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05-22-2014, 02:41 PM   #1
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Friends who had pictures taken by a less than good photographer

I recently had an interesting situation. I had some friends post some pictures to Facebook of their kids that was done by a professional photographer. However, the work is just bad. The kids are photoshopped so bad a lot of their facial details are gone - like the little girl lost her freckles. The colors are also different in every single picture - it looks like the kids change skin tones between pictures. So would you point out how bad these pictures are, or would you let them continue on in their happiness?

---------- Post added 05-22-14 at 02:43 PM ----------

There's also some really weird shadows going on. It's obvious the photographer needed to shoot with a reflector and did not.

05-22-2014, 02:49 PM   #2
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Depends how much I valued their friendship.
If they were good friends, I'd keep my mouth shut.
05-22-2014, 02:53 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
Depends how much I valued their friendship.
If they were good friends, I'd keep my mouth shut.
That's what I'm thinking. Maybe I'll reach out to the photographer through Facebook, but I could see that getting back to them too. I just feel bad for them, but I understand why they are happy too.
05-22-2014, 03:07 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by miltona580 Quote
would you point out how bad these pictures are
Only if you want to take all of their family portraits for them in the future, and don't mind doing it for free. Otherwise you would have to be nuts.

05-22-2014, 03:15 PM   #5
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You Are Not a Photographer | Exposing fauxtographers since 2011
05-22-2014, 03:16 PM   #6
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For one, I'd direct them to:

You Are Not a Photographer | Exposing fauxtographers since 2011

For two, the others above have posted the more appropriate responses.
05-22-2014, 03:26 PM   #7
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That site is great. The pictures on the first page are hilarious. The Easter bunny picture is scary! Seagull baby is awesome. None of these pictures are that bad, other than just being overly shopped, bad colored, and underexposed. The posing is generally good, and its possible the pictures could be redeemed (except for the odd shadows) if they weren't processed so badly.
05-22-2014, 03:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by miltona580 Quote
The kids are photoshopped so bad a lot of their facial details are gone - like the little girl lost her freckles. The colors are also different in every single picture - it looks like the kids change skin tones between pictures. So would you point out how bad these pictures are, or would you let them continue on in their happiness?
QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
Depends how much I valued their friendship.
If they were good friends, I'd keep my mouth shut.
If they are good friends you can say something, of course. But you still have to be tactful.


It would be more like asking them "how did you feel about the freckles being removed" or something like that. It's likely there was something they noticed that they weren't 100% happy with, and you can give them the chance to express that. Maybe there will be another thing or two they were unsure about as well. Then you can quietly confirm their observation, and perhaps add something you noticed as well. In the process you may learn something interesting, such as the photographer was a friend of a relative and is just starting out, or something like that.


If you ask you can satisfy your own curiosity, as well as that nagging feeling that you shouldn't just let it go. And you'll likely help them in the process, by backing up their desire to either pick someone else next time or give feedback to the photographer (which will help future clients). This approach will probably work much better in person, because you need to be able to pick up your friends' tone of voice as you gauge their attitudes, fears, feelings, etc.


If they're actually 100% happy when you ask them, then just let them be happy. But if they open the door a little, some more good can come out of this situation. Also, my hunch is you shouldn't reach out to the photographer, but let your friends handle that as his customers. At least find out more about their relationship to the photographer before considering contacting him yourself.


Last edited by DSims; 05-22-2014 at 03:41 PM.
05-22-2014, 03:42 PM   #9
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If they ask I would be honest. Otherwise, and especially if they seem happy with the photos then let it go. And I would not contact the photographer, that is just opening a can of worms you really don't want to mess with. YMMV
05-22-2014, 03:50 PM   #10
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Heck, a guy I was going to buy a printer from had purchased or stolen stock images and called them his own. You could tell something was wrong, because their were obviously great pics followed by bad... really bad snapshots.

-------Stay away------. The most I would do is put a less-than-glowing review on yelp.
05-22-2014, 03:56 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
If they ask I would be honest. Otherwise, and especially if they seem happy with the photos then let it go.
I think removing freckles is so obvious that it's a good question to ask (and if they deny any retouching (it could happen) you need to get new friends - such an unusual response would indicate a family with really serious hidden issues that you don't want to be around).


So I think there are a number of legitimate, non-threatening ways you could approach them.

Last edited by DSims; 05-22-2014 at 04:02 PM.
05-22-2014, 03:59 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
If they are good friends you can say something, of course. But you still have to be tactful.
Only if they ask for your opinion, yes I'd agree.
Otherwise it's none of your business and could end up making them feel embarrassed.
05-22-2014, 04:01 PM   #13
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i would only comment if they come to you and ask for your professional feedback. otherwise, shut up and let them be happy with their freckle-less child.
It only makes you look defensive.
05-22-2014, 04:07 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
Only if they ask for your opinion, yes I'd agree.
Otherwise it's none of your business and could end up making them feel embarrassed.
Personally, I need better friends than that - not the kind that let me walk around all day with my fly open.
05-22-2014, 05:02 PM   #15
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If they were that bad, I would bring it up in a subtle way as others have mentioned. Think of it as being similar to them hiring a bad carpenter, mechanic, escort, etc.


When we were searching our area for wedding photographers... I just wanted to get in a spaceship and leave this planet. The amount of weak skilled amateurs calling themselves professionals just about killed me. Just because you bought a Rebel at futureshop or a Nikon from Ashton, doesn't give you a license to charge $3000 for crap. We finally found someone for less who has an amazing portfolio.
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