(Closed) I think I hate my photographer's work (long, long story)

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
6574 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Well first of all, getting those calls from the photographers about needing a commitment before the expo is totally normal. I live in a destination area, and we have a big wedding expo here every year that pretty much everyone planning to have a Destination Wedding here travels to attend. It’s a big booking weekend for us vendors. Every bride that contacted me within the couple of weeks leading up to the expo go the same response, “I’m open for your date, but with a signed contract and retainer I can’t hold it”. I made it very clear that I was in NO way trying to pressure them into booking, just wanting to be upfront and let them know that while I was open when they inquired I could not promise that I’d be open after the expo.

That being said, if you really hate this photographers work you need to just lose the $500 deposit and find someone else. If they have poor work on their website, you pretty much have a snowballs chance in hell of getting good results from an engagement session as a practice. 


Post # 4
3692 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

+1 to the first reply.  As business people, they’d have to be stupid to hold a date for you when they have someone else willing to put down a deposit and sign a contract for the same day.  If you truly hate the photographer’s work, you’re going to have to give up on the deposit you paid and find someone else.  

Post # 5
621 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@phishy179:  lose the deposit and find someone new and do it very soon. You have an incredibly popular wedding date – my Octobers book up more than a year in advance every year. 

Post # 6
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013


Then I got a call from one of my photographers saying that if I couldn’t commit to the day then they would have to keep the date open. Fine, I figured I didn’t want to work with someone that worked that way anyways.”

I’m pretty sure it’s normal practice that dates are not held without a signed contract and deposit…

Post # 7
7561 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

Can we see the photographer’s work? It might actually be a good thing that she didn’t include those photos in the books you saw during your meeting – that means she knows it’s not her best work. Do you think you saw more updated photos? 

Post # 8
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I’m sorry to agree with everyone else, but if the work you saw is not the quality/style you want to receive for your wedding, she’s not going to do any better for you.  I can definitely relate to you as far as worrying about picking the right photographer…. I am having doubts about mine, and I don’t want to lose any money but I would say your photos are worth more than worrying about a few hundred dollars (I know it seems like a lot now… but will it in a few years when you don’t have great pro photos to look back on?  That’s what I’m asking myself). 

What I would do is look around for a few other photographers and see if you can find one you like a lot better in your price range that is available for your date.  If you can, I’d say to switch.  I would make sure you meet with/talk to them first and ask to see a full wedding, just to make sure you don’t get into the same situation again where the work in the portfolio is unfortunately just not representative of the full album you will get.

Post # 9
8604 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Agree with all the other posters. Also I highly highly doubt she uses film. It’s probably just an effect she uses when she edits the photos. Perhaps you could specify to her that you don’t like the fuzzy/soft look and see if she can offer you examples of her work that are more to your liking?

I would highly recommend doing an engagement shoot too. It really helps you to feel a little more comfortable in front of the camera, get to know the photographer, and see what angles/poses you like and what you don’t like.

Post # 10
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Photography is so important.  Everything else lasts for one day, at the end all you will have to remember is the photographs, and presumably you want to display them, show your children, etc etc?  Don’t settle for second best because of money, you will regret it if you do.
I agree with everyone who says pull out of your contract with her.  I know is hurts to lose the money……maybe you can get it (part of it?) back.  When you find a new one, tell them your new restricted budget and see if they can work with you.  I wouldn’t lay on a sob story but just by honestly telling them what happened, and that you would prefer their quality work, they may be able to give you a discount.  Talk to other brides you know or people who are already married.  Who did they use?  Can they offer referal discounts?
Also try talking to your Fiance about how important the photos will be for you.  He’ll need to accept having his picture taken before the wedding anyway so better to deal with it sooner rather than later.
Anyway, all the best and good luck!  I’m certain things will work out in the end!!! 

Post # 11
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t have contacted you to find out if you were firm on a date. You snooze, you lose is pretty much a universal policy amongst in demand photographers. In the grand scheme of life, $500.00 is not a lot of money. Cut your losses. Move on. 

Post # 12
7 posts
  • Wedding: September 2010

Can you use the deposit money to do an engagement shoot? And decide what to do next? you are risking losing all of your wedding memories, I think that’s not worth it!  whatever you do, try your best to find someone whose work sits right in your heart, then show a compilation of wedding photographs you like and show it to the photographer so she gets the feel that you are after, then fully trust her to do the best job for you:)

Post # 13
814 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I wouldn’t hold a date for someone who hadn’t booked and given me money.. no pro would. That’s terrible for business.

If your photographer is a pro they wont use film. In fact, the only ones who do these days are those who are specialty photographers whose whole selling point is the film thing. It’s almost unheard of especially in wedding photography. It’s incredibly expensive to shoot in film too, so unless you’re paying $10,000+ (judging by the low deposit, I expect not), they’re not using film.

Ok now down to the issue, if you don’t like her style, don’t use her. Sure you’ll lose your deposit, but do you really want to pay more money for photos you don’t like?

Post # 15
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@phishy179:  I’m going to toss in my opinion as a pro photographer… Yes, you can definitely compile a few photos to show her without it being offensive (it’s all in how you put it).  Just say you’ve been browsing inspiration sites and like some of these… If there are any of HER photos that you really like, and I would hope there’s a least a few, I would show her those too. 

However, I wouldn’t expect much of a helpful response 🙁 I doubt she is going to come right out and say “No, I won’t/can’t do this” regardless of whether or not that is true.  If you are talking about purely artistic elements, she does things in a particular way and while she may try to honor your style requests, it most likely won’t come naturally to her.  Being a photographer is being an artist… an artist doesn’t just change their style, it’s instinctive.

I would be very curious if you could post a few of her pics or share her website?  I know you probably don’t want any of this to get back to her but it’s difficult to judge and be helpful without seeing what we’re talking about.  I could possibly advise you as to skill/style from the perspective of someone who knows what to look for.  You could share a picture of the dress/detail photos in a style you like, and then one of this photographer’s.  However I understand if you don’t feel comfortable doing this.

Again I can only echo the thoughts already shared here… I can tell how much you are struggling with this decision and I totally feel for you!  If you’re anything like me, you might lay awake at night stressing over the right decision (I certainly do this more than I should).  I think you will be much happier/less stressed in the long run if you are able to say “It was only money I lost, and I got outstanding photos” versus “I stuck with a decision I knew in my gut was the wrong one and I will regret these photos forever.”


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