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April 2013 Weddings

Photographer problems

Hey everyone! So I'm having some issues with my photographer. My issues started before the wedding. He had told us 12 to 8 pm would be enough time for everything. Then the Sunday before the wedding when I spoke with him he said I'd need to pay for two extra hours at 200 a pop to get all the photos I wanted. He tried to have me pay for an extra hour at the beginning too and I said I don't need to pay 200 dollars for photos of me getting my hair done. Anyway I paid 400 dollars so I could have pics of us cutting the cake and our guests dancing, and wished he would've discussed this with me oh idk, maybe sooner than 5 days before the wedding? I could've gotten my top choice photog for what we ended up paying him.

Fast forward to the wedding and he spent so much time sitting around with his wife, who btw WASN'T a second photographer and just followed us around - not even assisting him, he did everything himself. We were two under our minimum head count so we gave them the two meals at 95 a person, which you'd think they'd appreciate and take into consideration when the following happened. Once we got to the venue I felt like crap as I mentioned in my recap post- sick to my stomach, light headed, about to pass out. Instead of being down at the cocktail hour or getting detail shots of the reception room, he's sitting on his ass in the bridal suite talking about this and that. I didn't wanna speak cause I thought I'd puke but I finally told him after like a half hour to go shoot the cocktail hour. So there's $100 dollars of my money out the door with no photos to show for it. Throughout the night I never felt totally better but would have bursts of energy to go dance and enjoy my wedding. The parent dances ended up being held off and so was the cake cutting. The photog was contracted to be there til 10, but he said he'd shoot the cake cutting and leave. Given that they spent about a half hour eating and a half hour bullshitting in the bridal suite honestly he should've stayed til 11 and give me what I paid for. Long story short he ended up leaving without ever shooting the cake cutting or parent dances and in some of my guests photos I can see him in the background in the corner of the room talking with his wife and not shooting while people were dancing. My MIL told him once that my H was out dancing with old college roommates and he should probably quit taking and go get that on photo. It was ridiculous.

Now after the wedding- the last wedding he shot he posted part 1 of their photos which was about 30 edited pics 4 days after their wedding. Part 2 posted the day after that. Part 3 about a week later and part 4 a week after that. He posted a sneak peek photo the day after our wedding and said "check back this week for part 1" that was almost 3 weeks ago now and we haven't seen or heard anything. I've been more than patient with this guy and could maybe forgive that he wasted so much of my time and money if I'd at least get a quick turnaround on the photos. I'm writing this in the airport on the way home from our HM and if I don't see anything by tomorrow I'm gonna message him. I'm not sure how to phrase it though.

Any thoughts or advice on this situation?
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Re: Photographer problems

  • For the first message, I'd keep it light and tell him you've been waiting since you saw the first teaser and haven't seen any more pics, even though he said they'd be up that week.  Ask him if you somehow missed them and if not, can he get them to you as soon as possible.  See what he says.

    I think it's horrible what he did - I'd be livid!  Wait until you're totally done with him and make sure to leave honest reviews wherever you can about his "work ethic."
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  • vk2204vk2204 member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 100 Love Its Name Dropper

    Maybe he knew you'd be on your HM and didn't want to post anything until you'd be home? ::wishful thinking::

    While I do think he should have spent way less time talking to his wife and BS'ing, I also think that he should be allowed that half hour to eat - and if you do bring up your disappointment in him I wouldn't mention that part. I know that most photogs around my area will actually leave to eat if they are not offered a meal.

    I would wait until Friday and if you do not see anything by then I would definitely contact him. I am having similar issues with my photog. I was supposed to get my boudoir photos before the wedding. I didn't get them until a week later. She promised that because of that my photos would be done ASAP... and I still do not have them. I don't want to be pushy because I am afraid that I will not get the best quality! It is a double edged sword.

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  • Oh, I totally agree about the half hour to eat.  If he was with you for 8 hours, he is entitled to a break to eat.  Would YOU work an 8 hour shift on your feet, never sitting down, never eating?  No.  So yes, give him that half hour and don't hold it against him.  Here in IL, an 8 hour shift entitles you to a 30 minute lunch break and two 15 minute breaks - so yeah, I wouldn't begrudge him that.  I remember your post about the wife tagging along, and I remember saying that would never fly with me unless she was the second shooter.  I'm sorry you got the shaft. 

    Vk, I'm sorry you had a bad experience as well.  Our photog was great but she neglected to take shots of the bridal party together and I was having a combination anxiety/diabetic crash from not eating so I didn't think to remind her.  She had a second shooter, but apparently she was VERY new so the photographer spent an INSANE amount of time explaining different cameras and lenses to her - which annoyed the daylights out of me because we paid for photography, not for a newbie to take photography lessons during our wedding.  We also never got teasers/blogged, and I truly feel it's because I'm a size 26 and you NEVER see plus size brides on a wedding blog. Heaven forbid someone has to look at an overweight bride!  But it is what it is and the rest of her pics were amazing so I'm not going to say anything.  I guess when you think about it, no photographer is perfect.  Hopefully the photos you end up with are worth the hassle and the wait.
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  • I understand the break to eat but he took breaks the entire night on top of that. Not to mention they got the regular meals, not vendor meals. I'm also not a fan of me PAYING him to eat on top of paying FOR him to eat. I think if you're gonna sit down for a half hour you should make that half hour up at the end. Nothing in the contract said anything about a paid meal break. Like I said I essentially paid $100 for him to eat dinner. Why charge me for that time if you aren't providing me with anything? If it was an all day thing I wouldn't complain but being that he charged me by the hour I expect to get what I paid for. Take your break, that's fine, but I paid for X amount of hours of you photographing our wedding and that's what I expect. Ugh this whole thing pisses me off the more I think about it
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  • vk2204vk2204 member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 100 Love Its Name Dropper

    That was your choice to pay for a non-vendor meal. Not his so I don't understand why you are upset about that. My venue does not offer vendor meals so I paid for 3 of them (plus my dj and photobooth attendant) to eat the same as my guests. In my contract it says if I do not provide a meal for them, they will go off on their own to get food. Like Chi said, you are entitled to certain breaks.

    Now if they abused their right to take breaks that is different. I wouldn't count their eating time as a break though, personally. But like you said he sat there and chatted for ahwile, I would be upset about that. I would also be upset about the fact that he said he would stay until certain things were finished and he left. That right there is unprofessional and lazy to me. We were running behind and my photog stayed because she knew I wanted those photos of certain things. I would leave a review and say that he left promptly at whatever time and dismissed the fact that he offered to stay and shoot certain parts of the reception.

     

    Chi - we didn't have issues with our second photographer like you did, but I am 99.9% sure she did not say ONE word the entire day lol. She did not even introduce herself to me!

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  • ChiGirl2013ChiGirl2013 member
    500 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited May 2013
    Our second shooter didn't say a word, either.  She literally walked around with a deer in the headlights look all day.  lol  In fact, I didn't even know there WAS going to be a second shooter until the day before the wedding.  We flew the photog to Savannah from Florida and she never mentioned an assistant.  I figured with a wedding with only 20 guests, she wouldn't need one.  Then the day before when we had our meeting to go over things, she brought up the 2nd shooter and I had to call and get another meal at the reception for the assistant.  (Our venue didn't offer vendor meals.  They ate what we ate, but they discounted them, which was nice.)  There is a school in Savannah called the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and I have a feeling that the photographer just invited a SCAD student to join her because it was obvious this girl knew NOTHING.  Our photographer was originally from Savannah and only moved to Florida a year or two ago so she knew all about SCAD and I know she had worked with some of their students before to help build their portfolios.  I just wish she had talked to me about it beforehand.  We got no shots of the bridal party together, no shots of our guests on the trolley ride, and there were times when I feel the 2 should have split up so they could have covered different things that happened at the same time (for example, our formal pics were taken while our guests were on the trolley ride) but like I said, it's over and if I don't have trolley shots, oh well.  It's not the end of the world.
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  • I'm aware it was my choice, I'm not upset that they got a guest meal I'm upset that despite being hosted the same as my guests they STILL delivered crappy service. My line of reasoning is they were given extra incentive to do good work and still failed. That's why I even mentioned it.

    My husband works for the government, 9 hour days. He stays 9.5 hours cause he gets a half hour unpaid meal. Most places work the same way- he's getting paid for 9 hours of his time and yes he needs a break but he isn't paid to eat. Point being my photographer was entitled to and got his break, but it shouldn't have been on my dime and taken away from the services I paid him for. Do you understand where I'm coming from?

    Once I receive all my photos ill leave a review because that will determine my final opinion of him. So far it's not going very well though
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  • It would probably be a good idea to look up the actual labor laws in your state before making up your mind in terms of what is right and wrong regarding the break.  While your husband might work 9 hours and have a 30 minute unpaid lunch, that may not necessarily be the law.  If you're going to write an unfavorable review based on breaks and meals, it would definitely be to your advantage to know the laws regarding meals and breaks for your state.  Not trying to argue, just trying to help you write a review that is based on facts and not emotions.  Sorry you have to go through this and I hope you're pleasantly surprised in the end with fabulous pics.
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  • vk2204vk2204 member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    I totally get where you are coming from, but if his service was outstanding it woundn't be an issue. It just adds to the reasons of him being sucky - if someone pisses you off you find any reason to dislike them more lol, I do it alllll the time. What Chi and I are trying to say is that don't let that specific incident be a major reason for a bad review. Let the pictures do the talking and I hope he posted a few more sneak peeks for you.
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  • So far from what I've seen your pictures are beautiful. Definitely wait until you see the rest of them.
    Anniversary
  • that stinks that you are disappointed, but like PP said, wait until your final photos come back. Based on what you posted already, I'm sure they will be beautiful.


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  • I'm late to the game here, but I just wanted to say I'm sorry you feel you've had a poor experience with your photographer. I really hope that you get back some awesome photos that will make up for it and to remember the good things about your day! I'm not saying don't leave an honest review, but I agree with the others who advise not to go looking for more little reasons to leave a negative review. I am sorry that your wedding day didn't turn out exactly how you wanted :(
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