Wedding Photographer

Judge criticizes photographer for botching wedding work, rewards couple with $ 22,000


Judge berated photographer for “deceptive behavior” and unsavory business practices

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A Surrey couple who hired a photographer to take photos and videos in remembrance of their wedding in 2015 ended up in court instead, suing them for failing to deliver the $ 8,500 “platinum package” that they had ordered.

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Kaman and Ramandeep Rai, frustrated by repeated delays over six years, also sued Aman Bal to seek redress for the breach of contract which for years deprived them of the chance to celebrate their marriage with their loved ones, especially those who do not. were unable to attend.

The court awarded the couple $ 7,000 for what it cost them to have the raw images and photos turned into albums and other memorabilia by another photographer and $ 10,000 for mental distress. Bal was also ordered to pay them $ 5,000 in punitive damages.

The judge noted that Bal was sued five times in civil court between 2011 and 2019 and said he had shown a “pattern of deceptive behavior that frustrates the innocent to the point that they simply give up” and cut their losses. .

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“The court must expose such behavior and deter Mr. Bal from further victimizing others for his unsavory business practices,” Surrey Provincial Court Judge Valliammai Chettiar said in a written post-trial decision, using the terms “deterrence” and “denunciation” usually reserved for conviction in criminal proceedings.

She berated Bal for “many inconsistencies”, “elusive” responses to the stand and “most disturbing” his “willingness to offer a narrative without any foundation or documentary support.”

Bal, who is 15 to 20 years of age as a professional photographer and has shot music videos and fashion shows as well as weddings, but has worked as a sales representative in a painting company for the past four years, said that he withheld the products because the couple failed to make the final payment of $ 3,500.

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“There is not the slightest evidence to support this claim,” Chettiar said. “He seemed to be inventing responses on the spur of the moment,” she said. He was a “completely unreliable witness.” I reject his testimony.

The ruling said La Rais, whom she described as “candid” and consistent in her evidence that she had “no hesitation in accepting,” paid $ 5,000 before the wedding and was waiting to receive the package before. to make the final payment.

The court heard that they had sent repeated texts over the first two and a half years to Bal asking for the products and received repeated assurances that delivery was imminent. He introduced himself as “Elite Images”, but in January 2018 he told them that he was no longer working there and that the images were being worked on by others, but he could not say who these people were or what company they worked for or where the pictures and photos were.

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Bal did not sign the contract, which the judge called a “totally incomprehensible document,” and she rejected Bal’s claim that Le Rais had contracted with Elite Images, not him.

He “deliberately used different names in his dealings with Le Rais, creating confusion and possibly a way for him to escape his responsibility, if necessary, by masking the true identity of the contracting party,” said Le Rais. judge.

She also noted that the photos the couple eventually saw contained “a lot of gaps,” such as blurry photos and others where the couple’s eyes were closed or where Bal staff could be seen.

In deciding on compensation for the mental distress due to Bal’s breach of the deal, Chettiar noted the length of the delay, the missed opportunity to share marriage memories with others and the lack of peace and she declared that “the agony they had to endure is unacceptable”. They also had to pay a lawyer for the trial.

Neither Le Rais nor Le Bal could be reached for comment.

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