June 18, 2014 at 10:49 pm #19344
This was a discussion I was following in a photography group. The sister (who is a photographer)’s brother got married. She decided not to shoot the wedding because she didn’t want any chance for disappointment if she wasn’t up to their standards (which is a good idea, I’d do the same). Her bro paid $5000 for this fauxtog on the recommendation of their “wedding planner.” She has no idea if they looked through the portfolio much beforehand or how much they talked before the wedding. This was the price for 4 hours of coverage, where one of those hours was supposed to be a pre-wedding session, which apparently never happened and that hour wasn’t made up during the wedding. She gave them a $100 print credit for missing an hour. The photographer also promised that a 2nd shooter was included in that price. Day of the wedding, only the primary photog showed up and made the excuse that it wasn’t her fault if “the second shooter that they booked didn’t show up- maybe she got lost.” So she tried blaming the 2nd shooter not showing on the couple not communicating with them, as if THEY hired two independent photogs. Well, they got the sneak peeks posted on Facebook and they were pretty bad. Just poor composition, bad lighting, one was slightly out of focus, and it looked as if they weren’t even edited. Someone shared the name/link and everyone agreed most of her work is pretty bad. Same issues plus over-editing (like Instagram-ish), lots of lighting issues, terribly distracting backgrounds like houses and random buildings, etc. Something you’d maybe expect from a $50 fauxtographer and a $300 wedding fauxtographer.
The brother wants to sue for breach of contract, for the missed promises including the 2nd shooter not showing up. His sister, who is in the group, asked lots of advice and the brother is now in contact with a lawyer. As of yesterday, he contacted the photog and she said that her hard drive got corrupted and she formatted the cards, and lost ALL the photos and there is nothing she can do. I guess the brother has saved screenshots of the few sneak peeks to use as evidence of the poor quality. The brother even offered to try to recover the images since he is a computer engineer, but the fauxtog refused. (Any photographer knows that in most cases a “corrupt drive” can be recovered in a cleanroom, but most of us suspect that is a line of bull and she may have deleted them to remove evidence of her really poor work.) Maybe she even still has the photos but is witholding them.
The thing is NONE of her work is even close to what that of a $5000 photographer would produce. Heck I am not a $5000 photographer, and my work is 20x better than hers! Around where I live, weddings from good photographers cost $1500-$3000 depending on what’s all included. Obviously it is partially the couple’s fault for not doing their research beforehand, but I think they now have a really good case to take this to court.
Has anyone seen the Judge Joe Brown episode where the wedding photog was sued? Judge Joe asked her questions regarding her f-stops and lenses and she couldn’t even answer them. He ended up awarding the clients more than they paid due to her incompetence.
Anyways, here’s the offending work: http://www.remember-photo.com/index2.php#/home/June 19, 2014 at 12:16 am #19347cameraclickerParticipant
A review of that web page before signing on the dotted line might have prevented some grief. Now the situation seems to be leaving the realm of photography and entering the legal arena. For the lawyers it will mostly come down to what is written in the contract and how that compares to what was delivered or not delivered. If the photographer is saying there are no pictures, or pictures have not been provided, that would seem to be a breach of contract, regardless of how many photographers took photos or how much time was spent taking photos. Bad photos may be a matter of taste. No photos is a binary situation that does not leave much room for dispute.June 19, 2014 at 1:08 am #19348BillParticipant
I think I agree with CC, even though the excuses are probably BS by the fauxtographer, as per your statement BEG.
The only thing they can do to have any chance of any refund would be to present any kind of documentation between the faux and the couple. There are so many wedding agreement templates online that you can download for free, it seems silly not to use one.
I could relate to the sister bowing out, understandable, but maybe she should have used that opportunity to hone her skills. Too late now, but just a suggestion.
Sad thing is that the faux probably still has the photos on their drive and their cards. Formatting does not erase the images, it sets the attributes to allow for overwriting, unless you are using software to over-write while formatting (most people do not, since it takes so long). And BEG, yes data can be retrieved from a so called corrupted drive, be it hard drive or solid state. If the hard drive is not solid state and the disks are still operational, software recovery apps can probably recover most of the data, given that it actually corrupted.
I love the “My drives are corrupted, I can’t give you any of the photos” excuse, just shows that they are not a well-managed faux.
Good Luck to them!June 19, 2014 at 1:27 am #19350TrainwreckParticipant
I saw the vid of the episode you are referring to. I seem to recall that was in the ‘hood of 2010 or so.
The sad part of this is that in the US $5000 is beyond Small Claims Court, so a lawyer is going to be required.
You have said:
Obviously it is partially the couple’s fault for not doing their research beforehand, but I think they now have a really good case to take this to court.
And that is pretty much going to sum this up. Leave out the word “partially” and you have the reality.
They are going to pay for this oversight regardless of any court decision because they will never recoup their losses. The lawyers will see to that (they don’t work for nothing) and they would love to get a case like this. And that is if they win the case. And if they do win can the photog pay? And if the photog doesn’t then what? And how soon is this going to go into over $5000 because it will be delayed until after the couple’s fourth child (lawyers again). The time, expense, heartache, misery involved in this type of pursuit is unbelievable. Great way to start off a marriage, huh?
There is a breach as well as a “good faith” dispute and possibly more. Have they paid the “photographer” and if so how? And if so how is it that they paid in full before an event and without reviewing the work? Did they get a guarantee and in writing? Is it possible to contact their credit card company regarding this? Stop payment on a check? Sounding like the case is a case of “live and learn”. In the real world Judge Judy Joe Brown doesn’t exist like it does on a TV show.
As for the shooters site? One look tells the story as to whether they should be hired. I got a stomach ache with only the music. Then the fauxtos started and I had the urge to rub my head with a cheese grater to take my mind off my aching stomach!
A lot of time is spent here slamming fauxtographers. Probably rightly so. You want to stop them? Spend that time educating the consumer. Regardless of a court decision they can never replace a lost wedding shoot. I’ll say it again: they will never recoup their losses.
I surely wish them the best of luck with an unfortunate circumstance.June 19, 2014 at 2:27 am #19352fautox1977Participant
Booking a $5000 photographer without looking at the portfolio? Why?
Obviously the portfolio does not scream high end photography. I see a lot of bad photos and I wouldn’t book them for over a $1000. I lie. I wouldn’t book them at all.
If the fautog can produce same quality photos for the couple as in the portfolio (not the hardest task…) then I am afraid that they have no case except the breach of contract with the 2nd photographer, which they accepted a form of refund…June 19, 2014 at 4:27 am #19355emfParticipant
The first photo on her website is awful, I wouldn’t have got past that one. To fork out five grand without one minutes worth of research is pretty foolhardy to say the least. However, I do feel very very sorry that the couple have no photos (even bad ones) of their wedding – they must be gutted.June 19, 2014 at 12:05 pm #19366IHFParticipant
My first encounter with a faux was about 7 years ago. my mother hired a photographer to come to her home and photograph my sister and I and all her friends. Group photos and individual sessions for those that wanted them.
When she arrived we found out we were the first to hire for this type of in home session. We thought that was really cool, and told her we would help spread the word because we thought it was a great idea. she was tethered and we were able to review the pictures instantly. We were told “they will be photoshopped” each and every time we saw any sort of problem. bad exposures, bad color, bad lighting blah blah blah the whole nine. We had fun, and had lots of laughs and as lay people we thought once they were edited AKA “photoshopped” they would look much better, and all we had to do is pick poses that we liked or felt we looked good in, and they would be “fixed” for us like we were told. It was hard to see most of them due to blow out and blur (yes, she even claimed to be able to focus them better with photoshop, and correct shadows). We ordered our favorites , paid our money, and waited for our prints and CDs (for those who bought them) to come in the mail. lol God they were awful!
Long story short, and about $2,000 later, we sucked it up to a lesson learned.
Did we look up her port? No, we were given an ad (flyer) and responded to it. “That sounds like fun! The photographer comes to your house, and sets up. We can drink and be Merry and make a party of it. How cool is that?!”
People take things at face value. Never once did I think “Maybe this person isn’t a photographer. We should ask to see a portfolio”. Why would anyone ever say they can do something they don’t know how to do?!
Yes, I have since learned and even learned that what she does has a name “fauxtography”. Yes, I think people are getting smarter and more leery/careful, but… Back then, not too long ago if my wedding planner recommended a photographer, I would take that recommendation if it fit my budget, no questions asked because “of course they know what they are doing. They shoot weddings for Pete’s sake! Who would ever take a wedding on that didn’t know what they were doing?!”. And let’s not forget that EVERYTHING can be fixed in that magical program we call photoshop.
Lay people aren’t stupid, they are just ignorant to the photography world, and expect professionals to be just that, professional. They don’t know about this developing fantasy world full of rip offs and delusions perpetuated by comments like “awesome! Great shot! You should do this for money!”. Unless they have already been duped or have gotten into the DIY photography craze and have taken the time to learn a thing or two because of their interest in photography, they believe when they hire a photographer, they are hiring a photographer.June 19, 2014 at 12:22 pm #19367IHFParticipant
lol in case you couldn’t tell… This story really got to me. I really wish that our fauxtographer would have been a photographer like she claimed…sigh… We will never get that chance back. I hope he sues and wins double what he paid!June 19, 2014 at 1:28 pm #19369
Yeah most consumers are just ignorant… until they see good photography compared with fauxtography. I always try to educate people. One time, a post on a buy/sell group I made a comment like “just make sure if you hire a photographer, make sure they are professional and know what they are doing” etc. got me backlash from a handful of local fauxs! lol.June 19, 2014 at 1:55 pm #19371nesgranParticipant
I found this some time ago which I think is bloody brilliantly done by the photographer http://petapixel.com/2013/03/19/crappy-vs-snappy-photog-uses-side-by-side-comparisons-to-market-his-skill/November 15, 2014 at 4:22 am #23149picarusslimParticipant
You get what you pay for…..
It’s been said but there’s no way i’d pay $5k for anything without viewing it first.
I’m less worried about cheap fauxtogs now, whoever books them probably wouldn’t have paid my prices anyway. BUT WOW, $5k i’d have flown over from the UK to shoot that and still made a profit.
i need to go find people with £5k to spend and not many braincells!November 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm #23244bananaslugsParticipant
Any updates on the situation? Did the fauxtog get sued? Did the clients win?January 28, 2015 at 8:01 pm #24679
Just came back to this thread. I haven’t heard any updates unfortunately. I did look at her website again and it’s less craptastic than the first time I looked, but she still has a ton of awful photos. There are a few that look better, so I honestly wonder if she has improved or stolen images. Hmm. If she has improved, she surely should remove all those out of focus images and overly-processed ones as well.February 23, 2015 at 5:57 am #25055stefParticipant
I looked at the (newer?) site for as long as I could stand the music…. no button to turn it off? wtf….
I didn’t see anything too horrible, but again, I only looked at a few images.
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