- 9 years ago
I wanted to share with you an email exchange I’ve had with Black Dog Photography. It was pretty unprofessional on their end, and I wanted to make sure others understand who they may end up dealing with. (That said, we know this may have been limited to one individual, and one bad apple doesn’t necessarily represent the bunch.)
First, some background — my fiance and I are having our wedding in literally a year. We really want to find a great photographer, since we know it’s one of the "permanent" elements that we’ll always look back on. That said, we’re not dealing with an unlimited budget, so our approach was to reach out to a few photographers, learn about their packages and their pricing. That way, we didn’t waste anyone’s time who might be beyond our budget.
We contacted Black Dog because it was included in our venue’s list of vendors. We contacted them by submitting some information via their website. We received an email response from them, with some generic information about their packages. Since we were only interested in day of coverage, an engagement session and getting our photos on an CD or DVD, we asked them for a custom quote. The response we got was that they could provide us with a custom quote, but they preferred that we meet with them first before cutting out all of their products.
The person who wrote that also mentioned something about their $1000 off coupon. At that time, I thought she just had us confused with another couple, but now looking back on it, she might’ve been trying to make a snarky joke. Anyway, I responded to her email explaining why we were looking for a quote first. To that email, I received the following response:
"I can send my high school intern to shoot your wedding for $1500, but you may not like what you get.
I’d be willing to bet that you are a savvy, intellectual, ivy educated, NYC professional, kind of guy. You’re a pro at setting goals and achieving them. In fact, you’ve probably over-achieved nearly every expectation that anyone has ever set for you.
So now you’re engaged and you’re planning a wedding. You need to hire vendors for the wedding, so what do you do? Of course, you send out an RFP to all of the wedding vendors in the area!
That would be perfectly logical if you were looking for a new web hosting company or a new copier. But we’re talking about hiring an artist to document your wedding day (one of the more important days in your personal life).
How many times have you been married? Where did you learn about wedding photography? A website? Some free wedding planner you got in the mail? Bride magazine?
If photography is really important to you, you should meet with several photographers, some more expensive that others. It’s the only way for you to know what your budget should be.
My time is completely irrelevant. It is my job to meet with you about your wedding. In fact, I enjoy meeting people.
You have 365 days until your wedding. There’s time for you to meet with several photographers. Start with me, we will sit down and go through your RFI."
I was in disbelief when I read this email. Not only was this unprofessional, it was way over the top. I have great respect for artists, and if this person was more interested in learning about what I was going for, rather than trying to get me into the office for a consult, then she would’ve learned that pretty easily. Instead, she ends up sending an insulting email. No reasonable person can expect that tone to entice a prospective client to pursue a working relationship further.
Anyway, sorry if this is kind of long. I’m sharing this story because people who act like this should have their actions known.
(I’ve left the name of the contact at Black Dog off this post so as to keep it non-personal. However, if you’re interested in who was involved so that you can avoid her, contact me and I share more details with you.)