Post # 1
Good afternoon Bees!
I hope this post finds you all well!
Ok – I have a question…
I eloped in June and, unfortunately, ended up with some really poor coordination help.
Long story short, I told the coordinator that I needed a photographer that could do full editing – photoshop and all – of anything that we needed and someone who would release “all” rights to us…
We recently received our photos and were told they only do “natural” retouching or what not – so that the event looks organic. I have done both video and photography…to me, in this case, means, he doesn’t know photoshop well. I asked him directly if this was why he couldn’t and he stated that he doesn’t do full on ediitng on photoshop. It’s not something he knows to do.
So, now I am left with photos of my wedding day that “I” will have to pay to have edited or do myself. I paid $700 for 1 hour! First, that’s ridiculous in general but what’s more ridiculous is that they won’t do editing we need. AND they stipulate I can’t use my pictures for Commercial use but have rights to reprint. UM…I asked for FULL rights?!
My face is a little blotchy (which was not in person, as I’m tan) and I had tan lines, which I could not help since I swim outdoors and do a bootcamp – and last minute wedding dress did not give me any other option but to keep and suffer tan line pictures…OF WHICH I thought to cover with editing.
To add, the photographer tried to play around with saying that I could have misunderstood the word, “Editing”! REALLY? How about taking responsibilty and working together to find a solution! No one will take responsibility…
Sorry, so lengthy…
Thanks so much for listening to my frustration.
Post # 3
@Vanielle: Is there any explanation of what “editing” is defined as in your contract?
$700 for 1hr & only “natural” photos? This dude is terrible!
Post # 4
I feel that you need to be in contact with your hired coordinator about this issue, not the photographer to whom she relayed information.
Post # 5
What does your contract say?
Generally I think editing is more cropping, adjusting color, brightness, etc., not necessarily changing how the person looks.
Post # 6
@MrsSkeletonKey: Thanks so much for your response. I agree. He was a nice guy to work with but he isn’t taking responsibility, at least in a way that helps resolve the issue. He just forwarded me to someone who would charge me $75 an hour to do the editing?! Yikes!
There was no contract signed with the photographer. Which is why I told him that i was dissapointed that he wouldn’t, at least, take some accountability…I’m willing to take some.
I don’t feel playing a definition game is very professional. It may be the coordinator’s fault but at the end of the day, he should work to make it right…it’s his business integrity that is also in jeopardy.
He spoke with her and she flat tried to mince words and deny certain things…
I don’t want to be mean and leave a poor review but I have given him an opportunity to help resolve it.
We are contacting the coordinator tonight but being that she minced words with him, I doubt she’ll take any responsibility…
Post # 7
@theshannondee: Thanks for the response! Yes – I agree. We are calling her tonight. But I think I’m stuck with unedited photos…and she’s in Maui, while we are in California – don’t know I can do much. She already told the photographer (he spoke with her in passing) that she didn’t remember such converstation which completely floored me!
Why would I hire a photograher for SO MUCH money if he doesn’t edit in the first place?! That’s just insane!
Post # 8
@Westwood: Thank you for your response! There was no contract in this regard.
That may be possible but I clearly asked the coordinator for someone who was good at photoshop editing. She never questioned it and said the photographer she chose was the best around. I wanted another one and she pulled for this guy. I gave in, assuming she knew best since I’m not from Hawaii and “she is” a wedding coordinator.
I’m considering contacting another photogher in the area to get their definition. Although, that wouldn’t really buy any leverage for them since I asked for someone who could do full editing and it was never questioned as to what I meant…? I honestly thought ALL editing, was “ALL” editing…
I have to be honest – I used to do film and photography and I would have completely considered what I asked for as editing, without question. It’s an edit. If it was too much work and I could only do some, then I would stipulate that with a “contract”.
Post # 9
In my opinion, what your asking for is beyond the scope of most event photographers (photo editing usuallly covers things like applying actions and filters to get a certain look, but not indivudaly airbrushing shots – at least not a large number of them – which it sounds like you’re asking for) and a relase to use your photos for personal use is normal. In any case, the release should have been worked out prior to the event taking place.
Without supporting documentation that idicates you were clear about what you wanted, I don’t think you can hold him responsible for this. Since you have the skills, why not edit them yourself?
Post # 10
With my photographer (and in my opinion), full editing means full editing.. want that random person removed? Check. Need that zit removed? Check. Like that persons smile in picture A and want it in picture B? Check. Need tan lines smoothed? Check.
I can crop/size/adjust color/brightness with ONE click of a button on most software or by watching youtube videos. We hire professionals to edit with skills. Thats why they get the BIG bucks.
With that said, this sounds like something you need to first take up with your cordinator. Then finish your conversation with the photographer. Ask for a disc of UNEDITED pictures if you have to have them done yourself. At no extra charge. Make sure you get all rights. It might be the best you walk away with in this case, as it sounds like there is no contract.
Post # 11
I encountered a somewhat similar problem. I was stunned to discover that my photographer doesn’t do Photoshop either, and I need a lot of editing work done on my photos, too. He simply sends all of his pictures to a lab, which does editing the way in which (I’ve subsequently learned ) most photographers define editing. I am very grateful that my photographer was kind enough to grant me permission to find someone else to edit my images (the way you and I would define editing — i.e. using software to remove extraneous objects or to correct for imperfections) for me. I hope you’re able to at least secure the rights to pay someone else to edit the images for you or to edit them yourself.
Post # 12
@Vanielle: It sounds like A) you were not working with a professional if they did not write out a contract before agreeing to be your photographer, and yes that was a LOT to pay for one hour of just one photographer!
and B) you have some unrealistic expectations of wedding photography.
I am a part-time event photographer, and I have never met a wedding photographer who does very much “touch up” editing (such as removing acne, tan lines, etc.) for every photograph.
Normal “naturalistic” editing for me is color balance, cropping, and maybe some very subtle filters or artistic use of burn/dodge and blurring (very rarely). I always adjust contrast and apply appropriate sharpening to the images. A lot of skill and editing goes into images even without the sort of touch up fixes you desire. And, a lot of skill (should!) go into capturing a great image in the camera, so that minimal photoshopping is needed.
If the people I am photographing have bad tan lines, or a huge pimple, I will remove it for close-ups and formals, but not every photo, that would take untold hours of editing! I have also been known to fix glasses glare, blur out the red “exit” signs that are always over doors in church event spaces, and color-correct overly flushed skin tones. But again, at my discretion (as to whether or not it is a distraction in the photo) and not in every photo.
Finally, I don’t know of ANY wedding photographer who gives COMMERCIAL rights to the client… as in, you have the right to MAKE MONEY from someone else’s photos. You also don’t have the right to edit the photos and distribute them to others or put online, unless expressly written permission is given.
Post # 13
Candidly speaking, I think most photographers I spoke with do not do the depth of editing you’re asking your photographer to do. I’m quite familiar with Photoshop and I have had extensive experience working both with and in graphic design departments. Photoshop is not what most photographers use because of the large volume of photos they need to edit. The ones that I know that have big batches of photos (e.g. wedding photographers) usually use something like Lightroom or Aperture and they’re usually are not editing for something like tan lines. Rather, they’re looking at the overall composition of a photo and making sure it’s not too dark or too bright. They’re also doing color correcting as well.
I think it would be reasonable to ask him to edit a few photos for details such as splotchiness or tan lines, but it would be cost prohibitive for him to edit literally every single wedding photo (as that is literally in the hundreds) in Photoshop.
He should’ve been more clear in his contract what constitutes editing and what doesn’t, but to be honest, most contracts I’ve read are not exactly comprehensive and most would probably make an attorney cringe.
Your coordinator, like most “regular” people that are not familiar with graphic design, probably didn’t know any better and assumed Photoshop is what the photographer is using. I think “regular” people assume it’s really easy and quick to crop this and smudge that and make it look natural and believable when it’s really not. I would clue her in that next time a bride asks to make sure she clarifies with the photographer what exactly is being asked of him.
Post # 14
@Vanielle: well that’s concerning that a contract wasnt signed with the photographer at all. That in itself is unprofessional. How did you even come to agree on a rate? How was it done? My friend was my photographer and we most definitely had a contract.
Post # 15
Agree with other Bees that nobody reputable is likely to give you full commercial rights to their photos – that means you could resell the photos for ad campaigns and the like and they wouldn’t get a cent. Unless you are actually planning on somehow making big bucks from your wedding photos, I wouldn’t worry about that.
As far as Photoshop goes, I think you probably should have been clearer with what you meant. “Photoshop” in that context could mean anything from basic brightness/contrast/cropping adjustments and spot removal (as most people expect) to actually recontructing the whole picture or putting in someone who isn’t there. I think asking him to edit a dozen or so pictures for tan lines/skin issues is fine, but if there are hundreds of images it would be way too time-consuming to expect him to do in a standard wedding photography and editing contract. A wedding shoot is not a fashion or editorial shoot where only a small selection of shots are published and hence it is reasonable to edit every shot to perfection. Most wedding photographers will make small edits to improve the photos, but perfecting every single shot in post will cost you extra. $700 is reasonably expensive for a photographer for an hour, but it’s hardly of the ballpark for an experienced professional shooting a wedding.
Post # 16
@cbgg: You could be right, that it may not be in their scope but that’s just not something they relayed to me when I stated what I needed. Yes – the release is normal but I think, again, I asked for a full release or I would have gone with another woman who already agreed to it. My own fualt, i should have just gone with the other person.
Yeah, I really didn’t expect him to hold to it because there was no contract, as I realize now, but it would have been nice if he would have had some integrity and worked to help me on a solution. However, as other’s have said, I should deal with the coordinator…
I would edit them myself but I don’t have the programs for it at this point and “I did” pay someone $700, so as not to have to do it myself – at least on my wedding pictures. I just wante to be married and not have to deal with more work after planning and what not…bah!
Thanks for your response – much appreciated!