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Photographers that cherry pick images and then disappoint!

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trivets12
trivets12  101144 forum posts
3 Oct 2012 - 11:30 AM

A work colleague recently got married and booked one of the best ( or so I thought) photographers in the area, and consequently most expensive. His website has shown the same four weddings for the past three years and he never shows current weddings. When I saw her wedding pictures I was expecting to be blown away with them - and I wasn't. They were really very ordinary, absolutely nothing like the quality of work shown on his website. I know that she is disappointed as she was expecting images equal to those he shows on his website.
I think this is really misleading the client and giving a false impression of what he is capable of.
What do you think?

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3 Oct 2012 - 11:30 AM

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timbo
timbo  11591 forum posts United Kingdom
3 Oct 2012 - 12:02 PM

Did they view a selection of complete weddings from the photographer or book him from his website images? Even the very best wedding togs take average looking wedding images. They are working to produce a record of the day in a limited timescale and, quite often,with unwilling subjects. Add bad weather, delays, mishaps etc. and it is a very hard way to earn a living.
The images you see on websites and adverts are the special shots, sometimes set up using the best looking brides or even models. They are there to get your attention and hopefully get you to have a meeting and, if that goes ok, to book.
I will always show a selection of complete weddings to give the couple an idea of what a normal wedding coverage will look like.
I would never accept a booking from someone who hadn't met me and not discussed things properly so they have a clear idea of the way i work.

JackAllTog
JackAllTog e2 Member 53469 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
3 Oct 2012 - 12:42 PM

If its a quality issue then I would assume she rightly feels disappointed;
If its due to a different environment or lighting scenarios then probably no one could do any better in the circumstances.

Was their main Kit in for repair, or were they testing out new equipment? Are they just not photo shopped enough?
Why does he not show current wedding images during the consultation - has he sold the equipment he used to use, or no longer uses a post processing service? Or are these just Proofs and the final images have yet to arrive?

You can probably answer the lighting/environment questions for her, but he may want to answer the process/equipment questions if they still are issues.

trivets12
trivets12  101144 forum posts
3 Oct 2012 - 12:57 PM

I think it was the fact that out of nearly a thousand images, only about six showed any creativity using the sunset as the backdrop. The rest were just random shots of guests or the bride and groom very informally. His website shows beautiful silhouetted images, shallow depth of field etc., really stunning shots but it's not what the clients actually get. I think he was a friend of the groom, which influenced the booking. When she told me who the photographer was, I was really excited to see her images, but when it came to it, I was bored after the first one hundred! They were correctly exposed and composed etc, just boring to look at.

Spencer1966
3 Oct 2012 - 1:05 PM

Its always easy to criticise other photographers work and difficult to comment without seeing the images really.

The photographer should be showing their clients current work and communications should be inspiring confidence in what they can produce - however some clients do not help at all, they dont give enough time for the photographer to do their job and indeed many couples think that just by having a decent camera will guarantee top results. Again that is also up to the photographer to advise, demand time and educate, although some are better at this than others. Wedding photography is as much about people skills than anything else.

So whilst I can emphathise with the couple I can feel for the photographer if they were not given the opportunity to do their job.

newfocus
newfocus  7644 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
3 Oct 2012 - 2:03 PM

From a personal point of view I think nothing spoils the experience of a wedding day more than being herded around into various artificial groups for ages by a photographer when you're just trying to relax, socialise and celebrate the day. I don't want a photographer to 'demand time and educate' in that situation. I want him or her to be an unobtrusive observer and to document the day as it happens. What use are great shots if the memory of the day is of boring formalities?

From that point of view, I'd have thought a good set of informal shots of the bride, groom and guests, 'correctly exposed and composed, etc' would be my personal ideal. I realise some people have different preferences though so I guess it comes down to getting expectations clear and agreed up front. It sounds like in this case expectations might have been set that weren't delivered, which I suppose is the real issue.

Last Modified By newfocus at 3 Oct 2012 - 2:04 PM
Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139367 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
3 Oct 2012 - 2:05 PM


Quote: I don't want a photographer to 'demand time and educate' in that situation. I want him or her to be an unobtrusive observer and to document the day as it happens.

Other people's wants and expectations may be entirely different. It is sometimes the bride's mother's wants that reign supreme! Wink

Paul_Anthony
3 Oct 2012 - 2:09 PM

Thats the problem, the majority Bride & Groom normally want to see a set of perfectly posed group shots from their wedding but the guests have different ideas, If thats what the B&G want then the guests should respect their wishes and play ball... they are getting a free meal out of it after all Grin

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139367 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
3 Oct 2012 - 2:13 PM

Where the "guest" is contributing to a large proportion of the cost of the wedding, I guess they feel they have some right to dictate the photos/videos. Wink

Certainly back in the days when I used to help out in a wedding video business, it was always the parents (usually the mother) of the B or G who created "issues" !

Spencer1966
3 Oct 2012 - 2:20 PM


Quote: From a personal point of view I think nothing spoils the experience of a wedding day more than being herded around into various artificial groups for ages by a photographer when you're just trying to relax, socialise and celebrate the day. I don't want a photographer to 'demand time and educate' in that situation. I want him or her to be an unobtrusive observer and to document the day as it happens. What use are great shots if the memory of the day is of boring formalities?

Thats a valid point and is what reportage, documentary style call it what you will has evolved. However would you not agree the best photographs are all about lighting, without great lighting you dont get great images. Now how often will the bride or groom or both be in the best position to get that light? probably never right. So with the photographers guidance the light has to be found and that means the documentary style will not consistantly produce the best possible image. Yes you will get some but they are more down to luck than judgement in my opinion.

If the client wants the best imagery possible some influence and guidance by the photographer is absolutley essential - the secret is in people skills and doing it in a subtle way. To me weddings are great fun family and friend occasions but the emotion and tears dont always happen - if they dont whats wrong with the photographer making them happen. Just saying!! Smile

Last Modified By Spencer1966 at 3 Oct 2012 - 2:21 PM
newfocus
newfocus  7644 forum posts United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
3 Oct 2012 - 2:20 PM

Totally - and I realise not everyone has the same view Smile

Without seeing the shots though, on the surface this does seem to be about expectations. My wife and I decided to have no formal tog at our wedding, just enjoyed the day and accepted whatever photographs we got, but it's a personal choice and I'm sure others will find the photography aspect very important. I'm not criticising that in any way but given that people will have different preferences on this, clear communication on what is expected is important.

I'm just saying I wouldn't thank anyone for guiding me around into the right light at my own wedding any more than anyone with high expectations of perfect, artistic shots would thank the photographer for a set of 'ordinary' images.

Last Modified By newfocus at 3 Oct 2012 - 2:28 PM
Paul_Anthony
3 Oct 2012 - 2:28 PM

It's still the B & G's big day though, shouldn't it be about what they want, even if mum and dad are paying.

Back on topic....

We regularly update our wedding albums to show recently photographed weddings, usually from the previous year. I've lost count of the number of Wedding Fayres I've been to where photographers are showing the sample Graphi Studio Album on their table and passing it off as their own.

I think it is common practice in any profession to show prospective clients your best work. This for a wedding photographer will be perfectly posed well lit photographs that show off the photographers skills. As long as the photographer is capable of re-producing this quality at every wedding they attend then there is no problem.

Paul

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139367 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
3 Oct 2012 - 2:34 PM


Quote: It's still the B & G's big day though, shouldn't it be about what they want, even if mum and dad are paying.

The B&G may be relatively indifferent - these days a few camera phone pics for Facebook may be all they need for their own purposes. Mum and dad will have a bigger say as regards the formals.


Quote: I think it is common practice in any profession to show prospective clients your best work. This for a wedding photographer will be perfectly posed well lit photographs that show off the photographers skills. As long as the photographer is capable of re-producing this quality at every wedding they attend then there is no problem.

Indeed. But we have had someone on here, as I recall, who wanted to use another wedding tog's pics to showcase their abilities and asked how to go about this!

You can imagine the response on EPZ! Grin (I think the thread got locked).

Paul_Anthony
3 Oct 2012 - 2:43 PM


Quote:
The B&G may be relatively indifferent - these days a few camera phone pics for Facebook may be all they need for their own purposes. Mum and dad will have a bigger say as regards the formals.


From my own experience I cannot say that I agree with that. It's always the B&G that I have a meetings with prior to the wedding to discuss their wedding photography with, not the Mums and dads. Of course if they request photographs on the wedding day then I will take them, but it is always the B&G's list that gets done first.

Paul_Anthony
3 Oct 2012 - 2:44 PM


Quote:
Indeed. But we have had someone on here, as I recall, who wanted to use another wedding tog's pics to showcase their abilities and asked how to go about this!

You can imagine the response on EPZ! Grin (I think the thread got locked).

Thats just as shocking as the Graphi Studio Album sample problem..

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