Friday, December 19, 2008

Photographer Faux Pas

In the past couple of days I have talked to several people who have made some small, but critical, mistakes when hiring a photographer and I hope to give some pointers that may keep you out of the same situation.

First a little background (without naming names): I get an email telling me that a friend had paid $3500 to a photography company (mistake number 1) to do her daughter's engagement and wedding photos and they paid the entire amount upfront! Mistake number two. Usually a photographer will require a nonrefundable deposit with the rest to be paid before the big day. So the company sent a photographer to take the engagement photos and bad mouthed the company she worked for throughout the shoot and worse yet, the bride to be had a stray strand of hair that the girl did not even bother to tell her about! They are horribly disappointed by the photos and upset that the company is going to do the wedding photos (or are they).

Here are some pointers that I would give this family! All is not lost! Call the company explain what happened during the shoot and how you would not recommend their company to anyone. They may offer a re shoot or a partial refund. In this case, remember that the squeaky wheel gets the grease! Bother them a million times a day if you need to! I would also recommend that the contract be looked over to see what you would lose is you tried to cancel the remaining contract because chances are it is not that much! I would also request a portfolio from each of the staff photographers and request the one that you want for the big day.

Case number two: I get a call from a family member who recently got married and got the CD of photos back from the photographer only to find out that they are not good. The lighting was bad, the positioning of people was bad and there was no color correction done so out of 60 some photos only about 8 are decent. Notice I said decent, not good. In this case there is no redo but I would still call and complain because maybe she can at least get a partial refund.

Here is what you can do to avoid these kinds of problems:

1. Research, research, research. I cannot emphasize enough that you need to look at the photographers work and history before decide to use his or her services.

2. Hire a PERSON not a COMPANY. There is a huge difference! With a company you get a staff photographer who is just there for the paycheck but when you hire a person who owns their own business, their name and reputation are on the line and they will do whatever is takes to do the best job possible.

3. If you have a situation like one of the ones above do not hesitate to complain! You are the client and you have a right to be happy with your purchase. These special days are once in a lifetime moments that cannot be recaptured at a later date and if you do not get what you think you are getting at least ask for a partial refund!
I hope this helps!


Lin said...

A billion years ago, someone advised me to hire a person not a company too--great advice. If you hire a company, you never know who is going to show up and what kind of photos they take. Good idea for a post today.

Always a treat to stop by your blog--something always new going on. :)

Unknown said...

These are great tips. I hope everything worked out for the two couples you mentioned.

Also, thanks for your encouraging words. It's always comforting to know another person understands, but I am sorry it is such a sad condition to have in common. I hope the day proves happy for you and everyone enjoys having each other around. Maybe something will come through for the stocking stuffers. I was feeling bad about that too. I got the oldest some 'cause that's her favorite part and now feel bad about stuffers for the other children. I think I am figuring out if I stop bad-talking myself inside my head I'll be much better off. :) I hope you have a great weekend.

Oh, unfortunately, we have one another thing in common: My dad passed away when I was 10 so I definitely understand what you mean.


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