Wedding Photography and Videography Forum

Extremely frustrated at my photographer and at my wit's end.

I was married in late Nov'09.  It has been 6 months and I am still trying to resolve my wedding photos.  Before we left for our honeymoon in Feb, we received our completed video.  There was a photo moment section which made us realize that we were missing ALL the wedding party and family shots at the ceremony altar. 

I immediately contacted my photographer right away via email.  He was out of the country due to a family emergency so I told him let's regroup when we are both back. I detailed very specifically in my email what we are missing.  He promised to look into our case immediately upon his return. 

He has been back for three weeks and told us he would call us.  But when we didn't hear from him during the first week, we called and wrote him.  He then asked us to meet at his home on Weds.  I reiterated again via email that he had promised to look into our missing photos and explained again the situation.  He assured me he understood and would take care of it.  My husband even called the day of the meeting to confirm. Basically it was a waste of our time.  He had no clue what we were looking for so we had to explain everything again.  We kept very calm as our objective is to find the missing photos. 

This is when we realize what a fraud he is. For a photographer with over 15 yrs of experience, I was appalled to hear him confess that he never reviewed our wedding photos.  Basically he entrusted the memory cards to an assistant who downloaded into his own computer and burned cd copies.  So my photographer did not even have the back-up at his home.  He said he needed to check with his assistant who by the way is no longer working for him. He promised to call us back the next day which was yesterday, Thursday.

Needless to say, he never did. My husband had to follow up 3 times.  Each time, the photographer told us he wasn't able to get in touch and became very evasive when we asked for his ex-assistant's number so we can follow up. I finally lost it with him last night and left him a very angry and emotional voicemail about the situation.  I wanted to convey how important these family and wedding party photos are to us.

He called this morning and all of a sudden, he apparently got a hold of the ex-asst. He assured us that we would all meet tonight and we will sort this out.  The ex-asst will bring along his back-up. I cannot even begin to tell you how angry I am right now.  My photographer called at 6pm and said the ex-asst will come by hs house after work.  So we waited.  8pm came and nothing so we called the photographer and said what is going on??? He continued to say he's coming he's coming.  Finally, my husband got fed up and went to his house.  The ex-asst did not show up until 9:30pm.  I stayed at home to let my husband handle it.

My photographer DID NOT explain anything to the ex-asst.  The guy shows up without any idea of what is going.  So my husband had to explain the whole situation and showed them physically the burned cds we received and what we meant by missing altar photos. Now my photographer is going away this weekend and won't be back until Tues.  The ex-asst took down our name and wedding date and promised to look into this.

I don't know what to believe any more.  I have never encountered such unprofessionalism in my life.  I feel trapped even though we have a signed contract.  My husband says we shouldn't take any drastic measures such as legal action until we know for certain whether we can find the missing photos.  To this day, my photographer has not apologized for the delays and irresponsibility. My husband raised our concerns again tonight and was basically brushed off by my photographer, saying that we should let the ex-asst do his job and we'll see what happens.

Has anyone encountered such issues with their photographers and can offer some advice?  I feel as though I am going crazy.  No one seems to understand how important these photos are and that we can never get them back if they are missing.

Re: Extremely frustrated at my photographer and at my wit's end.

  • edited December 2011
    I am so sorry to hear about the trouble you are having with your photographer.

    I am a professional photographer suggest you do the follow:
    1. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. I would be polite (best to try and be pleasant for as long as you can) and contact the photographer continuously. Your photographer may be really busy. Keep yourself and your issues front and center on his radar. 
    2. He needs to go through all images shot to hopefully find your images and make sure that ALL the cards he shot were downloaded and accounted for. When I shoot I number my memory cards and methodically keep them in order in a case that is attached to my body and then go through after the wedding and make sure everything downloads. 
    3. Prepare yourself for the possibility that your photographer is not methodical and either misplaced the memory card with your images or did not download this particular memory card and it has already been reformatted. I hate to say it but it is possible that he is avoiding you because he does not know if these images were lost
    I am keeping my fingers crossed for you that these images surface and my comments have been helpful.
    Jane Bernard Photographer
  • edited December 2011
    I'm sorry you're going through this :( I would probably react the same way, if that is any consolation.  I agree with PP- keep contacting him, remain as professional as you can while still being direct.  I also agree with your husband- don't go forward with legal action until you're absolutely certain the pictures are gone and cannot be retrieved.  What does your contract say in regard to this situation? Since you have proof that the pictures did exist at one time (the video montage), you probably have a case against him for failure to deliver according to your contract.  You can probably get your money back from them.  Did you ever give him a list of "required shots"?  If so, and if it included the missing pictures, all the more reason to pursue getting your money back from them.

    Good luck!
  • iselbgiselbg member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I'm sorry to hear that your having such a terrible time. We had to hire a lawyer because we've been getting the run around from our photograpy/video company for the last 17 months!! My advice is to hire a lawyer at this point. We tried solving our issues on our own and have gotten nowhere. Once the they have your money and the wedding day goes by they could care less about you. Brides get everything in writing and get all the contact info from all the people who work on the day of your wedding. Good luck :)
  • edited December 2011
    I am sorry to hear about all your problems. I had a similar problem with a photographer for another family member. But we were never to find the pictures :(
    May I ask you which photographer did you use?
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