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Amateur photographer friend 'ruins' bride's wedding photos, 'she asked for one thing.' AITA?

Amateur photographer friend 'ruins' bride's wedding photos, 'she asked for one thing.' AITA?

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"AITA for 'ruining' my friends wedding pictures?"

I (27M) am not a professional photographer by any means (actually I am a dental nurse). I was very into photography from the age of 13 to 20, I did GCSE and A level photography and then after I finished school at 18 I did a 2 year art foundation diploma with a photography specialism.

Due to this I have a few cameras (including film cameras), a good knowledge of photoshop and I used to be able to develop my own film (though I am not sure if I still have that skill as its been a while since I last did it). I haven't done much photography since then though because I realized I preferred it as a hobby rather than the quite brutal and competitive world of professional photography.

My friend, Ruby (27F), who I went to school with, got married two weeks ago. About three weeks before the wedding she called me crying saying she didn't have a photographer because she couldn't find anyone who would shoot the wedding in film (her preference) for less than a couple of grand (she had a very long wedding and reception with lots of people and she wanted several hundred photos from the day - if you know anything about film you know you can only shoot 24 - 36 pictures and the speed of film needed to take pictures inside is relatively expensive, also she wanted them in color). I tried to give her solutions but she was deadset on this and said it was her wedding so she should be able to get what she wanted. Eventually she asked me if I would take the photos.

I was initially hesitant, as I say I am not a professional photographer, but she really pressured me into it (basically implying that her wedding would be ruined if I didn't) so I agreed. The pay she was offering me was not good (about $250) but she's one of my best friends and framed the request like it was a favor rather than a service, so I accepted the loss. I knew that doing it all in film would not work (as in I did not have the skills to do it) and be incredibly expensive so on the day I took hundreds of photos digitally and edited them in photoshop to look like film. Honestly she was thrilled with them and didn't even realize they weren't real film.

I don't even know how she found out because she believed my editing job at first but she called me today to tell me that I have ruined her wedding and her pictures and that I betrayed her trust, her and her husband are both furious at me and telling me I'm selfish.

She said she asked for one thing from me and I couldn't even do that. Other friends are weighing in saying it was a shady thing to do and one even said that I could forget about any future work because no one would hire me after this (i am NOT a photographer) and I just don't know if I am the ahole because I did lie but it was a difficult situation and the pictures are nice. so AITA?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

mifflewhat said:

ESH. Your friend sounds pushy and overdramatic, but you should have just been straight with her about what you were willing & able to do, & what you weren't. Given that you were willing to do this for her as a favor, I don't know why you felt pressured to please her. Do you have a difficult time saying "no" to people?

CountNo3581 said:

I really want to be on your side because I hate when people ask friends and family instead of professionals to do wedding stuff and then get mad when things don’t work out, but you just straight up lied to her. I would really recommend learning how to just say no. You were a bit of a doormat here and growing a spine is going to be beneficial to you. Ultimately, ESH. You for lying, her for being a cheapskate.

KaliTheBlaze said:

ESH. You needed to tell her that what she wanted was logistically impossible for you, so she had 3 real options. She could accept that you’d shoot in digital and then edit the photos to look like film. She could compromise on how long the pro film photographer was there to fit her budget. She could scrounge the money to hire the pros she had already contacted. Getting her wedding shot by you in film was impossible no matter what her budget was.

Instead, you decided to deceive her. That’s a lousy way to treat people. Even if they don’t like their options, they’re supposed to get to choose between them, and your lying took that from her. Pressuring your friends into doing work for you at absurd cut rates is also a lousy way to treat people. If you love your friends, you can ask them if they can cut you a deal, but if they say no, you either pay their going rate or you don’t get the work. It’s better not to ask and just pay the going rate if you can, though.

stroppo said:

ESH. Since you write that you knew it wouldn't work to shoot in film, why didn't you just tell her that? Using the reasons you gave here. I just don't see why you couldn't be honest about it. If she insisted on using film, you could have said you wouldn't do it that way; it would have to be digital. As it is, everyone's right; you did lie about it. I made this ESH because I don't know what her rationale is for using film and not digital, and if the pics look nice they hardly "ruined the wedding."

notforcommentinohgoo said:

Speaking as a former professional photographer: YTA. If you were never going to do what she asked, you should never have agreed to do it. You lied and tricked her. It was not up to you to overrule the couple on whether or not it was dumb request.

SkyComplex2625 said:

YTA - if you couldn’t do it in film the solution wasn’t to LIE to her.

While the opinions were slightly divided for this one, most people felt that everyone involved was at fault. What's your advice for this wedding drama?

Sources: Reddit
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