Photographer Says Bride Offered Her No Money for Destination Wedding

ByBasilia D. Griffith

Mar 30, 2022 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • AJ Abelman mentioned she was offered a cost-free excursion — and no revenue — to photograph a marriage ceremony in Cancun.
  • The wedding photographer reported the bride wanted her to share a space with her employee.
  • Abelman spoke out on TikTok about the ask for, stating it undervalued her perform.

A wedding ceremony photographer is speaking out right after she said a bride asked her to shoot her vacation spot marriage ceremony, but only made available her a no cost stay — and no dollars — to do it.

AJ Abelman, 31, a marriage ceremony photographer centered in Chicago, Illinois, has owned her have business enterprise for six a long time, and is used to touring all more than the place for her get the job done.

But a short while ago, she obtained a ask for with regards to a location wedding ceremony that created her “blood boil,” Abelman mentioned in a TikTok video from February 24.

According to Abelman’s TikTok — which has around fifty percent a million sights at the time of writing — a bride questioned her by way of email if she would be eager to “exchange” her images companies for “travel and lodging” to a a few-day wedding in Cancun, Mexico.

Abelman mentioned the bride anticipated her to photograph the marriage and a next day excursion on a boat for no money, as the bride would pay back the expense of Abelman’s resort area. In her TikTok, Abelman included a screenshot that purportedly showed an electronic mail she obtained from the bride.

In accordance to the screenshot, the bride explained she did not want to employ the service of a nearby photographer because she did not want to pay out a price essential by the resort for these a services. The bride went on to say it would be “best” if anyone on the photography group could share a just one-mattress resort space and that she would choose into “thought” the idea of covering their travel expenses, according to the same screenshot.

Abelman advised Insider she was baffled by the ask for, as she felt like it undermined the price of her labor — and that of all wedding ceremony photographers.

A bride and groom pose in front of Lake Michigan.

AJ Abelman is based mostly in Chicago.


AJ Abelman Photography



Abelman said she ordinarily fees in between $6,000 and $9,000 to shoot weddings, and when she travels for her do the job, the few addresses the vacation fees as very well.

“The vacation and the remain is on prime of what you would pay back for your genuine offer for the reason that I have to fly there instead of push there,” she explained, adding that it “would literally price tag me revenue” to function if she had to fork out for the flight and lodging.

She was specially disturbed at the recommendation she would have to share a space with her second shooter. “When was the previous time you were questioned to share a mattress with your manager?” she mentioned.

Abelman also explained to Insider that the bride appeared to believe her wedding day would be a entertaining encounter for her, relatively than perform. 

A bride holds out her hand for a flower girl as they walk to a window.

Abelman claimed she felt like the bride undervalued her get the job done.


AJ Abelman Photography



“My mortgage does not end needing to be compensated for the reason that I’m on getaway in Mexico, and it really is not a family vacation if I am functioning,” Abelman claimed. “If I want to consider a holiday, I want to leave my cameras at residence.” 

Abelman despatched the bride a lengthy email reaction that in depth the function and funds that goes into wedding ceremony photography, like editing and spending the next shooter. She also shared her reaction on TikTok with the intention of educating other people.

“Inquiring creatives to do what they do for a residing, for absolutely free, for your wedding day working day is offensive,” Abelman reported she wrote in response to the bride. “[I] doubt that you would question your plumber to fix your pipes in exchange for a date to the movies, or that you’d supply to acquire your physician to lunch in its place of spending your bill. If you did, they would say what I’m expressing: No.”

Abelman advised Insider she hopes that sharing her encounter will make some others enjoy the function wedding ceremony photographers do much more.

“It really is an expense in your recollections because when the wedding day working day has ended and the flowers have died and your attendees have long gone property, the only detail that continues to be other than your spouse are the pictures,” she claimed.

“Making art is a actual task,” Abelman added. “We ought to have to be paid out quite for doing our positions.”