(Closed) Pro-Photographer Horror Stories, Let’s hear’em!

posted 11 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 17
Member
324 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

our photog was awesome..but out of over 700 photos..there is not a single posed formal photo of my husband looking at the camera. Oh well ๐Ÿ™

Post # 18
Member
11324 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

Two quick stories. 

1) my cousin’s wedding a few years ago. It was another situation where they were getting married in a church that does not normally allow photography. After some negotiation the minister agreed to allow the photographer as long as he was no closer than 5 pews back and did NOT step into the aisle or try to go up towards the alter. Well, as the bridesmaids start coming down the aisle he gets out in the aisle crouched down up like towards the 2nd pew. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the minister comes rushing down from the alter and confronts him(!). They actually got into a fight. WHILE THE PROCESSIONAL WAS HAPPENING and the minister physically grabbed the photog by the collar and told him to get out. The whole thing was just crazy. The photog was definitely in the wrong, but seriously… grabbing him by the collar and getting into a fight with him mid-processional? Was that the best way to preserve the sanctity of the ceremony? 

2) My bro’s wedding photos. So frustrating! They got married outside and then had a reception inside. All of the outdoor photos are crazy blown-out. All of the indoor photos are blurry. ARGH. 

Post # 19
Member
439 posts
Helper bee

Well, I haven’t booked a photographer yet, but I have a not-so-horrific story.

 

Fi’s cousin is in photography school.  She’ll be done right before our wedding.  I talked to her about potentially shooting our wedding (that’s almost 2 years away).  I asked her for a quote, and she said $2,500.  I about spit when I saw that.  She’s never shot a wedding, and most of the well established photographers in the area where we’re getting married only charge $900.  I cannot even imagine what she’s thinking.  She has only done small portrait sittings for families and kids so far.

These are the thoughts that went through my brain when she said that:

1) You have never shot a wedding, you cannot charge $2500 without being able to provide portfolios for someone to see ahead of time.

2) You are asking over double the price of a photographer who has been doing this for 20 years.

3) This is your cousin’s wedding.  I’m not expecting you to do it for free, but cut us a bit of a deal.

4) Do you not understand we’re doing you a favor by letting you practice on our wedding to build your portfolio, and we’re trusting you to do a good job even though  you’ve never done this before?

Post # 20
Member
1986 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
@buttontoes:As a photographer myself, you’re making a lot of assumptions.

1. She’ll have to rent equipment to shoot your wedding. 2500 is high, but its not unreasonable for a wedding. It takes weeks to edit and finish photos from a wedding, it’s not just the 2-5 hours that she’s actually there.

2. There are likely stylistic differences of a newer photographer and one who has been doing it 20 years. If you prefer the 20 year one at half the price, then that seems the route you should go.

3. Immediate family get a break. Outside that is fair game. This goes for 90% of photographers, not just me.

4. You’re asking HER for a favor, she didn’t ask you. Weddings might not be where she wants to take her career. She also was probably offended that you asked her to work at your wedding instead of come as a guest ๐Ÿ™‚

I hate it when people think photographers are overpriced. You aren’t just paying for the prints.

Post # 21
Member
2083 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I liked my photographer’s style which is why I went with him. But I was majorly disappointed because he ended up losing quite a bit of our photos. At least the photos he lost were later in the reception, but it was still about 2 hours worth of photography that was missing. He didn’t say anything to me about it either, I had to question him about it. Then he offered zero compensation for the missing photographs. That was what bothered me the most. I paid a lot of money for his time, so there was plenty of money that I wasted there.

I wasn’t sure how to handle the situation though. I was still waiting on him to complete my album, so I didn’t want to demand any sort of refund or some sort of compensation that could potentially piss him off. At that point I just wanted my album. Looking back on it though I wish I would have just went ahead and request that he compensate us in some way for his wrong doing. I guess I was just shocked that he didn’t offer it on his own. That was bad business in my mind.

Post # 22
Member
359 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

One of my best friends got married last year and hired a friendor photographer who had been the photographer for her sister’s wedding and did a great job. First he shows up to the rehearsal late, drunk and forgot his camera! Then, on the day of the wedding, he took very few pictures and even when there were 10+ people in a posed group shot, he only took 1 picture (as if no one would be making a stupid face or have their eyes closed~) Luckily another friend had a professional quality camera and stepped in to take tons of pictures to cover what the actual photographer was missing. The whole family was so appreciative & I’m thinking of asking their non-photographer friend to be my photographer next year ๐Ÿ™‚

My other BF’s sister paid a couple thousand for a professional photographer and is so disappointed. First, the photographer was rude on the day of the wedding. Then after not hearing anything back, the bride contacted the photographer only to be told the camera was stolen and all the pictures are gone. The photographer even tried to refuse to give her a refund, but I think she finally got the money back after the photographer realized that a lawsuit was coming.

 

 

 

Post # 23
Member
359 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

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@Belle2Be: I agree with what you say about stylistic differences, but with no portfolio or actual experience, that quote is outrageous. I’ve seen a lot of ads for photographers who are just out of school with no experience who offer to do a couple free weddings just to have a portfolio (and those were for complete strangers, not a cousin!) 

View original reply
@buttontoes: Wow – I would definitely find someone else. I think she may have a rude awakening when she leaves school and has no actual experience.

Post # 24
Member
10354 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

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@Belle2Be: Exactly! It seems like people have no clue what it actually costs to run a photography business. I would bet good money that the poster is completely wrong about an established photog only charging $900, too – how on earth would they have pro-level equipment if that’s all they charge?

Post # 25
Member
1986 posts
Buzzing bee

 

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@Pwitty: It really depends on where they are located.

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@crayfish: I also think 900 for a photographer who has been in business for 20 years is pretty insane, but who knows how good the pictures actually are. Time doesn’t = quality in the photo biz. It could also depend on the area they live, if the cousin is from Out of Town, 2500 could be low for her area.

I also don’t believe in lowering prices simply for portfolio shoots. Just because they haven’t shot a couple in wedding attire doesn’t mean that they don’t have experience. Although granted, weddings are a whole different ballgame than “regular” sessions. Do you even know for sure that she’s never shot a wedding? I’ve been a second shooter for one, but I didn’t use it in my portfolio.

Post # 26
Member
439 posts
Helper bee

Yes, I do know for a fact that she’s never shot a wedding.  She is not from out of town, and $2,500 is not low for the area.  Actually, $2,500 is about as high priced as you can get for the area (Northern MI).  I may be making a lot of assumptions, but people don’t just walk out of photography school and start charging $2500 for a wedding.  You have to have experience to charge that kind of price.  She make take great pics of her nephews, but that doesn’t mean she’d do great at a wedding.  

I have friends who are photographers, and when I told them that price, they laughed.  Most of my friends did their first weddings for $500.  One of my friends has been shooting weddings for 7 years, and her most expensive package is $2,700, and she’s in a much more expensive market (Atlanta, GA).

Post # 27
Member
3148 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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@PitBulLover: Ohhh, you made the right choice to change.  I can see how you were upset with your engagement photos, her timing is all off!!  But your wedding guy knew how to capture moments and more.  Your wedding photos are beautiful!!

Post # 28
Member
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I don’t agree with most things buttons has said, but 900 in Northern Michigan is about right (there is literally nothing up there- it’s just different ๐Ÿ™‚ Her cousin charging 2500 for her first wedding seems a bit steep- I can see 800-1500. I’m not sure if I would pay someone 2500 dollars to shoot my wedding who has never done it before. And if she’s an actual photography student she should have most of her own equipment.

 I was actually sort of pissed at our photographer- we paid her quite a bit (she had great credentials- did a lot of editorial work in NY) but realized after the wedding we were only her second wedding (her first was a very small civil ceremony). Her work two years later is so much better than what we have and the price is the same.

Post # 29
Member
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

View original reply
@buttontoes: easy solution- dont hire her to shoot your wedding.  Find a pro that is in your budget. It’s better to do that than to hire your cousin.  If she messed up your wedding pictures, it might damage your relationship. I learned a long time ago not to work for family or friends.

A wedding is definitely a different ballgame than taking pics of kids. You can’t reshoot a wedding if you screw up and you need at least 3 cameras with multiple lenses in case a cameras or lenses malfunction…that’s around $10k in equipment. I doubt she would have backups if she is a current student. I wouldnt take a chance if I were you.

 

Post # 30
Member
6 posts
Newbee

View original reply
@Belle2Be: As a fellow photograher i completely agree. Very well put.

Post # 31
Member
2187 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Okay so I read through all of these and I know there is a ton but I have to post mine!

So here it goes:

I found this photographer through facebook, checked out their website and fell in LOVE. Seriously I looked at their site every day for maybe 2 months straight until I booked with them.

We went with a package that was 5 grand for 8 hours. And scheduled our e-shoot to be at a fair during September. WELL, I worked out everyday and so did my fiance and we spent a lot of money on our clothes…The engagement shoot comes along and a week before I e-mailed the photographer…nothing back. Three days before I called, nothing. I kept e-mailing until I got a response and she wanted to change the date…

I had gotten my nails done and an airbrush tan…really? But then she changed her mind and said that the original date was fine (at 12am the morning of). We get to the fair and they said it was too crowded. We knew it was going to be because it was the last weekend of it but they insisted they wanted to do it their when we discussed it before.

So they wanted us to meet them at their families farm. Didn’t give us any directions accept “its by a dairy queen”? when there was 3 in the town.

We ended up getting lost for an hour. My fiance was furious at how flakey they were.

We finally arrive and things were awkward between the photographer and us. They said they had plans with friends and didn’t think we’d be able to do it but they decided they would try to get a few in. We were really SUPER awkward in them because they were positioning us for the poses in ways we would never act.

Our new expensive clothes got ruined from the unexpected visit to the farm. It was just awful.

 

The worst part was the photos were hideous. The angles made us look fat. It was just so discouraging and frustrating.

 

I’m so happy we didn’t stick with them.

 

Here are the best:

Philly Hair Salon help!

And thats saying something. The rest were horrible. It doesn’t look like either of us in these photos.

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