Married - Unprofessional Wedding Photos and No-Show Videographer

2:32:00 PM

Before we start getting comments like "you pay peanuts, you get monkeys!", we would like to share with you that what we paid was definitely not peanuts. It was just a case of unprofessionalism. Our decision on engaging our Actual Day Photographer & Videographer was based on trust because we were also taking other packages from them and knew them personally to a certain extent. We were doubtful from the beginning and our doubt grew along the way. Here's how it started...

  • The shop had little portfolio to show us and we didn't quite like the style of the videos that were shown to us (we call it the "copy and paste" style, basically little editing done) but they said they would try to find others and show us at our next visit
  • We couldn't choose which photographer / videographer we wanted (did they only have one?!?)
  • We wanted to speak with the photographer / videographer assigned to us few months before our wedding (why would we wait till the last minute when we might be busy with other matters by then) but was told that they will only contact us 2 - 3 weeks before our wedding. We felt that this was quite risky, what if they couldn't picture what kind of angles or story-line we liked? 
Anyhow, we went ahead with it because we had already placed our deposit, which was $1000, on the day we signed with them and to forfeit that amount wouldn't benefit us since we had brought forward our wedding. Mel had another photography team in mind who offered the same deal at the same price though, sigh. What luck for not finding them earlier, really!


1. Liaising with our Photographer & Videographer

And so... a month before our new wedding date, we requested for the contacts of the men responsible for our actual day wedding photos and videos. The process was slightly troublesome as we had to go through another middle(wo)man in order to get their contacts. It sounded as though they would wait till it's closer to your wedding day to check who in their list is still available (Hmm..). 

They did give us the contact of our videographer and he was an easy person to speak with over the phone. When we shared with him on our concerns for our same-day edit video and the kind of story-line we wanted for our videos, we were glad to know that he understood us and even came up with a plan to go to both the bride and groom's home on our wedding day morning so that he could include both of our outfit preparations in the video. 

17 days before our wedding, we requested for the contact of the photographer because we wanted to finalize our wedding schedule, include their contacts into our wedding helpers contact list and get it printed. Middle(wo)man said that she would send us his contact "a few days before the wedding" and we can liaise with her in the meantime and she would brief the photographer on our behalf first,

in which we expressed our worries that it would be so last minute and requested for her to send it to us ASAP.

Our photographer contact was sent to us 8 days before our wedding day,

and when we attempted to call and text him, he didn't answer or reply us and we had to trouble the middle(wo)man again. 

Our photographer finally contacted us 3 days before our wedding.

We didn't complain, we just prayed that he would be able to deliver on the actual day. He better communicated in Mandarin, which left Mel clueless at times because she was not able to express her concerns well enough in the language. 


2. Punctuality and No-Show Videographer

We were really impressed with the punctuality of the photographer who arrived 1 hour earlier to set up and started the job earlier with no additional charges. 

As for the videographer, he took a cab yet lost his way,

which did pose some minor delays here and there to our schedule. But he did get the job done that morning, we had no complains once again. They both left during our church lunch reception to prepare for the night events at MBS and the videographer had to edit our Same-Day edit video in time for our dinner banquet.

Once again that evening, the photographer arrived 1 hour before call time. His punctuality is really remarkable and he said that he was afraid there would be a jam so he decided to set off earlier. As our wedding day schedule was a tight one, we were moving about quickly and relied on our wedding helpers to check on decorations and logistic matters. 

Our tea ceremony commenced at 6pm at MBS and it ended at 7pm, leaving us with enough time to get ready before our first march-in. 

Our videographer did not show up for our Tea Ceremony

and to top it off, our wedding helpers were trying to call him for about 1 hour. Not only did he not inform any of us that he would be late (really, a quick call or text would have been sufficient), 

he ignored all our calls, leaving us to worry if he will even show up for our dinner banquet. 


He miraculously appeared at about 7.15pm and told one of the groomsmen that he had trouble finding a car-park lot. Honestly, that is not a good enough reason for not answering our messages. Surely if you were in line waiting for a lot, you would be able to call or message us. We could even send one of our helpers to head to where he was stuck at and park the car on his behalf so that he could be there for the Tea Ceremony, and the fact that he knew our groomsmen could drive because he had sat in their car that morning. We knew there would be a jam and difficulty finding a car-park lot, which is why we had informed our vendors and guests to set off early. If he had been doing weddings for a long time, by now he should have known that this scenario could happen. It was such a risk that he decided to drive when taking a cab would have been more logical since he had to rush out the Same Day Edit Video as well.

Again, we did not complain. There was no way we could re-enact the ceremony for him to video it down. We were truly disappointed that the ceremony could not make it into our wedding video, it was one filled with much emotions. And guess what...

The videographer left on the dot at 11pm when we were sending our guests off.

The least he could have done was to wait for our guests to leave and stay back to film some additional footage to add into our video. Think: Night scene + beautiful backdrop of Marina Bay Sands + free car-park coupon from the wedding couple. Sigh.


3. Awkward Wedding Photos and Filters

Mel remembers how she had 45 min of waiting time before leaving home that morning for the church ceremony and that the photographer was trying his best to take an artistic shot of her looking out of the window, against the lace curtain backdrop at home. He spent a good 5-10 min on this but till today, we have no idea what he was trying to photograph as we see no such photos in the album given to us. 

Putting that aside, when we received our actual day wedding photos 1 month after our wedding, (you know that kind of anticipation you have to view the photos since the photographer was professional to arrive early and there were no major screw-ups that day), we were left speechless. Haha, actually, we took it quite well and had not much expectations so that helped a lot when we went through the photos one by one. See for yourself...

Our church has great lighting. It was a sunny morning and natural sunlight came in from the stained glass windows in the main church. For that, we really have no idea why

the photographer kept using flashlight when taking photos in the brightly-lit church:

This was an "edited" photo by the photographer.
This was an "edited" photo by the photographer. Erm... background importance?

This was an "edited" photo by the photographer. How clear is this? Haha.

Not only was it quite distracting at times, it did not look nice in photographs and gave a very... "dull" and "cold" feel. Perhaps he couldn't find the ideal colour balance to his photos, so he tried to use a filter when editing the photos but apparently,

Black and White was the only filter he had in mind




 

Everything looked very solemn in black and white. And we had this done not in just 1 or 2 photos but in about a good 20-30% of our edited photos, during our church ceremony, tea ceremony and dinner banquet. Haha, sorry but was this his style?


Whether I wore a white gown...
or a fuchsia coloured gown, you really wouldn't be able to tell, would you?


The good thing is that both the photographer and videographer gave us all the raw photos and video footage of our wedding day so we could edit them on our own as well. Out of a total 465 photos taken, we re-edited and only found 133 of them worth sharing online. As for our full day wedding video which was edited and given to us 1 month after our wedding, Mel decided to do away with is and used the raw footage to come up with a new dinner banquet video from scratch using iMovie. It was tedious especially when we had no professional background in video editing but we are definitely more satisfied with this than what was sent to us.

Will share our actual day wedding videos in a separate blog post soon!


Well, there were more un-glam wedding photos from our wedding day but because we did not seek permission from our guests to publish them online, we will not be putting them up on our social media sites. We felt that more QC could have been done to the photos before sending it to us because in the "edited" album we had photos of

Bride & Groom looking all perfect smiling away but a wedding guest rubbing her nose in the background

Not just 1 or 2 but quite a few of such photos, which left us rather limited in choice to upload them so Mel had to re-edit the photos to blur the background so that it wouldn't be too obvious. 


We did provide feedback to the shop who had recommended them to us and they apologised on behalf of the videographer but could not offer any form of compensation or add-on service. We were not really expecting anything anyway, after all the wedding was already over and it took us probably a few minutes to get over the entire situation. But when the CDs came, Ben was like...

WHO IS BANJAMIN?!?

Even blogger just auto-corrected me when I typed that. Hahaha! Seriously?!? It's such a common name how could you even...... *facepalm*

Whether or not the shop still continues to recommend them to other customers, we really do not know because we believe they are also freelancers. But if you are worried, do drop us an email at melbengets@gmail.com and let us know the names of your photographer and videographer and we will let you know yes/no if they are indeed the ones.

From this experience, we can only advise our readers that the best way to go about getting your AD photography and videography crew is via friend recommendation (unless your friend selfish don't want to share with you lah). It's not difficult finding a good crew but it can be difficult finding one within your budget. That being said, do we regret our decision? Not really.. but if we had waited another month we would have found out about another vendor. That wasn't something within our control either. Thankfully we have friends who have taken some lovely photos and uploaded it on Facebook and Instagram (check it out with the hashtag #MelBenGetsMarried), and with the help of Ben's younger sister on her camera, we had more photos of our wedding day. 

But do you know what is the best way to capture your actual wedding day?

It is to create one that is meaningful and memorable. Forget about fancy decor or spending too much on wedding favours, but focus on the purpose of the wedding and how it is the event to kickstart a wonderful marriage life with your partner. The vows you make and the wedding rings that bind the both of you as one. Your parents holding you in their arms for the last time before sharing you with another family. And the wedding speech where you express utmost gratitude in front of your loved ones for all they have done not only on your wedding day but throughout the years of love & friendship.

This was not even taken by the photographer. We screen-grabbed it from our raw video.

#MelBenGetsMarried will always be etched in our memories :)

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4 comments

  1. Hello,

    Thank you for putting up this blog post. I have been a silent reader for a few months and I would like to say thank you for all your help.

    Like you, I have engaged BA for my actual day wedding gowns. I am pleased with their services so far, but I am a little worried if the videographer that you have mentioned is from them, as we have decided to engage them for ours. Hence, we would like to know if it is the same one, as we would like to prepare ourselves for unforseen circumstances.

    Thank you once again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope they aren't from BA :)

      Thank you for reading our blog and we are glad to have been of help!

      Delete
  2. Another silent reader here. I have had the pleasure of having our pre-wedding shoot done at WL, and are considering booking them for our Actual Day photography and videography as we rather liked their work. Would appreciate if you could let us know if they were your AD photographers and videographers so we can make an informed choice? Thanks in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, please email us ASAP at melbengets@gmail.com! :)

      Delete

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