We seem to be mixing the original posters question about the use of a beach photo he shot with the PexaPixel article about the photographer making $18,00 for a wedding shot.

BTW, I note that the PetaPixel article makes no mention as to whether or not the wedding couple received any money. No point in guessing what happened. We can HOPE that since the wedding photo business largely depends on 'word of mouth' recommendations, he treated the couple fairly, but who knows?