So I recently got married on 09-10-2011. We had locked in wedding photographer about 3 months before our date. I don't want to say the guys name right now but have no issues letting you guys know it. Okay so here we go.
He had gave us a package that we liked. It included an engagement shoot and a 6 hour wedding time with an assistant! He said during the e-mail that his assistant a HE and HE also is a photographer and not just a gear holding assistant. The package included all the photos on a DVD edited. So we asked if he could drop the engagement half and do 8 hour at the wedding instead of 6, he said yes but it would set us at $2,150.00 for the entire package, we said that's fine. We also asked roughly the amount of shots he takes per event he told us between 1,500-1,800. We paid him a half via paypal and the other half just before the wedding. He shows up the the wedding and does his thing him and the assistant. Now the guy sounded nice and excited and what not and the images on his website made him look pretty damn good. So the wedding flew by fast and in about a month or so we get out DVD with all the images edited.
Now we look threw them all and we both are not happy at all, lets put it this way, the image quality of the shots were probably what I could of done and for less then $2100.00. I am not good at shooting events, and am not a wedding photographer but I know what a good and bad photo looks like. This is one of the shots the assistant took. here it is.
Seriously WTF!?!? And that's the only one the assistant took of that. That's great if I were Kevin's Jewelers. Now another month go by and my wife finds out from her cousin that the photographer was a total a$$, the photographer told my wife's niece not to pursue this field cause A: He doesn't get paid enough B: It's a thankless job and on and on. First of all you set your own prices, not my problem so stop crying about it man! I don't get it.
So after looking at his photos We write him an e-mail and asking If we could get all the RAW images, he said I normally do not do this but since I'm a photographer he understands I would like to edit my own way. So I get the hard drive back and there are 1024 RAW files, on the DVD we initially got from him there was 894 images edited. No where near his 1500-1800 quote. Still, after looking at all the images i am still upset!
Now my wife had lunch with our friend that shot the video of our wedding and we see the assistant during the reception hiding most of the time, playing with one of the flower girls and the flower girls mother, the photographer looking like his was miserable. Also during the ceremony they both were shooting from the far back, I mean from behind the last row of chairs, and from the side but never coming up front on the steps, in the middle of the isle, behind us around us, NOTHING, it was almost like they didn't want to get in the way of the guests. WTF! I am paying you good money, you better be where you need to be to get the shots! Right? I had Maureen and Skip Souza (moderators on here) at my wedding as quests and they both were all over the place getting shots and they did it for us out of the kindness of their hearts. To tell you the truth their images turned out way better then our paid photographers.
The last rants I promise!!! LOL The flower girls got more shots then me and my wife, and that his package included an online gallery for our guest to view and purchase any images they please. Still to this day NO Online gallery! Now I don't want him to host one cause I don''t want him to rip off any of our friends and guests.
So my question finally is, what can I do? I would at least like to get half of the money we paid him back, due to the fact of the assistant being his girlfriend with photography skills less then my girlfriend, no online gallery, about 500-800 shots less then quoted, horrible out come on the edited images, acting full of himself, not moving to the right spots to get the shots at the angles needed and so on! I mean he barley moved the grooms men and best man around in the shots they all took the same places and they all look the same, I mean you could of switched them around and moved us to a different location and back ground. ERRRR!!!
Here are a few more examples:
This is the only image they have of me giving my mother inlaw the rose during the rose exchange.
Seriously WTF, where is the assistant when needed!?
The dress hanging up. What he couldn't of found a better place?
It is this little kind of stuff that really disappointed us, nothing like what we expected from viewing all his images on his site. I understand the location has a part in the outcome if the images but I don't think he actually put forth the effort to give it 100%.
So all you wedding photographer please chime in, I will answer all questions asked. He shot with two 580EX II on stands with soft boxes using the PW TT1 and TT5 triggers, and indoors switched to the gary phong light spheres, 5d2, 85f1.8, 24-70f2.8, 70-200f2.8L IS. I think his girlfriend/assistant shot with a nikon and I don't know what lenses she had.
Thank you for taking the time to read this long a$$ rant, I am just soo frustrated I don't know what to do now.