VERY unhappy with our wedding photographer

posted 5 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I’m so sorry you’re going through this 🙁 One thing to keep in mind, the photographer can only shoot what’s there. If the MOH looks bored all the way down the aisle, then it’s hard to take a photo of her looking excited! Even though that’s how she was feeling I’m sure, if it doesn’t come out on her face the photog can’t fix it. The editing sounds just awful in terms of the cropping out of fans etc. 🙁 I mean an exit sign halfway removed! Sounds pretty half-assed to me.

But it also sounds like she is more of a hobbyist (as you say, does it on the side now and then). I think her quality clearly reflects that. If you know you’re not hiring a professional you can’t really expect professional level quality and service. I know it really doesn’t make it better to be told that after the fact 🙁 

Because of this(and because she’s your friend and it sounds like you want to keep the friendship)  I think your best bet is probably to ask for a working copy of the raw files again and try to fix them up. Say you want to play with some photo editing software. I think that’s the best way to get what you want (usable, nice photos). Maybe she doesn’t even have the skills herself, period.

Post # 4
Member
2398 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

There was a blogging bee who had this same issue and essentially had to get the RAW files from her photographers and painstakingly edit them themselves. And I mean, they were REALLY bad- lots of cut off faces, and their camera caused there to a black line through the bottom third of most of the pictures. Let me try and think of which Bee it was and I’ll post the name here when I figure it out- it might be worthwhile to look at her posts, or shoot her a message and see if she has any advice on salvaging what your photographer did get.

Post # 6
Hostess
24473 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Wow that is completely horrible.  It sounds like she is overextending yourself.  Honestly, I’m not sure if there is a way to be delicate about this and preserve your friendship 100%.  If you don’t get these things off your chest, it’s going to ruin your friendship.  Maybe you can tell her how disappointed you were and hopefully she will think about it and try not to do so much work in the future to keep from upsetting future clients.

Post # 7
Member
3250 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Sorry to hear about the photo issues. Some of what you wrote about are valid issues, some are not. Every photographer has a style, so you can’t expect her to shoot your engagement photos different from her style. Two months to get photos back is not unreasonable, I was married a month before you and I still do not have photos back yet. The photographer can’t control expressions on people’s faces, they can only photograph what is there.

The editing does sound like an issue, a half removed sign and a red face is unprofessional. Since she is a friend, and it sounds like she might be overextended, try asking her for all of the files. If you want to preserve the friendship, I would do what a PP suggested and say you have some neat new software that you’d love to test drive on your wedding photos. That way you can choose what photos you would like to have to remember the day.

Post # 8
Member
4018 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Give her a flash drive. Tell her to copy all of the files she has for your wedding onto it and hand the drive back to you. Better yet, go to her house and do it.

Post # 9
Member
2398 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@Magdalena: 

Oh yeah, her but another one! She had really short hair and two ceremonies, one in California on the beach and one in Texas, that was a BBQ type reception…? 

Post # 12
Member
3989 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I do not want to sound like a jerk, but with this comment:

“I understand that professional photographers can take a long time to get their photos back to you but she is not a professional. She just does this every now and then.”

If you knew this before you “hired” her, you accepted that she was not a professional and took a risk.  You can’t hire someone who is not a professional but expect professional work.  I hate to be sour about it, but I think you’re being pretty hard on her.

As for all of the engagement pictures looking the same, if you saw all of the engagement shots beforehand and saw that they all looked the same, why did you expect yours to be different?

But besides that, if you want to do something about it you have to go to your contract.  Did you sign a contract with her?

Post # 13
Member
2955 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011 - Bent Creek Winery (Livermore, California); Reception: Family Residence (San Ramon, California)

I agree with PPs: I think your best bet is to get the raw unedited images from your friend/photographer and to edit them yourself. Or, if you can afford it, hire another professional photographer to try to work some editing magic.

I’m so sorry this happened to you; I can only imagine how disappointed you must feel not having amazing pictures of a very important day you put so much hard work and effort into. Even though top-notch professional photographers can be really expensive, they are so often worth the investment because having awesome wedding pictures really is important to most brides and grooms. 

I know you can’t relive the entire day, but you may also consider hiring a professional to take some portraits of you and your hubby if you can afford that. At least then you’ll have some really nice pictures of the two of you in your wedding gear. Anything to salvage the situation!

Post # 15
Hostess
24473 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

@Alicey: A lot of photographers do not allow others to edit their photographs so I understand why she is saying that is a big no no.  They want the images to reflect their creative image since it is their name on the final product.  But that being said, I understand you not wanting to wait another 2 months for all of the photos to be edited in a shoddy way.

As for the engagement shoots all looking the same, it sounds like something a new photographer would do when they aren’t used to directing and coordinating photographs.

I do think you need to talk to her again since you did pay her and you aren’t happy with the work that is being provided to you.  If she wants to preserve her professional reputation, she will do something about it.

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