A photographer has revealed how she was booked for a “family session” but arrived at the shoot to discover the job was a “full-blown wedding.”
In a series of viral TikTok videos, photographer Shayla Herrington revealed how she was once booked by the bride’s mother-in-law for a family photo session — “because it was so much cheaper” than her wedding packages.
@shaylamherrington 🎬 Part 1: That time I showed up for a 'family session' and it was a full-blown wedding! 😲👰🤵 🤔 Ever wonder why wedding photography costs more? 👀 Stay tuned for Part 2 to find out why I couldn't just switch from family to wedding mode and the real reasons behind wedding photography pricing. #arkansasweddingphotographer #weddingstorytime #photographer #bridetobe #weddingvendor ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys (Piano) – BANG IA
Herrington claimed that she showed up at the venue for the family session. However, she became concerned that she wouldn’t be able to take photos as there was a huge wedding taking place in the same location.
When Herrington voiced her concern to the bride’s mother-in-law, she revealed that they were actually the wedding party.
Instead, the mother-in-law, who is called “Gloria” in the video, says that the photographer had arrived at the perfect time as the bride was getting ready.
‘This Wedding is All Family — There’s Just 75 of Us Today’
A shocked Herrington tells Gloria that she only booked her for “family photos” — not a wedding day. However, the bride’s mother-in-law tries to argue that it’s no different.
“You’re misunderstanding dear,” Gloria argues. “These are all family. We’re all blood-related, there’s just 75 of us here today.”
Herrington tries to explain to Gloria that a wedding is very different from a family photo shoot.
But Gloria argues that she could not book Herrington on the wedding rate as they’re “on a bit of a budget” and that they only need the photographer for a maximum of two and a half hours anyway.
“It was just so much cheaper to book the family session rather than the wedding stuff,” Gloria tells Herrington
Herrington explains that she did not bring any of the camera gear required for a wedding and that she only brought the kit for a family shoot.
The photographer also tells Gloria that a wedding is a lot more work than a family session.
Gloria tries to convince Herrington that “a picture is a picture” and they don’t need the photographer’s “fancy” camera gear to shoot the wedding.
However, Herrington tells Gloria that she “misled” her about the shoot. Herrington informs her that she can not shoot the wedding as she does not have the suitable camera gear for event photography and she was not paid the right amount for this service.
@shaylamherrington Ever wondered why there's a 'crazy markup' on anything wedding-related? 📸👰🤵 🔍 That time a 'family session' was actually a wedding in disguise – and why I couldn't just play along: 1️⃣ Gear Overload: Wedding photography isn't just a camera. It's multiple lenses, backup cameras, special lighting… a whole arsenal to capture your day perfectly. 2️⃣ Stress Factor: The intensity and emotional stakes of a wedding day are sky-high compared to a casual family shoot. Every shot is crucial, and there's no do-over. 3️⃣ Planning Depth: Weddings require detailed planning sessions. We're not just capturing moments; we're creating a visual storybook of your special day. 🤔 So, next time you see wedding services priced higher, remember the extra love, labor, and logistics that go into making your day unforgettable! #WeddingPhotography #weddingcost #weddingstorytime #arkansasweddingphotographer #photographer ♬ Funny – Gold-Tiger
“I just can’t believe that! What about the bride? What is she going to think about this?” a furious Gloria tells the photographer.
Gloria then asks Herrington how much it will cost to shoot the wedding with her basic camera gear as the bride will be “so mad” about this. The photographer says it is double the cost of a family shoot.
Gloria says she can’t afford that price and asks Herrington for a refund. However, the photographer says she can’t refund her as she traveled one hour to get to the venue in “busy season” and there is a clause on cancellation in their contract.
In a caption to her second video, Herrington explained to viewers why there is a “crazy markup” in terms of costs for wedding photography.
The photographer says that wedding photography involves far more camera gear than a family shoot — including “multiple lenses, backup cameras, special lighting, a whole arsenal to capture your day perfectly.”
Herrington also explains that the “stress factor” is far more acute with wedding photography as there is no opportunity for a “do-over” with the big day.
The photographer adds that weddings require “detailed planning sessions” with the bride and groom beforehand.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.