Wedding Company Suddenly Shutters, Stranding Clients and Photographers

A wedding studio has closed its doors leaving a team of photographers and videographers without thousands of dollars in owed payments and hundreds of couples without imagery from their big day.

South West Photo and Film was owned by Lee Brewer. This sudden stoppage of trading left some couples searching for photographers and wondering when their photos will be available.

Videographer Sam Richardson was one of the many subcontractors that Brewer used to fulfill his considerable bookings and he tells PetaPixel about the awkward mess he has been left in.

“It has affected me massively. I’ve spent the last week picking up the pieces and working with the rest of the team trying to help as many couples as possible to retrieve photos or videos and make new bookings,” says Richardson.

” For my part, I have been working to obtain the videos that I shot for couples. The arrangement is “pay what you can” because they are out of pocket. For affected couples, I am accepting new bookings this year as well as next year at the same price that they agreed to .”

South West Photo and Film, based in the U.K., has blamed the pandemic for its finanncial woes with an email sent to customers stating: “It is with upmost sadness we would like to inform you that South West Photo and Film, formally Lee Brewer Photography, has ceased trading. Our services will not be available for your wedding.

“We have tried so hard the last couple of years to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. The financial consequences have proved too great for us to overcome.”

Richardson feels that the company has gotten “in excess” of its means with excessive outgoings like salaries and equipment.

“The scale he was trying to run it and what they were trying to pay for were big. I didn’t think the price was high enough to pay for the costs,” explains the cameraman.

“From what I understand, it got to the point where people were paying in full for next year and that money was going immediately to pay for the equipment and overheads for the here and now.”

It is possible that the business was hit with a huge tax bill that it was unable to pay because of the mass cancelation of jobs during the pandemic.

Although the U.K. tax authorities have offered monthly payments to many photo companies, it could be that the recurring cost was too much for the firm to handle in addition to all other costs.

The case is similar to that of Glasser Images last year. They refused to refund clients. The couple are currently facing a North Dakota civil lawsuit.

To see more of Sam Richardson’s work visit his website and Instagram.