(Closed) VERY unhappy with our wedding photographer

posted 9 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 32
Member
630 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

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@Alicey: Whoa, so she doesn’t want to talk to you ever again? Or was she just saying she doesn’t want to talk about the photography anymore?

Post # 33
Member
3041 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

@Alicey: First off, I’m sorry you’re not happy… but I’m glad you got it mostly resolved already.

What photo editing program do you have? To open the RAW files, you need Photoshop CS2 or newer. I may be wrong on this, I had an older version of PS that wouldn’t open RAW files, but it was really old. I find it a little odd that she sent you 2 cd’s of RAW files & they didn’t work, but the edited ones did. Is there something on the cd & they’re not opening?

AFTER you get the cd of images, you could ask her if you have her permission to edit photos… maybe send an email if you’re not on talking terms. Pro’s wouldn’t let clients edit photos but since she’s not a pro, she may be okay with it.

As for posting things on facebook, can you convert the photos to black & white & post them? It will help get rid of the bad skin tones. If you’re not editing them just making them b&w, I’m sure the photog won’t have a problem with you posting them on there so your family can see. That, or create an album that’s only visible to your family (you can adjust privacy settings in individual photo albums). Or upload them to flickr or photobucket image sharing programs (they’re free) & you can share them that way.

In a few weeks or so hire a pro photographer to take some good couple’s shots of you & your husband in your wedding attire. Maybe, if your bridal party lives nearby, you can include them as well.

You said your loved your engagement photos! Who cares if all her other epics look the same, so long as you have great photos you love & great quality! I understand wanting something different than everyone else, but as long as you love what you have, don’t worry about it not being different than all her other clients. I’m sure that your photos will look different than other people’s epics, as they’d have a different photographer. At least you love your photos even if they’re similar to everyone else’s rather than having different photos that aren’t very good.

Post # 34
Member
199 posts
Blushing bee

i would never give my RAW files,  even if you did ask for them.  in the days of film,  did the photographer ever give out the negatives? and i cant believe i am reading all the posts telling you to TELL her you want them…..when i am booked,  i am booked for the pictures and maybe an album or CD……the RAW files remain MY property.

I’m sorry but a LOT of your reasons are not valid.  the amount of time of 2 months is not that long…..i dont take that long but 2 months isnt long at all.

i have trouble with bridesmaids and MOHs walking away……we only have a certain amount of time to take pics.  if the people are not there we cant do it and when they return, there is maybe some other pictures we have to get busy with.

her style is her style,  you say your engagements pics were lovely until you saw that they were exactly the same style as the ones you saw on FB……thats obviously how she shoots ….

if you have the raw files you need a raw converter…and possibly Lightroom,  and if you dont have one of them, then why did you ask for RAW files?  i get asked this a lot and they ask because they have seen in a magazine aticle telling them to ask for the RAW files…..and they have no idewa what they are so why do people want them?

blurry and red skintones is unforgivable…….so that is a valid argument.

working from a list doesnt always work well.  it depends on how big the list is.

being an ‘invited guest’  as well as the photographer is actually just a guest/photographer.  i have been a guest photographer and never get to join in the fun of the wedding.  never off duty. there is always ”  oh can you just take another picture of me with this person, and that person….”  you really never get to be the  guest.  if she is a good enough friend to be invited to your wedding,  she should not be expected to work……

if you only wanted one for the signiture frame, and you narrowed it down to 20, then she knew as long as she chose one from that 20, she was safe……why was it so important to get the extra 19? 

i am a wedding photographer,  and yet i also have a life other than taking pictures of weddings,  and yes i go on Facebook too, and if i can get some business from there or any otherplace,  then why not?   i dont make my clients wait too long, but i am not working on their wedding pics 24/7………we all need a break from it you know.

i also take a lot of detail pictures…….if they were important enought to you for you to buy them, i photograph them and use them as backgrounds for the pages of the storeybooks.you point out that the black and white photo should have been in colour,  of your centrepiece.  maybe she messed that one up and disguised it by turning it black and white.  ask her for the colour version of it.  i take everything in colour, then turn occasional ones black and white…..(but always keep the colour version)

miserable looking bridesmaids are not the fault of the photographer……i have asked bridesmaids to smile….to be met with sarcastic face pulling…..and these are adults i am talking about! if your matron of honour looked incredibly bored…..maybe she was,  but thats her fault…..you cant blame the photographer fpr that. 

for the comment about taking 600+ pics……..

In My Humble Opinion, LESS professional people that dont trust there own judgement do that.  if she promised you 60 pics,  then its pretty safe to assume she would take approx  180-200.  trigger happy photographers only take hundreds to be on the safe side…..it shows they are not confident enough to take just 2-3 and know that they are good enough. 

also, if she had taken 600, she would be a lot longer sifting through them to sort out the 60 best ones for you. 

removing half a sign is a no-no…….

i dont remove things like that unless i am asked to……and paid extra for extensive editing.  spots i will remove,  moles and tattos i wont.  and if you choose to do your dancing near the exit sign or fire extinguisher,  then its hardley the photographers fault….BUT  if she had taken a little time, she should have moved you to a place where it was free from distracting backgrounds…. 

 

View original reply
@KateByDesign:

But, and I hate to say this…without a contract she also can’t legally stop you from taking the pictures to be edited elsewhere or doing it yourself.

I’m sorry to correct you, but there are copywrite laws that protect us from this type of thing happening.  contract or no contract, if the photographer can produce the RAW files…..(another reason NOT to surrender them )  then they are the legal owner of the files, and any use of it is copywrite theft. 

 

Post # 36
Member
3041 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

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@Alicey: Oh I didn’t mean that you should settle for b&w photos! I just meant putting them online so your relatives can see them. I mean, if one of my relatives got married I’d rather see their b&w than no photos at all. I just suggested that because if you edit the photos & put them online, you could get in trouble, but if you use the ones she edited & change them to b&w than you should be ok just to post them so they can see them.

Ohh ok, unedited… you just happened to pick the term that most photogs would read as the .RAW file. I’m glad she’s sending those to you & I hope they work this time!

& your photographer was HIGH?! Seriously? Wow I’m so so sorry :(.

Post # 37
Member
814 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

Firstly I’m so, so sorry this happened to you.

Situations like these are why I always tell people NOT to hire friends who call themselves photographers. Anybody can buy a camera and set up a Facebook page, but it takes a hell of a lot of experience to become a good wedding photographer. Also with friends there’s rarely any legal recourse.

Even though she did a terrible job, I understand her not wanting to give you RAW files. I’d never give those to a client (but then, my photos are good). I think you should still push for them though. From the sounds of it, she’s not a professional photographer (as in a majority of her income comes from photography) so she might be willing to bend if you explain the situation properly. Does she realise how bad the photos are?

Post # 38
Member
994 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

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@BeeM: amen.

Post # 39
Member
878 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’m so sorry you ran into this bad situation and I know how important pictures of this moment are- I’m a graphic designer, and if you need help editing some feel free to PM me and I can edit some pictures that need special attention, no charge.

Post # 40
Member
393 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

This is such a sad story. I’m sorry this happened, but thanks for posting it here for other people to learn from. You wouldn’t hire a plumber or electrician who wasn’t a professional, didn’t have a license, professional equipment and knowledge, etc. The same goes for photographers. You can’t hire someone who isn’t a professional and expect professional service and quality.

Post # 41
Member
4334 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

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@Alicey: I’m curious also…someone asked this above but maybe you didn’t see it… Just as a comparison for the benefit of the rest of us, how much did you pay for her?

Post # 42
Member
171 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

Honestly, this sounds like a mess the whole way around, with ppl using drugs, bridal party members not knowing the correct time, stained carpets and ugly walls, things not happening on schedule, and expectations which may not have matched your budget and reality.

How much did you pay her?

YOUR groomsman was late, which caused the bouquet and garter toss to be 2 hours late? Why didn’t you just do it without him? That’s not the photographer’s fault. As a photographer, if I approached you several times about doing it, and you pushed it back repeatedly, I would also leave. We can’t help that the whole bridal party isn’t there or whatever.

Editing the images yourself can get you into trouble. No graphic designer or other photographer should work on these files either unless there is written permission from the photographer.I would NEVER work on another photographer’s images without a written release-it is just asking for legal trouble.

Your venue was less than ideal for photography, with ceiling fans, emergency exits, fire extinguishers, “ugly” paintings on the wall, and carpet stains? Did you expect all that to be digitally removed? A good photographer will try their best to shoot around this but photographe =/= magician. Those edits would be a special cost. I encourage uplighting and fabric draping to camoflauge less than perfect venues, as retouching costs are high and creates something artificial-it didn’t really happen that way. So for future brides reading this, don’t think “Oh, it will be Photoshopped.” Instead, think about hiring a professional decorator.

You received one photo of your Maid/Matron of Honor coming down the aisle. There may have been others that were thrown out-perhaps the expression was even worse in the other ones or eyes were closed. Also, as a photographer, as the bride gets closer and closer, I do cut back my shots of the processional to make sure I have enough buffering, flash power, and time to catch the bride-she’s most important, obviously. The processional photos never make it into the album for my clients-it just isn’t something they pick. I know I am defensive as a photographer, but being blamed for someone’s sour expression is really hard on us and unfair.

How do you know the photographer was high? Was this apparent to you that day? If so, why didn’t you speak up or have your wedding coordinator call in an emergency photographer? All the more reasons to have a DOC and staff working for you that day. Is this true or is this just a rumor? Perhaps there was something else going on (for example, she was very sick that day or had just received bad news) Is she known to use drugs? If so, why did you hire her?

I think there are a lot of lessons to be learned here. Be reasonable about your expectations, always get a contract, and use professionals, not friendors.

Post # 43
Member
4845 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

take the raw shots to a pro and have them edited? Take some re shots with a pro. 

Post # 45
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

View original reply
Alicey:  sorry to hear you had such a terrible experience and I hope you were able to fix some if the images. I do want to mention that you stated that she’s “not a professional” so why would you expect professional results? Secondly, your engagement photos were great “but they looked like everybody else’s engagement photos”… when you choose a photographer isn’t your choice based on their portfolio? If I hired a photojournalist for my wedding and then received nothing but posed formal shots I would be upset….

Post # 44
Member
176 posts
Blushing bee

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Alicey:  Wow while a photographer will take perhaps even 1k shots you will realistically only recieve about 15% of those. To ask for each an every shot would require months of post work in editing and it’s not just simple edits like making some dark image lighter or correcting white balance, most photogs will do meticulous skin retouching especially on the bride. How do I know? From shooting a wedding and the countless hours of retouching homework I get from school.

Post # 45
Member
23 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2014

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craig.willford.12:  You do realize that thismtread is 3 years old?

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