Post # 1
We just got our wedding photos back on Friday and we really love them! There are a ton of *really* great shots, and all of them are pretty good. But I noticed that there weren’t any crowd shots after dinner, which seemed strange. Like for the hora, all of the pictures are of us up close in the chairs, and you can’t really tell it’s the hora except that you can see the ceiling in the background. He also only got up close pictures for the rest of the night, and thus ended up missing a few key things. =(
So when he called yesterday to see how I liked the pictures, I said that they were great but I asked him about the lack of crowd shots — he said that his wide-angle lens broke in the middle of the hora. When I first heard, I felt terrible, but then I thought about it some more, and a few things are bugging me:
- He probably should have had a backup wide-angle lens (aren’t there a million crowd shots at weddings??)
- I had hired a second shooter but she left after dinner (I had no idea that she would leave early when I signed the contract; I was under the impression that she would be there for the time that the main photographer was, although it wasn’t spelled out specifically). If she had stayed, she would have had her wide-angle lens to get these shots.
- I’m just thinking that it’s weird that he didn’t tell me about this and let me approach him about the missing pics. It just seems a little off to me.
So with all that said, what do you think I should do? What can I do? I don’t even know what I would want — money back doesn’t replace the pictures that he didn’t get and it’s not like I can recreate crowd shots with another shoot. =(
Darling Husband thinks that I should just forget about it and be happy with the pictures that we have, but it’s still rubbing me the wrong way…
Post # 3
We had a clause in our package that said we would get a CD with all the images from our wedding, but our photographer is only releasing half. It’s gonna be a tough battle that’s for sure, but if it bothers you I would really say something. Money can’t replace the photos, but maybe there is something they can do so you don’t stay with the sour taste in your mouth.
Post # 4
I don’t know that you can do anything. You could see if there is some clause in your contract about equipment failure, but I kind of doubt there is, if it was’t detailed enough to address the hours that the second photographer would be there. You can spend days or weeks or months thinking that the photographer should have been better prepared, but I guess you would have to ask a professional photographer (there are a few on the boards) if they commonly carry back-ups for every lens.
However, that kind of second-guessing is not going to accomplish anything. What you should do, I think, is figure out what you want. Realistically, there are two things that your photographer can do for you – he can give you some kind of discount on either his services or some product you buy from him (a wall portrait, an album), either applicable to this event or to another photography sitting (a one-year anniversary portrait, or maybe a casual family portrait). If you think that would help, you could suggest it. (I would think that it would occur to your photographer to suggest something like that, if you have already expressed your disappointment.)
However, you already said that money isn’t going to make you feel any better about this. If that is really the case, I do think your husband is right – you just have to get over it. And I don’t mean that to sound awful – because it is disappointing that the pictures aren’t what you had envisioned – but you can be upset about that, or you can be happy with the great pictures that you do have. At some point, it is true that there is no point in crying over spilt milk. And your husband is right – there is no point to feeling horrible about something that you can’t do anything to fix – unless you just really want to feel horrible. I know all about this, because my husband has to remind me all the time. I find it helps to give myself some limited amount of time (until next Tuesday, or something) to try to figure out how to fix whatever it is, and if I can’t come up with anything by then to just decide to be, if not happy, then happy enough.
Post # 5
Sorry to hear that you’re a bit disappointed with your coverage. I’m a pro photog so I’ll respond from that point of view. First, pretty much every pro has a clause that they can’t guarantee any particular photo because we’re not in control of the event. Basically it’s a cya, clause. Maybe your photog had a backup on his hip, but by the time he could replace it, the hora was over. Who knows? But your concerns are valid.
How did your photographer react when you asked about those photos? Did he seem concerned or did his response seem like an excuse? If I were the photog in question, I’d want you to be 110% thrilled with my coverage and would be upset to learn that you weren’t. I’d ask what it is you want to make it up? If it’s reasonable, I’d do it. If it’s not (i.e. 100% refund + all photos on a disk, is never a reasonable request), I’d try to find a suitable alternative.
If there is something you feel that your photographer can do, that would truly make you happy with your coverage, ask. If nothing will make you happy, I agree with your hubby.
Post # 6
I was looking at my contract with my photographer and they said if something happens they will give us a percentage back of what we paid. I know you said money wouldn’t fix it, but maybe they would do something like that. Or do photos for you to put in Christmas cards, they wouldn’t want any bad word of mouth I’m sure so if they are professional they should work with you to find something that will make you both happy.
Post # 7
Suzanno, it actually specified that there was no hourly limit to "wedding coverage" and that I would have a second photographer, so it would imply that that meant the second photographer would have no hourly limit either — silly me for not realizing that you never imply in a contract.
N’neka, it wasn’t just the hora that he missed. If it was, I would be okay with it. It was *all* wide-angle shots after the hora, which was a time period of about 2.5 hours.
My contract doesn’t specify anything about backup equipment, but he did say the following in an email when I asked him about specifically about it:
"I always bring backup equipment…i’m sure to have at least two of
everything; and I always check all of my equipment before the shoot.
I also keep it all well maintained. If something isn’t working
correctly, I will rent or borrow spare equipment. I’ll never show-up
to a job without functioning backup equipment."
So I didn’t give it a second thought.
He does seem to have the CYA clause that N’neka is describing, in that he can’t guarantee specific images or photos. But these were never specified, just expected. Again, silly me.
Post # 8
Looking at it from a different perspective for a second (and shifting off of the pro photographer), have you asked your guests if they happened to get any wide angle shots of the night? You might be surprised with what you come up with.
I’m by no means a professional photographer in any regard, but I have a digital SLR camera that I bring to bigger events (including some of my friends’ weddings over the past year). One of my friends didn’t have a photographer there for her getting ready, so I took some shots in between getting ready to be a bridesmaid. At other weddings, I took some pictures of the scenery or some of the more random things that the professional photographers left out (I’m quirky and I think things like chandeliers, etc… can make neat photos).
There have been photos that they’ve all loved and I try to make sure to pass on all the pictures I have (after all, they were their days). I’m sure your friends and family wouldn’t mind at all sorting through to see if they managed to capture any of the "missing photos" you might want to have. And if they aren’t exactly perfect quality, get someone you know that can use photoshop or a comparable program to fix the minor issues (red eyes, color, etc . . .) so that you can have some of the pictures to include with your professional pictures so you have a full recap of the night.
I know this doesn’t fix things from the professional photographer end of the spectrum, but this might actually make you feel a little better knowing that these events were captured in some form. You might also want to look into seeing if there was a video of any of the night and seeing if you could get any still shots from that.
Give it a shot, and I truly wish you the best.
Post # 9
You’re not being silly at all. It’s not your job to micro-manage your photographer & ensure he has everything he needs. Your job was to trust him and let him do his job, which you did. He let you down, maybe unintentionally, maybe through carelessness – that part is unclear. I assume you saw plenty of wide angle reception shots in his work.
Back up equipment doesn’t necessarily mean 2 of everything. I have only one lens in every range (4 total), but the range overlaps slightly. If my wide angle were to fail at wedding, I’d use the next widest lens and stand back if possible.
But really, what do you want? If you want some sort of discount or freebie, you’re well within your right to ask. Maybe you just need him to acknowledge your feelings.