(Closed) HELP – Need advice!! Photographer won’t give us all of the photos!

posted 7 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
7693 posts
Bumble Beekeeper


I don’t understand?  So it sounds like she gave you only good to mediocre photos? And kept some of the best of them for the wedding blog sites?  Is that what you are saying?

Post # 4
3166 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

shit. i’m so sorry. so in your contract do you or do you not have digital rights to the photos? look over it and see if there’s anything you can use, ideally you would have gotten these terms worked out beforehand. i would ask her again for them (in person or on the phone, maybe?) and tell her you don’t need them edited, but these are simply the moments from your day that you paid her to capture FOR YOU, not for her own personal stash to never be seen again. i mean, you said she initially didn’t give you any pictures from your reception, but i’m guessing you paid her for the hours she spent there so she damned well better be giving you your pictures from that time. i would just stress that you don’t need any edits and you’re fine with them as is, but you need to have them. hell, invent a guilt trip if you have to – maybe dear aunt joan just passed away and everyone’s begging to see if you have any pictures of her from the wedding and you haven’t seen her in any of the shots she posted and *sniff sniff* if there’s even a chance she’s in them…

good luck!

Post # 7
2584 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@creativeplannertobee: You know how a lot of wedding blogs post mainly detail shots, like the decorations, cake, dress, etc? And not as much of the “special moments” shots that are emotional for the people in the wedding. The blogs are more about the items used. I think that’s what OP means- the edited shots were edited because they were the ones a wedding blog would use, so the photog spent her time editing those instead of the memories of the wedding for the couple. OP, am I correct?

I would ask again in person. Read and reread your contract. Make someone else that you know read your contract, see if you can find anything that might help. I hate hearing horror photography stories and it sounds like you really did your research first too. I really would just keep asking, explaining, etc until she gives in or blows up on you. She wouldn’t really want you spreading the word out that she’s a bad photog to work with? And the wedding blog her work was featured on… obviously this is the absolute last resort, but are you able to leave a comment on that blog posting, or email the wedding blog and explain the situation? You don’t actually have to do either of those, but if you potentially have the power to, that could make the photog give in.

Let us know how things work out!

Post # 9
121 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

What does your contract say? How many photos do you get? When do you get them? will you get all or most of the photos from the entire day on a CD? In a proof album? Will she charge additional to special edit more photos?

I would talk to her and complain. Sometimes being a bitch gets things done.

Post # 10
121 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Okay, just read through this again. You paid big money for those photos. She has them.

If she gets published, go to those blogs and complain about her customer service. Yelp about her horrible customer service. Put negative reviews everywhere she’s listed. Send a letter to the LA TIMES. Contact the news. I know the last two are drastic, but you never know… something could come from it. You don’t know unless you try, right?

I used to work in customer service. It’s good to have happy customers. The people who are unhappy and passive about it don’t get what they want. The people who throw the biggest bitch fest get their way. Complain until you get those photos.

Post # 11
1340 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I know with some pro’s they won’t give you everything because it’s not what they consider their best quality and it makes sense. They don’t want anything less than quality pictures floating around the web and other places when their names are attached. As a personal assistant, I wouldn’t send emails on behalf of my clients poorly written without proofing so I think it’s fair that they wouldn’t give you the pictures without the edits. 

Your best recourse might be to schedule a one-on-one with the photographer and see if you can come to some sort of arrangement. They may be able to show you the duds or they may be able to provide you with the extra pictures, at a price of course, because it is their time and they did technically fulfill their contract. 

Post # 12
5296 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1993

Could you ask if she could at least post everything in an online gallery and if there are more of those that you like, if she could give you those. That way she isn’t giving you all the photos, but you can at least look and verify that yes, the rest are so-so or hey, there’s another 10 you’d like to have.

Good luck. I know it sucks to spend a lot on what you believe to be a high-quality photog and then be disappointed with the results 🙁

Post # 13
3241 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@firefly2011: Maybe see if the photographer is willing to set up some time to meet with you in person and allow you to view the rest of the photos from your wedding day. With the idea that you could select just the images you would like, this way it still allows the photographer to keep photos they may not want circulating (like ones with eyes closed, unflattering expressions, fuzzy….etc).

Post # 14
814 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

You would probably have to pay some more to get some face time and look at the remaining shots. As a pro, I would NEVER give a client all the photos. If she fulfilled her contract, I guess the most you can hope for is she might let you flip through the others and then you’ll have to pay more for extra editing etc.

I’m sorry you didn’t feel completely satisfied. It must be very frustrating 🙁

Post # 15
204 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I really do not understand photographers witholding any shots at all. Those shots were taken on your time, on your dime. Those are shots they never would have had the oppurtunity to capture and submit to blogs or for awards if you had not hired them. You paid for those shots, they are yours. I get the feeling it’s going to be difficult for me to find a photographer if they are all this ridiculously tight fisted with the shots they take.

Post # 16
394 posts
Helper bee

Its not that photographers are withholding images. ALL photographers cull through the images shot for the day and eliminate the bad shots from what you receive. Bad= closed eyes, bad lighting/exposures, awkward expressions, etc.. Photographers also edit for redundancy…. do you really need 35 shots of one singular moment? No, you would never use them for anything. That is why a photographer will cull those down to the best images for each particular moment/event through out the day.

I think some people are being a bit aggressive and hasty telling the OP to slander the photographer over a few unseen images. Images that are most likely horrible or redundant of images that have already been given. My understanding is that the OP received everything she was supposed to receive via her contract, but is generally displeased with some shots and also is under the assumption that her photographer is just not giving her some images for some odd reason (note- you will never ever find a pro photog that will give any client -consumer or commercial- every single image taken. This just does not happen anywhere for anyone. If your photographer says they do, they are lying to you).

I think the sane thing to do would be to narrow it down to some specific images you feel you are missing or would like better versions of if available. Then approach your photographer with these examples, and let them know that you are not entirely happy with the images you got of these moments and are wondering if perhaps there are additional versions or angles of the same moment. (moments like your first dance, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc.). Be willing to work with their policies if they are willing to work with you. Depending on the photographer, it may or may not cost you depending what all they entail in getting you these images. 

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