Post # 1
I heard it over and over again — “Don’t hire a friend as a vendor”. But I didn’t listen. I thought my situation was different.
Our photographer gave us his friends and family discount, which was only $1500 for him and an assistant, he shot the entire day and night, included a photobooth, and he is giving me all the rights to EVERY photo.
He used to be a friend of mine in college — was even my roommate for a time — and we don’t live in the same area but he travelled 4 hours to do my wedding.
Well. Our wedding was September 17th. He uploaded the pics to his website and we can download them from there. But literally it takes forever to download them and you have to do it one by one, and they’re not high resolution photos, either. PLUS, they are not edited yet on there – they’re meant to be a preview. He said he’d send me a disc of the photos including the edits by the end of November.
In December, I asked him when I’ll get a disc, becase I wanted to do some photos for Christmas presents for people in my family. He said in a couple weeks.
I’ve emailed him every 2 weeks since then — he has excuses that he’s had the busiest winter of his life, etc. I’m so frustrated! I feel like because I’m a friend I’m not a “customer”.
What do I do?????
Post # 3
@Wannabe-diy-bride: Did you get a contract?
Post # 4
@USER876: No, we didn’t sign a contract. 🙁 Dumbie.
Post # 5
@Wannabe-diy-bride: Do you have a contract with him? Does he have a timeline for delivering the DVD?
I’d start treating him like a vendor rather than a friend and hold him to his contract deadline. You DID pay him so he needs to provide what you paid for.
Post # 6
Oh, wow, that totally stinks! Do you have any sort of written contract?
I would compose an email, and be perfectly honest. Something like, “I realize that this winter has been incredibly busy for you, but I am starting to feel like you are not prioritizing my pictures b/c we are friends and I’m not just a regular customer. However, I still paid you $1500, and I am waiting for my pictures. My wedding was now over 4 months ago, and I feel like you have been constantly giving excuses. I do understand if you are very busy, but as your friend, I am starting to become upset because it seems to me that you have accepted more work than you could handle, and I wish that you had been more upfront with me on how long the pictures would take before I agreed to have you as my photographer. You keep saying how busy you are, but could you then give me an actual date by which you will have done (x, y, z)? You already said November, so I am really confused why that date has come and gone and I still don’t have my pictures”
Then, if that date comes and goes, or he refuses to give a date, if you have a contract then I would send another email saying your patience is running thin, and you will give him one more chance or deadline to get your pictures to you, otherwise, you REALLY don’t want to have to do this and hope you are able to work out another compromise, but you will be taking legal action against him. Or maybe, if you feel you’ve already been through the steps in the previous paragraph, you could just start with this one.
And if you don’t have a contract? Hmmm… I have no idea. I’m sure someone else will chime in.
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2012 - Historic Lougheed House
We booked a friend photographer too, but we sure as hell signed a contract, and paid her normal price.
Sorry you’re going thru this. I would keep following up with emails, and then maybe registered mail if he still doesn’t respond.
Post # 8
@eagle: I agree with this. I’m sorry you’re going through this. Hopefully, he’ll get in touch with you soon.
Post # 9
that’s so rough… i would try and be as upfront and curteious as possible. Sometimes people will string you along if they think they can get away with it, but it catches them off guard when people address it directly..
Post # 10
So sorry you are going through this! It’s such a shame there is no contract, so I am not exactly sure what (if anything) you can do but just be patient.
I do agree with you though – we booked a family friend as our photographer and she totally flaked out on us leaving us without a photog 5 months before the wedding. I will never do business with a friend again.
Post # 11
Although no contract, he did send me an email outlining what his package includes, in which he said the turnaround time for the “250 custom edits” would be 2 months.
It’s 4 1/2 now.
My last email to him was 2 weeks ago where he said “Sorry I’ve been so busy. I’ll have these done for you by next week.”
I sent him a one-more-chance email….I just said “I’m so excited to see the edits you’ve done!” Crossing my fingers that he says “I put the disc in the mail today!”
If he is vague about a time frame again I’m going to definitely be more direct. I like some of the suggestions you all had with how to word it and everything — thank you!
Post # 13
Is it possible for you or someone else you know to show up at his door with discs to burn them yourselves? LOL!
I like Joy’s email too 🙂
Post # 14
Even though you don’t have a contract, you can still sue them. In civil (small claims) court, it is based on preponderance of evidence, which means something is “more likely than not.” If you can prove payment for a service and have not received anything, you have a case. The bad news is that no one can make them give you the images, but they can make them give you your money back for non performance.
Post # 15
This is a terrible situation, I know, but like USER876 said, you cannot sue for the photos, so the best thing to do is work it out with the photographer.
The best thing to do would be to set up a meeting, but I know you don’t live nearby, so that might not be convenient. You could try calling, or you could ask if you could set up a video call on Skype or something – since it is hardest to come up with excuses in person, hard if you can see the person, and relatively easy if it is an email, the more personal you can make the communication, the better.
The main thing to take away from this kind of interaction, I believe, is not that you shouldn’t hire friends, it is that you should ALWAYS have a contract, even if you really trust the person, and you should hire a friend if you truly like their work, not because they give you a discount or just because you are friends.
Post # 16
i know it sux but at least i didn’t open this thread and read about how horrible your images are, right? to me that is a plus. i think you WILL get them at some point and you just have to get pushier and pushier, but also stay friendly. I wouldn;t want to do anything that would piss off my friend and then say he has not done the edits and then he stops caring because he is pissed you threatened to sue him and doesn’t put his best effort into the editing. It sounds like he is procrastinating and giving him the benefit of the doubt, maybe it is because he wants to put good time into editing them and just keeps putting it off. I would email him and say you are sooo anxious and excited to get your pics, and mention while it was disappointing you missed out on christmas gifts, you understand and want him to do the best he can with them. And i would even go as far as asking if there is anything you can do to help.