Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Photography Woes

Pete and I were married in Michigan this past June, and we were fortunate to have chosen many wonderful vendors.  Our choices largely made our lives easier and delivered on their contracts.  We had a few snafus on our wedding day, but nothing that ruined the day or were even noticable to our guests.  Since the wedding, we've been struggling with our photographer on so many things and have been disappointed at so many turns.

Prior to the wedding we had engagement photos taken by this photographer, and while the pictures were nice, there were only 32 proofs.  To say I was shocked was an understatement.  I'd never heard of a photographer giving less than 50 engagement photo proofs, and in most cases, people receive many more than that.  I addressed this with the photographer, and she blew me off, saying that was just what she does.  I wasn't happy about this and contemplated choosing a new photographer, but after conferring with Pete, we decided to stick by the photographer and do a better job of setting our expectations with them. 

We did this, and they seemed great about it.  On the day of the wedding, things seemed to go smoothly, but looking back on it, we should have made certain that they taking more pictures of certain things.  We were so wrapped up in the day that we had to count on the photographer getting all of the shots they needed and we wanted.  They said they were, and we trusted them.

After the wedding, they were late delivering our proofs to us, and a number of shots were noticably absent.  This was addressed, and the photographer sent us more proofs of these shots, but they were unable to find some of the pictures we thought they captured.  We only got one picture of the entire wedding party together, we had hardly any pictures of just Pete and I together where you could see our faces (many shots were of us walking away from the camera)... the list goes on and on.  This was all disappointing, but we couldn't do anything about it.  We can't relive our wedding day.

Their proofing website was really hard to manage because it was antiquated and clunky.  We tried to overlook that, but it made the entire process of choosing digital images, prints and album photos take much longer than necessary.  We got our proofs, prints and digital images in a timely manner, which made us very happy.  We were promised that we'd receive the proofs of our crazy-expensive album within 2 months.  We felt that this was a very long time, but we decided to be patient. Our album proofs were due in mid-December.

When my album proofs were several weeks late, I contacted the photographer and she once again blew me off, telling me that she wouldn't get to it for at least another month.  Frustrated, I asked her for a more specific time frame, and she came back to me with March 15.  That's more than 2 months from now!  I've been through a full range of emotions over the whole thing, because now it looks like I won't see my finished album until after my first anniversary.  It's completely ridiculous. 

When I expressed my frustrations to the photographer, she became defensive and rude, basically acting like I was ungrateful for all that she's done to go "above and beyond" for us.  The "above and beyond" things she mentioned were very minor, and I refuse to give her or her husband a cookie for holding a towel on our wedding day.  She even blamed the harsh summer weather as the reason why they were behind on their photo editing.  Yeah, right!  Weather.  I wasn't born yesterday, lady.  Eventually, after a series of emails, she FINALLY admitted that they are just incredibly behind on their workload, and that they are just so overwhelmed that they are suffering financially and having to turn away business.  I just wanted her to 'fess up to being behind and admit that they were wrong for setting an expectation they couldn't be certain they'd fulfill.  So now I get to play the waiting game.  I'm not happy about it, but I don't want to bitch more and make the situation worse.  They know they've messed up, so I needn't continue to point it out to them.

Anyway, the whole situation has been crazy-stressful for me.  I worked SO hard to choose great vendors, and it pains me to go through such a mess after all of the research I did and careful consideration I took to make decisions.  Live and learn, I guess.  I seriously hope this album will be worth the wait!

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Kari, I'm so sorry you've had such a horrible time. Photos are so important and for your photographer to be so shady is beyond unacceptable. Good for you for staying on her case. My fingers are crossed that you get your pictures before March!

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