Need advice from wedding photographers? Really cross...

I have been married almost 6 months now and am still waiting to receive my wedding photos. I personally think 6 months is completely unreasonable, especially as we have politely contacted him a few times and each time he gives us a date that they will be ready by and fails to meet it.

First it was meant to be first week of Dec, then in mid Dec when we asked how it was going, he said first week of the New Year, then when we politely chased again in mid Jan, he said 26th Jan. 

Everyone I know who has got married, some around the same time as me, said they got their photos back within 3-4 months max, and they have all had their full albums back already. I've seen in similar forums and online that most photographers seem to say 6-8 weeks, sometimes up to 12 weeks. 

Annoyingly, I can't find the contract to see if he's in breach of it, but at what point am I allowed to say, mate, just give me the friggin photos?! I don't understand what is taking so long. Plus, I can see in the online gallery that couples who got married after us have had their albums. Some even from the end of Sept have theirs and we were beginning of August. 

I'm at the point now where I'm considering a) leaving bad reviews or b) seeking legal advice, but equally don't want to piss him off so that he ruins the photos because to me, they are one of the most important bits of the wedding. My cousin ended up having to get her photographer to send the RAW files and pay someone else to do the editing because hers took so long, but hers was in breach of contract so she was able to claim money back.

Is there some sort of strongly worded email I should send to hurry him up? I definitely was expecting them by Xmas as we've ordered extra albums for the parents and wanted to give them as gifts. 

I've been extremely polite so far with lots of "sorry to bother you, don't want to rush you, I know you're really busy" etcetc, but I'm at the stage now where I'm just really rather cross. 

Any and all advice welcome.

Posts

  • MrsT2017MrsT2017 Posts: 224 New bride

    Sorry don’t have any advice but just wanted to say we’re In the same boat only with the added complication that we got married in Italy and the photographer is Italian, we have no contract as such because the wedding planner booked the photographer as part of a package we had with the planners and there is no mention of photo timings in the planners contract with us. On our wedding day the planner told us photos would take 3/4 months, annoying but at least we lnew what to expect! 3 months rolls around and I get in touch with the planner who said she would chase the photographer, no response so I emailed the photographer direct who in fairness responded immediately and said if normally takes her 6 months from the date of the wedding.I get to 4 and 1/2 months and contactvthe wedding planner again who responds with, ‘ I heard from the photographer last week, her photos normally take 6/7 months as she is so busy doing weddings in the summer month and editing in the winter. Don’t worry I’ll keep her under control’ so there we are 6 months from the date of our wedding will be 6th March. It’s a ridiculously long time and had i known they would take so long i might’ve thought differently about who I booked!! it’s so frustrating that there’s nothing I can do but wait!!! I hope you get your photos very soon and that they are worth the wait, I feel your pain! X

  • HailsHails Posts: 2,455

    have you found any reviews online from couples experiencing the same? 

  • I think you should go back to the wedding planner - if they booked the photographer they should have had a contract or T&Cs and help ensure you get the service they signed you up for.

    Make sure you keep all the evidence of missed dates and broken promises too.   There IS breach of contract here.

  • This is really sad to read, I'm so sorry you are going through this Grace!  I don't understand how people can treat customers so badly.  Fair enough, sometimes life gets in the way and things get delayed for reasons beyond our control, but at the very least he should be keeping in contact with you.

    Do you have a telephone number or an address for him?  It is much easier to be fobbed over via email / text etc so I would say the next step is to try and force him into some proper conversation.  Perhaps even try and arrange a meeting ("Hi  X, as the date has now passed we will pop over and collect our photos, save you having to post them...")

    Otherwise small claims court could be an option but without a contract you really don't have much of a case.  Have you checked through emails etc in case it was sent to you electronically? The only thing is that you do have in writing (I presume?) that he's said they will be ready by the various dates you gave above - he hasn't lived up to this.

    Regardless, I think you need to change your tone with him.  You need to be firm and state that if images are not received by X date you will have no choice but to start formal legal proceedings against him (he doesn't need to know you've lost the contract).  I would also lay it on heavy about how you booked him in good faith and feel utterly let down by him, and are appalled that other customers have received their images when their weddings took place after.

    As I said though, I would probably try calling / face to face first and definitely avoid any reviews until you have an outcome.

    xx

     

  • Hi,

    There may be all sorts of reasons when it would take this long, but all of them are sort of ruled out if subsequent weddings have since been completed and photos delivered. 

    I would call him, as emails in this situation may make antagonise the situation. Put the focus on the fact that you really want them, rather than any threats of bad reviews though as I don't think that will get you what you want, although I can completely understand that feeling.

    I deliver photos within 2 months, and even aim for this during the summer. This is (in my view) an unreasonable amount of time to wait, but I think you need to talk to them to understand what's going on.

     

    Nick

    www.nickchurchphotography.co.uk

  • Grace24Grace24 Posts: 37

    Hi everyone, 

    Thanks for the advice! I found the contract and annoyingly, it doesn't mention any time frames :/

    I called him as others suggested, and he said that he'd been busy with other photography (not really my problem) but he'd get the photos over to me tomorrow (i.e. today). Guess what? Nothing. I'm just so upset because that's the 4th deadline that he's missed. I have 3 of these deadlines in writing and then the 4th over the phone.

    I've lost so much sleep and shed so many tears over this. I feel so helpless. 

  • MARIUSMARIUS Posts: 1

    Wow. That is a long time. they should have sent those pictures by now. try to contact them on other ways. They must send the pictures.

  • bella2015bella2015 Posts: 1,903 New bride

    I think you've been more than patient. You can go down the legal route- you've paid for a service and not received anything in return.

    Give him one last chance, ring him and say you want the photos by xxx date otherwise you'll be seeking legal advice. 

  • What was the tone of the conversation?  How did you react when he said that you'd have them yesterday? I'd have made my scepticism clear android him what would happen in the event of non-delivery.

    Personally I would call him again today and hound him if necessary but make it clear you won't be fobbed off any longer.  Tell him that if you haven't received your images within the next 24 hours you will be starting legal proceedings.  The contract may not have a time frame for delivery but that doesn't mean he can hold onto the images indefinitely and the fact that he has missed 3 written deadlines since confirms he is untrustworthy and a liar.

    I'm not sure of the time frame of you chasing him, but you need to make sure you follow this up urgently - don't leave gaps between communications.  He needs to know that you are serious about getting your images, even if they are just RAWs and not edited (for your own peace of mind you need to know that they exist and haven't been wiped / lost etc)

  • Any updates?  Have you followed it up with a phone call or sought legal advice now?

  • snoop2snoop2 Posts: 10

    I am having the same issue with my videographer.  No timeframe mentioned in the contract, but implied deadline of 12 weeks after the wedding date.  Then, when I contacted him he said that it was 12 weeks after the date he received the song choices.  Which we sent in August, so we had to wait until October (we married in beginning of July).  Then when I called him in October, he said he meant he would LOOK at the video then, but as he does a lot of work for the bBC, that he cannot possibly get around to our wedding video, but that it will be amazing when he has finished it.

    So I asked him again in November if we could have the video by beginning of December.  he then committed (in writing) to having it in January.  Then 2 February, then 4 February.  Today I sent him this email:

    "Please can you provide us with our wedding video before Thursday 8 February as we are way past the bounds of professional wedding video deadlines and 8/2/18 will be 1 week after your commitment to us to have the video in January. 

    It is now 7 months since our wedding day and I regret to inform you that both of us feel very let down by <video company name>.  We believe that we have been more than patient up to now, and have done our best to wait for you to catch up with your workload.  However, it is both unprofessional and unacceptable to be required to wait this long for our video.

    Regrettably, I have resorted to taking legal advice today in respect of the non-receipt of our film and have also passed your details to our insurance company who may be in touch if I decide to make a claim. I am providing you with some time to put this matter to rest, hence the deadline of 8/2/18."

     

    I did call the insurance company who said it might spring him into action if I mentioned them to him.
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