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11/22/2006 12:28:31 PM · #1
I have never dealt with a photographer in a business proposition...until now. We hired a photographer 2 months ago to shoot our wedding (which is Sunday). About an hour ago she called and said she wouldn't be able to make it - even though she has taken a down payment and all arrangements she requested have also been taken care of. Now, the day before a holiday, 4 days to the wedding, no photographer. I cannot tell you how just plain angry this makes me. I haven't told the wife to be yet. Not sure how since I know no matter what or how I say it, she is going to be upset.

Any of you experience similar nightmares? Any tips for last minute photography arrangements? I can't really shoot it myself although I guess my camera is coming with me now.
11/22/2006 12:30:06 PM · #2
Holy !?!?! She cancelled!? VERY unprofessional, she should find you a suitable backup - what does your contract say?

11/22/2006 12:32:46 PM · #3
Wow, that is horrible. I can't believe she didn't give you more advanced notice than that. Congrats on your wedding however. It will still be a beautiful day whether you have a pro photog or uncle Ted with his SLR.
11/22/2006 12:32:52 PM · #4
good luck....I'm sorry to hear of this stress.....I'm sure you'll find someone...

Like idnic says, what does the contract say....I'm sure you will be having follow convo's with her.
11/22/2006 12:32:53 PM · #5
I'd shoot her and I don't mean with a camera.

edit to add: check your PM's.

Message edited by author 2006-11-22 12:35:04.
11/22/2006 12:35:21 PM · #6
Nothing about canceling with no good reason and she had no good reason. Her response when I asked "I just don't feel up to it." But since she canceled I do get the deposit back. There was nothing in it about her finding a replacement, I asked, she had nothing to offer - no names, no possibilities, no ideas. I have called every photographer in the area I know or can find. Only one said 'maybe' but it would come at a price - like twice his usual fee since it is a holiday weekend and such short notice. He happened to be one of the most expensive on the list and one reason we did not use him in the first place. Neither of us think he is all that great and worth the fees he charges let alone paying double for him.
11/22/2006 12:43:35 PM · #7
' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' mrorange002 is from Mass. and his profile says he is a wedding photog.

Congrats on the nuptials and I am sorry to hear of the poor professionalism of the other photog.

Good Luck and all the best!

Message edited by author 2006-11-22 12:44:17.
11/22/2006 12:45:34 PM · #8
Might be easier to find a stand-in groom and shoot the photos yourself :-)

That really sucks that she canceled with such short notice... VERY unprofessional.
11/22/2006 12:51:12 PM · #9
Wow. That seems pretty bad, particularly the lack of follow-through and the reason being that they just don't feel like it/ up to it.

Pretty shoddy for someone who's claiming to be professional - I doubt they'll be in business long that way.

If you happen to be getting married in Key West, Fl, I'll offer to do it for free. Just on the off chance it's there and not Mass. :)

There's quite a few registered photogs here from Mass - you should PM them and see if they know anyone...

Message edited by author 2006-11-22 13:18:04.
11/22/2006 01:11:58 PM · #10
That's one of the most unprofessional things I've ever heard of a photographer doing.

You should tell everyone, and I mean everyone about her behavior. Once word of that stuff gets around, she'll be a leper in the wedding biz.

Look over your agreement (You do have one, right?) and see what it says about cancellation.

If you're really mad, take her to court and sue her for breach of contract. You might be able to recover most of the additional cost for having to pay someone else on short notice. Depending on how much that is, you can probably do that in small claims court.

If the wedding is in SW Michigan, I'll do it for free.

Message edited by author 2006-11-22 13:15:09.
11/22/2006 01:14:19 PM · #11
I would not hesitate to report her to the local Better Business Bureau either.
11/22/2006 01:31:13 PM · #12
Originally posted by Alienyst:

Nothing about canceling with no good reason and she had no good reason. Her response when I asked "I just don't feel up to it." But since she canceled I do get the deposit back. There was nothing in it about her finding a replacement, I asked, she had nothing to offer - no names, no possibilities, no ideas. I have called every photographer in the area I know or can find. Only one said 'maybe' but it would come at a price - like twice his usual fee since it is a holiday weekend and such short notice. He happened to be one of the most expensive on the list and one reason we did not use him in the first place. Neither of us think he is all that great and worth the fees he charges let alone paying double for him.


So sorry to hear about your trouble. This photographer's behavior and business model is extremely unprofessional! Make sure to really utilize word of mouth so she does not do this to others.

Since you have already went the route of inquiring with other professional photographers in your area with little luck I have some other suggestions as a fall back plan to capturing the Wedding Day.

-If you have a Videographer doing video ask if he has someone or is partnered with someone to do the photography end. Mayhap he/she might know someone who does it on the side that does good work. After all if they do recommend and bring someone in they would not want to recommend someone who is unprofessional.

-Are there any photography clubs in or around your area? If it is not too late perhaps contacting a University with a Photography/Visual Arts department might yeild someone who could fill in.

-Let your guests capture the spontanious moments. Buy some of the inexpensive throwaway cameras and set them on the reception tables with a note telling you guests to capture some wedding moments. The results may not be the polished professional look but it will capture the events and magic of the day. And who knows maybe a few gems come up from the effort.

-If you have some pals who are good shutterbugs then enlist their help in capturing some moments of the magical day.

I hope you can find someone or a few to help capture the Wedding Day. Good luck and BEST WISHES to you!

11/22/2006 01:36:30 PM · #13
Originally posted by CNovack:


-Let your guests capture the spontanious moments. Buy some of the inexpensive throwaway cameras and set them on the reception tables with a note telling you guests to capture some wedding moments. The results may not be the polished professional look but it will capture the events and magic of the day. And who knows maybe a few gems come up from the effort.


Does this ever work ? We did this at our wedding, paid for all the cameras, paid for all the processing, didn't get one usable picture out of them. I've heard the idea a lot and it sounds good - but - any examples of it actually working out worth the money ?
11/22/2006 01:38:07 PM · #14
I had disposable cams on the tables at my wedding and my buddies did the same thing. You would be AMAZED at the quality that we got. Yes we had dumb shots, but A LOT of great ones too!
11/22/2006 01:41:59 PM · #15
Ooooh, that sucks! I'd definitely call Eric. Keep us posted. There are probably half a dozen good DPCers within a short drive that may be able to cover if you get desperate (including me).

Message edited by author 2006-11-22 13:57:21.
11/22/2006 01:47:59 PM · #16
Be sure to ask other people involved in the wedding such as the caterer. Possibly they would know someone.
11/22/2006 01:48:34 PM · #17
Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Look over your agreement (You do have one, right?) and see what it says about cancellation.

If you're really mad, take her to court and sue her for breach of contract. You might be able to recover most of the additional cost for having to pay someone else on short notice. Depending on how much that is, you can probably do that in small claims court.


It usually states that the photog has the right to cancel and there is no way you will be compinsated in court. This was actually on Judge Judy or one of those shows just the other day, however you should get you deposit back.
11/22/2006 01:50:06 PM · #18
Originally posted by Gordon:

Originally posted by CNovack:


-Let your guests capture the spontanious moments. Buy some of the inexpensive throwaway cameras and set them on the reception tables with a note telling you guests to capture some wedding moments. The results may not be the polished professional look but it will capture the events and magic of the day. And who knows maybe a few gems come up from the effort.


Does this ever work ? We did this at our wedding, paid for all the cameras, paid for all the processing, didn't get one usable picture out of them. I've heard the idea a lot and it sounds good - but - any examples of it actually working out worth the money ?


Our friends did that too and the images on at least 2 of the cameras consisted almost entirely of male and female genitalia. Not really something to put in the old wedding album.
11/22/2006 01:50:39 PM · #19
BTW... disposable cameras are TERRIBLE for weddings unless it's all outdoors. If you cant find (or afford) a good wedding photographer on short notice, you might try this:

Get 3 or 4 of THESE very capable low-light cameras and 2GB cards. Hand them out to guests with semi-decent photography skills and you might be able salvage a good album for under $1000.

Message edited by author 2006-11-22 13:51:36.
11/22/2006 01:52:03 PM · #20
I feel for you, because so many people already have plans for Thanksgiving and I am sure you didn't need the extra stress right now. I would tell everyone I knew that I needed a photographer and if they didn't know one, I would ask if they knew someone who knew a photographer, and if they didn't know a photographer, I would do the same thing. Your network is always bigger than you think. Don't give up yet, don't loose hope.

11/22/2006 01:54:28 PM · #21
I'll do it but I'm limited by my equipment.

edit to add: your not that far of a drive, I might even be able to talk another dpc member into coming with me.

Message edited by author 2006-11-22 14:19:28.
11/22/2006 02:02:51 PM · #22
Originally posted by notonline:

Originally posted by Spazmo99:

Look over your agreement (You do have one, right?) and see what it says about cancellation.

If you're really mad, take her to court and sue her for breach of contract. You might be able to recover most of the additional cost for having to pay someone else on short notice. Depending on how much that is, you can probably do that in small claims court.


It usually states that the photog has the right to cancel and there is no way you will be compinsated in court. This was actually on Judge Judy or one of those shows just the other day, however you should get you deposit back.


Yeah, but a photographer this lame may not have that clause in their agreement. Even if there is, usually they are worded as "unable to perform". In this case, it just sounds like they are "unwilling", not "unable". There's a big difference.

Also, if there is no written agreement and the client has a cancelled check or anything else showing that there was an agreement to do some work and the photographer doesn't do it, that is usually enough to get a reward, since there is no "unable to perform".

Many wedding contracts also have a "replacement" clause stating that in the event the photographer is unable to do the agreed upon work, they will make every effort to find a suitable replacement. If that clause is in the agreement, the photographer has breached that.
11/22/2006 02:16:13 PM · #23
I haven't read all the thread...but by any chance would there be a DPC member who does weddings in your area that could help you out this weekend?
11/22/2006 02:38:27 PM · #24
So what's her name? I'm sure we'd all be willing to help with the smear campaign :)

Seriously, I'd do it if I could figure out a way to get there quickly enough after my Saturday wedding. Bummer it's a 9-ish hour drive...
11/22/2006 03:28:50 PM · #25
Why not call or notify the guests that you would love to have them take all the photographs they would like, and ask them provide CD's to you. No doubt you'd get a lot of clunkers, but there are a LOT of people with decent digitals out there - at least the last several weddings I've been to there were.

Just an emergency thought...
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