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01-17-2015, 06:47 AM   #1
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Newlyweds Upset About Photographer's "Cover" Charge

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Two Dallas newlyweds claim that their wedding photographer is holding their pictures hostage unless they pay an extra fee for a “cover” for their photo album – even though they already paid for the book itself.



01-17-2015, 07:00 AM   #2
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Sounds like another problem photographer from the article. My wife and I had a similar problem with our wedding photographer. There are some manipulative photographers out there who know how emotional the situation is and prey on couples.
01-17-2015, 07:22 AM   #3
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QuoteQuote:
She said she was trying to work with the couple to resolve the issue and that the extra charge was clearly labeled in the order form.
I'd sure like to see the 'Order Form'.
01-17-2015, 08:48 AM   #4
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I don't know about the US but where I live it wouldn't hold up in court. "Reasonable expectations" and such ...

01-17-2015, 08:53 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Why not have them pick out a cover before doing the job so that cost is transparent? Would have saved the photographer a bunch of bad publicity.

I once read this quote or statistic that said: the average customer with a great experience will tell one person while a customer with a bad experience will tell 12 people.
01-17-2015, 10:55 AM   #6
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Seems a tad harsh to me, if it's a true real cost then make the package cost $6150.00 at the front end, nobody really like surprises of this nature.

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 01-17-2015 at 01:11 PM.
01-17-2015, 12:24 PM   #7
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The photographer lost far more than $150 by letting this escalate into a 4 minute negative story on the local news.

The contract says 40 page book with 80 photos. I think it's reasonable to expect a cover with a book. It's also reasonable that the 80 photos are of your wedding, and that the 80 photos are not tiny thumbnails printed on 1 page with all the other pages left blank

---------- Post added 01-17-15 at 02:30 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Sounds like another problem photographer from the article. My wife and I had a similar problem with our wedding photographer. There are some manipulative photographers out there who know how emotional the situation is and prey on couples.
My wedding photographer had legalese in the contract that later tried to nickel and dime us for proofs and final printing. I resolved it by taking ownership of all the negatives, copyright be damned.

Last edited by DeadJohn; 01-17-2015 at 12:31 PM.
01-17-2015, 01:41 PM   #8
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Hard to believe a sane wedding photographer in the $6000 market would let such a relatively small dispute escalate to the point of being TV newsworthy (not that 'TV newsworthy' always means much). They're either insane or there's more to this story.

01-17-2015, 01:58 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
The photographer lost far more than $150 by letting this escalate into a 4 minute negative story on the local news.

The contract says 40 page book with 80 photos. I think it's reasonable to expect a cover with a book. It's also reasonable that the 80 photos are of your wedding, and that the 80 photos are not tiny thumbnails printed on 1 page with all the other pages left blank

---------- Post added 01-17-15 at 02:30 PM ----------

My wedding photographer had legalese in the contract that later tried to nickel and dime us for proofs and final printing. I resolved it by taking ownership of all the negatives, copyright be damned.
Ours simply would not deliver the photos. First my wife tried being nice. Then she handed it off to me. I tried for 2 months to get him to do what he had contracted to do. 20 months after the wedding I showed up at his studio and simply said either give me the negatives and I'll print them or I am serving you with notice here in my hand for Court. I walked out with all the negatives. He never printed anything. I did the rest and we have a very nice book that we never look at.
01-17-2015, 11:21 PM   #10
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This type of billing practice seems to appear with high end wedding photographers every now and again (probably the bottom end too I'm sure.) Our wedding had a similar ring to it, pardon the pun. Top quality photographer, big reputation and a system for charging clients that had more twists and turns than a cheap detective novel. We got our photos, all top quality and on time, but throughout the process of committing to the package I felt like I was being had at every turn. We asked a lot of very specific questions throughout the process to ensure there were no unpleasant surprises, but there were others in the town who felt cheated with their experience despite being happy with the quality of the photos. It was certainly the case that a 'package' as advertised wasn't really a package but rather a bare bones framework that by necessity had to be embellished.

I can imagine the dialogue between the photographer and client, Pro; 'Oh, no! The cover charge you paid us was the cover charge, not the charge for the cover. See
my portfolio, I'm a professional. I was very clear with you on this matter.' Client: 'OK I'll pay the charge, but I'm not happy about this.' Pro: 'Well thank you (grabs the cash), I apologise for the misunderstanding.'
01-20-2015, 09:46 PM - 1 Like   #11
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..... and here is the other side of the story.
01-20-2015, 10:20 PM   #12
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Other side indeed.. and that is the issue with 'viral' news.. anyone can say anything and get a lynch mob going from the comfort of their recliner on a tablet today. Media hypes it to get ratings so they don't care about releasing balanced facts.. just the facts that hype a story to whatever angle they're pushing.

Pretty easy to start a business with crowdfunding sites and some viral news mentions.. but equally easy to destroy a business with some twisted information and the same viral news mentions.

From the sound of it, it seems the newlyweds are pretty immature and self absorbed. Wedding photography (high end such as this) seem to be a very sensitive business to reputation. when base packages are starting at 2500, you know you have to keep your name in good light to keep the business going at those prices. Posting, what seems to be at this point, false stories in the hopes of ruining someone's job is really cutthroat and sickly apathetic.
01-20-2015, 11:02 PM   #13
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It's awful when both sides behave badly or at least semi-idiotically and get caught up is a spiral death ring. Especially tough for the photographer because it's just her in the role of the bad guy. It it was a company, then there may be a few other voices telling you to change something fast--crisis management and all that. Tough survival rate for those gigs after a certain number of years.

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01-20-2015, 11:25 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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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...
01-21-2015, 12:16 AM   #15
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Still sounds like my own experience and a few others over the years I'm aware of. A pricing/package structure that is more complicated than the marketing used to get them through the door. Add reckless use of social media into the mix and both parties end up at the point of no return ...

Last edited by jawsy; 01-21-2015 at 01:42 AM.
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