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Thread: Who's right? Wedding Tog vs Unhappy Customer/s

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    Who's right? Wedding Tog vs Unhappy Customer/s

    After Amphot's recent thread on a disreputable wedding videographer described as a photographer, this recent segment on ACA was brought to my attention. ACA Sensationalism After viewing the photographers website and his packages I will say that it is confusing, but apparently he has delivered what was in his contract and the B&G are not happy because they did not receive what they "thought" they were going to get.

    My biggest issue with this segment is the reporter stating that "although the photographer has done nothing illegal". This is then followed up with what the clients thought they were entitled to regardless of what the contract states.

    I could rant further but I won't
    Last edited by virgal_tracy; 21-03-2011 at 1:21pm.
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    Member Adrian Fischer's Avatar
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    the link she no work...
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    Try this link.
    You'll get a spurious short add first and then the photography clip.
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    Your link is to the UK article, not an ACA one? I am not sure why, but the link isnt working at present
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    Fixed the link.

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    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    Wow, I couldn't read the contract that they put up on the video but if the agreement was not for an album, I don't see how the photographer could have been expected to have produced one for the clients .......
    Marianne and I only offer proofs in low res digital format and give them X number of higher res ones digitially which they pick from the low res images. Nothing about an album or physical prints anywhere.
    Let's say one of our clients decides that they heard that we would give them an album and takes this up with ACA. They then show people the contract (which by the way, is in small font and possibly then construed as the derogartory 'fine print') - are we all of a sudden the bad guys and have to cough up what the couple want just because that was what was expected without being agreed on?

    I suspect true journalism would have obtained the other side of the story as well. As it is, I don't know a thing about this photographer from 'flow' photography but if this were his sole source of income , that's a pretty harsh blow to have received on the basis of allegation.
    Last edited by Dylan & Marianne; 21-03-2011 at 2:38pm.
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    I think the stand out word is "proofs".
    These are the days of instant gratification where pics appear on the back of the camera so people think that they should have them an hour after the wedding and have never heard the term proofs or seen watermarked 2"x2" prints laid out for them to select from and pay for at a later date.
    After all, didn't all that guff disappear in our (at least my generations) parents prehistoric times.
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    I think the "fine print" should be taken out of any contract.
    Togs who charge big bucks should not hide in fine print what service they provide.
    The contract should contain dot formed "What You Get" for your buck. And make sure the client understands every point clearly.

    With many "I just bought a DSLR, I'll do you wedding" people around, professional togs cannot afford any bad publicity, or ill feeling.
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    Absolutely agree with geoffsta. There are so many wanna be wedding photogs these days that people are "spoilt" for choice. Why bother paying thousands of dollars when you can pay hundreds? They typically only realise their mistake after the once in a life time event is over ( well or first wedding for some ). I have covered weddings (as a friend and was the 2nd, 3rd or 4th photographer) and it's really not as easy as it seems. It only seems right to get rid of the fine print so that the photog will have business in the future.

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    I think in all fairness here...this guy isn't exactly the cheapo model. He's charging the full rates.
    Just thought i'd go to hit website to check out his packages. They are ambigious, and they do leave him open somewhat. Emphasises the need to be very very precise in exactly what you are providing the client.
    To quote, this is all photographic products offered in the silver package which is referenced: (includes stuff from bronze)
    Unlimited photos taken on the day (approx. 600-800)
    : : All digital proofs are yours to keep on CD!
    : : A 20 side genuine leather album created by our graphic designer, as part of the album credit
    : : Your choice of edge-to-edge digital pages, matte pages or a combination
    : : A digital flip album of 250 FREE printed proofs valued at $225. Only 0.90c / image for over 250 images
    : : THREE matte page sides converted to edge-to-edge page sides FREE valued at $99

    Typical witchhunt from ACA, the photographer probably is a bit sly about things from the look of him, but looks the usual one sided story.
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    I agree, this is very one sided.

    I also think it's unfair that the couples are being shown as the 'victims' because they 'thought' they were getting this but only got that.
    Any other industry, if you sign a contract than it's too bad if you read it wrong! It's my job to read and understand before I sign on the dotted line.
    People need to realise, if they are unsure of something (like the term 'proofs') then it's your responsibility to ASK! "Hey when you say we receive 250 proofs, what exactly are we getting?" Not that hard really.

    I don't know, perhaps this guy did lead them down the wrong path, it's hard to know when we only hear one side.
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    I don't watch ACA or other gutter tv ( can't call it journalism). I used to, but realised it is all about creating drama and not a thing about the truth. I do not believe using these sorts of shows is productive at resolving anything. I can't comment on the video as I refuse to watch anything that ACA, Today Tonight etc put out. Their past history tells me they would not let the truth get in the way of a good sensationalist story, and even acknowledging it, makes them rub their hands together with glee, its all about ratings.

    The best thing everyone can do is turn off the tv, if their ratings drop low enough, they will get rid of the shows (I can only dream).

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    Cheap one sided journalism with no respect for their own credentials at displaying a fair and reasonable reporting.

    While Flow Photography doesnt appear to be a member of any professional association, its worth noting that despite refusing attempts from AIPP to offer an alternative view to their typical "lets bag a wedding photographer" (a regular spot on Ch7, seems ACA is falling to the same level), that currently there is a very small comment on the ACA link that states that this type of thing could be averted by following AIPP standards.

    It seems crystal clear to me that the package pricing on the photographers website is ambiguous and confusing. OK so for whatever reason, this individual photographer is sparking some confusion. Is that worthy of degrading the entire industry with suggestions of "dont sign anything on the day" - excuse me ? Why not ? Like any contract each state has its own cooling off period, and its illegal to use and unfair contract in business ( re "unconscionable behaviour". A contract allows people to see in black and white what they get, what their agreement is. Better to have it in writing then not at all. So I dont think that there was any plausible reason for ACA to beat up this lame story, where clearly the client has not understood, and one would have to assume that the photographer has done their best to clarify, which he did within the highly inflammatory, and clearly edited to present the photographer in the worst light.

    Its worth noting that the (unhappy, belligerence, threatening, hostile) client , was given all of the hi resolution images to seal the deal of the photographer receiving the money for the job completed - that was never part of the package deal. Where was the balanced reporting ACA ? Perhaps ACA should do some self counselling on their bullying tactics. Highly unimpressed.
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    Couldn't agree more with William...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longshots View Post

    Is that worthy of degrading the entire industry with suggestions of "dont sign anything on the day" - excuse me ? Why not ?
    The next story will be "I went to my photographer, took my contract away because I was advised not to sign on the day, and when I was ready to sign they had given my wedding date to someone else"

    Never a story of "My photographer was brilliant and gave us more than we could ever have asked for, even though it wasn't in the contract"

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    And btw I thought that photographer handled himself very well with someone jabbing a finger in his face I take my hat off to him for that alone.

    I have a suggestion ACA instead of going for the easy stories, how about following up on the excellent "boy who was bullied and eventually fought back" story ? Surely I wouldnt be the only one wondering why this mature and intelligent individual had the intelleligence to realise that the system had utterly failed him, that the school had failed in protecting him, and that someone in the chain of command in the education system should be held accountable for that complete failure ? Now that would be reporting and it would also take some effort.

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    The fact that the package is ambiguous has made me question the photographer on his intentions, but we'll never know if it's intentional or not will we? BUT! A contract IS a contract. It's the couple's fault for not asking questions or understanding the contract properly, they were not forced to sign with a gun pointed at their heads. Going around whinging about not receiving their expectations is of no use.

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    I think that is important to understand that the bride and grooms job is to worry about the wedding as a whole, not picky details, for my mind it is the photographers job to clearly and concisely explain exactly what is or isn't included in the package upfront.
    It is the photographers business and he or she should know and be able to explain every detail of the package in easy to understand language so the couple know exactly what to or what not to expect. it is not the job of the couple to have to understand the
    ins and outs, jargon and practices of the photgraphic industry.

    GT

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    No I'm sorry I disagree completely.

    Its the customer who's responsibility it is to check the details.

    The bride and grooms role and responsibility is to manage their wedding and understand the "picky details".

    And the photographer is no different to the many different suppliers for a typical wedding. I've almost never ever heard of, or experienced someone booking a wedding photographer straight off a website; there is always going to be at the very least a discussion. And it is highly likely that the position of the additional cost of the album would have been discussed and explained. Its also worth repeating that any ANY contract should be carefully explained and read by any prospective customer/purchaser.

    And one other thing to contemplate while you want to pass on the responsibility issue, and that is, that another common practice for any prospective bride and groom is that they would have approached several different photographers before choosing one that suits them. I personally would believe that nuclear power is 10000% safe (which clearly it isnt) before I believe that two people (bear in mind that both the Bride and Groom) misread the photographers website, misread the contract, and misunderstood the photographer explaining what was included in the booked package - plus the general viewing audience of ACA is also expected to believe that the other photographers this couple approached also failed to explain what a proof is, what is included in the package, and what their purchase actually includes. I will not accept that they didnt have the same conversation with at least one other photographer prior to booking this one. So ACA and others expect me to believe that all of those different suppliers would have misled this couple ? I dont think so.

    After many years dealing with clients, it amazes me how wonderful some can be, and on the other hand there is always one bad apple out there that I have the misfortune of meeting - albeit rare and on a once every ten years or so basis - and I can assure you that they exist, they can be absolutely appalling. Last year was one of those clients who commissioned me for a shoot for a promotional brochure on their work. All was agreed in advance, two days of pre planning, three days of shooting (during which all images were checked and loved by the client), four days of post production work - all delivered (client rang to say she loved them). Invoice sent with delivered work - wait, wait, waiting.......... ring two weeks later, after unanswered emails, assistant finally responds - "lost your invoice" - send it again. This went on for three months. Five months later and I'm sending letters that are devoid of patience and understanding. Finally I get passed a message, "she doesnt like them, she's cancelled the brochure, she's changed her mind". Seven months later and I finally agree to a 2/3 balance of the outstanding amount, and they agree not to use the images.

    So sometimes it can be the customers that should be held accountable !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longshots View Post
    After many years dealing with clients, it amazes me how wonderful some can be, and on the other hand there is always one bad apple out there that I have the misfortune of meeting - albeit rare and on a once every ten years or so basis - and I can assure you that they exist, they can be absolutely appalling. Last year was one of those clients who commissioned me for a shoot for a promotional brochure on their work. All was agreed in advance, two days of pre planning, three days of shooting (during which all images were checked and loved by the client), four days of post production work - all delivered (client rang to say she loved them). Invoice sent with delivered work - wait, wait, waiting.......... ring two weeks later, after unanswered emails, assistant finally responds - "lost your invoice" - send it again. This went on for three months. Five months later and I'm sending letters that are devoid of patience and understanding. Finally I get passed a message, "she doesnt like them, she's cancelled the brochure, she's changed her mind". Seven months later and I finally agree to a 2/3 balance of the outstanding amount, and they agree not to use the images.

    So sometimes it can be the customers that should be held accountable !
    Maybe COD would be best? I really don't know how the industry works, but i always liked a COD approach to everything. Credit is over rated.

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