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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,<br><br><br><br><i>I'm stating this here in case you don't make it through this long post. Is there a way to do a reverse image look-up? I have pics on my computer and want to determine if they are from the photographer or taken from other sites. thanks in advance.</i><br><br><br><br>
This is about my wedding photographer. I know that I’m anal retentive. My wedding to-do-list has a color key lol. Every decision I make is mulled over ad infinitum so I can’t tell if I’m being ridiculous or if my instincts are giving me a warning sign.<br><br><br><br>
I found a great photographer (beautiful pictures) at a wonderful price but a couple of little things occurred that raised an eyebrow. The first was that he answered the phone “hello” instead of saying the name of the studio. I thought this was strange but then I heard telephones and shuffling in the background and dismissed it.<br><br><br><br>
The second was that his F&Q section looked like it was copied and pasted from another photographer’s site. I found this out because he listed the equipment he uses and I wanted to investigate it so I copied and pasted a couple of lines into google. This is when I found that a good paragraph of his was the exact same verbiage I found on two other sites. This is not a big deal. Maybe he just didn’t feel like creating a write-up himself. I asked him about it and he told me that the manager of the studio wrote it and he can’t imagine her copying etc and then something about it not being a creative writing contest or anything. At this point I assume he is a staff photographer because he mentions “a manager”. Next, I find two different numbers for his studio from a couple of different wedding sites that list vendors. I called the number I didn’t initially use because I figured it was the main business line and I wanted to verify that he was an employee of the studio. A woman answers the phone “hello”. I told her that I was looking to get the last name of such and such photographer at this studio. She stated a last name. The first name was correct because this guy has an odd name (Turkish). So, I’m like ok…two numbers, same guy but this woman sounded confused that I called at all.<br><br><br><br>
I then investigate his site, which is put together nicely, via the better business bureau. There are no complaints to be found. From there I got his web hosting company information and obtain his site registration information. He is the owner of the business. I thought that was kind of odd because of the manager thing. I also realize his last name is not the same as what the woman told me and that it’s used as a middle name for his registration info. This could be fine as well because his last name is difficult to pronounce.<br><br><br><br>
He emails me a copy of a contract, which isn’t a great looking contract. It has the name of the studio up top with the photographers name and home address. Odd again! Then I figure he was probably in business for himself and worked from home originally and now has a studio. Also, it’s possible that the studio is a joint effort of many private photographers. I tell him over the phone that I won’t send a 50% deposit because I need to meet him first but am willing to send 20%. Come April when I can make it down to Manhattan I’ll give him the rest. I want to see this studio etc. I mail out the deposit and send him an email asking him to let me know when he gets it or if it doesn’t arrive. He emails me back and says (nicely) that I should look at the contract again because the deposit should be 50%. Maybe I should have said partial deposit in the email but it didn’t occur to me. He also said that we’ll take care of all that when we see each other next week. Next week? I don’t know what he’s talking about. So, I sent him another email explaining when we are going to meet and that he’ll receive the rest of the deposit when I see him in April.<br><br><br><br>
So…does this sound weird to anyone or am I just being over the top. I know I like things done a certain way and can be annoying about it. John (DH) thinks I’m going to scare the guy off with my bologna.<br><br><br><br>
????
 

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Why don't you pop 'round to his studio and check him out? I'm not sure why you sent him a 20% deposit without meeting him, that strikes me as a very odd thing for him to request.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Kiz</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Why don't you pop 'round to his studio and check him out? I'm not sure why you sent him a 20% deposit without meeting him, that strikes me as a very odd thing for him to request.</div>
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Well, I'm in Boston and he's in Manhattan. The wedding is in Jersey. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/thinking.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":think:"> I would go yesterday if it was local. I don't have the time to go before April. It's been a pain with all my vendors but it's all gone pretty smoothly thus far. Something just seems off with this guy but his pics are awesome. My officiant, who i haven't met in person but we talk all the time, thinks I should trust my instincts but it would be doubtful that he's a scammer. Maybe it's just that I fear he's a flake.
 

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Ah... ok. Is it possible to send someone you know around? Personally, if it was me, I'd go with your instincts. I could come up with a dozen scenarios that might explain him as being legitimate but none of them would trump "I feel funny about this". Is it at all possible for you to get your 20% deposit back if you change your mind? Stop the check, reverse the paypal or whatever?
 

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Gaya,<br><br>
does he have references of other weddings he has done? maybe he can offer a few people to call that he has done work for. and also i would want to see his portfolio, how do you know the pics he is showing you online are his? are they watermarked at all?<br><br><br><br>
i have to say you sound so much like me!!! i am sooooooo obsessive with stuff, and my hubby always says what yours did, that i scare people off or intimidate them with my questions and anal retentiveness.......LOL <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
I would trust my gut on this.<br><br>
a lot of photographers that do weddings do work out of their home, so that doesnt strike me odd. but if something isnt sitting right with you there must be a reason,<br><br>
its an awful lot of money to lose if he is a flake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Bonoluvr</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Gaya,<br><br>
does he have references of other weddings he has done? maybe he can offer a few people to call that he has done work for.</div>
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I know I should have asked for referances. I don't know what I was thinking!<br><br>
I'm going to email him tonight.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">and also i would want to see his portfolio, how do you know the pics he is showing you online are his? are they watermarked at all?</div>
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That's what I was thinking as well though i can't see someone going through this trouble for $200 (that's what i sent). Plus he re-registered the site in 2005. Ya'd think that someone would have filed a complaint if there was funny business going on. I'm afraid of him thinking that I'm nuts. I'm pretty sure I called his home phone (that second number) and his wife answered lol. And she's probably the manager.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">i have to say you sound so much like me!!! i am sooooooo obsessive with stuff, and my hubby always says what yours did, that i scare people off or intimidate them with my questions and anal retentiveness.......LOL <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"></div>
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lol i know, me and my flipping sourcing. I suppose it's par for the course in the sciences tho and our fields are of a similar vein.<br><br><br><br>
I would trust my gut on this.<br><br>
a lot of photographers that do weddings do work out of their home, so that doesnt strike me odd. but if something isnt sitting right with you there must be a reason,<br><br>
its an awful lot of money to lose if he is a flake.[/QUOTE]
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Bonoluvr</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
I would trust my gut on this.<br><br>
a lot of photographers that do weddings do work out of their home, so that doesnt strike me odd. but if something isnt sitting right with you there must be a reason,<br><br>
its an awful lot of money to lose if he is a flake.</div>
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Yea, that's what I was thinking. Why am I'm feeling weird about it? Though i did feel queezy about my officiant but she's spent a great deal of time on the phoen with me reassuring etc. She also wasn't put off by my confrontational questions. I love my DJ though he's so on the ball. His contract is several pages long. He sent me his schedule for 6 months and 12 referances. Maybe this guy is just an "artist" and doesn't groove on the technicalities and my aggressive personality.
 

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How did you hear about him in the first place? Did you pick him out of the phone book, an ad, or did a friend refer you?
 

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Why not start talking with someone else and see if you get a better/worse feeling and sense about the first one.<br><br><br><br>
In every advice I read about hiring people they often say if someone doesn't act more than willing to reassure you and answer questions, it's a bad sign. It could be nothing, but then again, it's a lot of money and your wedding.
 

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If you feel weird about it, look around a bit for other people. Is there anyway you can get your money back? Maybe look for someone local? Or someone local to a friend/family member that will help you check them out.<br><br><br><br>
Also, you said he wouldn't be going through the trouble for such little money, and that it's a great deal, ect. Isn't this what most scammers do? Offer a low price, make you think it's not worth the trouble, but they do it to so many people that it pays off? Also, it's weird that he's not keeping your info in tact ("when we meet next week" instead of april, and you agreeing to send 20% then he asks for the other 30%.) Sure, there's lots of ways you can excuse his behavior, but it only takes once chance that something could be up, for something to be up! If it sounds to good to be true, it normally is!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Lots of great advice that I need to review. Thanks so much for taking the time to help me work this out. Bonolovr even scouted the guy out as well!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smitten.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":smitten:">
 

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As far as a wedding goes, you have every right in the world to be worried about some con-artist botching your day.<br><br><br><br>
My mom's co-worker got married and at the reception they went to play this video the bride and groom made for the big day that tells the story of how they met. When it came time to show the video, it took 10 men to figure out how to work the projector. The poor bride ... her face was all red and she was starting to cry. It's a big deal, and you only get this one day to make it all come together. Be as skeptical as you want to be.<br><br><br><br>
He does sound flaky. Do you have a link to his website? I'd be interested to check it out for myself.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>gaya</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
The first was that he answered the phone “hello” instead of saying the name of the studio. I thought this was strange but then I heard telephones and shuffling in the background and dismissed it.<br></div>
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That probably wouldve made me a little suss because it doesn't sound very professional does it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> There's nothing wrong with working from home, but at least have a separate line for your business, or hook up a cell phone for your client calls. Even if he did do great photos Id still be a bit nervous about chucking a heap of money his way.
 

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My Dad is a photographer who runs a studio out of his home and also does weddings. My parents have two separate phone lines and always answer the business line in a professional manner. When I was growing up we didn't have two lines though, so whenever we answered the phone we had to give the business greeting. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":rolleyes:"><br><br><br><br>
He says that a lot of people are surprised when they come into the studio and see that it is in fact a real studio. He's also said that a lot of people will ask him suspiciously when they meet him if he will in fact be the one taking the photos. Apparently a lot of places will have people meet a photographer and will show them a lot of wonderful pictures, but when the wedding day comes, some other person that doesn't know what they are doing will show up to take the photos. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/undecided.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":-/">
 

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Some things do sound a bit funny to me, gaya. I'm not sure what I would advise - planning anything like that long distance is difficult!
 

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I think NYC has a Department of Consumer Affairs. I would check with them.<br><br><br><br>
You can do a reverse lookup on his phone numbers at:<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.anywho.com" target="_blank">www.anywho.com</a><br><br><br><br>
You can look up images through Google, but only based on their descriptive terms AFAIK. So it would be kind of tough to search to see if the same image was elsewhere on the net.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Joe, I will check out anywho. thanks.<br><br><br><br>
Eh, I sent him $200. Can I afford to lose that? probably not but I'm going to meet him in April and I spoke with him again day before yesterday and he seemed ok. If this works out I'll post pics of my 35 yr ol but in white lol.<br><br><br><br>
You guys are so cool for taking an interest.
 

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Losing $200 is a lot better than losing several thousand.<br><br><br><br>
Maybe I missed something, but I don't think you answered my question about how you heard of this man initially.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>skylark</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Losing $200 is a lot better than losing several thousand.<br><br><br><br>
Maybe I missed something, but I don't think you answered my question about how you heard of this man initially.</div>
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I found him on a wedding site in a list of vendors. I don't have friends or know anyone to recommend vendors in new jersey since I don't live there. All of it has been via cold calling. I have looked at dozens of photographers in the past 6-8 months and have like very few of them...or at least their pictures. There is this one woman who just rocks and is local for me but her starting price is $2400. I realize that may be on the cheap side for some but it's way too expensive for me.
 

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GAYA<br><br><br><br>
You didn't tell me you were getting married........Congratulations<br><br><div style="text-align:center;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/sunny.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":sunny:"></div>
 
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