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Michelle
Newbie September 2018 Ontario

Problems with Photographer - Help!

Michelle, on January 15, 2018 at 08:29 Posted in Before the wedding 0 10
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So my fiance and I found our photographer last year (June 2017) through a Facebook page that suggested wedding vendors and services from brides that have had their weddings or are still planning. After looking at this photographer's packages (which were reasonably priced - $1500), reading reviews here (a few reviews, but all positive) and taking a glance at their work, we reached out to enlist their services (two photographers). They were pretty responsive when it came to sending the contract and having us sign it and send out the deposit ($400). I was pretty happy at that point, because it seemed I had been able to check one item off my very long to-do list already.


I sent out an email at the beginning of December requesting a winter engagement shoot. Short(ish) version of the story - it is now the middle of January and they have pushed back the photo shoot twice (mostly last minute) and are not responding when I ask them to confirm a new date. It takes them days, in most cases a week to a week and a half to answer simple questions. However, every time they want to push back the shoot, they send me three or four emails in the span of two days requesting that I tell them it's okay to cancel the shoot and move it to another day. They have suggested dates and then when asked to confirm the suggested dates they then come back and say those dates will not work. (It's too cold being their favourite excuse so far).


The culminating factor that is really upsetting me at the moment? One of the photographers added me as a friend on Facebook upon signing the contract in June. I think she either forgot that she added me as a friend or simply doesn't care because this past weekend when the shoot we were supposed to have - the one that has been rescheduled twice now - was cancelled because "something came up" the next day the photographer posted pictures and a huge caption which said she'd been in the workshop all day with a friend working on personalized sippy cups for her upcoming trip down south with a group of people. To say I was enraged is accurate. Our emails to confirm a new date for the photo shoot have still gone unanswered. Wanting to provide benefit of the doubt and thinking she might not read her emails, I reached out to her through Facebook messenger to let her know we needed to confirm the new date. This message (from Saturday evening) has yet to be answered, but status updates from a desktop are popping up on my news feed stamped with time markers after the time I sent the Facebook message. To be clear - all messages (reviewed first by my ever patient fiance, haha) have been polite and professional on our part.


I am at the end of my rope. I was lucky enough to win a free engagement shoot from a contest and the photographer from that photo shoot has been more engaging and has even provided back-up dates for the free engagement shoot should weather be an issue.


All I can think is that if this is the way they are treating us before our wedding, what can we expect on the big day? It's an added stress we don't need, especially since my fiance and I will be out of the country until three days before our wedding here for a ceremony in Turkey.


I'm thinking of cancelling the contract because of this issue and just calling the $400.00 a loss at this point.


What the heck should I do?

10 Comments

Latest activity by Erin, on January 19, 2018 at 13:27
  • Erin
    Master September 2017 Ontario
    Erin ·
    • Dispute

    It's unfortunate that you aren't having a good experience. I would go see them in person and not leave until you either come to an agreement or have your money back. I would also write a review on Google and another other site telling people of your experience.

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  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
    • Dispute
    You seem to be screwed into her deal and will have to decide to keep her for the pictured or lose the deposit. I would say and confirm a date for the photoshoot. Ifshe declines, let her know you mean business and to pay another photographer the deposit or refind it.

    She should be a professional and work with you rather than focusing on her personal life. Look for another photographer and see the reviews on them first before confirming payment or a contract. Put a review on yelp to make others aware of this company so they don't waste their time and money.
    • Reply
  • Tiffany
    Devoted October 2017 Ontario
    Tiffany ·
    • Dispute

    Yes I would be angry as well - with the amount of times they have rescheduled I would definitely consider trying to get the deposit back or taking the loss.
    I would also get in touch with them either by phone or in person and tell them you are unhappy and have the list of dates they have rescheduled, for sure tell them you are considering finding someone else.

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  • Holly
    Expert June 2019 Ontario
    Holly ·
    • Dispute
    Definitely try to get that $400 back call, email, text or whatever else you can do, spam them till you get some answers but if all else fails even one bad review can put off many other brides and potential clients. Definitely find a new photographer either way! You do not want an unreliable person on one of the biggest days of your life, that is one date you cannot just push back.
    • Reply
  • Courtney
    Super July 2018 Ontario
    Courtney ·
    • Dispute

    I would maybe reach out to them and let them know that you are really disappointed in the service, with examples of why (Maybe not the facebook thing however) and say you are considering cancelling their services. Perhaps they don't realize how this is affecting you (though they should) and need a bit of a wake up call.


    I would also review the contract as they may have broken it by not providing services.

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  • Stephanie
    Master July 2018 Alberta
    Stephanie ·
    • Dispute

    So frustrating! I think you should cancel. Typically, winter is slow for photographers, so there is no reason it should take them this long to respond. I would also check the contract to see what it says about cancellations. Even from their end, is there anything they have broken? I would also look into filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau about them.

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  • Ashleigh
    Devoted August 2018 Ontario
    Ashleigh ·
    • Dispute
    That sounds frustrating. I would ask for the deposit back and as Maegan said, say you are unhappy with their professionalism. You should also bring up everything in this email as your proof; dates cancelled, reasons given, the facebook post, etc. Do you have a contract? Read it over and see if you can highlight areas that they have broken the contract. You may have had to reschedule hair or makeup appointments to work with their cancellations. That's not just your time being disrupted, but others as well. Good luck and let us know how it works out.
    • Reply
  • Shay
    Frequent user February 2019 British Columbia
    Shay ·
    • Dispute
    I would probably also walk away, it seems like a risk for a job that I would rather not be unsure of. The photos are what you will keep long after the wedding day excitement has passed and I wouldn't want that kind of uncertainty. It is possible that they would recoup the $400 especially since you should be able to back up the unprofessionalism claim with messages..noone wants bad publicity. And if not, it may be worth forfeiting the money to be sure that this particular job is stress free and done right.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Newbie September 2018 Ontario
    Michelle ·
    • Dispute
    View quoted message

    Thank you so much for the advice. It's really unfortunate and even more upsetting because the photography package is a gift from my parents. It's $400.00 that I didn't want to lose because my dad is settling up to retire right after this year. I'm also worried that any good photographers will be booked up because we're getting married on September 1st of this year.


    But you're right - any decent photographer would be more professional and your advice is similar to the advice I've been getting from family and friends. Smiley sad

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  • Maegan
    Super July 2018 British Columbia
    Maegan ·
    • Dispute
    $400 is a lot of money to eat but id be tempted to just walk away too if I were you. You can always ask for the deposit back stating you are uphappy with their proffessionAlism.
    This really isnt the stress that you need and there are a lot of photographers out there who will treat you with proffessional courtesy and stick to they dates they provide.
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