Chit Chat

When should I get concerned?

I got married on 11/26, which is now basically 5 months ago.  

For our wedding we splurged on a somewhat expensive photographer- about ~$2500, which is a lot for this area.  The reason we splurged is this particular photographer came to us very highly recommended, we loved his work, and he's one of the most (if not THE most) popular wedding photographers in this region.  

Cut to today and we haven't seen a single photo.  He did warn me when we first met that it takes him a long time to turn around the photos because he individually edits every single one and gives us every photo he and his assistant take over the course of an 8 hour day.  I stupidly did not inquire any further or get anything in writing about how long exactly he meant. 

Immediately following the wedding we e-mailed him, thanked him for being with us on our big day, and asked about how long we could expect it to be before we got the photos back- no response.  At that point we somewhat arbitrarily decided that him saying it takes him a while probably meant we shouldn't expect them for at least three months, so that's when I contacted him next.  

At that point I started to get a little nervous because he was very hard to get in touch with- three or four e-mails went unanswered before we started calling him daily, at which point (after three or four days) he did finally e-mail us back.  He explained he had temporarily put our project on hold because he had two emergency jobs that he had to bump in front of us, due to terminal illnesses in the families (in one case it was the father of the bride, in the other the grandfather of the bride).  He also said he really couldn't give us an estimate of when he'd be done with our photos because these things take time, he personally edits each photo blah blah blah.  He said we should let him know if there were any specific shots we wanted to see, and we asked him to just pick a few of his favorites and send them to us.  He never did.

About a month and a half later I decided to try a different approach and e-mailed him asking for a set list of four pictures (one of me and H, one with me and my BMs, and one with each of us and our mothers).  He responded very promptly and said he'd be happy to send them over the weekend.  Well, two weekends have passed and I e-mailed him again yesterday asking what was up, no response yet.

So basically I'm kind of starting to get upset because it's been almost half a year and I haven't seen a single professional picture of my wedding.  On the one hand I know he is a very in-demand photographer and he did warn us it could take a while.  It's very hard for me to believe he's scamming us or has lost our photos or something, simply based on his sterling professional reputation in this town.  On the other hand I'm sketched out by how hard he's been to communicate with... and I mean we DID get married at the end of November, which is supposed to be the off-season for wedding photographer so I would have thought he'd be finished by now.  I also think it's weird he hasn't been able to send us a single sample photo or "first look", because I kind of thought that was standard practice for wedding photographers.  

Has anyone else had a photographer take this long?  I guess I would feel better if I knew this kind of delay isn't completely unheard of.  Is it time for me to start getting more irate with him or do I keep playing nice and hope that I catch more flies with honey than vinegar?  HELP.  

Re: When should I get concerned?

  • I paid about the same as you and got all of our pro photos in less than three weeks, and they were beautiful. Also ps, that was right around Christmas. There is no reason it should take this long. I would have every single email of yours together and I would start getting firm. Not rude, just firm. If the man literally takes that long to edit all of your photos and is only charging $2500, he can't make a living doing wedding photography. But for real, be firm. Request a date to have your full photos back by. Get him to commit to this, in writing, now.
  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I can't think of a good reason that you don't have one single picture after 6 months.  :(
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  • 500days500days MA member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    I would really be questioning if he even has your photos. If it really were easy for him to edit a few photos, he would have at least done that for you. I'm so sorry that you have been having such a hard time getting in touch with him too. Are literally all of his reviews online positive?


  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    At this point you need to be firm. You've already paid this guy, right? Say you want your photos, edited or not, by X date. You've paid him for a service, and you have not received anything.It should not take this long to get your wedding photos. He should at least give you some of them, even if they are not edited. Hopefully, this isn't a case like Jenna's.

    But let this be a lesson, when a photographer says it will take them "awhile" to give you your photos, you really need to inquire about what that means. What if he said, it'll take him a year. I would never have gone with him.
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  • 500days said:

    I would really be questioning if he even has your photos. If it really were easy for him to edit a few photos, he would have at least done that for you. I'm so sorry that you have been having such a hard time getting in touch with him too. Are literally all of his reviews online positive?

    Yes he has literally perfect reviews, has been in business forever, is constantly having his work featured in local bridal magazines, was recommended by every single venue that we checked out... that's why I'm having a hard time getting super worked up about this (at least until now), because it just seems like he's way too much of a professional to be pulling some scam on me or wouldn't have come clean if something horrible happened.  

    I'm wondering if maybe he just keeps putting us off because we got the most basic package from him?  Like if this is an issue of sort of "not taking us seriously" because the majority of his clients go with his fancier packages (like complete with hard copy photo albums, curated DVDs etc)... I don't know?  I feel like I'm just trying to come up with excuses for him basically because it's very hard for me to believe that he doesn't have a reason for taking this long.  Like at this point if the absolute worst happened and he had lost our photos I'd honestly be more like surprised that he didn't tell us than actually upset that it happened. 


  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper

    500days said:

    I would really be questioning if he even has your photos. If it really were easy for him to edit a few photos, he would have at least done that for you. I'm so sorry that you have been having such a hard time getting in touch with him too. Are literally all of his reviews online positive?

    Yes he has literally perfect reviews, has been in business forever, is constantly having his work featured in local bridal magazines, was recommended by every single venue that we checked out... that's why I'm having a hard time getting super worked up about this (at least until now), because it just seems like he's way too much of a professional to be pulling some scam on me or wouldn't have come clean if something horrible happened.  

    I'm wondering if maybe he just keeps putting us off because we got the most basic package from him?  Like if this is an issue of sort of "not taking us seriously" because the majority of his clients go with his fancier packages (like complete with hard copy photo albums, curated DVDs etc)... I don't know?  I feel like I'm just trying to come up with excuses for him basically because it's very hard for me to believe that he doesn't have a reason for taking this long.  Like at this point if the absolute worst happened and he had lost our photos I'd honestly be more like surprised that he didn't tell us than actually upset that it happened. 


    Regardless of how "basic" the package was, it's unacceptable for him to treat you differently than any other paying client. It's time to be firm with him. Tell him he needs to send all of our photos by whatever date, edited or not. At this point, if they weren't edited I would be asking for a partial refund since you're not getting all the services you paid for. Better yet, if you have a lawyer in the family, ask them to send a nastygram. That will get his attention.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker



  • ashley8918ashley8918 Chicago Suburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Did you not have a contract?
  • PLOT TWIST:

    Okay so I promise that when we were hiring our photographer back in the early months of last year we thoroughly vetted him, read all the online reviews etc.  But PP who asked if his online reviews were literally perfect inspired me to go back and recheck them- at which point I saw several very negative reviews, all from people married in the final months of 2014, from people all with the exact same problem we're having.  Prior to that all his reviews are five stars.

    So it looks like something has happened in the past few months that has majorly impacted his business.  A September 2014 bride recently wrote a review saying it's been eight months since her wedding and she still doesn't have her photos.

    On the one hand, I am happy I'm not alone and it doesn't seem likely my photos are lost.  On the other hand, I am majorly annoyed that it may be many more months before I get my photos.  I feel more justified in this annoyance now that all you ladies are telling me that that kind of wait time is ridiculous.  It sucks that I'm probably going to have to badly review this guy, despite my confidence that when we actually get the photos they will be really lovely.  
  • I'm just going to throw it out there... He said a while, a while to him might mean six months. If you've been calling him daily, he's probably annoyed and now you're on the back burner. Not saying it's right, but I think he has the upper hand because he has your photos. I think you need to cool it, or else he could drag his feet even more. This is what happens when you don't have clear terms but what I do know is being up his ass is only going to piss him off. 
  • I'm just going to throw it out there... He said a while, a while to him might mean six months. If you've been calling him daily, he's probably annoyed and now you're on the back burner. Not saying it's right, but I think he has the upper hand because he has your photos. I think you need to cool it, or else he could drag his feet even more. This is what happens when you don't have clear terms but what I do know is being up his ass is only going to piss him off. 

    I just literally have never heard of another wedding photographer taking six months, which is why I started getting antsy.  

    Anyway, based on the reviews that I just discovered (see my post above), I'm apparently far from being the most up his ass client that he has right now, so I guess I don't have to worry about that.  For better or for worse, it doesn't seem like anything I do is going to affect his pace at this point :/.   
  • PLOT TWIST:


    Okay so I promise that when we were hiring our photographer back in the early months of last year we thoroughly vetted him, read all the online reviews etc.  But PP who asked if his online reviews were literally perfect inspired me to go back and recheck them- at which point I saw several very negative reviews, all from people married in the final months of 2014, from people all with the exact same problem we're having.  Prior to that all his reviews are five stars.

    So it looks like something has happened in the past few months that has majorly impacted his business.  A September 2014 bride recently wrote a review saying it's been eight months since her wedding and she still doesn't have her photos.

    On the one hand, I am happy I'm not alone and it doesn't seem likely my photos are lost.  On the other hand, I am majorly annoyed that it may be many more months before I get my photos.  I feel more justified in this annoyance now that all you ladies are telling me that that kind of wait time is ridiculous.  It sucks that I'm probably going to have to badly review this guy, despite my confidence that when we actually get the photos they will be really lovely.  
    I was posting with the same time as you. Well, that's different then. It sounds like he's over his head. I would document everything from here on out. 
  • ashley8918ashley8918 Chicago Suburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    edited April 2015
    So, no? No contract?
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    6 months to me is unacceptable. I had a few photos sent to me in a week. It says nothing in the contract about a timeline? 

  • sarahuflsarahufl New York member
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    6 months is a long time, but I would also never accept "awhile" as a timeline. Did he give you "awhile" to pay him? Or did he expect it upfront?
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    huskypuppy14ashley8918
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I am/was in your boat too. I got my half my photos and am a September 2014 bride. I discovered other couples on Yelp who didn't get anything from Sept/October. One of those couples I know has moved to sue the photographer, us and another couple successfully disputed our credit card charges.
    However, we all had contracts that said the photographer owed us in 60 days from the wedding date. It sounds like you don't have that. 

    The problem with the photographer having the upper hand is that you don't want to piss them off. I get that. Only you know how much longer you're willing to wait. Does he have a studio you can visit in person?
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  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Try to get in touch with the other couples who wrote those bad reviews as well.  Maybe you all can come together and pay for an attorney to work on getting your photos.  Or call the local news, they love stories like this (unfortunately), they may be inspired to take up this up and do a story.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    What does your contract say?  Did you have a contract?  Typically in the contract it states when you should be receiving your photographs.

    ashley8918
  • vikinganna87vikinganna87 Live Free or Die member
    Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer

    That really stinks, @themosthappy91 I agree that you should at least mention legal action if he continues to be unresponsive.  Only other advice I can give is to try him on the phone too.  You may happen to catch him.


    For those of you who haven't gotten married yet, I recommend not paying the photographer in full until you have the photos.  After reading horror stories about photo delays on TK, we agreed with our photographer to pay 1/3 initial deposit, 1/3 day of wedding, 1/3 once we got the flash drive with photos (not the album since it's dependent on us choosing photos).  She pushed back a bit but we insisted and I'm really glad we wrote the contract that way.     

  • So, no? No contract?

    Yes we have a contract, it just doesn't specify timeline, only the product we will receive.  I realize now this was an oversight on my part.

    I'm definitely going to take the advice of PP and document everything from here on out, but I'm not really interested in taking legal action now that I feel reasonably assured my photos haven't been lost.  To be honest I'm disappointed that it could be several more months before we see our photos, but it isn't THAT big a deal to me as long as I know they are coming eventually.  I can wait a year or whatever.

    Let this be a lesson to future brides- make sure you have a timeline specified in your contract!  
    ashley8918
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