Doubletalk & Other Frustrations

I’m still working on wedding plans, and I just about have everything pinned down. We have the church, the reception hall, the DJ, the florist, and the cake booked, and the dress is hanging up in a closet at Matt’s sister’s place. The last detail we need to book is the photographer, and it is becoming quite difficult. I tried the photographer one of Matt’s co-workers is using for his wedding, but she’s already booked. The photographer that the florist recommended is being flaky – I’ve called her a few times, and she’s not returned my calls. I just heard back from the second photographer that the florist recommended, and I’m not terribly impressed with him, thus far. One of my requirements of any photographer is a copy of the negatives, preferably a digital copy. I don’t anticipate ordering a whole slew of prints from the wedding, but any prints I do get, will most likely be from the photographer. I’m not trying to get the digital negatives to usurp their position – I want to be able to post the negatives online at my gallery, so that friends and family can see the photos, even if they can’t get the hard copies. I specifically asked the second photographer about digital negatives, and here was his response;

Digital Negatives? This is included in large wedding packages. We try to keep very tight quality control and with weddings where only selected images have been retouched, it means we’re releasing copies of our work to potential low-quality output. Since we are a full-service studio, we like to keep our quality high through all stages.

Translation? We charge a hell of a lot for photos, and we’re not going to give you the negatives (so you can circumvent our outrageous prices) until we feel you’ve purchased enough photos. Maybe I’m being cynical, but I don’t think so. They HAVE a price list posted on their website, but in his email his said they didn’t. Perhaps it’s not the price list for WEDDINGS, but there’s a price list up. I’m hoping to get in touch with the first photographer, even if she is a bit flaky, just because we’re on a tight budget, and I think this second photographer is going to be out of our price range. Two of my co-workers actually do photography on the side, so I’ll also have to check them out and see what they charge.
My other frustration is people that don’t use email. I generally prefer email to just about all other contact mediums; it’s faster than mail, easier than arranging a face to face meeting, more productive than phone tag, and you can do it at any time of the day or night. Case in point – I’m trying to get in touch with the coordinator at the reception hall. I’m trying to arrange a meeting, in order to iron out a few details. I called her yesterday, and leave a voice mail asking to set up a meeting, with my phone number and other details. She calls this morning while I’m still asleep, and leaves a voicemail, with not much detail other than “This is so-and-so, call me back.” I call her back like an hour later when I get up, and she’s out of the office, and I leave ANOTHER voicemail for her. If she’d just used e-mail, she could have gotten my message, seen that I wanted to set up a meeting, checked HER schedule, set up the meeting and gotten back to me. But no, now we’re in that frustrating limbo stage.