Post # 1
I’m hoping some advice here, I met with 2 photographers whose work I loved and were within my budget. One had a really really strong personality and we had a good meeting but her work was not as good as the other photographer. The second meeting was with someone much more quiet and reserved. To set up the meeting, she was quick to reply to emails and was pleasant. I got references from her and loved her work. She does fashion photography as well for local designers and does some more edgy, dramatic photos which are my style. A couple weeks after our meeting I booked with her and sent a deposit cheque of $500.
Now I’m trying to book engagement photos, which were included with our package. I sent her the plan on December 5th and a few dates to choose from which were Mondays (this was due to the shoot location). On December 6th she asked me to tenatively book the dates (one of which was Jan 20th) and she’d let me know which one was firm once she got her schedule for school for Jan & Feb. I emailed her December 20th and the next day I got a one-line reply saying “I’m going away until Jan 5th, lets book something for a weekend in January”. I wrote her back immediately (I was so mad!) and clarified that I was looking to solidify a date as per my previous emails which were included. I heard nothing back.
I emailed her again early this week, knowing that she would have her schedule now (school started this week) and could give me an idea of what would work for her. Still no reply. I even reitterated that I needed to cancel the Jan 20th booking very soon… No reply.
I’m flexible. I offered her a few more dates and times and asked her to make suggestions. Not even an acknowledgement to the email. I feel duped like she was really great to get my business but now can’t be bothered to return an email… I know she has checked her email because I see her online on gmail chat. I don’t know what to do.
Do I bring this to her attention and call her out (nicely) on it or do I let it go for a little bit? I’m hoping to get pictures done in time to use them for some things pre-wedding. Am I worrying for nothing?
Post # 3
@FutureMrsKelly2014: When I read the part that she was waiting on her school schedule, I’m guessing she is either in school herself or a teacher? Honestly, I just have issues with part time photographers. You cannot run a professional photography business as a *WEDDING* photographer and be doing it part time. I’m sure I’ll get flack for saying that, but wedding photography is a full-time, year round thing. Just because we have slower seasons, doesn’t mean we’re not needed constantly by our brides/grooms. It sounds to me like she has a communication issue. My question would be – do you want to deal with this for the next 9 month until your wedding?
I personally would just shoot her an email and say, ‘Due to the location of the session, I need to confirm a permanant date/time for the engagement session.” Let her know that you’re upset with her lack of communication, and that if it continues you will be consisdering finding a new photographer.
Post # 4
For what its worth, she is in school for photography at a very good arts college. Her photography work is great, especially the fashion. I fell in love with her work instantly but I guess I should ask her if she is even interested in shooting the wedding. She’ll get to keep a $500 deposit I can’t afford to lose but I want to feel like my photographer wants my business…
Post # 5
@starfish0116: I feel ya on the part time photographer thing in general, but if the OPs retainer was only $500, for the prices the photog is probably charging, she can’t AFFORD to go full time. That’s just the trade off I guess. If most brides want full-time, dedicated professionals, those prices are going to generally start at $3k+, unless they have a husband with a great job who can afford to support them both and their business is more of a hobby than a lucrative endeavor. Do you agree?
OP, in school for photography is a good sign, she might be full time after all. Why are you mad that she has a vacation scheduled? Photographers generally take their vacations in the winter when it’s less busy, so that’s pretty typical. Dealing with brides day in and day out at all hours can be daunting, and everyone needs a break to refresh their creativity and patience. I always come back from vacations eager for my next opportunity to create wonderful art for my clients, so it benefits them as much as it does me 🙂
Post # 6
@PassionatePhotoLady: I’m not mad she had a vacation scheduled, she was back January 5th. She isn’t returning emails to schedule sessions and when she does she flakes on conversations we had previously. I have emailed her 3 times about engagement sessions. 2 of which were to confirm dates we had spoken about (one of those dates is next week) and I have gotten no response. I have a place for photos booked and no confirmation from her for almost a month about the dates.
I’ve given her options and she asked me to tentatively book the venue until she could confirm her schedule. Again, one of those dates is January 20th (we first spoke about that date on December 6th). I either need to get other things booked to get ready for the date OR cancel it. Its kinda coming up soon…
On December 20th she asked me to book something for a weekend after I told her the venue could only do weekdays as to not interfere with their operations after she told me a weekday as I had suggested would be fine. Now she is totally ignoring my date and venue restrictions for weekdays…
Post # 7
@FutureMrsKelly2014: Well, Im sorry to hear she’s not being responsive. There is never any excuse for that 🙁 I was just responding to this part of your post:
I emailed her December 20th and the next day I got a one-line reply saying “I’m going away until Jan 5th, lets book something for a weekend in January”. I wrote her back immediately (I was so mad!)
Some people are really nonconfrontational, so if she noticed you were mad she may have started avoiding you for that reason (not wanting to deal with an upset client over the holidays) and then just forgotten about you. As for not responding to your later follow-ups, inexcusable. I’m sorry you’re having such a bad experience. You’ve tried calling right? Maybe leave a nice calm message just explaining to her about the venue? Good luck sweetie.
Post # 8
She lost your trust. Id find a new photographer. As much as it will suck big time, take the loss.
School, part time, full time, etc is no excuse to not respond. Period. She should of contacted YOU the minute she had her school schedule. You should not have to chase her for a time. You started contacting her over a MONTH ago!! That is ridiculous. I fear you will have more issues with her if you keep her. This will suck more than that $500 lost…
I would never pull that BS with my clients.