(Closed) Is this a case of you get what you pay for?

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
2588 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

I’d say bad business. Maybe you could talk to her about your concerns?

Post # 4
687 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Sounds like bad business.  If her prices were lower strictly because she is a newer photographer in the area trying to attract a customer base then I don’t think it’s a case of “you get what you pay for” because she should be trying to earn herself a good reputation and out-performing her price (so to speak). 

I had a similar problem with editing expectation with a previous photographer (long story) but I think it would be worth a try to talk to her about editing additional photos in ways that you request… she might say no because you’ve paid in full but if that’s the case then you have all the rights in the world to write bad reviews… and she should realize that too.

Post # 5
485 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

try getting her on the know, It is a busy time of year for most people.  End of summer/ getting kids off to school.  Not to justify her not calling back but to ease your nerves a little.  Im the same way with the e-mail, but try and get her on the phone and just express your concerns.  Give her a chance to respond before assuming shes written you off completey.  If it continues then sink your teeth in and make some waves.  (though im never really good at the first part of that!) Best of luck, I can only imagine how you feel.  Ive learned from experience… everything else can be a discounted price, my photos are the one thing i will pay an arm and a leg for… Im currently trying to explain that the $8000 price tag for my photographer isnt exactly excessive…

Post # 6
459 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I totally agree that she might legit be busy and that’s why she hasn’t responded yet – but I probably would give her like a few days and then email follow up.  I would like to think that she would listen/read your concerns, take them into account, burn the rest of your pics, and then perhaps re-select/re-edit your “top 100” pics.

-Good Luck!

Post # 7
1068 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

One of the things that I learned about shopping for a photographer was not to be romanced by the fabulous photos in their portfolio or website. Of course those are going to be spectacular! The photog has hand picked their best work to use to entice people. 

One of the things that we insisted on when meeting a photographer was to see an entire wedding’s worth of pictures. This helped us to see how they tell the story of the day, the quality of the photos and how the product would be delivered. 

I think your biggest dilemma here is getting the other half of the photographs. It should be simple – she needs to reburn them. She shouldn’t be ignoring you for that fact, since you already have the 100-“retouched” pictures. 

Sounds like bad business – if she’s young and starting, you can include how you wanted to leave her a review (perhaps on Weddingbee) and that you want to talk about the work that she did.

Post # 8
3041 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Don’t threaten anything!! Just be nice. I’m sure she didn’t mean to give you cds that won’t work. Just let her know that they won’t open & she’ll get you ones that work.

As to her 100 editing, those may have been her favorites. Everyone’s going to have different opinions as to what photo is “better”. She probably chose one from each category so you’d have an edited pic for each part of your wedding. Now, it could be possible that she didn’t take enough good ones to make the 400 minimum pics she quoted you, so had to include ones that weren’t very good & may have edited them so they didn’t look as bad. Or, it could be a style of “soft focus” & just a style you don’t like. Could you post a few of the pics on here?

Sometimes photographers will drastically edit the photos on their website to attract people. They’ll spend extra time editing them & go all out for their site but not for their clients. Most photographers DON’T do this! The only editing I do putting the pics on my site is to make the file size smaller. If she led you to beleive that the quality you’d be getting is what’s shown on her website & yours are no where near that, than that’s a bad photographer. Sometimes people are more picky when it comes to pics of themselves though. My advice is don’t make a big deal about this til you get your other cd back.

If she’s not contacting you back right now, don’t jump to conclusions. Maybe she’s out of town or is really busy. If she doesn’t reply by Tuesday, I’d email her again (it could have even gone to spam). If you send an email every day, it actually does take longer to respond to you.

I also recommend you to not post the photographer’s name on here, at least until everything’s cleared up.

Post # 9
1995 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

thats a total bummer.  As far as good news: you can probably edit them better yourself or get a friend to help.  Used flickr or picnik?  Also since one of the disks is formatted correctly it must be a mix up with the 2nd. 

I’d say as of now give her the benefit of the doubt in terms of her getting back to you.  You never know what could be going on in her life that is more important than her business.  Let her know honestly of your thoughts of the photos and let her know you’d like to be able to write a honest good review of her online.  Tell her you need some addtional edits (of your choice) before being able to do that.

Post # 11
544 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I think your first post here could provide a very strong basis for points to bring up.

1. Non-working discs.

2. Disappointment in the 100 “edited” photos.

3. Of those 100, bad edits.

Stick to the top 3 concerns and break them down for her. You don’t have to be scared – you paid for a service and you definitely can do reviews and caution locals not to use her if she turns out to be bad. Alternately, nobody wants to leave a client with a bad taste in their mouths. This woman is trying to start a business, which is why you got good pricing, but the work she did should be above and beyond what you paid for so she can build her portfolio.

Don’t be shy. You would take a bad carton of milk back to the supermarket, so why would you not speak up about a much more expensive investment?

Post # 12
1872 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Don’t feel bad about calling her (so long as you’re not doing it, like, 12 times a day)–that’s just business. You’re a client and she’s ignoring you. Continue to be nice, but make it clear that she can’t avoid you forever (and really she can’t–she’s doing another shoot!)

And I think that you should be up front. If you don’t like the product, then it’s up to you to explain to her what you don’t like–that gives her a chance to fix things. Be specific with what you dislike and what you would prefer and keep things focused on the product–obviously, don’t say “I felt like you chose pictures at random,” just say, “there were a few shots I was disappointed you didn’t choose and I was hoping that you wouldn’t mind retouching them.” And know which shots those are (I doubt it’s going to be a huge number).

I think it’s unprofessional that she hasn’t returned your calls, but it IS a busy time (high holy days and whatnot) so don’t panic.

Post # 13
209 posts
Helper bee

Two things that stand out, to me at least:

She sent you the RAW files?  Wow. and Secondly 90 page album?  If this is a flush mount album, that is going to be one thick album.  And the cost to print that album is probably really expensive too. 


Just continue to be persistent, but polite, when trying to get in touch with the photographer.

Post # 15
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Have you tried searching for a website/program that will allow you to view .nef files?

I found this website on a google search. http://nefviewer.com/ Please make sure you have a virus scan running just in case…you can never be too careful, but the website looks ok. I can definitely see why she left them in .nef because they are a lot better quality than .jpeg or .tiff but you really shouldn’t have to go out of your way to view your photos.

You should call her and maybe write down some things to say before hand so you can stay on track during the phone call.

Also, I’m glad you have a friend who offered to touch up your photos! That’s awesome.

Post # 16
41 posts

NEF is the file type used for Raw files from a Nikon camera. Perhaps that might be part of the problem as well. Those are typically unedited images. Maybe she burned the wrong folder and your edited images did not get burned?

The definition of edited might be important here as well. I do retouching. It takes me 30-45 mintes to retouch 1 image. So you are looking at 50-75 hours in just retouching if she was supposed to do 100 images? Maybe by editing, she means doing some crops, color profile changes, etc which would take far less time.

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