Wedding Photographer Loses Memory Card After Pub Brawl

A UK couple is very displeased after their wedding photographer lost all the images from their wedding during a scuffle in a pub.

Jackie and Anam Sanderson enlisted a friend, Ben Fagan, to take wedding photographs — mostly to his benefit, they said, to boost his portfolio. But after the wedding, Fagan placed the card in his wallet and lost it a week later — though he doesn’t have a clear memory of when or where. Unfortunately for the couple, who had a small wedding service with just 60 guests, Fagan was the only one taking pictures, save a few blurry photos taken by guests.

Yahoo! News notes:

After the wedding, Ben slipped his 16 GB memory card from his camera into his wallet, which he then put into his black suit jacket for a friend’s funeral on Friday June 1.

But he lost the jacket in Lostwithiel as he brawled with a friend – either before or after being thrown out of the pub by the landlord.

Ben was unable to find the jacket that evening and subsequent searches have failed to turn it up.

He said: ‘I’m absolutely devastated to have lost my best friends’ photos of the best day of their lives. It’s on my mind constantly. I thought my wallet was the safest place.’

The couple put up posters and searched through trash for the missing card, but so far to no avail.

Couple lose all images of their wedding after photographer loses memory card on boozy night out [Yahoo News]

Thanks for sending in the tip, Chris!

Image credits: Photographs by SWNS

  • Concerned citizen

    Please, this has no general interest. A shitty accident, but does he really deserve the wrath of “tha inernet” ?

  • Jay Lessard

    He does in fact deserve it. 

  • Richard

    Agreed. He made a stupid mistake but so did the couple in enlisting him.

    This post is comment bait, and here I am biting…. sigh.

  • TravisLawton

    Prepare for the onslaught of negative comments for this guy (although he deserves it). It says he lost the memory card “a week later”?! Why didn’t he download the shots as soon as possible. 

  • Random

    And how is this “news”? I don’t get it.

  • Guest

  • Renato Valenzuela

    i can almost relate to this.  i decided as a wedding present to bring out my old Nikon FG and shoot a roll of Tmax3200 over the weekend.  having never developed 3200 before, i mis-read the times for the D-76 bath.  i take the roll out of the tank, only to discover that either my agitations were way off or developing at 1:1 instead of at full strength was the mistake.  fortunately i wasn’t the only one taking pictures that day, since they hired a professional media group to document the occasion.  i was totally devastated and completely disappointed in myself.

    but it’s not stopping me from continuing the practice of my craft. if anything it serves as further motivation to not only take pictures, but to RTFM.

  • Houston_serenity

    I really don’t mind it when things like this make the “news” maybe it will help folks to wake up and realize that if you want it captured the right way hire a professional!  

  • Ken

    Here’s a lesson from this, you get what you pay for! The old “it will benefit your portfolio” really means I don’t value your work enough to pay for it. If this couple was really concerned about their photos they would have hired a professional.

  • John Milleker

    Love their clever ‘let’s pose with our empty wedding collage frame’ shot. Maybe if they put some of that cleverness towards thinking who they would rather capture once-in-a-lifetime shots, a friend or a professional, they might have made a better decision.

  • Wallerus

    I would’ve taken it as a lesson learned, but you’re right. He doesn’t need the entire internet to all say something he hasn’t already heard. Back up your data people! End Scene

  • Antonio Carrasco


    No pro photographer would do something that dumb. A pro would have gone straight to his computer and downloaded all of the images right after the wedding.


  • Ignas

    I think this is not about the accident itself, but about importance of photography. 

    This example shows, why the work of true photographers should be valued more. 

  • Antonio Carrasco

    Hear the sound of the world’s smallest violin playing

  • Antonio Carrasco

     I am drinking a fine tea made from the tears of cheapskates who refuse to pay for photography

  • Miguel Barbosa

     Great comment.

  • Ndt

    Proves that being a pro is not just about taking the photos.

  • bob cooley

     He put a memory card (presumably an SD card) in his wallet – for a week? 

    If he hadn’t lost it, its likely he’d find that he had damaged the card beyond repair from sitting on it repeatedly.  

    This is sad on all accounts – the ‘photographer’ for taking such poor care of his friends’ important images, and to the couple who cheaped out “hey – we have a friend that could do this for us – for free!”.

    Or its a clever bit of viral marketing…  (even more sad).

  • Verónica Peña S.

     I am so tired of comments like these. Every single time I read an article from this site, one of the first couple of comments if from an as$*ole saying this is not news, relevant, etc… All that whining it is just so annoying!
    Go and try to open your own blog/website to see if it’s that easy to post articles that are 100% perfectly interesting for everybody all the time.

  • Richard

    What’s a “true” photographer? The guy who took these pictures is a photographer, no? What would make him “truer?”

  • Chris Lyn

    I think he meant to write “professional” photographers.

  • BriggsBrandon

    Most of us love the idea of earning extra income or quitting our full-time jobs altogether and working from home. But aren’t all the home-based opportunities just scams? I have one trusted money making campaign, ===⇛⇛⇛⇛►Get the webpage at my profile to read the information in details.

  • JosephRT

    Amen! I don’t care if it isn’t groundbreaking, revolutionary news on PetaPixel. The reason I come here isn’t to get my news, its to blissfully waste my afternoon looking at things that interest me, like this story! Don’t listen to the haters PetaPixel, you are doing a fine job!

  • John

    Hmm.. for a week?

    Why on earth did he not copy the card to at least one hard drive the day after??? 

    And why did he carry the card on him?

    Either this is not a true story, or the wedding couple should consider themselves stupid not hiring a pro to do the job…

  • Ana

    As a former photographer from a family of photographers, nothing like that has ever happened to anyone of us. Not in my father’s 64 years as a professional photographer would he have gone anywhere before first returning the memory cards and/or film to a safe place, preferably the fireproof safe at the studio. 
    You should never trust a precious moment that can’t be repeated to anyone that doesn’t stake their living and their reputation on the quality of their product. 
    For those in the USA look for a member of the PPA and for the UK look for a member of BIPP and ask friends and family for recommendations if possible.

  • Lori

    Ah, yes, of course, the wedding couple were doing him a favour by allowing him to photograph their wedding day for HIS portfolio.  And I bet they didn’t even charge him for that privilege, right?    File this under the “you get what you pay for” category.  Bad news on both sides of this one.

  • stanimir stoyanov

    Why did you feel the need to reply to yourself… twice?

  • Christopher 

    That’s exactly what I was thinking! Why he didn’t at LEAST put the pics in his library ASAP to be worked on, I have no frikkin clue! Shows how excited he was to work on photos for the happiest moment in a client’s life. >=/ This is a good reminder to all photogs to take care of the client’s needs FIRST.

  • Christopher 

    Amendment: though I will say that his name shouldn’t have been published. A mistake is just that, a mistake. He should learn from this, and not have it totally blow his whole career, even though this kind of mistake is pretty bad.

  • Greg McKay

     Fortunately for him there is a famous Ben Fagan here in the states so when you google his name you don’t easily find his personal info.

  • Greg McKay

     That’s what I like about digital, the CF cards don’t require nearly as much time in the developer or fixer baths…..  ;-)

  • Greg McKay

     Viral marketing for who? This guy surely isn’t going to have clients lining up at his door with a “stunt” like this.

  • Photobymarty

    A true or professional photographer would not have placed the card in his wallet or kept it there for a week.

  • Renato Murakami

    Yep. This is the kinda thing that happens when you get someone to photograph your wedding in such terms: “mostly to his benefit, they said, to boost his portfolio”.
    If you paid for it, the photographer would get home next to the shoot and imediately proceed to download the photographs and backup… or risk a lawsuit, which would kinda compensate for the loss.
    And if you didn’t want to spend money to take photos of what seems to be such an important event of your lifetime, you should at least have contacted someone a bit more responsible, or at least shouldn’t have left everything in his hands alone.Since you paid nothing for the job, you get no guarantees.

  • Steven William Blackwood

    Although I agree that this guy showed a great lack of professionalism (a week in his wallet, really!) and the couple were either too kind or too cheap, this is otherwise not newsworthy. The scorn on the internet “community” is not deserved.

  • West Cobb Photographer

    Next question:  Is just about everyone in the UK an alcoholic who gets into “brawls” on a regular basis??  This is the 5th or so story I’ve seen online in a week that seems to highlight this activity as the norm over there.  Is the Ale THAT good??

  • Michelle M. Stgeorge

    He doesn’t need the entire internet to all say something he hasn’t already heard.

  • Guest

     … most people wouldn’t do something that dumb, not just self-proclaimed “professionals”. even if I did it for free myself, I’d back it up ASAP–unless I secretly hated the couple.

  • Guest

    I’m guessing those “friends” were really more along the lines of people he secretly hated. but you know, they were doing it for his benefit–to boost his portfolio :P.

    even if they did it “mostly to boost his portfolio”, they could have paid another photographer..

  • Chris

    @yahoo-Z54FRKMCEX4LHMOGMLUHSW7WI4:disqus, the ale is most delicious.  Sadly it’s no excuse for shitty business ethics.  I’ve only ever lost one memory card with photos on, at a festival.  It was returned to the press office (thankfully) with all the pictures still intact, and after a quick rinse in water to remove the mud and a good drying under one of the PR girls’ hairdryers, it was perfectly fine. (Thank you Sandisk!).

    After that incident, I switched to using several smaller-capacity cards, putting them in a zippered pocket and importing them onto the computer as soon as I get a chance.

    You learn from your mistakes, It’s just a shame that his mistake ended up costing someone else.

  • Johannstuartweber

    They are the two wankers. Did they pay him? Possible not. Screw them

  • Cloverbjc

    i think the lesson here is simple. don’t shoot your friend’s wedding and upload the pics after EVERY shoot right away. the only time my memory cards leave my camera is when the pics are uploaded. alot of mistakes here. we take it and learn from it. 

  • Richard

    If the issue is, they should have hired a “professional” photographer then the responsibility rests entirely with them. 

    On the other hand, it might be that they’d been to weddings where a professional wedding photographer was used and didn’t think the images were all that great, thought he/she was too expensive, and thought the photographer was intrusive (got in the way of the wedding). I’ve certainly been to weddings where the pro didn’t know how to stay in the background and directed the wedding like it was being performed just for him.

    I can easily imagine a couple deciding against a pro if they’d experienced some of the pros I’ve seen over the years (and I’ve seen great ones too, by the way).

    My guess is in a tight economy many people are opting for something less than an expensive wedding photography package and no doubt there are ways to get decent images of one’s wedding without spending a fortune.

    In this case, the couple could have just asked the photographer for the card(s) and processed the images themselves or brought them to Costco to be printed.

  • Peter Croft

    “mostly to his benefit, they said” No, no, no. They tried to get a cheap job and they paid the inevitable price. You should have paid a pro. Serve you right, don’t blame others.

  • bob cooley

     Unfortunately, many people think that ‘all publicity is good publicity’.

    I don’t agree, but we also live in a culture where more people know who “snookie” is than Carl Sagan.  (shakes head…)

  • Tonyberru

    I agree Ken. When it comes to photography of weddings you really do get what you pay for. I have been to 2 recent weddings as a guest and brought my camera just to chronicle the event for myself, since I get to weddings early (as a guest) so I can cherry pick the best views from 1 spot. In both cases the photog was a friend of the bride and groom that wanted to do something nice for them. However, both were like deer in the headlights when it came to shooting the event. 2 months later and one still has not produced images from the wedding. The other one never researched the church before and didn’t have the ability or knowledge to shoot in low light. My images were all they have of the ceremony.

  • Guest

    the story is a good lesson… BUT: i don’t like the name calling here. it’s not necessary to put the names out here in the article, the article would have been just as good without the names as with the names – that way you can be sure that those people will have a nice shitstorm coming towards them (both the photog who carried the card with him for 1 week (wtf?) and didn’t copy it to any computer and also the couple who hired him to ‘expand his portfolio’ (= we don’t wanna pay)).

  • Samar Hayat

    Shit in = shit out

  • Photography

    In this wedding professional photographer was used and did not think the images were all that great.  Photography can capture something beautiful forever so i like do photography.

  • John

    That’s my melody too, I mostly shoot film, but when I shoot digital I have 16 pcs. of 4gb cards. As soon as I get home and import them, I dont delete the cards until my harddrive has been backed up. (And I am not even a pro, but I care for my photos…).