Post # 1
I know that in a perfect world budgets would not exist and we could change our minds and not have a financial impact.
I loved my photographer when I first picked her – she does some beautiful work and was midpriced $4000 for our wedding package and $300 for engagement
We had some trouble getting our engagement pictures scheduled but the weather had been flaky and she is busy so was not too surprised.
So we had our engagement shoot and it felt very rushed and awkward and of the 83 images she and her partner posted we only felt that a dozen or so were good. There were very few closeups, only one of my ring and it was out of focus and the poses were forced and did not work for us. We sent her an email letting her know that we did not like many of them and wanted to discuss our ordering options and received no response.
So her prices are probably normal $35 for 4×6 or 5×7 $85 for 8×10 and then up from there and $800 if we wanted the proofs from the shoot. So my FI called her to ask about ala cart digital pricing and also received no response
Three weeks went by and since the gallery expires in 30 days we decided to see if she would respond to a phone call which she did call us back a couple of days later.
Well we only loved a few pictures and liked a few more so we wanted to buy the digital images and she wants $85 each for the digital. OK that is too steep so we will just order a few prints that we love but my FI mentioned again that he was not in love with many of the pictures. She did not respond in any way at all. No questions as to why or offers to discuss what we did not like about them before we invest $4000 with her on our wedding day.
I have been watching her blog and none of her recent work is fresh or interesting or even a wow shot. I get the impression that she is over scheduling and burning herself and partner out and it is a “job” right now.
I have paid my deposit of $1500 though so I am stuck.
I guess I want to hear that other people had doubts issues but still came out with good pictures.
Any bees have a happy ending?
Post # 3
I think you need to address it with her just in the sense of telling her what you are looking for and explaining what you were not happy about in your engagement shoot. I had a similar experience but did not say anything. My wedding pics are good, but I was still a bit disappointed. I do think that part of it was my fault though.
A couple things specific to your case. $4000 is a lot! For that much money you better be happy! Wedding prices are pretty high in San Diego where I live and $4000 is definitely higher-end. Also, nearly all photographers will give you all of the images now. I would definitely discuss that point with your photog. Yes, you have a contract, but you can still talk. If you are not happy after all of that then trust your gut!
Post # 4
I’d say you should still be able to find a good photographer with the $2500 you’d have left after you walk away from your deposit.
I agree with the PP. It sounds like you should probably schedule a meeting and discuss how you’re feeling with her. Be nice and very complementary of her earlier work. Let her know what aspects you weren’t so fond of. See if she’s willing to reschedule a mini-shoot to see if you like some of her work better.
Otherwise, go with your gut. Read your contract carefully and see if there is anything you can act on to get out of the contract. If so, act on it. If not, let her know that you were really unhappy with her work and don’t feel comfortable keeping her as your wedding day photographer. Offer to pay for the engagement session, but request the balance of your deposit back. There may be some room for negotiation.
Post # 5
I don’t know average for your area, but 4000 seems like a ridiculous amount of money for not being blown away by you pictures…and 800 for the rights to the disk seems a big much as well considering that they have no personal use for them. I would ask to meet up with her and have a serious talk about what you’re expecting. She has to hold up her end of the contract just as you do.
Post # 6
WOW!! That seems like a lot of money to not be able to keep the rights to your pictures. I would TOTALLY go with your gut and if you don’t feel like she is going to step up to the plate then go somewhere else. Especially with her lack of communication. The pictures are all you have from you wedding day and you can get a lot more for your money.
Post # 7
We’re in Los Angeles and when we were looking 4k is at the higher end too. My package is 3.5k which already includes the e-session, high res files, and prints.
I agree with the other poster that said you should be able to find someone for 2.5k that you’ll love!
Post # 8
Sorry to hear this – how dissapointing for you. I had a similar thing happen but luckily my deposit was so small I could easily walk away. I think you should first speak to her, ask if you can have another mini-shoot, see if you can become happier; secondly, ask her to consider giving you some deposit back given you weren’t happy (explain why); and then if all that fails and you are still not happy, cut your losses and walk away. You cannot feel uncomfortable on your wedding day as the photographer will be so close to you throughout the day. Good luck.
Post # 9
ok here is some insight from a photographer’s point of view…….
$85 for an 8×10 is def a high end market, especially with a $300 session fee. They are getting you on the front AND back end. The digital files are priced the same as an 8×10 because you could get one or many made with the file you purchase which will take business away from the photographer. This is not uncommon. Looking at it that way, the cost for the entire CD is a bargain, although $800 is still a lot of money. But I have to think you knew this going into it, and it’s not something that can be renegotiated after the fact. Also, this type of pricing for digital files is more typical for stand alone sessions and prortraits. Usually, the photographer makes the money on the wedding and the E session isn’t as “strict.” I would say average for an 8×10 is probably 35-45 dollars.
One thing you can do is ask for ala cart web sized digital files, too small to print. Perhaps the photographer will give you a reduced price for those and at least you can have some nice pics to email, put on facebook, and perhaps on your wedding website. The photographer should be giving you a websized proof for each print ordered, that is pretty standard.
Now, regarding the images. The few you like, do you LOVE them or just like them? It’s hard to tell if the ~80 pics that were displayed to you are decent or not without seeing them. Sometimes it’s a nice image, but the client just doesn’t like the way they look, which most of the time isn’t the photographer’s fault. In the higher end “boutique” market your photographer is in, it’s typical to only present the very best, highest quality, completely retouched images to a client (quality over quanitity). It is also normal to not love every image, that is the purpose of a proofing gallery. Honestly even if you loved all 80, it would be cost prohibitive to buy prints of everything anway. Are you prepared to buy everything that you like?
The question is, do you like enough of the images to be satisified that you got your money’s worth. Are there enough images that you want that will fullfill your needs and the budget you expected to spend. If not, I don’t think the photographer should discount anything or give you any discounts, but should agree to reshoot the session. However, if they do reshoot the session and you like more of the images, the whole point is moot unless it resulted in a larger purchase from you.
I would be interested in what your wedding package entails regarding digital files for the 4K you spent on the package.
Post # 10
Hmmm, Unix, so I take it he’s not leaving you after all? That’s fabulous that you worked things out!! Anyway, I am REALLY confused, because when you first posted these engagement pictures here:
Engagement Pictures are up
You were very happy with the beautiful memories you’d always have. I commented on how lovely you looked, and you replied with this:
@PassionatePhotoLady: Thank you 🙂 I know you were not crazy about my choice in photographers but if she can me look human she has to be pretty good lol The pictures did capture the essence of us so I think we made the right choice.
I’m just curious what changed that you suddenly are so unhappy with the pictures and your photographer? Also, did you first tell her the same as me that you loved them and then go back and tell her you only liked very few? I could see where she wouldn’t really want to ask too many follow-up questions, maybe assuming your issues were just with how you looked in some of the photos. I agree with USER, it’s pretty standard not to LOVE every picture; that’s why we give so many, so you can pick the ones you do love! 🙂
Post # 11
@unixfairy: I’m really sorry you feel this way. I looked at your pictures and I actually like them but hey, let me tell you something. I got my engagement pictures a few weeks ago and I really didn’t like them. I don’t know why? Anyhow, I went back and looked at them the other day and she had put 140+ on the gallery and I liked, as in really really liked about 60 of them and then the others were really good. I didn’t like about 20 or thereabouts. Anyhow, when I first saw them, my heart fell. I actually contacted a couple of bees who are photographers and they talked me off the ledge and I’m glad they did. After much introspection, I must say I am now more in love with my photographer. My advice is to maybe give it time? Step away from the pictures for a while and then come on back….
Post # 12
@bRooklynRocks: From the comments in the other post, it seems the OP didn’t like the way they looked. The photography is very nice in the ones I saw, I would be surprised if the rest of the set was really much different.
As I said before, at the prices that photographer charges, were you going to buy more than 10 anyway? If not, they the 70 that you didn’t like is a moot point.
Post # 13
With our photographer I wasn’t wow’d by the engagement photos taken and did not have the money to loose the deposit to find another photographer (paid total $2400, deposit was half). There were 5 or so images I liked out of the 50 presented to us from the engagement session, which worried me about the wedding day. But I figured, if she shot say 800 images from the wedding, if I like 10% that gives me 80 photos, so I crossed my fingers. However, the wedding photo sneak peek she’s put up of 40 images, I love. So, I think she uses the engagement session as a trial run before the wedding to get use to the couple. I also think my photographer is much better at catching candid shots than posing people and the engagement session was all posed.
Post # 14
I agree with the above post your price is up there in most markts but not the off the charts. I would prob make an appointment to talk to her but with a back up of interviewing a replacement. Its clear its on your mind and I hate you going into your wedding feeling this way .
Post # 15
@PassionatePhotoLady: Hey there sorry I am sorry it took me so long to reply – I was out of town.
OK trying to respond to everyone’s post. On the day that my FI and I were really struggling with our relationship and the complexities of families and finances and combining our lives in our 40’s, our photographer posted her blog of us which included 4 pictures. 3 that we really loved and one that we liked. It was a very emotional day and having those images really highlighted how much this relationship meant to me and the hope that I had.
And I still absolutely love the one of us together on the ground – that one shot captured everything I wanted the feel to be with the geese swimming behind and the ones on the bridge sipping soda.
The gallery came out a couple of days later and neither of us were that happy The closeups were often badly composed and the pictures look awkward. Instead of being patient and looking to see if they had a good shot and then taking several images it seems like they just put us together and snapped a bunch of the same images if that makes sense. I am taller than my FI and it does not bother us but it does make it more challenging to pose since we are not the norm. However it looks like in the pictures she is often trying to disguise it and it just does not work. Also we were not comfortable in most of the pictures and it truly shows. There is often poor composition (I am amateur and know that I am an amateur and the difference between what I do and what a professional does) and for example there was the obligitory ring on hand shot except it is badly out of focus. That is a mistake I would not expect a professional to make in a posed shot that took quite some time to arrange and several exposurs were taken. I know the length of the shoot was 1 hour but I would have preferred fewer images taken with more attention to what worked.
So I have been following her blog and I notice all of the weddings and engagement shoots are beginning to look the same. She does not even comment on the shoots anymore – simply posts a few pictures. She told me that they are extremely busy and I am afraid her work is beginning to show signs of burn out. She focuses so much on the bride and it seems that often the groom is an afterthought in the work that she blogs. Now this is her work and her blog and maybe she only shows what she likes and is consistant in that. However she normally blogs more than 4 pictures from an engagement shoot so it seems obvious that she was not too happy with her work with us either. I am more upset about her lack of communication and apparent unconcern about our feedback from the engagement shoot than how many pictures I liked/wanted to purchase.
However I am trying to balance out that the pictures on our wedding day will not be as rushed and not be as many awkwardly posed shots. I will attempt to talk to her closer to the day of the wedding and just let her know that we want to be natural and that we are comfortable with our height difference.
The reason I mentioned the cost is so that the pros on the board could relate to what level of professional we were engaging and thank you both for responding.
OK I am rambling and I keep trying to rephrase what I am saying so it makes more sense but mostly now think after a long road trip I need to crash.
I do appreciate having a place where I can think out loud!!
Thanks all 🙂
Post # 16
@unixfairy: Surprised they get any business at all at their price level if they can’t deliver