Sorry for the novel, but in order to fully understand what's going on you must know the background:
Let me preface this little tirade by letting you all know that I have a bit of a background in photography, in fact, I planned to get a double major in photography & creative writing until I transferred to a school that didn't offer photography classes (still amazes me BTW). Anywho, I also know that there are photographers out there that will charge you an arm & a leg for their services and, quite frankly, I can't afford that type of nonsense. So, I put a TON of research into finding an affordable AND talented photographer. We eventually found someone we liked who had an incredible package ($2000 for 2 photographers & unlimited time on the day of wedding plus royalty free DVDs of ALL images + a ton of other things), but I believe that if something seems too good to be true then it is usually is, so we set up a family portrait shoot to test run the guys & see how talented they really were. They showed up on time, were very professional, brought flash umbrellas, & even did some shots over our allotted time. Our pictures were posted within a week & they were GORGEOUS. I really did love them and they gave us two online albums. One with simple editing & the other with artistic touches (i.e. black & white, sepia tones, etc). So, naturally, we paid the deposit & signed the contract.
**Fast forward a few months**
I emailed the photog to ask them about our exit & how they thought ribbon wands would photograph at night. No response. I decided since it was around the holidays I would give them a few weeks. So, I eventually emailed again & still no response. I emailed again 2 days later & finally got a response & was told he didn't get my previous emails. At this point my instincts started telling something was off.
**Fast forward another few months**
I email photog again to make sure the date for our e-pics was still set. He said we were on. So, the date comes, I go & get my makeup professionally done and as I walk out the skies are dark & a nasty storm is brewing, but we live in a town where it can be raining in one place & gorgeous in another so we were still planning to meet. 20 minutes before our shoot, the photog calls & cancels. Grrr, but understandable. So, we say we will reschedule. We actually end up having to reschedule 3 different times before we can finally get together to take the damn pictures.
So, we get to the park & there is only one photog there with his camera with no extra flashes, lenses, or any other equipment. I started to get nervous, but pushed it from my mind. So, since our photog claims to be a photojournalist rather than your run of the mill posed wedding photographer, I thought it would be fun if my fiance & I set up a picnic in the beautiful park where he proposed & our photog could almost act like paparazzi & shoot the shots while we were having strawberries & champagne. So that's what we did, but we also took some posed shots. So, after we make our rounds through the park, I can tell that the photog is getting antsy & is basically wrapping things up, but we had only been shooting for 1hr 15min...when our shoot was suppossed to be 2 hrs. I made sure to say something about it & he said something along the lines as, "Well, we can shoot more if you want..." Ugh. So, I was like whatevs, & decided with editing, etc. it would end up being about 2 hrs. We were told we would get our pics within a week, and I was expecting to get the same sort of thing as we did before. Some edited pics, some not.
**Fast forward 2 1/2 weeks later**
We get our pictures back & they are horrible. I hate them. There are some taken too far away, some taken where you can't see both of our faces, some that could be decent if they were cropped, some that are just terrible, & some that may pass as ok if they were worked on. Basically, he gave us every single image without doing ANYTHING to them. Nothing. at. all. He uploaded the pics & sent them to us. Plus, he gave us all of the pics that it is obvious we would not use. So, I told him we were unhappy with them & didn't understand why we didn't get any that were artistically edited or cropped for detail shots, and we were basically told that these were our proofs & we would get to choose 100 of them to be edited and touched up. Nice in theory, if there were more then 10 shots worth looking at. I'm sorry, but I was told during my schooling that you NEVER let your clients see your bad pictures. Period. Why on earth would this person think this to be acceptable?!? Here is a sample shot:
So, after discussing it with my FI (who was unhappy as well), I talked to the photographer who did my boudoir shots (who I really wanted in the first place) & it turns out she is not booked for our date yet & she will hold her previously quoted prices for us. This girl is AH-MA-ZING. She is an artist in every form of the word. So, even though she is about $1000 more expensive, I have known her since we were 12 & I know I can trust her to not give me sh*tty pictures of my wedding day & I know that I will have nothing else to worry about. If we stick with the other dude, I will be completely stressed to the max.
After looking over his contract, there is no mention of penalties for canceling or any verbiage of the sort besides that our deposit is non-refundable which doesn't really matter since we have taken our e-pics which would usually run us $200. We have only paid him $300 thus far, so te$100 which I think is worth it.
What would you do if you were in my shoes?!?
Thanks for reading...if you actually did!!!