Post # 1
Well my wedding is over and we all had a great time. I am having a huge issue with my photographer now. It’s been a little over 2 months since my wedding and I finally got my pro pics…or so I thought.
I was looking through all of my pro pics and started noticing that there were pics missing from the ceremony. Where were all of my formal portraits after the ceremony. I took so many pics with my bridal party, my family, my grooms family, pictures of me and my hubby with my parents, grandparents, etc… I got none of them back. There were 2 photographers at the ceremony; the lead photographer and the back up photographer. Well, all I got back were pics from the backup photographer. I know this because there are pics where the bridal party was posing for a pic but I only got the angle pic. For example:
As you can see, we were posing for the other photographer (certainly not my family because they didn’t get any front pictures and why would we pose so formally for a family members camera anyways). I clearly remember the lead photographer taking these pictures, as is the custom in most wedding to take formal pictures with the family and bridal party.
Anyway, I tried contacting the photographer several times to let them know that I noticed that these very important pictures were missing. He took forever to get back to me and when he did he gave me the run around. Finally, a week later, he got his wife to call me back and explain that they couldn’t find them and that the lead photographer was having issues with his card that day, and something about the lead photographer using his camera for some personal stuff and that they were going to try their “best” to recover my pictures. That they “should” be on a hard drive and a memory card and that they have a recovery process for both.
I don’t want to jump to conclusions but I am very sad and very afraid that they will not be able to recover these pictures. I’m sad because I can never duplicate the photos that I lost that day. I don’t have any pics with my grandparents, none with my parents, no formal pics with my bridal party!!
What would you do if you were in my situtation considering that they are unable to recover these pictures? Demand a full refund? Demad a partial refund? Send them to small claims court? Just take it as a loss?
I am so disappointed because I trusted them to shoot my wedding and I didn’t get all of my pictures. Some of the most important pictures of the day… 🙁
Please share your thoughts.
Post # 3
i’m so sorry – i really hope that they are able to recover your images, but it doesn’t sound likely. to answer you question, yes i would demand a partial refund. that’s completely unprofessional and they should have been up front with you about the missing pictures from the start. (ps you looked beautiful!!)
Post # 4
This won’t recover your images, but go through your contract carefully and look for conditions. Typically there are clauses to limit the photographer’s liability in that instance, but you might be able to get a partial refund.
Post # 5
You definitely need a refund! Did you get any of the lead photographer’s pictures? If not, then they should refund you the price of one photographer. I would almost want to demand a full refund and see what you can get out of them. I really hope they recover those pictures for you! You should also write review online so that it doesn’t happen to anyone else… but wait until you have matter resolved to do that.
Post # 6
@elliestan: Thanks for your advice and the sweet comment.
@atalante: I would hardly consider what I signed a contract. It simply state what services I was getting and the price that I agreed upon.
@mrs.josh: I did not get any of the lead photographers photos!! I already have a review in progress which I will post on every wedding website I can including angieslist. I actually read a review on my photographer and they had a similar experience as I did regarding the lack of communication, follow-up and punctuality. I wish I would have read reports on this company prior to booking them but they weren’t available. Hopefully I can save a future bride the hassle and heartache I have gone through.
Post # 7
Has this or something similar happened to anyone else? I would like to hear how you resolved the issue.
Post # 8
- Wedding: September 2011 - Franciscan Gardens
I’m really sorry this happened to you! I know it’s no consolation for lost photos, but you look STUNNING! I just checked my own contract with my photographer and it says this:
Limit of Liability: Zoom Theory Photography takes the utmost care with respect to exposure, transportation, and processing the photographs. However, in the unlikely event that all the photographs have been lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed for reasons within or beyond Zoom Theory Photography’s control, Zoom Theory Photography Studio liability is limited to the return of all payments received for the event package. The limit of liability for a partial loss of originals shall be a prorated amount of the package selected, based on the percentage of originals lost.
I bet your contract says something similar 🙁
Post # 9
@jackie_t4701: I’m still confused… did you get NONE of the primary photographers photos (and I’m not just talking about the formal posed shots, I’m talking the whole day through). And if you did get none of their photos, how do you know? Do you have pictures taken from the aisle during your ceremony? That would help you determine, since the primary photographer usually shoots from the aisle during the ceremony. Looking for two angles of any of the same shots (like the kiss for example) would also help you determine.
The amount of images that were actually lost would determine my course of action if I were you. If it’s just the formal photos, that’s one thing, and you should get a partial refund, some small compensation for your loss (at least you still have angle photos/better than none), but if you received NONE of the primary’s photos the whole day through, I would say you would almost be entitled to a full refund, maybe minus the cost of the second shooter (a very small percentage I’m sure).
Those are your memories you can never get back, and your main photographer must have messed up royally to have lost ALL of your photos. He’s very naive if he was so irresponsible as to shoot your entire day on one memory card. I use small memory cards so if one is corrupted worse case I only lose a small number of photos, not the whole wedding! All I can say is thank goodness you had the 2nd photographer! Good luck, and keep us posted!
ETA: I still can’t believe he had the stones to deliver just the second shooter’s shots like that hoping you wouldn’t notice?! Wow. At the very least he should have addressed you about the situation before delivering any photos.
Post # 10
@PassionatePhotoLady: We had 3 photographers at the ceremony and 2 at the reception. Their lead photographer only went to the ceremony. I did get a lot of photos from the ceremony but they were from the 2nd and 3rd photographer. I know this because the photos have a tag of the phototgraphers that took the pics along with the camera model. I am about 90% sure that I did not receive any photos from the lead photographer but I am not 100% certain because I haven’t been able to speak directly to the owner of the company (which didn’t even shoot my wedding). He has only responded to me via text message and when I did actually get a phone call it was from his wife, who he brought on as an emplyee. Unfortunately, the 2 photos I posted from the angle shots are the only 2 I have because while the lead photographer was taking all the formal shots straight on, the 2nd and 3rd photographers were taking shots of the marriage certificate, other people after the ceremony, etc…
I did receive most of the pictures from the reception, I assume, because I do see that there were 2 different camera models.
@Miss Marine: The contract that I signed was literally one sheet of paper with my name, grooms name, date of event and price. It does not have a clause on any “mishaps” that might occur from that day. Although I did get some nice photos from afar (2nd line photographer) I’m sure the photos from the lead photographer were from a closer range and included the shot list with all the important people I wanted to be photographed with on my special day.
I spoke to the owner’s wife on Tuesday and she told me they were trying the recovery process. Still have not heard back from them and am sure that I probably won’t hear anything from them until I try and contact them.
Really, if I had not noticed that I was missing these pictures, would they have completely ignored and not told me that something went wrong? I am so disappointed with their lack of professionalism in this whole situation.
Post # 11
Believe it or not this sort of thing does happen where one of the photographer had a camera malfunction, had the wrong settings on their camera, dirty lenses (ie markings on the images) and so on. So its a good thing you had a back up though! Like pp said, it’s all about what you agreed on/signed. However, I don’t agree with the professionalism of your lead shooter.
Fiance and I are just starting out Wedding Photography, we brought 20 batteries, about 7 cards totally to 100GB, 3 DSLR camera bodies and doubles of lenses and we still ran into issues. Flashes broke, cameras died, tripods broke, bad exposure, ect. But every down second we had we loaded the pictures onto our lap top just in case anything happened to our cards, which your pro should have also done. So especially if this guy is just starting out it could happen, but if they say “it should be on the hard drive” then I would hold it to them and be consistent. Good Luck and I’m so sorry this happened to you!
Post # 12
@miss.nicole: It seems as though you’re not the only one that agrees that they should have had a back up plan. LBPhotograhy posted that they would not rely on a single card to shoot the whole wedding. This company is somewhat new, about 2-3 years old, but you would think that they’d have enough insight to use multiple cards, or immediately upload their pics, etc. I would prefer having fingerprints on pictures rather than having no pictures at all. I really do hope they are being honest when they say they are trying to recover their hard drive, but considering their lack of communications, I have a hard time trusting anything they say. I truly do pray though, that I am wrong in that they did actually upload them, because that is the only way I will be able to recover my missing photos.
Post # 13
I’m SO aggravated for you! Sorry this is happening to you. LB is right, pros tend to go out of their way to make sure they’re switching cards and backing up throughout the day. You mentioned you couldn’t get ahold of the head of the company . . . is it a big photo company, or just a company with a few photographers, or what?
The biggest sign that you weren’t working with professionals is the fact that you had a one page contract with no clauses like the one a PP mentioned. In this case, it’ll probably work in your favor since the photographer didn’t protect themselves from liability in the event of equipment malfunction. Do you mind sharing how much you paid for the entire package? Just to give us a sense of whether it would be worth it to take them to court. If you really didn’t receive anything from the lead you are absolutely owed most of your money back. At this point they’re giving you the runaround – they either are or aren’t able to recover them (I suspect aren’t) and just can’t bring themselves to tell you because they know they’re not protected. This disgusts me – they knew they’d lost the images almost 3 months ago, probably waited to see if you noticed, and since you did are scrambling to give excuses. Mistakes happen, malfunctions happen, it’s how they’re dealt with that separates the professionals and amateurs. If this had happened and I was your photographer I would have told you immediately what happened if my recovery attempts failed, offered you a full refund, and still delivered the images that were salvaged from the other photographers. It’s a loss for me financially but the loss for you is so much greater.
Stay on them. Get them to be specific with you about recovery. I usually don’t suggest this, but if they’re still ignoring/stalling a week from now, it wouldn’t hurt to light a fire under them by asking for a partial (maybe 75-80%) refund if the images aren’t recovered. Keep us updated!
Post # 14
@BeeM: It is not a big photo company. They probably have about 5 photographers including the owner and his wife. I think one of the photographers that shot my wedding was actually a sub contract. I got his pictures so I’m not mad at that…
I paid a little less than 1500 for my package. I’m not too sure how the percentages are divided up between 1st string and 2nd string photographer so I wouldn’t know what would be fair for demanding a partial refund. But like I said earlier, I didn’t get any of the 1st line photographers photos! I still get angry every time I think about it.
I will call them today to see how their recovery efforts are going. It has been about 3 days since they said they were going to start scanning the hard drive for my pictures. I would assume that it’d be done by now.
I agree that they way they have dealt with the whole situation has been very unprofessional. Unreturned phone calls, emails, calling back days later after they said they’d get back to me, etc. And to top it all off, not telling me anything had gone wrong until I hounded them!