Slimy Businessman

I couldn’t think of a better post title but this describes how I feel about my friend’s wedding photographer perfectly. 

I really contemplated disclosing the photographer who I think pulled a really shady business move on my pal but thought (1) I don’t really garner that much traffic for it to even matter and (2) in case he’s feeling “litigious”, I don’t want to deal with the headache.

Just to sum up as quickly as I can.  My friend got hitched in October 2008.  She hired a photographer that I recommended.  My recommendation was based solely on previous brides posting their wedding photographs by this guy and then following his blog.  I didn’t know much about his work ethic but thought he was talented.

He quickly posted the now standard “preview” slideshow on his blog.  She loved the photos… we all did.

My friend is not a confrontational person so she waited patiently.  And waited.

Finally in January – she sent him a very sweet e-mail asking about the status of her album.  He responded several weeks later with an online proof.  The online album contained 50 pages of photos and while she liked it, she was a bit concerned that there was NOT A SINGLE PHOTO OF HER MOTHER in it.  Or her grandmother.  Or of her dancing with her father.  Or really any family.

She finally got back to him in April with her revisions and he said he’d get them done in a week.

She waited.  And waited.  And waited.

In June she sent another friendly reminder inquiring about her album.  He said he never got around to her edits but would get to them soon.

So she waited.  And waited.  And… you guessed it.  She waited.

She sent him another friendly message last week and he finally got back to her with the updated link to her online album.  But then he dropped this on her:

The album is still at 50 pages which is twenty pages above the album included in your package.  If there are any other images or pages you want removed please let me know.  If you want to stick with the 50 page album the balance for the additional 20 pages would be $600.00.

Okay, now here is where I am pissed for my friend.  She showed me her correspondence with her photographer and nowhere in that chain of e-mails does he mention this extra cost.  Sure it IS in her contract that she only gets a 30 page album but if that was the case, why would he send her an album design with 50 pages?  And never once during her suggested edits did he mention that she was over in her page count.

This actually happened to me.  My photographer just happened to include 10 extra pages.  Like, “whoops!  it looks like I included too many pictures!”  However, we had to drive to Virginia to approve the proofs and I sure as hell didn’t feel like driving back and forth so I said go for it and we paid the extra $500.

And I am apparently not the only person this has happened to.  Is this now the standard wedding photographer practice?  Build an album with too many pages and neglect to tell your clients that if they want it all – they have to pay extra for it without letting them know upfront that the album they’re looking at contains TOO MANY PAGES.

I’m upset for my friend because she has been screwed.  She has been duped!  She hasn’t had her wedding album for nearly a year.  A YEAR.  That is unacceptable.

Its stories like these that make me loathe the wedding industry.  Have we all forgotten the true meaning of a marriage?  the celebration of a happy union?  It’s turned into a “business” where it seems normal to pay thousands of dollars for FLOWERS and ridiculous place cards. 

(I totally realize I got sucked into the whole wedding industry but don’t think that I don’t regret that… )

Anywho – I just wanted to (1) warn any of the brides out there that I know that read this blog and (2) to see if any of the married gals who read this blog had a similar experience.

I just find it sickening to exploit such joyous occasion.

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5 Comments

Filed under Charm City Kim Rambles

5 responses to “Slimy Businessman

  1. taraSG

    I can’t believe how much wedding photography costs in general! Aside from rings and food, it was by far the most expensive part of our wedding.

    It really is expensive but for me, its worth it. I just hate the fact that on top of paying a hefty price, some folks are still getting ripped off!

  2. I haven’t seen this personally, but the only professional photographers I’ve dealt with are one that did “intimate” photos for me before my wedding (and she was fabulous and told you exactly how many photos you could choose for the size book or whatever you wanted), and our wedding photographer, who gave us DVDs with all of the photos, grouped by what part of the day they were taken, about a month after the wedding. She released the images to us, so we can have them printed ourselves, although she does albums if you want. We didn’t order one, but from my experience so far I can’t see her pulling something like that.
    Hmm…this makes me think that maybe we should get around to printing our photos and putting an album together, since it’s been over a year. Whoops!

    That’s exactly why I chose a package where the photog would put together the album because I knew if I left it in my own hands, it would never get done! 🙂

  3. That is exactly what I’m trying to avoid in planning my wedding – the overpriced wedding industry. I hope I can find a way to sidestep most of it. Because really… it just doesn’t seem worth it. Your poor friend, what a freaking crock of bull shit! I’m so hiring a friend to do my photos.

    It is INSANE! In retrospect, I would have totally ditched the whole thing and gone to Vegas. Or had a really private ceremony… anything but the overpriced crap I paid for (although I do love my photos).

  4. Traci

    I had a really hard time with my photographer too! First he didn’t have web hosting, I really thought every pro photog would have this technology. It took a few months to get the images on CD as promised. I did receive all of the images (500). But the album, now that took forever! After OVER a year of waiting and some friendly reminders on my part, with no response on theirs, I was told that my order had been lost! The images were on file but the selections I had made were no where to be found! I had to start from scratch. At least they had the good sense to give me a 50% discount. So my entire album was about $650. I finally received it about 1.5 years after the wedding!

    Lost your order?! That is insane. I’ll share this story with Kristin… maybe it’ll make her feel better?

  5. Wow, I would be so pissed. I don’t think I’d have been as nice to the guy as your friend has been – after 2 months I would have been up his ass to give me my shit. That is RIDICULOUS!

    Agreed! I think she was just afraid of him doing something worse to her album if she was bitchy (although kudos to her for remaining as nice as she did).

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