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01-21-2015, 01:23 AM   #16
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You hear a lot of sad stories on both sides of the wedding deal. It makes me feel good about our way of handling it. I put a wide-angle zoom on the K50, set it to auto, handed the camera to my friend (a total non-photographer) and said, "Take pictures of everything." We wound up with a great set of photographs reminding us of a truly wonderful day in our lives. Maybe we were just lucky. But even if the photos had turned out badly, we still had a great day, lots of love, and terrific memories. And no arguments with the photographer.

01-21-2015, 06:56 AM   #17
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Here's the way I see it: If the photographer were truly scamming the couple, she would have been served with a legal notice NOT a TV interview.


It sounds like a misunderstanding on the couple's part or maybe a poorly written contract, and the bride wanted her 15 minutes of fame instead of resolving the dispute.
01-21-2015, 07:47 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
You'll note in her rebuttal she says nothing about the cover charge which leaves me wondering.
Ah in the open letter it says she offered to wave the cover charge BEFORE tv crews were contacted..

QuoteQuote:
This conflicts with the numerous emails in which we clearly reiterated what is stated in the contract: low-resolution watermarked proofs are sent to the couple several weeks after the wedding for them to choose their desired photos, while the non-watermarked, high-resolution images are released upon completion of the album.
and

QuoteQuote:
In fact, over two weeks ago we emailed the bride and stated our willingness to release to them their images prior to having a completed album. Then last week, we also offered to assume the cost of the album cover before the mention of a news interview ever occurred. Although the contract provides when the images were to be delivered, we attempted to make concessions to keep the bride satisfied.
This is one big dramafest.. looks like there was a hangup with the album cover and the release of the final images, but they had the watermarked versions from which to pick while they waited. Seems, from the little info we got, the cover was something that had to be bought additionally which is odd.. why not include that in the total price? Also seems it was mentioned in the documentation the couple received too.. this is starting to get a bit too gossipy for me so I guess I'll end it there. Hope they all work it out though.

In any case, this is why I don't want to have anything to do with commercial wedding photography.

I'd like to photograph a wedding though.. as a side third or fourth shooter.


I've thought about maybe one day finding a couple that can't afford a big time photographer that might want photographs slightly better than aunt elma using her point and shoot or cellphone and take them for free... but even that has me a little bit squeamish since I'd probably still have to draft some kind of legal document just in case poo hit fan.
01-21-2015, 08:15 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
In any case, this is why I don't want to have anything to do with commercial wedding photography.
Amen to that.

01-21-2015, 08:46 AM   #20
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The original link has what looks like a non-committal statement from the photographer at the 3:35 mark. If the photographer already waived the $150 charge why wasn't it mentioned? I can't tell whether this is a bad news report or a problem photographer.

The open letter says "we also offered to assume the cost of the album cover" so that sort of confirms the photographer charges $150 for the cover on top of the $6000 contract. Even if it's spelled out in the contract, it might be time to simplify the contract and price structure to avoid future problems.
01-21-2015, 10:29 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
The original link has what looks like a non-committal statement from the photographer at the 3:35 mark. If the photographer already waived the $150 charge why wasn't it mentioned? I can't tell whether this is a bad news report or a problem photographer.
From the photographers rebuttal:

"To make matters worse, I responded with a lengthy statement to the reporter on Thursday morning because I was out of town for work, and was told in writing from the reporter that “I will do my best to sum up your position to give your side of the story.” In the interview that aired, this reporter only included the very last sentence of my statement completely leaving out key information in the story."

Slow news day?

QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Even if it's spelled out in the contract, it might be time to simplify the contract and price structure to avoid future problems.
Exactly why the brides story didn't make sense to me. I'd expect anyone able to charge $6000 for a wedding has some customer service experience. The sensible approach is to take the $150 loss and call it a lesson on dealing with crazy customers and/or a lesson on where your contract and price structure needs clarification.
01-21-2015, 10:58 AM   #22
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$6000 and it could not include the cover? Come on... sounds like "milking". But if she did waived the fee and the bride knew about it... why the drama then?

The bride choose the wrong path I would say and I don't think it needed to escalate that far. Especially with all the trolls coming along on the social media channels with some comments which sounds like life threatening a little towards the photographer...

Anyway, the photographer is slightly at fault. Simplify prices and include everything within your package. Too many options confuses the clients.
The bridezilla in turns seems to be even worse... and nothing but an attention seeking.... ummm... person. I have no sympathy for her.

I hope the photographer's business was not ruined much... and a peaceful solution was found.
I won't even mention the reporter.... making drama of everything is the new age of the news.
01-21-2015, 05:39 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
Exactly why the brides story didn't make sense to me. I'd expect anyone able to charge $6000 for a wedding has some customer service experience. The sensible approach is to take the $150 loss and call it a lesson on dealing with crazy customers and/or a lesson on where your contract and price structure needs clarification.
I have seen many, many examples where small business owners take it personally when a customer suggests they made a mistake. Most customers in situations like this will swallow their pride and fork over money they didn't expect to have to pay, because they were happy with the product or service itself, and don't want the stress of complaining, but some customers will see it instead as an opportunity to build up their own self-image, and will never let it go. Good photographers don't have to have good business skills to be successful, but letting this one incident get out of hand has more to do with her personality than her business acumen.

01-21-2015, 11:40 PM   #24
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I got married seven years ago and we still haven't received our album, though we did receive 4x6 prints. I've heard similar stories from several other couples. As much as it annoys me when I think too much about it, I just can't imagine broadcasting my grievances on the local news unless I was crying for attention in general. And even then I'd feel pressure to come up with something as catchy as "Ain't nobody got time for dat!"
01-22-2015, 05:22 PM   #25
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No other choice - Lawsuit ! ( Bride - and media ) , take them to the wall ...
01-22-2015, 05:30 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
You'll note in her rebuttal she says nothing about the cover charge which leaves me wondering. This kind of stuff is why I won't touch weddings and why I seldom do prints or books. As a bonus for my clients I will sometimes give them the slideshow of all their photos if they want it but normally I don't touch making printed books of photos unless they specifically ask. Most of my clients don't seem to want that anyway. All they want is a CD of photos and free usage of their photos online or off. Many of them like making their own scrapbooks now. They don't want me to do that.

All my clients see till I get paid is the slide show on my tablet. They don't get a CD until they sign off that they like their photo set, and that we're done. That paperwork is their receipt and acknowledgement of service completed and approved of. I don't send samples via email, watermarked or not. That's a good way to end up not getting paid for the photos because some people once they have any kind of digital copy of something they will just blow you off and not even buy the CD. They'll just use those jpegs on their Facebook or whatever. I've not run into that a lot yet, but I have had a couple of people try it, ask me for the jpegs as "samples" before they paid me. I am just not that stupid. No way.

The other thing I have run into a lot is people wanting me to take the shots and just hand over the memory card when I am done. No post, just raw pics. Not happening, folks. I'm not just a body in back of a camera. I take pride in my work and I will not just hand over all the raw pics sans any corrections that need to be done. Like I'd want them to see the pics I messed up on? Nope. But that's the attitude with some clients. They just want a body, someone to be there and snap the photos for them, but nothing after. I just don't do that. If that's all they want then they have the wrong photographer...
That is why I get 50% at contract signing and 50% prior to taking a single picture on the wedding day. I make sure I don't get screwed.

---------- Post added 01-22-15 at 07:34 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
From the photographers rebuttal:

"To make matters worse, I responded with a lengthy statement to the reporter on Thursday morning because I was out of town for work, and was told in writing from the reporter that “I will do my best to sum up your position to give your side of the story.” In the interview that aired, this reporter only included the very last sentence of my statement completely leaving out key information in the story."

Slow news day?



Exactly why the brides story didn't make sense to me. I'd expect anyone able to charge $6000 for a wedding has some customer service experience. The sensible approach is to take the $150 loss and call it a lesson on dealing with crazy customers and/or a lesson on where your contract and price structure needs clarification.
Amen to that.
01-22-2015, 06:32 PM   #27
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The couple already paid $6000, what's with this fee for a cover? It's such an obvious and tacky gouge. But now the photographer has lost good will in the community, thanks to the negative publicity. That will cost her much more than the fee for the cover.

The photographer goofed. She should give the album cover and a gift certificate for some free enlargements to make amends. But the word is out and it may be too late. Bad news travels fast, and in this case, worldwide.
01-24-2015, 06:50 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
You'll note in her rebuttal she says nothing about the cover charge which leaves me wondering. This kind of stuff is why I won't touch weddings and why I seldom do prints or books. As a bonus for my clients I will sometimes give them the slideshow of all their photos if they want it but normally I don't touch making printed books of photos unless they specifically ask. Most of my clients don't seem to want that anyway. All they want is a CD of photos and free usage of their photos online or off. Many of them like making their own scrapbooks now. They don't want me to do that.

All my clients see till I get paid is the slide show on my tablet. They don't get a CD until they sign off that they like their photo set, and that we're done. That paperwork is their receipt and acknowledgement of service completed and approved of. I don't send samples via email, watermarked or not. That's a good way to end up not getting paid for the photos because some people once they have any kind of digital copy of something they will just blow you off and not even buy the CD. They'll just use those jpegs on their Facebook or whatever. I've not run into that a lot yet, but I have had a couple of people try it, ask me for the jpegs as "samples" before they paid me. I am just not that stupid. No way.

The other thing I have run into a lot is people wanting me to take the shots and just hand over the memory card when I am done. No post, just raw pics. Not happening, folks. I'm not just a body in back of a camera. I take pride in my work and I will not just hand over all the raw pics sans any corrections that need to be done. Like I'd want them to see the pics I messed up on? Nope. But that's the attitude with some clients. They just want a body, someone to be there and snap the photos for them, but nothing after. I just don't do that. If that's all they want then they have the wrong photographer...
I think it would be hard to be in business without some wedding work, but I agree with what you are saying. This whole emphasis on prints as a basis for charges is a ghost of darkrooms past. It will not be long before the paper print goes the way of the dinosaur.

I have the same rule about files without post, even if it is an unpaid project for a friend. Any photographer these days needs PP skills in her shop to match the skill behind the camera. We recently had an advertising photographer post files for selection on his site without PP. It was pathetic and caused my partner's wife to request a reshoot. I could have fixed the problem using PS in 5 minutes if he had let me.

Last edited by GeneV; 01-24-2015 at 07:03 AM.
01-24-2015, 11:24 PM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kath Quote
You hear a lot of sad stories on both sides of the wedding deal. It makes me feel good about our way of handling it. I put a wide-angle zoom on the K50, set it to auto, handed the camera to my friend a total non-photographer) and said, "Take pictures of everything." We wound up with a great set of photographs reminding us of a truly wonderful day in our lives. Maybe we were just lucky. But even if the photos had turned out badly, we still had a great day, lots of love, and terrific memories. And no arguments with the photographer.


I have had a few friends ask me to do that kind of thing. Their expectation is modest, and that I get all sorts of pictures of guests etc that are not the formal poses. This suits my style too.


Surely it would be better for the original contract to include a 'basic' cover (ie a complete package) with the possibility of 'upgrade', at a price, to some premium product. That leaves a much better feeling for everyone. That saves fights about a relatively minor amount. So many sellers of all kinds of things think it is better to have all kinds of hidden surprises in prices instead of just advertising the honest - you pay this and you get the product/service - price.
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