Post # 1
I am currently in the beginning stages of planning my wedding! Whoop! I only got engaged about 3 weeks ago, but we’re planning for a september wedding! (9/10/11 to be exact 😉
We’re having a small, backyard summer wedding with 50 close and personal friends. I am ecstatic about saving money, having fun and keeping it low maintenance! My only desire- Amazing photography!
I recently found (on theknot.com) a photographer whose style I adore and is within my budget!! I was so excited to find that their package was a can’t miss!
Anyway, I’ve begun discussions with this vendor and now.. every response takes DAYS… and this is AFTER my daily, “Just checking in- can I get those portfolios I asked for?” or… “Hi.. just me, wanting to know more about the contracts..” Am I being too pushy? We haven’t put in a deposit but I worry about my popular date getting snatched up in the process of the owner not getting back to me! (this company has multiple photogs but one owner.. and apparently, one checker-of-emails)
We’re trying to find the style we love out of all the photogs as well as lock this down. I really do love everything I’ve seen so far and am 95% sure I want them to shoot our engagement and wedding!
My question- Is this owner behavior foreshadowing future flakiness? Should I be concerned and perhaps go with a different option? Or is it too early and am I being too pushy?
Your input is greatly appreciated!!!
Post # 3
These signs would certainly raise red flags for me. I think that a vendor’s response time to emails really reflects on how professional they are and how much they value your business. I’d start looking for another photographer if it were me.
Post # 4
I would be a little worried too. If they are truly professional, then they would respond to your emails in a timely fashion esp. if they are trying to get your business. I would start looking at other photographers too just to be safe.
Post # 5
Look at this hypothetically from the other side: if YOU had your own business and a client was emailing you, wouldn’t you respond promptly?
I personally don’t have time for people that don’t have time for me, especially when I’m forking over a lot of money, so I suggest that you go ahead and keep emailing them, but start perusing other photogblogs in the meantime. There are so many these days I’m sure you can find another that you’ll like.
Post # 6
Thanks, Ladies! I certainly am beginning to agree with all of your statements.. especially after a talk with the Fiance (he’s not so keen on being brushed aside!) I’ve been looking, so hopefully I’ll find another great deal on a great photog.
Post # 7
I agree with PP’s. I don’t have time for someone who doesn’t have time for me. Did you give them a budget? They are probably trying to hold out to see if someone with a bigger budget comes along for that date since it is going to be as popular as 11-11-11 next year. I would move on to another vendor if I were you.
Post # 8
if this is how he’s treating you before he has your money, while he’s still trying to win you over, it’s only going to get much worse!
Post # 9
Just an FYI…most of the time these are not photography companies…they are middlemen. For example…you pay them $1000, they keep half of it and call up someone from their roster of photographers and pay them $500 to shoot your wedding. Somtimes you don’t even know what photographer you’ll get on your wedding day what their skills are.
This very thing happened to my friend who less than 6 weeks before her wedding found out that the photographer she THOUGHT she had for the 10 months leading up to her weddnig had been changed on her and replaced with someone completely different. She would have found this out ON her wedding day had she not been proactive and contacted the company to confirm details.
As my photographer friend likes to say…”Hire a person, not a company….Just please please please hire a human being. Meet the guy or gal, and talk to them. If you like them, and their work, then spend the money.’
You should also check the Better Business Bureau before you hire any vendor. It could save yourself some BIG headaches down the road.
Post # 10
I HATE how some vendors take awhile to get back to you, as well as when they constantly call me when I only emailed them for some basic info. But I have to go against PP, I have to say emailing any vendor on a daily basis, I think, is being too pushy. I am one of the most impatient people EVER! But you have to give them time to respond. Just like you are interested in them so are many others, and they are running a business. Yes they need to respond in a timely manner, but nagging them on a daily basis is too much. Any vendor I have talked to always kind of “holds” our date while we are talking / negotiating. If I am reading your post correctly it only started taking them longer to respond after you were emailing them daily ? Not to be mean but that might have turned them off to being your photographer. I give vendor at least 2 days to respond and even try to wait a few more.
Post # 11
What is awhile? More than 2 days or 3 at the most? I sit at my computer all day so it’s easy for me to answer emails daily and while I appreciate fast responses from vendors, within 2-3 days is reasonable. More than that and I would move on. They don’t sit at their computer all day but should probably check emails every 2 days. Do you want them answering emails 24/7 or editing your photos?
Post # 12
This is a toss up for me, on one hand the vender requires clients to stay afloat, on the other hand they require clients they can work with. The daily checking in emails may have deterred this vender from accepting your request. I have read and understand some of the other posts here stating “imagine how they are going to treat you after they have received your money” but on the flip side look at it from the photographers point of view .. “imagine how difficult and demanding this bride will be once she has paid her money”
This is still a very very busy time of year for some photographers and it’s not unheard of that there will be periods of time between emails that you feel is excessive.
Why not forgo the email route and request a meeting at which time both parties can meet face to face and determine if this can result in a great working relationship. I think too many people book their photographer on images alone, sure images are important but finding a photographer/s that you can feel comfortable with through out your entire wedding day is every bit as important (if not more important). This plays out the same way when photographers are deciding on taking clients. Some photographers will do you a favor and actually not take your wedding if they feel there will be tension between them and you. Never take it personal they are actually doing you a favor!
Email is such an impersonal form of communication that you can gauge very little from it. Do the F2F and then reevaluate IMO.
Post # 13
You’re emailing them DAILY and you haven’t signed a contract? That’s pretty excessive, in my book. They may just be backing off and reconsidering if they want your business. Honestly, I hear photogs really try and back away from brides that will clearly be high maintenance (not that you ARE but if you are emailing that often, you are probably going to come across that way). If they spend the next 9 months or whatever having to set aside time to constantly email you, that cuts a huge chunck of time they could be devoting to other clients. It drops the amount you are paying them hourly dramatically, if that makes any sense.
Consolidate your questions. Don’t email them every day.
Post # 14
It may take them a few days to get back to you, not because they’re ignoring you, but they’re probably really busy. I do my best to reply to clients within the same day. Sometimes, I get a lot of emails all at once (if I put up a new ad, busy season, etc). Plus editing other clients’ pics & meeting with clients & out on photo shoots. Even business owners take a day off now & then too. They do reply within a few days, which is good & doesn’t sound like they’re being flaky.
Also, if you’re emailing them daily, they may be backing off. I completely agree w/ @crayfish – they might see you as “high maintanence”.
I strongly recommend not going with a company who has multiple photogs. Even if the specific photographer you want is in your contract, they can still change it (like if they’re not available, they’ll send someone else). You don’t know which photog you’re going to get. You can request one who does the style you love, they say “sure we’ll do our best”, but the one who comes is someone else or new-ish to the company & shoots in a different style & you hate that style. Just heard lots of complaints about this. Go with an individual photographer, or a team, not some company.
Post # 15
I understand some vendors might see questions and emails as high maintanence and would hate to be bothered on a daily bases. I might’ve been pushy but now after 6 days of no response, I’m sure she’s dropped my business.
I was really excited to have them shoot my wedding but if they couldn’t take the time to let me know, “I’m busy- perhaps we can set up an appointment to meet or speak on the phone in a few days…” then, I’ll have to get over it!
The reason I started to email daily -about 3 days in a row.. =/ is to get some answers to questions so we CAN sign the contract and get the ball rolling. I’m not going to sign a contract, then ask questions later. This is thousands of dollars, so I’m not going to invest based off assumptions of what I might get or what might be done.
I’ve made the effort to contact via phone twice to make appointments at their studio, left voicemails about a week ago, with no response.
I guess I was just hoping it would work out. Wishful thinking, haha. They’re just not that into me!
Thanks for the input! Luckily, I’ve only one BIG vendor to shop for!
Post # 16
Hey Doxie, have you considered that they might have already booked the date? Did they ever get back to you and say it was available? I try to get back to every inquiry within 24 hours, even if it’s just to let them know I’m booked and refer them to someone else. However, I do prioritize my existing clients as well as potential clients over sending these courtesy emails. I’m just saying, it’s possible it just slipped through the cracks and it’s nothing to do with you…
Or of course like Crayfish said, it’s also possible that, in your excitement, you just sent the wrong impression. I also shy away from brides I think are going to be super-high maintenence 🙁