Post # 1
A friend of ours is a gifted photographer hoping to break into the wedding market. A year ago he agreed to shoot our wedding in return for travel, lodging and food costs and a couple hundred dollars for his time. We were ectatic that a friend of ours would be doing our wedding photography, making it a good deal for both of us (we get a discount, he gets to build his portfolio and experience).
Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. I sent him an e-mail asking when he was planning on coming up for the wedding so that we could book his hotel for him. No responce. He is very active on facebook, so I sent him a private message with the same question. This was 4 days ago and still no answer. As of this morning I posted on his wall for him to contact us, hoping that a public message might motivate him. Because he lost his cell phone last week we are not able to call him. I am getting really worried.
He has blatently ignored all attempts we have made to contact him regarding the wedding, though he did RSVP last month. He has been struggling this year with loosing his girlfriend of 7 years (she left him for another guy) and I understand that he is in a difficult period of his life, but I NEED a response. If he has changed his mind, we need to know.
With 5 weeks to go and a very limited photography budget, we cannot higher a professional photographer. We might be able to designate a few artistic friends to take photos of us, but I am afraid that we will not get any good photographs from our wedding.
I feel like I have lost our photographer AND a friend. I don’t know what to do. Looking for ideas and support 🙁
Post # 3
i am sorry…. theres so much you can do… you already sent him few messages and now it is up to him to answer you back. BUT i would look for another photographer just in case he is not going to anwer you back… i noticed you are from somerville.. i used to live in arlington but we moved to mansfield before the wedding… i can suggest you our photographer ….she was amazing and she did an awesome job!!!.. i believe she is from springfield, mass but she is willing to travel! i am not quite sure if she will be available, but it is worth to try… how much are you willing to spend?
Post # 4
I think it would be a good idea to send him a message letting him know you are starting to get very concerned that you haven’t gotten a response back yet.. I woud offer him an out just to see if he will take it and start looking for a new photographer.
Post # 5
i am so sorry that you’re having to stress about something like this so close to the wedding day.
i definitely suggest you start looking for a local vendor so that you’re not out of options, putting all your eggs in one basket (your friend).
i agree with mrskessler that you should message your friend again with an out, to see if that gets a response out of him.
good luck with the ordeal!
Post # 6
Aww so sorry! If I wasn’t already out of town for my own wedding that weekend, I would totally shoot your wedding for you (i’m newer to the field, so i’d do it for basically nothing, plus I know how hard this would be for me!). If you really can’t figure anything out, post to craigslist and see if anyone will do it for a $500 or so (the cost of a hotel and the money you would have given your friends). There is such a good photography community in Boston that is up and coming, you may get lucky. I would send him a FB message saying “If we don’t hear from you by Monday, we will have to make other photography plans” and have an ad written up to post on Monday morning. You have to protect your memories first!
Post # 7
Do you have another friend who sees the photographer friend more regularly that you can enlist for help? Maybe a mutual friend can mention that you are trying to reach him and that it is okay if he has decided not to shoot your wedding but you need to know now so you can find someone else.
Post # 8
Just sticking my head in to offer support. I agree that you should start poking around for a local vendor who can help. I also agree with issuing your friend a deadline. Otherwise this could dangle forever and you could miss what little chance you have to set things straight. A Craigslist post is a great idea, just make sure you get some kind of reference and don’t meet with them by yourself!
Post # 9
I would definitely look for another photographer asap. You do not want to be worrying if he’ll show up day of! Hope you haven’t paid him yet!
Since you can’t afford anyone professional & expensive I’d look into craigslist and possibly weddingwire. Check for individuals who do awesome work but not with a big photo organization or ask for their cheapest shooter. Beg for a last minute discount! If you lived here in NC my Darling Husband could do it!
Post # 10
Wow, thank you all for the ideas and support. This is exactly why Weddingbee is an awesome site! We are getting married in Vermont, so I will go on Craigslist this afternoon and see what I can find. I will also ask Future Brother-In-Law (a good friend of his) to contact him and see if he can get any info. I have accepted that he will most likely be backing out, but we need to know. It is so stressful being left hanging!
I will also check out weddingwire. Our budget is about $500, so I know most photographers would not be willing to work for that, but perhapes I can find some new professionals looking for a last minute gig.
I will send him a final message tomorrow giving him an out. Hopefully we get this resolved soon.
Thank you ALL for the comments! SO appreciated right now!
Post # 11
I would also consider looking for a photography student! They might be willing to work for that cheap, and you could end up with someone really talented!
Post # 12
Do you have his phone number? It’s worth a shot to maybe try and get him on the phone — emails/messages are really easy to discard, but you might catch him on the phone.
Another tip is to check out local university photography clubs in the area where you’re getting married. Most students would love to shoot a wedding for a couple hundred dollars and the chance to build up their portfolios. You might even be able to get 2 photographers and double your chances of getting awesome shots.
Post # 13
@cupcake, he is without a phone right now because he lost his (this is facebook info) and apparently cannot afford to replace it. Understandable, I know money is tight…but the fact that he posts this type of stuff a few times a day shows me he is seeing what we have been sending him…ah well.
I will look into student photographers. There are a few colleges within an hour of the site, those might be promising.
We have another photographer friend that we started hanging out with a few months ago. I want to ask her, but it is a little awkward since we did not invite her to the wedding originally (just met) and I do not want her to think we are taking advantage. Sticky situation.
Thanks all for helping me put some persepctive on this!
Post # 14
@Rosiebear: I think it would be fine to ask your newer friend. Explain the situation to her and tell her that youre sorry that you guys hadnt met earlier, but it would mean a lot for you to have her there as her photographer.
You could also post an ad on craigslist explaining your situation and see what comes back.
You could also create a post or a classifieds wanted ad on weddingbee!
Post # 15
If there is a university in your area with an arts program, contact the department. Photography students have professional training and would probably be happy to build their portfolios without getting paid. Especially considering your situation. I think its worth looking into!
Post # 16
Rosie my suggestion is really that you ask your other friend. If it were me (I too am a photographer) I would not be offended not feel taken advantage of. Especially if you explained it all to her. Tell her about your limited budget…if whe wonders for a second why she wanst invited as a guest….she will when you explian the budget crisis.
If you guys are in a growing friendship she may be excited at the possibility. I would be.