- 5 years ago
- Wedding: April 2013
So you might remember me… I used to post a lot right before my wedding a month ago, and I am also a professional photographer. I haven’t been on the Bee since my wedding because I just really needed some time away afterwards to process everything. But now I feel compelled to share this story and ask for advice.
I totally apologize for how long this post is, but it’s really something I need help dealing with. The first thing I will say is I haven’t actually gotten my photos back. I have been trying very hard to delay my anger until I actually see my results, but it’s reaching a point where I think I need to say something to someone.
Also… please note… at least right now, I’m not going to share who this photographer is. I have to decide how to handle this situation first.
The big picture is that my $4000+ pro photographer with glowing weddingwire reviews was lazy, selfish, and rude day-of. She was totally fine during the pre-ceremony, ceremony, and portraits. I was ready to give her a glowing review. And then… during the reception she completely changed. She and her team (second photographer + assistant) took a long dinner… which doesn’t bother me too much, I certainly know about needing to eat while working a wedding… then she came back in and took the toasts and the special dances… and then literally handed the camera to her assistant (NOT the other photographer, someone who wasn’t even supposed to be a photographer on the day) and went outside and sat around on her cell phone.
I don’t have to tell you how totally unacceptable that is. And it gets worse. She eventually came back in, and then both she and her second photographer were obsessed with taking photos of this one guy that was a date of one of my bridesmaids… he was a crazy dancer so I understand that’s fun to take photos of, but NOT to the exclusion of everyone else. So I went to her and was like “Hey, I never even met this guy before today… please make sure to take photos of OTHER people too…” 10 minutes later and they were BOTH still taking pictures of the same guy. I was so angry. I know she saw me and knew that I was angry, and it still didn’t even get much better after that.
And then finally, she had arrived at our venue and started shooting details 15 minutes early… I was happy because I wanted to make sure we had enough time for everything. But she ended up leaving the reception 15 minutes early too. I mean, I understand not wanted to go over the time we paid her for…. except holy crap, it was 15 MINUTES. She could’ve easily stayed. Plus she didn’t tell me when she started 15 minutes early that she would also leave 15 minutes early, or I made not have had her start early after all.
Oops, I lied… that wasn’t finally. I forgot this part. So now TWO of my other vendors have told me that she was rude to them. My venue coordinator on the day of told me that she was giving her attitude (my VC was absolutely wonderful and fantastic By The Way, so I trust her). And then just today, I talked my videographer and he said that she was rude to them and basically told them to just get out of the way. ??? What? Obviously working with videographers is part of the deal for a wedding photographer… how does she get away with being nasty to them?? I feel so bad for them.
Anyway… none of this behavior is how a professional should behave. None of this behavior deserves glowing total 5 star reviews… which is what she has on weddingwire. I am in shock that this happened. As a wedding photographer myself I know… I DO NOT EVER treat brides this way. If I run 15 minutes over oh well. Then that bride will say “I loved my wedding photographer, she went above and beyond for us!” and that is SO much more important than making sure to punch the time clock exactly :\ And I certainly do not hand the camera off not a non-photographer and then go sit outside on my cell phone!!!! I MEAN WHAT??
Oh yes, and I forgot this… our engagement photos were awful. I won’t go into that again… I posted a thread about it a while back if anyone wants to know what happened.
So. I am incredibly, incredibly worried that she did not capture our guests at the reception having fun. I am so angry that she only took photos of ONE person and then sent her SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER to take pictures of other people after I asked more than one. How could this be?? How did I go so wrong in choosing a photographer? I thought I had done my research and chosen the best I could find but apparently I made a huge mistake.
As I said, I haven’t gotten my photos back and I am still clinging to the hope that I will love them. I’m still clinging to the hope that there will be photos of every guest (under 50, so no excuses not to capture them). Even if I love the photos, there were definitely still major issues… but I so hope that I will love them. This once in a lifetime event will never be redone and I am already so devastated by this situation.
So now the big question is…. do I write negative reviews? If so when? How do I avoid making a negative review look bad for me? Can I? I’m so worried that if I post negative feedback it will reflect badly on my own wedding photography business and look like I’m doing to it hurt a rival’s business but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I desparetly WANTED my wedding photographer to be amazing. I never wanted to be in this position…. never, never, never.
And yet, I feel obligated to write a negative review. Other brides should know the truth behind this photographer’s facade. This is an award winning, nationally and internationally recognized photographer. And for what? Because she takes cool detail shots…. I swear to god that’s it. She takes only photos that interest her and that help her portfolio and doesn’t care about capturing what is actually important to brides. This is NOT what a wedding photographer should be.
Which leads me to my final comment. I need advice and would like to offer some. Brides…. DO NOT choose a photographer just because they have pretty, artistic shots. This is NOT what you are going to want once you’ve been through it. I’m almost numb writing this because in some ways I feel like I’m arguing against myself, because I am an artistic wedding photographer myself. But now that I have been through a wedding as a bride…. for my clients, I will put EVEN MORE emphasis than I already did on candid photos of all the guests. Thankfully, I have never had a problem where I am rude, selfish, and lazy. ://
ETA: I will definitely wait until after receiving my photos to post a negative review if I’m going to post one. I see the reasons behind that for sure.