(Closed) Photography Nightmare – Help!

posted 11 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 17
2767 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

Oh, and can you post the photog’s name or PM me?  I’m from MSP/St. Paul too and I’d like to know who this person is so I can tell friends and family to avoid them!

Post # 18
4122 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

It is possible for a card to be extremely corrupted and past recovery… without being visibly damaged. That being said, unless the photographer was shooting small jpg files on a really large card, there should be multiple cards. The probability that EVERY card failed is slim… I’m personally wondering if it was a hard drive crash or some bad lack of backup and she re-wrote over the files kind of scenario… or somehow deleted the files…. 

I wrote a whole other post before my browser froze on me.. but basically this is my worst nightmare. I’m so incredibly sorry this is happening to you, i wouldn’t wish this on the worst person on earth. I hope others use it as a wake up call to make sure and ask your photographer all about what their backup plans are, how they treat their files, etc. i.e. for me, my camera’s have two card slots, and can write clone files on each card. i.e. if one corrupts, there’s a twin. After, I upload that night, and keep things backed up on multiple hard drives. If one crashes, things are safe on the other. I might have to start editing over, but the files are safe.

On top of backing up files, this is also a reason you should make sure your photographer carries backup equipment. Camera’s do fail. Lenses break. Batteries go haywire. Flashes burn out… If they don’t have backups you can loose key moments as well.

See if you can find out how many cards she used, what size card they were, and what kind of files she was shooting. RAW or JPEG. If something seems off, (like 5 cards corrupted) challenge her to find out if it was a hard drive crash, or accidental deletion. 

If you like her work, you can see if she’ll give you portrait sessions even though you got a full refund.

Otherwise, use it as a chance to book a kick A$$ photographer who you wouldn’t be able to afford. Most high end wedding photographers have very reasonable portrait pricing.

All around, this really bites, and I’m crushed for you. I do hope others benefit from knowing about your experience however.

Keep us posted.

Post # 19
422 posts
Helper bee

I am so incredibly sorry that this happened to you!!!!!!! I cannot even begin to imagine how you are feeling. Many hugs to you.

I would definitely do a reshoot of everything. And I would definitely ask her for the memory cards. If she’s unwilling to comply, I’d go so far as to contact local news outlets to tell them your story and see if they can help you (I know in my area they have a segment called “On your side” where they help out people who have been in situations like yours). Good luck!

Post # 20
204 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Oh my goodness, this is a nighmare! I cannot believe your photographer has let you down like this. I would absolutly try to do a re-stage. I bet your friends and family are equally devestated to hear your news, so i think they will have no problem going to great lengths to do a re-stage. if I were your Bridesmaid or Best Man, i know I would!

I know you already stated that your family didnt take any photos, but what about the rest of your wedding guests? I would contact every single one and explain the situation. There must be people who took some pictures, even if they are not the best quality, that would be a good starting point. Ugh, what an awful situation!

Post # 21
4122 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

jgkittymom3 – unfortunately, there’s not a lot that even the news can do. Shedding light on the situation will not make the card work again. This is a tragic TRAGIC event… and there are safe guards to try and prevent this, but that being said, it’s probably in contract that she’s not responsible to factors outside her control AND she gave a full refund. It sucks beyond sucking, but trust me, the photographer is not sleeping and totally panicking and feels like **** over this situation. If she wasn’t giving a refund that’s one thing, but she is doing what she “can” to help…. 

This is horrible, but it’s an “accident” essentially. There is only so far the photographer can go to rescue the images. If she exhausted those options, (which is why it probably took 6 weeks, She didn’t just now try and upload) found it to have failed, already gave (and the OP accepted) a full refund… then as horrible as it is, nothing can get those images back… including the news. It’s a technology failure… 

Post # 22
2790 posts
Sugar bee

I just want to send ((hugs)) This is terribly aweful and I hope that your family and friends can come together and give you back at least some of what you’ve lost. Sooo sorry :o(

Post # 23
516 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

Wow that is absolutely terrible 🙁

Definitely try and do a re-shoot and make it as happy as possible! good luck 🙁

Post # 24
2702 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

SO SAD for you!!!! no bride should ever have to go through that. i would def agree with the other PP’s that you should gather pics from friends/family from the actual day… and also take the money and invest in TTD, first look, etc. all of the things you can re-create with your FI/bridal party/close family.


Post # 25
2029 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

The photos are lost but the memories don’t have to be. If I were you, I would write a letter to each of your guests, explaining what happened to your photos. I would include a pretty piece of note paper (maybe with your names and wedding date at the top) and ask guests to write their memories of what the day was like. You could ask if they have specific memories about what the bride and groom looked like, how the flowers looked, what fun things they saw, etc. Hopefully at least a few of your guests would participate and then these letters could be bound in a wedding album that would paint the picture of your day.

I know that my great-grandmother’s wedding photos are lost to the ages, but she had a very long wedding announcement in the newspaper that described her dress, her flowers, her bridesmaid dresses, the cake, the atmosphere of the reception, etc. It was so much fun to read, and I could completely picture what it looked like!

Also, take the money from the refund and do a re-shoot! We did an anniversary shoot in another country and we hired an awesome photographer and I dare say some of the photos turned out better than our wedding photos. I didn’t wear my wedding dress but we did incorporate some of the accessories we had at the wedding, such as our monogrammed parasol. It was SO much fun!

Post # 27
42 posts

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Absolutely make sure she has made every single attempt at recovery!!!!


I am so sorry. 🙁

Post # 28
739 posts
Busy bee

This is one of my BIGGEST fears. We start backing up to a laptop {it’s nice when you have a two photog team} at the reception so they are backed up in one place before we leave the wedding.  As soon as we get home we back up to a computer and external hard drive then put the cards in an envelope with the couples name on it until they’ve been sorted and uploaded to the off site server.  Maybe I am paranoid but this is why.

Brides – when meeting with your photos ask them what there data backup workflow is. Also make sure they have back-up equipment as well. 

This really stinks that you have to go through this. Any chance your wedding party would be up for a portrait {rock-the-wedding party} session and then some of just the two of you? See if your photographer would be willing to do it for free. 

@snmcdowell – Love that idea!!!

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