- 4 years ago
- Wedding: May 2015 - Aloft Hotel
Of all the wedding vendors I’ve had to deal with, photographers have by far been the most frustrating. I understand that shooting a wedding involves a lot of pressure, hard work, and artistic ability. I understand that a lot of photographers barely break even at the end of the year, even when they charge such high prices (how that’s possible I’m not sure but so many photog’s have ranted I’ll just assume its true). But this is true for many wedding vendors, and yet photographers by and large seem to be the most pig headed about it. If I had a nickel for every time a photographer explained why their work is so essential, why they’re worth every penny, why being shady about their prices is necessary…I’d be able to easily afford the most expensive package out there. I stumbled up on the worst example of this on another site about a week ago. There was a post about why you should or shouldn’t mention you’re planning a wedding when working with certain vendors, as the price can go up significantly when you mention the “W” word, for seemingly no reason at all. A photographer commented on why their prices remain the same for any sort of event- $125/hour. Another photographer actually had the nerve to “educate” the other photographer on her “responsibility” to let everyone know her prices were way too low and that photographers need and deserve much more money. Ugh.
But then it got personal. My beloved $500 student photographer backed out of my wedding when I changed my location to be about 4 hours away. Frustrating, but I went back out to look at what was available. I didn’t think we’d be able to afford anything but I figured we’d look anyway. After a little while I fell head over heels in love with a photographer’s work. She posted an ad on craigslist saying she was building her portfolio so prices were low and she was willing to work with any budget. While it’s incredibly frustrating to have no idea if she’s even close to my price range, I decided to give it a shot and contacted her. Over the course of several emails I asked her about pricing on three separate occasions and yet she refused to give me numbers until we met in person, even after I told her I was wanting to work in a $500-$1000 price range and that we would have to travel from out of state to meet in person. Then when we did meet she just handed us a simple sheet of paper with 3 different packages and a brief a la cart option. No difference for time of year, day of the week, certain venues, it was all the same. Here, I’ll write it for you:
5 Hour Coverage with print rights- $1200
7 Hour coverage with print rights and engagement session- $1700
10 Hour coverage with print rights and engagement session- $2200
Um, why would it have been so difficult to put that online?! The only reasoning I can find is that she wants to establish a relationship with us and get us excited before she tells us she’s a little out of budget so that we’ll pay for it anyway. I just feel like that’s really dishonest. Weddings are incredibly expensive and most people pay for it themselves (while also paying a mortgage, caring for loved ones, working hard every day, etc.), why try and mess with someone’s emotions to get them to go over their budget? Especially since this photographer happens to have another job and her husband is a doctor! My fiance and I are definitely making significantly less than they pull in, yet she’s trying to swindle us into spending more money than we’re comfortable. But fine, my fiance and I loved her work so much anyway that we were still going to consider her. Though she’s out of our price range, we know that her prices are amazing in comparison to other photographers. So I’m not saying her prices are unfair at all, I’m just saying her sales tactics are a bit tacky.
Then this morning I get an email from her explaining why the 10 hour package is the best option. She already knows she’s out of budget and that we’re in the process of moving things around to see if we can accomodate close to 20% of our entire wedding budget going toward someone snapping some photos. If anything, I feel like she should be letting me know of alternatives to be able to work with her at a price point we’re more comfortable with. But instead she’s trying to pull even more money out of us. It’s just greedy, dishonest, and unfair. I promised myself I’d never work with a vendor that was like this, especially a photographer, but we love her work so much we might just put it behind us. Anyway, feel free to rant to your hearts content about a vendor or tell me I’m being ridiculous or whatever, just needed to get this out before I sent her a nasty message!