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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Kids & Family Talk 
Thread started 09 May 2015 (Saturday) 20:46
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Hired a fantastic newborn photographer - unimpressed with the results

 
jebrady03
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May 09, 2015 20:46 |  #1

My wife and I just had a baby boy and we wanted to hire a fantastic local photographer to capture some images worthy of printing large and hanging in our home for years. We picked our favorite in a 50 mile radius and had our shoot recently. Last night, we received the images and after going through them, both my wife and I are VERY disappointed. Sure, there's a handful that are nice, but compared to the work we've seen this photographer put out (all over the website, facebook, hospital, pediatrician and OB offices - this photographer is the high end, amazing photographer in the area), our images are very ordinary. In fact, I feel like I could have made them (and we hired someone because we wanted work much better than my capabilities can produce).
So... I'm not really sure what to do. The photographer and I talked for months and built a great rapport.
Pricing wise, this photographer charges a session fee (which we've already paid) and then charges by the image. So, all we've paid thus far is the session fee so we're not out much. I'm honestly not sure I want to buy many, if any of the images and I certainly don't feel like the images are worthy of the cost. Sadly, as we debate this my son is getting older and changing by the day so it feels like we've missed out on that part of his life in terms of images to keep.
I don't know how, or even if I should express to the photographer that we're disappointed with the work received - especially given the rapport we've built. Any advice on what to do?




  
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nqjudo
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May 09, 2015 20:59 |  #2

If you don't buy any photos the photographer will likely understand that as feedback from a dissatisfied customer. If he or she asks you about it there isn't anything wrong with honesty. If your issues are reasonable and reasonably expressed the photographer might have a solution toward satisfying you.


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CyberDyneSystems
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May 09, 2015 21:02 |  #3

Maybe if you explain politely your concerns and lack interest in prints from this particular session, the photographer will offer another session?


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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May 09, 2015 21:15 |  #4

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #17550017 (external link)
Maybe if you explain politely your concerns and lack interest in prints from this particular session, the photographer will offer another session?

yup.

i always want feedback on my work, good or bad. As long as you are matter of fact and do not let emotions creep into it, and the photographer is a professional, there should be no problems.

maybe he just had a bad day? It happens to the best of us. :D


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jebrady03
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May 09, 2015 21:27 |  #5

Here's part of my concern... An excerpt from the email letting me know the images were in the proofing gallery...

"You had more choices than any other newborn nature session I have ever done. I don't think you will have any
problem coming up with images that you like. With two cooperative kids, how could I not get good pictures!"

Like I said, there are a handful that we like, but the images don't have that amazing feel/look to them like the images hanging all over the hospital and doctors offices. They feel like any other photographer could have taken them, myself included. In fact, we had a maternity session with a different photographer and got 40+ images for $350 total (this newborn photographer charges $250 for the session and $100 per full resolution image - so, drastically different pricing) and we like the maternity pictures MUCH better. So I'm worried that a re-shoot wouldn't yield anything better because the photographer seems impressed with them. My wife said it well "I want to ask her if she'd display any of these images in her calendar, the hospital, offices, or any contest that she normally enters (and wins)."
Pretty torn about this...




  
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May 10, 2015 04:19 |  #6

man, can you post some examples? the bad ones, give us the bad ones!


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jebrady03
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May 10, 2015 04:32 |  #7

I'd like to, but we haven't purchased any of the images (yet) so I don't have the right to post them. I actually wish I could post some of the photographers images that they've shared on FB, and then some of ours to see if others concur with our thoughts.




  
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3six2four
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May 10, 2015 05:26 |  #8

I feel for you. Miserable situation. There are very accomplished pros out there and I suppose some of them have a bad day now and then, or whatever.

Some time ago a relative of mine told me about a pro shooter who charged a lot for several hours work. I saw all the shots and believe me they were rubbish. Sometimes the tag "professional" is unreliable at best.


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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May 10, 2015 06:55 |  #9

What does the photog mean when saying " You had more choices than any other"?

More locations? More props? More proofs?


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jebrady03
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May 10, 2015 07:39 |  #10

More proofs




  
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memoriesoftomorrow
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May 12, 2015 03:07 |  #11

jebrady03 wrote in post #17550035 (external link)
Here's part of my concern... An excerpt from the email letting me know the images were in the proofing gallery...

"You had more choices than any other newborn nature session I have ever done. I don't think you will have any
problem coming up with images that you like. With two cooperative kids, how could I not get good pictures!"

^^^ IPS sales mumbo jumbo to get you to feel guilt and reciprocation when it comes to the sales session. 90% of what you'll get in communication from IPS based photographers (either spoken or written) is cleverly crafted (and often scripted) sales talk (even if it doesn't appear like that).

If you don't like the pictures the easiest thing to do is not buy any.


Peter

  
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memoriesoftomorrow
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May 12, 2015 03:11 |  #12

jebrady03 wrote in post #17550003 (external link)
especially given the rapport we've built. Any advice on what to do?

The building rapport is all part of the IPS (in person sales) process. It is harder to not spend money if you have a rapport with someone. Classic technique they employ, highly deliberate.


Peter

  
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welshwizard1971
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May 12, 2015 04:25 |  #13

Be honest, thank them for their time, then say you don't feel you'll be buying many as you were hoping for something more along the lines of X and Y then give the examples. Then they have honest feedback, you're under no obligation to buy more than you want, if any, and the photographer has a chance to make good and sell more prints of they are so inclined. It could be what they've provided is what most people want, but what you want is slightly different to the norm, shallow DOF etc.

Had a similar situation recently ( current baby is 10 days old ), the studio guy for the last baby was very poor, ended up doing them all myself ( don't know why I bothered really ) but this time someone came round the wards in hospital with a mid level Nikon/Lens, one flash bounced off the ceiling, I was a bit sceptical to be honest ( gear snob :( ), she worked really quickly but patiently and gently with the baby, and had 10 cracking shots on her lap top to show me in ten minutes, I bought every one. She was a perfect example of technique winning over equipment, no GAS there, just experience and confidence in her kit, quite humbling really :)


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drmaxx
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May 12, 2015 05:48 |  #14

welshwizard1971 wrote in post #17553060 (external link)
[...] but this time someone came round the wards in hospital with a mid level Nikon/Lens, one flash bounced off the ceiling, I was a bit sceptical to be honest ( gear snob :( ), she worked really quickly but patiently and gently with the baby, and had 10 cracking shots on her lap top to show me in ten minutes, I bought every one. She was a perfect example of technique winning over equipment, no GAS there, just experience and confidence in her kit, quite humbling really :)

This is a story worth of remembering! Thanks for sharing. (and reminding me that I don't need another lens  :p).


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Intheswamp
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May 12, 2015 08:56 |  #15

...the photographer has most likely shot tens of thousands of images (hundreds of thousands?) of his subjects. Those photos hanging "all over the website, facebook, hospital, pediatrician and OB offices" are very likely *not* his/her best ones, but rather the "best of the best" ones...especially in regards to the prints hanging on the walls.

I wouldn't buy something that I didn't like. Don't be pressured into buying, but be civil and honest about "why" you're not buying. How the photographer responds will speak volumes about his or her true self...good, bad, or indifferent.

You are correct in saying your child is growing day-by-day. So, in the mean time...get a nice soft quilt or blanket, lay it out in front of a (north if possible) window with some nice soft light coming in, get down low, and start shooting....then take it outside, find some open shade. Maybe throw in a reflector or bounce some flash in there... "Film" is cheap. ;)

Best wishes,
Ed


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Hired a fantastic newborn photographer - unimpressed with the results
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