- 10 years ago
- Wedding: April 2010
My wedding is in 7 days and I have quite the dilema. Back in the fall, a family friend and a budding, talented photographer called “dibs” on our wedding photos. Being unsure about her, we asked if she’d do our engagement photos. During this time we asked if she wanted any payment. She said no. The engagement photos turned out great so we decided to use her for our wedding photos. Our understanding of the conversation we had was that we’d be getting our photos for free, and in exchange this young photographer would gain valuable experience and build her portfolio.
Fast forward 6 months later and its a week before the wedding. I receive a text from the photographer’s brother asking how much we were going to pay her. I told him nothing, that was our arrangement. He went on to let me know that she did want to charge, but that I should make the arrangements thru him. ??? I told him I’d be calling her myself.
So I give her a call to figure out what her brother was talking about. She asks me how much my Fiance and I were planning on paying her. HUH? I told her were had not budgeted anything other than a small thank you gift because of our previous conversations. She went on to tell me that no, I was mistaken, the engagement photos were free, but she expected payment for the wedding photos. Why did this just come up now?? And after I made the iniative to call her about it.
At this point I’m not sure what to do, so I ask her what she thinks is a fair price. She replies $500. I told her that I’d need to talk to my Fiance about it. I don’t know if she just remembers things differently, or had an idea in her head she never articulated, or maybe because she’s just so inexperienced that the thought of payment never occurrd to her until more. Or another idea is that her brother put her up to asking us for money, when she previously had no intention of it before.
Don’t get me wrong, I know $500 is a great price for wedding photos, but…. you can see why I’m hesitant to pay. Its a priciple thing; I don’t feel I should pay for something we didn’t agree upon previously. And if I’m going to pay for photos, I’d much rather they be with a professional (even at a greater cost).
In hindsight, we would have drawn up a formal contract.. blah, blah, blah. I’m not looking for what I could have done then, I’m look for suggestions on what I should do now.
I don’t know. I don’t want to burn any bridges. This girl and her brother are both long time friends. Ugh, its so messy. If I didn’t know them well I’d be on the phone with ever photographer in the area….
So here’s where my dilema lies. Do I suck it up, save face, and let her shoot for $500. Do I try and fight back to get my photos for free or for a lesser rate? Or do I scramble and try and find a new photographer (at a greater expense) and risk hurting this poor girls feelings?
Hive, do you have any suggestions?
EDIT: This would be this photographer’s first wedding.