- 5 years ago
- Wedding: October 2012
I am so sad/in shock with our wedding photos. I hope this is coherent but apologies if it isn’t. I dont know if I want advice or support so I suppose both are welcome.
We received a batch of our phtoos back the day after the wedding- kind of a “teaser.” They were incredible. They were taken outside- just the two of us- and we thought they were exactly what we were looking for- very artisitic and lovely.
We received the rest back about two weeks later. They were “fine” to us but we were both a little afraid to admit to each other that we were actually pretty disappointed in how amateur they looked.
I emailed the pictures to my parents and my sister. My sister finally a few days later admitted that everyone in the family was very unimpressed with the photos. My parents didn’t even say anything to me (and still haven’t)- that’s how underwhelmed they were.
The photos at the ceremony look far away, uninspired, with bad lighting. Some look like they were just taken with a point-and-shoot camera. There are a couple of nicely framed ones, but really none of them I would want to print and put on a wall.
The formal pics are bland. There looks like there is no depth to them at all. We had to ask the photographer to edit the washed out bright spots in the back where there were windows. It got done but we were really surprised we had to ask that.
The reception pictures are fine, but the cake cutting is taken from the sids (can’t see our faces), there are almost no close-ups, and no good ones from the father-daughter dance. They look much more professional than the ceremony photos, but they are no where near what our outdoor pictures look like.
WHEN I CONFRONTED HER
My sister encouraged us to express our concerns with the photographer. She really felt like we did not get our money’s worth out of what we paid.
I sent a very pleasant but gently critical email this morning. I said we finally had a chance to actually look through the pictures carefully and that we woudl like to explore the option of editing them more. I said we were disappointed with how some of the ‘key moment’ photos came out- from the first kiss, cake cutting, father-daughter, etc. I reiterated how much we were appreciate of her work though and that we really loved the initial batch of outdoor photos. I apologized that it had taken us a few weeks to really give feedback but that work was incredible crazy over the last few weeks, especially after getting through all the wedding stuff.
The email I received back was an extremely upset, indignant response. She was all but outraged. She said she found nothing wrong with the photos, that the lighting was terrible at the church we chose, that the lighting was terrible at the reception, that there were old ladies in the way of the cake cutting which is why she had to stand to the side, etc. She also said she “never claimed to be a photoshop expert.”
I have never received such an outraged email from someone whom I hired for his/her services. I ended up replying back telling her that we were again grateful for how many pictures she captured throughout the night, that some of them turned out beautifully, and we appreciated all her work. I simply said that the lighting (and composition, admittedly) of some photos were less than what we hoped for and that we had wanted to explore with her ideas on how to improve that.
She finally replied back later this afternoon and half-way apologized for her initial emai, but reiterated how awful the lighting was at both places, that bcause we had a chocolate cake the light didn’t reflect of that, that she couldn’t get a close up of us at the altar because she would have had to stand 3 feet away, etc etc. She said she could try to work on the lighting of some of our pictures but that we woudl have to tell her exactly which ones and how much change we wanted.
I could quickly tell that we were not going to get anywhere with her, and if all she was going to do was lighten or darken a picture then we could do that much faster. I emailed her back and groveled a bit more, apologized if I caused any sort of bad blood in my initial email, and that we would work on tinkering the pictures ourselves.
She replied back and said “thank you for that”- which I assume means ‘thank you for clarifying that you don’t hate the pictures I took because they really are terrific’ or something like that, and said she relooked at all the pictures and couldn’t find anythign wrong with them.
The way she treated me was absolutely terrible, and that really hurt. The reason I groveled so much in my response emials was that I do NOT want to look back at an of my wedding and have any sort of bad taste in my mouth because of a vendor, or anything else. Her attitude ruined my day (I burst into tears as soon as I got home) and will likely leave me sour for a while.I don’t want to post any pictures on facebook because I don’t really want to think about her or how sub-par so many of the pictures are. I was incredibly cordial to her, and as a client, she should have taken my concerns with stride and worked towards working through that, not tell me how angry she was that I would think her work unprofessional (I did say that the pics of us leaving the church did not look professional.)
I do not want to work with her any more, so I am not going to contact her to ask for her help on editing th epictures, asking for our money back, etc. She clearly does not have the capacity to get our photos where we want and it’s not worth any more anger or hurt to deal with her.
I guess at this point I am so CONFUSED about the following things and would really like help.
1. Does the quality of photos vary so much from place to place? She said the photos really depend on the light and that our venues had really bad lighting.
2. Why are there no up-clsoe pictures/pictres of faces during the ceremony or reception? Is it true that taking pictures from the back of the church or side of the church prohibits that?
3. What percentage of pictures are usually print-worthy, or worth hanging on a wall? We did get a few, it was jus so much fewer than I hoped, but maybe i Had unrealistic expectations.
4. The reviews of our photog online were glowing, and we really liked all her blog pictures. This is where I am most baffled. Why oh why
5. Is it the photog’s job to encourage us to take more portrait pics outside if the lighting in the church is so bad? She said that she encouraged us too but we said we wanted them inside- which absoultely may have happened, I can’t remember- but I feel like a good photog who is really concerned about the lighting would really push us to take formal pics outside? Maybe not….
6 How much editing is expected of a wedding photographer? We paid $2,000– the highest end hotographers where we live are around $3500-4000
I don’t really feel comfortable posting my photgrapher or the pics from our wedding, so I guess I’m just looking for advice rather than feedback on the quality of our pics. The fact that my family wasn’t impressed (My parents are middle class who doesn’t go to that many weddings. My sister looks at Style Me Pretty a lot so she may be unreaslistic, but my parents do not have incredibly high threshholds or expectations for photos.)
I guess I want someone to tell me that my expectations are unrealistic and that the pics are probably fine. Maybe I spent too much time looking at really ihgh end photographers and thinking mine would be just as good. Maybe I gave her too hard a time?
Any thoguhts would be so appreciated 🙁