Problems with Bride/Groom

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by rebecca_rode|1, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. I have recently had a real issue with a Bride ( and now Groom) as I can see have many other Photographers on here- I suppose maybe everyone has this at some point in their career?
    I have been photographing weddings for around 3 years and have now shot 100 ish. I have my own recognisable editing style and shoot mainly in a reportage way.
    I should have seen this client coming a mile off ( you live and learn). Firstly she knocked me down on price- it was last minute and a mid-week out of season so I agreed.
    She arranged an engagement shoot with me months before the wedding when we met at the Venue, only to cancel the night before. I lost a days work because I swapped this shift ( I have a small PT job), I dont know if its relevant but it wasnt ideal...
    On the wedding day it was extremely difficult, NOBODY wanted to be photographed, I know this isnt unusual for a wedding but it doesn't help. I photographed the preparations, ceremony etc. After the ceremony I tried on several occasions to organise and take the group shots only for the bride to say ' we will do that later we just want to soak up the atmosphere, I also dont want to drag everyone out in to the cold'. We took photographs inside, however not all of the photographs on their shot list and that was again because they wanted people to soak up the atmosphere. I tried again later on in the day (fruitlessly). I managed to get some shots of the couple on their own on inside as again they didnt want to go off anywhere, I didnt want to argue but I did suggest that it would be nice to have a variety of shots in separate locations. I managed to eventually produce a few more shots from their list but that was all that I could get, in short, they wouldn't co operate.
    The speeches went on longer than expected, which wasnt an issue for me but it did mean the cake cutting was set back another 1.5 hours, I have to ask them several time and we did eventually get this. I then left nearly 2 hours after the time booked, I know this isn't unusual but it seems relevant now they are causing me problems..
    I did my usual and send the customer a few 'sneak peeks', which they plastered all over instagram and tagged me in each and every one stating how much they loved them. I then received a message asking me to remove someone from all of the photos because they were, I quote ' a piece of ***'. I would normally say no to this but I felt that they would pursue it, so I went ahead and did it. They then asked to view all of the RAW files, before I had even delivered the album. I declined.
    I delivered the full album via an online album sharing host and a USB stick in the post, they were delighted with them. Two weeks later I receive an alarmingly rude message stating that they are unhappy with the images, some are 'terrible' ( happy to post a link to my site if anyone wants to view my work) that they do not look as nice as other couples have done in my past weddings and that I have taken photos of them and all of their guests from unflattering angles. they also dont like the way I have edited them.
    This has been going on for weeks now and I have reluctantly sent them a few images back with a 'warmer' edit.
    I forgot to add that they also sent a huge amount of images to the venue for them to share online, which I found puzzling considering they hated them...
    My question really is has anybody else had anything similar to this in terms of the detail, and if so what happened next/can they take it anywhere?
  2. This is why you get 50% of your fee when they book and the other 50% at the wedding.
  3. Buyer's remorse is a common feeling after the wedding. For some reason, everyone thinks that photography is just "pushing a button" and that it shouldn't cost what it does. That's what you're encountering.
    I'm not sure what you're asking, as you don't state whether or not you have been paid. If you have been paid then your work is done. Anything else they want should require more money.
    When I shot weddings I had some small issues with two weddings. One person needed education on what could or could not be done with cropping. That person also had me remove a POS from the wedding pictures, which I only did for free because of a mixup in scheduling that put me a bit behind in arrival for the reception. If I hadn't messed that up I would have charged for it. In the end, I did all the editing they asked, no charge, b/c of my error.
    It was also the last wedding I ever shot. The bride and her mom were barely on speaking terms, the groom had obvious eyes for one of the bridesmaids, and the whole affair was conducted under a shroud of anger and mistrust. I thought weddings were happy affairs, right? :)
    In your case, if your images from this wedding are demonstrably similar to your prior work, then they got what they paid for. It won't go farther than that.
  4. Sorry I should have added that yes I have been paid. I take all payments 30 days before the wedding. I suppose what I'm asking is if they can take this anywhere legally? They are suggesting that I have 'ruined' their wedding day because they do not like the images and because some of the groups have been missed.
    I haven't done anything differently in this wedding that I have at any other; my impressions are that they were expecting themselves to 'look better' than they did.
  5. I'd send them an email stating exactly your recollection of events, and how you repeatedly tried to set up the group shots and was told "later" each time.
    Again, this has nothing to do with your work, assuming it was similar to your prior work. They simply want you to offer them something for free, or money back. Trust me, offer them "x" dollars back because they are unhappy, and the problem disappears. I wouldn't do that.
    Since neither of you has any video evidence of what transpired, any legal proceedings would be a case of they-said versus she-said. Gods only know how that might turn out. If you can get them to acknowledge the events as you described them, in email, you'd be better off I think. Simply send an email asking "Do you recall me asking you about group photos at "x" time and "x" time and you told me we'd do them later?"
    Or do nothing. I am 99% certain this won't go anywhere at all. They are barking for a discount.
  6. I don't ever send 'sneak peeks', they are invariably some of your best ones so it can sometimes increase expectations for when you deliver the rest.
    Fortunately never had your problems, yet, but if you are confident in your images then don't do any more for them.
  7. You have to take charge and tell them there will NOT be time later. I think every photographer runs into this all of the time. You have to be the boss.
    Formals always come first. Your answers are simple, tell them you their makeup won't look good, the ties come off, the tuxes come off, people look horrible. Ask them to give you 15 minutes, even though it may take 30 minutes.
    Take charge. I hate to say it, this is kind of your fault for allowing people to step on you.
    Gus Lazzari likes this.
  8. Thats exactly what I did, many many times. Ive been doing this for years and always get the shots. Its easy to say what should/shouldnt have been done by the photographer, but unless I was going to tie a rope around them and drag them all into some group shots then it wasnt happening.
    maryann_miles likes this.
  9. It doesn't matter how many years you have photographed weddings. You can say whatever you want to defend your actions but the point of the matter is you put yourself in this problem. Your the pro. These are all lessons to be learned for next time. If you cannot take charge and get it done as Bob has suggested then you need to have them sign a paper to the effect of saying you are released of any responsibility and liability of missing group shots because they refused to do it when asked. I have shot weddings for over 22 years and I run into these problems now and then but I get it done if its the last pictures I take before I leave.
  10. Aside from having them sign a paper, it is always good practice to keep them informed throughout the night that there are pictures that have not been taken. You can't get an attitude or shrug them off when they don't want to do it when you ask. Just keep reminding them as the clock ticks. Then if they still don't do it by the end of the night you pull out the paper.
  11. Not being an actual professional wedding photographer, I presume that going a little overtime is usual, and should be covered in the contract. Going more than that, should be extra charge, or you just leave. (You could have another event on the same day.)
    As a wedding guest, and not part of the wedding party, I always hate the delay in the start of the reception.
    If they supply the list, and you can't check of some of the items, it isn't your fault. If it is your list, that is different.
  13. I'm very late to this....just wondering if you asked them about their professed love and sharing of them, and what made them switch? People do this in restaurants (eat 80% of the meal and then say they hated it and want money back) and it takes guts to stand your ground!
  14. Don't feel bad or be surprised. There will always be a customer who tries to pay what they have to and change their tune when the rest is due. I once had a bride pay me the deposit with a bad check. I foolishly accepted another check from her for full payment before the wedding. It bounced too. Two weeks after the wedding I had delivered everything in the contract as promised and then had to ask about the second check. I was advised several days later that the couple was totally unhappy with each and every photo. She demanded all of the prints I might have left, all the negatives and wanted her money back. I stopped by the sheriffs office on the way home. This kind of thing will happen now and then. There is no good way to handle it, you do the best you can and move on.

    Rick H.
  15. This is a dead(ish) thread, but I do want to address something with everyone that Rick just brought up. If you are willing to take a bad check or non-payment of any kind before the wedding, and not get your payment entirely in full and cleared before the wedding, you are asking for such troubles and such clients. Yes, they pay a retainer to retain your services, so if you subscribe to the notion that this means you must show up to shoot, *do not* process a single image in post until all payments have been made in full. Before your client sees a single image, the payment must be made.

    My contract states that all payments must be made in full prior to the wedding day, by the appropriate dates listed in the contract, or the contract becomes null and void and no refund will be granted. I have photographed hundreds of weddings and never once have I had anyone say they are unwilling to live with those terms. If they did, I would immediately wonder why they had issue with it and very likely would not work with them.

    If you are not willing to have this in your contract (which the client reads before they book you, so there is no surprise there) then you are asking for trouble.
    michaelmowery likes this.

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