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7448 Colorado Ave
Hammond IN 46323
United States

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Wedding on 2010-04-02


Unsatisfied Bride and Groom

What was your favorite wedding photo?

A free photo by a guest.

How did the wedding photographer avoid disrupting the day? Great with candids? Action shots? Portraits?

He had a bridesmaid and groomsman miss the bridal party dance because he left a camera at my home. His assistant chose to party and stepped on my dress while dancing which made me fall on dance floor.

What was included in your wedding photo package? Albums? DVDs? Engagement pics? Two photographers?

Album, video - WHICH HE NEVER PRODUCED leaving us with NO video, two photographers who chose to eat, drink and dance. Package had bride was to pay for 1 meal and I ended up paying for three. These people where also dressed like slobs. Very unprofessional service.

How did the photographer make you and family comfortable?

Rushed and uncomfortable. I had to keep instructing him on what to take pictures of. He was very unprofessional as to how long it took to get pictures back. Also, purchased an 8 x 10 which when we picked up we noticed black specs all over our skins. I had the after 5 unshaven look. We paid for this but Gene Kellar never produced. He claimed he had to send it back out to be fixed and refused to credit our card and again never produced or returned our calls. Do not pay him in advance for anything. Can't believe he is still in business!

Vendor's Response

I first read this late last night when I was pretty tired. My first reaction was this is a mistake since I don't remember anybody in recent years being this upset with anything we have done. When I got up this morning, I looked through my records and I found who it was. We did her photography and video in July 1999.
I definitely need to respond to this venomous and vial misrepresentation of my business, my work, which I take a great deal of pride in doing, and my character.
1) Yes, I did leave a filter for my camera at her house. It happens when you are concentrating on the task at hand. I told her about it when we were taking outdoor photos in between the ceremony and the reception. It wasn't a big deal and I didn't need it the rest of the day and I would get it from her when they picked up their photos. But they volunteered to get it, I don't know what they were doing and why it took them so long to get back, but I never told them to go get it.
2) I had a new employee with me that day that I was training. They only hired us for a one cameraman video coverage and I told her that her video would be shot by one of my veteran cameramen. And I was going to bring along someone to shoot a second camera as a learning experience. And if the footage was good I would include it in her finished video as a thank you for allowing me to do this training ( there is no way to learn to shoot a wedding other than to shoot a wedding ). Everyone I know trains employees in this way since you can't very well stage a wedding for the purpose of training. And the client gets something for nothing if the training video is good. It's a win-win situation for everyone.
As it goes, my trainee was female, attractive and as the reception was winding down, she was done shooting and someone asked her to dance. I don't know what happened and how they collided on the dance floor, but those things happen sometimes when people are dancing. If it would have been anyone else she would have probably laughed it off, but she just added it to her collection of things that she perceived as wrong doing.
3) The video is not done because she has never given me the names of the wedding party, the music she wanted in the video, or instructions as to the style of editing she wants. I am not going to put the time into doing the editing without all the information and then have her not be happy because it wasn't done according to what she contracted for and then have to spend time redoing it. Besides, she only paid a minimal deposit, it is far from being paid for. I should be on her case to pay up.
4) As far as eating, drinking, and dancing. Our photography and video contracts stipulate that the client is to provide a meal for us if we are working for them for more than 5 hours. Even though we sit down to eat, we are still working and if something happens during dinner like cutting the cake, we stop eating and go back to work. The only other option would be to leave the wedding to get something to eat. We are the only vendor that is with the bride and groom for the entire day and unfortunately, we are not machines and need some nourishment. Yea, I have to admit we drank a lot of DIET COKE. It was a hot July day and you have to stay hydrated or you might be in trouble. I have never met anyone who would be that callus, heartless, or cheap as not to offer someone something to drink on a hot day. Most catering locations include unlimited soft drinks as part of the banquet package. We never, and I mean NEVER drink liquor on the job, period.
Neither myself or my video cameraman dance. We are both married and our wives can't even get us to dance. My trainee was asked to dance by one of her guests. She was done shooting and she probably didn't see any harm in it. Even though everyone is partying, we view the reception as work time.
5) On hot summer days, we don't wear suits because it gets very uncomfortable. We wear dress pants and comfortable shirts so that we can stay cool. Maybe we are not fashionable in her eyes, but by no means were we slobs. In fact most of their guests were dressed the same as us.
6) I had been shooting weddings successfully for 19 years prior to her wedding and continuously for the 11 years since her wedding. I could be wrong, but I don't think I would be shooting for 30 years if I was as bad as she is making me out to be. Most of my business doesn't come from any advertising, but rather from word of mouth from satisfied clients. Besides, after you have done hundreds of weddings over a course of 30 years and you hear something like this, you have to consider the source.
As far as her telling me what to take photos of, there are some people who are control freaks and feel that they are experts at everything and if they don't take control, it won't be done right. When I run into these people, it's easier to let them control things rather than fight with them all day. The way I look at it, they hired me as a professional to do what I do best, if they don't trust me and my experience to do the right thing, they shouldn't have hired me in the first place. If there are photos of special people the client wants that are not part of the wedding party or immediate family, I would expect them to point them out to me since I am not clairvoyant.
7) As far as getting the photos to her. My computer records show that the proofs were printed and ready 1 week after the wedding. I am not sure when they picked them up, but they were ready. They placed an order November 3, 1999 and my records show they were printed December 3, 1999 and again, I don't know when they picked the order up. I consider this a timely fulfillment.
8) As far as I know, all of the photographs she received were good except the one she indicated in her complaint (that's one out of three hundred). Again, for an entire weddings worth of photos to have only one photo with a problem is pretty good in my book and doesn't deserve this kind of damaging comments. The photo she is upset about was a 16 x 20, not an 8 x 10. As I tried to explain to her 11 years ago, what she was seeing is the normal grain in the film that you see with film on enlargements. A photo of that size is meant to be viewed from a distance where you would not even notice the grain. But, if you inspect it close up, you well definitely see it. The photo has been here for her ever since, but she refuses to pick it up.
9) Any time she had called me, I answered her concerns. Maybe she can't accept my answers, but I can't help someone who is not educated in photography but has all the answers.
Think about this for a minute. I have been shooting wedding successfully for 30 years and I can count on one hand the number of clients who have been unhappy for one reason or another. I'm not perfect, but I always try to remedy any problems, it's good business to have happy clients. And here you have someone holding some sort of vindictive grudge 11 years after the fact. The statue of limitations on some criminal acts would have run out by now.
I was unable to communicate with her 11 years ago and with her making comments like this now, I don't think there is any reason to make any attempt to try and talk now. If she wants her photo, she paid for it and she can come and get it. If she wants her video, she can pay for it and bring the information I need to complete it and I will surely finish it.

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