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Ask for wedding photos from late 1990s wedding

(31 Posts)
FleeBee Tue 14-Jun-16 17:39:05

I've managed to track down the photographer from my wedding over 19 years ago. He's still in the wedding business & thinks he still has the negatives.

I got an album with about 15 photos & some 7x5 prints that I've got framed. Which I think was about the norm for the time & the technology.

As some very close family members have recently died I was interested in having some more prints or doing a small album. Anyway photographer says it will be a lot of work for him to go through the negatives especially as I'm not exactly sure which photos I'm after. I asked if I could buy the negatives & he was horrified & not terribly helpful.

Has anyone else bought, or had old wedding negatives converted? Am I right in thinking that most couples now get their images digitally? WIBU asking? I was so pleased to track the photographer down, but doesn't look like anything will come of it.
Any advice please

steppedonlego Tue 14-Jun-16 17:43:14

I would talk cost with him before having him do the work. Money is a great motivator and he can't expect to make any additional money from a wedding nearly 20 years ago.

DoItTooJulia Tue 14-Jun-16 17:46:52

Yeah, money talks.

I don't think you wbu but it's obviously a bit of a ball ache for him.

RaeSkywalker Tue 14-Jun-16 17:48:36

Ask him how much he wants to be paid for it? Also you could say that you know that summer is wedding silly season so you're happy to wait until things are quieter for him before he does it.

Yes- we got married last July, and have (all 700 odd!) of our photos digitally- we opted for a memory stick over a CD. The photographer did also offer an album service but it was cheaper for us to do it ourselves.

FleeBee Tue 14-Jun-16 17:49:08

Thanks, would anyone have a ball park figure? As I've already caused offence I'd hate to offer an derisory amount - I'd never see these photos again!

Andbabymakesthree Tue 14-Jun-16 17:50:05

Surely it'll be one less lot negatives for him to store! How short sighted of him

FleeBee Tue 14-Jun-16 18:49:42

I know Ababy less for him to look after & then I won't bother him again!

I appreciate it's getting into busy wedding season, & my nuisance request isn't well-timed perhaps that's why he was a bit stroppy?

DH thinks an offer of £100 for the negatives - any opinions appreciated thanks

FleeBee Tue 14-Jun-16 21:01:41

Any more suggestions will be appreciated - thanks

Pineau Tue 14-Jun-16 21:21:44

£100 sounds good, it's probably what he would make if you ordered a few prints off him then you can take the negs to a high street lab like snappy snaps and they can put them into a disc for you.

Parney Tue 14-Jun-16 21:23:07

We paid 250 euro for a USB of all pictures taken on the day. In Ireland, last year. Maybe see what he charges for a USB these days and offer him the same for taking the negatives off his hands??

FleeBee Tue 14-Jun-16 23:05:24

Thanks for the advice. I did not know Snappy Snaps could do that. (Googles my nearest branch.) I'm worried he might not sell me the negatives he was so dismissive on the phone about it. Just said that he'd have to look through the negatives to find the prints I want. I kept trying to explain that I don't know exactly which ones I want & that's why I want the lot!

Can he legally refuse? Do the negatives actually belong to him as photographer & not me as the client?

SouthWesterlyWinds Tue 14-Jun-16 23:09:01

You can get negatives scanned and transferred onto use or disc by companies now. That is also an option. You could ask him if that would be a possibility so that he still retains his copyright as the photographer and the negatives, plus you pay him to organise this and you end up with the photos you want.

Pinkheart5915 Tue 14-Jun-16 23:10:42

Not unreasonable to ask, say your happy to pay for them where's the harm.

DPotter Tue 14-Jun-16 23:17:05

I think, I'm right in saying the negatives and images belong to the photographer - happy to be contradicted here, so he might not want to sell them to you. As he's being so coy, could it be he's lost / destroyed them ? I would be upfront and say your willing to negotiate a price and a time frame

maninawomansworld01 Tue 14-Jun-16 23:41:43

A friend of mine is a professional wedding photographer and his suggestion is to see if you can buy a duplicate set of negatives. Apparently it's not that much work and there are even professional labs that can produce the duplicates so your photographer doesn't have to (guess you'll have to pay the cost)
Friend says a set of duplicates can be done for £20 or so.

SingingSands Tue 14-Jun-16 23:45:48

About 5 yeas after our wedding, my photographer got in touch and asked me to pick up the negatives. I don't remember paying for them.
I've never done anything with them, they're all in a jiffy envelope in my wardrobe. I'd love to see what is in there, but there are about 300 of them...shock

Noodlesg Wed 15-Jun-16 09:32:28

As an ex wedding photographer I can tell you this is days of work, and it's the height of wedding season. you haven't paid for these negatives and you don't have any rights to them. If it were me I'd either say I didn't offer that service or charge you my daily rate at around 3 days which would not be cheap. I know this disagrees with others but honestly I'd rather not do the work than stress myself out with additional work at a busy time of year for someone who thinks its should be free/cheap and have to persuade them to part with what it would be worth to me so I'd probably have just said no.

Andbabymakesthree Wed 15-Jun-16 12:18:41

What's the point of him keeping negatives though noodlesg? Why not just sell them and say see what you can find?

He's making no money with them just sat there. By being difficult its not the best way to do business. If he's busy then fine to say it won't be til 6 mths or so.

FleeBee Wed 15-Jun-16 14:23:41

That will possibly be the case Noodles. He won't sell them as it's not worth his while & they will stay in his cupboard/files until he retires then maybe they get destroyed?

I thought it might be worth me contacting the original photographer, but as I've no understanding of the industry it looks like I was way out of line.

I was only 20 when I got married. I should have waited until now when the technology was better grin

OldBeanbagz Wed 15-Jun-16 14:36:48

It depends on how organised his filing system & negatives are as to how easy they are to get out of storage.

Nowadays most photographers would keep records of jobs on computers but back then he may have been just writing them down in a book so he'd have to find the book, find the job reference, work out where they're filed and then get them out of storage.

If you wanted them scanning he'd either have to print contact sheets for you to view or sit with you squinting at the negatives deciding what you wanted. That's an awful lot of work in peak wedding season. Have you offered to buy the negatives off him yet?

My DH had his parents' wedding photos from 50 years ago scanned but we had the advantage of having the negatives as they were shot by a family friend.

ShelaghTurner Wed 15-Jun-16 14:42:49

My photographer (from 2000) rang my mum about 5 years ago while I was on holiday and said he was having a huge clear out and did we want the negatives and could we ring him if we did. My mum forgot to pass on the message! <cries>

FleeBee Wed 15-Jun-16 15:04:55

Oh Shelagh what a shame how frustrating for you shock

I'm thinking of saying I'm interested in buying all the negatives & if he ever wishes to do this in the future (during the wedding off-season) then to let me know & just leave it at that.

I'm guessing he must be getting v close to retirement age now, unless he's got people working for him.

The photos are so dated & hilariously unfashionable now, it's just the memories of the people who were there that I was interested in.

Cubtrouble Wed 15-Jun-16 15:28:21

Do ask photographer for you wedding negatives, if he has to go through them all and check them don't expect it to be cheap.

We bought our wedding photos on disk- we have the rights to do what we like with them £500.
I wouldn't expect to pay that for a wedding along time ago but give him time to get them to you.

£100 would be a good offer, you have nothing to loose!

myownprivateidaho Wed 15-Jun-16 15:38:47

I would presume he doesn't file his negatives systematically and has tons of boxes of them in his attic. It actually probably would be a huge job to go through that kind of thing - especially if he actually has to look at the negatives themselves in case they're not all labelled. I think you're looking at several hours work, for which he would be entitled to charge his normal hourly rate.

myownprivateidaho Wed 15-Jun-16 15:39:28

£100 is too little IMO.

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