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New Hampshire

Photographer dilema - WWYD?

So I have a little dilemma that I need advice on. Sorry that this is going to be long!

 

We met with our photographer back in September, and hit it off. She’s exactly what we are looking for in a photographer, and her packages are awesome. She’s pretty down to earth and is probably in her late-20s, early-30s. We wanted to talk about the package after we met with her, so she sent us home with the contract.

 

We signed and returned the contract to her with our deposit (I have copies of both) and she was going to sign it and then send us a copy with her signature on it for our records. After she received it, she said she’d mail out the signed contract to us, but we never got it. So after a couple weeks, I emailed her just to see if she had done it yet, and she apologized saying she had gotten so busy with weddings that she hadn’t sent it yet. She said she’d send it the next day.  This was at the end of September. Mid-October, I emailed again and she assured me that she was mailing it the following day. Two weeks ago, FI called and then sent her a message via facebook to which she responded to almost immediately. She said she had mailed it when I had last spoken with her, and we should have received it by then. She did say she would resend it, and FI wrote back with our address in case she had it down wrong.

 

It will be two weeks on Wednesday since she said she would resend it. Do you think that this is an honest mix up, or are we being screwed with? I thought that if we haven’t received it by Wednesday, that I would write to her saying that while we’d really like to work with her, the fact that we haven’t received our contract yet worries us. And that if we haven’t received our contract within one week, that we would be asking for our money back and looking elsewhere for a photographer. Does that sound harsh? Has anyone else had issues like this with a vendor? I know we’re still 8 months out from the wedding, but I want to make sure that we have everything squared away.

 

Has anyone used her before? I might be completely freaking out over nothing, but the photographer is one of the biggest parts of the day for me, and I don’t want to risk that. Any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated. And please let me know if I’m just blowing this out of proportion! Thanks!

Re: Photographer dilema - WWYD?

  • edited December 2011
    I don't think you're being harsh - in fact, I'd hesitate even to give her another chance.  Ask her to send a tracking number the next time she sends it. 

    GL!
  • edited December 2011
    I would have already asked for my money back, that or called her everyday until she sent the contract. You have to go with your gut! I dont think telling her that you are worried is harsh.
  • Steffy3217Steffy3217 member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I agree with PP's... you're not being harsh. Has she already cashed your check?? If so, there's NO excuse to have not gotten back to you. She could have at least scanned the signed copy of the contract and sent that as well. At this point, I would have been discussing going elsewhere. If she can't even handle getting you back the contract, how is it going to be with your pictures?
  • edited December 2011
    I agree with the others...

    she should have gotten it to you a long time ago, especially if she already received/cashed your check. When I had to change venues, my vendors sent me out contracts right away (whether by mail or email). 

    I think there is a need to be "harsh" and I would also rethink using her. 
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • Megglez2008Megglez2008 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Thanks ladies. Yes she has already cashed the deposit, which was for half of our package, so a good chunk of change. I've got a printed copy of that from my bank's website, so I know when she cashed it too.

    We've got a very tight budget, and with FI out of work now, it's even tighter than before. We fell in love with her photos, and the package and prices we got were fantastic for our budget. I don't want to lose our money since it's such a big amount. I'm just kind of lost as to what I should do. After the whole fiasco that happened recently with that other photographer here in NH, it makes me worry.
  • edited December 2011
    I think you are right to be nervous. I agree with PPs and would be asking for my $ back at this point.

    GL - keep us posted!
    image
  • edited December 2011

    There was someone else on this board that had issues with her a while back but I can't remember exactly who it was.  I think they had issues getting there pictures after their wedding.  My DH and I met with Andrea when we were looking at photographers and did not get a good vibe from her at all.  She had us meet her at Starbucks and didn't bring any of her pictures, etc.  She was just too laid back and unprofessional for us.  Have you checked with the Better Business Bureau?  I'd be really worried if she is like this now, how is she going to be with your pictures, etc.

  • edited December 2011
    I agree, I haven't heard very positive reviews of the "customer service" end of her business.  I also looked in to her back when I started my search and loved her photos, but did some research and she has a reputation of not being very dependable.  I would try VERY hard to get your $ back and find someone else.

    Good luck!
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • Megglez2008Megglez2008 member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Thank you ladies! I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking this isn't right. We kind of liked her for her laid-backness, but now it's getting rediculous. I'm starting to look at other photographers, and I've been on the NH Knotties site looking at the ones we've got up there.

    How realistic do you think it is that we could get our full deposit back? Since she hasn't sent us her signed copy, do we technically have a binding contract with her? I can't really afford to lose close to $1000, because then we really won't be able to afford a photographer.

    Has anyone heard of Expose the Moment Photography out of Manchester? If so, are they good? Pics look good and the price is good too. I'm making sure I find out from you girls first before contacting any of them now, haha. This was extra stress I did not need right now.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_new-hampshire_photographer-dilema-wwyd?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:101Discussion:0e5df263-28cb-4dd0-87f7-dbc68f1b1732Post:378eefbf-ea97-499a-ad99-c55c7602f3b9">Re: Photographer dilema - WWYD?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Thank you ladies! I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking this isn't right. We kind of liked her for her laid-backness, but now it's getting rediculous. I'm starting to look at other photographers, and I've been on the NH Knotties site looking at the ones we've got up there. How realistic do you think it is that we could get our full deposit back? Since she hasn't sent us her signed copy, do we technically have a binding contract with her? I can't really afford to lose close to $1000, because then we really won't be able to afford a photographer. Has anyone heard of Expose the Moment Photography out of Manchester? If so, are they good? Pics look good and the price is good too. I'm making sure I find out from you girls first before contacting any of them now, haha. This was extra stress I did not need right now.
    Posted by Megglez2008[/QUOTE]

    Hopefully it won't come to this but I love the BBB.  I had issues with Fairpoint tried to resolve it on my own for MONTHS.  Filed a complaint with BBB and voloia - I'm on the phone with Fairpoint VP check in hand a week later.  Not sure if it works as well with smaller companies.  Bank can probably assist since you paid by check.

    GL!
  • edited December 2011
    I'd have to suggest getting your money back and going with someone more reliable.  I knew Andrea when I was younger and I have to say I'm suprised that she would do this, but I never even got a response to my inquiry for using her as my photographer a few months ago.  I'm using Affordable Memories photography and they're a lot cheaper than luminense.  Good luck!
  • edited December 2011
    i think that since you do not have a signed contract in hand that you will find it easier to get out of this dilemma and get your money back, even if it means going to the bbb.  i am so sorry about all of this!  good luck with everything!!!
  • edited December 2011
    I also had heard some negatives things about her.  Not showing up for meetings, slow returning photos.  I would try to get my money back.  If you are looking for suggestions of new photographers ask the girls on line here.  They can give you great suggestions and if they are married ladies they can give you feedback in regards to their experiences.  My daughter used Kevin Jacobus and he was wonderful.  He works with you on price and he does great pictures.  He is also laid back!
  • edited December 2011
    I wondered if you've resolved you issue with your photographer?? I'm actually using Luminescence for my wedding (recommended by a friend), so I'm really interested to see how this turned out!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • s_leonard1029s_leonard1029 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Hello,

    I'm writing to give you some insight on Luminescence photography, and to stongly encourage you NOT to use Andrea!  My fiance and I booked her for our wedding - we got married in August - and you can't even believe what we've had to deal with!  DO NOT be fooled by her like we were - she does have an easy-going, laid back vibe which we thought would be perfect for us.  She is happy to take all of your money up front, and show up for the wedding, but good luck getting any sort of response from her after that!  Let alone the fact that the quality of her work is NOT worth the money!!  There were many aspects of the contract that we feel she breeched - nevermind that she's completley unprofessional when you try to ask her any sort of questions at all!  She would not pick up her phone, return a phonecall, or even respond to an email after our wedding.  She actually texted my fiance (what professional business owner does that?!) and sent our discs of images to the wrong address - even though I verified the correct one several times in several emails (which I have copies of).   She was late getting our pictures posted, and when she did, we noticed they were not edited at all!  My fiance and I, and also our families were completely disappointed with the outcome, and when we questioned her about the lack of editing (along with other problems we'd had with her) she flipped out in an email, and refused to answer her phone or speak live with us.

    We've found several other couples that have worked with her and had the same experience - some of which have reported her to the attorney generals office and even threatened legal action.  Don't let this happen to you!  Wedding pictures are once in a lifetime, you can't redo them if you're unhappy - and you should never have to deal with someone as unprofessional as her, especially when you are paying her a good amount of money, and during such a special time in your lives.  Feel free to contact me at any time with any questions, I have copies of every email exchange, as well as crappy pictures for proof!
  • edited December 2011
    Girls BEWARE! I was married on 2008 and have yet to see my wedding pics. Andrea Runkel is a con artist. She has made my husband and I so upset you cannot even imagine! 2 years!!! and still no pics? Come one now! We are in the process of dealing with our lawyer to try and sue her. Sad that is had to come to this but we have her so many chances! I hope no one else falls into her trap! She is an awful person, and does not care about your special day!
  • Kate&LynnKate&Lynn member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    !!! WARNING!!!! DO NOT HIRE ANDREA RUNKEL IF YOU WANT TO HAVE PICTURES OF ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DAYS OF YOUR LIFE!!!

    Lynn and I were MARRIED January 1, 2010 and still NO PICTURES inspite of her numerous replies that they would be delivered by "the end of the week."  SHE IS A CON-ARTIST AND we will be contacting the Attorney General just like some of you have already done.

    We were hooked up with her via a friend and since we trusted him WE DID NOT do our RESEARCH.  Our BAD - - I know, but you all have just confirmed our worst nightmare.  She LIKED covering one of the first GAY Weddings in NH but that was where she lost interest.  If it wasn't for the Eagle Tribunes Coverage of our wedding (see Jan Seeger and search "Lynn Weds Kate" ) we would have NO pictures of our fablous blingy day at Zorvino's Vineyard, Sandown, NH (A GREAT PLACE TO HAVE A WEDDING!)

    Sad that Andrea Runkel burns her bridges so easily with her customers.  If you are looking for a photographer for your special day KEEP LOOKING.

    Anyone interested in taking this discussion with us to the Attorney General of NH?

    Good Luck,
    K & L
  • edited December 2011
    I can vouch for all of these comments - Andrea is awful! I've posted an in-depth review in a separate message.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • mocha628mocha628 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We got married at the end of 2009 and also have not received all of our photos. We have had the same issues I have now read about over and over in these blogs - Once she has covered the wedding that is the end of her.  We have tried countless times to reach her by phone and e-mail.  When she does respond (which is about once every 2 months) - no joke - she always promises that she will send the pictures out "right away."  We are preparing to go to small claims court.  We would certainly be interested in taking this to the Attorney General as well and will absolutely file with the BBB. 
  • Kate&LynnKate&Lynn member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    So sorry to hear that so many have been taken advantage of. We finally got our photos but the quality of them is horrible. 


    This photographer is a rookie in spite of her claim to have been in business for 7 years. No professional threats his or her customers as badly as she has and gets away with it. 

     

    When we protested that the photos were horribly color corrected she proceeded to tell us that she would charge us another $200 to do the job the way we "liked it" and that she should have charged us overtime for the hours she worked! And she was going to send her claim to her "lawyer" and he would send it to a collection agency.

     

    Imagine, we paid her in full for a half-a$$ job and she has the unmitigated gull to send us threatening e-mail which amounts to nothing more than extortion!

     

    My advice to all posters on this thread who have been "taken" for your hard-earned money is to report the transgression to BBB and Attn General of NH.  She is under investigation by both organizations and your voices will validate the pending cases.  


    Unfortunately, one of Andrea Runkel's last communications to us she said she had 26 more weddings!!  Good luck to the happy couple(s) dealing with this non-professional.

     

    This is another one of lives lessons... research, research, research and buyers beware.  Good luck to you all getting your photos we will follow up with this thread (and others) when we have progress with BBB and Attn Gen reports. 

     

     

  • edited December 2011
    Kate&Lynn - thanks so much for posting your update. I think it's important that people realize the extend of her unprofessionalism.

    I've taken our issues up with the BBB, and will also be going to the NH Attorney General.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • alibalymorsealibalymorse member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I got married July 10th of this year, and I had problems with Andrea from the start. every email she wrote to me was very rude, I never recieved a copy of my contract even though I repeatedly asked for it. However, She showed up the day of the wedding and was very professional.  I was told my pictures would come 1-2 weeks. I still have not recieved them! I have called and her inbox is full, and she will not reply to my messages, I just dont know what to do!
  • smettingsmetting member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    I got married in August 2008 it has been two years.  It took me 4 months to get our wedding pictures (and they are nice but nothing special and no touch ups were done) back from andrea with constant hassel we still have not gotten our pictures on her website or our wedding album that we paid for.  She hasn't returned any emails or phone calls and when I tried to serve her court papers this week I found out she moved.  I did do my research on her but back then there was nothing bad said about her.  I am trying to find her new address so I can serve her papers

  • edited December 2011
    Sarah - if it helps, I believe she now operates out of:

    148 Townhouse Road
    Effingham, NH 03882

    I pulled this from the Better Business Bureau. We filed a complaint against her earlier this year, and I actually ended up cancelling my contract before we went through with services because of all the horrible things we've heard. She was already beginning to seem flighty to us, so we severed ties pretty quickly and ended up losing our security deposit.


    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Kate&LynnKate&Lynn member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Good luck getting your pictures.  Lynn and I have taken a break to enjoy the summer but returning to this thread is very depressing. Most of the pictures we have need color correction.  This person is mentally just not capable of managing a professional business.  BBB and Attny Gen are still on our list of actions to do.
  • sasmith_01sasmith_01 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Like many of the other people posting here, my husband and I were scammed by Andrea.  Our wedding was in Sept 2009 and we still have not received any photos from her.  We've filed with BBB, but the case was closed without resolution since she never responded to their requests.  We've also filed with NH Consumer Protection website (NH Attorney General's office).  If you haven't done so, file with them ASAP.  I have recently received emails from them requesting information, so I think more complaints would only add to their case.  I just hope something can be done to stop her from doing this to other couples.  It's just heartless and cruel to intentionally pull this kind of scam - especially with wedding photos.  What kind of person can do this repeatedly and still sleep at night?  Good luck to all who have been taken by her - hopefully someday we can all get our photos or some sort of resolution.
  • MissBouch83MissBouch83 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    My husband and I got married in January 2009. We have made multiple attempts to reach Andrea and still nothing. She texted us a few times and also emailed in the beginning. She told us that her album company went out of business and that was the reason for the delay so she promised a $200 refund. We have had no success with the BBB and now are dealing with the Attorney Generals office like many of you. It has been almost two years since our wedding and still no wedding album but she has been pain in full!

  • edited December 2011
    When did Andrea say that her album company went out of business? or anyone else?
  • MissBouch83MissBouch83 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    we were told that probably last spring/summer that her album company went out of business.
  • edited December 2011
    you are not the only one that has been bagged by this women. file a complaint with the Attorney Generals office. as of right now there are at least 15-20 complaints including mine. I had her as a photographer in my wedding in June 2010 and i have not received my pictures as of yet. i am working with the AG's office to press charges against her and hopefully get my pictures or a refund. She was very pleasant and we paid her and never got a signed contract and she showed to the wedding took pictures and then dropped off the face of the earth when it came to producing the product. My husband and i are very upset about this as well. good luck to you. If you would like to keep up with correspondence i left my email below.

    Erica Prukop
    [email protected]
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