Post # 1
A little long but I am freaking and need advice. Ok, last year on the Bee another Bee suggested her photographer. Her prices were great and she was willing to travel 200 miles to where I was and only asked for a hotel room. At first I thought it was too good to be true but she was blogging so many weddings all over the state and other photos (bridals, maternity, etc.). Red flag one was right after she booked our wedding she doubled her prices and TRIPLED her price for out of town weddings. Right then I felt uneasy because I was the last bride under her old busienss model. I know, I have a contract and she’s obligated but having someone do something out of obligation isnot the best and she can always get out onthe “act of God’ clause. I asked her about that up front and she said she had backup photographers but still. I pushed aside and I was comforted watching all the great photo blogs she posted of her work. Clearly she had a thriving growing business and she would do me right because she wanted to sustain the momentum. Then 1.5 months ago the blogs DRIED UP completely. After a few weeks I dropped her a line just to see if she’d respond and she did – I mentioned the lack of blogs but she didnt respond to it. But, now she is closing in on 2 months without a peep on her blog or facebook. Thats flag number 2. I am scheduled to give her the remainder of my deposit 1 month in advance (in 2 weeks) and I am so uneasy. Because our family was poor I missed out on many life events without photographs. I’d be devistated if I don’t have professoinal pictures for this too. Then again, hiring yet ANOTHER photograher would also be a budget breaker but I feel like i may not have another choice So, am I overreacting or should I break the contract and hire someone else?
Post # 3
@evalague: Oh dear. I’m not sure I have any good advice on this topic, but I do understand the need and desire for a good photographer on your wedding day. All of the things you are talking about definitely raise a lot of flags. I would be concerned as well.
Is there another photographer you have in mind? What does the current photog’s contract say about backing out? Is there a time limit?
So sorry… ((((hugs!))))
Post # 4
I felt this way about our musicians (lack of response time, weird vibe, etc.) but it ended up being fine.
It sounds like the photog has done nothing wrong or shady (except not post as frequently). How did you structure payment? We did 50% upfront and 50% on the day of. I’m hoping that you have something similar – so you aren’t paying 100% upfront.
The lack of blog stuff could be because she has fewer clients (now that she charges more) and/or could be pursuing other projects. A couple of the photogs I considered would go through waves of posting and then not (it doesn’t mean they aren’t working – it’s a lot of work to post at frequent intervals – especially when they are working a lot!)
Post # 5
Hmmm… I can see why you’re concerned, but would give her the benefit of the doubt. If she just completed a rapid expansion she may be in the midst of completing edits and sending photos out to a boatload of brides and not have much time to update.
Alternatively, February and March are kind of slow for weddings. She may just not have much new work to publish.
She’s still responding to your e-mails and has given you no reason to believe everything’s not on the up and up, so I would save your pennies.
Post # 6
No, I would have to go hunting for someone else and its 6 weeks away! Nobody would match the price we got either…
Post # 7
It has to be 100% paid 1 month in advance.
Post # 8
@evalague: I would also say stick with her. If she is responding and is telling you for sure it’s still a “go”… I wouldn’t put yourself through trying to find another.
Just make sure she understands how important these pictures are to you.
Post # 9
I would just try to talk to her. I would be more concerned about her ability to communicate vs. her blog posting schedule.
The majority of my vendors have blogs. I have noticed that each has a period with a lot of posts and each have gone through dry spells with no posts. My photographer and florist havent posted since Christmas. I think there are a lot of things that could be going on – they are really busy, they are doing a lot of traveling, they just can’t keep up with doing their day to day in addition to social media updates – it’s a lot of work to run a small business, especially one that’s expanding.
I have to say that not all vendors are the best communicators either. I typically ask things twice to make sure I understand.
If you love her photography style, you have a strong contract, and you feel she is responsive to your needs, then I think you’ll be okay.
About the price increase – that would make me more conscious of her actions. However, you indicated that she stated she will still honor the contract she entered with you. There are flaky or shady vendors out there and I’d just really listen to what she says to you when you talk. You’ll know the best. I think on the flip side, there are many more good vendors who will honor a contract and do their best. Vendors negotiate different prices with different brides all the time. I think good vendors aren’t going to want bad reviews floating around – especially ones that are expanding a business.
From what you described, I personally wouldnt worry that much. But, just be on guard and trust your gut.
Post # 10
I agree with PPs in that you should stick with her. I agree it’s a little weird that she didn’t respond to your comments/questions about the lack of blog posts, but this close to your wedding I don’t think I’d make a mad dash for a new photog. I also think that this time of year is just a lot slower for weddings, so I’d think that would be a factor. My photog hasn’t posted a wedding in a while either and I didn’t think much of it. Although, she is still very active on her Facebook page and posting some engagment sessions.
Good luck, photography is my most important aspect so I understand your worry!
Post # 11
These don’t really seem like red flags to me. It sounds like she was trying to build a reputation and get some good word of mouth going by keeping her prices low and then raised prices once she became more successful. This is pretty common. And not posting on her blog? Maybe she has life stuff going on. Maybe she has a sick family member or her website got a bug or whatever. I wouldn’t assume it spells doom and gloom for your wedding. I think it’ll be fine.
Post # 12
She might have updated her equipment, or had been meaning to update her pricing for some time….? But as long as she has communicated to you that she will honor your contract, I don’t think you have to worry too much. My main worry would be as dani ddha said, I would be more concerned about communication then any blog dry spells or change of pricing schedule. Maybe try another follow-up email just to confirm?
And maybe the price increase for out of town weddings is because she realized it cost more to travel then she thought originally. If so, then consider yourself lucky you got in with a photographer that you loved….Before the increase. 😉
Post # 13
Is it possible that she has reduced her posting because she has been booking more events? If she is busy, she may not have time to post a bunch. Hopefully everything is fine. Have you tried to talk with her on the phone/in person about your concerns? Good luck and try not to worry!
Post # 14
Right, great advice, thats why I asked if I was overreacting, it could all be a cooincidence and I could be panicking for nothing. The photographer seems like a great person so far so I have no concrete reason to panic yet.
Post # 15
To me it doesn’t sound like you should be too worried. I would call/e-mail her and confrim your date/time etc. and express your concerns. You should be fine….
Post # 16
Bwahahahah as I post this she blogs a new wedding. The universe is playing a late April fool on me…