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Worst. Wedding. Photographer. Ever.

By October 6, 2009

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I've seen some pretty bad uninspired and unflattering wedding photography in my career. But the pics of Marc and Sylvia Day's big day really take the (wedding) cake. Not only did their wedding photographer commit all of the above mortal sins, but he also went far above and beyond. There are shots where people's (and animals') heads are simply cut out of the frame. A lovely shot of the bride in her horse-drawn carriage also perfectly frames the big ugly red van behind her. And there are out-of-focus, overexposed, and extremely random shots as well. In the worst of the bunch, overexposure causes the bride's arm to completely disappear, making her bouquet look like it's floating in space. But you'll never understand just how bad these photos are until you see for yourself.

The Days recently sued and won back part of the fee they paid as well as some damages, but they'll never have the beautiful wedding photography they wanted. Make sure this doesn't happen to you! Ask these questions of your wedding photographer before you sign any contracts or end up as a headless one-armed bride.


October 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm
(1) Rev. Carleen says:

Though they certainly should be reimbursed, too often I see similar situations in all aspects of the wedding “professionals”. Couples must interview and see examples of work, rely on reviews on unbiased wedding sites (like weddingwire or project wedding), etc. I hear of couples using photographers found on craigslist because they can get a “deal”. Cheaper is not usually better. If it sounds too good to be true…beware.

November 4, 2009 at 12:55 am
(2) Carl W. Nunn says:

That is not only bad this is a art and i do it in nyc.
You must have your Game face on here. And get the job done.

February 2, 2010 at 8:56 am
(3) Andy says:

Hah, this is what my friends used to convince me I could move from art and advertising shots to doing weddings.

Have wanted to because the thought I could help people look back in the years to come and remember their best day is something I’d love to do but before felt some nerves…

Perhaps I should thank that guy for being a confidence boost!

May 30, 2010 at 1:28 pm
(4) Kassie says:

I believe my wedding photographer actually takes the cake of “worst ever”…literally. My wedding photographer actually thought they would cut the wedding cake…..before we had even touched it as a couple. Not only did they cut it, but they used our engraved knife and cake server too. I will be asking for a full refund…

June 17, 2010 at 9:35 pm
(5) Fairly Offended says:

Shutterspire Photography is pretty unprofessional as well. A few weeks ago I received an email from Christina Truelove of Shutterspire Photography advertising free photo sessions, including boudoir sessions. I contacted her through email, and asked her what the requirements were for this. She told me (and I have all of the emails to prove everything I am saying) I would need to buy the prints that I wanted, rent a hotel room, and get a makeup artist, and the rest would be free. So I soon emailed her back that I would have Clinique do my makeup. She said that was great. I told her I was a little uncomfortable meeting her at a hotel, but she encouraged it more and told me to pick one close to where I live. I offered to drive (hours!) to her studio, but she said she did not have AC in her studio and would rather I got a hotel. So I went and purchased several outfits, paid the makeup artist, and paid for the hotel room, which looked fine to me, and emailed Christina all of the information and set a date and time. She then emailed me back, “Let’s do it at my home. The pictures will come out better.” That sounded strange to me, but I asked where her home was, and if she often did this at her home, and she sent me back a very insulting and unprofessional email, which I will paste at the end of this message. I will definitely be letting everyone know how she deceived and insulted me.This email was a complete shock to me after weeks of emailing back and forth setting this session up. She was never specific on what makeup artists or what hotels were acceptable. I am very seriously considering contacting my lawyer about this.

I am really sorry, but I just dont think this will work out for us.

I invest an incredible amount of time and money into my sessions. I figure about 4 hours on the day of the shoot (with travel time included), then another 10 hours of editing and uploading. I bring with me over $8,000 worth of equipment to do one of these shoots. I have had years of education, training, and practice. All of this shows how much effort I put into my photography.

The intent of the free session wasn’t so someone could get something for nothing. It was for them to take that money that they saved on hiring me, and invest it into their session: pay for their hairdo, get a more luxurious hotel than they would have gotten originally, or buy several cute outfits to wear at the session.

If a client chooses a cheap hotel, uses consumer make-up, and does not have their hair done well, the pictures go from being classy boudoir to pornography. I do a lot of post processing, but I cannot make a Microtel Inn look like a Hilton. It will show up in your pictures and I do not want my name associated with them.

I am really sorry that this didn’t work out. Best of luck on your upcoming nuptials.

Christina Truelove
ShutterSpire Photography


July 25, 2010 at 7:55 pm
(6) Christina Truelove says:

As far as the above comment about me…

I told his client to rent a reputable hotel room and gave examples of Hilton Bella Harbor, ZaZa, NYLO, and the like. She, instead, without contacting me first, got a hotel room in an unsafe area at a less than reputable hotel.

I fear for the safety of myself and my equipment. I will not do a session, free or otherwise, if I feel fear for my safety.


December 13, 2010 at 10:17 am
(7) Pro Photog says:

Well Christina, I was having fun looking at Gareth Bowers’ atrocities. But now I have looked through your site… Most of what I see would be deleted as mistakes if I saw them in my LCD. We all take bad shots from time to time. But we don’t keep them or worse, show them off on the internet. Take some classes on **lighting, posing, and composition**. Learn how to focus and shoot a sharp image. Don’t shoot up people’s noses. Watch your backgrounds – either move, or open up your aperture to blur them if they’re all cluttered. Keep crazy tree branch shadows off of people’s faces. Learn white balance. Skin is not magenta. Get some pocket wizards and take a portrait lighting class. Don’t have an obviously off-camera person holding the veil straight out. (How hard is it to count to 3, toss the veil up, and shoot it as it billows down in “the wind”?) Come on girl. Your opening shot (http://www.shutterspire.com/images/slider/meghan.jpg) on your site is blurry (eyes!), with all the highlights totally blown out, an awkward pose, straight lines all over the place going every which way, and she’s holding the flowers like a giant microphone. There’s not a single thing right going on there. It looks like Uncle Bob took it while the real photographer was changing lenses. Tough love here Christina. We all have to start somewhere, but it’s important to recognize where you are on your path to being good at what you do. Join the DWF. Post for critique. Learn from all the talent there. Second shoot. And most of all be your own harshest critic instead of getting it from strangers on the internet.

January 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm
(8) dizzy dee says:

Friend sent me some info other day, some photographers were talking, all professionals who charge a lot.
They agreed that it was

90% business and 10% photography for their success

If thats the case I will go for the cheap photographer who gives it 90% and bugger the ones who think they are gods.

January 30, 2011 at 4:31 am
(9) Dave says:

Just been on a blog talking about wedding to day and just stated about this event and what photography has become to day with so many owning SLRs . In my days 30 years of wedding photography, things have changed and any good photographer belonged to some professional body. this 90% 10% thing is crazy.
the fee is from time over heads and the level reputation and skill you have . One insurance PL and and the rest mounts up big time for professionals . Im sick of people complaining because they got uncle ? to do the photos and they got a lot of snaps or nothing due to error .
To day it take hours of editing backing up . The camera cost a fortune . Up dates . photoshop. and a degree or Qualification , allot of hard work and time out of your life. that where the cost come in to make ends meet. The business side is struggling again things like this that the consumer thinks they will get better by going to Mr ammeter who as no clue how to work with people and the couple making that day special and fun.

January 30, 2011 at 4:32 am
(10) dave says:

continued :You don’t go to a carpenter to fix you car!
where can i see these photos again . Out here in Borneo now where I now am. studding photography to honers level. I have seen some amazing and some pretty poor work. at the end of the day. You should agree with the photographer what you want. make a plan. sign a con tract. And pay the fee.
the work you see should be should be recent photographs of the kind of setting you will be having . The style you expect to see of your own.

If its not what you want . Dont sign. go els where and research . its your one special day. The work you see must be recent photos from the photographer thats photographing your wedding and no one els.
Also its good for the photographer to go to the area or pre wedding rehearsal before so you can discus the event , And this way you become acquainted . Many of my couples landed up becoming good friends for years to come and so now photograph their sons and daughters .

And we all live happy ever after.

April 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm
(11) unhappy bride says:

In the category of unprofessional, unethical behavior: Our wedding photographer was a ‘friend’ of a cousin so they used our wedding as an opportunity to get a free family portrait session for the cousin and their new baby. So I have 20 pics of a random cousin and baby with all the frills in the middle of my wedding pics. The photographer even sent copies of the pictures directly to the cousin without our permission despite the fact that we paid for the ‘free pics’ of their family. She handed them out to the family at Easter at our house before we could show the family our wedding pictures! I am so not happy and will never use this person for anything again.

July 18, 2011 at 12:44 am
(12) Rachel says:

Wow that was some pretty insulting and terrible photography…I am a amateur photographer working and studying my way up to be a professional photographer and I can even see what is so wrong with those photos and what the photographer should have done differently…thats sad, I feel horrible for the couple :( That has to be a horrible feeling never to have the wedding photos you wanted…I just dont understand how this photographer didn’t see all these mistakes while taking the photos?…Hopefully the photographer has learned from this and moved on and is working on being an actual photographer. Thats sad.

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