- 10 years ago
- Wedding: June 2011
Sorry to jump right in to the problem without proper introductions etc but I’d like to get this resolved as quickly as possible, and I need advice.
We are very, very unhappy with our wedding photographer. As such, this will be quite long. I apologize for that!
She’s a friend of ours and because of that she gave us a good deal on both our engagement shoot and our wedding photos. BUT. We’ve had nothing but problems with her.
First of all, our engagement pictures wound up looking exactly the same as every other engagement shoot she’s ever done (she has a facebook page for her photography). There was nothing unique about them in the slightest.
Second, we wound up having our engagement shoot about two weeks before the wedding (long story; no one’s fault). I explained that we were having a signature frame and we wanted one of the engagement pictures edited and printed in time for the wedding. When I was flicking through the 100+ engagement shoot pictures I was so happy with them I couldn’t choose one (this was before I got on her facebook page and realised all our photos were identical to everyone else’s). I told her, jokingly, that I’d narrowed it down to 20 and that was as good as it was going to get. She told me that actually wasn’t a problem, she’d edit those 20 in plenty of time for the wedding and I could choose. Well, I got ONE photo, the night before the wedding. And for some reason, the formatting was off or something: I set it to 8 inches x 10 inches, and it was all stretched out and weird. When we finally got our wedding pictures, we got the other 19 engagement photos. She’s only edited 20 of the 100+, and hasn’t even given us the raw files of the others, although I asked for them.
Our wedding was more than two months ago and we just got our photos back tonight. This is after I have consitantly reminded her that because my family couldn’t come to the wedding it was extremely important we get them back as soon as possible. She estimated she’d have them back to us within three weeks. Obviously that didn’t happen. Over three weeks ago she said they’d be done in two weeks. I understand that professional photographers can take a long time to get their photos back to you but she is not a professional. She just does this every now and then. In addition, what makes me furious is while we’ve been waiting for our photos, I’ve seen constant (almost daily) posts on her facebook page about going to do another shoot/looking for people who want to model for her/having nothing to do, who’s in her area and wants to do a shoot?/etc. It’s blindingly obvious that she’s taken on more work than she can actually handle, and why should WE suffer for that?
Other issues: before the wedding I’d given her a ‘must-take’ list. None of these photos were taken. In fact, when I tried to find her for the bouquet toss at 10:30, I was told she’d left more than 30 minutes ago! As a friend of ours, she was invited both as the photographer AND a guest. we’d made it clear to her we wanted a few photos taken (bouquet toss, garter toss, etc) later on in the night. She’d not checked with us before leaving, or even said goodbye. The CDs of the raw photos which she sent us didn’t work. She edited 40 photos for us and then asked us to choose an additional 30 (because the raw CDs didn’t work, but for some reason the edited CDs worked, she told us to choose 60 for her to edit instead, I will give her that). She had CLEARLY chosen the 40 photos from random, or just the first 50 that popped up on her camera. The edited pictures consisted of: both my bridesmaids but NOT the maid of honor; 7 photos of decor, 2 of which were close ups of candy, one of which was a card from a wellwisher and one was A PICTURE OF AN AMPLIFIER FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE; THREE pictures of my bouquet (all beautiful shots, but I didn’t need THREE pictures of the same thing edited when such a small number were being edited in the first place); two pictures of the rings (ditto); and NO pictures of the ceremony whatsoever. Another thing that I am on the verge of tears about: of all the photos she took – not just the edited photos, but the hundreds of photos from the day – there is only one picture of the entire room. The other ‘decor’ pictures are things like a close up of a champagne glass or a card. This one and only photo is in black and white. I spent weeks making my own beautiful, brightly colored centerpieces, and the ONLY photo of them is in black and white…? The same goes, of course, for the entire wedding color scheme. Only two of the photos she edited show any of the bridal party in color. Every single picture of the groomsmen is in black and white. Oh, and on one of the photos, she’d started to remove emergency exit signs, ceiling fans, etc, but stopped halfway through! There was half an emergency exit sign on the photo!
So more than two months after our wedding I FINALLY get the remaining 60 photos tonight, and the editing on these is worse still. They are blurry. Skintones are red: not peachy, flushed red, but RED red. Traffic light red. No ceiling fans/exit signs/other uglies are edited out at all. The pictures of my bridesmaids walking down the aisle are frankly, awful. My maid of honor looks incredibly bored, and in the same shot you can see a guest looking bored (this is the ONLY shot of my Maid/Matron of Honor walking down the aisle, though: there were several shots of the other bridesmaids). In a photo of one of my bridesmaids walking down the aisle it is so overedited that she… She essentially has no face. That’s the only way I can describe it. The final bridesmaid-walking-down-the-aisle shot is of my final bridesmaid so far away from the camera that you can’t even see her face.
Oh, and I say “I FINALLY got the remaining 60” but we only got 25 of the 60 photos we were promised. And, again, they’re chosen totally at random.
I am FURIOUS. My wedding was the most wonderful day of my life, and the pictures not only don’t do it justice, they make it look terrible and they make me angry to look at. We’ve waited over two months, we had hoped that when we finally got them back they would be outstanding. They are s**tty. Absolutely s**tty. I genuinely have done a better job myself, at parties etc, with free editing software and a 12mp camera than this post-grad photography student has done.
We’re not looking to sue her. We’re not looking for our legal rights here. But HOW do I approach her about this? Like I said, she’s a friend of ours. I don’t want things to be any more awkward than they already are because I’ve already had to complain to her about the CDs not working, and the number of the photos that were in black and white. And what do I do about it? Honestly, I am so SICK of waiting for my photos that I don’t want to tell her to start again, because it’ll be Christmas before we get them back. I would even be willing for her to send us the RAWs and let me edit them myself: I’m not trying to brag but I really think I could have done better.
Does anyone have any ideas on what on earth I can do about this?
– Disclaimer – Although she did cut us a deal, this is not unique. She cuts deals to everyone because she works almost exclusively with students, who don’t have a lot of money to go around. I wouldn’t be surprised if what she charges you for a ‘deal’ is actually her regular price, but she says it’s a deal so that it looks more appealing. This isn’t a case of “well, we got a discount photographer, of course we got a discount fineished product” –