Too ridiculous to be true? A photography company from Orlando had the worst imaginable client that is now attempting to take them to court over images provided that according to the client show irreversible "distortion". Or what the rest of us are familiar with as Bokeh and standard depth of field.
The client (Erika Berryman) posted in an Orlando Wedding group on Facebook warning others to stay away from Clarence Simpson Photography, whom she and her partner had booked for their wedding. It turns out the joke was on her, as over 5 thousand comments have slated the client for essentially being an idiot as the photos delivered to her are in fact great and of a professional standard.
The photography community has come out in full force to support a local Orlando photography business, Clarence Simpson Photography (opens in new tab), a team of individuals who were unfairly (and unsuccessfully) shamed for their services on a Facebook group by a client who wanted to warn others not to work with them.
From what can be seen of their Facebook and Instagram (opens in new tab) portfolios, Clarence Simpson Photography (Clarence and Tierra) produce stunning work with the creamy bokeh and sought-after blurred background portraits that any client would be happy to receive, or so you would think.
The original Facebook post (opens in new tab) shared to the public group still remains posted at the time of writing, but in the event of it being taken down, here's what Erika wrote:(opens in new tab)
We know that's a bit of a long read, so to summarize, Erika requested three shoots from CSP, an engagement shoot, family photos, and wedding photos. The latter was never delivered as the contract between both parties was terminated by Erika as she did not feel that the "distorted" background as she calls it, was the direction her and her partner wanted to go with the photos, deciding just days before their wedding.
Erika admitted within the post that she had looked through the portfolio provided by CSP and almost all of their work featured the shallower depth of field photography style. "It is worth noting that the entirety of their portfolio has background or foreground distortion" she states. Despite not liking this style, Erika and her partner proceeded to book shoots with CSP and supposedly signed contracts with deposits having been paid in advance of the wedding date.
The pair decided to terminate the contract with CSP and accused them of breaching the terms of the contract under providing photos in a timely manner (only 6 days!) and ability to accommodate the wedding expectations. Erika explains how they have requested and are awaiting a refund of the difference between the amount already paid and the “non-refundable” 50% amount of the total cost of the contract, and - wait for it - "the copyrights to our photos".(opens in new tab)
The post was accompanied by screenshots provided by Erika of the images she received from CSP of their engagement/family shoot, which she claimed to have been initially happy with having had a "great experience" during the shoot.
"We are now going to have to take them to civil court, after our wedding, to recoup the money owed to us. As well as miss time from work...We asked them to remove our photos from their portfolio which has not happened. Despite having copyrights to them. We will be going to court for this as well", the post states.(opens in new tab)
The best part of the complaint post is where Erika shares that "we were not happy with the amount of distortion in the background or foreground. We sent a message to Tierra the same day, asking if they could reduce the amount of distortion in the background of some of our photos so that we could see and appreciate the scenery. We were told that the distortion in the photos was from the lenses that were used during the shoot and could not be reduced or changed."
This section of the post alone has resulted in thousands of comments and shares from other photographers and members of the public Facebook group absolutely bewildered by the fact that Erika equates portrait focus and bokeh with distortion, and believed that it was something that could actually be reduced.(opens in new tab)
Erika's review and attempted slamming of Clarence Simpson Photography actually resulted in a mass amount of Facebook fame and support for the company amidst the comment section sea of memes and Gifs. It's pretty clear the moral of the story here is that photographers are tired of the misinformed and entitled attitude of the public, and the customer IS NOT always right.(opens in new tab)
CSP shared on their own Facebook page how overwhelmed they were with the love & support following Erika's unintentionally hilarious post, and state "Never stoop low, always look high" and that their prices are going up for certain.(opens in new tab)
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