SAGA Part 1: What The Wedding Couple Could Have Done?
Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn featuring a ghostly color theme.
12th April 2016, Singapore – A Bride – Jaclyn Ying – in Singapore received her actual-day wedding photos & “find herself “sorely disappointed with them” as quoted on her Facebook post which (expectedly went viral). We are not going to poke any fun to anyone but instead, we decided to compile of what they could have done so that other soon-to-wed couples can take a leaf out of this article.
So what went wrong?
“Here’s the lowdown – we got one of those “bao ka liao” wedding packages that included actual day photography from a pretty reputable bridal shop. Before we signed on, we were told that while we couldn’t choose our photographer, the standard of the talent pool was consistent. Naturally (and being Singaporean), we asked, “sure annot”. And were promptly shown a portfolio of actual day photos. They looked alright, and so we signed on thinking, “okay la hor, how bad can they be.” – Jaclyn Ying
Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn featuring selective color on a weird subject and the couple is badly under-exposed.
1) All-in-One Wedding Package –
In any business, it is common for companies to procure and engage the lowest priced contractors/ freelancers while charging market rates to clients to max out their profit. In the wedding industry, it is most common for wedding boutiques to engage the cheapest possible photographers and send them out to cover wedding day. I am not saying ALL wedding boutiques does this, but many do it. Yes, that means wedding boutiques are also doubling up as “training schools” for newbie photographers while charging the clients for a professional fee.
2) Choice of Photographers –
In this case, Jaclyn was informed that they cannot choose the photographer of their choice – what they could have done was to “explore” cancelling the wedding package – which at this point, many wedding boutique will be more than happy to accommodate as competition is really tough. They will not want to risk losing your business just because of a photographer. Further to that, you are a customer – you have the rights to decide what you want and not to be dictated by a wedding company. If the terms offered are not in your favor then move on and find another wedding boutique.
Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn featuring selective color patch – like that also can?
3) Sample Portfolios –
Secondly, they were shown a portfolio of actual day photos and assured by the wedding boutique that the “talent pool” standard “was consistent”, well ask yourself, will a wedding boutique show you lousy photos? The couple should have asked for more photos to be vetted or be directly blunt to ask who will be the photographer that will be assigned to their wedding. The couple can go & do some homework & research before reverting. These days, it is not that difficult to find out who-is-behind-what right? And good photographers usually will have a website with their portfolio or even the most basic ones have a Facebook Business Page – there is where you get to see the works and decide for yourself.
Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn, also in a ghostly shade of ocean blue.
Ok, to be fair, we are not there at the scene when the couple signed the contract so we do not exactly know what happened and if the couple had been pressured into confirming the wedding package.
“Anyway, we’re looking for some redress from the shop at the moment, but nothing is going to take away the fact that our wedding photos by this dude are pretty much ruined. What’s more, he was our only “pro” photog for that day. This stag worked solo, man.” – Jaclyn Ying
3) Case Against the Shop –
This is going to be tough. Personally I know of wedding boutiques changing business names frequently but managed by the same group of people. It could be a case of many complaints and after building up to a stage that they cannot manage anymore, the company will decidedly close the company and re-open a new one operating under a different name (sometimes even at the same premise!) – and the cycle continues. In fact, do a check with the local consumer watchdog and you will know that disputes from wedding boutiques are common and it had been going on for years.
Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn, an unglam shot of a wedding guest.
With no proper accreditation or regulating party for wedding boutiques, there are many things that these companies can get away with. Once again, I would like to disclaim that NOT ALL wedding boutiques are like this – not all. I hope Jaclyn kept all the receipts and have the contract vet by a business lawyer before escalating the case. Some of these companies had received so many legal letters to the point that they are so experienced so their stated terms & conditions are usually in their sole favor.
4) A Ruined Wedding Day Photo Album –
This is where the real ammunition is. Further to the possible legal suit above, this is the part that Jaclyn can sue the company for an undisclosed amount of insane compensation for ruining their wedding day photo which cannot be re-enacted or duplicated.
Further to that, the whole experience had “caused immerse psychological stress on the couple resulting in depression, insomnia, embarrassment & trauma which (might) further escalated to possible high costs of medical & psychiatric treatments and affecting employment commitments etc.”
A ruined wedding is a ruined wedding. At the hands of an amateur photographer who is out trying to learn new things but not given a senior or more experience photographer to follow. The photographer in this case was sent out by the wedding boutique and was given “solo” without any back up.
Seriously if I am that photographer, or a new photographer, I would have rejected the assignment if no senior photographer is going with me. On the other end of the scale, the wedding boutique should not have just sent out an amateur and try to pass the photographer off as a professional.
Image: One of image submitted to Jaclyn, at the most romantic moment, a photo bomb appear. Some may argue not the photographer’s fault, but any experienced photographer will know how to avoid such situations or better still, had already communicated to the guests where not to stand.
Lastly, we think that Jaclyn & her husband had been really nice. Given today’s social media culture, if they had released the name of the wedding boutique and the name of the photographer, this news could have hit the headlines of our local press. A certain wedding boutique would have closed down today and a certain photographer may quit the industry altogether – but this couple didn’t expose the names.
– if you are reading this, we felt really sorry that your wedding day photos had ended up like this. Our wedding photography team is proposing to do a nice Post-Wedding Album for you & your husband at No Charge – yes you saw it right – we want to do it for free for you as we really hate to see people’s wedding ruined. Do make contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss. J
For the rest of you (photographers):
– if you think the wedding industry is easy to make money, please be reminded that this is a double-edged sword industry. Hone your craft well before you start to ruin others wedding photos.
For the soon-to-wed couples:
– Have a clear mind before signing on any contract from wedding boutiques. Read the terms & conditions carefully and better to have a business lawyer vet before signing. You are the customer and You have the rights to decide. If the terms are not in favor or if you are not comfortable, do not rush or be pressured into signing – there is always another wedding boutique out there who will accept your request.
Jaclyn – hope to hear from you soon! Our Wedding Team is ready & waiting.