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Help.. what to do about a non-responsive photographer

Looking for some advice on how to handle a non-responsive photographer. When I first meet with her really liked her style, willingness to work with us on shots, and got a good vide from her. Her pacakage included engagment photos which where encouraged mainly to get know each other and get used to having a camera in your face. Now I have been trying to set up these engagment photos and am not getting a response. It's been almost a month and I've gotten one email back saying she has been traveling and will get back to me in a couple of days (this email was 2 weeks ago). I've tried to call her cell phone several times as well and her voicemail system is not set up which is also super weird. It gets even worse when we orginally meet I signed the contract and she was going to make a copy and mail it to me and I have yet to see this 6 months later despite asking for it several times.

At this point I am getting extremly nervous. My wedding is less than two months away and I can only image if this is how it's going to get engagment pictures set up how it's going to be after the wedding to actually get the pictures back. Or if she's even going to show! Do I start looking for another photographer? Any suggestions?? Thank you!

Re: Help.. what to do about a non-responsive photographer

  • You are in a tough spot because (a) you signed a contract, which means you may be obligated to pay her even if you change your mind about using her, depending on what the contract says; and (b) you don't have a copy of the contract, so you have no idea what it says or what you're required to do, or what she's required to do.

    Personally, I'd tell her that if I didn't hear from her in a certain number of days, I'm going to start looking for a new photographer and would consider the contract cancelled, but be prepared to pay her anyway, since legally, you might be required to do so.  Also, does she have an office where you could track her down in person?  A face-to-face conversation might help.

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  • I would say send her another email stating that you are starting to get a little nervous about her lack of response.  Let her know that you understand she was travelling and is busy but you also really need to get started on your e-pics as soon as you can. Let her know that you are giving her a week to respond or you will consider the contract cancelled and will be booking another photographer.  I would be browsing for another photographer in the meantime.  As close as as your wedding is its going to be tough to land another one anyway so start looking now. 

    As PP said you may legally be required to pay her even if you go with someone else because you did sign the contract.  I signed the contract with my photographer the first time I met her and received a copy of it right then and there.  It may that she is just super disorganized but its really unprofessional to let it affect your business.  I am extremely disorganized in my personal life but none of my clients would ever know it.  Also I would try to get a copy of that contract so that at the very least you know what you signed. 
  • Thank you both for your advice. As you can tell I am pretty nervous about this whole situation. I did email her earlier this week letting her know she had until a certain day to respond, get me a pdf copy of the contract and reassure me that she was going to show up to photograph my wedding. Haven't heard from her but she still has 3 days to respond. In the meantime I have starting looking at other options and have found (to my surprise) a couple of people who are avaliable who are in budget and do good work. I contacted some of the my other vendors, who are awesome, for recommendations.  Keeping my fingers crossed that everything works out.
  • I'm going through the same thing!!! Except my wedding is only 7 days away and now I have to look for another photographer...

    Its making me so sad! If you have 2 months to sort this out - I suggest you do it now. Don't wait - if you have a bad vibe - you're probably correct.

    Nightmare :(
  • edited May 2012
    I frankly think that any photographer selling their engagement photos as some sort of extended introduction is a sleazebag.  Getting used to being in front of a camera?  BS!  Engagement photos are supposed to be just as professional as the main event, they're not an exercise in client-vendor relations, for that is just trial and error.  

    Do you honestly think that if your engagement photos are done a few months before your wedding that you will somehow be more comfortable in front of the camera and with the photographer, who you haven't seen in the few month interval?  I think not. 

    What you need to do is call her daily, and doing so from a number that she doesn't know about.  This way you're guaranteed that she's not screening your calls.  
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