(Closed) TERRIBLE photographer dilemma

posted 12 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2009

If photography is your number one priority, definitely don’t settle.  I think the best approach is to be honest with the photojournalist and explain the situation to him plainly and in a friendly but businesslike way. 

It might be nice if you offered to reimburse him for any time and expense he has already done in preparation for your wedding, but since he’s not a wedding photographer, he probably hasn’t had to turn down any other jobs by agreeing to work yours. I’d also offer to explain to him in great detail why you prefer this other photographer, if it would help him, as he may be interested in constructive feedback.

A possible option, if he really wants to work with you and you want to give him some business (or if he’s really interested in breaking into event photography) is to ask him to shoot your rehearsal dinner or to be a second shooter for the real event at a significantly discounted rate or possibly for free, depending on the situation.  You’d want to run the second-shooter scenario past your new photog, to be sure it’s okay.  Could be really nice to get a second artist’s take on the day.

 Best of luck.

Post # 5
2029 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

No contract and no deposit means neither of you has any obligation to the other. Tell him you’re sorry, but your plans have changed and you no longer need his services. Then, when you hire the second photographer, make sure you get a contract so you’re protected.

Post # 6
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2009

Well, it sounds like he may be disappointed, but you have to do what’s best for you, and hopefully he can be professional and understanding.

I also had to "break up" with a promising young photographer, though we hadn’t entered into a verbal agreement.  He specifically wanted to know why I was choosing the other photographer and whether I would direct him to her website.  He wanted to learn from the experience.  I was very impressed with his professionality and would recommend that other friends check him out, even though we didn’t ultimately pick him. 

Hopefully your experience will work out as well.

Post # 7
282 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

I second snmcdowell’s advice, but amend it to add make sure your contract is signed with the second photographer before bailing on the first.

Post # 8
80 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I agree with CarolineG — your first move should be to get a signed contract with photographer #2 before you call anything off with the first photographer. Then just be honest and explain that you’ve decided to go with someone else — no contract means no obligation on either of your parts, so although it’s very kind of you to worry about his reaction, remember that he’s a professional and you don’t owe him anything. Ultimately, you have to do what’s best for you personally — you don’t want to end up with any regrets once your wedding is over and the photos come in!

Post # 10
169 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2020 - LDS Seattle Temple & Hotel 1000

To this photographer, you will simply be a bad memory 1 year from now. You will be looking at those wedding photos for the rest of your life. You’ll show them to your children, and then to your grandchildren, and then they will be the photos displayed after you are gone. Yes, it is not the best thing to do to him, but he won’t remember someday. You always will.

Post # 11
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

Tell the photojournalist that due to overwhelming response to your craigslist ad you had a very difficult decision but chose another photographer.  Thank him for his time.  It’s not flaky — it’s just business.

Then hire the photographer you love! 

Post # 12
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Yes back out on the other – it’s not like they are going to give you the thrid degree, simply send an e-mail explaining that other arrangements have been made and you won’t be needing their services. Simple.

However if you paid a deposit the chaces are that you won’t get it back. Most photogs don’t retrun them, and it’s in their contract.

Go with your gut. 

Post # 13
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2000

I’m a wedding photographer so I just wanted to write for my perspective. You truly don’t owe him anything and I think you can back out on the first. Yes, he’ll be disappointed but as long as you truthfully explain it will be okay.You’re actually lucky you’re not out any cash.

You wouldn’t believe how many brides say they’re going to book you, the check’s in the mail – never to be heard from again. Others give you the run around, telling several photographers they will book them while still shopping for the best deal. IMO, those kind of deceiptful practices are far worse and a waste of everyone’s precious time.

Also, it’s important that you are comfortable with your photographer and completely trust him/her 100%. Otherwise, you can make the relationship harder, always comparing them to someone else, second guessing what they do and just not being able to relax in front of the camera. It Will show up in your pictures. 

I just booked a couple last week for their Sept 08 wedding. I met them a year and a half ago at a bridal show. They didn’t think they could afford me so they went with a cheaper photographer. Well they were extremely dissappointed with their engagement photos so they cancelled him and hired me instead. I have no idea how much money they lost, but it most certainly would have been better for them to hire me initially, especially since my rates were cheaper last year. Bottom line- in the long run it could be much worse if you continue thinking about how you could have had a better photographer.

Good luck!


Post # 14
12 posts
  • Wedding: December 1969

Seriously if your photography is your #1 priority (as it is mine!) DO NOT settle for something when you’ve found something else you like. It will be uncomfortable letting the other guy go, but it’s for the best and having no contract you don’t owe him anything. Your memories are more important than his feelings.

Post # 15
51 posts
Worker bee

I’m not exactly sure what you mean by: "I kind of entered a verbal agreement with him" but honestly this kind of thing happens all the time. Seasoned experienced wedding photographers are used to this situation so there is really no need for you to feel too badly. They get lots of calls and emails from prospective clients who love their work and say they want to hire them. But every professional vendor who’s been around the block a few times knows that unless there is a signed contract, nothing is set in stone. This is good for BOTH the photographer and the client.

The important thing is that you’re are happy and comfortable with the vendors you choose. You want your wedding to be wonderful and memorable and full of happiness, so make sure you’re 100% happy with your vendors! Good luck!

Joe Milton
International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers

Post # 16
18 posts

I would agree with most everyone’s advice on this if you were planning a wedding inthe US. However, you are obviously more familiar with the law and customs in India than most of us are. I have no idea what the law is in India, but agree with everyone else that in the States, an oral agreement is not a contract for something of this size.

 But be careful about assuming that everywhere else is the same -it’s not. And I caution you to be very careful in your wedding planning in general. It seems as if you are being careful to respect the differences while planning your wedding abroad, and I applaud you for that. Do you have family/friends there that you can ask? Or would you feel comfortable asking someone else who replied to your craigslist ad for their take on it (or even putting up a seperate craigslist ad just asking for advice)?

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