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Author Topic: Photographer Wants Deposit Before Meeting?!  (Read 3257 times)

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Angel B.

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Photographer Wants Deposit Before Meeting?!
« on: August 27, 2016, 06:12:09 AM »
Hi all!

I am currently planning my wedding. I live in on the other end of the country(UK) of where I am getting married so I have been contacting vendors to schedule meetings. I am also a Newly Qualified Teacher so I am only really able to come up during school breaks. Vendors have been very accommodating to this and thus far haven't minded scheduling meeting so far in advance(I'm going up in October).

I'm in the process of contacting photographers, and my fiance and I have shortlisted 5. We've looked at their websites and they are within our budget. I sent out the requisite emails to arrange a meeting; we would like to see if we like them before we book. We've already arranged a meeting with one. Another has emailed back saying he will not meet with us unless we book and put down a deposit. My fiance read the e-mail and flat out refused to do that.

So my questions are: Is this normal when booking a photographer? Should we expect that we have to put down a deposit and book before meeting them? How can I politely turn down this photographer?
         
My greatest treasure is love beyond measure.
-Il barbiere di Siviglia

Mustard

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Re: Photographer Wants Deposit Before Meeting?!
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2016, 06:39:53 AM »
Congratulations on your forthcoming wedding!  I think you are absolutely right to 'interview' potential wedding photographers; you need to see that their style is what you want, so you have to look at their work and discuss your ideas.  Stay away from the one who wants your money upfront before he/she will even meet you; no professional worth their salt would impose that.  I don't think you need to 'turn down' the offer either; just don't follow it up.

sammycat

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Re: Photographer Wants Deposit Before Meeting?!
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2016, 06:51:34 AM »
This is not normal.   

I would not even consider hiring this person. There are plenty of other photographers to choose from instead.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2016, 07:30:56 AM by sammycat »

#borecore

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Re: Photographer Wants Deposit Before Meeting?!
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2016, 07:07:36 AM »
Not normal. I'd take him off your short and long lists.

rose red

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Re: Photographer Wants Deposit Before Meeting?!
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2016, 08:32:35 AM »
This is not normal. While I don't normally leave reviews (like on Yelp), I would for this one to warn others. They seem to forget they should be trying impress you to get a job; you're the interviewing boss, if you will. You are not the one who should pay for the "privilege" of interviewing them.

Since you asked for a polite reply, you can say "We are going with someone else" if you want to reply. I personally would simply drop them without a word, or coolly and calmly tell them the blunt truth about what I think of their practice >:D

FoxPaws

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Re: Photographer Wants Deposit Before Meeting?!
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2016, 09:23:49 AM »
Your fiance's got good instincts - this is not remotely close to normal. No vendor of any kind should be requesting a deposit or a commitment until after you've chosen them to provide their services, never mind before you've even met them.

I wouldn't even bother responding to the email. I'd be afraid he'd bill me for reading it. :P
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

lovestoread

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Re: Photographer Wants Deposit Before Meeting?!
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2016, 09:50:13 AM »
Take him off the list - it's a really unreasonable request.

Funnily enough, i got married a few weeks ago and booked our photographer and hair/makeup without any prior meetings - but that was because our wedding venue was 5 hours away from our home town (thank god for the internet!)  There's no way i'd pay a deposit just to meet with someone though.




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shortstuff

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Re: Photographer Wants Deposit Before Meeting?!
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2016, 12:04:04 PM »
Agreed with everyone else, totally not normal, and not a very good way to book business IMO. 

I dealt with a potential wedding venue that pulled something similar.  Wouldn't send me pricing unless I went there for a tour.  Told them once I wouldn't visit without pricing, and when I got even the tiniest bit of pushback I just deleted the emails.  You should do the same. 

Zizi-K

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Re: Photographer Wants Deposit Before Meeting?!
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2016, 01:06:28 PM »
The only way I could see this making sense is if this photographer were in very high demand, and you were requesting a meeting months off on a date close to the date of the event itself. In that case, the photographer would essentially be communicating that they did not want to hold that date open when they could book definitively with someone else well in advance.

When I hired my wedding photographer, I interviewed two before committing. Yes, you can see the style of their photographs online, but you can't see samples of their albums or get a feel for if you want them hanging around you for 8 hours through a website. It is quite unusual to ask for a deposit in advance of even meeting. Good thing you have four others to choose from!

artk2002

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Re: Photographer Wants Deposit Before Meeting?!
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2016, 11:30:11 AM »
Deposit happens when the contract is signed, not before. Drop this one off the list.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Angel B.

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Re: Photographer Wants Deposit Before Meeting?!
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2016, 02:56:54 PM »
Thanks everyone! It seems unanimous...though I had a feeling it would be.

My fiance wanted to reply himself but I sat with him and replied...couldn't let EvilFiance out of his box! He's a pretty stoic sort of man so it was surprising how mad he got. We said we weren't comfortable with that arrangement and preferred to meet.

On the bright side, three of the others have replied and we have appointments with them! Only one mentioned his deposit fee, which seemed to be more of a courtesy that he wasn't holding the date for us. We find that completely fair and he'll let us know if he gets another couple that wants the same date...much more professional.
My greatest treasure is love beyond measure.
-Il barbiere di Siviglia

Angel B.

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Re: Photographer Wants Deposit Before Meeting?!
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2016, 02:58:45 PM »
So as I was posting the photographer emailed me back saying the date was booked just after I enquired and wasn't available.

I don't know if he actually did get booked up for it within three days, just shaking my head and glad that's the end of it!

Thanks again for the feedback!
My greatest treasure is love beyond measure.
-Il barbiere di Siviglia

Twik

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Re: Photographer Wants Deposit Before Meeting?!
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2016, 03:32:57 PM »
All I can think of is that this photographer has been pestered beyond tolerance by no-shows for initial meetings, and has finally lost it.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

rose red

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Re: Photographer Wants Deposit Before Meeting?!
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2016, 06:23:40 PM »
All I can think of is that this photographer has been pestered beyond tolerance by no-shows for initial meetings, and has finally lost it.

He's lost it alright. If he's fed up by no-shows, he could have asked for a refundable deposit to be returned when the HC shows up for the "interview." But it sounds like he want his customers to book for the wedding without meeting him and getting a feel for him first. He may take beautiful pictures, but there's a lot more to finding out if they are a good fit for each other.