Question posted in the General Law category relating to Mpumalanga
Question value: R 150.00
What can we do to get our daughters wedding photos and video from the photographer we paid upfront. It's been 7 months since the wedding and now she refuses to give us the photos and video. When we are lucky enough to contact her her answer is "I'll send it next week". We really don't know what to do. Please hell.
Answer to the Question
Hi there Ana and thank you for your question,
I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.
In short, the first question which needs to be asked is whether the photographer agreed, in the original contract (be it an oral agreement or a written quote/agreement) that there was a timeline for delivering the photographs and video.
Typically the photographer says that there is no fixed timeline that is agreed, however they will try their best to get it done within 6 months, or whatever date. (This is at least my experience)
If there is nothing fixed, then the case law says that you must default to "within a reasonable time". That means that the photographer needs to deliver the photographs and video to your daughter "within a reasonable time".
There are many trials which proceed purely on the point of, what constitutes "a reasonable time"? The reason for this is that every contract, and every industry, is different. In construction, "a reasonable time" might be 2 years. In gardening, "a reasonable time" might be a week. In wedding photography & videography, "a reasonable time" might be six months.
So, what you need to do is to write to the photographer and tell her that you are disappointed that the photographs have not yet been delivered, but you want them delivered within 4 weeks, failing which you are going to see a lawyer about taking the matter forwards and possibly suing her for damages sustained if anything happens to the photographs.
Tell her in the letter that you consider 4 weeks to be "a reasonable time" to deliver the work, especially in light of the previous promises that she has made.
You are either going to be successful in lighting this firecracker under her chair, or you are going to get her defensive side. I hope that she doesn't do anything stupid and delete all of the photographs and video!
Basically, the letter putting her to terms to deliver is one thing.
The other thing that you could do is to simply ask her to give you the RAW un-editted footage (so that you have it) and then ask somebody else to edit the files. You would then be writting off some of the cost because you've technically already paid her to edit the files...
If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question.
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Information provided by client
My apologies for not getting back to you sooner.
All the best and thank you.