He missed the money shot

Last updated 12:11 10/01/2013
Wedding kiss

ABOUT TO CUT THE RIBBON: Jarrad and Sheree Mitchell on their wedding day.

Wedding Kiss
MISSED THE KISS: The couple about to kiss - but the photographer didn't catch the actual magic moment.

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Australian newlyweds Jarrad and Sheree Mitchell had thought they were entitled to the kiss shot, but photographer George Ferris said they did not linger long enough to get it. 

And the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has ruled that the kiss cannot be a guaranteed staple of every wedding album.

The Mitchells married in Nathania Springs, near Melbourne, on August 28, 2011, and engaged Studio Edge & Multimedia, of Beaconsfield, to photograph the day.

But after paying $2766 of the $3254 contract, they refused to pay the outstanding $488, believing the company failed to deliver the photographs in an ''artistic'' style found on their website.

They argued company director Mr Ferris had failed to capture pivotal moments such as ''the kiss'', the cutting of the ribbon and the signing of the wedding certificate. They said the pictures were poor with blurred movement and the wrong lens hood had caused shadow in the pictures.

The Mitchells claimed $8011 in damages, including the cost of restaging the wedding photos, saying the company failed to deliver a boxed photo album, proof album, three large wall prints and a micro wedding website.

Mr Ferris argued the kiss had been ''just a peck'' and not all moments could be captured at every wedding. He also argued a flowered archway and ''bounce'' from the flash had produced shadowy pictures.

Mr Ferris said the Mitchells only complained about the photographs after Mr Ferris' wife, Joanne, sent 639 high-resolution ''proof'' images to the couple by mistake.

Mr Ferris said the couple had received the value of a ''shoot and burn'' package where a photographer shoots the pictures and then burns them to disk.

He showed VCAT member Dr Rebecca French a mock-up digital wedding album as an example of how it might have looked if the Mitchells had paid in full.

Studio Edge & Multimedia counter-claimed for $7136, including the balance of $488, costs for bringing the VCAT case of $5633, $75 for a meal that was not supplied, and a penalty fee of $938 because a second professional photographer was at the reception.

Dr French found Mr Mitchell did not prove Mr Ferris' work was substandard, but said weddings were ''moving feasts'' without the pristine conditions of a photographic studio.

''It was put to me that it was 'just a peck' and while it was not discussed at length in evidence, I accept that it is quite difficult to capture the moment of a kiss,'' Dr French said. ''Nor is it always possible to capture other precise moments and doing so can be problematic,'' she said.

Dr French said the company had not delivered value for $2766 already outlaid and ordered it to pay $888. She ordered the Mitchells to pay $75 for the meal.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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