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Wedding photography...AIBU? WWYD?

(30 Posts)
EmmaGate1 Sun 28-Dec-14 03:31:05

Just wanting some advice as i imagine many of you will be married on here.

I got married last month and the day was wonderful - truly the best day of my life in every way imaginable. So for that reason i have some perspective, please dont get me wrong.

I got our photos back and am quite devastated with them. Background: i put out a status on facebook months and months before the wedding asking for recommendations. Replies came in droves recommending a couple who only do weddings. Therefore i was able to view their work and it was beautiful. We met them, saw several complete stunning albums and booked them.

We had a 'pre shoot' included in our package - £1200 in total - which was perhaps a bit telling. We were scheduled to meet at 3. They texted us in the morning to say that the weather was bad and that they would confirm the details before lunchtime so we knew what was happening. 3pm arrived and we still didnt know what was happening so I called to check. She then came to my parents house and did it there at 4:30pm. We never saw the photos (never sent them to us, but it appears that every other wedding on their gallery has this album). During the visit, we went theough everything we wanted once again (we'd already discussed this at great length in our first meeting). Absolutely fine. I was a very relaxed bride - if i do say so myself - all that fussy bridezilla stuff isnt my style and my day was to celebrate our marriage with our wonderful families.

Fast forward to the wedding. They arrive at the house with their kids sat in the car on a cold november morning. No photos of anything happening at the house, awful portraits, made a very spiteful comment to my mum (the least pushy parent imagineable, and i only learned about how upset & uncomfortable they made her after the wedding when the issue of crap pics came about), were rude to bridesmaids and my 7 year old neice, telling her to "keep out of the way". No photos taken at the house. They shot off early from the house to photograph "arrivals at church". No arrivals. No pics of mum and BMs arriving except for one from far away with their backs to the camera. No pics of parents or brothers (ushers) in church. Leave church, they usher us away from church (so no church pics or confetti) because the "weather is so good we cant miss the opportunity to take pics. Fine. Only pics of us with our mums outside church have only their hands visible/faces obstructed. Gutted.

Arrive at venue, they do bare mimimum portraits outside hotel which are awful and people arent even looking at the cameras (noone was difficult). Pulled away from canape reception to take pics of us two which are awful. Nothing full length or good (im really not fussy either). No photos of parents together, nothing.

They emailed me on the morning before to ask what we wanted. I wrote a list outlining that my main priority was to photo us, parents, brothers (only have one each!) and grandparents and bridal party. No photos of my husbands 3 year old nephew. Only one we have of him is in family formal shot and they clearly just snapped quickly and didnt notice he was looking over his shoulder.

I dont know if they panicked after dinner but the majority of the ohotos are of other guests (and not even our close outlined guests) watching the speeches. More gutting is that they clearly went round all the tables and took posed portraits of them. Nothing of top table apart from during speeches which arent flattering at all. I have nothing memorable.

I have since spoken to my bridesmaids (no photos of them) who have told me (only because i mentioned it to them, they said they wouldnt have said anything otherwise) that they were vile all day and made no effort to photograph them before we left house and were rude and especially spiteful to our liitle neice who is impeccably behaved.

I have contacted them to say that i am not happy and have requested a meeting because so much of the wedding is missing.

My question is: is this normal? I am praying that there are in fact picture of our mums and parents etc. i feel like they stole huge chunks of our day to photograph all for nothing. I know that we had opportunities because our videographer sent us a wonderful "trailer" which captures so much more in 4 mins than her whole album. Is it possible to screenshot videos? What should we say to our photographers, if at all?

JontyDoggle37 Sun 28-Dec-14 03:36:47

No it isn't normal. Our photographers were unobtrusive, polite, friendly and helpful. I think you need to prep for the conversation in terms of having available all the things you have in writing etc which agreed what was requested. Also, they will only have shared pics they selected, so ask to see all the shots they took - there may be some you like which they don't. Be clear on exactly what you are expecting from the conversation - I.e. Copies of your engagement shoot photos, copies of all the photos they took at the specific times you mentioned they pulled you away, a partial refund etc. best of luck.

GokTwo Sun 28-Dec-14 03:40:59

That is such a shame. We had a huge family wedding this summer and I know how excited my cousin (the bride) was about her photos. Fortunately they were great. I have no doubt she would have complained if they weren't! I would focus on the directions you gave them prior to the wedding and the fact that they didn't do as you asked. I'd also tell them that your guests said they were very rude. Clearly you won't be recommending them. I didn't quite understand the part about the pre wedding shoot. Did you ever see those photos?

Fuckmath Sun 28-Dec-14 03:42:17

Not normal at all - poor you and sorry they have been a let down. You clearly deserve a refund.

Aside from fiasco with these jokers - Definitely try to get stills from the video as that should be easily possible. Also ask all your guests if they can share any nice snaps with you as there may well be some lovely candid pics - not the same as professional ones but something all the same.

GokTwo Sun 28-Dec-14 03:43:25

Sorry, just read op again! I get that part now!

EmmaGate1 Sun 28-Dec-14 03:44:24

Thank you for your replies. Much appreciated.

No we never saw the pre-wedding photos. Sounds so naff doesnt it? Ultimately i wasnt bothered about them and didnt want to hassle them but niw on reflection we didnt get something we paid for (albeit part of our package).

Blondiemama Sun 28-Dec-14 03:46:10

Not normal. Definitely meet with them again and complain. If necessary show them the videographers work to demonstrate what you were expecting. Are they in a professional alliance? Look on their business card (if you have one). I would want to see ALL of their shots, print off any emails you've sent asking them for shots and match up to the shots they've taken. Then if you're still not happy, I'd demand some money back.

GokTwo Sun 28-Dec-14 03:49:30

Not naff at all. My cousins pre wedding pics were really lovely. It does make you wonder what went wrong though doesn't it! Did they have their kids with them all day?

EmmaGate1 Sun 28-Dec-14 03:52:21

Hi Gok - not sure. Definitely when they arrived at my parents' house (where we were all getting ready). My lovely dad even asked if they wanted to come in the house because it was cold. They dashed off from here early "to film guests arriving" but we have no pics of this bit so i can only assume they took their kids somewhere? Surely they wouldnt have been in the car all day?!

Jengnr Sun 28-Dec-14 03:56:27

This is appalling. Absolutely appalling. I think I'd be wanting my money back at the very least.

Could trading standards help?

MrsMarcJacobs Sun 28-Dec-14 04:06:41

you can get still photos from video, I Have done this when shooting a commercial to get still photos for the print campaign. Ask your videographer- if they can't do it they may be able to recommend someone who can. Tell them their service was below standard. Give them a chance to make it right before you review them online.

GoEasyPudding Sun 28-Dec-14 08:41:18

Have you been given prints or digital copies?

I would aim for a full refund. I am sorry this happened. Sounds terrible.

Please don't despair though as you can put a call out for all photos from friends and family.

Also you can get stills from the video. That company will be delighted to help you under the circumstances, they really will.

SavoyCabbage Sun 28-Dec-14 08:55:45

I would aim for a full refund too.

And I would put the word out amongst every single guest that you would like any photos that anybody has taken. My favourite photo, and the only one I have framed was taken by an ordinary guest rather than the expensive photographer.

Szeli Sun 28-Dec-14 09:04:15

What does your contract say and how much have you in writing?

This is poor service and you could go down the small claims route if they aren't forthcoming with a refund.

Not ideal, but if you still have your dress you could do a mock up shoot once you have your money back?

what have friends said who reccommended them?

timetoplay Sun 28-Dec-14 09:13:40

No this is very abnormal. Our photographer was lovely, relaxed and asked in advanced for a list of 'must have' photos. She was over an hour early just to be sure she was there on time.

You need every photo they have, including untouched ones. You need a full refund and to leave very negative reviews to warn others. You also need to make it clear to the person recommending that they are no good and I would personally also warn on after you've been refunded.

You can screencap yourself using the 'snipping tool' and pausing the video. A good photographer will be able to help there too, especially if you can get the originals.

You could ask for advice in the Legal section here and look on moneysavingexpert wesite as well as asking on the bigger websites like Hitched and UKbride.

So sorry this has happened to you OP, those peopel need bad naming and shaming for ruining their day, they should not be recommended or given more work by unknowing couples.

What do the T&Cs in your contract say? Some now write in a 'clause' to stop you negatively reviewing which should be a massive red flag to anyone for the future.

On top of this I would talk to your venue OP. IF you still have your dress, perhaps you could restage at least a few photos and maybe make a day of it with the wedding party i their clothes too? Our venue offered that just in case of bad weather as well as bad photographers! It won't be the day but it may be something if you can't get many photos. If it's a good venue and your coordinator was good, they may help you stage some while another wedding isn't on.

If you wanted another photographer perhaps if we know your area we could recommend and you could vet them thoroughly?

Just to show you, sadly, aren't the only one:

VashtaNerada Sun 28-Dec-14 09:14:35

I felt exactly the same about our wedding photos, your post brings it all back! We ended up with two albums - the posh one from them (some nice photos but some completely random ones too that we didn't ask for, they mucked up the album itself too) and an album I made up of shots friends and family took. I absolutely love that album, it captures the day so well. It was a bit of work getting photos off everyone but definitely worth it. The important thing is that I haven't thought about it in ages though, when I look back to my wedding I just remember a lovely day, not the shoddy photographers.

PurpleSwift Sun 28-Dec-14 09:19:10

Yanbu but i wouldnt expect too much from your meeting and I urge you to try and take it further. It's such a shame for you. A friend paid the same amount as you did and she got beautiful pre wedding shots, and all the wedding shots are brilliant. He kept out of the way at all of the right times but was friendly and chatty too. What you experienced was not normal at all, I'm disappointed for you.

eurochick Sun 28-Dec-14 09:22:49

In addition to what everyone else has said, after my wedding I started a Dropbox and emailed the details around and asked guests to upload their pics. I got some great additional shots that way, including some of my favourites.

Thumbnutstwitchingonanopenfire Sun 28-Dec-14 09:25:03

Very very wrong. They haven't done what you paid them for; so you should get your money back. I'm gutted for you - what an awful thing to do to you on your wedding day!

Noodledoodledoo Sun 28-Dec-14 09:25:59

Sounds very much like our photos unfortunately. Photographer on the day looked uninterested all day. Pre shoot as part of package raised no worries.

We insisted on being given every photo taken on the day. Requested guests to send any photos taken to us.

We have managed to create our own album using photobox using a mix of professional and friends pics.

We didn't pay anymore than £100 deposit.

There were a lot of tears initially and lots of heated conversations. However 2 years on it is disapointing but not the worst thing in the world. Our album I spent hours on is barely looked at!

crapcrapcrapcrap Sun 28-Dec-14 09:27:19

That is really dreadful sad

Can I suggest that you do as another poster advised and ask your guests to share their photos? We had a shoestring wedding and just gave family members memory sticks and asked them to give us their photos. We've got some absolute crackers, really natural and much more evocative than posed shots. I'm really happy with them smile

HoHonutty Sun 28-Dec-14 09:31:44

What a shame, I'm still shocked that they bought their DCs with them.

I hope you get some nice ones from other guests and the video.

TheWindowDonkey Sun 28-Dec-14 09:34:19

I am a wedding photographer and this is absolutely NOT normal. If you booked them for a full day including getting ready til the reception then they shouldhave been there all day. Bringing their children is totally unacceptable.

A few questions.
When you saw their shots of other weddings did they look like lots of formal poseed photographs or a more 'reportage' style?
Did you give them a list of specific people that you wanted in formal shots? I always ask for these lists and exactly which ones they are aiming for, a typical list looks like
Bride and Groom
B&G plus brides parents
B&G plus Grooms parents
B&G with both parents.
B&G with whole brides family/grooms family/both families
Bride and Bridesmaids
Groom and Best Man
I do try and keep it to a minimum just because otherwise the wedding becomes ALL about the ohotographs and to me thats awful, but i specify thisvery clearly to all potential clients so that if thats not what they are lookingfor they can go elsewhere.
I do a lot of reportage but this is where you should have some lovely relaxed shots with your nearest and dearest. Did you prompt an usher to pint out to your photographer whom the orinciple guests where? I always ask for this as of course i willnever have met them before and the people you spend the day chatting with with arent always the big peoole in your life!
You need to complain to them, if you have any further questions PM me, if i can help at all i'd be glad to.

PitchWrapped Sun 28-Dec-14 09:53:01

£1200 on shit photos is an awful lot to just shrug off i would definitely not accept that!

TheWindowDonkey Sun 28-Dec-14 11:14:54

Also, with every client I have a sit down meeting to discuss all requirements, which I then confirm by email the next day, and reconfirm the day before the wedding to make sure of any changes. I also ask for a rough itiniary of the day so that i can make sure i know where to be when to get the right shots.
It IS possible that if I am at the brides house all morning until just before she leaves for the church then I only catch the last few guests arriving at church, especially if parking is a challenge, (but i make a point of visiting the venue at the same time a week before so i can gague this and plan accordingly.) If I think it is unfeasible to get both I make sure that bride and groom know this wll be the case and are happy with that or if theywould rather i cut short my coverage of the brides prep and catch guest arrival.
If you had two photographers then one should be with the groom and one withthe bride and this should absolutely not happen.

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