Photographer not adhering to her own contract. What do I do???

posted 2 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
197 posts
Blushing bee

Have you tried calling her? It’s harder to avoid the question when you’re speaking to someone over the phone.

Post # 4
Member
1136 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

GoGoAnonon:  Give her a timeline rather than waiting i.e. tell her if you don’t receive a response before *date* (make it fairly reasonable, say 10 working days or so depending on how long you’ve already been waiting) then you’ll assume she’s reneging on that part of the contract and you’ll be seeking advice from the consumer watchdog/ombudsman in your area. You may want to do that anyway as different areas have different laws regarding how long someone can be given to fulfil contractual obligations.

It is perfectly reasonable for you to expect to receive what you paid for and was written in your contract, regardless of what it was.

Post # 5
Member
1136 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

vintagefemme:  Agreed, although you will also want to follow up with an email OP so you have written proof if you need to take the matter further.

Post # 6
Member
995 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

GoGoAnonon:  Miss_E_xx:  Whoa whoa whoa, I would DEFINITELY not go in there guns blazing before even receiving a response, geez. First, it’s super busy wedding season and she’s probably been out of the office shooting all weekend. Second, that line most likely means something entirely different than you think it does and you aren’t even entitled to those files. By digital negatives, she is probably just referring to the ELECTRONIC processed versions of the original full-resolution files, which you did receive. The wording is redundant the way she has it I’ll give you but the meaning is the same. Most photographers who take the time to painstakingly edit all of their photos for you, would not have ANY reason to promise you what the industry refers to as PROOF versions, RAW files or Straight-Out-Of-Camera (SOC) files, NOT “digital negatives.” I have never seen the words digital negatives used to describe a RAW file.

Digital negatives, like any other negative, simply means an electronic, printable file that you can make as many prints of as you’d like. Did you know the film negatives you recieved from the lab back in the old days were in fact PROCESSED by the lab you brought your film to before being delivered to you? A photographer’s processed versions of the SOC file is the same exact thing.

It really bothers me how people are so quick to start talking about getting things in writing and giving deadlines so they can go straight down the road of lawsuit threats. It’s extremely disturbing, and the reason it’s so damn difficult to find a good, AFFORDABLE photographer. No one wants to deal with this kind of impatient, entitled behavior for peanuts, and it gets old fast. Not referring to the OP specifically, but some of the responses.

Post # 7
Member
1473 posts
Bumble bee

I think digital negative can be used to describe both raw and processed images.

Raw image files are sometimes called digital negatives, as they fulfill the same role as negatives in film photography: that is, the negative is not directly usable as an image, but has all of the information needed to create an image.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_image_format

 OP: I would just clarify with your photographer about what exactly digital negatives mean. I don’t think it necessarily means you get all the images taken, it may just mean you get the digital files. If you got every picture taken it would be loads of space – the final photos we received were over 8GB – it would have been double or triple that space if we’d received every single photo taken, good or bad. 

Post # 8
Member
1473 posts
Bumble bee

I wanted to edit my post but I can’t – like PP said, it’s prime wedding season, so I would give her at least 2 weeks to respond, in which case I’d just send a polite follow up email. You could also try giving her a call as well.

Post # 9
Member
8701 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

The suggestions above are not “going in guns blazing.” It is not unreasonable to expect that the photographer will provide what the contract says they will.<br /><br />I suggest contacting her, by phone or email, or both and requesting them, giving her a deadline. <br /><br />While I don’t think at this stage any legal backup is necessary, it is always good to have it in the back of your mind.<br /><br />We have no idea what her schedule is. It isn’t logical to assume she’s 100% booked because, we have no idea where she is located, who she is, her style, whatever. Not every wedding photographer will be booked during any season, wedding or not.<br /><br />ETA: Even if she is booked, it’s not unreasonable to expect her to provide the rest of the product she was paid for. She delivered half, the “difficult” half, it should be even easier for her to provide the raw half.

Post # 10
Member
995 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

MrsCallalily:  It does say the proper term for those files is “RAW” files. I think this photographer simply might have used some misleading wording for what she planned to deliver but I could be wrong. OP, you realize you can’t even open a RAW file without really expensive special software right? They aren’t Jpgs, are flat and pretty much useless to anyone who doesn’t have extensive knowledge of professional editing software. I’m not sure why you are so intent on having them when you have the edited versions?

Post # 11
Member
245 posts
Helper bee

 

PassionatePhotoLady:  It’s not difficult at all! This is what annoys me about a lot of professional photographers, they try and make things seem much more difficult than they actually are.

First of all the OP(presuming she gets the RAW files)can install a simple FREE Adobe DNG converter, which will convert the RAW files to a more universal format, DNG(which stands for digital negative).

These can then be opened in Photoshop. Photoshop is also not that expensive(and there are plenty of free versions available to download).

Why would she NOT want the RAW files if she was promised them in her contract.

Post # 12
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

If you’ve paid for digital negatives (and by that I’m assuming the interpretation means the RAW files) then sure, you are entitled to them. However, I do take issue with the idea that working with RAW images is the sort of breeze that us devious photographers take care to conceal from the punters.

Photoshop is EXTREMELY expensive even in the US where software tends to be cheaper (free copies are either very cut down versions with far fewer features or pirated) and is not a program for the inexperienced. Yes, by all means install it but don’t assume that you can sit down in front of it and make glorious edited copies from your RAW files without a bit of learning first!

That said, if you paid for these files you should be receiving them. Whether or not you can do anything with them is a secondary consideration.

Post # 13
Member
8720 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

PassionatePhotoLady:  sometimes I understand the busy excuse but other times I just don’t. How hard is it to respond to an email? All vendors respond quickly when you’re looking to book them. However, after the wedding many of them take forever. My job is ALWAYS busy and yet I HAVE to respond to people. The “it’s wedding season” is BS. I would excuse someone for the weekend but by Monday or a Tuesday I would want a response even if it’s that you need time to look into it and will get back to me by a certain day.

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