One thing i knew i always wanted at my wedding, the one thing i had no spending cap on, was photos. Most of you know i have very, very few photos of my childhood and (particularly) teenage years because my mom wasn't a big photo-taker. Neither were most of my friends. Aside from when i was living in California with T and the last year or two living with J i also have next to no photos of my life. I value pictures of me and my friends perhaps more than most as a result. I especially value good pictures - ones that are not only a reminder of a time in my life, but also make me feel good about myself and exist as beautiful works in their own right. When J and i were planning our "big" wedding, what i wanted most of all was a top-class photographer so we'd always have fantastic pictures of our day.
In the last few months we decided to do our official wedding sooner, so we had to make some sacrifices. One of those was skipping a professional wedding photographer. We still wanted good photos, though, so J asked one of her close friends - let's call them "P" - to shoot for us. The idea was that P would get to come to the wedding (they wouldn't have been able to come otherwise because it was family only) and we would get some photos that were better than point-and-shoot. We met with P beforehand and talked a lot about the kinds of shots we wanted. Two days before the wedding P took their brother (a film industry guy) out to measure the lighting in our locations to decide on flash, umbrella, lenses and so forth. On the day, P turned up early and stayed all day, shooting us from beginning to end (something we never asked for but P really wanted to do as a gift to us). I couldn't stop bubbling my gratitude all day long because it meant so much to me. Due to the rain we shot everything inside and i was really worried about the lighting, but P reassured us all day so i put my trust in them and focused on having an amazing day.
And i did have an amazing day. Everyone - including P - went out of their way to make it perfect for us. As soon as we were back from our honeymoon P contacted us saying how gorgeous the photos were and how they wanted to show us their favorite proofs straight away. Obviously we were thrilled, but on seeing the 50 or so low-res (400x600) images i burst into tears. In every shot, barring the one or two we did in front of a window in the morning, we were colored orange or yellow from the lighting. The very few flash shots P wanted to do were washed out. Weird angles. The focus was out. Low-res or no, i don't want to see fuzzy brides. So i burst into tears. J was upset too, but this meant a lot more to me. She eventually wrote P back and asked to see the other proofs because i was pretty upset with the preview we got. She did this without my involvement because she knew how emotional i was about it and she just wanted to sort it out with her friend. I was so disappointed. My only hope was that perhaps P had picked badly and there might be one or two decent photos in the rest of the proofs. At the end of the day we didn't pay anything, so what am i going to do, right?
That's where the story would've ended, until late last night. Apparently P and J have been messaging back and forth for the last few days with P getting increasingly defensive about the shots. According to P "in all my twelve years of being a professional photographer i have never been treated as despicably as i was treated by your wife", "her reaction was extremely inappropriate, all my colleagues agree that having that sort of reaction to proofs is appalling", "the way your wife is acting is completely hideous"... Excuse me but WHAT THE FUCK? I'm not a model who just got paid to pose and is bitching to the photographer after the fact. I'm a bride who - in a normal arrangement - would have paid the photographer to be MY bitch and make ME look pretty. I'm allowed to be disappointed in the results we've seen so far, for fuck's sake. I haven't accused P of anything - i haven't even spoken to P since seeing the proofs - i've just been mentioned in passing during P and J's own communication. How that makes me the bad guy is beyond me.
But it didn't end there. When we got a friend to do photos, all we expected was someone to take a few shots on a nice camera and send us a DVD at the end so we could make some prints and send them around to our friends and family. That was particularly important because only one member of my side of the family and none of our friends came to this wedding - pictures is the only way we get to share it. Apparently P takes themself way too fucking seriously, because by even considering to propose such a thing we are "ruining my career", "disrespecting my artistic integrity", "destroying my reputation"... Seriously! When i first heard P was doing photos i googled their full name to get an idea of what to expect and got a grand total of ZERO hits related to photography. It's not like we're working with Annie fucking Leibovitz here. "But everyone knows i'm doing your wedding"... Everyone who? We didn't tell anyone who was doing our wedding because we were treating it as a favor from a friend. Maybe they decided to tell the whole Toronto art world, but that's not our problem!
So now J is meeting with P to get a handful of photos we never proofed "that i've been working night and day to finish". This is "so you have something to give to immigration" - as if they are the ones who need the finished shots! All we need for immigration is evidence we and our families were there, and that we're obviously smiling and in love. Sure, i would love to get properly Photoshopped shots for us to keep long-term - if P can rescue an album we choose from shitty proofs then that's amazing - but we never asked for or expected any of that - not for free. But you know, it's all about pride in their work and obviously we don't respect their work enough to see that and blah blah blah. Fuck it. I am so over the whole thing, if we get no photos i don't even care any more. All we wanted was a casual favor from a friend and now we've been sucked into this egotistical artist bullshit.
So yeah. That sucks.
In other news, eating matzo every day is not doing much to improve my mood. On the upside, i think i can recite the Exodus in my sleep now, and we have some lovely family photos from the last week.