#sorrynotsorrry: I Complained to the Photographer of my Daughter’s Dance Photos

Pictures are really important to me. I studied photography in high school back when cameras had to be manually focused and film had to be developed at a store. Naturally, as a mom I want to capture everything. And when I work with a photographer for photos of my kids, I expect the best from them, even if the kids don’t want to cooperate.

During the photoshoot for my daughter’s dance recital, the photographer gave her less than 20 seconds to pose before she declared, “Got it!” and ushered her off the backdrop.

I knew she didn’t “get it” because my G was nervous and didn’t even smile. I tried to say something to get her to go back, but no one paid attention. My other dance moms complained about this photographer in the past and now I see why. So when she emailed me our dance photos this year, I decided to write her an email. It’s a little out of character for me to be so bold and I did feel bad, but I feel like she should know. If I didn’t say something, then we’re just going to be getting the same results next year.

I wrote: “I do feel that photos were rushed this year and you didn’t even give the girls a chance to smile. Genevieve was up there for 20 seconds and I knew this wasn’t going to be the best photo it could be. We pay a lot of money for these photos and they are a lifetime of memories for us. I know you are under pressure to get all the girls done, but collectively the dance moms aren’t happy with your work and some even stopped ordering because they didn’t like last year’s photos. Even just spending a few more seconds and looking at the photos and considering how you would like them if this was your child would be helpful. Going the extra mile to get those great smiles makes a great photographer. Hoping for better pics next year.”

I love my daughter’s photos no matter what and luckily I took so many amazing ones with my own camera. While I can’t tell her to smile on cue if she doesn’t want to, I can at least ask for a photographer who has talent and patience to work with children–and invested interest in the final results.

What would you do in this situation?

Lesson learned from this post: If you don’t speak up about something, the situation won’t change in the future.

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