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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Today I hate my Life
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08/07/2008 11:50:30 AM · #1
Today, we are going to have to tell a couple that we have lost many of their photo's from their wedding!!!

Here's the story, Went to do an out of town wedding 3 weeks ago, Couldn't find a sitter so my wife (who ususally acts as my assistant) stayed home, I took a friend to help out. So the day goes like this

a) get there and shoot the family and bridal party photos, switch memory cards
b) do the ceremony, switch memory, cards
c) go off to do some solo shots with the B&G
d) realize that a memory card is missing the one with the family and bridal party photos, have a heart attack
e) retrace steps and find memory card, heart attack averted
f) Realize Card had been run over, new heart attack
g) drive 6 hours home worrying

So I get home and send the card to a data recovery place they say ya, we should be able to get the data... it'll cost you $1250 to do it... get the card back, another place says $900, get the card to them, they say they can't do it because someone else touched it...!!! call the first place back, and they say actually we had our cheif engineer review the case and he say's we likely CAN'T do it!!!! so now 3 weeks later I'm in the position of having to tell the couple this whole story, and Im freaking out!!!!

And even writing about it doen't make me feel any better, I feel trul sick about the whole thing...

Today, I hate being me
08/07/2008 11:57:46 AM · #2
wish i had something comforting to say about that.
if it makes you feel any better, which it prob does not, i work in IT and one time had to tell a client that i formatted the wrong drive....the one with YEARS worth of documents on it. it was tough but they remained my client to this day.
08/07/2008 12:05:48 PM · #3
I wish we could make something out of this story that would compensate you and your clients.
08/07/2008 12:12:47 PM · #4
Something you may have already tried but since you've nothing to lose - have you tried "home" software recovery on the card?
08/07/2008 12:13:20 PM · #5
I feel bad just reading about your experience. Did you try a 3rd or 4th recovery company? Sometimes there's a geek who will take it upon himself to get the info, just cuz he can, you never know. Hope this turns out well for both of you. All I can advise is to tell them what you told us and they will understand if they are rational people. The honest truth does more than just relate the facts. They have made mistakes too and will understand.

Message edited by author 2008-08-07 12:14:44.
08/07/2008 12:23:01 PM · #6
Thanks,

I am searching for more options even as we speak... and at least we do have the other photos, hopfully seeing some of the photos we did get will temper the lost of the others... this is the first time I've ever misplaced a card or had somehing happen...
08/07/2008 12:27:30 PM · #7
Is the card "broken"? Will it not fit into a card reader?
08/07/2008 12:28:42 PM · #8
I feel for ya buddy, wish I could offer some words of wisdom... I shot a wedding last Sat and on the now 4th 8GB card Ive gotten from Lexar ended up corrupting 2 photos, when I saw those I started freaking out as the last time it did that every pic on the card was toast... Ill prob warranty that one soon as well and leave it in the factory package it comes back in and sell it for cheep...

08/07/2008 12:32:37 PM · #9
Originally posted by LindaLee:

Is the card "broken"? Will it not fit into a card reader?


Goes into the reader.. light comes on, but nobodies home... I'm told that 2 of the 4 chips inside are trashed
08/07/2008 12:35:30 PM · #10
May seem pat, but the best thing you can do is tell the couple immediately and let them know the steps you're taking to try to recover the images. Too long a wait between the incident and telling them might really cause problems.
08/07/2008 12:41:04 PM · #11
I agree. Let them know how horrible you feel and how you are trying very hard to remedy the situation. If they have sympathy for you, it might prevent a law suit.

Originally posted by Louis:

May seem pat, but the best thing you can do is tell the couple immediately and let them know the steps you're taking to try to recover the images. Too long a wait between the incident and telling them might really cause problems.
08/07/2008 12:43:57 PM · #12
Correct....If it's truly unrecoverable...then tell them now. I'm not a pro but what kind of agreement did you have? Other than them hateing your guts and you feeling like a sick dog...what else can happen? ;-)

On the other hand...I'm not sure how much loss you are willing to take. Maybe offer a HUGE discount on the remaining pictures?

Originally posted by Louis:

May seem pat, but the best thing you can do is tell the couple immediately and let them know the steps you're taking to try to recover the images. Too long a wait between the incident and telling them might really cause problems.
08/07/2008 12:44:24 PM · #13
Thats why we have insurance...

you DO have insurance?
08/07/2008 12:46:57 PM · #14
Not that this helps you now but I use Epson P-3000 to back up everything I do. It has saved me more times then I care to count. If you need more space then the P-3000 then try this Epson P-5000. They are the best I could find for the money and they are great for everything I do.

Hope this helps you in the future.

Sorry for your loss of the photos, but as Jac said you should keep trying other shops there are some pretty good little hacks out there that might like to try just because they can.

All the best with the whole telling the married couple, I'll be thinking about you. Is your life insurance paid up?? (I know it's a lame joke but someone had to, everyone else was thinking it I'm sure)

MAX!
08/07/2008 12:47:25 PM · #15
Originally posted by Simms:

Thats why we have insurance...

you DO have insurance?


I DO have insurance.. and my contract states the my liability is limited to a refund comensurate to the % of photo's lost

So I am covered that way, I hadn't told them yet, because I was trying my best to find out someting about recovering the hoping for the best so that I wouldn't have to tell them anything....

08/07/2008 12:49:00 PM · #16
Originally posted by Quigley:

Not that this helps you now but I use Epson P-3000 to back up everything I do. It has saved me more times then I care to count. If you need more space then the P-3000 then try this Epson P-5000. They are the best I could find for the money and they are great for everything I do.

Product pages:

Epson P-3000
Epson P5000
08/07/2008 12:53:45 PM · #17
Originally posted by Louis:

Originally posted by Quigley:

Not that this helps you now but I use Epson P-3000 to back up everything I do. It has saved me more times then I care to count. If you need more space then the P-3000 then try this Epson P-5000. They are the best I could find for the money and they are great for everything I do.

Product pages:

Epson P-3000
Epson P5000


Thanks... that's one of the things I've been looking at... wedding seasons almost over for me this year... and the rest of the shoots I'm doing I'll be able to shoot teathered for the most part.... but oe of those is MOST CERTAINLY on my list of to gets for the VERY near future.

08/07/2008 12:55:04 PM · #18
wow, sorry to hear that. can the card manufacturer company do anything?

Message edited by author 2008-08-07 12:55:45.
08/07/2008 01:12:16 PM · #19
*ouch*, sorry to hear about this Michael. Sometimes you do everything you can and life still sh*ts on you. :-(

To recount my own wedding back in 1980. About 15 years after we were married we had the same wedding photog do some potraits of our dog. Whilst talking to him he confessed that he had lost a roll of film he had taken during a shoot in the woods. He only realised this after we had returned to the reception so he had to drive (not far) back and try and find the film, lucky for him he did but he told us it was the only time it had happened to him and the 30 mins he spent looking for the film was the longest 30 mins of his life.



Message edited by author 2008-08-07 13:17:09.
08/07/2008 01:52:09 PM · #20
ohhh nooo!

So sorry to hear that Michael.
08/07/2008 01:53:53 PM · #21
Well, what I learn from this situation is:

- write a unique number on all my CF cards with a marker pen
- have a small log book and enter event date time, then which card used for what set of images
- put cards in a safe wallet with the mini log book. Attach wallet to ones person.
- do not reuse CF cards for any other photos until the images are transfered to my workstation and then backed up too.

What do I owe you for the tuition?
08/07/2008 01:59:04 PM · #22
Michael, I would try offering the B&G a private session, or a family session with both sets of parents to make up for the missing files. You might aslo offer them "free session fees for life", a few free enlargements or anything that you think will be of value to them. Your goal is to make them NOT feel ripped off. I'm assuming your contract covers 'what happens if...' but I would go beyond that to make a happy client.

08/07/2008 02:16:31 PM · #23
Just for kicks, try this? Says it works on damaged cards, not just damaged files...
Help!

There are quite a few that mentioned damaged cards. Hope one of these works fo you.

More to try....

Message edited by author 2008-08-07 14:24:48.
08/07/2008 02:17:32 PM · #24
Originally posted by pineapple:

Well, what I learn from this situation is:

- write a unique number on all my CF cards with a marker pen
- have a small log book and enter event date time, then which card used for what set of images
- put cards in a safe wallet with the mini log book. Attach wallet to ones person.
- do not reuse CF cards for any other photos until the images are transfered to my workstation and then backed up too.

What do I owe you for the tuition?


too complex so it can fail. Individual IDs are a good idea - if a card ever acts up you can identify which one.(flashes, PWs- all such things have ID numbers on them for that reason) I also put the date I first used the card on the card so oldest get replaced first.
If a card is in the wallet it can be used. Before every wedding I format all the cards I take with me. they are face up in the wallet. as I change cards the go face down in the wallet. I've never screwed that up, but should if ever occur I know any card with an image on it is from today's shoot. i also never need to erase/format a card at a shoot - so I can't format/erase one with today's pics on it. Fool proof.

Upon return to the studio all used cards are DL'd to the computer and then put in a bowl I have there. Once the files are backed up to DVD then the cards can leave the bowl and return to the card wallet for re-use.
08/07/2008 03:09:18 PM · #25
So I found one more place that will take the card knowing that it's already been looked at so this is what i'm doing for the moment

Eyesdown is calling them as we speak we will tell them the situation, let them know we are trying everything to recover the files, but if we can't get them all back we will refund up to $250 of their fee (that's the contractual stuff anyway) right now, just for the heartache of it all we will offer them a Canvas print of their choice.

If we find that we can't get the photo's back we'll offer them a bit more on top of the money back at that point (they already have free sitting fees for life)

how does that sound? fair?
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