We've been needing to get pictures taken for a while now. I hadn't gotten Allie's birthday pictures made and I wanted some of the boys also along with a new family picture. I looked around online because I wanted to try something different this time rather than going to a simple studio.
I found someone online and asked for her package details along with some samples of her work. I got several and looked through them while talking to her back and forth for a couple of weeks before I actually made an appointment. When I initially received the details for the various packages that she offered I picked the largest one available. It was to come with a cd compiled with all the images from our shoot,several enlargements that we chose and double prints of all pictures taken. We scheduled to meet one Saturday a couple of weeks ago a botanical garden about 45 minutes from our house.
We arrived and from the word go David and I both shared the look with each other feeling as though she didn't know what she was doing. She was very unfamiliar with the area though she'd apparently been there before. My children were placed on the ground in a circle form to get a head shot of them looking up at the sky right in the middle of a full on sun exposure. I had to say something in order to try and move them as they couldn't open their eyes unless they were to be blinded. I noticed very quickly that she had only one or two ideas in her head for a family of six that wanted several different shots done. I asked repeatedly if she had any ideas and over the entire span of an hour and a half she had 3...that's right 3! I created almost every single shot...placed everyone where they needed to be...spoke up about ideas...etc. Aggravating was the understatement of the year. I paid her before we left the gardens that day because she stated that she had apparently been taken advantage of and wasn't able to take deposits anymore so I gave her the full amount. I understood that things like that happened and could totally understand her policy so I didn't argue the point. However when we got in the car David and I both looked at each other...he said "You know you just did that entire shoot with the exception of the clicking the camera"
We got home that night and had a sneak peak on her blog...this was what was waiting for me.
I immediately wrote her and told her that I didn't like the editing that she did with it. Good picture....yes but just didn't like what she did with it. I understand that many many people like these editing jobs with one color popping out of the picture at them....I however do not like it. I pointed out that Allie's eyes are blue enough without needing a lot of editing done to them and that both David and I wanted our photos to be as natural as possible. Color photos with a few black and whites but none of the crazy editing stuff. She understood and said she would enjoy doing those since she did so many black and whites with the pop of color lately. She said that she would have a few more on her blog the next day.
This was one that wasn't extremely edited that was on her blog before all the nonsense.
The next day I woke up to an email from her stating that because of the expense to her she was having to change her package details and that we would need to choose 40 of the pictures we would like for double prints. I wrote her back telling her that I was sorry she was having that issue but because those were the conditions that we agreed upon that was what I expected. I also told her that she should make sure she made the new details clear on further contracts. Mind you...I checked and double checked about the prints that we were supposed to get. She turned around and said that she copied and pasted the old price list and messed up....Hello if you copied and pasted then when someone double and triple checked with you wouldn't you say ..."sorry but that was my old price list...I didn't catch it the first time but here are my new packages" No that was not the case...I was assured multiple times that I would get what was stated in the details to begin with.
We went back and forth for several days...David called her and talked to her and she finally agreed to give us what we were promised initially. She posted the pictures that she stated she took however when I looked at them I knew there were more. There was only a total of 75 pictures and only 3 in total of our entire family. There were several pictures I knew were taken that weren't even on there. I finally got so irritated I told her to simply upload everything that she had taken at the shoot and print out the existing ones and we'd call it quits. She refused to give us what we were promised first and continued to say that she couldn't afford it.
As she continued to load pictures I checked on day and she was right at 200. I knew she wasn't done yet and I realized that we were only getting 1/3 of what we paid for. I was pissed and so aggravated that someone would do such a thing. I will admit I said a few nasty things about her business etiquette and that she wouldn't make it very far in the business if this is how she handled her affairs. Looking back at some of the pictures I've seen I can't even understand how she got through an entire shoot on her own....how she created them when she came to our shoot with no ideas at all.
So two weeks later and a full refund behind us...I still get pissed that we had to go through this....rest assured I won't make the mistake again!!!!!!