(Closed) Important Wedding Photos Missing

posted 9 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 47
739 posts
Busy bee

Hi all I just wanted to add my $0.02 in here from a pro. I also want to say I’m not defending anyone as I think this was handled bad on both parts.

First being in business as long as I have I’ve had to deal with unrealistic expectations from time to time, a couple of examples that come to mind is a couple LOVED their photos except we only got two {YES 2!} portraits of the couple. What happened was both the bride and groom had no regard for their timeline they bride didn’t even put her dress on until 45 min AFTER the ceremony was supposed to start. We tried to pull them from the reception for some quick shots but they declined, now they are upset at us for not getting the photos they wanted…. Another is being hired because they LOVE my style but complained when they get the photos back that they are not traditional enough {too far away, not looking at the camera} ummm.. did you look at my website and full weddings before you hired me?  I usually shoot wide and incorporate a lot of environment and even our portraits are set up in a way to resemble moments vs. stand here and smile at the camera. Dealing with unrealistic expectations is the MOST STRESSFUL part of my job. I have too felt the need to defend myself in public forums when I and my studio were un-rightfully attacked due to unrealistic expectations.

On the other hand we’ve had images that were not our best work but we know are important to the couple we have released them to the couple AFTER they have signed a release contract stating they will not post this ANYWHERE on the web or associate us with it. Just so they have it and it is important to them. I’ve included crappy guest photos in their very expensive album as well, why? Because it’s their wedding album not my portfolio. You can clearly see the photo was not one of ours, and the moment or the people are important to the couple and they wanted to include it in their album.  As a bride I understand my ART/reputation is not as important as the people in the photo, but I felt this way before I started planning my own wedding. My reputation is based on not only the photos I am creating but the experience I give my clients. Both are responsible for our referral network which counts for 90% of our bookings.

Bride fail: You should have played nice, you probably would have gotten what you wanted. I understand you needed a forum to vent and you didn’t mention the photos name which is good. But you also didn’t go about this the right way trying to strong arm the photog to get what you want. I never bend over backwards for those who are rude or threaten me. Also, you got one heck of deal from your photog. 10.5 hours, disk and an album for $1000! Was she just starting out at this time, maybe they didn’t turn out because you didn’t hire someone with more experience assuring most of the photos taken would turn out? Did you hire someone that has these shots in their portfolio or were these photos discussed as important before the wedding?  Or was as is unrealistic expectations on your part?

Photog fail: Was one/a few not-so-great photos really going to ruin your reputation and dealing with this mess? Happy clients vs your reputation as an “artist” is often debated in the photography world. I am one of those that leans with happy clients. That said, in your situation to where this has escalated I would stick to your contract and not honor the eng session or the extra album on principle that the damage was already done. Had they played nice I most definitely would have honored that. If they are taking you to court it’s better you stick to the contract, that’s what they are there for. Having your friend post a link to your site on this forum was weird and a bit sketchy. It made you seem sneaky and untrustworthy when you did finally post something.

Wow, sorry this was so long… I just used my entire lunch brake to write it. Oh well back to editing for me 🙂

Post # 48
1000 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

@XPphoto, as a photographer myself, I understand exactly why you didn’t want to release the image, and that it was well within your rights not to do so. HOWEVER, you have to consider above all a happy client versus unhappy one. Now, I’m not saying you should be the brides b**** but if you have a happy client, is it worth them to have them quickly become THIS UNHAPPY over one image, that I’m sorry, is NOT going to ruin your company reputation?

Case in point I had a portrait session recently and I do not give DVDs with my portrait sessions. The customer who bought the gift certificate for the client was under the severe misconception that she WOULD receive the DVD. I explained to her that was only for weddings and she said she understood, but she was so upset she literally cried on the phone. Ya know what I did? I gave her the dang DVD. To me, the decision was easy, I can make an extra $100 on prints or I can have a REALLY happy client versus an unhappy one. I’ll take the happy client any day. If your business is thriving and you don’t need the referrals, well that’s great, but judging by everything you’ve said, the arrogance that is coming with the success will be your downfall.

I also think its completely unethical for you to promise her a second album in exchange for the engagement session verbally and then not honor it later because you are mad she is upset she didn’t receive an image that was really important to her. First, that’s just plain immature. Second, we should all honor our words in business and in life, and the world would be a lot better place.

I know you think you are safe in Canada, but there are Canadian brides on these boards and the internet is universal. All there is to say is you have made your choices here. By the way, legally, writing a review that is a true story is not considered libel, even if individuals on other boards did happen to know who you were.

Post # 49
1154 posts
Bumble bee

XPhotos – if I saw this thread I would stay far far away from any photographer that behaved this way.  I think its insane and cruel to keep this one picture that is very much desired by the client.  I’m 100% convinced that the damage to your reputation will be considerably more because of this mess which IMO is only right. 

Post # 50
3041 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I agree with PizzutiStudios & LBPhotography. I won’t repeat it cause its already been said, however I will say:

To clients still working with your vendors: Be NICE to your vendors, never threaten (especially legal action), don’t talk badly about them to your friends/family & especially don’t post things on Facebook/etc. for the world to see. Vent on the boards (if you keep it annonomous). Don’t be rude or yell or be mean at all. A vendor doesn’t HAVE to do things your way, but most will work with you if you’re nice to them. Also, always get changes added into your contract!

To vendors: Above all, you want a happy client. Work with their concerns so it doesn’t escalate into, well, something like this. Yes, you do have your reputation, but a happy client won’t destroy your reputation. Bending the rules a little to help out a client will likely make them come back to you in the future & highly recommend you to others. Also, if you’re not going to give your client something, don’t show them what they’re not getting, that will just make them want it even more.

Post # 51
6 posts
  • Wedding: January 2000

Your candid comments (constructive criticism), especially those from photographers are very much appreciated.

It has forced me to look at the situation through the eyes of many and is definitely a learning experience.

I received a voicemail from the bride to which I responded to – when things calm down I will make a good will gesture and offer her as per my previous compromise a print of the image in question for her album.

Thank you again and I wish those off you getting married – a beautiful wedding day, to the photographers – many blessings and success for your business and everyone else a beautiful day!




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