“Weddings are important because they celebrate life and possibility“, Anne Hatheway once said that believe it or not…
…Unfortunately, she’d clearly never met this photographer before because the only thing he’s celebrating is the bridesmaid’s cleavage!
When it comes to weddings, the general public consensus is that they’re pretty freakin’ important within modern society. Whether you’re married yourself, you’ve been to a friends wedding or you’ve just seen one on TV (royal wedding anyone?), it’s difficult not to be exposed to the biggest day of someone’s life somewhere.
It’s a milestone for any couple, an opportunity to show your love for one another and have all of your closest friends/family bare witness and celebrate alongside you.
So, naturally, it’s the kind of day you want a memento of, just so that the memories are cherished forever. It’s for that very reason that people put their trust in professional wedding photographers. Someone you hope will be experienced and talented enough to capture each and every moment perfectly right?
Ultimately, those pictures are going to spend the rest of their existence hung up around the house or in that wedding album that spends 364 days a year buried in the attic. But, at least you’ll have those memories forever.
Well… that’s if you get decent ones, of course.
Imagine a bride and groom’s horror when they find out that the photographer they hired has barely taken a single usable photo of the happy couple all day. On top of this, he’s remarkably managed to take nearly 100 of the bridesmaids- of which most seemed to be focussed on their butts and boobs rather than their faces.
The question that immediately pops into my head is: “how did he think he was going to get away with it?”
Don’t get me wrong, even the best of us have a sneaky peak at someone we find attractive from time to time, but we don’t take perverted pictures!
Steph Unwin, from Cheshire, UK tied the knot with her husband Paul back in the summer of 2015. It was a memorable, special day… if you take the photos out of the equation.
That’s where this man comes in, his name is David Kilcourse and he is the person who was made responsible for snapshotting the newlyweds day. Unfortunately, Steph states that he wasn’t exactly the model professional she was hoping for. For example, he captured three consecutive photos of bridesmaids behinds without explanation as to why.
“That’s not an accident” Steph insisted. That was just the beginning though…
The furious bride, 29, and her groom say they were left shocked when they received their set of wedding snaps from Kilcourse after they discovered that the photographer had actually taken 96 photos of her bridesmaids on the wedding day. Which when compared to 70 of the bride herself and just 11 of the groom, is pretty disproportionate!
Steph also claims that Paul’s parents didn’t feature in a single photo and that at least a third of all the pictures were out of focus. Which, if true, is a pretty shoddy service!
And, after complaining to the snapper, she was left so infuriated by his response that she felt that she had no choice but to take him to court where the couple unsurprisingly won in 2016. The photographer didn’t even bother turning up to contest the case, pretty much admitting defeat straight away. The court ordered Kilcourse to pay £601 ($840) in addition to the refund that Steph had demanded from him.
The bride has now spoken out about her experiences with the photographer after the process of suing him had concluded.
“He caused so much heartache”, Steph said following the court’s ruling… “We have so many moments missing from our big day”. Instead, what they had was pictures like this where the photographer has peered through a window in an attempt to get shots of guests wearing short dresses.
Understandably, she was absolutely livid with the quality of the work provided by their chosen man. The conversation that had driven them to take legal action is as follows…
“When we got some of the pictures, I said to him… Is this all of them because I’m really disappointed?”
“He turned around and said he’d taken thousands of pictures”, Steph explains, “When we received them, he’d captured 1,636 images and 559 were out of focus. He called them ‘misfires‘.”
Straight away, that doesn’t sound like a very good hit rate. But, it still left over 1000 photos in focus. Unfortunately, they weren’t much better.
In a dramatic turn of events, the photographer has denied all of the allegations made against him claiming “they cropped the pictures down”. (That would be a bit of an odd thing to do if you ask me!)
(In this photo, Steph and Paul had no idea that the photographer was taking one of the few usable shots!)
“There were none of the in-laws, one of my parents and almost 100 of the two bridesmaids,” Steph says.
After noticing that there were so many of the bridesmaids and so few of anybody else, she began to pay a little closer attention and immediately noticed a pattern emerging.
“He took pictures of one of my bridesmaid’s breasts, some of her bum,” she alleges, “There were more pictures of just the bridesmaids than anything else. I’m sure he was doing that on purpose.”
“I know that photography is interpreted differently by different people,” she admits, “But when he takes three pictures of someone’s bum, that’s not an accident.”
Steph and Paul, both now 30, had hired the photographer to provide coverage of every angle of their special day. But I think he might’ve taken that statement a little too literally!
They purchased a package that would involve Kilcourse taking snapshots of the bride getting ready, the ceremony, the wedding breakfast and the night-time reception. The eventual result was supposed to be a photo book, two prints, edited images and a CD containing all of the pictures captured throughout the occasion.
Unfortunately, they had an inkling that something wasn’t right from the very beginning of the day, after the photographer didn’t even arrive on time… only turning up after the groom had already got there.
“He didn’t turn up until after the groom’s arrival, by which point we were all ready,” Steph says, so there were no photos of the bride preparing for the ceremony.
His approach can’t exactly be considered ‘professional’, “He didn’t get family pictures and missed my mum, dad, and in-laws,” the bride claims, “On pictures, he took using the photo booth, you can see hanging equipment and the metal frame in the background.”
(Just one of the ‘butt’ shots Kilcourse took)
Seems like a pretty shoddy service to me, but the final product was just as slapdash.
“We received no photo album. He just sent the pictures via disk after I complained,” says Steph, and that’s when things really started to go downhill.
“He claimed the pictures he’d sent us were edited but they weren’t. My husband wore a grey suit but on the pictures, it looked blue,” she told the press, “A lot of the pictures were angled so they wouldn’t look right in a photo frame.”
It was all a big surprise to the couple, who had hired the photographer in good faith after viewing some of his past work.
“The pictures he showed us before we booked him were really nice, well-done photos,” Steph explains. “Thankfully we had a videographer,” she says, meaning that not everything was lost from their big day.
The newlywed says that it was only after their own personal battle that they ran into further problems. Steph learned of other brides who had complained about Kilcourse’s work recently too. She also claimed he had kept on advertising his services through his website even after the court found in Steph and Paul’s favor. But the photographer, however, said the company had folded.
David Kilcourse remains certain of himself and his abilities as a wedding photographer. He’s denied the allegations made against him, citing bad weather on the day as one of the reasons for the lack of quality shots. He also reckons that the couple’s claims of inappropriate photos were “disproved”.
He said in a statement: “The company has folded since then. As far as I’m concerned it’s all done and dusted”. “As a company, we did over 1,000 weddings and we only had, probably in all that time, 10 complaints of that severity”.
Could it be that Steph and Paul were just unlucky or is he trying to cover up his tracks?
He went on to say “It’s a matter of opinion that we didn’t fulfill the package,”, “Steph said that we didn’t take any outside shots of the wedding when it was pouring it down all day. According to my terms and conditions, we say that we can’t control the weather.”
Frustratingly, I guess we’ll never really know the specifics of the day as we weren’t there…
“They claimed I had taken inappropriate images but they cropped the pictures down. They said I’d taken inappropriate pictures which was disproved,” he continues.
Exactly how this was disproved, he doesn’t actually say. Which leaves the situation a little unresolved.
“I got so much hassle through weddings that I just stopped doing it,” he claims, before concluding… “The reason I didn’t turn up to court was that it was in Nottingham, it would have cost me a fortune. The court ruled in her favor.” Surely it’s ended up costing him more now that he’s lost and had to pay a penalty?
While it must be a relief to Steph and Paul that the court found in their favor, it doesn’t magically produce photos from their special day!
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Meanwhile… we wish Steph and Paul all the best for a happy future together!