Yesterday afternoon, I had planned to leave my house at 3:30PM in order to be at the 5:30PM wedding by 5PM. I always organize everything I’m taking with me prior to leaving my house and realized that one of my sd cards was still with Stephanie who had kept it from a previous wedding three weeks ago to edit and upload photos. Yes, I said three weeks ago! I quickly sent a text to my son at 1PM instructing him to bring the disc.
When Robert and Stephanie arrived at 3:30PM, I asked where the other disc was and was told they had forgotten to bring it. Stephanie Hafele took a seat at my bar area where the bags of items and my vestment were set out and ready to go. I have no idea why she was so tired but my son and I worked around her trying to get this show on the road knowing the distance and timeline necessary to get there a few minutes early. My son and I also both “missed” the vestment that Stephanie Hafele was sitting on.
My son offered to help me load the SUV and 15 minutes from my home we realized that no one had grabbed my vestment and we had to turn around to go get it. This “mishap” of forgetting my vestment cost me 20 minutes because I was upset that Stephanie had forgotten the sd card that I was planning to use to get my own photos on my third camera with but that’s life when you work with your family. Sometimes the things that are important to you aren’t always important to them. My twin sister sent me her latest #Cindyism to sum it all up–“FAMILY is THE only CONSTRUCTION site, where YOU can TEAR down a WALL, and SOMEBODY will REPLACE it, WITH a FENCE” Amen.
I had edited and printed the photos for the Kelley wedding three weeks ago with my sons photos on his sd card and already sent the photos because waiting on Stephanie to get something done infuriates me. Stephanie believes that it should take a month or two to edit photos & “it’s standard.” The problem with taking that long is a chain event of weddings and other events and even more photos that need to be edited piling up.
When you’re doing several weddings and events every weekend, it’s a good idea to edit and transfer photos onto a disc and mail them out every week. Which is why I’m the one who transfers 2-7 weddings every Monday and occasionally Tuesday before mailing them out to families who anxiously wait for them.
I never make promises that I can’t keep. When I promise couples they will have their photos in a few days, I jump through hoops to make it happen because I’ve learned that my promises aren’t as important to the rest of my family as they are to me or my sister.Editing and posting photos is time consuming and an ongoing issue along with my main reason that we have more than one camera at events. If Stephanie wants to keep her disc, I use the back up disc to transfer photos and mail to clients. It’s time consuming for me since I juggle numerous other responsibilities and tasks but I can’t count on anyone other than myself to do anything in a timely manner so I do everything myself whenever possible.
My daughter in law and I argue over timelines constantly. I will never convince my daughter in law that 3-5 days for families to recieve their photos isn’t “too fast.” Her wedding photos took over a year and she reminds me of it all of the time. My daughter in law sometimes thinks I’m bossy and occasionally demanding.
I used the photos from my sons sd card to send photos to the Kelley Family & write this blog-Kelley Wedding-Photos & Fun With The Texas Twins. I use photos for blogs and give clients a copy as a courtesy. Why Stephanie needs 3 weeks to upload and edit photos continues to baffle me so I’ve learned to work around it.
Stephanie & I had an argument about a photo at the Kelley Wedding three weeks ago that “she had held back” from the Williams Wedding. I was instantly lit about this since Lisa’s grandfather had died and demanded that she post it immediately as a courtesy for the family.
“Saving a photo” to keep me from posting it for the family on FB, Instagram or Twitter was ridiculous to me. My son posted it for Stephanie the day after the Kelley Wedding. I began to wonder what else she was keeping from me regarding photos that she edited and it really bothered me.
I’ve never “kept a photo” from a client and neither has anyone else that I’m aware of but apparently, Stephanie views her photos as art and wants to keep them rather than to share them? My son could care less about saving photos and “tried to fix” my latest incident over the missing photo by posting it himself to the William’s Family.
Arriving at the backyard venue yesterday afternoon, the reception and ceremony area looked stunning with catering and the dj booth set up. I instructed Robert to start taking photos of the guests as I went inside to find the bride or groom and ask if they had any additional elements they wished to incorporate into the ceremony aside from the sand ceremony we had discussed earlier.
Everything was running on time and flowing smoothly when the photographer Damaris had hired approached me to ask where the bride and groom were. I told him they were inside the house and preparing to start the procession.
We had never met him before and were unaware that he would be there when Stephanie walked up and hysterically told me that her sd card was full from our other weddings and she asked my son for his sd card since she had left her sd card at home on her computer.
Apparently, my son accidentally deleted the over an hours worth of photos she had taken and Stephanie was less than happy about it.Rather than listen to my daughter in law argue about who did what while we were on location, I told them both that we can’t change what had happened and instructed them to move on. My son had decided to shoot a video of the musicians and stay on the other side of the wedding from Stephanie since they were both blaming each other for losing the other photos. I loved the intimacy of the band and the decorations at this carefully planned backyard wedding.
My sons video turned out better than many of our photos which is dissapointing since I stayed up until 3AM last night attempting to edit them and could not understand why on earth my cell phone photos looked better than the ones shot with our camera. The band video was clear and the photos weren’t as this video shows-Beautiful Backyard Wedding Garland, Texas.
For some reason, the tents or the trees shadowed our photos and (as usual) my son and daughter in law blamed these dark photos on having cheaper camera equipment than my niece, Leigh Ann.The ongoing battle over who is the better photographer continues around here. But having my team argue on location will get anyone the stink eye from me because we aren’t on location to get along–we are on location to work.
Robert & Stephanie disagree about everything from shooting styles to lighting and after the deleted photos incident, my son was so upset about his mistake, he wouldn’t speak to Stephanie who continued to complain that he had lost her best work on her ceremony photos.
Because of this conflict, I sent Robert to my SUV and quickly looked for a pen to sign the license because no one could find one. While looking through my SUV I (once again) advised my son that there was nothing we could do about the deleted photos and he needed to apologize to Stephanie about it and move on because we were on location and working!
The only pen I could find happened to say “This Pen Was Stolen From The Bargain Barn!” I wasn’t happy about this and obviously worried about someone reading that pen.
My usual “nice” pen was nowhere to be found in my numerous baskets and bags that I take to every event. I wearily looked at my son with then pen in my hand and said “I’m walking back in there with the only pen I could find and embarassed about it. Hopefully no one is going to look at it. I’m going to do this with a smile on my face and laugh if anyone notices.
You are going to get out of this SUV and help Stephanie get whatever photos she can to salvage your mistake or accident that deleted her photos. What we aren’t going to do is sulk or argue about it!”
Out of all of the pens in the world–I had to use this one to sign the license and get two witness signatures. Keeping it classy, my son and daughter in law joined me back at the wedding but (like me) knew someone would read that pen!
As I waited for the couple to find two withesses, I overheard the other photographer asking for a credit card while taking the wedding photos and a few minutes later, tell Stephanie that he was leaving and to “cover him.”
By the time Damaris came back to me with the witnesses, she was upset about the other photographer that she had hired for a number of reasons but I told her about our deleted photos incident first. I try to look on the “bright side” and the other photographer captured the photos that we had lost.
Damaris told me that she had hired him from 6-8PM and he not only arrived early but also was leaving early and had charged her twice.
Since I had told her we would do the ceremony photos, she had hired him to take the reception photos. Nonetheless and anyhow-this photographer had double billed her and I advised her to contact him and let him know of his mistake in charging her twice and that he had upset her by having her run to find a credit card while in the middle of taking photos with her family. Asking for payment during a window of photos is tacky under any circumstances and something we’ve never done on location. If someone forgets to pay their balance, we simply send them a reminder.
Asking for money in the midst of an event is something that can wait. Don’t disrupt everyone to get paid. The photographer interrupted everyone and sent the bride off dashing to find her purse while she was looking for witnesses to sign the wedding license.
For me, the way he asked and/or demanded was unprofessional. But I had to send my own staff to my SUV to cool off and stop fighting with each other myself so I’m not “pointing any fingers.”
However, when you quote a price and/or make a promise or committment to a client, you need to honor your committment Mr Photographer. You don’t change the time because it suits your schedule. It’s lucky for us and the couple that you were there early and got the ceremony photos but you shouldn’t have left early and effectively “skipped” the reception.
Although having too many photos on one of our sd cards has never happened in nearly seven years, now that it has–I will bring additional sd cards to events to prevent this from ever happening again. Damaris is a stunning beauty and I’m praying the other photographer captured great photos even though ours were far from what I wanted and we didn’t have additional sd cards or a proper pen with us. My emergency pen was a big hit as an ice breaker and we overcame unexpected surprises because we worked together to resolve them.
Since having too many photos on a disc is a “new one,” I will share a few of the other photos that were on the disc to save them in my blog which also serves as a diary of sorts for our book and show you a few of my other under or over exposed photos to give you a better idea of why I’m not always happy with photos due to lighting or angle and also why I always tell Robert or Stephanie to get as much light as possible for a “clean shot.” I never have to tell my niece this because she is well aware of shadows and doesn’t take the photo if it isn’t a “clean shot.” My daughter in law is picky but my son will shoot 50 shots of the same thing. I’m the one who spends hours trying to edit and transfer photos to a disc for clients and wish my son would stop speed shooting but I’m not a photographer so although I’m a “Shot Caller,” my advice on photography around here often falls on deaf ears!If I’m taking a photo, you can bet it’s with my cell phone. I rarely (if ever) am holding a camera and know nothing about sport mode or action shots. Cindy often uses her cell phone to capture shots too.
The reason that I’ve always brought someone with me is to “gift” couples photos and although they aren’t always the best photos, we give them something to remember their Life Event. Although I wish every photo taken at our events was perfect- I’m not always in control. For some reason, it would appear that I’m always bossing everyone around if my son is taking the photo. My son loves to “capture” me leading the parade or giving “tips” on lighting but, I can’t control these “bossy” shots. I’m trying to ensure we get great photos and tents, canopies and even trees can shadow a shot.
I’m hoping the full sd card event is put behind my son and daughter in law today but “this incident” like many of our others is one that I will never forget and (believe it or not) I’m glad Damaris hired the other photographer so her ceremony photos weren’t completely lost.
As I prepare for another week of Appraisal Appointments, working out at Planet Fitness, Refurbishing Trades from The Pawning Planners I flip at Texas Twins Treasures, client meetings, fund raisers and another full weekend of events next week-you can bet that we will have a few more Barters & Blunders, Flips & Flops & Comedy With Chaos as my family and I continue to change the wedding and events industry one family at a time from Fort Worth, Texas…
Wendy M Wortham