Post # 1
We signed a contract with our photographer (and gave a deposit) at the beginning of March. We found her on Craigslist, but a lot of the photographers around here do that (including the ones at the wedding shows). She had also visited several times to the church that we attend (not because of us…we found out when we had our face-to-face interview). While talking with her she mentioned that the camera would need more than just candlelight for the types of pictures we wanted at our venue. So in mid-April I e-mailed her asking if adding icicle lights (with candles) would be sufficient. I didn’t hear back from her, but thought that it might have been because I was an overanxious bride, or because she might have been out of town. (In addition to weddings she does shoots in developing countries, which often will take her away for awhile.)
Then two weeks ago I e-mailed her again, asking about the lighting and whether we were still on for our wedding date. Didn’t hear back from her. I called her yesterday and left a message, but haven’t heard back from her. And today I went to check her website to see if her contact info had changed, and her website is down.
I’m nervous. We have a small budget, and photography is taking a disproportionate part of the budget because it’s really important to me. Should I be patient and/or expect her to come through because she said she would, and we have a contract to that effect? Or should I start looking to see if anyone else is available? Should I sign with someone else and forego our deposit? Frankly, I need some advice here.
Post # 3
I’m seeing red flags all over your post here. It seems fishy and I would start looking for someone else ASAP. Is there anywhere in the contract that covers you and your Fiance in case she can’t photgraph your wedding? It’s also strange that her camera isn’t fast enough to take photos in candlelight. Higher-end starter level SLRs and semi-professional SLRs and decent lens should be good enough for this task! I hope it works out for you!!
Post # 4
I also find it strange that she told you that the lighting isn’t right for the kinds of pictures you want. I feel like a professional should be able to work around this. And the not answering bothers me too. Look over the contract to see how you’re covered and what you can do.
Post # 5
Yeah, things are feeling a bit sketchy. But I just wanted to clarify that the venue we chose (our church reception hall) is a big room with the only option pretty much being fluorescent lights, which we don’t want for our evening reception. So we came up with the idea of candlelight, but it would have been only candlelight in a vast black (tall) room. She showed us the kind of pictures that would result (she had some club photos she had taken) and to get the look we wanted would need some additional ambient lighting. She had mentioned Christmas lights, which I think would be sufficient additional lighting for the tall room.
But I’m going to take a look at our contract. I did contact her references and communicate with them via phone and e-mail. It all came out positively and she has won some photography awards, etc. I really think that she is a good person (and photographer) but I’m really rather nervous. We were able to get a discounted rate from her normal prices because she was moving from New York to New Orleans. I’m wondering if the move didn’t go too well and maybe she’s gone elsewhere, but when we spoke with her she did say that even if she left the area she would come back to do our wedding. I’d just wish that she’d respond to me in some way, shape, or form. Grr, I hate this.
Post # 6
… that totally stinks! I would start looking for backups just in case. A photographer isn’t something you want to be without.
Post # 7
Its just bad business to go that long without responding to an email. If she’s not ditching her, you should probably ditch her, unless she’s been out of the country or something like you mentioned.
Post # 8
There is a small chance that some of it is out of her control, but it sounds more like red flags to me too :(.
Maybe she got a new website? Maybe her website is having issues, so check on it later? Sometimes servers go out for awhile (at work, our website has gone down for a full day because the servers blew & to everyone it looked like we were no longer a company, for 1 day. It was awful but only happened that 1 time). So double check it (worth a shot, ya never know).
Google search her name & see if you can find her that way. PM me her name & I’ll try to help you (pretty good at finding stuff online).
If you do get ahold of her, you may want to talk about communication (her end, not yours). Unless she has a really good explanation, I’d start looking for someone else.
Post # 9
My photographer got in contact with me last night, 24 hours after I had called her. Apparently I was e-mailing her at an incorrect e-mail address, which explains why she didn’t receive them (though they didn’t get bounced back as undeliverable). Since I had only called her once, and she called back within 24 hours, I’m feeling okay again (and have a correct e-mail address to which she has also responded). So hopefully I got all worried for nothing. But thanks for the helpful advice!
Post # 10
Any photographer that understands their camera and lighting will understand how to fix the situation and not blatantly tell you that she just can’t do it. Most professional photographers either have an external flash kit or another set up for light and know how to manipulate their aperature and f stop. I would honestly find another photographer. Flakey isn’t a good quality you want someone that will check up on you and be promptly on time.