So today I did my usual morning routine of getting ready to head into the day job, which generally consists of checking the following: facebook, various work, photography and personal e-mail sites, twitter and quickly glancing at my blog reader. (Yes, all before even setting one foot on the floor).
Usually there's a lot of interesting stuff on the blog reader, some fun things/photography things on facebook, not much on twitter, lots of work email and no personal emails. So imagine my surprise when I saw two notes from two different Kijiji ads I posted back in January, inquiring if I'm a female photographer.
"Yes, I am female.
Got into the day job office and noticed there was some e-mail sitting in my personal account. It's a note from "Sweetheart" (fake name to protect the ignorant) and oh glory be, she's: "Looking to hire a female wedding photographer."
OH how lucky! I happen to be both female and a photographer! So far I'm winning!!
The wedding is in December, there are two days of festivities, and they are looking for a professional who can offer the following "styles:" candid, traditional, portrait, "fun/offbeat," and romantic. Interestiinnnnnggg....
It gets better....
My eyes bugged out at this part:
1. Before agreeing to any contracts we must meet the actual photographer and see a portfolio of their work which must include proofs from at least one entire wedding, as well as your portfolio of "best shots."
Okaayyyyy.... a bit strange on the "proofs from at least one entire wedding" thing, but fairly standard otherwise.
2. We will not purchase any photo/print/album packages upfront before we receive our photos.
Again, okayyyyyyyy..... we have a cautious couple who aren't wanting to spend the $ on crappy pictures.... why are you hiring a "professional" if you're putting in this condition? You should be able to predict the results you'll be getting since you'll have seen the proofs from AT LEAST one entire wedding that I've shot and my "BEST SHOT" portfolio!!
3. We require a CD with high-resolution images of ALL photos taken including any "retouched" photos.
WhAT!? You want every single image? Including the "I'm checking the light levels and blinkies" shots? wHAt!? You want to remember the giant pimple you had on the tip of your nose that suddenly appeared on the morning of your wedding and then see how good you looked after I healing brushed it out!? WAHT!? You think you're going to tell me you don't want any advance print packages but you want a disk with ALL retouched and raw images and I'm not going to realize that what you're doing is taking the final ones to WalMart or Costco to get .30 cent prints of your most precious memories?!
4. We do not need our photos arranged in albums or framed. After our wedding, we plan to order prints and albums at which point we would be happy to discuss these items with you.
UHhhhhhhh...Seriously, do you think I'm THAT much of an idiot?! See response to "Term" 3.
5. The wedding pictures taken during the first event cannot be shared with others or be part of the photographers portfolio due to a religious accomodation request (These pictures are specific to the bride but others may be used.)
Okay, fair enough, you have a religious custom that needs to be adhered to...I get that, no pictures of the bride at the first event in my portfolio...not a problem.
Sweethearts e-mail then proceeds to tell me how they are holding a very large wedding and that they "hope to share our special day with a photographer who is flexible, easy to work with, has a good personality and a sense of humour." Yeah alright I get it....but can I write up "TERMS" that require my bride, groom and wedding party to be flexible, easy to work with, and not require me to do the following?
"HOW TO APPLY" (uhhhh did I find you or did you find me? This isn't Workopolis or Monster people)
Please apply through email with information on your experience/work, website, or resume (say what? June 2, 2006 - Smitherman Wedding, June 31st, 2006 - Johnson Wedding.... are you gonna ask for their names, addresses, phone numbers for references and then my SIN for a credit check?)
Please also include the BEST RATES (their emphasis) that you are able to offer us as we would like to narrow it down to a few photographers that we are interested in considering.
Sweetheart and Prince
NOOOOoooo!!! THANK YOU! For providing me my first taste of wedding photography hilarity/ridiculousness.
I considered "applying" for this wedding. Really, truly, I did. I considered how nice it would be to purchase a D700 and a 200 f2 and how fun it would be to have some interesting photos for my portfolio. Got home tonight, sat down and read over the e-mail again. Highlighted the important bits, wrote in pencil my questions/concerns and what a potential response might be. Thought about that D700 and 200 f2 again...reallllly thought about it... and then went. NAHHHHHHHH FORGET IT!! I don't want the hassle, aggravation, pain, exhaustion, negotiation and probably an unpaid bill.
I am still considering sending Sweetheart and Prince a polite e-mail stating what my rates would be and that I would be unable to give them ALL of my pictures without them paying a large fee for that exclusive privilege.
Sorry, Sweetheart and Prince, someone else may be desperate enough that you'll pay them the price of a point and shoot from WalMart, but it's not me. I value my time, and abilities more than that.
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