- 3 years ago
- Wedding: May 2014
Back in November, I bit the bullet and booked our ‘dream’ photographer for our wedding this year. He is something of a rockstar in the wedding photography industry, and prices himself accordingly. But photography is very important to us, and we decided that he was worth it.
Fast forward to now, and a lot of things have changed. The last couple of months has been a complete rollercoaster for FI and our families. There have been deaths in the family, a lot of travel (we are expats away from our families) and a lot of new uncertainties when it comes to the future. The upshot is, we decided to scale down the extravagance of our wedding (which was starting to get out of control anyway, thanks to an over-exhuberant wedding planner). We realised that photography alone (without albums, prints or anything) was going to form about a third of our total budget, which seems now to be fiscally irresponsible and no longer something I can justify.
Anyway, after some time of going back and forth, I finally mustered up the courage to email the photographer. There was no reply for two days. In the meantime, I started to get concerned and tentatively reached out to a couple of other photographers, to gauge their pricing and availability. Then, he got back to me with something along the lines of “No need to get so drastic, we can work something out. Tell me your budget.”
I told him our revised budget, which is about half of what he originally quoted us. He came back with an email explaining how, 90 days out from the wedding, he should really hold us to the original contract (which involves a penalty of $7000, the full amount) but that he wanted to work things out. He offered a price that was $2k more than what I said our revised budget was. I took the evening to mull over his offer, and my fiance and I decided that we would scrap other things (videographer etc) in order to be able to afford him at the discounted (but still expensive) price.
Before I’d had a chance to reply to his email, I received another one this morning. Very aggressive, essentially saying “I know you’ve been trying to book other photographers like X and Y (note: I hadn’t even heard of Y, let alone tried to book him) who are very good friends of mine, clearly budget isn’t an issue. I wish you all the best with your wedding and I’ll be making sure my assistant charges you to the full extent of the contract.”
I was pretty frazzled by his email, and also confused. Was it poor etiquette of me to enquire with other photographers while our contract was up in the air? Obviously I didn’t know they were friends, but should he have taken it so personally?
Anyway, he’s now come back with his discounted price, and says he would still like to photograph our wedding…but I am just left with a bad taste in my mouth. I can’t help but feel that the rapport between subject and photographer is now pretty much destroyed. His style, from what I can see, is really about making a connection with the couple…and I just don’t know how he could do that now all of this has transpired.
Am I over-analysing this? Should I just trust in his skills as a professional to produce beautiful work, regardless of how he feels about the couple?
Would appreciate any advice from brides, and also photographers as I’m wondering whether I breached unspoken etiquette here.