- 5 years ago
- Wedding: August 2011
Hey Bees, I am hoping for some opinions as to what to do about a situation I’m having with our wedding album. Its kind of a complicated story, but I’m going to try to do my best to summarize quickly so as not to waste too much of your time.
– We ordered a flush mount wedding album (where the pictures are part of the page, as compared to the older style albums where you put a separate image into the page or a frame on the page) from our photographer. Our photography package included a $2500 credit towards the album, but we ended up having to pony up another $500 to include all of the pictures we wanted in it (so in total we spent $3000 for our album).
– We met with his wife/business partner to arrange the album and spent 4 hours setting everything up just how we wanted it (making sure everything was symmetric and things weren’t cut off from pictures). The photographer’s wife said they would submit it for ordering after he fixed a couple minor things in the layout (his wife isn’t as skilled at the photo program and so pictures were in their right place but not necessarily lined up equally across the page) but that made us really uncomfortable to not get to see it after changes were made so we worked out a deal for them to set up online proofing where we could okay pages or ask for changes. After a couple small revisions the online proof looked perfect and so they sent it off to be made.
– We were finally able to pick up the album about a month ago (the photographer is in my hometown and we live 12 hours away now) and at first glance, while sitting with the photographer, I didn’t notice anything wrong. However, as I went through the album again with my husband’s parents and then with my parents I began to notice some issues. It looks like on most (but not all) pages about 1/2″ has been cut off the sides and 1/4″ off the top and bottom of the page. This caused several of the pages to be noticeably unsymmetric, we lost details on the sides of several pictures and there are even a couple pictures where the top of my hair is cut off (as if the picture starts just above my eyebrows).
– I emailed the photographer about the issues to see what could be done to fix them. I specifically worded the email to be as non blaming towards him as possible and suggested that it must be the fault of the printer since the online proofs had been perfect. I got an angry email back explaining the album printing process and talking to me like I was either stupid or a child (I checked with a couple people to make sure it wasn’t just me reading into it and adding my emotion). Now, I’m not a photography expert (that’s why I hired him!!!) but I do understand a little bit about printing and bleed areas. At the very least I feel like he should have explained to us where the bleed areas would be so that I could make a judgement about what pictures were placed within that area or he should have, himself, allowed extra blank space at the side of the page for the bleed. That way we migh still have issues with it being symmetric but at least important parts of pictures wouldn’t be cut off!
– So at that point my vacation time was up and had to drive back home so my mom volunteered to deal with the photographer and get everything resolved. I emailed the photographer back and (nicely) let him know that my mom would be contacting him to meet up because I wouldn’t be in town and I got another angry email back stating that I had recieved the same quality of product that they provide to all of their customers and there was basically nothing they were willing to do about my concerns.
– So over the last month my mom has met and corresponded with them a couple times about the album. They were intitally really amicable towards her but then started not promptly returning phone calls. She offered to buy the current album from them for $500 if they would reprint the album correctly for me (so at least it wouldn’t be a total loss to them) and they refused. Basically their only recourse on this has been that I can tell them exactly which pages I don’t like an then those ones can be changed out. Initially I thought they would be paying to fix those things and I was happy with that offer, but then (pretty much out of the blue) I received an email two days ago detailing all the information from the printer about how we can pay at cost (which is $92/page, front=1page) to have it done.
– Now, I must admit that overall the album looks pretty good, appears to be good quality and a couple of my friends have told me that the pictures from our wedding are really good (although they didn’t help us with posing whatsoever and failed to take many detail pictures of the reception like I’d asked). I just feel like for $3000 we should be getting something that is pretty near perfect – the album will honestly be the single most expensive thing we own other than our cars! We chose to go with a Knot Best of Weddings photographer specifically to avoid stuff like this, so I’ve really just been blown away by how we’ve been treated throughout this process.
– My mom says at this point we should just keep the album and reprint ourselves (we bought the rights to all the pictures) using something like Blurb and then report the photographer to the Better Business Bureau. I feel like that may be a bit extreme and I guess what I’m wondering is if any other Bees have had an issue like this and what you did to resolve it or what you think I should do? Should I contact the BBB? Is there another approach I can take to get them to fix the album? Or am I making too big of a deal about it and should just be happy with what I got?