Post # 1
I hired a photographer whose photos I love for my wedding next year. Our engagement session will be later this year. She has been relatively responsive by email, but I think she is very busy. I already booked her and paid her 1/3 of our package as a retainer.
I have obviously seen her portfolio before, but I recently asked her for a full wedding so I can see what her outdoor shots look like at night (I’ve seen those photos too, but wanted to see a full series just out of curiosity). I didn’t ask her for this before because I didn’t feel like I needed it. It’s been two weeks, I’ve emailed a couple times to follow up, and she has only responded once to say that she was running out the door but would get something to me this week. I don’t think these are “red flags” or that she doesn’t have the photos.
She’s experienced, has been featured multiple times on Style Me Pretty and other wedding blogs, endorsed by other vendors, and is in the Style Me Pretty Little Black Book which only has fully vetted top vendors. I’m not worried there, but I don’t understand what could be taking so long. My Future Mother-In-Law is now asking for the same thing and telling me it’s red flags, and asking why I didn’t ask for this before I booked her, and see how she won’t respond now? So I texted my photographer to tell her that I’m really sorry to bug her, but my Future Mother-In-Law was asking for it. No response yet. Now I feel like it’s not even a matter of my needing to see the photos and more a matter of me paying her a great deal of money to hire her, and then her telling me she would do something I requested but not doing it in the timeframe given.
I’m also afraid to annoy her and get marked as a “problem client”. What should I do if she doesn’t respond to my text? Email again? Thanks ladies. Input from photographer bees would help too.
Post # 2
Considering that right now and the next few months are prime wedding season I would cut her some slack. When is YOUR wedding exactly?
Post # 3
I bugged the crap out of my busy photographer. She handled me with professionalism and a great attitude. Id bet u could not behave as badly as some ppl photogs have seen in their careers!
Post # 4
xtals: As a pro photographer I find it very disturbing that you are using your photographer’s status as a little black book member as a testament to his or her professionalism. I have friends who are members and there is NO vetting of professionalism during the membership application process. And the only thing they look at in terms of work is if the photographer takes the type of detail shots THEY find attractive. It is also a PAID membership so they are inclined to accept just about anyone. Little Black Book is one of the biggest jokes among photography communities out there. If you want a better measure, check out ISPWP, now THEIR application process is one of the most stringent and selective as I’ve ever seen. They interview your brides AND your peers, make you prove you’ve shot at least over 50 weddings, evaluate FULL galleries of your work, etc.
Please brides, dont be fooled by this gimmick. As for the rest, honestly, in all likelihood your photographer probably already has you labeled as a problem client. Think about the fact that you are bugging them for photos that aren’t even from your wedding… I’m sure she’ll be imagining how impatient you are going to be when its YOUR photos. That, and your need to continue “interviewing” her after she has already been hired demonstrates an offensive lack of trust in her abilities. If you dont like her night shots, its too late to switch photographers without paying a high price anyway, so why waste the energy and frustration. Personally, I’d forget about it and just leave her alone. Save your pestering for your own wedding pictures.
Post # 5
I’m confused as to why you’re asking for this stuff after you’ve already booked her? My photog sent me a few full galleries from weddings in similar locations after our initial meeting well before I booked him. I wanted to see his style in all lighting and situations before I gave him a dime. Therefore I can see why she isn’t giving your request much urgency since it isn’t even about your wedding and you’re booked.
That said, she should still be a professional and get back to you in a timely manner (within that week). It wouldn’t necessarily concern me that she didn’t have any such photos, but it would concern me that she isn’t the best with communication.
Post # 6
It’s a very busy season for weddings. Plus your wedding is next year ….. so even if it’s in Jan you’re still 8mos off. I’d cut her some slack until the end of the summer. If you like the pictures you’ve seen of hers, I’m sure it will be just fine, tell your Future Mother-In-Law to back off and give her something else to work on.
Post # 7
Thanks all for the helpful replies. I think I will just drop it as everyone advised.
PassionatePhotoLady: I am grateful that you took the time to reply and give me information that I did not know. I wish you had done so with a little bit more kindness. There is no way that any bride outside of the photography industry would know this without investigating, which I (being a full time student and having no money for a planner) really don’t have time to do if it is not from a readily apparent resource online. Yes, I could have investigated the Little Black Book, but it was not close to my main reason for trusting/hiring my photographer. She has been impeccable with communication up to now, and it’s only my anxiety that brought me to Weddingbee to ask for advice. Knowing that we’ve paid her a hefty retainer, you no doubt would also know that all brides who have spent their hard-earned money would feel bad if they felt like they had done so at all hastily or without research, or if it was “too late”. I was not hasty, and I did do research. She simply won’t reply to one of my requests, which is hardly cause for cancelation. Telling me that she has already labeled me as a problem client – when most people ask for a full wedding album before booking – is not helpful. This merely breeds the exact fear that you know I was trying to avoid. Perhaps kindly telling me how to diffuse the situation, if you know how, would have been more productive. As for my “offensive” lack of trust, I think I have always been very clear with her that I trusted her work – let the money speak for itself – why else would I have hired her? If asking for examples of her work is offensive, I’m not sure what qualifies as tactful in your metric. Surely she can handle a request, and reserves full rights to refuse and say she is too busy – she just hasn’t done so at all, and I doubt she’s sitting in front of the computer deliberately not replying to me, because she is so offended.
Post # 8
xtals: As a photographer I agree with most of what PassionatePhotoLady said. That’s the blunt truth of it, although I would have worded it to you in a bit different manner. Simply put this request should have been handled in the booking process, and if a client were aggressively asking for samples of photography after we had already been hired it would indicate to me that they were second guessing their decision to hire us.
I also doubt that she is sitting at her computer deliberately not replying to you either. For a busy photographer there are so many things that pull you in different directions in respect to your time – just consider that you’re not her only client.
You said, “I recently asked her for a full wedding so I can see what her outdoor shots look like at night (I’ve seen those photos too, but wanted to see a full series just out of curiosity).” Are you confident in her abilities to take these sort of photos or are you not? If you are – then you’re just creating busy work for her. If you’re not, what will the ramifications be if you discover that maybe she’s not great with outdoor photos at night? How big a percentage of coverage is outdoors at night? Will you want to back out of your contract if you don’t like whatever work she sends? Has she already turned away business for your date? See how it can get complicated?
If you want advice on how to diffuse it I would send her a message saying in the effect that you realize she’s busy, you’re just creating extra work for her, and to not worry about it.
Post # 9
I agree, cut her some slack just cause wedding season is now! But i still would resepct a response, she is running a business. At least to say, hey im busy, ill get back to you! You are a paying client and have every rigth to quesion and request information.