Hey Knotties. I'm having an issue with my photographer and am hoping some of you can shed some light on the situation.
I posted back in December about my photographer cashing my check but not getting my copy of the contract to me for a month- despite me contacting her several times. She said she couldn't figure out her scanner. Here's the post
In January, I received the contract and figured I'd cut her some slack because of the holidays. My engagement photos were to be taken in March, and she said she'd call me with dates. By beginning to mid-March, I still hadn't heard from her, so I started contacting her. She took awhile to respond- as in close to a week- when I reached out to her again, she was quite snarky with me and explained that she DID have other stuff to do, and hadn't been feeling well. I shrugged it off, but thought that the attitude was unwarranted.
When we finally did schedule a day for the photos, her and I bounced a few ideas off of each other for the shoot (it was a lifestyle engagement shoot at our home), which was nice. But after responding to one of her emails and asking some more questions, she stopped responding. I hadn't heard from her, so one week before we were scheduled to shoot, I emailed her to confirm that we were still on. She then tells me that she has been meaning to cancel and reschedule to shoot with me. She proceeded to send me 5 emails detailing how it was her husband's birthday, and both her and her child had spring break the same week so they wanted to go to Texas to celebrate; plus her MIL was having surgery; plus they never get to see her Texas family. She asked me to reschedule the shoot. Unfortunately, I told her that wasn't really possible because my engagement ring needed to be remade (because of an error by the jeweler) and I had extended keeping the ring several weeks in order to have one for our photos. She said that that was okay, but requested to at least have the photos in the am so that she could drive to Texas that night and meet her husband and child, who were driving out that Saturday. We agreed. (Though, I was frustrated by the fact that she only notified me she needed to reschedule AFTER I had contacted her; how long would she have waited to contact us, had I not emailed her that Sunday?)
Flash forward to the day of the shoot- 15 minutes after she was supposed to have arrived, there was still no sign of her. I happened to check my email, and saw that she had sent me an email saying that she slept through her alarm. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem (though it was rude of her not to call/text), however, she had told us that she needed to leave at a certain time because she was meeting a friend for a photoshoot (apparently she was postponing her TX trip?); by being late, she was cutting our time short. This was frustrating to us, but we figured we'd try to make the best of it. ((On a side note, when she did arrive, it was her husband who dropped her off (and picked her up), which made us wonder if the entire Texas/sick MIL/spring break issue was not true....but we didn't say anything))
During the shoot, she was not very helpful with poses or giving us guidance/direction. Neither one of us has had professional photos taken and, though I had tried practicing beforehand, we both were at a loss with it. Actually, rather than help us pose and give us direction, she kept asking what we wanted to do/pose/etc. It was just not something I was expecting from a professional photographer.
When she left the shoot, she said that she would call to schedule another shoot we had agreed upon, and also told us that our sneak peek woudn't be available for a few days because of the Texas trip, which we understood. However, that night the sneak peeks were posted on her Facebook page, without our permission.
At first glance, the photos looked good- at least some of them, but after looking at them further, I noticed a lot of imperfections & blemishes; the photos didn't appear to be edited. (When I hired her, I have email documentation of me asking her her editing policy and her assuring me that she NEVER releases photos without being edited). When looked at other photos on her site, they all appeared edited, without blemishes or imperfections, so I was confused as to why mine weren't fixed. I figured I'd wait until we received the rest of the photos to decide on their quality.
Well, as per the way she appears to operate, at almost one month after our photo session, we still hadn't received any photos or any word from her at all. By this time, I had hired a wedding planner to help me since I had just started a new job. When the planner saw the sneak peek photos, they were unimpressed by them and agreed that they needed to be edited. On my behalf, the planner contacted the photographer, asking about the editing, whether the rest of the photos would be sent to us, and what was going on with our other shoot. The photographer refused to reply to the planner, and instead, sent me an email saying she would only speak with me because I was on the contract.
She also sent me the rest of the photos, but there were only 54 of them- and 23 of them were the sneak peek photos. Additionally, they were all unedited, and poorly posed. Many of the photos are pictures of us looking the awkwardly, or other way, or in mid-movement during the photo (like repositioning ourselves). And my engagement ring is only shown in one photo.
I am upset by her lack of professionalism, as well as the poor quality of the photos. She is appalled that we are disppointed in the photos, and still refuses to speak to the wedding planner. We are trying to decide what to do about this. We are just short of 6 months from our wedding, so finding another (quality) photographer will be difficult in our area. I'm torn because I see some of the work she's done, and its great. However, our experiences with her have been increasingly bad. I absolutely do not want to have poor wedding photos, but I'm worried I won't be able to find someone else. Not to mention the lost deposit to her- plus the extra $250 that she wants to charge us for the engagement photos that she's already taken.
I'm sorry this was so long, but does anyone have any advice? I've been putting off posting about this because I knew how long it would be, and I was hoping the situation would get better.
Thanks in advance, ladies.