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Client dissapointed with Images, any advice welcome please:

Christi K , Jul 18, 2007; 05:20 p.m.

Hello everyone,

I have never had a client dissapointed with my work so far (or at least not that they said) so I am pretty sad about this e-mail I received. Here is the main parts of the e-mail:

< Hi

We have looked at our photos and although there are a few nice ones, we feel very upset with the overall composition and quality of our wedding photos, and do not feel that they are of the same quality as your website portfolio. In a lot of the pictures there are shadows on our faces, similarly in the group ones the sun is directly behind making the images not as clear as they could be. Surely as professional photographers one of the skills you should have is to use light to its best advantage?

For the speeches at our wedding many of them are distant ones and the pictures you have zoomed in on highlights the back of our guest heads. We feel that you could have taken them from any point in the room but instead took them from the furthest point.

There are photo's that I would have expected to be taken but weren't for example, there are no pictures of confetti throwing, also the line up is another important part of the day yet the photos taken appear to be very snap shotty.

I have checked on two computers and all of the images of (groom) and I, and the one of (groom) and his best man appear blurry around the edges. My mum has looked on line to see if they are the same but says the images are too small to tell.

I have showed them to friends and family members and they are also disappointed as they feel that you haven't captured the day as well as you should have.

The price given was for an "introductory price" and when we booked you we didn't believe we would be compromising on the quality of the images.

Regards >

The Bride whom was the only one able to do consultations at the time, requested mainly documentary for certain moments of the day and that we be unobtrusive during her Speeches. Short of standing in the middle of the room in front of their table, there unfortunately was no where to go but the back and zoom in.

For the receiving line, it was a last minute inclusion as they hadn't planned on doing it. When it was receiving line time, I actually asked her where she preferred me to stand as there was little room and it was a very dark hallway. Suprisingly I felt the images came out very well and don't appear snap shot like to me.

As the bride was on a tight budget and I was new to the area where I live I made the mistake of offering her an introductory price/discount after believing she was kind and needed a photographer desperately for little budget. She paid ?450 for 4 hours and received all of her images on Dvd's in colour (all corrected and edited) and B&W and even a special selection of around 270 with extra corrections and some print and a web gallery/slideshow of it all.

I am posting one of the groups and will post a link tomorrow when I can get them on the server. I appreciate all advice, thank you, C


Group for review

Responses


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Christi K , Jul 18, 2007; 05:23 p.m.

Please excuse my mistake it should read ?450.00. Thank you, C

Ellis Vener , Jul 18, 2007; 05:27 p.m.

In that group shot where are their feet?

Also the skin tones are weird on my accurately calibrated and profiled monitor? Is your monitor calibrated and profiled?

Anne Almasy , Jul 18, 2007; 05:36 p.m.

If that one group shot is indicative of the entire body of work you presented, I'd say you did really well. That's a gorgeous portrait!

I can't make any broad statements because I haven't seen all the images, and I wasn't at the wedding to know how the interactions went. But if *I* receive that e-mail about some of *my* images (whose quality I feel confidant in), I would respond something like this:

"Dear Bride,

Thank you for sharing your concerns with me. I'm so sorry that you're not completely thrilled with your wedding photographs!

I do not hesitate to say that the images I presented to you are absolutely indicative of my style, and are of the same quality as the images I showed you on my website and in my portfolio.

Because a wedding is an uncontrolled event, I cannot guarantee that I will capture every single moment of the day. I do, however, feel very confidant that I presented you with a beautiful overview of your day's most special memories. The photographs I delivered to you tell a wonderful story, and I am very proud of them.

In looking at the online images, please note that those images are sized for the web, and may appear differently on different computer monitors. Web images are a lower quality than high-resolution digital files (which you received on your DVD), and may even appear a bit fuzzy. I assure you that any prints you make from the high-resolution files at a high- quality lab will meet any professional's standards.

As for the images taken during the speeches, you should have no trouble cropping them to be a bit tighter if you like. I am sorry if I misunderstood your request that I remain further back from the group and not be at all intrusive during these speeches. My intention was to honor your request and be as respectful as possible of your wishes. Again, because you have receive the high-resolution files, you will probably find that some slight cropping will give you the frame you're looking for.

Thank you again for sharing your concerns with me! I hope that you will feel differently about your photographs the more you look at them. There truly are some amazing images included that you should be able to enjoy for many years.

Sincerely,

Photographer"

Because you practically gave away the farm with that $450 package, I wouldn't offer ANY sort of freebie to her, even as a consolation or courtesy. The portrait above is worth $450 all by itself, IMO.

My only question: is everyone looking at the camera in that portrait? It sort of looks like the bride, groom, and flower girl are looking elsewhere. This would be a bigger concern to me than any backlighting (which I think is lovely, btw).

Anne Almasy , Jul 18, 2007; 05:36 p.m.

The skin tones don't look weird to me at all.

Brooke Moore , Jul 18, 2007; 05:41 p.m.

This is a good example of both the inexperience of the client and the photographer. While this is ok if it was a second shooter capturing the moment it is not a formal shot. No one is concentrating or connecting with a viewer. It does seem very soft and poor contrast on my quite well calibrated monitor.

The bride thinks documentary and unobtrusive but expects clear concise group shots where people are engaged in being photographed. Frankly I think everyone expects that. The crop is odd, either go in and be waist up or full length ankle cut off always looks like it is a mistake.

Regarding the reception issue there are ways to be closer without being in front of anyone especially by sitting on the floor often the best place. There is a reason that when you see press photogrpahers gathered they are hunched on the floor. You get the shot and you are not in anyone's visual field.

What to do depends on what you have to offer. Is there a possibility that the images are not sharpened in our post process? Is the burn on the DVD/CD done at too fast a rate and the images are compromised from that?

Post something that you have not processed and maybe we can help suggest a way around the problem If they are all as soft as this one I can see why she is dissapointed. This looks more like a bad scan from an underexposed negative than a good digital capture.

Brooke

Kelly M. , Jul 18, 2007; 06:21 p.m.

Skin tones look fine on my screen. Alot of time clients thing that they want "PJ" style photos but dont realize that alot of the photos they see on peoples website are staged. I agree with Brook where people want one thing ( Doncumentary style coverage) but expect another, perfectly lit portrait studio style shots that look unposed) but they dont want to invest the time during the say. I always tell people I can be as close up ( without being inyour face) or as far away as you prefere however without any restrictions I can get better shots.( While still respecting their space and day) Most couples tell me just to do my thing. I have only had one couple say that they didnt even want to be able to see me that day. ( And I didnt do their wedding) ;) Post a link to the rest. It sucks to get a negative letter like that.

Oh another thought I had is maybe the bride just dosnt feel good about herself. It's very easy to look at photos of other people and because you dont know them and wernt at their wedding it seems very fantasy like and perfect. I remeber looking at photos on my wedding photographers site seeing a tall slim blonde and beautiful bride, and thought her photos were stunning. Lol and needless to say ( although my photographer did a great job) I was still slightly dissapointed when I was still a slighly overweight brunette and the person in the photo was just me. lol rational? probably not...( but I got over it and love the photos now)

Umm and besides she only paid $450. Beggers cant be choosey.

Barbara Lucas-Wilson , Jul 18, 2007; 06:24 p.m.

I like the shot! I do also agree with a couple of points, everyone isn't looking in the same place, so take 3-4 shots of the same pose, there should be at least one where everyone is looking in the same place. And the cropping is a little off, but that's easy to fix. If I was a bride I'd be happy with this. But, all that being said, we're only seeing 1 shot. The poster with the response hit it right on the head, the images from the DVD should be the ones being critiqued, no the lo-res images. I make it very clear to my brides that the gallery is for their viewing convenience, and to use the hi-res when proofing/ordering prints.

Evan Goulet , Jul 18, 2007; 06:45 p.m.

In the posted group shot, I would say about half the people are looking off to camera left. Were there others taking photos at the same time? If so, you needed to control the situation for a shot like this and make sure that everyone is focused on your lens. There is a soft focus/filter feel to the image that may not appeal to everyone's tastes (not mine anyway). Perhaps an image with more realistic skin texture would suit her likes?

Marc Williams , Jul 18, 2007; 07:01 p.m.

What is your web site URL Christi ?

Your photo has the caption "for review" ... so here goes....

In your image ... the bride, groom and flower girl are not looking at the camera. They are looking camera left.

You set your 20D on Programed Landscape mode, and didn't use a flash with a backlit subject.

At f/8 using 33mm focal length, everything should be in focus ... unless the Program Landscape Mode tried to hold focus on the background also (which it is designed to do) ... using Hyper focal distance to do that ... which can lead to reasonable focus on the foreground subject, but not critical focus.

However, judging focus on a computer monitor is tricky and misleading. You didn't mention what size the computer proofs were that they were viewing. Best to evaluate it on a print made to size. Prints are almost always sharper looking. Color is okay for a proof, a bit off but easily adjusted.


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