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Annoyed photographer... how do I fix? *long*

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#1 dursula

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    Posted 31 October 2008 - 12:07 AM

    Sorry in advance for the long post but could really use some advice on how to smooth things out.

    So FH and I are a getting married down south and a 1-hr photo session during the ceremony is included as part of our wedding package. Since photography is important, we knew it wouldn't be enough. We asked who the hotel-related photogs were so that we could consider extending their services.
    We then emailed the two vendors and asked them specific questions: date availability, package customization. Responses came after 5 and 6 days. Both asked for more details which we promptly provided and while one said they were available, the other said they'd get back to us. But we were more interested in the 1st photog... Their first response mentioned that they were having internet issues, but I still asked them for a breakdown of their costs/expenses and whether they could meet our requirements.

    Now I might have been playing with fire (and I was admittedly in "book a photographer now" mode) but I started looking at photogs elsewhere. I had seen the pricing list for the not-so-interested-in photographer and was curious to see if I could get a better "deal" flying IN a photographer from the US. Figuring I had nothing to lose from merely inquiring, I contacted several photographers... and found an amazing photographer! Things were just a whirl, from my general inquiry email, she replied the next day, my second email was responded to the day after that. The only thing left was to "meet" over the phone to see if we'd seem "compatible"... and we were! She asked me what my budget was, I asked if she could meet it, she asked for some time and the next day said YES. Things happened very quickly (6 days from initial email to signed contract/deposit)! But I was thrilled!!! I had found an amazing photographer for my ceremony and trash the dress session - all within budget. (*tears of happiness*).

    Now back to the hotel-related photographers. We asked the wedding coordinator if it were possible to transfer the 1-hr photo session for another day outside of the ceremony/trash the dress. And they said that they'd ask but didn't foresee a problem... (sigh).

    So second photographer: seven weeks later we heard from them that they were available and even called when I failed to reply to their email within 2 days.
    First photographer: we finally got a response with details/costs 25 days later.
    I admitedly put off replying to them immediately since I knew I had to think about how to handle this scenario: "Hi I was originally interested in hiring you, but you took too long, I booked with someone else, but can you still shoot the hour as part of our wedding package?" The solution reached by myself and my pseudo-BM was that it was best to simply address the 1hr photo session without mention of the ceremony photography services and that they would hopefully take the lack of discussion as I had booked someone else. And if they full out asked if we were still interested in their services for the ceremony, we would tell them we had booked with someone else, which of course they did ask...

    Needless to say, both were aghast that I had booked with another photographer. One went so far as to say they were disappointed I "neglected to cancel our arrangements". I was initially angry at this presumption that they were hired without having even shown us prices (Satisfaction came from just ranting to pseudo-BM and FH about what I would write in the email) but realized this is besides the point. I clearly need to make amends since FH and I would still like to use the 1hr photo session and would like to not have to work with a bitter photographer who'll now do a half-a$$ed job about it... So how should I go about doing this? (Diplomacy and me aren't the best of friends...)

    Do I explain the situation to them? (I did try to call them on their cell the 5 days I was in contact with the booked photographer, but no one answered) They did take quite a long time to get back to me... (almost a month). An apology is likely called for (I didn't reply to their most recent email in a timely manner) but how profusely? Especially considering that I'm under the belief that I didn't do anything wrong per se... (see what I mean about diplomacy).

    (Thanks for reading if you made it this far.)

    #2 Cattie

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      Posted 31 October 2008 - 04:26 AM

      Wow, I'd be a little ticked also. 25 days to respond is uncalled for. If they're taking that long to respond to an email, how long is it going to take for you to get your pictures back? I'm far from diplomatic, because, well I don't see that you did anything wrong either. I would say the hell with having them do an additional hour shoot for another time. Was it in your package? If so, ask the venue if there is a way to give you a credit due to the poor service you received from the photographer to use toward something else for your wedding day.

      If they took that long to get back to you, and are bitter because you went with someone else, what kind of job are they actually going to do for your shoot? If I'm looking to hire you, I feel that more then 3 days to get back to me is uncalled for. They are providing a service, they should be prompt, or at least somewhat timely. If they can't, well they should really take a look at there business.

      Not that I really helped, but I couldn't help but speak my mind! It was a rough night at work! I hope everything works out for you

      #3 adias.angel

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        Posted 31 October 2008 - 10:29 AM

        I agree with Cattie about asking for a credit for the poor service. Even if they did to the 1 hours session I doubt you would be happy with the results especially since you have found your dream photographer. I know if I was in your shoes I wouldn't want anyone else but my photog.

        #4 rodent


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          Posted 31 October 2008 - 10:50 AM

          you are flying in a photographer? then the 1 hour session with the hotel photog probably isn't worth it. you can do a TTD with the photographer you flew in.

          see if you can swap out for something else. I've seen some girls get the AV equip instead of using the package photographer.

          what hotel?

          #5 SunBride

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            Posted 31 October 2008 - 12:46 PM

            I don't think you have to feel bad, it was their fault for taking so long to get back to you.

            I would just tell them that you were very anxious to book photography and when they didn't reply to your emails soon enough you made other arrangements. Short and simple. you have no reason to feel bad.

            I also would suggest just forgoing their services. Wouldn't your photographer do a TTD for you for free as part of your package? If not free than only a small charge I would think since they are already there.

            I don't think it's worth the hastle of dealing with them to get one hour photography for free. But if you want, you coudl ask nicely, and maybe they would be interested, but if they are being b*itchy about it (as it seems from your post above) then I would just forget it.

            #6 Maura


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            Posted 31 October 2008 - 01:19 PM

            they took an absolutely unreasonable amount of time to get back to you. they are stupid for assuming they were hired - you never signed a contract with them either, they hadnt even sent you prices.

            if i were you, i'd just ask the hotel for a credit for those services and apply the money elsewhere in your wedding budget, because it is not worth it to work with those people.

            #7 Hartyt509

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              Posted 31 October 2008 - 02:03 PM

              I agree and i've done the same. I got sick of waiting for the resort photographer to get back to me so I binned him and got someone else who answers really quickly and I love her photos.

              Don't feel bad just cut them off not worth the grief

              #8 EricaG

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                Posted 31 October 2008 - 02:19 PM

                I say go for the credit towards something else. The fact they assummed you had booked them, and now they are freaking out, they really need to work on their customer service. I am willing to bet that they will remember you and if you get them to do the 1 hour shoot, they won't really make it worth your time, or theirs!
                My wedding review of the Grand Palladium Palace, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

                Our Professional Wedding and TTD Pictures by Photo Souvenirhttp:...

                #9 BachataBride

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                  Posted 31 October 2008 - 02:23 PM

                  DO NOT apologize to them!!
                  They should be apologizing to you! Like everyone else said you should not have been waiting 25 days for a responses!! I agree with everyone that you should apply for the credit towards something else.
                  Oh...and congrats on finding your perfect photographer & within budget!!!

                  #10 RedDiamond

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                    Posted 31 October 2008 - 04:31 PM

                    I HATE this about packaged vendors. So many are unresponsive. I'd let them know up front that you hadn't signed anything with them and that a lack of response in a timely manner seemed to you to be a lack of interest in photographing your wedding. You also need to contact the resort wedding coordinator and let them know what happened. If people don't tell the resorts this type of stuff the vendors can go right on getting away with it, and it sounds like your resort needs to find vendors who are more professional.

                    I agree that you should see about getting credit and not using their photographer. If the resort refuses I'd suggest simply asking to not have a resort photographer present. You are simply giving them your money, but then the resort will get the point that you have no interest in working with people that can respond. If it were me I wouldn't want to work with the resort photographers after acting so unprofessional, and I wouldn't want to give them the opportunity to use my wedding to expand their portfolio and/or samples.

                    If you really want to use the resort photographer, and not burn any bridges with them, just tell them that you have a friend who is also a photographer coming to shoot the wedding. They don't need to know the details that you are paying the destination photographer etc. That way you can still use the hour of the resort photographer's services.

                    Either way, the resort photographer isn't going to be completely happy. Option one straight out tells them they were unprofessional and you don't want to work with them. Option two means they will be losing money in print sales if that's what they offer for expanded packages.

                    Personally, I would almost never use a resort photographer. They tend to not be well trained, only offer high priced prints, and not a lot of photo coverage. There are a few exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking that is my thought on the subject.

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