Post # 1
I booked an engagement shoot with a photographer separate from my wedding package since I wanted to be sure and happy with my engagement pics before committing to having the photographer shoot my wedding. When I booked the shoot, the photographer said that the actual shoot was no charge, and I’d only pay for the pictures if I was happy with them. Sounded perfect so we went for it. So I got the pictures back, and I’m kind of disappointed. He gave us 50 pictures on our proofing gallery, but there were only 2 that were close ups, and the rest were taken pretty far away so you can’t really see us very well. The pictures are artistic and nice, but not what I was hoping for engagement pictures. I didn’t talk to him beforehand about the specific shots that I wanted because the assortment on his blog and portfolio seemed good. So I’m stuck with a little bit of a dilema now. I can either purchase the whole set of digital negatives for $350, or get nothing. I asked about ordering prints or getting individual digital negatives instead of the whole set, but he said I could only order prints after purchasing the negatives, and he wouldn’t separate the negatives. He did drive an hour both ways to get out to the site where we took the pictures, and spent about 1.5 hours on the shoot, so I don’t want to snub him. But on the other hand $350 is a lot of money and I don’t think the pictures he took were worth even half that. Moral dilema here, argh! Anyone gone through something like this before? Advise?
Post # 3
I get not wanting to leave him high and dry but I would regret paying $350 for pictures that I don’t like.
If he wanted to salvage some money he could sell you individual negatives or prints. If he’s not willing to do that just walk away with a clear mind. You tried to get a fair deal and provide him at least some business but he’s not willing to budge.
Maybe if you call his bluff he’ll let you get some pics without buying them all, if he doesn’t then nothing is lost.
Post # 4
If it were his words that said that you did not have to pay unless you liked the pictures, then don’t pay if you don’t like them. Like thursdayschild said above, maybe you should try to work something out, call his bluff. If he refuses to take the money you offered for the few pictures you actually liked, then you can walk away knowing you did what you could and not feel bad about it.
Post # 5
Agreed, if you don’t like them, you don’t like them. Perhaps if you explained to him WHY you didn’t like them (no closeups, etc.) you could have them retaken? Then perhaps he’ll charge you a bit more (not much) for BOTH sets…or the same $350 for a new shoot with pictures you picked out. If he’s unreasonable about splitting them up after you say no, or refuses to do another shoot or gives you trouble, then I would walk away with a clear mind and find someone else.
Post # 6
I would be good to let him know why you don’t like the pictures, some sort of feedback usually helps. Who knows, he might offer you a better deal under the circumstances.
Post # 7
Thanks for all the suggestions/feedback on the situation! I told him I was disappointed and hoping for a few more close ups, and asked if there were any more that he didn’t post since he took a ton of pictures, but all I got was “sorry, that’s all I have”. Bummer 🙁
Post # 8
Engagement sessions can be a great way to get to know the style and personality of your photographer. They are also a great opportunity to give them feedback if there is something you don’t like. If the photographs he delivered to you seem a lot different from the examples you’ve seen on his blog, then a re-shoot may be in order. I think though that $350 is very very reasonable for an engagement shoot, and the number of photos he delivered is normal. I wouldn’t begrudge him too much for wanting to collect on the $350 if you knew what his terms were for purchasing the photos. In addition to his drive, time at the shoot, he also put in some time in his post processing. He hasn’t technically charged you for anything. If you’re not feeling confident with him, or he doesn’t seem really concerned in working something out with you I would consider that maybe you don’t have the right fit and try another photographer. Just keep in mind that most photographers are going to charge you up front for any session they do for you if no wedding contract is signed. Did you suggest a re-shoot?