Need Opinions on Photographer Issue

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BonnieJ Posts : 547 Registered: 7/24/06
Need Opinions on Photographer Issue
Posted: Jan 16, 2008 4:04 PM

I should have addressed this issue a lot sooner, but I guess life got away from me.  That seems to be happening a lot lately.

So, here's the issue.  I spent a lot of time researching and interviewing photographers before I found one that seemed like the right fit.  I needed someone within my budget, but I needed a quality product as well.  I don't mind paying a little extra for quality.  So I found one that seemed great.  I looked at a lot of their photography, met with them a couple of times, and I was really impressed.  Plus they're just very personable.  It's a husband and wife team. 

So we booked our engagement photos in October.  We had a lot of fun shooting the photos.  They were great to work with.  Now, I will be the first to admit that I should have put more thought into my engagement photos.  I picked a location that was only open during the heat of the day, the lighting was bad, we were sweating, I didn't have on enough make up, FH had his hair cut too short and I didn't like the outfit I was wearing.  But the photographers kept reassuring me that the pictures were going to turn out great.  So I get the cd of pictures about a week later.  I was in a hurry to pick a picture for our STDs.  I noticed that I didn't like how a lot of the pictures turned out, but I didn't give it much thought.  After all, I had about 300 to choose from.  Some are bound to be less than stellar.  I picked the picture for the STDs and didn't look at them again until the last few weeks.

This is when I start to notice that there are several pictures that would have been great had they been in focus.  In fact, the plants behind us are more in focus than we are.  I can't blame that on a lighting issue.  And speaking of lighting issues, the pictures that my parents took at the same time didn't have as many shadows.  Now I have to wonder if this photographer is going to have issues taking quality pictures indoors or outside as the sun is going down.  And then there are pictures that are too red.  I wanted to use a picture on our invitations but I ended up having to go without.  But part of our photography package is supposed to include a framed, matted picture for guests to sign and I don't know if there's a picture good enough to use.

Granted, it was only the wife shooting the engagement photos and they will both be shooting the wedding, but I'm getting nervous.  Maybe it was just one bad day, but what if we have the same problems with our wedding pictures?

I already signed the contract and gave them my deposit on the day we did the engagement photos.  I'm regretting that decision now.  I e-mailed the photographer to politely explain how I'm not satisfied and ask how they suggest we resolve the problem.  I would think that they would want to provide a quality product and restore my confidence in their ability.  I also requested my copy of the signed contract back since I hadn't received it yet.  I got my copy of the contract, but they still haven't replied to my e-mail.  What should I do?


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BonnieJ Posts : 547 Registered: 7/24/06
Re: Need Opinions on Photographer Issue
Posted: Jan 16, 2008 8:18 PM Go to message in response to: BonnieJ

Well, my downer day may finally be looking up.  I got an e-mail from the photographer today and they've agreed to retake the pictures.  Wish me luck.  Now I just need to figure out where to have them taken.  Anyone have a favorite place around Tampa?  Perferably something other than the beach.

 


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RachelFromSoCal Posts : 12 Registered: 1/21/08
Re: Need Opinions on Photographer Issue
Posted: Jan 22, 2008 2:58 AM Go to message in response to: BonnieJ

Even the best photographers have a few bad shots...often times the bad lighting conditions can cause a camera set on an automatic setting to want to "back focus"--back focusing is when it must first focus on something behind the subject for one shot and then in the next shot can focus on the subject in the foreground. Perhaps this is what you saw on the disc.

Regardless, an experienced photographer will know how to manage their camera and will discreetly try alternative settings in order to correct the problem before too many shots are lost during the session. 

Hopefully it is just that the wife is the weaker photographer of the team and the husband will be more experienced and will act as the "lead" shooter during your ceremony, when the risk to miss an important shot is highest.

Even if it's just that the wife is less experienced, I can't imagine a professional photographer just handing over every image, good, bad or otherwise, to a client without the out of focus shots removed and at least some basic color correction.

When you booked your photographer, did you inquire about what kind of image editing would be done on your final images?

Keep in mind that while all photographers are artists, not every photographer is a graphic artist! The big name photographers are either experts at Photoshop OR, like big name studios, have professional graphic artists on staff to do their image editing and custom album designs for them. Most photographers just don't have the time or talent to devote the amount of attention it takes to really get a client's 800 or so wedding images to look perfect, so they hire professional professional graphic artists (like myself) to do it for them.

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BonnieJ Posts : 547 Registered: 7/24/06
Re: Need Opinions on Photographer Issue
Posted: Jan 22, 2008 8:29 PM Go to message in response to: RachelFromSoCal

No, we didn't really talk about it.  They kept talking about how things could be fixed with photoshop, so I guess I assumed that they would take care of it.  All they seemed to do on this disk was make some shots B&W.  When I told them that I wasn't happy with the pictures, they again said that most of them could be fixed with photoshop, but again nothing was done.  I guess I just need to specifically tell them what photos to edit.

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Guest
Re: Need Opinions on Photographer Issue
Posted: Jan 24, 2008 12:33 AM Go to message in response to: BonnieJ

if the re-shoot doesn't result in at least 60% usable images...run like hell!  an engagement shoot is a breeze compared to the wedding.  if out of 300 shots, they didn't land that many, that is not the mark of a pro.  i'd be concerned about focus and exposure problems.  that's not just having an off day, that's not knowing what you are doing.  i hope the re-shoot looks awesome, but if it is the same result, you might want to look at getting out of this one.

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BonnieJ Posts : 547 Registered: 7/24/06
Re: Need Opinions on Photographer Issue
Posted: Jan 24, 2008 7:20 AM Go to message in response to: Guest

That's kind of my thought.  I hate to be out the deposit, but it's a small price to pay compared to paying the full price and not getting any usable wedding photos.

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Guest
Re: Need Opinions on Photographer Issue
Posted: Jan 24, 2008 12:50 PM Go to message in response to: BonnieJ

don't worry though, it will all work out.....

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mrslilysolovely Posts : 2,130 Registered: 7/24/06
Re: Need Opinions on Photographer Issue
Posted: Jan 30, 2008 12:49 PM Go to message in response to: BonnieJ

Heyah Bonnie!!

I like your engaement shots but then I did not look as closely as I am sure you did. If the reshoot is not the quality you feel your money is worth - definitely find a new vendor.

Can you PM me so I know who it is?

Oh, and for places to get the reshoot done - do you like the Tampa University campus? Personall, I love the turrets, and it's on the inlet so you can get some water in the shot even if you don't want a beach theme, and across the inlet is the Tampa Museum of Art and the adjoining 'garden'  - not sure if it is blooming at all now, but they have white crepe myrtle trees.

Ybor city is a good vneue, I have seen some done there - very nice with the architecture (for your honey) or even try Harbor Island - they have some nice places there, and these choices, though diverse, are all in a close proximity to each other and the travel can be managed easily - then you can have a wide range of photos to choose from.

Let me know if you need any help in finding stuff - it getting close now ;o)


      What if the hokey pokey really IS 

                                                           what it's all about? 

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BonnieJ Posts : 547 Registered: 7/24/06
Re: Need Opinions on Photographer Issue
Posted: Feb 1, 2008 7:54 PM Go to message in response to: mrslilysolovely

Acually, we are going to University of Tampa.  Someone else mentioned it and FH really likes the campus, so we decided to go there.  It's supposed to be tomorrow, but I need to call and confirm.  I've been sick all week and just got my voice back today.


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rebeccabolte Posts : 1 Registered: 2/2/08
Re: Need Opinions on Photographer Issue
Posted: Feb 2, 2008 4:54 PM Go to message in response to: BonnieJ

It's really the photographers job to plan for bad lighting conditions and work with it. I shot this photo at high noon, the worst possible lighting of the day. And yes, I had to pull out some fancy camera tricks, but that's my job. (and no, this photo was not edited in Photoshop). Failing fancy camera work, were there no trees? No overhangs? No coverage at all anywhere? 

I'm leery of photogs who constantly say 'it's ok, we'll fix it in photoshop' especially when it comes to things like lighting and focus. These are things you cannot fix in post.  

I also find it odd that they just gave you a CD of 300 images without so much as editing out the bad ones...

I'm curious to find out how your reshoot went.

 Good Luck!!



Message was edited by: Moderator

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EveT2007 Posts : 1,949 Registered: 8/31/06
Re: Need Opinions on Photographer Issue
Posted: Feb 2, 2008 5:31 PM Go to message in response to: rebeccabolte

Bonnie, the advice from Rebecca and mm44 is right on target, in my opinion.  It is a good sign that your photog is re-doing the engagement shoot.  Let's hope the results are better this time.

However, without seeing your photos, I can also imagine that maybe you're being hypercritical because it's you in the photos.  I know I did that, especially with my wedding photos.  I was not very happy with my hair (shoulda had a complete trial run rather than just a consultation!) and had to rush putting on my makeup because the hair stylist took much longer than planned.  Plus we were under a lot of stress at the ceremony because the church was anything but helpful (gave us grief about the Bible verses we wanted, the flowers, etc.) and if I'd had a choice I would have moved the wedding to a different church.  These things were not the photographer's fault, but they affected how I looked in the photos.  Now that I've lived with them for 7-8 months, I feel a lot better about them.  And my photographer was good at fixing things in Photoshop.

Still, it is true that no professional should depend on digital fixups to correct dumb mistakes they made at the shoot itself.

Good luck!


EveT

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mrslilysolovely Posts : 2,130 Registered: 7/24/06
Re: Need Opinions on Photographer Issue
Posted: Feb 5, 2008 10:22 AM Go to message in response to: BonnieJ

Oh, those will be gorgeous!!  Oh and about the Tampa Museum of Art garden - the view from the adjoining garden over the inlet, with Plant Hall ad it's turrets in the background....primo shot!

So did you go? I hope you are feeling better - suxors to lose your voice!


      What if the hokey pokey really IS 

                                                           what it's all about? 

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BonnieJ Posts : 547 Registered: 7/24/06
Re: Need Opinions on Photographer Issue
Posted: Feb 5, 2008 10:39 PM Go to message in response to: mrslilysolovely

No, not yet.  We had to cancel last weekend and this weekend I have military stuff.  Hopefully the weekend after.

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BonnieJ Posts : 547 Registered: 7/24/06
Re: Need Opinions on Photographer Issue
Posted: Mar 23, 2008 10:10 PM Go to message in response to: BonnieJ

Ok, I know we really pushed this to the last possible moment, but we finally got the engagement photos re-taken.  I'm very pleased.


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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Need Opinions on Photographer Issue
Posted: Mar 23, 2008 10:27 PM Go to message in response to: BonnieJ

They look great!  And since they worked with you I'm sure the pics for your wedding will be WONDERFUL!!

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