For those of you who don't have the time/could care less about the gritty details; the gist of the email was this: "I did great, you just look like that. Our styles don't mesh, I don't really want to worry about making you happy. I'm cutting you a check for your deposit back. Have a nice life, see ya bye"
For those of you who are interested I present: The Response (with my added opinions):
Dear Amber and Ben,
I was surprised to receive your email, as I felt the session went well, and the photos displayed your personalities and expressed your love for each other (and you know our personalities after one meeting prior do you?). My photographic style is not one to force poses on subjects, which would tend to make them look uncomfortable, or look stiff (WRONG). Instead, through conversation and subtle direction, I attempt to photograph individuals as they would look naturally (Read: You naturally look like crap). I capture the way you would normally stand together, or hold each other, or look at each other, on an everyday basis, to bring out your emotions and natural smiles (Uhmmm Ben and I have been together 6 years we don't naturally hold each other like we are madly in love anymore - we need coaching- we don't rock PDAs anymore) . Some photos will be of subjects not looking at the camera, to tell a different story in a photojournalistic or candid way (Read: this is photographer speak that you are too dumb to follow).
Since we discussed wardrobe selection in advance, it is not part of my job to tell someone their choice doesn’t work. That comment from me would be insulting to most clients who have made a well thought out choice in the selection of their apparel they feel they like the best. Personally, I liked the black with the splash of red. I felt it added romance and a bit of excitement to the images (that my photography failed to do).
Your email states you’ve lost your faith in me. If you do not have complete faith and trust in your photographer, or every other wedding vendor for that matter, it becomes a distraction that will not allow both of you to fully enjoy the wedding day you’ve looked forward to for so long. It would also become a distraction for me, constantly worrying if I am capturing every image correctly, uncertain if you will like each one, making it difficult to focus on creativity (Read: I want to do what I want to do and don't want to think about what you want). In a situation like that, you would likely be unhappy with your photos .
It seems that my style and approach is not a good match for your vision. And that is ok. That is one of the benefits of having an engagement session, to be sure well in advance of the wedding day that the photographer’s images match the style you are looking for. I certainly do not want you to be worried on your wedding day, or unhappy with your images after the wedding. You are absolutely correct in that there is no wedding day do-over.
I’m certain there are many photographers whose style of imagery would work better to fulfill your wedding day dreams. So that you have plenty of time to find another photographer, I have mailed a check to refund your retainer, which releases you from your contract and any further obligation to ------ Photography (Read: I don't want to do it over, I'm a pompous ass, I'm right, your wrong, take this money and go away).
Best wishes, (Piss off Bridezilla)
Notice that NOWHERE in this email did he apologize for our disapointment even if he wouldn't apologize for his actual work. No attempt to make anything right other than to give up and send our money back. I guess I should be greatful though- he saved me from either awkward interactions with him for the next 8 months or from actually having to ask him for our money back myself.
So now the search is on for a fabulous photographer. The recomendations have been rolling in from Facebook so I'm back to saying prayers and setting appointments.
On another more positive wedding note. Through photos and recommendations from a couple we know who recently married I do believe we've found our honeymoon destination. Check it out here. Since its Meh-hee-co the USD stretches further and the All Inclusive part puts this worriers mind at ease. Not too gung-ho on the hour ride from Cancun to Playa del Carman but that's why they make atovan and dramamine. Any thoughts? Anyone been there?
But its bed time so for now I must be off!
Miss Amber Lane