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03-11-2011, 19:28   #1
glisten
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Dodgy Wedding Photographer???

Hoping someone here might have some advice for me....

We got married in July and just like all newlyweds we couldn't wait to see the photographs. One problem - our photographer wont give them to us. He sent us a CD which he claimed had all the photos on it but it didn't. When my husband rang him he apologised and said he'd send it again...that was in September. He didn't send anything. Since then we have contacted him by email a few times and now his excuses are that his computers have "gone back to the shop" because there was a fault and the photos are on it.

I'm devastated!! I can get photos from friends and family but for all the bridal shots...we drove to a different location with only the photographer and his assistant.

What can I do? Can I take legal action of any kind?
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03-11-2011, 20:00   #2
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he should have backups of all the shots in different locations, I back up to several different hard drives/internet and dvd archival media. The cd he sent, how many files were on it? when you look at the details of the files do the times run from start of the day to the end?
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03-11-2011, 20:11   #3
glisten
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Originally Posted by Borderfox View Post
he should have backups of all the shots in different locations, I back up to several different hard drives/internet and dvd archival media. The cd he sent, how many files were on it? when you look at the details of the files do the times run from start of the day to the end?
Hi Borderfox,

There were 67 files and they were all muddled up. A couple of the ceremony, 1 of my husbands family and the others were mainly shots of guests. He said everything was on the computer that's gone back so I'm guessing he has no back-up??
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03-11-2011, 20:32   #4
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Hi Glisten,
Can you please PM me the name of the photographer.
We've been waiting a bit longer than expected for ours and have gotten the "broken computer" story so just want to make sure...
Hope it works out ok for you
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03-11-2011, 20:48   #5
Borderfox
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Hi Borderfox,

There were 67 files and they were all muddled up. A couple of the ceremony, 1 of my husbands family and the others were mainly shots of guests. He said everything was on the computer that's gone back so I'm guessing he has no back-up??
67 files sounds way off, should be more around the 200-300 mark. Have a chat with him and mention that this behaviour is unacceptable and you will take it further if you dont get satisfaction.
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04-11-2011, 08:54   #6
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pop into your local solicitor and ask his advice. You'd be surprised how quickly people pert-up when it becomes legal.
Also, if he refused to send the pictures in a reasonable amount of time, you can also pay a visit to the local paper on his scam.
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04-11-2011, 14:35   #7
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Definitely threaten the legal route. That is not on at all! You can give him one more friendly but assertive call and inform that you will be seeking the advice of a solicitor if he cannot give you a definite answer on the phone. Best of luck, that is a total nightmare.
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05-11-2011, 18:04   #8
Gatica
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A decent supplier would have got in touch with you and let you know of the situation if their unbacked-up PC was in trouble and you were awaiting pictures. There's no reason why you should be the one chasing them for products you've paid for.
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06-11-2011, 08:47   #9
glisten
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A decent supplier would have got in touch with you and let you know of the situation if their unbacked-up PC was in trouble and you were awaiting pictures. There's no reason why you should be the one chasing them for products you've paid for.
I know, and I thought they were a decent photographers! Its not as if I can do the day again!

I'm guessing I'm allowed PM people his name. So if anyone is booking a Leitrim based photographer...........
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06-11-2011, 09:20   #10
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Glisten

chances are this person is not a full-time professional photographer - did you sign a contract before the wedding agreeing that you would get a CD with approx X amount of images, also agreeing what the photographer would cover (ie. getting ready, arrival at church, ceremony, reception formal portraits etc)

I'm sorry to say it but it may be a case of where you took the cheaper route and didn't do your research before choosing a wedding photographer - or it could be a case of the photographer just having a really bad day.

I suspect it is the first one - BUT ...it does look like you may not get wedding photographs, but you will be in a position to sue your wedding photographer.

its disgraceful that there are cowboys out there operating and claiming to be professional photographers when they do not know the first thing about taking photos at weddings, I do work as a photographer but only do weddings as a favour to friends.

my advice is to contact a solicitor - even if your photographer comes up with the rest of the images I suspect that he is not a proper professional and just a cheap cowboy....he should be punished for breach of contract and the quicker you get a solicitors letter and start proceedings the better.

he will argue that he fulfilled his contract (if you don't have a written contract remember an oral contract is also a binding agreement, even the fact that you paid him money shows there was an agreement in place)

Also he could argue that he fulfilled his part of the agreement ...turned up, took photos and gave you a CD of images - which is what you paid him for ...right ???

Don't take any excuses - if he has lost the images or if memory cards have corrupted....thats not your problem, you paid for a service for the one day in your life which means so much to you.... your special day.... you cannot ask guests to come back so they can be photographed again, some may have passed on or travelled long distances to get to see you(or your new hubby) on that day.... that opportunity is gone !

I think there has been enough mention of "goto a solicitor" ...at this point it is the correct thing to do.

is your photographer a member of any of these "Photo Societies" .... there are plenty of societies who claim all their members are professional - any chance you could PM a link to one of the images or the photographers name/website and I'll take a look.....if you want a solicitor in the Dublin Area I'll be happy to supply some names - most of my work is based in the courts....I would suggest that when you do contact a solicitor that you remember the highlighted parts above - these are very important to your claim of damages - A civil court action is what I would recommend - the limit you can be awarded in the Civil Court is approx €38K....from what you have said he does not have much of a case to answer so best of luck with it.

Always number 1 .... you have a similar situation.....a broken computer is not a reason or excuse - its the photographers responsibility to ensure that everything goes smoothly at their end - which is why photographers charge so much because they have to cover every possibly problem which could go wrong.

I would suggest you contact your photographer and ask him how much time does he need - if he does not know tell him you are on the edge of contacting a solicitor and if he is not able to give you a date at which you expect to get your images you will have no choice but to go the legal route.

agree a specific date and then follow through and get a solicitor (if you and glisten are in the same area and if its the same photographer it might be better for your solicitor to be the same) ... don't worry about solicitors costs as your photographer will be paying them.


Ps. I'm willing to goto court and testify as a professional witness if required (this would mean that I would give the court an explanation of what should have been agreed in advance of the wedding as well as what should have been delivered...it adds a bit of punch to your case in most Civil actions)
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07-11-2011, 12:41   #11
clint_silver
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Quote:
Always number 1 .... you have a similar situation.....a broken computer is not a reason or excuse - its the photographers responsibility to ensure that everything goes smoothly at their end - which is why photographers charge so much because they have to cover every possibly problem which could go wrong.
excellent post, and Id expand the point to all wedding services.

Sometimes things go wrong and break, sometimes due to no fault of the service provider. If they don't have a backup plan, you're not getting the service you paid a premium for.

It could be a spare suit in a tailors, a second oven in a bakery or a second chef for a kitchen in the hotel, it could be a second speaker for a band or a second guitar for the guitarist, a hairdresser with a spare hairdryer, or in this case what looks to be a computer hard disk for a photographer.

The premium professionals charge is for this very reason.
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07-11-2011, 12:51   #12
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It does raise the point with Couples looking for a Photographer should have a checklist of what they are looking for.
Insurance: not just for the usual public liabilty but the insurance I have covers recovery of images/information from a broken hard drive.
Backup equipment: two camera minimum with enough lenses to cover every eventually, flashes also.


For the op check what is broken on the computer, the hard drive can be taken out and all the information transfered to another if its just the computer hardware is broken. If its the hard drive that is broken then it should be sent to a specialist data recovery company.
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07-11-2011, 13:17   #13
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Even if the hard drive is gone, it does not take that long to retrieve files. My laptop broke recently and it took 36 hours to retrieve approximately 800 files of which about 400 were photos.

If he says he can't do it, I priced mine with a electronic company (well known brand from the UK) who have a computer maintenance section and they said 5 working days to retrieve everything from it for €80.

It is not that big a job to do, just needs patience and some computer know how.

Also the next time you talk to him tell to invest in an external hard drive to store all the photos he takes from now on that.

That way he won't be messing around newly wed couples that want to see the memories of the happiest day of their lives.
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08-11-2011, 16:08   #14
glisten
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Thanks a mil for all your replies (I dont know how to thank people under specific posts).

All great advice. I'll let you know the outcome.....hopefully it'll be good
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12-11-2011, 13:27   #15
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Sorry to read your story. Most of the advice has already been given but if I can assist please do contact me.

It may unfortunately be too late for you but others looking to hire a photographer might read this before making their selection.
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