In the news recently there have been stories about a massive scam in Boston, where hundreds of brides, vendors, and suppliers were duped into paying thousands of dollars to a bridal show that never really existed. There were a few warning signs, but everything “looked” so good, that people barely gave it a second glance. Below is a link to an article in the Huffington Post that describes some of what people faced:
The tragedy of it all is that someone took advantage of what is to be a happy occasion, essentially preying on people’s upbeat emotions. This is NOT something unique, even in our area. You may remember that there was a wedding photographer in nearby Maryland in recent years who failed to fulfill numerous wedding contracts for albums, prints and more. In that case the photographer even moved out of the area, leaving many former clients with virtually nothing to show for their thousands of dollars in investment toward their photography.
And recently (this has been going around Facebook, especially among professional photographer friends I have on there), there was a photographer on one of the many “Judge” shows who claimed they were a professional, but who apparently could not produce a reasonable print for their client, from whom they took money to do the wedding. Here’s a link to that portion of the show (as found on YouTube):
The point I’m making here is that anyone with a camera can claim to do a good job for you, and even claim to be a professional. But when it comes down to realizing that anyone can say anything, the end result is you didn’t do your homework. There are a lot of unscrupulous people who have absolutely no problem telling you what you want to hear in order to take your money and disappear. There are also plenty of “photographer wannabes” that have little to no professional experience, and who are just taking your money to take pictures with no idea or regard for professional ethics, liability, and the requirements of fulfillment and customer service.
Yes, this is a bit self-serving. I have been a professional photographer since 1984… and a full-time professional since 2001. I’m proud of the reputation we have built with our excellent customer service, awesome clients, and wonderful photography. I cringe when I hear someone say that they are going to hire a ‘friend of a friend,’ or someone they knew in college or high school. And not because it means I don’t get the work (or the income) but because I also genuinely care about our images… which means it pains me to know that someone who has little experience with weddings (which are once in a lifetime events, individually) is doing it without sufficient backup equipment, knowledge of the way certain things work at a wedding, or even liability insurance should something go horribly wrong.
The point is that you have to be careful what you are spending your hard-earned money on. Our economy has changed dramatically in the last couple of years, and while many people are being careful with how much they spend, it should not come at the expense of losing everything to a scam or to someone who does not truly know what they are doing. If you’re planning a wedding or even a family or senior portrait in the coming months, consider what I’ve offered here… great and consistent results come from experienced & professional photographers.
Comment ( 1 )
Good job helping to spread the word about this kind of thing. I was a bit surprised at how the judge was so technically knowledgeable about photography. He didn't seem to go after the defendants' experience much, concentrating instead on their equipment... equipment is not everything, but it does indeed matter. Using a consumer-level camera (and no backup?) along with cheap and slow lenses is a recipe for guaranteed failure.