botched photos, bride wants refund

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by lom_t, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. I am so happy to have found this website. I'm hoping some more experienced photographers can help me out with this issue.
    I shot a wedding back in November 2010, during which my camera had sensor problems, and ALL of the ceremony shots turned out grainy and had a tiny red line through each image. She was unhappy with the way they were edited, and her mother requested the originals which we gave them. She still had many photos that turned out fine. I am including one image as an example of how her ceremony images turned out.
    Blurry [because of the reduced grain], yet still grainy, and poorly lit. Some were better, some were ah... worse. Now, her other pictures turned out okay. Some, in fact, we really great.
    They were promised at least 30 images an hour, and we shot for seven hours. They received a total of 562 edited images, and all of the unedited images [I think there were about 900 unedited]. It was a technical error that we didn't even realize had happened until we were in the editing process. The bride now wants a refund, and this is where the trouble comes in: my husband and I own this business together, and I am open to giving her a refund [mainly to get her off my back], but he is dead-set against it.
    We are new to the biz and I need your advice. Should we offer her a refund? 100%? 50%? Has anything like this EVER happened to anyone else in the business? [Please say yes.] In what cases has anyone had to offer a refund before?
     
  2. First off all I presume you mean back in November 2009.

    I offer a 100% money back guarantee and will stand by that no matter what. Customer satisfaction is paramount. Work with the couple to try and give them the best possible images that you can along with a 100% refund if that is what they have asked for.
    Upsetting them will only give you bad publicity that will be very hard to shake off especially if you have just started up your business and trying to get a name for yourself. This is especially more so if your market is small.
    You mention that there are 562 edited images, what type of post production you have done on these. Are you able to post a link to an original raw image that we can download and see if we can’t retrieve a better image from post production than you have been able to do. There are some very clever people on this site that can work magic.
    Kind regards
    John
     
  3. Plain and simple. You (your camera) screwed up. You did not deliver all of the quality shots that you promised. You need to make this right. I can understand your husband not wanting to give back any money but he is wrong. You need to take responsibility for your camera's actions. Would you rather have her hire a lawyer and sue you?
    I would sit down with the bride and negotiate a refund immediately. Have her sign a statement stating that with the refund, that this fulfills the original agreement.
     
  4. I have never refunded any part of a wedding fee, but also never had a reason to consider a refund. It is always preferable to offer product as compensation since you can more easily control product costs, but depending upon the deal you made with the couple, this may not be feasible.
    I think the client is due some compensation. Even if it was a technical error with your gear, that has nothing to do with your client's expectation of receiving a quality product.
    I would say that if you refund, it should be a partial refund, with perhaps, two factors. First would be the number of 'bad' images as a percentage of the total number of images, with corresponding refund in relation to the total money collected. Second would be an added weighting of the percentage due to the fact that it was the ceremony images that were affected. Of all wedding images, the ceremony images are, if not on top, near the top in importance. However, I don't think you should refund the whole amount collected, if the client received some good images.
    Not that it makes any difference now, but what was the sensor problem? The exif says the flash fired, but I see no evidence of flash in this shot.
     
  5. The exif says the flash fired
    Nadine, You say you checked the exif and that the flash didn't fire. When I checked the exif there is no mention of the flash firing. What I did notice though was "Exposure Compensation +5" now this just might have something to do with the grainy images.
    John
     
  6. How much money are we talking about? Did you have a written contract stating what should be delivered?
     
  7. Thank you everyone, for your responses. I have to first say that I am truly embarrassed about this situation. We were and are new to weddings and have never produced such poor work as these, so don't be surprised if you hear some ignorance from my side.
    Josh, yes November 2009. The photos we originally gave them were not all that great. We offered to provide re-edited photos but they were more interested in just receiving the originals. I will look into uploading an image somewhere that other photographers on the site can look at.
    Nadine, gosh, it was so long ago I don't even remember if I was using flash the entire time or not. I suppose not.
    I am going to guess she received about 150 to 200 decent images in "getting ready" photos and reception photos.
    The entire wedding was for $600. I will try to find the contract here pretty soon.
    I was thinking a $300 refund sounded reasonable. The thing is my husband lost his job back in April and we are tight on - no, desperate for - cash. We are currently living under the poverty line and cannot afford a refund at this moment. He is in the process of applying for a job now but it may not happen for a couple months, or at all. So, I have no idea how I should handle the situation.
     
  8. John--the exif says the flash fired. I said I see no evidence of flash in the shot.
     
  9. Moderator Note: Whitney, if people offer to help you with the full res files, you can e-mail them to the people directly. There is no good way to upload a full res file on this forum.
     
  10. I am sorry about your situation but unfortunately, your financial situation is a separate and personal issue from the issue of poor image quality produced for business. I think a $300 refund sounds reasonable. Also, unless you never intend to shoot another wedding, your reputation will suffer if you don't make this good with your client.
     
  11. Hi Nadine,
    Very strange the exif I'm looking at has no mention of the flash firing. But that is just the properties under windows. I don't have any other software at work. Will check tonight when I get home.
    John
     
  12. Lom, your willingness to discuss such a sensitive issue speaks volumes of your sincerity in wanting to make things right. I would extend that same sincerity to your client and communicate to them that you wish to reach an amicable resolution to this matter.
    People are mostly decent and honest. I'm sure your client is upset more about the principle of the matter than the money. The moment is lost, and they know that, so salvaging the situation is in both your interests without further escalation, and there are some good suggestions above to work with.
    Successful business relationships are more about integrity than letters in a contract, and it seems to me you have more than plenty of integrity. Best of luck to you.
     
  13. I won't comment on refunding their money.

    As far as the photo, it looks to me as it was shot without a flash and not set to manual on your camera. The exposure is probably under a 15th of a second, or less.

    To solve this from happening again have your camera set to about 60th of a second and an F stop of or around F5.6. You need to use a flash to stop motion. Also, depending on your camera some auto settings won't take the information regarding your strobe.

    This is probably why you have this type of photo,

    I won't be too hard on you, because I'm sure your are sick with these results. I would suggest to see if you can find a pro near you and tag along with him or her. At the same time learn how to use your camera by practicing everyday for at least a 1/2 hour.

    Think of it this way. Anyone can be a photographer, as well as a musician. The difference is musicians in the classical world start practicing by the age on 10 or less, if they want to have a chance to play in an orchestra. To be good at weddings and photography in general take a few classes, practice on some friends, learn to shoot in darker places, including outside. You will for sure get some backyard weddings.

    You may also want to get insurance for situations like this. These companies will cover your wedding and your camera gear.
     
  14. This was about ten minutes of playing around in Ps5.
    00XNuC-285255684.jpg
     
  15. I would go with the 50% refund. In the future you should not promise a certain number of image per hour. You should contract for a set period of time, like 6 hrs coverage. The number of images that you take is not important, it is the quality that counts. You should only deliver maybe 400-500 images to the customer. Be honest and upfront with your customers and hopefully your reputation will survive.
     
  16. This was processed in Lightroom 3.2 especially for noise reduction and chromatic aberration with smart sharpening for camera blur in Ps5. I think with the RAW files you could get something that would be acceptable to the bride and groom especially color balance. You can download trial versions of the programs from Adobe. Folks here can help you with the proper adjustments. I think B&G would prefer to have usable images rather than a refund.
    00XNw5-285291584.jpg
     
  17. For wedding pictures like that, 100% refund is in order, and sincere apology to the bride and groom.
    Failiures or accidents happen to anyone but this is clearly none of them, but but lack of experience. You need more experience to do weddings, practice before weddings.
     
  18. I would settle somewhere in the middle. I would offer the couple a 75% discount AND a future shoot (maybe a christening/confirmation, another event, etc) for a reduced rate. Like it has already been said, the moment for the couple is lost and there's very little you can do to compensate for that. All you can do is try to show the remorse you've shown here to the client and hope for the best.
    I understand that money may be tight right now, but they will be tighter if you let this drag along and damage your reputation.
    I would not go into the desperate option of attempting to process the images in order to get something "better" - the client is already past that (as it was shown by their request for the original unedited images) and you would simply end up losing more and more time, time you would not be paid for.
    In closing, yes, practice more - a LOT more. Try and experience more and more challenging situations and READ. There must be literally hundreds of books out there with techniques and advice - take them out of a library, flick through them at the local college or even at a large bookstore. When a client rests their hopes for memorable images on your skills, those skills have GOT to be honed to perfection. No excuse applies...
     
  19. The exif says the flash fired
    Nadine, You say you checked the exif and that the flash didn't fire. When I checked the exif there is no mention of the flash firing.​
    This might have been the second of two shots taken in rapid succession (i.e. less than a second apart). In that case, an underpowered speed light might not have had time to recharge for the second photo. The camera would indicate that it fired the flash, but you wouldn't see any effect because the unit didn't have enough juice to illuminate the second shot. That would explain the motion blur and the incorrect white balance.
     
  20. Would you rather have her hire a lawyer and sue you?​
    It is possible to take legal action without using a lawyer. In the case of the customer in question, the lawyer's fees would probably be in excess of the amount being claimed.
     
  21. “during which my camera had sensor problems”
    Going through the exif data it reveals an exposure time of 1/100 sec, an exposure program of shutter priority, an exposure bias of 5 EV, an f number of 4.5 (maximum aperture of 4.44) and a focal length of 70 mm or 105 mm (35 mm equivalent) with a multi-segment metering mode applied using a Nikon D70s. It also indicated that the flash did not fire (but interesting, did not indicate an ISO value).
    The lens has been forced to it maximum aperture (at 70 mm) – which may indicate low light (which would effect autofocus speed (if that was used) and contribute to blurriness). One way to check the degree of low light would have been to set the shutter speed to say 1/50 sec and then 1/25 sec (with the exposure bias at 0 EV) and see if the aperture continued to sit wide open. If it did, then definitely not enough light. Setting the exposure bias to 5EV (either by mistake or intentionally) will not solve a low light problem.
    Without analysing this any further it would appear that the lens-camera combination was not suited to this job (although you do mention a tiny red line through each image?). We are 10 months done the track – has it been established that the sensor was part of the problem?
    Now about what to do? I think the advice offered by John McCosh, Barry Goldberg and Frank Skomial is where I would be starting.
    Weddings carry the weight of enormous expectations – so I would just try to make this couple happy, learn from the experience and move on.
     
  22. Do what you need to to make the couple happy.
    I completely understand about your financial situation, but you really need to refund something to them at this point.
    My guess is that you were shooting with the 18-70 f3.5-5.6 lens (which is / was a kit lens for the D70.) - While that is a very good lens - it does have it's limits and drawbacks - one of which is poor low light performance.
    Couple that with the D70 / D70s poor high ISO performance (out of the camera) you have a recipe for bad images. That's not to say that D70s can't take excellent low light photos - but you have to know the situation and work the exposure correctly.
    Here's what I did to the image - about 2 minutes in PS elements.
    1) color - fixed the balance - got rid of the yellow cast.
    2) Noise - Noiseware pro.
    3) Sharpen - Alienskin exposure 3
    4) smooth out the skin - Portraiture Pro.
    Dave
    00XNz7-285335584.jpg
     
  23. bms

    bms

    Lom, you got some good advice here from real pros.I would go with a partial refund.
    I tend to agree with Nadine that this was likely the second of two shots in rapid succession and the flash did not recycle yet. Happened to this amateur dummy me plenty of times.
    I am nowhere near that, but in terms of fixing, you may want to try to do some black and white conversions. IMHO that tends to make noise less apparent and obviously gets rid of color cast (it seems like the white balance setting was off). I hope you shoot RAW (at least from here on), it helps you especially as you are gathering experience; you need more memory space but it pays off. You may also have noticed that people here have used some software to process the images - don't know what you are using, but it may be a good investment.
    If you are serious about this, you will need a business plan that probably accounts for things like this to happen, and maybe insurance. While I am sure that many people take great images with a D70s, that equipment is dated now and you may want to consider an upgrade as soon as you financial situation allows. In low light, you'll benefit from a f2.8 lens or two. Some people shoot primes, and a 35 f2, 50 f1.8 may be within you budget.
    00XO23-285401584.jpg
     
  24. ALL of the ceremony shots turned out grainy and had a tiny red line through each image.
    Then you are lucky that they are willing to accept a full refund, instead of suing you for not only a full refund but also damages. (Whether such a suit would succeed depends in part on the contract's language and the laws of your jurisdiction.) The ceremony is the most important part (IMO). If all of the images of the ceremony have substantial problems, they did not get the main benefit of why they hired you. To me, it's really that simple.
     
  25. I guess I must be wrong about the flash firing. I was using Panda iexif, and thought I read the flash fired. Anyway Benjamin, it was Dan South who thought maybe the image was the second or so in a series, with flash recycling being the culprit.
    I also think Lom is past the point of fixing the images to avoid a refund. She has said she already gave the client all of the unedited images and they are not interested in more editing--they wanted all the files. At this point, I believe a partial refund is the answer. The question would be how much would satisfy the client.
     
  26. Assuming (for a second) that the images which did not turn out are about 1/3 of the total images from the day - then I would suggest refunding 1/3 of the price paid by the bride.
    Dave
     
  27. It seems that $300 (50%) refund would be fair, satisfy the client, and be a very small price to pay for this very important lesson in wedding photography. Plus, it would go a long way with a judge if you end up in small claims court.
     
  28. Reputation and integrity are the heart and soul of any business, sit down with the client and explain your situation to her and talk to her about refunding over a period of time so it is not such a strain on your finances. Talk to her about trying improve the photos with processing and see if she will accept a partial refund if you can make some of the pictures satisfactory. Try to be good to her and give her the chance to be generous in return, put yourself in her place for this once in a lifetime event.
    Jim
     
  29. I entirely agree with Dave Redmann. You've gotten a number of answers that all say the same thing. Some form of refund is in order The wedding is a critical part of the day and regardless of the 'reason' it wasn't covered as it should have been. Dave is correct, if you delay this and not offer a 100% refund, you face not only giving the refund but also legal fees and some type of settlement.
    If a long time working professional photographer was brought into court to give his/her "expert opinion", they would tear this apart. Substandard camera that is not suitable for this type of shooting, same for the lens, No backup camera in case of equipment failure, not understanding several basic principles and so on. I know I sound harsh and I am but I'm trying to make a point (mostly to your husband). Give them the refund, make them sign off on no future compensation and cut your losses while you still can. Borrow the money if you have to but put this behind you as quickly as possible.
     
  30. My professional advice. Refund the money. And then stop charging money for something you aren't qualified to do. That probably sounds harsh, but as professionals, we are here to promote photography but that doesn't mean accepting anyone with a camera as a professional. In terms of the partial refund, why? As a professional there is a certain minimum level of expectation. This wasn't met. Not only was it not met, you weren't in a position to even be able to meet the expectation:
    Was it camera/sensor failure? I doubt it. Otherwise why would the other images from the day be OK. But lets say it was.... you didn't notice this for the WHOLE ceremony? And as a professional what was your back up?
    Low light church? Shocking. Low light church with a slow lens? Not a good idea. Where is your "fast" lens. As a professional you must have something faster than f/4.5? The other rub is that it doesn't look all that low light. We have some decent light coming in from camera right, we have the large stained glass in back, and something is casting a shadow where the pillar is at.
    Where is the fill flash? If you aren't going to use fast glass (and usually even if you are), you need fill flash for the type of shot posted. Did the flash not recycle in time? As a professional you need to make sure your gear is up to the task. And since you indicated that most of the shots were like this, I can't see how your flash was ever firing. Was it a problem with the flash? If it was, as a professional, what was your back up?
    Bottom line, this wasn't anywhere near a professional job and it shouldn't be labeled as such. I am not qualified to give legal advice, but I can't imagine any judge not ordering a full refund of the monies paid. If nothing else, you represented yourself as being able to do something you clearly couldn't do. Even a guest with a point & shoot is going to capture a better image. So that is my advice. After that, I strongly suggest learning photography. My wife can bake cupcakes but we aren't about to open a bakery.
     
  31. I am amazed that this happens so often - people who have no business shooting a wedding thinking "wow, what a great way to make money" and "anyone" can do it.
     
  32. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    With regard to the question about a refund: I agree with the OP and not with her husband, a refund is in order – if the B&G will take $300 then that would be a good outcome IMO.
    With regard to the time lag: I agree that it has gone beyond offering fixes to images, or anything other than a refund which the OP says is what the B&G want anyway and it is implied that if this request is satisfied the matter will be ended.
    With regard to the EXIF details and the Flash Firing or not: Opanda Power EXIF Professional; GEXIF VIEW; Windows Properties/Details - all reveal that the Flash Fired, but no strobe return was detected.
    All these EXIF reading programmes use DIFFERENT wording to explain this, but what in essence it means is that: The Flash was SET to fire, but there was no detection of it actually firing.
    Considering the Subjects are walking - the most reasonable and common explanation for this EXIF reading is that the Flash did not recycle in time to fire for this particular shot and the shot was one of a sequence of shots reasonably close in succession.
    With regard to a red line through each of the Ceremony Images: I see no evidence of that red line and further I see no evidence of it being edited out, so I conclude that either expert PP has been performed on this particular sample ceremony image or the OP was in error stating that there was a red line on all of the ceremony images.
    With respect to there being a camera sensor problem: given the EXIF data; the apparent EV; the lighting scenario - I can see no evidence of any sensor problem in the sample image; so again I conclude that there has been some expert PP done to address this senor problem or the OP is in error in concluding the posted image is a sample of the sensor problems the camera was having at that time.
    In regard to the facts that - some of the Ceremony Images are of worse than the sample image; the Clients are complaining; and the OP is new to the business and is seeking general advice: My comment is that the OP needs sort out some fundamentals of the business.
    The first being to satisfy this particular customer and quickly.
    The second, based on the information presented here, is bring the Photography skills to a Professional Standard.
    The third is to bring the problem detection and investigative skills to a professional standard because on the face of the one image presented, the OP’s analysis of this problem is way off beam.
    If the OP cannot correctly and accurately identify exactly what the problems are then the OP will not be able to correctly remedy these problems.
    Not correctly identifying and quickly correcting problems runs the risk of encountering a less forgiving customer, who will not wait out several months before taking more forceful measures, than it seem the B&G have taken in this case and measures others might take could be more costly than $300 or even $600.
    WW
     
  33. One recommendation I would have is, don't ever send a client a picture that is poor quality. You should know which ones are of poor quality. Only let them see and choose from among your best shots. If you don't have enough to show them then maybe offer a partial refund based on what you have. ALWAYS HAVE A CONTRACT that spells out the limit of your liability and how issues such as this are resolved. Once they have seen your poor shots then your reputation is damaged whether you refund their money or not.
     
  34. It takes guts to post such a photo and then wonder why the client wanted a refund, red lines or not.
     
  35. At this point, there is no use in *us* trying to figure out if there was a sensor problem or not. Without access to all the files and other information, there is no way to know what the problem was--whether technical or user related. Consequently, there is no point in berating Lom about whether or not she should or shouldn't be shooting weddings, beyond William W.'s excellent advice--that she should find out what the real problem was, so she won't repeat it (or take steps to have gear fixed) for the sake of her business.
     
  36. I'm honestly shocked by the lack of sensitivity in some of the replies to the OP's plight.
    We're supposed to be helpful, non judgemental, and supportive of our fellow photographers, whatever their level. We all make mistakes, and in view of the OP's sincerity in her desire to make things right, dragging her through the coals will do nothing but send chills through the community and promote stone silence from those who need help the most.
     
  37. I'll never forget one very pointed lesson from my photography professor in college. Having had a very successful career in portrait and wedding photography, he was now teaching those disciplines. "If you screw up a wedding, the only way to compensate the bride and groom is to pay to restage the wedding ceremony, absorbing all the costs of doing that," he told us. There are a lot of students of Ted Magnuson's, including me, who chose to take our photography interests and careers in other directions after that class. I think I have shot one wedding, free of charge, in the nearly forty years since. I'm not sure if he actually meant his statement literally, but he drove home the point, that with weddings, you have only one shot to do it right, so you better have your act together.
     
  38. Nadine, I don't understand your latest response. Whether the issue was technical or user related, the OP had no business shooting a wedding without either the knowledge or back up equipment to correct the issue. At what point do we as professionals not admit someone into our professional circle? If I hire a contractor to build me a house and he build me half a house because he couldn't afford the materials/equipment/labor to build the other half am I suppose to just let him off the hook because he has to start somewhere? Is that the message the professional community should be sending out?
    Michael C, in regards to lack of sensitivity, you are kidding right? The OP takes money to complete a job she had neither the skill nor the equipment to complete, and it is our lack of sensitivity that surprises you? The OP didn't come her asking fellow enthusiasts how to get a better image. The OP took money to create images that in the end, they didn't create and now wanted professional advice on whether to refund the money. If this had been shot for free for a friend and the OP asked what went wrong or how to improve the image I would have been happy to provide any amount of free advice, including you need a better lens and a flash that can keep up.
    So I guess my follow up question is where do we as professionals draw the line. What message do we want to send out into the world that we professionals do take this seriously?
     
  39. After looking the the original photo and the various PS 'fixes', I have to say the image is not only bad, it is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE and unsalvageable.
    You need to give these customers full 100% refund, PLUS a sincere apology for ruining what should have been their most precious memorable moments.
    Regardless of your financial situation and your husband's opinion, what is at stake is your personal integrity. You need to take responsibility as a professional business person.
    Refund the couple in full, even if it mean selling your equipment to pay for it.
     
  40. I agree with John Deerfield.
     
  41. John--we don't know that Lom didn't have back up gear. We don't know if she knew about any problem from looking at the LCD. One cannot assume that she didn't have the knowledge to do the job. One can speculate, but one cannot be sure. Without being there you don't know and I don't know.
    Secondly, photo.net is not a 'for professionals only' forum, so 'letting someone into our professional circle' is not a concern here. I know there are professional-only forums, and forums that put out FAQs that basically say, "Don't post here if you aren't a professional wedding photographer." We don't. LOM asked a question--should she give a refund, and how much? The question was answered, by many people, experienced and new, non pro and pro, which is what, I assume, Lom was looking for.
     
  42. Michael, In all honesty I'm not shocked in any way at the replies. In fact I feel the ones who've suggested that she improve her skills etc are on point. She had courage to post this shot but if you even take a casual cruise through the excellent wedding photos posted on this and many other sites, this isn't very good work. Many people have posted suggestions on improving and how to handle this situation now and so it does not happen again.
    Far too many people are putting up a web site and calling themselves "Professional Wedding Photographers" when they don't have the gear, the photographic skills, the technical or software skills to provide quality work. Just because you can take a pretty flower shots does not qualify you to get paid for your photography.
    If it sends chills to others and they spend the time to learn this craft properly before charging a dime, so be it. They should take this far more seriously than many do. IMO you are looking at this backwards. This is a once in a lifetime event for most people. They entrust that you know what you are doing. The photos are the most important keepsake and memory of the day they will have. If the shot above is any representation of the work presented, then the bride would be better off gathering the shots from the guests to make an album. The bride hires us to knock her socks off. She looks at our galleries and wants her photos to be better than our previous work. She's spent $10,000, 20,000 or more and has a lot of hopes and dreams wrapped up in what the photographer delivers.
    I do lay some blame on the brides who have spent $10,000 on a reception and $600 on a photographer. It's like payinng the ventue $1.25 per plate and expecting anything more than Kraft dinner to be served.
    I posted this because of one short phrase you used "whatever their skill level". Seriously, their skill level has to be at the peak of photography. In terms of technical skill, editing skill and artistic skill with the correct equipment to back that up. Certainly there are various levels of wedding photographers in artistic and creative terms but there should be very little difference in technical skill levels in an ideal world. To me that is a point that can not be argued.
     
  43. It takes guts to post such a photo and then wonder why the client wanted a refund​
    The poster is not wondering why the client wants a refund.
     
  44. No amount of refund will fix this. They are irreplaceable moments in time for the client. That is what makes shooting weddings so nerve wracking to many photographers that refuse to shoot one. Some place down the line, most (not all) wedding photographers have something happen that makes them freak out or feel bad.
    I'd suggest exhausting all avenues of fixing the most important ceremony shots, no matter how long it takes you ... or how expensive the post programs are.
    Take a look at "Focus Magic" ... it's saved me a couple of times in the past. First enlarge the file at least twice the size of the final before using "Focus Magic" then reduce it back down to final size.
    I once had a lab machine mangle a 6X7 neg. strip that had the processional of the Dad escorting the Bride down the aisle. I told the lab to keep the pieces, and I spent days meticulously piecing it all back together, scanning it and retouching it at 3X the final size and never told the client what happened ... she loved the shots.
     
  45. Suck it up, 100% refund, work the images as best you can, and give them for free. I count myself as a weekend warrior, and I wouldn't dare show couples photos like that except in a grovelling "mea culpa" situation. To have the chutzpah to charge them for it... well I guess that's why they invented the word...
    November 2010? Can I buy into your time machine tech? :p
     
  46. PS - You don't give refunds to "get her off your back", you give them because you were commissioned and paid to do a job, and you screwed up. Face up to your responsibilities and liabilities - $600 for you, a once-in-a-lifetime event for them.
     
  47. I don't mean to pile on, but you would owe them a full refund at the very least. Anything less would be unethical. It doesn't matter much what caused the problem, really. That looks like a cell phone picture.
    I hope there was an uncle with an SLR somewhere at the wedding (there always is, I suppose).
     
  48. Lom,
    Don't lose heart. Every photographer out there has shot a picture like this early in their career. The key is not to show something like this. Doctors will back each other even when there is a dead body, but take a poor picture at a wedding, and you'll never hear the end of it. You charged her a very low amount which seems appropriate for this stage in your career. Do what it takes to make your customer happy, and go on with your life. Study and practice and I bet your next time will go a lot better. Good luck to you.
     
  49. "We're supposed to be helpful, non-judgmental, and supportive of our fellow photographers, whatever their level. We all make mistakes, and in view of the OP's sincerity in her desire to make things right, dragging her through the coals will do nothing but send chills through the community and promote stone silence from those who need help the most...." Michael C.

    Excuse me for being judgmental but I'm pretty consistent in my assertion that people who peddle their photography need to have a level of preparation such that they can deliver a consistent, reliable product. This is generally best obtained via some form of apprenticeship or on the job training. It is after all a wedding, there are no 2nd chances and IMO no room for excuses. Learning the business at the expense of paying clients is not really OK.
     
  50. Personally I don't find wedding photography that difficult--we've all had a rough moment or two and hopefully Lom will use this as a learning experience and come back stronger than ever.
    Give the refund, accept responsibility, do what it takes to make it right. Also, as others have said, if you don't, your reputation will suffer, and at this stage of your career that would be far worse than a one time refund.
     
  51. While some of the replies stung I know they are all honest and true, and I thank everyone who took the time to offer their opinions and suggestions. Everyone has been very helpful.
    I am not "just someone who has a camera" and thinks, "Oh, I can be a photographer too!" I have always loved photography, I have been shooting natural-light weddings and portrait sessions for four years. I have never had an unhappy client, until now. It is true that I have very little experience shooting in low-light settings, and was admittedly [and obviously] not prepared to take on this type of work.
     
  52. So I guess my follow up question is where do we as professionals draw the line​
    Not to get involved in this. A real pro charges money to give you the right answers. Hence all the seminars about how to become a wedding photographer.(LOL)
    I agree with John, charging money makes you a pro. The couple hiring a $600 photographer, they got what they paid for. I hope they will spread the word, but I doubt it. They'll only blame the photographer and not their own cheap shopping. This is common when I browse several bridal forums where I live.
    Don't know what you've done with this image when it came straight out of the camera, but shooting shutter priority in this kind of situations with a pop up flash and a kit f4.5 lens will put you into trouble. Moreover there is something wrong with the digital data of this image, although it opened in PS5 it gave an error in C1pro. Also the ISO says 0 in exif data.
    I wonder if you would pay the car repair man, if he did such a bad job. There's you answer.
    00XOJu-285605584.jpg
     
  53. Just learn, give a full refund and a serious apology, and move on. As you learn, bring a 2nd or 3rd photographer - it is the only ethical way to back up as you ramp up.
    Don't look for excuses. Use mistakes like this to learn.
    A refund to the bride is minuscule to the harm caused to her. Her fault was not to query your experience.
     
  54. For what it is worth., the red line has started me thinking. It seems that I remember reading about something similar being caused by radio frequency interference. In the article I remember it was from a cheap radio controlled flash trigger that mounts to the camera hot shoe. If you were not using such a thing then maybe it was some other type of electronic interference (ie. a wireless microphone, certain types of lights) Just a thought.
     
  55. I am sorry to hear you are in a bad spot. If you take some time you can improve some of the images, I played with this in Photoshop CS3. Might take several minutes per photo. At the least you want to make sure the B&G have a good number of photos that are better than what was posted and this one could be cleaned up a bit. Sharpen, edge sharpen, brightness, gama, contrast color tweaks. Without starting a Nikon - Canon war, and I know Nikon's can take some great shots, maybe the next camera to consider is a Canon.
    00XOO2-285673584.jpg
     
  56. Brand of camera has nothing to do with this Mark.
     
  57. Having read this thread and tried to digest the salient points I'm shocked at the overall picture forming here.
    My impression is the Bride & Groom have been (as happens time & time again) been blissfully naive in hiring a tog, on what at face value looks to have been based on cost. Did our Tog have worked examples to use as marketing? I’ll come back to business model and commercial protection later.
    Similarly I feel the togs have been naïve and displayed a lack of recognition to the issues at hand. $600.00 a turn for 210 images, printed I assume? Do you expect to keep a roof over your head and food on the table? But to hand over 526/900 is not good and certainly erodes the exercise as a commercial enterprise.
    In this respect I can understand the savaging others have felt this issue has warranted, especially time served professionals…this gives nobody a good name.
    Weddings, as has been pointed out are highly emotive subject, especially when it goes wrong. There are technical measures and business practices that should be adopted to protect you (the tog) from commercial harm and ensure the client gets the quality life long keep sake to take them back to the day over and over again.
    This is a bit long winded, but I hope some people may gain from reading it. I hope this is not another example of (as I’ve seen so many times through the years) a few good photo’s and the photographer is convinced they could make money. DSLRs with the Auto functions that 9/10 times keep you out of trouble, can land you in bigger trouble when you start getting clever!
    Contract aquiral:
    Besides word of mouth, when it comes to marketing yourself, have the depth of experience relevant to your field, if this means working as a free third shooter for a while to build experience, capability and understanding in your subject DO IT! This is school time that will stand you in stead for the future and allows you to build a folio of competent shots to use as marketing.
    Once you are looking at charging a fee for your services, you’re professional and must adopt a very different attitude to your work.
    In this case to promise 30 shots per hour is commercial suicide, especially when technique and use of equipment is evidently poor, Over seven hours this builds a phenomenal work load to post produce! If you were using film you’d blow your fee on materials, think about it!
    When bringing a customer on board, have the confidence to show worked examples for the client to decide if your shooting style, artistic flair and overall presentation skills are what they want. Have pre-planned packages which can within reason be tailored to suit the client’s pocket. That way they know what to expect for the money paid. They have seen your work and agreed a cost for X amount of images. Albums, framed prints etc. these are extras that can be picked up later when they have funds or they can be tailored into ‘premium’ packages.
    Practice:
    Budget in a pre-wedding shoot. This could be a dressed rehearsal, it could be an engagement shoot or just an informal shoot. This lets you get to know your client a little better and the process of showing the images from that shoot allows you to gauge future issues re expectation etc. The client also gets used to your direction.
    The Big day:
    Be early, if possible go the day before and spy out locations, views and any possible issues…be ready just to shoot, shoot, shoot on the day.
    Depending on what you have agreed make sure you are the one driving the timescale, this should be sorted out at the hiring stage. Make sure you have the time to do the job justice. Make sure your client appreciates this.
    Less is more. Have a selection of stock shots that you know work and you can control.( We fall back to the advanced site visit here) If the bride & groom have their own ideas listen and where practical incorporate…but don’t make impossible work for yourself unless they have the budget & time. Leave time to review on the hoof and especially during and at the end of your stock shots…make sure you have the shot in the bag! Holding things up for 5 minutes to re-do a shot is not good but better than going away empty handed. On this basis no Bride & Groom would be put out! Just don’t let it happen more than once…you’ll start to look stupid very quickly if you have to re-take every second pose!
    Second shooter, this is your safety. During the stock shots you have two barrels on the subjects. While you’re reviewing, etc. No. 2 is getting the fill shots, candid pics etc. Both should have two cameras (good ones!) Your third shooter should you be so blessed can step in here, plus corral guess for the group shots etc. Hold reflectors, remote flash…it’s another pair of eager hands ready to help and learn…use them!
    The after:
    Allow time to do an initial post production to sort the wheat from the chaff. Have a simple, clean and secure website. Post the images to the site and have the B&G and guests look and see your work. A shop front on this to allow guests to order prints etc. is a good money spinner.
    Once the B&G have picked their pre-agreed quota, meet and go through the options. Sell on, you have bread to put on the table but don’t scare them off!
    Leave the webpage running for 18 months, longer if you can afford the server space. This should be behind a secure login to allow guests and the family access but keep the nosy out. The site should be configured to prevent copying of images, the thumbnails should be adequately sized to allow a good impression to be gained but to be of little or no use if downloaded. Water mark (and brutally) anything larger!
    This goes smoothly you have a happy customer. It is staged so if there is a problem you have a cut off where you can cut and run should you be unlucky and get a bad client. Or similarly the client should they feel you’re not up to muster. Once committed it’s your professional duty to deliver…that’s why you’re being paid!
    Finally. Never give away your images! Beyond the agreed images/products to be supplied on the fee these are your income, you hold the copyright (Model release!) If the client wants a copy of all the images…they have to pay as an extra unless agreed when being hired…and only release the Wheat delete the chaff…always bury the dead and deep!
    This was our experience in 2009, it was a good one. I like to think myself as a competent amateur and no more! I would never (at the moment) contemplate doing a wedding shoot, I’ve done free candids and I was nervous about those. I don’t feel confident enough or posses the skill to deliver a pro job.
    We were fortunate to have a friend on the outer edges of our social circle who has gone pro and is doing a fine job of it too. We paid the going rate for what we could afford, we knew who we were hiring, we know they would cost and we knew they could deliver, we were happy...we did get a bit extra but it was their call, we didn’t ask. The link below is the photographer we used, I give this as an example and if you're in Scotland and planning a wedding, know somebody planning a wedding...I highly recommend them.
    www.portra.it
    Lom T, sadly it sounds you’ve both been found wanting. I’m guessing but the clients’ friends and family may have put pressure on them to chase you because of the quality issue. Left to their own devices they may have accepted that they got what they paid for. If you’re offering a budget package, you keep the shots simple, fast and the number low. If I was in your shoes, at $600.00 it’s about a dozen shots in an album plus a print of the B&G’s choosing (cost the sizes and decide what isn’t going to eat your profit) Arrival, ceremony and leaving the ceremony as Husband & wife…1.5 - 2hrs work tops. You’ll get 2 or 3 of those in in one day if you’re lucky with timings.
    I’d make a full refund. You and your Husband have to sit down, re-assess your business strategy and address the issues of equipment, skill and ability to deliver. You may well be more than capable, satisfy yourselves this has wings and move on.
    Good luck to you both.
     
  58. Brand of camera has nothing to do with this Mark.
    +1
     
  59. +2
    Brand of camera has nothing to do with this Mark.​
     
  60. I went to a wedding a few years ago as a guest. The person they hired had an older SLR xyz camera and some sort of little fixed lens digi is all. I talked to him a little while the bride was getting ready,someone told him that I collected cameras. I had a negative feeling about him. I had some cameras in the car that I brought that had some rolls that I planned on finishing during the reception/party so I went and got one out before the wedding started. I think it was the Automat? The guy was good at setting up the subjects but with the crappy camera he was using, with an on camera flash I sort of 'boosted' a few shots from the sidelines. I used the Rolleiflex, a ZI Nettar 6x6 folder and an SLR of some kind { don't remember which one?} I had them developed and printed and got some fairly good results, not excellent, but good. Sometime later the bride called me and asked if I had any pics of the wedding, that the guy they hired fell through,nothing worth keeping, really disappointed. I had maybe 8 or 10 that had possibilities. I sent my negs back to the lab where they cleaned them up in photoshop or whatever, they saved the important one real well. The guy didn't want paid till after the wedding and offered to help me pay for the cost of editing. They also got some photos that other guest took so it wasn't all bad.
     
  61. +3 on brand of camera.
     
  62. Well others have said enough and given enough advice so I won't offer anymore advice. I took a look at the shot you uploaded and managed to get it a bit sharper but then it becomes much more noisey. Anyhow here it is...
     
  63. Ok pic is here
    00XObe-285897584.jpg
     
  64. Yeah, it seems pretty hopeless. Thank you to everyone who tried to mess with it a bit. The black and white came out pretty good, but that was a big thing for her, she wanted them in color. I've tried editing them from scratch at least a dozen times. I just can't get it to look good. I can eliminate the red line but the grain is just awful.
    "get her off my back" was perhaps the wrong choice of words. I do want to make this right. I feel bad that this learning experience happened at the expense of her wedding photos.
     
  65. Here you here is one more. I applied some noise reduction to the previous image I uploaded and it cleaned up quite nicely.
    00XOcY-285907584.jpg
     
  66. Lom if you can post a full sized photo or file somewhere I am sure there are some here that would like to give it a try just as a learning experience. I also found on the Nikon facebook page that the red line through the image is pretty common on the D40 and one instance of the D80 so you are not alone in that regard. Hope everything works out.
     
  67. Sorry I only read the first page of posts...but from what I read you charged $600 for the wedding and now the bride wants a refund because the pictures sucked due to faulty equipment....and you're too broke to give it back.
    I guess my view on this is...what do people expect for $600...and it was your first wedding...so really they (Bride/Groom) didn't do their research. I wouldn't refund anything if you don't have the money to give them. If people want to pay $600 for 900 photos...this is what they get. Sorry to sound harsh but everybody and their Uncle thinks they're a photographer now, and the price for legitimate wedding photogs is going into the tank.
    I've only shot 4 weddings, mostly because I despise doing so...but I wouldn't do another for less than $2000.
     
  68. Clint;

    One can have a failure even with the best of equipment and a high priced booking too.
    Eons ago at one rig a batch of Kodak 620 films had bad reels; they metal rings came off while shooting; one got light fogging along the entire length of the roll. After figuring what was happening; we had to load and unload in film changing bags; Vericolor in 620 rolls that had a freak failure.

    One can have the lab have an issue if one shoots film; like Marcs comment way above.

    Even further up the thread somebody says to use Canons; but hat if the mirror falls out on ones 5D?
    stuff happens; that is why eons ago the "old fart" had a film changing bag; thus it saved the rest of the shoot
     
  69. Kelly,
    Absolutely things happen, things go wrong...which is why a 'professional' wedding photog should carry a second body. Really I don't feel too bad for the bride/groom, you get what you pay for. How is their photographer going to afford carrying a second body when they're only getting $600 for a 12 hr day of shooting AND post processing? Now, if they had spent even $1200 I would feel badly...but right now I don't.
    As for the photographer, you're probably lucky you only charged $600 or you would be headed to court. My advice to you is to practice with Engagement sittings first, if you're good at it buy a second body, decent lenses and flash and try again...but NOT for $600!
     
  70. Clint--we do not know if Lom had a second body or not. Maybe she did. In any case, would YOU notice a thin red line on your LCD in the middle of shooting the processional? I just took out *crud* from about 500 images of a wedding. It was a large piece of rubbish that stuck to my sensor. I didn't notice it and I chimp throughout the day. Probably should chimp closer, but coming from film, I don't spend a lot of time chimping--I just glance at the LCD. I also would probably not have noticed a thin red line on the LCD in the middle of shooting the processional. So the assumptions that Lom *should* have known something was wrong and that Lom did not have a second body, are questionable.
     
  71. Nadine, I don't see any red line...I just see a poor quality photo with horrible noise.
     
  72. We have been told there was a thin, red line in the ceremony images. The original image has been removed now, but I would assume that in the original image, the red line was already removed. As for the rest of it, it is absolutely possible that the poor quality is not the result of a technical or gear problem, but a user problem. However, without knowing all the facts, one cannot assume this is the case.
    For instance, in my film days, I had a lens for my Mamiya C330 that "stuttered" during an exposure, which caused the image to be motion blurred and overexposed. Now, I knew (and know) how to shoot sharp, well exposed images, and shot accordingly. Yet, the result made it look like I didn't know what I was doing. So I ended up with some wedding images that were poor, through no fault of my own. I also didn't know it was happening when it was happening. I am not defending Lom at all--just saying that without evidence, we cannot conclude that she was at fault. In addition, placing blame is outside the scope of the question.
     
  73. I'll give it a shot as well.
    00XOlF-286039684.jpg
     
  74. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    The issue of the thin red line, whilst actually quite interesting to me, is distracting and not relevant the main thrust of the question.
    Nor is the thin red line significant as the basis of any general advice to the OP, that more Photographic Skill, Technical Knowledge and Business Acumen, than what was shown by the image and the information contained in the Original Post, is required: if she is to work at a Professional Level.
    I mentioned also that I could not see a thin red line in the sample image. And therefore I concluded that possibilities were it could have been removed or that the OP was in error stating that there was a thin Red Line in all the Ceremony images. There are other possibilities also: such as the low res sample posted might not have shown it easily and or if the Flash DID NOT fire - the thin red line or the better definition of it, might be related to the Flash Firing.
    The point is we don’t know enough information about the thin red line and I think that it is reasonable to assume that it would be easy to miss noticing a thin red line when chimping during the Processional, anyway.
    On the other hand it would be argued and I would argue strongly that: Underexposure; Lack of Flash Firing; Subject Movement; Poor Focus would be elements of the Image which any and every Professional Wedding Photographer would be 100% attuned to and on full alert for during the Ceremony and especially the short period of time, there is available to shoot the Processional. This set of images is nearly 100% “One Shot Theory”. In fact a Professional even has “Plan B” set in case there is an absolute catastrophic failure of both the main camera and back up cameras.
    ***
    But the point of the question was whether or not to give a refund: the TWO owners of the business were in disagreement and the post was simply asking – I say "Yes Refund" and the other business partner says "NO Refund" - what do you guys and gals think?
    The overwhelming majority of the opinion is that a refund is required. And that opinion is canvassed from folk with rock solid Professional Photography Experience and others also: so in this regard the OP’s Husband has something to think about – remembering that a key point is that the OP wanted to give a refund, albeit after a long discourse with the B&G.
    Also many have suggested (or implied) that instead of or as well as a refund there could be some salvagable images and many examples have been posted and also ideas - like many responses on threads here, these suggestions come from a generousity and a willingness to assist.

    BUT - Advice regarding the OP stepping up Photographic Knowledge and Skill Levels and other similar issues have been ALREADY Noted and Acknowledged by the OP - and hopefully also noted and acknowledged by her business partner – it seems fruitless to continue making the same point over and over in this regard.
    ***
    In really simple speak: my spin on the big picture is there is very likely a thin red line in many photos, also there are other issues including technical matters, likely also equipment issues and skill levels which came into play – but that is a guess – the OP came to resolve an issue basically to settle an issue between her and her Business Partner, who is also her Husband - and these elements bring their own possible stresses which might not (and should not) be disclosed.
    It is pointless to throw any more "how bad the image was" comments around or debate the thin red line . . . other than to give ideas about what the line might have been, which I note a few have.
    I am neither defending the OP; nor defendeing her actions last November; nor the Wedding Image in question.
    But the OP has my acknowledgement for coming back and admitting liability and her unpreparedness as a “Professional Photographer”.
    She will gain Respect, if she acts upon the valuable advice given to her here from many generous people.
    WW
     
  75. From the hip...
    If its my bad, no questions asked, I would give a full and immediate refund. Even if she hadn't asked for it.
    I.e. A few years ago (several actually) I booked a bride and groom sight unseen who came here from Chicago. They only had ONE shot that they really wanted (or at least that is the only one the asked about getting as a must have). The shot was of her tossing the bouquet one way as her hubby tossed the garter the other way. I shot the girls side and my second shot the boys side. Unfortunately, THE shot happened with uncle Bob directly opposite me and his flash (something like an EX550) hit exactly as mine did. The result was a wash of light and nothing much else. When I realized this had happened, I quickly called the bride, apologized profusely and offered a full refund. She would not hear of it and was pleased with everything else she received.
    So, yes. As a matter of fact I would offer a complete refund with my sincere apologies.
     
  76. I would just like to know if the original images were blurred before the grain was reduced or if most of the blur is a result of not understanding how to reduce noise in the first place. I also have to agree with Nadine that we don't really have all of the information to be placing blame. A camera problem can happen to anyone and could go unnoticed. With digital we have more chance of noticing problems but it is still possible the a camera can be faulty and that not be noticed until afterwards. If all the ceremnony shots are no good then some refund maybe in order whether that a full or a partial refund I would say depends on what is agreed with the couple if the rest of the photos are very good then maybe a percentage should be refunded. Maybe the full size images can be fixed with proper processing by a more experienced person.
    The problems with offering full refunds for equipment failiers or problems is where do you draw the line at what point do you say hey I did all I could I have good equipment and backup equipment and there was nothing I could do at that moment. The large majority of the image are fine and I have put the hours to produce these image and have to be paid for that. I doubt the DJ offers a full refund for playing some music the B&G did not like and I doubt the catering company will be offereing a full refund because some complained of cold food.
     
  77. If you can't pay right now, tell them you will pay and why you can't.
    It's too late for this one, but for the ceremony and other key events, if you have two people there, you should shoot side by side to protect yourself against camera failure.
     
  78. All -
    I checked out the "thin red line" sample photos on another site from other Nikon shooters - It is definitely there on some sensors from Nikon -
    However - In defense of the OP - it is not something that I would notice on first glance at a 1.5 - 2 inch lcd screen. Nor would I notice it on a small lcd at 2nd or 3rd glance. I have a 21 inch lcd monitor and I had to blow the image up 50% to get it to show clearly. I probably would have noticed it during the POST processing - but then only if it was in an area of the photo that I was looking for specifically.
    It does appear from postings on other places that the red line is an issue with certain Nikon sensors - Particularly those in the D40, D70, D70s and D50. If memory serves me - those all use the same sensor or a variant of the same sensor. Unfortunately - once the problem pops up it doesn't fix itself or go away.
    My guess is that if the OP does a closer examination of photos taken since the ceremony, she will find that all of her images have the thin red line in them - some are probably more pronounced than others due to colors and backgrounds - but my guess is that it is there in 100% of her photos.
    dave
     
  79. First, to shoot a wedding with such a poor equipment and optics(D70s) and charge - 600 USD is a shame, in Moscow, and for this price, one literally will get a pro with EOS-1 DsMark 3 and 85/1.2L and 50/1.2L at least.
    Second, you must be lucky if they did not take you to court.
    I think you should 100% refund.
    In my contract, I do guarantee that EVERY shot may be printed 30 by 40 cantimeters and it is razor-sharp and has the proper while vivid color rendition. I never provide more than 300 edited shots but all are edited and retouched. One day my both batteries died at 3.30 pm, after resting for a winter and I completely refunded, though the quality of shots was fine.
    And... why did you ask this after almost a year?
     
  80. "We are new to the biz and I need your advice. Should we offer her a refund? 100%? 50%? Has anything like this EVER happened to anyone else in the business? [Please say yes.] In what cases has anyone had to offer a refund before?"
    The questions you ask here are an indication that you are indeed 'new to the biz'.
    This isn't a question of whether your photos can be 'fixed' or not. The real issue is the client who is not pleased with your work...
    I would suggest to you that the decision you make now will set the tone for your business from now on...either you will be professional and forthright in your attempts to deal with people or not...
    The fact that there is a disagreement between you and your business partner could be based on many different things (i.e he may dispute the refund because of the amount of time that has passed since the wedding was done and the request for a refund...), but if the dispute is over whether or not to make a refund when your work isn't satisfactory then you have a real problem. If you have one view on this matter and your partner has another you may be better off working on your own or with someone who shares your views.
    Your work product is your signature for all the world to see. If you claim professional status and can't achieve it the world will let you know rather quickly...
     
  81. I can't understand some people saying bride and groom deserve messed up photos since they only paid $600.
    I'm not gonna value the original poster's images, but according to her she said she's been shooting wedding photos for 4 years without complaints. I assume bride and groom has seen some sample photos and maybe thought $600 is the right or great value. I think the point here is the original poster hasn't met the quality promise (maybe not as high as $2000 photographs) so she should refund money back to the customer for that reason.
    If you really believe high cost is the only way to get your rights for refund or settlement, next time you get dirty stuff in your food from fast food restaurant don't even think about suing them since you only paid $5 for a meal and the restaurant shouldn't pay you because you made a cheap decision.
     
  82. In some places, $600 isn't a lot for a photo workshop or class. Chalk this up to the school of hard knocks, and move on, reputation not in tatters.
     
  83. @ Sean K, you make a good point. However you wouldn't pay $5 expecting a full four course À la carte meal with wine...that is the point I think most people are trying to make re the balance between fee, deliverables & quality. And yes you should think about suing a fast food restaurant since they provided a dirty $5 meal...they have still failed to up hold the bargain struck! Suing being a bit extreme I would expect a refund at least (in full!)
    I don't thing the concept of deserving a failed shoot by paying $600.00 is the point either. More if you have somebody delivering a quality service and output is willing to charge a low fee*...what does this say about their perception of their ability?
    *(the distribution of which is not known to us but lets assume $250.00 on an Album and prints. this leaves $350.00 between two (?) over 7 hrs = $25 (£16ish) per hour including expenses (fuel etc) This does not take into account the behind the scenes time which we'll for arguments sake say is another 24 man hrs this reduces the hourly rate to $9.2 (£6.10ish) that is just about minimum wage here in the UK! It does not translate into a statement of confidence and were I hiring it would have me thinking two things...1. Walk away or 2. Lest see more of thier stuff and make sure they CAN deliver.
    As an amateur or somebody who takes a professional stance part time a low fee may be acceptable. If you're looking to make a living from it, the low fee approach needs serious re-thinking! Especially if you want to cover yourself against the unfortunate, a small war chest to pay for a third party to stand in if you suddenly find you cannot make the gig or you have a catastrophe and loose a data card or whatever...or there is an issue with the camera...you at least know you can pay to get things fixed/service a refund.
    Reputation is everything and we're only as good as our last photo!
     
  84. For those of you still following this thread- these photographers were hired by a weddingbee blogger and this thread has been submitted to said blogger via one of her followers. The only reason I am privy to this information is I read weddingbee and this bloggers post stuck out to me. I was amazed this bride paid money for these people to shoot her wedding after seeing the photos and viewing their website. It prompted me to subscribe to the thread as I wanted to see how these photographers handled the situation- being negatively reviewed on a website that gets as much traffic as weddingbee is pretty interesting stuff. This evening, the link to this post showed up in my inbox and here I am.
    Another reason I am commenting on this post is because the blogger claims these photographer(s) (I'm confused about this) brought their baby to the wedding. Who the hell does that?
    To the poster- the ceremony shots are horrible and from her recaps it appears she has done her own editing. The blogger has photos from you and then photos taken by her Aunt on DSLR- the Aunt's ceremony photos are ten times better than yours. You missed the most important part of the wedding. For your husband not to immediately refund her money (Note: She is a client who reaches THOUSANDS of brides and grooms) is silly. From what she's posted thus far and what I've seen on your website- educating yourselves may be a good start.
     
  85. Maureen, you've peeked my curiousity. Link please. I searched the site but couldn't find that discussion.
     
  86. Moderator Note: I am closing this discussion because the OP's question has been asked and answered. Any other issues are peripheral to the topic. If the blogger cited by Maureen wishes to post to this thread, she is welcome to contact me.
     

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