(Closed) Photographer Drama…Need your Advice!

posted 9 years ago in Dress
  • poll:
  • Post # 3
    2419 posts
    Buzzing bee

    Well, if she has moved your relationship from “friend” footing to “client” footing, it’s perfectly appropriate for you to do what any other client would do in this scenario: negotiate. “[Name,] you do fabulous work and you know we’d love to have you shoot the wedding. We appreciate the 10% off, but [competitor] is offering X, Y, and Z for the same price. Can we talk about including an engagement session/copyright/a smaller retainer/giving us a longer window to set the date, whatever?” If she’s put you on a business footing, then business is business, and it’s fine for you to shop around, choose another option, etc.

    If the fact that you’re now on a business footing is the main thing that’s bothering you, then it’s fine to say, “[Name,] it feels really weird to me that we now talk like vendor and client instead of as friends. I think I would rather have you at the wedding as a friend and a guest, so that you can enjoy the day instead of having to work.”

    As for the text/email thing – try calling, or dealing with her in person. So much gets lost over email, and even more over text. They are impersonal, and you have a personal relationship with her. Make sure you can hear one another’s voices.

    Post # 5
    682 posts
    Busy bee

    As a pro-wedding-photographer….NEVER EVER hire a friend or family member!!!! And as a photographer, I never photograph a friend or family wedding.  Get over it, move on and hire a real professional that you don’t know, someone whose work you like, and someone who won’t give you hassle or drama.  It’s not worth it. 



    Post # 6
    633 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @missweatherlove:  Honestly, for the sake of your friendship especially if you want this person to still remain in your life I wouldn’t use them as your photographer for your wedding. Especially if you feel yourself getting frustrated and angry with them. I think a lot of it could do with tone in their e-mails or conversations with you? Does this person have an actual reputable photography business or are they winging it since they are just starting out? And the not getting back to you within a few days or sooner is absolutely unacceptable! I hope that they don’t do that with their actual clients! A person can’t expect to build a good business repoire with clients or potential clients if they aren’t willing to respond to your e-mails within a reasonable amount of time (1-2 days or sooner). My wedding photographer usually gets back to me within a day or two if not sooner. And as for the retainer, if your wedding is more than 12 months away they should not need your retainer until at least a year before or a little less than a year before your wedding. I don’t think this friend is treating you very well even in regards to professionalism (regardless of whether or not you are a friend or not). I tend to think that maybe they are trying to take advantage of the fact that you asked them to begin with to use their services. I would use another photographer if they have everything that you are looking for, prints, online albums, engagement session, etc. and they are within your budget. Sounds to me like the friend needs to work on their repoire with clients. 

    Post # 7
    413 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    Definitely not cool!

    A true friend would probably be very generous in their inclusions etc. I’d tell this ‘friend’ that 1) paying the retainer so soon does not suit you financially, 2) you are aware of the general inclusions in photography packages and feel their offer is not up to par and 3) that due to the long time they took in comfirming details via email you have had to use someone elses services.

    Post # 8
    84 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Handle this person the same way you would handle any other vendor. Would you want to hire a caterer or florist who was rude and pushy? Nope. Don’t hire this person.

    Post # 10
    2865 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    It’s business.

    Unfortunately for photographers we can’t treat friends like friends when hired as vendors or we get stepped all over. 

    Do you feel as though he/she is being pushy as a friend?  Would you be turned off if someone you didn’t know pressed you for a deposit or let you know that if you didn’t book now the price couldn’t be guaranteed?  Again, this is a business tactic to get you to book with him/her.

    HOWEVER, I’m very confused as to how this photographer wants you to book with them right away without knowing if they’re available on your potential wedding date.   What if they already have something else booked?   Many good photographers already have weddings lined up in 2014.  Especially in the spring/summer.

    Post # 11
    88 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    Id be a little pissed.  Especially if this is something you two have “dreamed” about together in the past.  But some people change when they become “successful”, for the better or worse.

    I am a model, and I work with a bunch of amazing professional photographers, and I am using one of them for my wedding.  She also happens to be a friend.  She couldnt have been nicer, and agreed to the first  figure I threw at her.  Granted, we sometimes trade our services when shooting, so we have a great working relationship as well as personal,  but regardless of that, she is internationally known, 7+ years in the NYC biz,  and taking time out of her summer to come up a mountain in vt for me.  for 600 dollars! 

    Im sorry your friends true colors are showing  You deserve better than that!  Also if she is acting this way now – being suoer demanding, rigid and pushy – but not even havingthe respect of professionalism to responding a timely fashion, imagine how long you may have to wait for your weding pics!

    tell her to kick rocks 🙂 

    Post # 12
    1490 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    After reading the horror stories about hiring “friendors,” I don’t think its a good idea to hire a friend.  In this case, however, I think this person is doing a good job of treating you like a client and not a friend.

    All of the photographers I looked at:

    • increased their rates after a certain date
    • wanted 1/3 or 1/2 retainer to book them
    • would never give a client copyright

    You said:

    so although I’d love a great hookup, I’ve always just expected to pay a good chunk to whoever I hire.


    I’m only getting 10% off for the “friends” discount, and no extras like copyrights or an engagement session.

    So what do you want?  A friend who gives you freebies and doesn’t act like a professional?  Or a pro who generously offers 10% off because you know them?  You can’t have it both ways.

    Post # 13
    606 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    @KCKnd2:  +1

    If shes treating you as a client then as a client I would definitely negotiate. Do you lover her work? If not then defintely consider other photographers and see what they have to offer!

    Post # 14
    839 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I have learned the hard way to noxt mix friendhips and business together.

    There are tons of great photographers out there that will work with you and give you the piece of mind. Weddings can get stressfull, you don’t need this drama. Get someone else.

    Post # 15
    8482 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    This whole thing just sounds like a bad idea. I’d go with a different photographer and save yourself a lot of headache and frustration.

    Post # 16
    682 posts
    Busy bee

    @BooRadley +1 agree!!!!


      @missweatherlove Retainers are always required at the time of a booking date, a flat fee or a percentage of the package.  A lot of photographers don’t give copyrights – they give printing rights. Big difference.  I increase my rates every year or change package details…but I lock in my clients if they sign by a certain date after the changes.  Once a contract is signed, the package/pricing can not change unless they want to do an upgrade, to then we resign a whole new contract and agreement.

    If you REALLY want to use her for a photograher, you will need to sit down together and talk. She needs to be “professional” with you, and you need to be “professional” with her. Accept the discount she offers.  You both need to treat each other with professionalism. She’s out there making money, you want excellent pictures for your wedding.  It’s a win/win situation, right?  

    If you can’t agree to work well together on a professiona level, then you two shouldn’t be working together at all. 

    Make sure the contract and/or agreement is met.  Contracts are signed for a reason. 

    And some advice – maybe meet with some other professional photographers just to get an idea on how others work so she isnt trying to take advantage of you.  

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