Home Forums Main YANAP Discussion Forum Is there anything my friend can do?

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    So my friend had a newborn shoot with a ‘professional’ photographer.  The photographer actually approached my friend and offered a free shoot to build up her portfolio, and my friend was thrilled.

    As new photographers go, her work isn’t bad, but her attitude stank.  She was 90 minutes late to the shoot (despite sending out a strict preparation list for my friend to adhere to) and, weeks later, the photos were still not ready.  When they did finally arrive, the editing was ‘shoddy’ to say the least.  I’m no expert, but I could see partial background erasure, ‘fuzzy’ outlines of skin (where the background has been brushed away and overlapped the skin), really dodgy skin tones and the like.

    My friend um-ed and ah-ed for ages over whether to say anything, but eventually did.  The photographer was less than impressed at my friend’s (legitimate) issues, insisted she could see nothing wrong with them.  She blamed my friend for ‘rushing’ her (this was WEEKS later, mind!) and, after much back and forth and insults, agreed to re-edit the photos on the condition that my friend delete the current ones.

    My friend agreed to this (rather ludicrous) request and deleted the photos in good faith.  It is now over 9 weeks since her newborn shoot, and she has no photos.  The photographer supposedly sent the disc out twice, yet nothing has arrived.  She has blocked my friend from her Facebook page and refused to answer PMs from my friend’s husband.  My friend’s mother has even tried contacting the photographer, with predictable results.  The photographer claims she has deleted the photos from her hard drive, so there are now no copies in existence at all!

    My poor friend has been called an ungrateful bitch, had her honestly called into question and, finally, been ignored.   She keeps using the phrase “no money changed hands” as some sort of excuse for her behaviour, and has been happily booking and editing Christmas shoots and the like for ‘real’ (i.e. paying) customers – but my friend is somehow undeserving of the treatment that a ‘proper’ customer deserves, simply because she accepted a free shoot.

    Aside from the appalling treatment, the only photos my friend now has of her newborn daughter are one she used as a Facebook profile photo, and one she uploaded to a Facebook group.  Both are too poor quality to print.

    My friend is obviously distraught that she now has absolutely nothing, no photographs of her daughter.  You can even restage a wedding, but you can never get back that newborn baby.  Is there anything she can do?  This photographer claims to be ‘second to none’, and yet this is the way she treats people??


    I once asked a pregnant couple if I could try my hand photographing their newborn when the time came. They agreed, we did the shoot, I wasn’t happy with the outcome and neither were they. I thanked them for helping me, and asked if they wanted any of the shots. They picked four, but didn’t want prints or anything, they just used them on their family blog to show off their nursery, and a gift that someone special had made for the baby. End of story. Luckily for me, no one else got involved, and made them feel entitled to more, or that they somehow deserved better work than what I gave them, because I was incapable of better at the time. (Still am. Babies scare the begeesus outta me. A newborn photographer I am NOT lol. This important experience helped teach me that). It also would have been horrible to have them, their friends, and family angry with me for doing a lousy job of it and messaging me about it.

    I don’t quite understand why the tog agreed to re edit when they saw nothing wrong and/or were unable to “fix” them due to lack of skills or what have you. I would have just let it lie and apologized and explained again why I offered to shoot for free. “I’m new to this and don’t have the experience behind me that’s needed to do a perfect session for you”. And again would thank them for the practice and learning experience.

    I have a feeling if no one outside had gotten involved with this transaction of theirs, your friend would be perfectly happy. She wasn’t looking to hire a photographer, and probably didn’t even think of buying newborn photography until she was approached for a free shoot. No harm no foul. This tog may have a ego problem, and may not of handled things quite like she should have, but I don’t think your friend or her friends/family handled themselves properly either.


    Unfortunately, it’s a gamble when you let newbies who just hung up a shingle to take pics of important events.  The best thing your friend can do is delay no further and pay for a professional and experienced newborn photographer to take her pictures.


    Just to clarify a couple of things:


    My friend wasn’t happy from the moment she saw the photos.  The editing could have been better as this particular photographer started off doing digital artwork etc so is fully capable of erasing a bit of background properly.

    She had been going to get newborn photographs done but then was offered this shoot by this photographer.  Who does newborn shoots and charges for them.  I think it was a ‘bump to baby’ package she was wanting to try out?

    It was the ‘well you’re not paying so I’m not giving you top quality stuff’ attitude that upset my friend when she voiced her legitimate concerns.  Noone else got involved until weeks and weeks had passed.  I’m not entirely sure what else my friend could have done, frankly.  She sent private messages to start with, then when she was ignored she wrote on the ‘tog’s wall.  Then when those were ignored, her husband tried.  I don’t think that’s poor conduct.  Obviously I’m biased because my friend has been shafted, but if you’re sat waiting to hear back from someone who won’t answer your PMs but is happily posting to Facebook, surely it’s logical to post to Facebook instead to try to get their attention?

    I’m just absolutely gutted for her as she now has no photos (bar two rubbish FB downloads) of her daughter, and has had a whole shitstorm brought down upon her by this woman.
    Chalk it up to experience I guess, thanks for your help 🙂


    Does your friend have no photos, or just no “professional” photos?  If she has no photos, she should pick up a point & shoot camera, then spend half an hour with the manual.  After that, she should take regular, frequent, photos.


    Your friend went wrong when she deleted the pictures off of her computer because the faux ‘asked’ her to.

    How did she receive the photos? Email? CD? Flash drive? (obviously prints weren’t requested/offered)

    What’s stopping her from just loading them off the medium?


    Even if the media is gone, if they were on the hard drive, they may still be there.  Some Lexar and Sandisk cards come with recovery software which is fairly simple to run, and if the files have not been overwritten you should be able to get them back.


    What cameraclicker stated- totally. Worst case she can definitely get it retrieved from her harddrive- it’s still there even if her computer doesn’t say it’s there. I’ve had data retrieved off of a harddrive that was even half smashed professionally.

    I’m also curious as to what medium she got the photos in- CD? Dropbox? Of course dropbox she’s probably SOL since the faux probably already deleted them from her account.


    She got exactly what she paid for.


    Since these were free photos, your friends has no rights to complain.  She lost nothing but time and I don’t blame the photographer for being hateful.  Like someone else said, she got exactly what she paid for… which is nothing.


    Alright, I just read the entire first post.  You friend has absolutely NO rights to the photos.  She didn’t pay for them so move on!  There is absolutely nothing you nor her can do about it.

    Boo hoo, she has no pictures of her daughter… she should have PAID a REAL photographer, then she wouldn’t have gone through that mess.

    Yes, the photographer should have been upfront about not being happy with them instead of wasting your friend’s time, but now it’s done.  Posting here is not going to help, nor is continuing to harass the photographer.  Have your friend write a review on their facebook page wash their hands of it & move the F on!


    It was a FREE shoot. Granted the photographer did not conduct herself well but your friend shouldn’t have been so demanding and whiny about it in the first place. The photographer probably felt taken advantage of.


    I’m not going to be too sympathetic since she didn’t not like the shots enough to get someone else to shoot them. Not much difference between 3 or 4 mo.


    Granted free shoots might go on the back burner, this tog is lying about losing the images. Start leaving bad reviews, and offer to pull them down once it’s resolved.


    This is one of those situations where both parties are in the wrong and both are right at the same time.

    Not matter what the service is, unless it is something that can actually cause physical harm, you most times get what you pay for. If the service was free, be grateful that someone is offering it to you. If it sucks, then it sucks, you’re out nothing but time and aggravation. Simple as that.

    Think of it this way, nothing is truly free unless there is an advantage for one of the parties to make out after the service is done. For example, continental breakfast after a hotel stay, yes the breakfast is free, but only if you stayed here, otherwise not free. Is it going to be a breakfast that you are going to rave about and post to your blog? Probably not, but it is free.

    Think of it this way, if the service were any good, would it be free?  Ever hear of free dentistry, Nope!

    The fauxtog is wrong as well, to conduct yourself as a professional is key, no matter if your client paid or not. If you are offering your service for free, then you are using that person for advertising purposes for later on. Do yourself a favor and do a bang-up job with it and let them be “wowed” so that they may tell their “paying” friends to hire you.
    The client apparently didn’t come to them begging them to do a free photo-shoot, at least not as explained in the previous post, so you (the fauxtog) were the one in need of subject matter.

    The lady is upset because she does not have photos of her newborn, she could have had other photos taken, or taken them herself. If I remember right, cell phones have cameras in them now, but that may be just a rumor I heard.

    Here is what should have transpired:
    1. The fauxtog offered to take “free” photos of ladies newborn.
    2. Photo delivers photos as is, with or without edits.
    3. Lady should grateful of photos, she didn’t pay for them regardless. If they suck, move on and don’t recommend that fauxtog.
    4. Fauxtog goes out of business for not treating future clients with respect and delivering sub-par products and service.
    5. Everyone is happy and back to sniffing helium (hi pitched voice screaming)



    actually, when I was a student I’d go and have my teeth looked at by the free dentist, aka dental students under supervision 🙂 It is all about expectations, in this case the client was expecting too much

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