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I gave a "photographer" a good chewing...


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  #1  
February 3rd, 2012, 10:51 PM
MJTKNT's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Let me start out by telling you that I am not a photographer. I don't have photoshop, and I don't take pictures for people. I have, however, spent the last year working on learning to use my T1i in all modes, and have purchased the 1.8 50mm lens for portraits.

Anyhow, I was invited by a friend to a boudoir party. I've wanted to have some pictures done for my DH for a while, and was excited to go. When I got there, she had all the windows blacked out, and was shooting in full auto, flash and all. It was awful. I didn't even want to participate.

These are a couple of the "edited" pictures that I received from my session.







Seriously. She sent me those as my final "best pictures." The only one that's even slightly ok is the close up of my face. I asked her to use my lens, and had to have her retake it 10 times before she even got close enough that it wasn't just a full body shot...even then, she didn't do such a hot job.


It was awful, but I knew when I stepped in the door that it was going to be that way- I just felt like I was too far in to turn around and leave (like I really should have!). Anyhow, tonight on her FB this other girl from the party asked her if she had corrected the issues she had asked her to, and she sent a smart comment telling her that she did a lot of editing, and if she didn't get them exactly the way we wanted, she was sorry, but she was more concerned with getting the girls' pictures done who had purchased larger packages, and in her "opinion as a professional photographer" we all looked great in our photos. Hah. I lost it a little and sent her this:

Oh, where to begin...

First of all, all customers should be treated equally. Telling someone who ordered a smaller package that you weren’t as concerned with her pictures because you were worried about the larger packages is poor business.
For example, let’s say I took two cake orders for the same day, a $100 cake and a $300 cake. However, when I was finished with my work, the $100 cake was nothing like the customer had instructed me to make and she was unhappy with it. If my response to her was, “I’m sorry, I was just more concerned with the $300 cake,” how do you think my business would go? A paying customer is a customer. If I couldn’t give both cakes the same amount of attention and provide equally great products, then I shouldn’t have taken two cake orders for the same day. Your response to Angela, as a business person, running a business, should be, “I’m sorry, if it isn’t right, I will fix it.” And then you do it. You may not win her back as a customer, but at least you will not create an enemy.

Secondly, having a nice camera does not make you a photographer. I could show up to work in my husband’s scrubs and white coat, and all his medical tools, but you wouldn’t want me operating on you if I haven’t taken the time to educate myself on the procedure and learn how to use the tools. Likewise, a true photographer does not ever show up to a session and shoot on full auto…with a flash, but rather in manual and takes full advantage of her lens(es) and other tools to properly frame and focus on the subject. This is photography 101, and you apparently don’t know it as you have not spent the time to educate yourself. If you can honestly look at the photos you took, and say that they are quality, professional pictures, then you need a new profession.
Thirdly, if you would like to talk about rude, see post two. An individual should never show up to a position under the premise of being qualified to do said job if she is not, and take the money of her unsuspecting clients. That is what is rude, and you will not go far in this business if you continue to do so. I understand that you are looking for a way to make an income, likely to take care of you and your family, but it is inappropriate to do so without the required skill. My advice to you is to take some classes, do some work for free or at an extreme discount under the premise of being a student, and build a portfolio. Only after you have mastered your camera, lenses, and lighting in all settings, learned to see and shoot the subject in an artistic, attractive, and flattering manner, and truly learned to use Photoshop to edit a quality picture into a great picture (rather than try to make a decent picture out of a shoddy one) should you be charging money and calling yourself a photographer. Boudoir photography is as much for the woman having pictures taken as the intended recipient. She should not leave a shoot feeling disappointed, unattractive, or unappreciated. This is how you fail.



I'm pretty sure I just started war, but seriously-- it made me SO mad that this girl showed up claiming to be a professional photographer and did THAT. Actually- in general- it makes me really mad when people think that just because they popped a DSLR into their hands, they know what they're doing, and they're a photographer.

That's all. Just had to share with some folks who may actually understand!
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  #2  
February 4th, 2012, 08:12 AM
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Wow, the first two aren't even in focus!!! And the third, which is in focus, the flash blew it up. Good for you to let her know your mind. I hope that people aren't paying a ton for this, as it does seem poor quality.
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  #3  
February 4th, 2012, 09:07 AM
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ill be 100% honest here.. i am actually completely annoyed with your response, more so than what the photographer is doing.

you CHOOSE to pay for her services, you CHOOSE to pay for the prints.. no one is holding a gun to you, or any of the other customers saying you HAVE to use this photographer and purchase her prints. I find your comment to her completely disrespectful.. it's like you are unhappy with what you got, so you have to make her equally unhappy. that is not right.. This is why a professional photography business is a SINGLE person career, it's not a corporate, there are no standards per photographer. Every one photographer is different from another, and being that YOU are the general public, YOU have the option to chose as your photographer. Being that each photographer has different styles, different skills, etc.. there are NO standards here on what SHE should be doing and how SHE should edit. if you don't like her stuff, don't ask her to be your photographer. You are 100% right, you should have walked away from the session and anyone else who was not interested than to give her this verbal abuse because you have the option and time to chose wisely, and you did not. that is not HER fault, that is yours alone. There is absolutely no excuse to put her down so much because you are unhappy with the outcome that you apparently ALREADY knew was coming.. I do agree that she should not be worried more about one client than another.. but we are human and can only do so much at a time here.. she can not edit 500 different photos at once.

as a photographer, she is not there to edit the pictures the way a client wants.. a client is there to chose the photographer that she likes the most from their style... if you dont like the style that photographer does, then why would you chose her. If you (and im saying you, as in general) don't like the outcome.. don't buy a package, do your own dang pictures and editing.

as a photographer, this really infuriates me.. it is so disrespectful and out of line. You can not tell a photographer how to do her business as i said everyone is so different and there are no "rules" per se.. she can chose to be the photographer that she wants to be, and edit the way that she wants to.. whether you chose her as your photographer or not, is up to you.. as I said, no one is holding a gun to anyone's head here.

the way she is TREATING a client i agree can be taken up with her.. but telling her how to do her job is not okay
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  #4  
February 4th, 2012, 09:52 AM
MJTKNT's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Lol Really?

This girl was not what she said she was and didn't do what SHE said she would, as far as taking and editing photos is concerned. She was rude to everyone. Everyone that attended came away unhappy and when asked were told there was "no way" she was refunding any money, which, btw was required to be paid upfront before any of the photos were done to book the "session."

Before attending, we were told that her website was down so we couldn't see previous work, and went off trusting our friends judgement. I should've left. I already said that much., but I was already there and already out the money. I didn't say anything to her about it until she started being very rude to other people who were so unhappy and didnt realize this was what they paid over $120 to receive. I didn't ask for money back, and still haven't as I know it was my own poor decision to go without seeing previous work. To be honest with you, it infuriates me that as a photographer you would condone this behavior, but whatever. To each his own. You have your opinion and I have mine.

To show up and claim to be a "professional photographer" and then say you've never shot in any mode but auto is a total contradiction. And sending people blurry snapshots as final pictures is not a "style" it's absolute ignorance in what she's doing. She was having another session today and charging $50 more per person than she did with our session, and invited more people. She's a scam artist. God forbid I call her out on it! ...and no, I obviously wont be using her again. I hope that she actually takes some time to learn what she's doing (I'm sorry, but photography IS a skilled trade) and betters herself and her business, and if what I said keeps another person from throwing her money awatly on something they will be disappointed with, then so be it.
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  #5  
February 4th, 2012, 10:14 AM
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and that is completely fine to let the rest of the public know of how she does business.. that is what ratings are for.. is she listed on google or anything, how does she advertise business? is there a way to rank and leave a review anywhere? if so, i would do that..

but when it comes to the money issue, did you sign a contract? if so.. does it say anywhere about no refunds? if you did not sign a contract.. you have a chance of threatening her with legal business. in which you can also sue for the court fees.. maybe it will scare her enough to refund you, your money. but if you signed a contract and it says no refunds on it.. you pretty much do not have a leg to stand on.
if she does not have any thing to be viewed, and yet people still paid for a session, pretty much, shame on them.. never pay for something blindly.. I never ask for money first unless it's a deposit.. you never pay for something until the job is done. that goes with ANY business... you don't pay a contractor the full amount before they finish the job, because they can run out with your money and it's just to dam bad.. that is a hard lesson learned here..

the fact that you knew she was shooting in full auto and that she didnt meet your expectations that should have been your red flag to start with, and you claimed to have known this before you begun.. but you already know you should have walked away.. so you really can't be mad at anyone but yourself here.. you can't stick your hand in an alligators mouth knowing what that animal will do, and when it happens get pissed off at the alligator, it doesnt work that way..

if she is not doing as she said she would, then you have a chance of getting your money back, assuming there is no contract here stating otherwise.. you can threaten her to sue and just hope she gives you the refund.. otherwise i, myself.. would do it just for the principal of it, and sue for the court costings as well which you will more than likely be granted as well... but if there is a contract a judge will tell you the same, and that it's a hard lesson learned..

should she be rude? no, should she abide by what she said she would do? yes..

but i still think it was disrespectful and out of line to lash out at her for how she chooses to photograph
but with that said.. you could still probably take her to court and a judge may favor you because for $120 .. or any money for that fact, those photos are crap.

unfortunately, the definition of a professional photographer is someone who gets paid to photograph a subject.

the skills and style that comes with it, is 100% preference and one's standards.. so one can shoot with a point and shoot and charge and if you signed a contract, but are unhappy with the product, pretty much to dam bad as far as legal status goes
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  #6  
February 4th, 2012, 12:47 PM
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I didn't say I wasn't mad at myself for going- I think I've been pretty clear about that the whole time. I trusted a friend, who usually has better judgement. Hell, I usually have better judgement than that. It's not something I usually do, but it's also why I haven't asked for money back- just vented. I've been to other photographers who've charged a $150 deposit, and required a minimum of $50 in prints, so to pay before the get go, and be guaranteed a CD with originals and edits, but no prints at that price wasn't outlandish to me...until I saw what I was actually getting. If she were charging $3-400 up front, I would've said there was no way.

To say you don't pay upfront for anything is not true either. My cake example isn't far from my heart- it's something I do, and I require payment up front, and it is very common in the industry to do so. There are too many times that people will place an order, and never show up to pay for it- then you're just out the time and money. Nope- full payment required no later than two weeks from the event or you don't get a cake.

I knew my pictures weren't going to be great, I didn't realize just HOW bad, and sure, I am frustrated that they didn't even come out clear for shooting on auto. How do you F that up? I also didn't know that she had no idea how to shoot in any other mode until I was actually in front of her being photographed and I asked her. At that point, I knew the experience was a loss.

I won't take her to court either...too much of a hassle, and IMO is a much harsher move than just telling her what I think. I'll leave what I said as enough of a wake up call. Her website is "still not up"- aka- she doesn't have one. She friended us through FB after the session, and that post is on her personal page following several rude remarks made to the other ladies for inquiring about various things, it's not a business page. I'll let that be enough of a "review" to her business. It's no more rude or disrespectful to do it there than it would be if I had posted it on a business review, IMO. She should not be doing business under the premise of being something she isn't. Nor should she claim to be or do things that she does, in fact, not do. I wouldn't hesitate to let her know what I did all day long. I didn't hastily type that out of anger to "lash out." It was calculated and edited, and precisely what I intended to say.

I didn't sign anything, but I don't know if that goes for anyone else as I had to arrive an hour late to the party- I was just told what I would be given (as far as edits, I'm aware that all in all, the editing isn't great, but we're talking basic stuff like editing out stretch marks and red eye...as if people should've ended up with red eye in the first place...I mean- simple fixes that weren't addressed as she said they would be). I don't sign paperwork at my regular photographer either, and have been happy with the results there.

Your definition and mine of a professional photographer are different. To be a professional, IMO, you need to be skilled. Like you said, there's obviously no standard, so I had every right to expect what I did. The fact that we showed her examples and were assured to be have similar results (before we even booked the party) led me to falsely assume what sort of quality I would be receiving. I've seen your work, and it's really nice. I don't know why you would group yourself in with this and chose to be offended just because she claims to be a photographer. If I were you, and this were my profession, I'd be more angry that she claims to be what you are and gives the profession a bad name, than be mad that she's been called out for her lack of tact and skill.

What's done is done. It's possible to accept something, but still be frustrated over it, and that's all this is. I may be guilty of trusting someone to do a job she said she would do, but she's guilty of lying and ripping people off. Sure, shame on me for trusting her without seeing first, but I'd rather be the trusting person than a dishonest one. I'm glad I've had to fully explain what I did, as a client, to be ripped off by someone who took advantage of me and five unsuspecting women and saw us only as dollar signs and not as the beautiful, sensual women we payed to be photographed as.
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  #7  
February 4th, 2012, 03:33 PM
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im not saying i disagree with how you feel.. i just don't agree with how you went about it.. im one of the few here, who does not sit here and degrade other photographers for their photography business.. sure they may not have pictures/edits that i myself would like to see.. but it's the same for me.. i wouldnt want someone to tell me how to do my job, and how i should be doing it.. when infact i have my own style and way of doing it.. that most likely is very different than other. so what one's standards are, is differ from another.
telling her off about how she should do business with clients, is one thing.. telling her how to photograph and edit.. is another.

and my definition of a photographer is much more than what i said.. i have standards of what a true professional photographer is... but i was saying, in legal terms, they do not go by what one's preference is, but by the true definition.. a professional photographer is someone who gets paid to photograph a subject.... i personally believe it's much more than that.. but that is MY opinion.. it's not something i can fight and argue with because my opinion may differ from someone else's

there should ALWAYS be a contract.. for exact incidents like this.. its to cover your own arse, as well as for the photographer to cover theirs.. thats the point of contracts.. there is also a reason for deposits.. i would not pay any money for a cake even in full.. ONLY a deposit upfront.. if someone skips out and doesnt pick up their cake.. then you have the deposit to cover your supplies and time.. thats the whole purpose of deposits.. sure you'd miss out on the profit.. but profits arent what keeps you a float for your business.. so long as you make to cover the expenses you had to use.. but as a customer, i'd never pay for a cake in full upfront.. i'll pay a deposit.. but i wont pay in full.. what if it's total crap and not at all what i wanted.. i sure in the he*ll wouldnt pay for it.... thats what makes a business, a business.. you require deposits, if you do what the customer wanted, and they are happy, then you've earned the profit.. if your stuff just totally sucked and they hated it.. you have the deposit to cover the expenses.. that's how it works

but that's besides from the point here.. as i said, im not disagreeing with your feelings, im just disagreeing with how it was done

when were these sessions done? how many people were within the sessions?? i mean if you had 5 girls.. and each has 100+ photos and you just did the session 3 days ago.. that isnt enough time to make corrections.. what she should have done was go through them all, make sure waht she has is the best from them all and fix the simple corrections... then upload them for the clients to view..
like i said though, it's a hard lesson learned.. you didn't have anything to preview and that alone for me would be the red flag, no WAY would i pay $100+ for something that i have not even the slightest clue may turn out.. not even for $35 honestly..

you don't have to take her to court.. but i'd certainly threaten it
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  #8  
February 6th, 2012, 05:05 AM
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My opinion..

Well, going blind for a photoshoot is not the best idea, but I guess you've learned the lesson now.

HOWEVER... I totally agree with you, MJTKNT, having a DSLR in your hand does NOT make you a photographer, and this person is clearly NOT a photographer O_O
The pictures are full of noise, not in focus, not light treatment, no nothing!
This is awful work. Awful.
I think you did good by telling her all this because really, she needs someone to tell her.


.h00dihoo.this., no standard, maybe, but be fair, being in FOCUS is a requirement when you are PAID to take pictures!!
Some photographers love to play with blurry, I know one like this, but her blurry work is pure ART. (her => [ c a t h e r i n e g i r o u x ] » Photographe «lifestyle» )

It's not verbal abuse. I think MJTKNT stated her opinion of the shoot with tact.

Yes she knew she she should have walked away, but I guess I would have giving the photographer a chance too, being already there and all.
Sometimes a bad feeling is just a feeling and everything turns out great.

"To be a professional, IMO, you need to be skilled." -- I agree with that.

I make websites.
And I know people that are paid like 150$ to make websites with FrontPage that look like they were made in 1996. Are they professionals because they are getting paid?
NO.
Someone professional is someone SKILLED.
Like in ANY job!! You have to be skilled! That you are getting paid or not doesn't make a difference.

I do photoshoots.
I am NOT being paid (because I choose to, I have a photoshoot idea and I find my model) but people starts to call me a "photographer".

Professional = SKILLS.

"im one of the few here, who does not sit here and degrade other photographers for their photography business" -- I don't degrade other photographers either... I don't even consider myself as professional... the thing is, this person is clearly NOT a photographer. It's almost like she lied to people This cannot be accepted. Her clients were fooled!.. that's how I see it.
And someone has to tell her. Because what she does is WRONG.
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  #9  
February 6th, 2012, 05:51 PM
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Thank you, YukiSumah.

The pictures were taken 3 weeks ago, and yesterday I received my CD-- all originals, no edits. The other girls received theirs in the same fashion. My comments have been the kindest she's received, so I'm definitely not sorry or regretful. I'm just going to show you one example from the CD...most are actually not this dark, but are so awful I don't even want to see them, let alone let anyone else (maybe in the private forum, but I don't have access yet). There were 48 images on the CD, and maybe 2 that are salvageable because the others are all this quality...and only 2-4 MB per image.



How crazy is that? It's really hard not to just laugh at this whole thing...my pictures, this girl, the whole shebang.
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  #10  
February 7th, 2012, 12:56 PM
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im not saying shes good, or skilled for that matter LOL.. but like the link you shared Yuki of another photographer.. you think her stuff is sheer art.. but there is quite a few images she has posted that I myself would never post. it really all depends on your preference and your OWN standards of what makes a photographer, a photographer.. there is no set in stone, in writing.. of what a photographer should be.. because we all have different views. this is not an office job where everyone is doing the exact same work to a T.. so in this industry while one may be skilled, and another with none at all (by yours or my standards) you may think the one with no skill at all is brilliant.. while i think it's crap..
to be honest, i hardly find these blurry pictures any different than the blurry pictures from the photographer you linked.

a photographer, or ANY art for that matter.. is not defined by a standard or skill... someone threw a bunch of paint to a canvas.. and someone thinks it's amazing and beautiful.. while to me... it's just that, paint thrown onto a canvas.

the point that im getting at here from the beginning.. is the fact that she never saw this ladies work to begin with.. for all we know.. this is what her work looks like 100% of the time and thats her style .. im not saying it's a style i like.. but to each their own... if she would have been able to view a gallery and saw these amazing beautiful pictures that looks like it came out of a magazine.. goes in to get her session done.. and gets these pictures she was given.. THEN you have something to b88ch about.. the fact that this is not the case. in all honesty, is her own fault...

is this person a photographer by my standards? no.. would i pay her for a session? no.... would i have even considered her without any portfolio?? HECK no..

do i feel like, you MJTKNT, that your wrong for the way that you feel? no.. should this photographer refund you for her crap? YES!..

it's not that im disagreeing WITH YOU.. im disagreeing with the way it was handled
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February 7th, 2012, 01:37 PM
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I'm fairly well done arguing with you over this. You can continue your stance, and I'm going to continue on it mine, and we don't need to comment back and forth on it ten million times. She sucked. I told her. I'm glad I did. You disagree. Whatever. End of story.
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  #12  
February 7th, 2012, 06:38 PM
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I am sorry..she handed that to customers?!
quite unprofessional of her...at that rate..she wont have customers at all.
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  #13  
February 8th, 2012, 09:15 PM
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I completely 100% agree with your response but I would NEVER say it!
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  #14  
February 8th, 2012, 09:56 PM
Sarah Marie's Avatar Mom to Leiland and Owen
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That sucks, 100%. You would expect that if you are paying a session fee and meeting for a photoshoot the LEAST a photographer can do is expose the image properly and focus it. Otherwise you do not give the images to the person. I would NEVER allow my customers to see my crappy images, even if I only had 2 decent shots. Thats when you offer to reshoot. I don't think you are to blame and I think you were completely in the right telling the photographer what you did. I have only had one client that wasn't happy in the past, and its hard but you do what you can to make things right. I do not find shooting in full auto acceptable and I would have said something outright in front of everyone at the party personally.
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