How do I get my wedding photos from our photographer?

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How do I get my wedding photos from our photographer?

I have now been married 9 months and haven’t received my wedding pictures from our photographer. I called and e-mailed him several times and he finally posted some of the pictures on-line but the package we picked and signed the contract for was for a 20 page booklet, print credit and the digital negatives for all the pictures he took. The photos he posted on his website are only some of the pictures, not all of them. Every time I contact him he tells me that he’s e-mailed me the file, but I never receive one. Then he tells me it’s cause the file was too big to e-mail.

Asked on March 14, 2011 under General Practice, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Contracts are enforceable; if someone contracted to take wedding photos and provide them to you, you can bring a legal action to force them to turn the photos over so long as you are not currently in breach of any of your obligations under the contract. The problems are:

1) You get the photos, you have to sue if the photographer won't turn them over voluntarily; there is no one who will take action for you, so you'd need to take legal action.

2) If the problem is the photograper lost, deleted, etc. the photos, then obviously you *can't* get them from him...though you may be able to sue for damages (recover monetary compensation, not that that's what you want in this case).

So you do have some legal recourse, but you'll have to take the lead on obtaining it--and prepare yourself that regardless of your rights, if the photographer has done something careless, stupid, etc., there's a limit on what you can get.


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