When Steph and Paul Unwin were married, they were motivated to get their marriage off to the best possible start.
They were still buzzing from their special day and were eagerly awaiting the publication of their wedding photos. They yearned to go back in time and relive the entire day. However, they experienced the exact reverse of how they had anticipated after receiving. They were stunned and devastated. They were aware that they had to file a lawsuit.
Photographs are arguably one of the most crucial parts of every wedding ceremony. There is no doubt that the day of their wedding is the most important day in every man’s or woman’s life.
Preparing the ceremony and making sure that all the arrangements are in order can be extremely demanding, from both a physical and a mental standpoint, but it’s all worth it for the big day. And besides, there’s something else.
Your wedding is the event of a lifetime. However, human memory can be fragile and fallible, and it’s only reasonable that people want to keep photographs of the ceremony to preserve that big day forever.
Lots of people enjoy bringing out the old photo album every now and then and reminiscing on the day of their wedding; the stories, the anecdotes, the groom and bride’s nerves, and comments. However, the Unwins wouldn’t have that privilege.
What the Unwins didn’t know was that they would forever regret hiring a photographer to immortalize their wedding.
As Steph kept going through the pictures the photographer had sent her, her heart was galloping. She saw red. She was more furious and disappointed than ever before. How dared he? How could he do that to them?
Steph and Paul were a couple from Bollington, Cheshire. They had carefully planned their wedding day and set the date for June 2015.
They found a photographer on Facebook named David Kilcourse and asked him for a sample of his work. They liked what they saw and agreed that David would be their photographer for the wedding.
Based on the photos he had sent, they could tell that he’d done weddings before. Recalling the events leading up to their wedding, Steph said, “The pictures he showed us before we booked him were really nice, well-done photos.”
She didn’t know that the ones she would get from the day of her wedding would be very, very different.
They signed a package that meant that he would take pictures of the entire day, from getting ready to the ceremony, meal, and evening event. The man seemed really professional, and the couple left his office with the feeling that everything would be alright.
After all was said and done, it seemed like they no longer had to worry about that department. But the first red flag appeared on the day of their wedding.
The couple didn’t hear from Kilcourse until it was almost too late. Minutes before everything started, both Steph and Paul tried calling him from their phones.
However, the photographer didn’t answer their calls. As a matter of fact, his phone went straight to voicemail. What was going on? What in the world could Kilcourse be up to?
The photographer only showed up at the venue once the ceremony had started. Steph remembers it clearly as she recalls, “He didn’t turn up until after the groom’s arrival, by which point we were all ready.”
When the couple asked what happened, he just responded with a terse, “Uh, something came up. Sorry.” That was it. That’s when Paul, and particularly Steph, started suspecting something was very wrong.
The bride and groom were disappointed, but this was their big day, they didn’t want minor things to distract them from their wedding. They let it slide.
The wedding kept going on normally. Paul and Steph didn’t pay much attention to what the photographer was doing. However, at one point, Steph noticed something that called her attention for the wrong reasons.
At one point, Steph noticed the photographer was nowhere to be seen. She looked around the venue, trying to find him. After a few seconds, she found him where she least expected.
He was just slacking around, talking to one of the bridesmaids. Steph couldn’t believe her eyes. But right then, she noticed something that was even more disconcerting.
The way Kilcourse was talking to the bridesmaid, it almost looked like he already knew her. Now, what was that about? As far as Steph was concerned, the photographer had no business spending the time he was getting paid for making conversation with one of the bridesmaids.
Immediately, she knew she had to do something. Little did she know that this was just a sign of the unnerving truth she would eventually find out.
Instantly, Steph called the bridesmaid’s name and motioned her to come closer as if she had something to tell her. The bridesmaid came running to her, while the photographer, noticing he had been caught slacking, went back to taking pictures of his surroundings.
Steph asked the bridesmaid if she knew the guy and what he was telling her. The bridesmaid’s response left her speechless.
“I have never seen him before in my life. I think he was hitting on me,” she said. Steph couldn’t believe it. What kind of sleazeball had they hired as a photographer? Still, she got a chuckle out of it. Little did she know that things would get a lot worse.
Besides that, everything else ran smoothly. The weather got a little bad, but that was okay. It wasn’t until days later that they got a nasty surprise.
The package they signed said that they would be receiving a photo album, a CD, and two prints, with all of the images edited and color-corrected. They were so excited to see all of it.
After the wedding, both Steph and Paul went back to their jobs. There were still a few months until the honeymoon. They hoped that they would get the pictures from the wedding before they left. Little did they know, they were in for a shock.
They waited and waited, but they didn’t hear anything from the photographer for weeks. They checked his social media pages; the man was still working and posting other pictures he had taken for other customers.
Now, they were really starting to feel like there was something very wrong. But they didn’t find out what it was until some days later.
They waited for a while, but Kilcourse wasn’t getting back to them. After a little more waiting, Steph reached out to him to complain about how long it was taking.
A few days later, Kilcourse replied. He apologized and promised that he would send them something right away. But the couple was not satisfied with his response.
He sent them a package, but this package only contained a CD and nothing else that they had asked for. When they checked the CD, it was obvious that none of the photos had been edited.
The more pictures they saw, the clearer it became that the photographer had just done a lousy job. However, the worst was yet to come.
“He claimed the pictures he’d sent us were edited, but they weren’t. My husband wore a grey suit, but in the pictures, it looked blue,” Steph sighed in disappointment.
But things didn’t end there. Over a third of the images were blurry and out of focus. Kilcourse obviously didn’t seem to care about the quality of his photos. But that wasn’t the biggest of their problems.
Shaking her head, Steph spoke with a deep frown between her eyebrows, “When we received them, he’d taken 1,636 images, and 559 were out of focus. He called them ‘misfires’.”
They tried to make the best out of a horrible situation by searching for photos that were good enough to frame. But that’s when they discovered something horrible.
They noticed that many of the photos he had taken were zoomed in on the bridesmaids’ cleave, legs, and buttocks.
It was beyond inappropriate. “He took pictures of one of my bridesmaid’s breasts, some of her bum. There were more pictures of just the bridesmaids than anything else. I’m sure he was doing that on purpose,” Steph noted.
When they confronted him about it, he denied that it ever happened, but they had photographic proof that he was lying. Everything was in the CD.
A whopping 96 of the photos were of the bridesmaids, 70 were of the bride and only 11 of the groom. What kind of creepy, drooling excuse for a photographer had they hired?
Steph appeared heartbroken as she revealed, “He didn’t get family pictures and missed my mum, dad, and in-laws. When he takes three pictures of someone’s bum, that’s not an accident.”
They were outraged and couldn’t believe that they had paid for these images. They demanded their money back. And that’s when the real problems started for Steph and Paul.
The photographer refused to give them their money back. He claimed that he had done exactly what they had asked him to do. “It’s a matter of opinion that we didn’t fulfill the package,” were his exact words to them.
Now that was outrageous. How could someone be so unprofessional, shameless, and sloppy with his job? But it got worse.
He continued defending himself by saying, “Steph said that we didn’t take any outside shots of the wedding when it was pouring down all day”.
“According to my terms and conditions, we say that we can’t control the weather.” It was absolutely infuriating. What kind of excuse was that? But they were not about to give up that easily.
Steph and Paul sued the photographer for breach of contract, and a court date was set for September 2016. When the day came, Kilcourse was a no-show.
The judge had no choice but to rule in the couple’s favor, ordering him to pay them £601 (USD $840). Though the Unwins were happy with the outcome, they still mourn the loss of those memories.
“He caused so much heartache. We have so many moments missing from our big day,” lamented Steph.
“Thankfully, we had a videographer.” After the initial shock of the inappropriate bridesmaid pictures, a quick look at the other photos in the album revealed Kilcourse’s lack of professionalism and poor photography skills.
“On pictures, he took using the photo booth, you can see hanging equipment and the metal frame in the background,” Steph said.
She decided to reach out to some of the photographer’s previous clients and wasn’t surprised to find out theirs was not the only complaint. But Kilcourse continues to deny any and all wrongdoing.
“As a company, we did over 1,000 weddings, and we only had, probably in all that time, 10 complaints of that severity,” the photographer stated.
“They claimed I had taken inappropriate images, but they cropped the pictures down.” But though he maintains his innocence, he didn’t think it was worth appearing in court to defend it.
“The reason I didn’t turn up to court was that it was in Nottingham. It would have cost me a fortune,” said Kilcourse.
He claims now to have stopped photographing weddings. “I got so much hassle through weddings that I just stopped doing it. The company has folded since then. As far as I’m concerned, it’s all done and dusted.” In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely.