(Closed) Important Wedding Photos Missing

posted 10 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
529 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Ugh, that sucks.  You must be so frustrated – I know I would be!

Do you have a contract with the photographer?  I’d look through your contract and see exactly what it says.  Do they specify that you will get all the pictures, or only a certain number, or only ones they deem good enough?  Depending on what your contract says, there may not be anything you can do about it.  Some photographers just operate this way and will only give you the pictures they edit and consider good, while others might give you all the pictures they’ve taken, regardless of quality.

So sorry you’re dealing with this!

Post # 4
3761 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I agree I would go back to the contract and see what that says. 

If the contract doesn’t say anything about it then maybe you can ask the photographer to print you copies but not give you rights to these.  I would assume they are scared that if they give you the digital pictures and copy rights to these pictures then if you really wanted to you could post all over the internet how bad of photographers they are.  Maybe if they print you copies of these pictures and don’t give you the rights to them then maybe they would be willing?

In the mean time, I would be very careful about what you say and how you come across to them.  They are trying to protect themselves from a customer ruining their company with these bad pictures.  There is no way they are going to give these to you if you are already upset/disgruntled.  If you remain calm and discuss it with them then you might have a better chance. 

Post # 5
2865 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I could see how they’d omit them intially but it seems like if you ask for them they should give them to you or at the very least let you see them.

Some people just consistantly do not photograph well so what they would omit because it is a “bad picture” could be very typical for a particular individual (my brother 95% of time has a weird smile and my aunt ALWAYS blinks but we would never have any pics of them if we didn’t include some bad ones).

Post # 6
3041 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

As a photographer, I know, it happens. There’s been times where I take a shot, look at it on my screen (camera’s only have a few inches to preview the pics) & it looks good. When its on my computer, there’s been times when someone blinks or the camera’s focus changed, or something happens that you just can’t see in a few inch preview & it just looks bad when its bigger. So I’m sure your photographer would love to give you the pic, but it just didn’t turn out. Its super hard to get every single pic exactly perfect, 

You can try asking her for a print of that photo without rights & that you won’t pass it around. Some photographers won’t do that because nowadays you can just scan a photo & make it digital. Personally, if there was a photo that wasn’t too great & the bride asked for it, I’d do it… but if it was really bad than I probably wouldn’t. Yea, I would feel bad that the bride didn’t get that particular photo but if photography is my life, I don’t want my work to be reflected badly. However, I’m sure she doesn’t want you to be unhappy with her over that, either.

Most photographers don’t give you all the pictures they took, especially group shots, they usually take quite a few & then only give you the good ones out of those. I hope you get your missing pics or work something out with her!!

EDIT: Also, I agree with caszos, be nice to her & not rude. If someone’s really rude to me they usually don’t get far because if they’re this unhappy already, nothing will probably please them. Plus I don’t like when rude people get their way, it just shows them rudeness works. NOT saying you’re doing this!! However, if someone’s nice & calm, I usually go out of my way to make them happy. Cause if you show that your nice, I like niceness & I’ll also beleive you. I’m an office manager & I work with A LOT of customers, & the rude customers I don’t tend to bend the rules at all. Also, saying that you’re very upset & won’t recommend them to anyone (again NOT saying you’ll do this, but I’ve heard this so many times at work) & how they’ll badmouth us, etc… well, we won’t work with you again. We don’t respond to threats like that & there’s no way you’re getting your way now.

Post # 7
122 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Oh no! I never even thought about this. I may have to ask our photographer what her policy is. I don’t care if someone is blinking if it is a moment i want to have documented. I hope you are going to be able to get at least a copy of them :/

Post # 8
2680 posts
Sugar bee

The same thing happened to me.  I noticed that the picture of both of families together wasnt there so I emailed to ask and got the same response.  Problem is, it was hard for me to say anything because I knew them from work as well.  And there were little kids that were cranky, I didnt care if they were looking at the camera or not!

My SIL got the benefit of it when she booked them and made sure to tell them she liked pictures where people werent all looking, etc so while I paid more money and got 450 pictures, she paid less and got almost double the amount.  One of the best pics from my BIL’s wedding was one where there were 4 of them and no one was looking at the camera, 2 were laughing hysterically).  A normal photographer probably wouldve thrown it out!

Can you try talking to them and telling them you will sign a release that you will not put them on a website or submit them to a magazine? I totally get both sides of the story but maybe if you guarantee you wont be submitting the un-chosen pics to be featured anywhere they will ease up?

Post # 11
271 posts
Helper bee

That’s awful! I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Any chance you want to let the rest of the hive know so they can avoid her? 


Fight for your rights, it sounds like she’s messed something up in the image and doesn’t want to admit to it, tell her you don’t care about whether or not it’s technically perfect and just want the image. I’d go so far as to ask for the raw file then see if you can get a friend who knows photoshop to work with it for you.

Post # 12
1325 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Wow, that company is insane!  If you’ve done EVERYTHING, and gone the nice way about it, then played hardball, you have EVERY RIGHT to give bad reviews on all the sites!

You’d think they would take into consideration how simply EASY it would be to just hand the photo over, rather than get their company name and reputation blasted to pieces on the internet.  I’d rather have one bad photo out than a nasty review written, anyday!

Post # 13
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

This is an odd situation..

Was this a budget photographer? Usually if someone has their eyes closed we can edit a photo where the person has their eyes open and impose it onto that image (which is why I take multiple images while doing portraits).

  I would call them back and calmly tell them you would like all the photos or you will be leaving negative feedback and see what that will do to their reputation (you may want to leave that last part out 🙂 If you compiled a “must have” list and the photographer missed the shot.. you may have a case and be able to take them to court.

  For weddings, I give my couples ALL the digital negatives with the exclusion of the bad ones (eyes closed, someone look beyond terrible, etc..)- but for important pictures I always take 4-8 photos.

Post # 14
3041 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

How awful :(. What does your wedding contract say? I understand not wanting to give out bad pics, but backgrounds can be blurred out & eyes can be transferred from one pic to another. You don’t have any pics of your bridal party? I think you should definately take her to court & she should help recoperate your losses for having to reshoot everything.

What did your lawyer say?

Can you please let us know who she is, so it warns other brides who are thinking of hiring her?

EDIT: I’d go with the poster above mine’s advice & calmly ask for that photo, saying your sister didn’t get the bridal party print with the others. If she still refuses to give you the pics, I’d take her to court. Did you get your other redone pics back? How did they turn out? If you haven’t gotten them back yet, wait til you to do before you bring up the bridal party print/ threaten anything.

Post # 15
1000 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

View original reply
@maureen9004: Sorry, but a “must have” list doesn’t really give her a case because most likely this photog has it in her contract that she is not responsible for missed shots. I honestly believe, short of a miraculous loophole in the photogs contract, she won’t get anything from a lawsuit but more bills, headaches and built up hate. However, it doesn’t hurt to threaten.

What do I think happened? I don’t think there was just a “car” in the background or something stupid. I think the shot is completely and irrevocably effed up or else with all the begging an pleading for that ONE shot, she’d have given it to you by now. Here is how I would approach the situation. I do not recommend this type of approach in general, but in your case it is clearly a last resort.

“Dear Stubborn Photog,

Since you seem so insistent upon not releasing this ONE image I have repeatedly begged and pleaded for, I have to assume the photo is completely and irrevocably messed up. If you just send me the RAW file (I only say RAW because in this case you want to be sure it IS what the original looks like) I will accept the fact that there is nothing that can be done to make a photo appear where there is none to be had. I can accept my losses and move on.

However, if you don’t show me the photo at all, I will be forced to keep considering and fighting for an image that I still have to assume exists and is not completely messed up. This fighting will be done in court, where my laywers will be looking for holes in your contract regarding missed shots.”

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