Imagine getting a letter or email from your wedding photographer letting you know that they have filed for bankruptcy and are closing. This is exactly what happened to around 800 hundred clients of a UK wedding photographer, leaving them distressed and heartbroken.
COVID-19 showed up a few years ago and significantly impacted many industries, but it was especially hard on the wedding industry because governments implemented gathering restrictions. This forced thousands of businesses to file bankruptcy and close. But, it appears that even though weddings are happening again, the impact is still being felt. Here is the story of just one wedding photographer and what you can do to protect your wedding images.
Just days before their big day was scheduled to happen, South West Photo and Film, a UK-based wedding photography company (formerly known as Lee Brewer Photography and Film), filed for bankruptcy last week, leaving hundreds of soon-to-be-wed and newlyweds out of pocket, without their photos, and in some cases, without a photographer.
The craziest thing is that they were still accepting bookings (and money) up the week they filed for bankruptcy. But on 27 July, this wedding photography business declared bankruptcy citing the COVID pandemic and the difficulties it brought upon it. SWPF also shut down all of its social media profiles and its website. Naturally, this made it more challenging for clients to contact us and inquire about our expectations.
Some of their clients were waiting for their wedding photographs to be delivered, while others had contracted and were waiting to have their wedding photographed. In both cases, the clients had already paid for the service and are now in a pickle.
According to Newsweek, couples that reached out to the photography company to inquire about their images and money received the following message.
“It is with utmost sadness we would like to inform you that South West Photo and Film, formally Lee Brewer Photography, has ceased trading. We will no longer be able to provide any of our services to you at your wedding. We have tried so hard the last couple of years to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. The financial implications have proven too much for us to get over.
Unfortunately, I have been left with no choice but to cease trading and declare bankruptcy as of today, July 27.
An official receiver will be in touch with further information.”
WOW! Can you imagine receiving that message? Luckily, the photography community is getting together to help couples find a replacement photographer, and the owner of SWPF vowed in a Facebook message that has since been deleted that all couples whose weddings he shot within the past 3 months would, in fact, receive their photos. Whew! What a relief!
At the time of this post, there is a Shootproof client image delivery website that for SWP&F still remains active for the time being. This website features wedding image galleries that, unfortunately, may expire soon. The galleries will likely disappear because that website operates on a pay-by-month basis from the business owner, who has now ceased trading.
How Can I Protect My Memories From A Photographer Filing For Bankruptcy?
When it comes to protecting your memories, you want to make sure that you choose a reputable photographer with a good track record. Unfortunately, photographers can sometimes go out of business or file for bankruptcy, leaving their clients without precious memories. It’s just part of life.
If you are worried about this happening to you, you can do a few things to protect yourself. First, make sure that you always pay for your photos upfront. This way, if the photographer goes bankrupt, you will already have paid for your photos and will not be left empty-handed.
Another option is to choose a photographer who offers insurance in case of bankruptcy or other financial problems. If something happens to the photographer, you will be reimbursed for any lost photos.
Finally, be sure to keep backups of all your photos in case something happens to the originals. This way, even if the wedding photographer goes bankrupt and you lose your photos, you will still have copies you can cherish forever.
Store Wedding Photos On Cloud Storage
When it comes to storing your wedding photos, you have a few options. You can keep them on your computer, store them on an external hard drive, or upload them to a cloud storage service. While all of these options have their own pros and cons, cloud storage is becoming increasingly popular for several reasons.
First of all, it’s more convenient than keeping your photos on your own computer or hard drive. With cloud storage, you can access your photos from anywhere, whether at home or on the go. All you need is an internet connection, and you can easily view, download, or share your photos.
Another benefit of using cloud storage for your wedding photos is that it’s more secure than keeping them on your own devices. You could lose all of your photos if your computer crashes or your hard drive fails. But they’ll be safe and sound if they’re stored in the cloud.
And even when you’re storing them on the Cloud, you still need to do regular backups. And we suggest that you back up your backup.
Wedding images are more than just pops of color on paper or data stored on a computer. They are works of art that document one of the most cherished events in our lives. Storing your photos in a safe and protected place is more important than ever.
ElephantDrive is the ideal resource for doing that. ElephantDrive concentrates on long-term retention, in contrast to other cloud-based storage services. As a result, unlike other services, we guarantee that your photographs won’t lose quality or resolution over time. You might not be aware of this, but most cloud services compress images and videos so they won’t degrade over time.
If you want the finest solution to keep your priceless images, movies, and files, contact us today!