Post # 1
Before I get flamed for writing this, please know that I **COMPLETELY* understand that photographers work very hard and are usually very busy. I get it.
My FI and I hired a photographer that I went to highschool with. She lives in the same neighbourhood as us, and I thought it would be a good idea to support the underdog/struggling photographer/new business owner/what have you. We set up a time to meet at a Starbucks, sign the contract, and talk about what we wanted. 20 minutes before our appointment, she messages me on Facebook and says “Our appointment was for tomorrow, right?”. I was mildly annoyed and responded that it was today and in 20 minutes actually. She was doing engagement pictures for another couple, forgot about our appointment, and asked if she could come in an hour. Fine, whatever, okay.
FI and I had our engagement pictures on June 26. She showed up RIGHT on time for the appointment (FI and I had been waiting for 15 minutes or so). The session ended up being a lot shorter than I thought it would be, some of the poses felt cheesy/unnatural, and we felt like the session was rushed because she had a personal appointment apparently. At the end of the session she told me she was waiting for her shipment of USB’s and she would edit our pictures, told us how many we would get, and how long it would be before we got them. She also said “I’ll put up a sneak peek tonight for you guys”. Awesome.
That never happened. Other sneak peeks are being put up, she’s advertising/selling herself on her Facebook/other random activity. A week later I message her and say that I really hate to be a bother but is there any way she could throw up like 1 or 2 pics just to hold me over. She responds that she would be posting a few that night. That never happened. The next day she messages me and says that she was going to be editing that night and she would post some. That was 3 days ago.
I get that she’s busy and what not. But she’s posted pictures from events that she did AFTER our session. Boo. It’s not fair. Hmph.
Post # 3
@rcac1208: Ugh thats average…Of course they are busy and all that BUT if you say your going to be somewhere or do something and you are trying to market your business or yourself you should stick to that. If theres going to be delays she should have approached you rather than you having to chase the photographer up. Fingers crossed the photos are amazing and then you will feel better!
Post # 4
@rcac1208: fire her and hire a professional.
Post # 5
@mariematt: My FI told me the same thing. He is worried that the reason she’s not posting our pictures is because they’re awful and she doesn’t want us to know. Lol.
Post # 8
I am a photographer and I think you should fire her and hire someone else. Your engagement pictures can be re-done. Your wedding ones, however, you can not. She’s not doing herself and favors by not handling her business correctly.
Post # 10
Agreed, I would find a different photographer for the wedding. Obviously, be gracious about it, but vendors are supposed to work for you!
Post # 11
@rcac1208: Yeah if she is indeed hiding potentially bad photos, I would ask her to step down and get a professional for sure. As mentioned, you don’t want to run that risk of your wedding photos not turning out! I’m a photographer growing into the wedding photographer field, I’m considered amateur but I know how to be professional with my clients and if I think my photos aren’t as expected, I’d probably either give them a redo for free and/or be honest and say I don’t think I’m ready for such a big commitment to take the wedding photos.
Post # 12
Have you tried being more blunt? aka, “I need to show those photos to my mum/dad/family/FI’s Family/random people in the street. Can you please email me some copies asap?”
Post # 13
@FuzzyBunnyB: No, I didn’t want to seem pushy y’know?
I honestly thought all of this was normal, but the overwhelming amount of “Fire her” says otherwise.
Post # 14
- Wedding: September 2013 - Creek club at ion, SC
@rcac1208: Sounds to me like she may also be slacking because she knows you guys and thus is not being professional about it. Id be blunt and say:
I understand your busy and Im really happy your business is growing however iim getting worried with all the delays for our wedding so if i dont see any pic by X date then im going to have to go with another photographer just to be on the safe side – I only get this day once.
And the only reason Id be being that nice is because id realy want to see the engagement pics
Post # 15
@rcac1208: No, none of this is normal. She is being incredibly unprofessional and I’d be worried about her taking my wedding photos.
What does the contract you signed say about cancelling? You need to know where you stand legally before firing her. Although, even if she charges you some amount for cancelling, that fee might be worth it to avoid dealing with her.
Whether or not you fire her, you need to write her an email expressing your concerns. Be explicit. Say she has now failed to meet two promises, in addition to missing your first appointment, and you are concerned about her professional abilities. Entrusting someone with your wedding photos is an enormous responsibility and honour. Her behavior doesn’t demonstrate responsibility.
Number one rule of small business is to under-promise and over-deliver. It’s totally unacceptable that she has broken multiple promises. You’ll be doing her a favor by pointing out these major failings.
Post # 16
@rcac1208: This is only “normal” among newbie, (usually budget) unprofessional photographers. Professionals don’t make promises and then not deliver on them or they’d be out of business very fast, especially since this is a very competitive market.
You know I like to play devil’s advocate for photographers to offer both sides of the coin, but there will be NO FLAMING here because your concerns are 100% legit. I realize losing a retainer fee can be a huge disappointment, but it’s nothing compared to the devastation of being stuck with horrible wedding photos for the rest of your life… or even NO photos because she sounds like one of those who might let you go a year to get your wedding photos back because she clearly has no idea how to manage her workflow and deliver things in a timely fashion. It takes 10 minutes to post the two teasers she promised for you – TWICE – and 40-60 hours to edit a wedding! I can only imagine – I wouldn’t take the chance.