Post # 1
I was niave. My contract with my WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER was very vauge, stating only that I would get 100 photos for (appx) $900 and that she would shoot for 7 hours.
PROBLEM- Out 500 photos she shot, SHE ONLY ALLOWED ME TO SEE 100 (didn’t want to spend time editing) AND THOSE WERE THE ONES I HAD TO BUY, NO CHOICE!
Also, SHE picked which ones were made into BLACK AND WHITES!
I have only 3 of me alone in my gown and 6 of me and my husband alone!
Others are family shots (way too many that she knew I didn’t want) and even they looked like I had poised them), many reception shots, dancing, a shot of feet, me w/ people I hardly know, etc.
A few are very cute BUT I CAN’T EVEN SEE ANY MORE! She refuses. AND I REMEMBER ALL THE CUTE POISES SHE PUT MY HUSBAND AND ME INTO! WHY CAN’T I JUST SEE THEM!
(Exception- after much begging, little by little she added up to 18 more pics. So I have now seen 118 out of 500 but that is it.)
So, out of 500+ shots SHE CHOSE to let me see 118 AND FORCED me to buy only them.
HER REPLY: “Your contract says you get 100 and you got 118.”
I’m in Jackson, Mississippi. ANY ADVISE?
Will a small claim’s judge agree with her?
What about REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS, NORMAL ASSUMPTIONS????
She actually said, “If you had wanted to see all your pictures you should have said so.”
I think she should have told us THAT SHE WAS GOING TO PICK OUT OUR PHOTOS FOR US AND THAT WE’D HAVE NO CHOICE!
I’d greatly appreciate any advise, especially anything I can use in small claims court.
It just seems like common secne to think you’ll get to see and choose your own pictures.
Post # 3
It seems rather unreasonable that she can’t let you come in, view all of the photos with her and select 100 of your choosing. Unless she took a lot of REALLY bad pictures and doesn’t want you to realize how poor her work was?
Post # 4
If your contract stated you would get 100 photos, and it doesn’t specify of the photog’s choosing, I would think you could at least come in and pick the 100 photos yourself?
Post # 5
I think in general you do expect your photographer to select the best photos for editing and finishing touches. A photographer does not want to release photos that they feel didn’t turn out well, because if you go plastering them everywhere and attributing them to your photographer, then it looks bad on them. It’s not unreasonable to think that out of 500 photos, only 100 are truly frame-worthy.
I specifically asked my photographer about the unedited photos (the theoretical ones – we aren’t married yet) and he said he doesn’t give those out “unless they are hilarious.” He said they are usually shots where someone has their eyes closed or the lighting is bad and he might just use them to help touch up other photos.
Post # 6
It actually sounds like the contract was very clear about your only getting 100 photos, and did not state that you got to chose them. Since the photographer is the artist in this case, I think it’s fair that they get to cull the library. For example, my photographer took over a thousand photos over the 8 hours we had her, and presented us with her top 300. It’s very standard. We weren’t “forced to buy them” – that’s what you get when you know you are receiving a certain amount of edited photos. The amount of time involved in editing and dealing with clients viewing and choosing libraries really limits the choosing of libraries by clients.
Post # 7
So you pay and you get 20% of what you paid for?
And you don’t even get to say which are black and white and which are color?
If it were your wedding, and she shot 500, many of which you remember being of you and your husband alone, on a dock, being silly, behind your veil, in his lap, etc…. and you get to see only 100, none of which are those…..you’d still think that reasonable?
Post # 8
Yes, she was very against us seeing anymore. I actually think they were either ruined or probably just really bad. I know photographers edit out several, but not 80%.
Thanks for your reply!
Post # 9
Actually, according to your contract you only paid for 100. So you got over 100% of what you paid for by getting 118 photos. You got 118% of what you paid for.
My photographer took probably over 1,000 photos of my wedding day. We didn’t get every single one back. We got 800 or so which was within the range specified by our contract. It never crossed my mind to ask to see all the rest.
My photographer is the professional and she picked her best work to send to us.
Do you have the option to buy more edited photos if you want?
Editing does take a lot of the photographer’s time and effort and if you only paid for 100 images you can’t expect her to edit and provide more for free.
Post # 10
You didn’t get 20% of what you paid for. Your contract says you get 100 photos, and you got that. You got 100% of what you paid for.
Post # 11
I can see both sides of this. On the one hand, it’s good that your photographer took a lot of pictures, so that there were more chances of getting good shots in there. If your contract said you got to see everything, she may hesitate to take pictures unless she was really sure they would turn out perfectly. You might still only end up with 100 in that case and some of them would not be perfect.
As others have said, you hire a photographer in part for her judgment, knowing which pictures are good and which aren’t, and which are suitable for making black and whites and which aren’t.
On the other hand if I spent a lot of time in different poses and situations and then never even saw any of those photos, I would feel it was a waste of time and money. She should at least let you stop by and look at selected photos from those poses, and you can try to talk her into letting you have a few of them.
Post # 12
Thank you. I agree. I was not smart with the contract. But she knew I though I was going to be picking out the ones I wanted. Any bride would expect that. She should have made herself clear if she was only going to show me 20% and then choose my pics for me, especially what would be black and whites. I just got taken and I want her to show me more pics. I will happily buy them, maybe many more. If she’ll just show me some more!
Post # 13
Yeah, I think the biggest issue here is that you spent time taking pictures in certain poses/places and didn’t get to see a single picture from that time spent. I’d be a little upset by that. If you were given a wide sample within the 100 photos from various times of the day, then I’d say maybe you just got what you paid for.
My suggestion would be to contact the photog and be vey calm, rational and just mention to her that you were disappointed in not getting a chance to see some of the photos from poses/time periods throughout the day. Would she happen to be able to at least let you see some from the dock, etc. and maybe give you the option to pay a little more for those if you want them?
Post # 14
@Over the Moon:
Thanks for your comments. I’ve tried. I’ve pleaded and begged. I think they were just really bad. I’ve since learned she’s just a hobbiest at this. My Bad! But I’ve never done this before. Lesson learned!
Post # 15
Actually, as a bride I would not expect to get to see all the photos the photographer took on the day and “pick my own”. The photographer is a skilled artist vendor and I would expect they would put forth their best work as their final product.
As for what was in black and white and what wasn’t is it possible your photographer had 2 cameras and one had black and white film in it? My photogapher shot her black and white photos on black and white film so there never was a “color” version of it in the first place.
ETA: Just saw you posted she is a hobbiest and not a professional. It really may be that the rest of the photos are not good. She delivered on her contract so technically you got what you paid for. I’m sorry you didn’t get some of the photos you thought you’d get.
Post # 16
Maybe you could at least get her to agree to a day-after session with you two now? It sounds like you’re especially disappointed that you don’t have enough pictures of you and your husband alone. I totally understand this.
I don’t know, if you paid her for 7 hours of shooting and there are big chunks of time from which you don’t have any photos at all, I think you have an argument that she owes you that time that you’re missing. Otherwise maybe just bite the bullet and hire someone else for day-after pics.