi death camp, to choose which of her 2 children would live and which would die.

48 comments:

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Over the weekend Chelsea Clinton misapplied the phrase; "banality of evil".

http://coreyrobin.com/2017/07/29/yesterday-i-got-into-an-argument-with-chelsea-clinton-on-twitter-about-hannah-arendt/

lgv said...

I am very happy for the photographer. Whoever pushes the button owns the photograph. When I shoot wildlife at 10 frames a second, the magazine doesn't own all 3000 shots I took in 3 days. They choose which ones they want to license.

cubanbob said...

"We are hoping that our story makes the news and completely ruins her business," she tweeted a friend. "

There is a clue here: don't telegraph your intent to ruin someone and not expect nothing bad to happen to you.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Well, look, there are two things going on here:
1.) is the contract itself--the legal language and the law. In that dimension, sure: the bride was in the wrong.
But 2.) is how the photographer made the bride FEEL. You can't ignore the FEELINGS involved, you see, and the photographer made her FEEL very bad. We can't allow sympathetic people to FEEL bad, so obviously the bride's subsequent actions have to be viewed through that lens--since she was made to feel bad the things she did to make herself feel better can't really be held against her.

My fear? This judgement will make her feel even WORSE! What can we, as a society, do to help her out?

Michael K said...

It used to be "Engage brain before opening mouth."

Now it's "engage brain before typing a tweet."

I am so happy I never got into Twitter.

MaxedOutMama said...

"A beauty blogger" 'Nuff said.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
johns said...

I think it should be double or even triple illegal to play the "Sophie's Choice" card. Talk about being entitled!! She should have to clean toilets at a Jewish nursing home.

tcrosse said...

So maybe a photograph does steal your soul after all.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Wedding photograhers used to gove people "proofs" of all the pictures and people selected what was enlarged.

She's perfectly reasonable. She did not expect this. Thinking maybe this photographer was worse tahn the others was an honest mistake.

Sammy Finkelman said...

By the way, what use are the photographs to the photgrapher?

Sammy Finkelman said...

He's going to sell them to somebody else?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Sammy Finkelman said...By the way, what use are the photographs to the photgrapher?

What's wedding pictures to him, or him to wedding pictures?

Mary Martha said...

I am a freelance photographer. When asked what kind of work I do my response is "Anything but weddings - because I don't need more crazy people in my life."

Something about wedding pictures just makes people insane.

Etienne said...

Sammy Finkelman said...He's going to sell them to somebody else?

It's possible, but not very profitable. Advertising agencies will sometimes use wedding photo's to sell various products.

Bill Peschel said...

I'm assuming the photographer can make money selling more of the pictures to the couple if they want any. I doubt, Etienne, that the photog could resell them for public use, unless the couple agreed to in the contract.

What's dumb about the blogger couple is that this is standard practice. If they didn't like it, they shouldn't have engaged the photographer.

Besides, why would you want more than 80 photos? I don't want 80 photos of my own wedding! (We have one of those framed multi-photo collages with, I think, a dozen photos in all, and the 'official' photo.)

Bad Lieutenant said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
Sammy Finkelman said...By the way, what use are the photographs to the photgrapher?

What's wedding pictures to him, or him to wedding pictures?
8/1/17, 5:28 PM

Who said that? Who the f*** said that? Okay I'm done channeling Sergeant Hartman. I mean, what is the quote that you bastardized? I've been looking that up forever and not finding it. What's she to him or he to hecuba? Something like that

whitney said...

I have a client based business also and that is the scariest part that a crazy person can decide to ruin your business. I do make judgement calls on clients all the time and if I deem them crazy then in the future I tell them I'm too busy to help. I'm sure I've been wrong about some of them but I've never actually had a crazy client, and I've had hundreds, so I'm going to continue going with my gut.

And until you said it I never knew what Sophie's Choice was. That is some serious hyperbole on the bloggers part huh

Foose said...

Charitably, she might have meant "Hobson's choice" - take what's available or nothing at all - but couldn't remember the name and blurted out the inappropriate one. It's kind of an old-fashioned expression and these things are dying out every day.

FullMoon said...
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FullMoon said...
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Ralph L said...

Her husband apparently didn't fuck the bridezilla out of her on the honeymoon.

That's what happens when you live together first.

Ann Althouse said...

I think it's too big of a burden to ask the customer to sort through 4,000 photographs. It seems like a way of showing off that you've worked hard, but why not go through them yourself and get it down to say 800 and then ask the couple to pick 80. I'm sure there are many many very similar photographs and the photographer could narrow it down. Someone with a trained eye could pick the best few of a big group of similar pictures and then let the couple do the final cut.

I took a bunch of family photographs last Saturday, about 700. Then I looked through them and narrowed it down to 70. I gave everyone access to the 70 and told them to download whatever they wanted. They had 70 to pick from. Not 700. It would be pretty annoying to trouble them with 700 photographs.

Ann Althouse said...

Wait. It wasn't 700 family pictures. Probably more like 200. I narrowed it down to 700.

700 includes all the street photos and museum photos I took.

Ralph L said...

Probably more like 200. I narrowed it down to 700.

Can you do that with money, too?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

"[S]he warned her studio manager: 'She's a blogger. Make sure everything looks perfect.'"

Paco Wové said...

Is it not monstrous that this player here,
But in a fiction, in a dream of passion,
Could force his soul so to his own conceit
That from her working all his visage wann'd,
Tears in his eyes, distraction in's aspect,
A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
With forms to his conceit? and all for nothing!
For Hecuba!
What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her?


Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2.

Sydney said...

Glad to see some justice for the maligned.

Freeman Hunt said...

My first reaction was the same as Althouse's: 4000?!

Who has time for this?

Freeman Hunt said...

I've been to weddings; they're not that exciting. That would be an extremely tedious sorting of 4000.

Laslo Spatula said...

That is why the Polaroid was best.

One shot and wait for it.

Saturated colors.

People caught blinking, awkward, and off-handed compositions.

You know: the photos you remember best.

I am Laslo.

Ann Althouse said...

(narrowed it down to 70)

Ralph L said...

That would be an extremely tedious sorting of 4000.

You forget that every single one is one of Sophie's children.

Portlandmermaid said...

My last parent died recently and I offered to be historian and wade through the family photos. I didn't know what I was getting into. I thought, oh maybe about 400 photos, nope, I've gone through about 2,500 loose photos and still have eight packed albums to sort, roughly 3,500 more pics.

Most of the loose ones are copies of the albums, so they're outta here. I'm doing whipping through the rest: mom and dad's early years, keep, flip, flip, my brothers and I over many decades, they each get one or two per year, flip, flip, cute ones of me (of course keep all) flip, flip, pics of the grandkids, of which the parents have copies, toss.

I'm hoping to get it down to about 500 pictures. I'll keep a few of the ones that don't make the cut in case someone remembers the photo of my dad when he was a little boy, and his three friends riding on the back of his horse.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Thanks Paco! Now how the hell did Google fail to find that for me? It's not like there are a lot of Hecubas out there.

Mary Beth said...

I think it's too big of a burden to ask the customer to sort through 4,000 photographs.

I may have missed it, but I couldn't tell whether it was the photographer's practice to have clients choose from all of the photos taken or whether it's possible that the blogger bride wanted to see them all herself. Letting her view all 4000 may have been an attempt to keep the customer happy.

I tried following the link to the blog from the WaPo article but it says the account has been suspended. Her Twitter and Instagram are now private and her Facebook is gone and her YouTube is empty. Live by the social media sword, die by the social media sword.

Mary Beth said...

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Over the weekend Chelsea Clinton misapplied the phrase; "banality of evil".

http://coreyrobin.com/2017/07/29/yesterday-i-got-into-an-argument-with-chelsea-clinton-on-twitter-about-hannah-arendt/

8/1/17, 4:53 PM


I'm sure she's had a fine education. Too bad she isn't capable of making better use of it.

I don't know her and perhaps I'm judging her unfairly. She might not be as stupid as she seems. There could be lots of reasons for the things she says, for example, I say really dumb stuff when I've been drinking.

Rae said...

By the way, what use are the photographs to the photgrapher?

What use are cabinets to cabinetmakers?

Unknown said...

Ms. Moldovan also contributed to HuffPost. One entry is titled, "Somebody that I Used to Know" - apparently about an unnamed former friend who no longer makes time for her.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/neely-moldovan/somebody-that-i-used-to-k_b_9463500.html

Unknown said...

"I will never close that door on you because no matter what happened you changed my life for the better. You taught me so much about myself. You showed me that I need to not take crap from people."

Looks like you took the lesson a bit too far this time, Neely.

Ralph L said...

From Unknown's link
You became a huge part of my wedding. Then things fell apart. I don’t know exactly what happened, but one thing at a time, you disappointed me. It upset me when you left my wedding early. It upset me when you weren’t there for me when I went through something traumatic.

Like making a huge, expensive, and devastating (to others) stink over nothing.
Our relationship was all about me.

Unknown said...

This reminds me of brilliant book by Jon Ronson, "You've been shamed" (available on Amazon, through the Althous portal, naturally) which demonstrates how hideous is the power of social media; a weapon of destruction in the hands of the masses. As Ronson shows, sometimes the biter gets bitten, as happened here.

I really do worry for the photographer; she burned through not just her savings but her retirement account, a very grim prospect, looking forward a few decades. $1m seems quite modest as an award in all the circumstances, so I hope the photographer can find the funding necessary to defend the award in the event of an appeal.

Wilbur said...

Do like Wilbur on marriage number 3: Get married in the morning at the courthouse and then you both go to work. Have the court clerk take a few pictures on the wife's phone and call it a day. Use the money you save on something you both enjoy.

I don't need another picture of either of us - I already know what we look like. I can't think of anything stupider than to pay someone a bushel of money to take pictures of people you already know.

Brando said...

This couple sounds like a real nightmare. Makes me glad to not work in the wedding industry.

Our wedding photos were good, but if they had been disappointing the most I would have done is not ordered the prints (which would have been an extra charge). The idea of going out and publicly trashing the photographer--which in the article's case was over what they saw as an "extra charge" but was actually in the contract!--is just vindictive nastiness. People like that are scumbags.

Brando said...

"What use are cabinets to cabinetmakers?"

Cabinetmakers could at least recoup some of their costs by reselling the cabinets if the buyer backs out. The photographer can't recoup the time they put into taking the photos because they can't really sell them to someone else.

Brando said...

"I have a client based business also and that is the scariest part that a crazy person can decide to ruin your business."

That's sort of my problem with Yelp and the like--anyone (even a competitor) could anonymously post something bad enough to wreck your business. Of course, the more this happens the less the rest of us will trust those reviews, rendering the point of having such reviews useless. Better to use a trusted critic (like for restaurants).

Caligula said...

All photographic images were once costly and somewhat rare, as in the age of film one was at least somewhat restrained by the cost of film and processing.

Digital obviously ended that, as the marginal cost became essentially nil. Pro photographers still shot lots of photos in the age of film, as even then the secret of getting a few good ones was often to just shoot a lot of them and then cull most of them, but, perhaps nowhere near these 4,000 images. And in the old days, wedding photo prints often had the name of the photo studio on the back, and most commercial photo processors would refuse to copy them.

Photography has changed, but the law has not: photographers still retain copyright to the images they create. Thus the artificial scarcity created by copyright law clashes with the perception of a near limitless abundance of photographic images, and creates cognitive dissonance for those who hire photographers, as customers sometimes can't quite understand why they should have to pay for every single image they want to keep.

As others have noted, unsold wedding photos have little if any value to the photographer and, if you don't like the way the system works (it does seem antiquated) you might try negotiating a work-for-hire contract that will give you full (or perhaps non-exclusive) rights (as well as physical possession of the digital files) to all the images.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said... I think it's too big of a burden to ask the customer to sort through 4,000 photographs. It seems like a way of showing off that you've worked hard, but why not go through them yourself and get it down to say 800 and then ask the couple to pick 80. I'm sure there are many many very similar photographs and the photographer could narrow it down. Someone with a trained eye could pick the best few of a big group of similar pictures and then let the couple do the final cut.

Sure, but that editorial work means time and if the contractually-agreed rate doesn't include that time then the service provider would naturally not do that work for free. What's reasonably understood to be included in the package/with the given price--that's all just an argument over the contact, no?