Post # 1
I am a fan of weddingbee. I have enjoyed most of my experiences on this website and found many Bees to be very helpful. With that said, I am a bit taken back by some of the criticism/snarkiness/judgment I have read in many photography posts. I really do not understand why professional photographer bees on this website need to judge the professionalism of other photographers, especially when it comes to work they have never seen. There has been several posts were a bee has inquired about photography packages (# of photographers, cost, # of hours, # of photos) and professional photographers start tearing apart other vendors based on what other non professional photographer bees have posted. I have seen comments such as “your photographer is an amatuer), “your photographer is snap happy”, “your photographer most likely does not know what they are doing”, etc. Frankly, I found all of these comments useless, less than helpful, and overwhelming judgmental.
I really hope that in the future, photography posts can be educational and informative with a lot less snarkiness…….
Post # 3
I find the comments from the professional photographers really helpful, to be honest.
I can barely use a point and shoot, so I’m not anywhere close to a photographer, but photography is very important to my FI and I for our wedding. I found the photog boards super educational when I was picking mine out.
If people are asking “what do you think of x” while trying to choose a photographer, I expect they want honesty.
Post # 5
I’m a professional photographer. I also try not to be unkind or tear other people’s work to pieces. However, if I read a post where someone is asking for a critique of a photographer’s work then I’ll respond constructively. To be constructive means to be honest.
Like other professionals, I will also question the quality of work and “professionalism” of any wedding photographer who claims to be able to turn in 6 hours of work, thousands of images and an engagement shoot but only plans to charge $800. Because no true professional can afford to give their services away so cheaply and still make a living. Something is going to have to give. Usually quality and quite probably reliability.
I make these observations from knowledge and experience. Not because I wish to tear anyone apart for the sheer hell of it.
Post # 6
I don’t think the photographers are tearing the vendors apart. They are offering a very honest opinion to help steer the Bee clear of a very potentially heartbreaking situation down the road where they don’t get the photos they want, have their files held hostage or lost, etc, and we’ve seen a lot of those posts. Us professionals can tell very early on the warning signs that lead to those situations, and thus are looking out for the bee.
Post # 7
@californiabride2013: Most of the photographer bees here are posting to help bees avoid disasters, and have been around on the boards long enough to have seen absolute horror stories, and they’re posted regularly. We know from running our own businesses what it costs to be a legit business – we know what the gear costs, what sites cost, insurance, how much taxes are taken out of self-employed folks, yearly filing fees… A photographer with some experience, who is doing business legitimately and remitting nearly 40% of every wedding, shoot, and album, cannot afford to keep their business going charging $800 for wedding coverage. It’s simply not possible. You can google “how much does it cost to run a photography business” and read breakdowns of the expenses.
SO when we see red flags like being THAT underpriced we mention it because there are risks associated with hiring someone who advertises that they are a pro but isn’t. For example, photographers not paying taxes on their income may get in trouble and be unable to shoot your wedding 12 months from now. A friend just told me yesterday of a “pro photographer” who has a huge following and is well booked but just had her gear stolen out of her car over the weekend and she is uninsured so now she has a gofundme site pleading for help replacing the $10,000+ in gear she lost because she has a ton of shoots, some of them she’s already missed because she doesn’t have gear and has no means to even rent any. Imagine that happening to your photographer 2 days before she is suppose to shoot your wedding. A true professional wouldn’t dream of booking clients without full insurance on their gear, but it’s expensive so photographers who have it have to charge more.
These are just a few of dozens of issues I could bring up about this. Photographers here have zero incentive to share their knowledge of the business and expertise re: image quality – we get nothing out of it except occasionally helping folks dodge a bullet. Wedding days can’t be done over.
Post # 8
“why the need to blast other professionals?” is the title of your post. I think in the vast majority of the posts that the photographers here offer expertise on are situations where we’re trying to help people understand what is and what isn’t the mark of a professional photographer. If the weddingbee photography board is any indication of how people think about wedding photography then there is a LOT of misinformation out there about our industry. We may not always provide answers that people want to hear, but we provide honest information because we care about people’s experiences.
Post # 9
sometimes reality and truth are not happy things to hear. I’ll call bs wherever I see it. I’m here to help brides, not make other photographers love me. It’s the info some brides need to hear that only we have the knowledge and experience to offer.
Post # 10
The market of wedding photographers is supersaturated with amatuers, whether in technical still, artistic expression, or most of all small business savvy.
I have no qualms with another professional sizing up anothers performance based on a customer’s experience. Just as often, the professional speaks up in defense of the photographer.
Post # 11
I think alot of photographer bees just try to help the OP.
I find it pretty harsh when bees tear apart an OP because she has a crappy photographer, and can’t afford a better one. Some people don’t have alot of money to put into a photographer.. sometimes less than $600. They are working with what they can afford.
Post # 12
People come here for opinions and so… we give them.
Post # 13
@californiabride2013: After so many years on a site or in the trade, I would imagine that photographers see a trend that goes something like this:
Newly engaged bee: I only have a $500 photography budget but was able to get an AMAZING Groupon deal! Now I can spend more money on shoes!
Pro photogs: Be careful, you get what you pay for. Most quality experienced professionals won’t go that low. Do they have the right equiptment/references/insurace?
Bee: omgsonegative ur just jealouz
*6 months later*
Newly married bee: “I hate my pictures. Do I have a small claims case? HALP!”
If people are getting “negative” advice, it’s probably because the pros have seen it happen a million times before.
Post # 14
@atacrossroads: can we just frame that haha? It pretty much sums it up. I’ve gotten so good at picking out red flags I can tell you from a watermark and logo when a photographer is going to suck haha
Post # 15
@atacrossroads: LOL….this made me laugh!!!! SO true!! Everyday it seems like we see posts pop up about someone who hired an amature and hates their photos. It breaks my heart.
@californiabride2013: I deal with these crazy scenerios EVERY wedding I shoot. I can’t tell you how many times a bridesmaid will say to me “I totally didn’t research my photographer and my photos are terrible” or “I skimped because I didn’t think it was a big deal and now I cry when I look at my pictures”. This morning, at a workout class, I was talking with a lady who was telling me about how she had NO CLUE what to ask or look for when hiring her wedding photographer and she ended up with a hack posing as a “pro” and her photos are terrible – and it still makes her sad to this day. Just this summer I did a “day after” session with one of my couples, and they asked if their friends could come along because when they got married last year their photographer was so bad they don’t have any good photos of themselves together. I could sit and tell you these stories all day long. We don’t give our feedback to be mean, we give it to help brides from making an “OMG….my photos are aweful I don’t know what to do” post.
Post # 16
OP I hate to be cynical but all that is required is to take industry advice with a grain of salt. If you were in the market for a new car and a salesman from dealer X told you “don’t be fooled by dealer Y’s low prices! They sell lemons and are scam artists” Would you be surprised? Of course not, and you would probably gather info from other sources like friends and family, the BBB, and your own test drive before making your own determination. This certainly should also be the case with photography, which is at least as hyper-competitive, if not more so.
I am not casting aspersions on any poster, but apply common sense – most photogs are small business owners, a massively time consuming job. Do you think a true professional operator would come to a website filled with thousands of customers for their industry in their free time to talk shop, purely out of the goodness of their hearts? No! And I would think a little less of the skills of a business person who wasted their very valuable time in that manner, anyway. That’s the mark of an actual amateur, to me – a true professional is never in front of customers without an agenda, even if it is limited to shaping perceptions of price and product.
At least on wedding bee the photographers are usually ethical enough to identify themselves as such. in other industries the pros might not be as scrupulous! The pitfalls of seeking advice on the internet.