(Closed) Arg! What to do when no reviews?

posted 7 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
3564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Can you ask them for references?

Post # 5
Member
3314 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I used a couple of them and had mixed results.  One was fantastic!  The other didn’t show up (she got the date wrong *grrr*).

Post # 6
Member
1000 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

@Miss Tattoo: Photographers get paid before delivery of proofs because photography is too subjective. Any bride could simply pretend then to not like her photos and use that as grounds to refuse to pay the balance. This wont change the fact that the photographer will already have done all the work at that point, so short of a costly legal battler there would be no way for us to recoup the losses. Usually full payment is required at least 2 weeks in advance of the wedding because the photographer has to hold that date for you. If you then decide to cancel your wedding with less than two weeks to go, there is no way to rebook the date and the photographer will have lost a lot of money if they haven’t yet received full payment.

Anyway, just saying why we do things the way we do. I think you are doing the right thing looking for reviews online. I don’t like to bother my past brides by using them as references, but in the absence of reviews I would definitely ask for references also. Good luck, and let us know how it all turns out!

Post # 7
Member
1056 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

That stinks!  MissTattoo, be careful. I’m with you though, I am so picky when it comes to photography that I’m having a REALLY hard time finding one that I like.  I completely agree that they should get paid afterwards, and some do take the remaining balance a week or so after the wedding.  I do caution you however to find one that has been in the business for a while.  Make sure to go and do a consult with them.  Things they have on the website can be one thing, but what am finding is books give a good impression on their work rather than just online pictures.  And yes while one whom is just getting the business going can be good, you don’t want to risk this ONE day in your life.  I’m struggleing with going with a guy that’s done it for 2-3 years now if that’s enough experience.  THIS is the hardest part I am finding is picking the photographer.

Post # 9
Member
43 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Do they have a Facebook page? You could look around on that and find brides in his albums and send them messages to find out if they liked him or not.

It can’t hurt to ask to make a payment plan so that you pay right before he is gonna deliver the goods.  It doesn’t make sense for him to send you your products before getting paid though.. but if you are getting a CD with images you could pay once you are happy with the gallery images and then get your CD.  I wouldn’t ask to pay after getting an album though because that’s a lot of work for you to possibly decide you don’t want it anymore.

Post # 10
Member
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

@Miss Tattoo: While I agree with LB on the payment issue, you could always ASK the new photog if they are flexible with a payment plan. You could see if they would allow you to pay a certain percentage up front to hold the date, and the remaining cost upon delivery of photos.

Additionally, you could pay with a credit card, which will give you additional charge-back protection.

Or, you can simply find a photographer who is more established and has a long history of good reviews. Seems like the easier option to me.

Post # 11
Member
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

@Miss Tattoo: My photographer is based in Central FL but is originally from Pittsburgh. She does a lot of Pittsburgh shoots still and I bet she’d be pretty reasonable in price. I’ve also seen her give recommendations for other Pittsburgh photographers if she isn’t available or if she wouldn’t be a good fit for you. Let me know if you’d like her info.

Post # 14
Member
51 posts
Worker bee

Here are my observations:

Based on their intro, they are Up and coming photographers, husband and wife team, so I’m assuming they’re new(er)? They don’t even list their names??! Why not?

Also, it somewhat bothers me when i read “We specialize in weddings, events and Architecture. Ok, weddings/events and architecture are two totally different things, you should be “specializing” in one of them or have 2 separate websites for each business. No??

Our portfolio currently covers three continents and we hope to expand on that in the near future.” What portfolio are they talking about? There are 3 wedding gallery with very few images.  1 picture of the building on the front slideshow does not counts as  “Architecture portfolio”.  C’mon now!

Search through business registration database in PA didn’t bring any result for that company, so i don’t know if they’re even registered business, or if they have insurance, back-ups, or anything of that nature. Their website didn’t say much about them at all.

Their photos are not bad, sometimes no reviews are better then bad reviews. I’d say call, meet, ask tons of questions and see couple of full weddings. If in doubts, ask for references and go with your heart. Good luck!

Post # 15
Member
216 posts
Helper bee

I think it’s also ok to ask to three payments ( deposit, amount on day, rest when you see pictures and they burn your disk ).    I’ve been shooting weddings for 10 years and generally have the balances due on the wedding day ( for the reasons other posters have mentioned )  but I would be willing to work with someone who was ready to book but who also wanted to space payments differently.

Post # 16
Member
29 posts
Newbee

I wouldn’t stress too much. I’d take everyones advice, but also make sure you sign a contract (and retain a copy for yourself) before you hand over any money. There should be a clause stating if something happens to your photos you get your money back/some sort of agreement. Plus, an online presence doesn’t mean you won’t get scammed- it’s pretty easy to leave reviews for yourself (I recently realized this on yelp after taking my cat to a new vet- great reviews online.. TERRIBLE in person).

Most of the time I hear people having problems when they don’t read and understand the contract they signed- there are a few scam artists out there though. Another good way to make sure they are legit is to do an engagement session before the wedding.

 Also, you may want to remove the photographers web address. I know if someone posted my site for this reason I wouldn’t be real thrilled having it critiqued by other professionals.

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