Heather and Ryan were married almost a year ago. She asked me for my pricing when she was booking a photographer, but in the end, because of costs she chose to hire a "professional" photographer whom a lot of her friends recommended. Photos were important to her, but it was a stressful time and budgets were tight so she went with what made the most sense financially. When the day of their wedding came around he didn't show up on time, he barely made it in time for their ceremony!!!! He didn't listen to her requests for certain photos. He didn't bother to photograph certain details that we so important, that Heather and her bridesmaids and family had spent time making sure it was the perfect color or style or shoe or, well you get the point. He didn't arrive early enough to get a photo of her dress by itself, to get shots of the girls and guys getting ready; he didn't arrive early enough to do any of that. When she got the photos back they were lackluster at best. He made the most basic of mistakes. He didn't know (or care) how to work his camera and flash correctly. He was in breach of his contract - but on that day Heather was stressed beyond what she should have been to think clearly. It was a rush to start the ceremony, to take the photos, to enjoy her and Ryan's day. She shouldn't have had to tell him to take certain photos or to even worry about whether or not her and Ryan's wedding day would be documented, whether they would have photos of parents and grandparents or even a photograph of their rings! As a wedding photographer I want to make your day less stressful. I will photograph you dress and rings and jewelry and bouquet without you asking me because it's what I do. I will make sure you have a photo of you and your mom and your dad. Of you and your favorite aunt or uncle. Of your brothers and sisters. I will make sure that your ceremony is documented the way it should be without being an annoyance. I will know and CARE that my camera settings are accurate. I care - and good wedding photographers care just as much or more about your wedding photos as you do. I care that your children and grandchildren can sit with you and look at those photos. I care that when your grandparent passes away, that you have a photo of them. I might miss something, but I try to catch everything. That's what you are paying for when you hire a wedding photographer. The flowers will die, the food will be eaten, the bubbles will pop, the napkins will be trashed, the alcohol will be drunk, the suits will be returned, but your wedding photos... those will remain to show not only all the work you put into your wedding day, but to show who was there, the happy smiles and dances and kisses, your wedding photos will remain and I will do my best to make sure of that.
Here is what Heather had to say. Thank you Heather for writing it, for sharing your heartaches, and for having me photograph a few details and portraits of you and Ryan a year later.
"I wish we'd gotten you to come. I was down to deciding between you and him, but it would have been so much trouble for you. He was highly recommended and he only gave a CD and let us make our own prints (which you might have, I never asked). Ryan was worried about the amount of money, and I thought long and hard and went with what made sense at the time. I never really felt like it was the best choice, even after our engagement session 2 weeks before the wedding but it was too late then, and I decided I would just be picky picky bride and make sure I got it all, but once the day got here, I just couldn't manage it all myself I paid him $750, but since he was so late, he returned $150. So I'm not out a LOT OF MONEY, just A LOT OF MEMORIES. The photographer was always the most important thing to me..."