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06/03/2015 08:15:56 PM · #1
I was a groomsman in a wedding this weekend and the photographer showed up late. He missed the entire ceremony (he got lost on the way to the venue) and showed up just as the newly married couple was walking back out of the chapel. He had his travel expenses paid for driving 8 hours and staying 2 nights.

So, I guess my questions are:
- have you ever showed up late to a wedding?
- do you normally scout the night before if you have never been to a venue?
- how do you make appologize/ make it right with the client?

06/03/2015 08:25:23 PM · #2
So which 2 nights was he staying for if the night before the ceremony was not one of them?
06/03/2015 08:42:54 PM · #3
Sorry.... Must not have explained proper.

He stayed the night before the ceremony and the night of. He was in town before supper the night before the ceremony.

Hope that clears it up.
06/03/2015 08:57:13 PM · #4
Then there is no excuse. If he was there for the whole day, he should have shot the befores (bride/groom getting dressed ect.) and still have been at the venue to shoot their arrival. Not knowing where the ceremony is going to take place in the age of GPS and turn by turn directions on your phone is no longer an excuse that rises to the level of "the dog ate my homework". At least from time to time, dogs actually do eat homework.

Being that late to a ceremony is a bad dream on the level of showing up for work naked. It should be an irrational fear because you would never let it happen. If he hadn't stayed the night before, if he drove straight to the event from far away, if the car broke down, and his phone died and he couldn't get a taxi, and everything when wrong, maybe.

So my answers would be;
Never
Always
Give them most of the money back and offer something (portrait session, second wedding, whatever) for free so they would be less inclined to trash my reputation.
06/03/2015 09:29:43 PM · #5
Originally posted by BrennanOB:

Then there is no excuse. If he was there for the whole day, he should have shot the befores (bride/groom getting dressed ect.) and still have been at the venue to shoot their arrival. Not knowing where the ceremony is going to take place in the age of GPS and turn by turn directions on your phone is no longer an excuse that rises to the level of "the dog ate my homework". At least from time to time, dogs actually do eat homework.

Being that late to a ceremony is a bad dream on the level of showing up for work naked. It should be an irrational fear because you would never let it happen. If he hadn't stayed the night before, if he drove straight to the event from far away, if the car broke down, and his phone died and he couldn't get a taxi, and everything when wrong, maybe.

So my answers would be;
Never
Always
Give them most of the money back and offer something (portrait session, second wedding, whatever) for free so they would be less inclined to trash my reputation.


+1
06/03/2015 09:38:33 PM · #6
THIS is the reason that I no longer do weddings... even for free.

It's never happened to me that I've missed even a few shots because of a malfunction, but... I always feared it and the stress made it not worth the money for me.

Weddings are too important to the peeps... and cannot be re-shot in case of an emergency.

Not cool.

Not cool at all.
06/03/2015 10:57:06 PM · #7
They must have hired a real "pro" There's no excuse adequate.

We alway made 100% sure where the ceremony was, how to get there and one of us was always there first, often an hour or more before ANYTHING was scheduled to happen.

I feel bad for the couple. The photographer should apologize profusely. Return any money, including that for travel and accommodations and offer them massive freebies.
06/03/2015 11:17:53 PM · #8
hard to wrap my head around this one. sounds like somebody grabbed a contract and some pricing off the internet and managed to land a client, but had no clue about how to make good. a working pro would never be in this situation. i feel terrible for the couple.
06/03/2015 11:41:47 PM · #9
I agree with all of the comments here. But what I was suprised with the most is the way he showed up that late and did other things throughout the evening I would not call proffesional. But my curiosity got the best of me and I started talking to him about his work later in the evening. He is one of the few local photographers in my town whose work I will regularly look at both at his site and on his flickr feed because I am always impressed with his images.
But after this experience I think I would go for one of the more "average" photographers in town before him.

Although I'm pretty sure the shots he did get will be great. Judging by his portfolio.
06/04/2015 12:48:35 AM · #10
just goes to show that there's a difference between being about to take a photo and run a business, the difference between being facebook-fantastic and actually being able to reliably deliver consistent results...

caveat emptor
06/04/2015 01:50:01 AM · #11
Originally posted by fngood83:

. He is one of the few local photographers in my town whose work I will regularly look at both at his site and on his flickr feed because I am always impressed with his images.
But after this experience I think I would go for one of the more "average" photographers in town before him.

Although I'm pretty sure the shots he did get will be great. Judging by his portfolio.


Here in lies the difference between an artist and a professional. An artist can make beautiful things. A professional manages his time, respects his obligations, honors his contracts and satisfies his clients.

You can find a person who can on occasion, make beautiful art by looking at their images on line. It means sometimes, when the mood is right, they can make nice images, if everything goes right and they have enough time. To find out if a person is a professional, you have to check references to ensure they show up on time, do the job and deliver results. The same sort of the way you would hire a plumber.

80% of success is showing up on time.

Message edited by author 2015-06-04 02:06:05.
06/04/2015 07:00:25 AM · #12
I can't speak as a professional, except to say that the few things I've done, I always check out where I'm going, I set multiple alarms, and I try to check out the venue ahead of time so that I don't have any surprises.

I can say this from a bride's point of view -- I'd try to crush him into the ground!!! After spending that much money on flowers, dresses, etc, and not get pictures except during a party afterwards? No pictures of my dad walking me down the aisle? Seriously? I'd probably slam him in every forum I could. How incredibly unprofessional!!

At my friend's wedding, the photographer forgot to put film in the camera for part of her wedding, and she doesn't have pictures of her and her grandma -- a woman that we visited almost every day and who died shortly after the wedding. That was bad enough. But missing the whole wedding?

It's time for Art to burn some villages.

He broke the contract. He needs to refund the money and make the pictures he did take available at an extremely reduced cost if he wants to even begin to keep his reputation.
06/04/2015 07:23:10 AM · #13
Originally posted by Skip:

hard to wrap my head around this one. sounds like somebody grabbed a contract and some pricing off the internet and managed to land a client, but had no clue about how to make good. a working pro would never be in this situation. i feel terrible for the couple.


It's hard to imagine an amateur would be in this position in this day and age, with the general technology available to give you directions.
06/04/2015 01:48:56 PM · #14
Originally posted by fngood83:



Although I'm pretty sure the shots he did get will be great. Judging by his portfolio.


you dont know the context of how the portfolio was put together and just because someone can shoot portraits, doesn't mean they can shoot weddings.

06/04/2015 02:28:13 PM · #15
Ok he stayed in a hotel the night before, got bladdered and mucked up.

We,ve all done it. ( i guess)

11/29/2015 01:09:32 PM · #16
As a working wedding photographer, this makes no sense to me and screams amateur. Maybe circumstances were out of his control, but if you go up on what I would consider a destination wedding (8 hour drive) the night before and don't have your directions together, at what point did he not call and allow it to get that late? This doesn't make sense to me. If the couple had him come the night before, surely they expected him to be there for prep shots, prewedding photos/formals/something? Did he not call?

Also, being there the night before did he go to the rehearsal? Just curious, bc then he would know where the venue was.

He should refund most of their $ and if he does not heshould be sued. I don't normally play that card, but this is ridiculous.
11/29/2015 02:24:32 PM · #17
Beyond irresponsible. I cannot fathom an excuse that could hold up.
11/29/2015 04:31:32 PM · #18
Originally posted by tanguera:

Beyond irresponsible. I cannot fathom an excuse that could hold up.


+1
11/29/2015 04:38:04 PM · #19
Absolutely screams amature to me also. He knew were it was and should of turned up way ahead of time. I hope he doesn't charge for the rest of the wedding just to make up for the tardiness, that would be the right thing to do!!!

I'm in Sydney ATM as I did a wedding last night for a couple, I didn't scope the venue out beforehand as such as I live in Perth, I did however as most normal people would made sure I had my Navman ready with the correct address and arrived four hrs early so I could then scope out possible photo scenarios as it was on a semi rural location. The day went brilliantly and all was calm.
11/29/2015 05:37:35 PM · #20
Wow, horrendously unprofessional in all regards. He'd better deliver some incredible kick-ass pics and either do a tremendous make-good or give them a refund (I presume he got a retainer prior to the wedding?) And after driving 8 hours to a location and not having brains enough to find and scope it out first...the mind boggles. My own business is also a service, and I have an exemplary reputation because I do a great job and always insist on a consult before doing the work.

Either I've shot for free - and the couple never even saw my images though I gave them to the ex to forward along with HIS shots - or in the one instance where I was actually paid during a very brief stint as yet another second photog, it was for such a crap amount of $$ that I would never do it again. At least in the latter case the guy in charge ensured that we attended the rehearsal and knew where to be, when.

BTW...not too long ago, a couple years or so, in NY I think, some wedding photog made himself $80k in retainers...he'd book weddings, get the retainers, then never show up at all to shoot the weddings! I think he got away with this about 40-50 times before he was charged with fraud.
12/01/2015 11:35:30 AM · #21
I agree with everyone. And yes, pretty much the main reason I don't do weddings (too much on the line - I don't need that kind of stress - that and I still don't think I have the skills or equipment needed ;).
Here's hoping they had some other amateur photographers. Nowadays almost everyone has some sort of camera at least.

At my sister's wedding (just a few weeks ago), I functioned as the back-up photographer - but so did everyone else. They gave everyone the URL to a hosting site that allows for guests to upload, download, and print. And sometimes i think the non-pro shots are the most memorable.

Not to say that this doesn't suck for all involved; but heck, it's a memory that they can always tell. And I'm sure they still got some decent pics in the end. If that photographer were me, my stress probably would have taken years off my life - hence, again why i don't do weddings ;) Of all the people to be late ...

It's much less stressful being the backup / brother ;)
bridal party reception bride dress couple dancing

Message edited by author 2015-12-01 14:48:57.
12/01/2015 08:04:29 PM · #22
While I am not a pro photographer, I have spent a number of years doing contract work. Which meant being where I was supposed to be, when I was supposed to be there. Strange city halfway across the country and all. I always, always located and drove to the appointed place, at least once, and at least one day before. Much of this was before the days of the GPS, but even after the advent of the GPS, I make a practice run to ensure there are no surprises. In 2015 there are NO excuses for getting lost.

No matter how good that photographer may be, the individual really needs to rethink their chosen profession. No matter how good you are, it doesn't make a bit of difference if you aren't there to take the shot.

That being said, I would never taken on shooting a wedding. Not because of fears of stress, I thrive on stress, but rather lack of ability.
12/03/2015 06:51:54 AM · #23
Originally posted by tate:



At my sister's wedding (just a few weeks ago), I functioned as the back-up photographer - but so did everyone else. They gave everyone the URL to a hosting site that allows for guests to upload, download, and print. And sometimes i think the non-pro shots are the most memorable.



that's not backup shooting, if anything its second shooting. wedding guests aren't going to be able to get the getting ready, first look, formals, ring shots, etc. Those are the shots that wedding photographers get paid to produce, they have access that no other guest has to get the point of view the bride and groom ultimately is paying for. those urls now are great for social media and they can help the wedding photog fill out an album but with the exception of a lucky few, they will never end up in a frame or on a wall or headlining an album.

a good wedding photographer is one thing i bet a lot of people regret undervaluing.

Message edited by author 2015-12-03 15:22:48.
12/03/2015 06:54:34 AM · #24
.

Message edited by author 2015-12-03 06:55:20.
12/03/2015 11:02:34 AM · #25
I hate being tasked with shooting wedding photos. I've done four weddings, all of which in my mind, were complete disasters. Fortunately, none of the parties were particularly discerning and weren't expecting top-caliber shots, so I scraped by with their being satisfied.......which I suppose, is the intent.

Originally posted by Mike:

A good wedding photographer is one thing i bet a lot of people regret undervaluing.


*NOBODY* other than those of us who have attempted, and/or been forced into shooting weddings, has *ANY* clue how much a truly good wedding photographer is worth! LOL!!!

I feel so bad for people who do not know this and have their special day slip by without being properly captured for posterity.

A good wedding photographer is a very special person. I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for them.

On a side note......I "worked" two weddings for friends who asked me to be there for "Random Candids" outside of what the wedding photog may get. The first thing I did upon arriving and finding out who was the photog was to introduce myself, explain my situation, and asked them to PLEASE know that I wanted them to take no shortcuts in letting me know if they wanted me to do, or NOT do, anything in particular. Both photogs were incredibly gracious about the situation, and the one even asked me to help with some post-vows portraits. (Can you say LIVE light-stand! LOL!!!) Both wedding albums came out beautifully and both photogs used some of my candids.

I don't know what it is, but what I do like about weddings is that I somehow always manage to get a random candid or two that is a genuine "Oh Wow!" shot. I never know what it's going to be, but I love that it happens.

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Yah, the wedding shots were definitely good for the gig, but they were dumb luck.


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