(Closed) HELP! Wedding Photos came back- Am i crazy or am I allowed to be a little upset?

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: Should I be upset or not

    You should be upset.

    Meh, it's really not that big of a deal

    You got screwed. You should be more than upset.

    This happens all the time and you shouldn't be upset.

  • Post # 3
    615 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    I’m so sorry. I can only imagine how disappointed you are. I remember DYING to see our wedding photos and hoping desperately that they would live up to our photographer’s other work because I wanted so badly to re-live our big day and notice details that otherwise went by in a blur. I think we have a lot of expectations when it comes to pro photos of our wedding day, and all of the glamorous inspiration shots that flood the internet don’t help us one bit in that aspect.

    But I can’t believe there are only 282 final, edited images your photographer can give you of your wedding day – including shots with eyes closed! That’s really on the low side. Is this the amount of photos you were expecting to have?

    I think you have some legitimate concerns to bring to your photographer, and I highly encourage you to do so by telling him/her exactly what you told us here. It’s not fair to you or other future clients to invest your good faith and money, only to be disheartened and disappointed.

    I must admit I’m curious as to how you found this photographer, and how much you paid (if you don’t mind sharing). If he/she is just starting out and building a portfolio I can understand a bit of the lackluster end product, but if this is an established photographer with years of experience, I would be very upset and angry.

    Post # 4
    735 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I had a similar experience.

    The photographer is a nice person, and does beautiful work and gets rave reviews from other people… but our wedding photos are sort of… meh.  And that makes me sad.  I’m also quite certain that she didn’t send me all the pictures she took.

    I don’t have any advice, just letting you know that you aren’t alone.

    Post # 5
    2605 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I have one small bit of info that might help.  I took a photography class last year, taught by someone who does weddings and large group photos of musicians, dancers, actors etc… and he said he can photoshop the open eyes from another shot over the closed eyes of someone in a group… so a the very least she should be able to fix your family shot.

    Post # 6
    1476 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    Your photographer needs to do more touch ups. The eyes closed in the family photos can be fixed that way. Also, changes in color, cropping, etc can change the mood of a photo. It sounds like this is also pretty bad editing. I would ask your photographer to do some more work on the photos.

    I’m sorry this happened. It really stinks!!

    Post # 7
    700 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2012 - Iowa

    I felt the same way. I feel like my photographer takes AMAZING senior shots/ baby photos, etc. but his wedding photos were sub-par, you’d think it was a different photographer all together.

    I had our photographer for 6 hours and we received 700 photos, so that seems like a very low number, how many hours did you have him/her booked for? When I first glanced at them I also felt really underwhelmed, but I signed on for a cheaper price and did all the editing myself – the editing helped!!

    I also had a photo with my sister (MOH) and I – he took two, the first one I blinked, the 2nd my sister blinked. I photoshopped one face onto the other to make one good picture. Can you have someone do this for your family photos where people were blinking?


    Post # 8
    13904 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    This stinks, I’m sorry.  Maybe the photographer can edit the two family photos so the eyes are photoshopped open?

    ContinuumPhotography always has some good insight in these situations, so I hope she pops into this thread!

    Post # 9
    1030 posts
    Bumble bee

    Have the images come back edited? Or do they look ‘everyday’?

    I only say this because when I met with our photographer he showed me an entire wedding day shoot and ONE photograph out of all of them wasn’t edited and my god, it looked so ordinary! His edited images looked magical and it really was all down to the editing.

    It’s like how good boring pictures can look on instagram – you just need some effects 🙂

    As for the amound of pictures, I’m only going to get around 300 and when I saw the demo 300 seemed like A LOT of pictures. Keep in mind this is only one person and if they’re any good they probably don’t just click-click-click all day.

    Another thing I want to ask, is do you think they might seem ‘meh’ because they’re of your day and not someone elses? I really don’t want this to come across negative, or the wrong way, but I sometimes feel like that when I see pictures of myself when compared to pictures of others in the same place doing the same pose – sometimes I think it’s fairytale just because the other people involved aren’t me. Kind of like when people re-create hollywood – you’re never gonna look like hollywood!

    I’m not saying that this IS the case and other peoples weddings looked better than yours, I’m saying it might explain why YOU feel that way because it’s hard to capture fairytale from ‘reality’ when you were there – you get me? Ahhh I hope that came across alright.

    Post some up so we can have a see! I’m sure yours looks amazing to those of us who weren’t there!! Smile

    Post # 10
    11231 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Wow, only 282 photos? I know that we’re getting a lot of photos back from ours–our photographer shoots ~100 photos per hour, so we’ll get 800-1000 back from our day (she shot a TON at our e-session, so probably more on the high side), but we get ALL photos back.

    I would contact your photographer about this.

    Post # 12
    621 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    View original reply
    @lovenyc:  I’m so sorry this happened! I am a full time professional wedding photographer so I hope I can give some insight and help here. Can you tell me a little more about the coverage you purchased? How many hours was the photographer there? Does your contract talk about a number of images they deliver or usually deliver?

    The first red flag that popped up when reading your post is that they delivered all of your images in color and in black and white. This is often a more old-fashioned way of doing things – most photographers know that not every image looks good in black and white so this feels like a way to sort of beef up the number of photos. I would say in general I deliver 85% of images in color and select about 15% to make black and white because I know they look best that way or I shot them with the intention of making them black and white. The number of images sounds a bit low but I couldn’t say for sure without knowing how many hours of coverage you had.

    The other red flag is including images with eyes closed. I don’t know any professionals who would do this (unless they’re planning to fix them and this is just a proofing phase, though honestly this is very hard to fix). If you feel comfortable sending me a link to your images through PM I would be happy to go through them and help you articulate a response to your photographer based on what issues may be present.

    Post # 15
    1252 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    View original reply
    @lovenyc:  I recommend you just email your photographer, in a very friendly and non-confrontational way, to say “Hey, thank you for getting the wedding photos to us so quickly! So far we like what we saw, but we have a few concerns we were hoping you could address” and then just list out the photos you think are missing (be specific about the shots that you think they should have gotten – i.e., guests dancing, socializing, family photos with eyes open, etc).  

    Photographers usually won’t provide 100% of the photos taken, and during 6 hours he quite likely has more photos that he can edit and deliver to you.  I assume they select photos that are the “best” from their point of view, but if there are specific things you wanted to see he could very well have photos that he just didn’t consider of the “best quality”.  FWIW I went back to my photographer about a few specific shots I was missing (parents walking down the aisle, entrances to the reception, cocktail hour, s’mores bar, etc) and he was able to come up with most of them.  Although I don’t think photographers often take photos of people sitting at tables, no matter how good the conversation may have been the photos are just not going to be interesting.  But I knew I had a photographer was pretty much following me around the entire night, so anything I saw with my own two eyes I was pretty sure he got a photo of.  If yours was similar I think it is easiest to give specific examples of photos that believe were taken but were not delivered to you.  Good luck!

    Post # 16
    1314 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2006

    Without seeing any of the photos it’s hard for me to judge whether or not you should be upset.  6 hours of coverage I would think for a single photographer should have somewhere from 300-500 shots.  We don’t guarantee our clients a certain number of photos (our goal isn’t a photo quota but to tell a story), but we tend to average about 100 per hour between the two of us.  I don’t shoot weddings alone very often, but my average drops to more like 50-75 if I’m solo.  What we don’t do is present the same photo in both color and black and white.  To me a photo is either meant to be in color or black and white, but not both.  My editing process is different for the two.  We occasionally will go back and re-edit a photo to make sense in the flow of an album design (if a page is all color or all black and white), but that part is distinct for us. 

    Typically your best opportunity at a wedding to get great guest interaction shots is during the cocktail hour, which depending on the timeline may not even be something we’re able to cover if a first look wasn’t done.  Getting them during open dancing at the reception is kind of difficult because the lighting is really low.  Even with flash photography it’s usually much easier to lock on and focus on subjects who are lit up just a little- which is the one nice thing about DJ lighting if it’s there.  Guests who aren’t up and dancing tend to be the types that just sit at tables and look bored.  As a photographer I’m influenced by the mood and emotion, so I tend to go where the best time is, and/or focus my attention near wherever the bride and groom are.  One of us will usually make the rounds to those people on the outskirts of the action if we know we weren’t able to get much during the cocktail hour. Usually the observers are just sitting at tables and not interacting much.  I’m not saying that was the mood of your wedding, but just offering it as a possible explanation why you didn’t see as many photos of guest interactions.  If this was a solo photographer sometimes you have to make a decision to cover one thing over the other.  Or maybe they were with the two of you doing portraits during the cocktail hour?

    As far as family photos go we take 3 of each shot, and count each shot down (ready, 1… 2… 3…).  It’s annoying, but it usually ensures one out of 3 shots all of the subjects are eyes open.  We also don’t let other people stand behind us taking duplicate photos because someone is always looking towards the other person with the camera.  That drives me crazy!  Eyeballs must all be pointed at me!  Anyhow that’s our method, it’s extremely rare to not get eyes open.  I usually can spot when people blink too.  A quick look at the screen and zoom in will reveal if this happened.  Not sure what to tell you there.  I will say that everyone always is quick to suggest “just photoshop it.”  I would venture a guess that most of the folks who suggest that have never really used photoshop.  Transposing eyeballs form other photographs and making it look realistic and natural in a composite requires a lot of time and skill, and I wouldn’t automatically assume that your photographer is up to the task. 

    It’s possible that certain factors may have impacted the photographer’s creativity- it really isn’t easy to be feeling creative at every event you photograph.  But… you also have to rise up to the task, put in 100% effort, and tell the story of the day no matter what.  I usually will defend photographers from unreasonable expectations, but you don’t seem like your feelings are unreasonable.  Sorry your experience wasn’t what you wanted it to be.  🙁

     Is there anything in your contract that addresses the number of images delivered?

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