Wedding photos are the only memories you have left after your wedding, showcasing the most beautiful moments of your big day with snapshots of the couple and their guests. But a lot of times, newlyweds are disappointed by their wedding photographers – it’s either the pictures they receive are far from their expectations OR they are still waiting for the photos many months after the wedding, OR they give up waiting (because they never get any photograph after their first or third wedding anniversary). This sounds like a story out of Nigeria’s Nollywood movies, but it always happens. Scroll down to read a bride’s true life story and our tips on how to avoid getting into the hands of a bad photographer.
Getting disappointed by a photographer is not something any about-to-wed couple wishes for. If that happens, you’ll have no pictures to share on Instagram or to show people. But then, it happens. ALWAYS. Sometimes, the best way to learn how to avoid some things in life is to hear a story of someone it happened to – that’s why I want to share with you a story of how someone I know was recently disappointed by their wedding photographer. Hopefully, you will learn from the 10 lessons where the made mistakes that led her to choose the wrong wedding photographer. Read on for the bride’s story of her wedding photography fails,and our analysis of where we think things went wrong – hopefully, you will know what to avoid and what to do when choosing a photographer for your own wedding.
True Life Story of a Newlywed’s Photography Misery
Newlywed, Jaclyn Ying recently shared her disappointing wedding pictures, and it went viral on the internet. You really need to see them – the snaps were so poorly captured that you’d cry for the couple. Guess what? The photographer was ‘one of the top professionals’ known in that area, and she paid a huge amount to book them. To make up for the bad job done, the photographer apologized and offered to buy them a cup of coffee. Was that a ‘funny’ joke? Hilarious! Honestly, can any amount of money or coffee make bad wedding pictures good? Poor girl, she posted the really bad pictures on her Facebook page – to warn and keep about-to-wed couples from choosing a bad photographer that would ruin their wedding day memories. A typical Nigerian bride would say ‘it is not my portion’, but then this kind of wedding photography fails are common here in Naija – scroll down for my story from a wedding I went to in Abuja.
READ: Our Top 10 Tips and Guide to Avoid Hiring a Bad Wedding Photographer – know how to spot a bad one, even if they pose as ‘experts’.
It Happened to Someone I know!
Someone close to me recently got married a few months ago, and still has not yet received a single copy of their wedding pictures. They only got to see the digital copies one month after the wedding, and that was after so much calling and visiting the said photographer, and hearing the same old stories such as: ‘it would soon be ready” and “I will bring them next tomorrow”. To make matters worse, the bride told me that all the pictures were HORRIBLE – some were terribly blurred. The bride was all tears when she was narrating the story to me, saying that even a street-side amateur photographer would have done much better. She added that if only she knew she would have paid a little more for a known professional photographer.
This couple put a whopping 75% upfront payment before their wedding day, and after over 3 months after their wedding, still have no pictures. Families and friends are tired of asking to see the wedding pictures. AND this couple is worried that their children may never see their wedding photos. It’s sad because they spent so much money to plan that wedding, and it was one of the best wedding ceremonies I’d ever been to.
How they Found that Horrible Wedding Photographer
The photographer used to be the bride’s neighbour, who she always saw carrying a camera and knew as a photographer (he always said that’s what he did for a living, and he even traveled to different Nigerian states to cover weddings). He does not have a studio/ shop (works from home), and since she had never SEEN him on location, she requested for samples of his past work to confirm if his photography style was suitable to her (that was her own idea of ‘due diligence’). He referred her to ‘his website’, and she liked what she saw and swore that he was the real deal.
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AND he gave her a slightly lower price than other known photographers, PLUS he would also shoot the wedding video (he explained that he would extract the pictures from the video, and so would deliver a set of photos and a video of the event). It was a very sweet, cheap deal she did not want to miss.
On their Wedding Day: Red Flags from Mr. Photographer
This photographer arrived late. He worked solo – had no assistant photographer with him (remember, he said his style was to shoot video and later extract photos. He came with a lot of drama – had a standing light umbrella, and was moving around, snapping with it (I used to think that belonged to the indoor studio, and needed to be plugged-in). His camera had a flashlight attached to it, but didn’t appear he ever used the flash.
WHAT WE THINK: It’s clear that that photographer was not skilled at photography. This couple is a victim of hiring an unprofessional photographer, and this is a very common mistakes about-to-wed couples make every time. This is a very common problem in the wedding industry, but the bride could have avoided it from the start – she did not do any due diligence before hiring the photography – she trusted his every claims about his expertise, and she made not effort to ask around. She did not bother to get a backup photographer, just in case.
Would You Have Another Wedding Just to Snap Better Pictures?
What would you do if your wedding photographer disappointed you? You only have one opportunity to get the right wedding pictures – you owe it to yourself to hire the best vendor for the job. But then, if it happened to you, you can get angry, cry and cry some more. The day has come and gone and so there’s not much can do if you finally received your wedding snaps after 5 months, and find yourself very disappointed with the photo-snaps.
Thing is, you can’t do much – even if you jail the photographer, you can’t change the fact that your wedding pictures are ruined. Since it has not happened to you, the best you can do is to learn from other people’s mistake to avoid hiring the wrong photographer – follow our 10 tips (here) for hiring the right photographer – those tips will also help you spot the wrong ones to avoid.
AND if after everything you still have badly snapped pictures, there are a few things you can do to still get some ‘not too bad’ or even okay pictures:
- Some guests may have snapped much better photos of you and your hubby – JUST ASK
- Photoshopping the pictures can make them a bit or a lot better – find someone to help here
Do You Have any Photography Disappointment Story?
I know that at this time, many couples are either starting to search for wedding photographer or about to make upfront payment to book a photographer. So, I thought that sharing this story may help you in choosing the right wedding photographer that will deliver on promise, and on time. Finally, don’t believe that everyone who is hanging a digital camera is ‘a photographer’. Brides, shine your eyes well-well before hiring any wedding vendor at all.
So, tell me – have you or anyone you know been disappointed by a photographer or party vendor? Share the story with us in the comments area down below.
Photo Credit: Photography by Dotun Ayodeji
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