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I’d be remiss if I didn’t respond to Laura’s one-star review on my various social media outlets and make plain a more accurate depiction of my interactions with the Gancarz. Let me first say that, in ten years of doing this, she is my first unsatisfied bride. That should tell you something. Also notice that she didn’t share the gallery link for you to see for yourself. This should also tell you something. Allow me to share: Gancarz Gallery
They were not pleasant for me to deal with. I wish I never met them. I wish they had found someone else. I don’t wish to ever speak with them or be in their company. Read on and watch me direct all of what she says.
“Hindsight is always 20/20. Andre, claims to be good at what he dose and he is mediocre at best.”
Surely, Laura didn’t hire me because of my claims. She told me that she did extensive research on me and other photographers and apparently my work stood out to her. There are tons of photogs in KY some of which are even better than me. But she saw what she like and hired me.
“He completely ruined the majority of my wedding photo, took photos with our feet cut off, my beautiful gown cut off…”
I beg to differ and so do many other wedding photographers. I shared the gallery with hundreds of wedding photogs in a Facebook group. Though there were a few critiques (as there would be with all subjective art forms), there were many praises for a job well done. Not one of the hundreds of comments said that she was due a refund of any amount.
Yes there were pictures with feet cut off in some pictures. She’d have to be more specific here. We all know that not all pictures have feet in them.
“…he missed the big moments like my husbands mom placing a rose on a chair in honor of her late husband. (Things he knew about ahead of time so he should have been prepared for especially since we hired a 2nd shooter for this reason!…”
When a client gets two photogs from me, during the ceremony, one of us takes the front, the other takes the back. She may have told me that this was happening but their mothers came down the aisle at the same time. My second shooter was in the back and I was left to photograph two events happening at the same time. It’s not anyone’s fault. It is what it is. That’s my normal setup that I always do and they came at the same time putting the roses down at the same time. I have a picture of the groom’s mom sitting next two a picture of the grooms dad with the rose in front of it. What I missed was the actual action of her doing it.
“…95% of our ceremony photos by Andre are taken from behind our alter(so of our backs or backs of our heads if we wouldn’t have had a 2nd shooter we wouldn’t have any photos from the front)”
Yes I took many from behind the alter. You can see them in the gallery. I always do this when there is enough room surrounding the couple. Even if I was in front of the alter off to the side, at least one of them would have their back to the camera so it doesn’t matter if I was in the front or back.
The latter statement isn’t true. When I work by myself I walk all around the ceremony area to get different angles. Why would I have to go to the back to get front shots if my second is doing it?
“I have zero bridal photos that show my entire dress unless you count the one the took from the ground! He claims: ‘Most pictures I take don’t have the whole dress because wedding dresses are big. What I mean is it can ruin the composition. For example, where the faces are. Getting the whole dress can put someone’s face in the corner of the frame which would make an awkward looking picture.’ However after hiring another photographer and doing a bridal reshoot I have learned that this is completely untrue.”
This is a direct quote from a text I sent her. Notice that I did NOT say that I couldn’t get her whole dress or that no photographer is able to do that. This is called a Straw Man. It’s when someone misrepresents what you say and responds to the misrepresentation instead of what you actually said.
I’ll finish addressing this later as this is the main reason for Laura’s dissatisfaction.
“Andre sent us a galley that had our heads cut off…”
She’s talking about a picture my second shooter took where the groom was giving Laura her ring. Let’s stop there. This is one out of 444 images delivered. Ok, read one…
My second shooter zoomed in very close and cut their heads off. I didn’t like this picture but I thought it was the only one I had. After going through them again upon request, I found the exact same picture zoomed out a bit without their heads cut off. During my culling process, I just overlooked it. It’s like getting so upset that a restaurant didn’t put cheese on your sandwich? Is it worth mentioning in a review? Or should you just politely ask for a slice of cheese?
“…extremely dark photos…”
She’s referencing a hand full of photos that I took inside (also in the gallery that you can see). They were intentionally dark because I was focusing a flash on her face and in others, allowing the light from the window to provide a rim to her dress. Lets stop there. These were a total of 4 pictures. 4 out of 444. Ok, read on…
It is obvious that it was an intentional artistic shot. No, she doesn’t have to like them but the wording here is misleading. The shots were NOT merely underexposed. Again, should someone have to mention this in a review or should they just politely ask to lighten them up? They asked and I did. If I corrected the issue, why bring it up?
“We requested to see all of our photos, and found the same photos that didn’t have our heads cut off, or were a better angle, etc.”
After they were upset, I was as accommodating as I could be because I never want to deliver a poor experience to anyone. I gave them access to all their raw images.
“After asking him too He did edit our request from our unedited photos, but still from the thousands we could only find 50-60 that were worth keeping.”
Don’t be fooled by the 1000s taken and few delivered. All wedding photographers take 1000s of pictures and deliver only a fraction. Many aren’t worth delivering because there are a lot of bad shots taken or duplicates. Their album does not deviate from my usual work.
“Our formal pictures are completely lacking, we don’t have any variety to choose from when it comes to family photos, or full wedding party photos. For example I have one photo of my husband with my brides maids, and 1-2 photos of him with our entire wedding party. I have no formal photos of us with anyone in our family except our moms(together not individually), and one with my grandparents.(who were out FG &RB) None with anyone else. Aunts, uncles, individuals with our families, Even though these were previously discussed with Andre before the wedding.”
When it comes to family shots and pairings, I don’t work from memory. I always ask for a shot list and I work from that list on the day of. I didn’t get this list from them unless she can prove it. Also, the obvious point is that both of us were there. What I mean is, she knew she didn’t get those shots when we were taking them. If she wanted more, she could have asked. And as custom, 30mins before I left, I asked her if there was anyone she wanted to get a picture with before I left. She didn’t mention any of them.
Furthermore, there was a good 1-2hrs of wasted time during the portraits of the bridal party because 2 or 3 of her bridesmaids were late getting hair and makeup done. This threw off the pre-ceremony portraits section of the wedding day that we had to try and make up for post ceremony. We were literally just standing around waiting on them so much so that Laura laid on the ground because she was tired of standing. Yes, it was that long. This made post ceremony portraits difficult because we were rushing. On top of that, Laura wasted more time after the ceremony due to a small meltdown she had because the venue allowed guest into the barn before it was time. And I don’t meant to be insulting when I say “melt down” but I’m not sure how else to describe it. She screamed and cursed at them. The groom and her boss had to calm her down.
Lastly, on this point, they both wanted to go on the other side of the property (it was a large farm area) to take bride and groom sunset portraits which ate up even more time. It was so far we had to take a golf cart there. I had to set up lighting to get the shot. Once I got the shot, they wanted to climb up on a hay bale for another shot. Fun fact: This hay bell was taller than anyone you know. It was huge. She had all this time to say that she wanted formal portraits with other family members.
“At the end of the day Andre failed to meet our expectations over and over again! However, when we expressed our disappointment, he verbally assaulted me, via text, attacking my faith and Christianity.“
Notice how she said I did it via text and didn’t quote me like she did earlier. Allow me:
“Laura, make sure Dan reads this message because it’s for both of you:
I have not shown you or Dan any form of disrespect but this courtesy hasn’t been reciprocated. You both have made many passive aggressive comments toward me and I’m done with it.
Let’s talk about worship since it’s special to you. Romans 12:1-2 says that worship is a daily activity and not just when a song comes on. To demean and speak condescendingly to people who are made in God’s image is antithetical to Christian worship. I have had past clients who don’t claim to be Christian that have displayed more decorum and dignity regarding the things with which they weren’t satisfied.
Just to set it straight, what you two say isn’t Gospel. You two and I have a fundamental disagreement when it comes to this gallery. I agree with you that the dress is cut off in many of the pictures. We agree that you don’t have a single bridal portrait showing your whole dress from and elevated view. Nonetheless, it is in my sincerest opinion that it’s a solid album that does not deviate from my usual quality. And, although we disagree, I have sat and heard your concerns because I wanted to do my best to make sure that I could make the most of what’s left of the experience.
So, to you both, don’t use words like ‘horrible’ or ‘crap’ to describe my work. If you don’t like it, just say that and that’s cool. Lastly, don’t make any more passive aggressive comments towards me anymore. If it happens again, we’ll cut this resolution short.”
This claim that I attacked her is unfounded and shows that her complaints about any of this should not be taken seriously. The Gancarz have been disrespectful to me since I sent them their pictures and I reached a tipping point. I wrote this text to them because I wasn’t going to allow them to do it anymore. Like I said, I wanted to help them but not at the cost of my dignity.
You can also see that I didn’t attack her faith. I held her accountable to it. This is what the writers of the Bible say to the early church (eg. If we are God’s children, let’s act like God’s children and not like worldly people). My comments on worship are referencing earlier text messages when she didn’t like the fact that I didn’t get a picture of her holding her hands out while she was singing a worship song during the wedding.
Laura possesses a victim mentality and is doing gymnastics with the facts to wield it against me. I will have you know that after I sent this message, the Gancarzs didn’t disrespect me or make any more passive aggressive comments after I sent this message.
“Andre, admitted that he missed photos, and after getting on a Facebook group for Kentucky photographers, asking what THEY charge for a bridal session (because clearly he saw the need for one)…”
I didn’t think a bridal session was needed per se but I can see the value of having one done given the situation and dissatisfaction. Again, I never want my clients dissatisfied so if I can do an extra shoot at no charge to them, then I will. I didn’t offer to do it myself in this case because I moved to a different state.
“He offered us a $500.00 refund, compared to the 3,499.00 we paid him for Poor images.”
$500 was more than the highest amount any photog in that group would have charged. I wanted to be generous to them because that’s a godly thing to do.
The Gancarz didn’t pay $3499 for pictures. They paid $2499 for two photogs for 8hrs, an engagement session, and a physical photo album. The remaining $1000 was for video work. So $500 was very generous. With that $$$, she could have hired a photog and had money towards hair and makeup for her second bridal session.
“After doing some in depth research I discovered that $500.00 would not cover the cost of another bridal session because it required more than just standing in front of a camera. Andre REFUSED to accept the facts and discuss the details of such. His way or the high way.”
Judging from her emails, the research was to see how much hair, makeup, and a wedding dress cleaning would have cost. Consider this example: Can you imagine asking a hotel to pay for your flight and car rental because you were unsatisfied with their service? No. So why ask me to pay for services I don’t provide. Yes, I gave more, but it wasn’t for hair and makeup. I wanted to be generous.
“And after a few emails, he recanted his offer and then refused to offer any type of refund to us anymore.”
I became very frustrated with Laura at this point and was emotionally exhausted because I don’t like conflict. From the outset, I didn’t believe she was due a refund. By her own admission, she rejected the $500 so I eventually accepted her rejection. I didn’t make a $500 mistake. It’s sad that she got another bridal session done and missed out on having $500 towards all expenses but because she couldn’t be sober-minded about the whole situation.
“He is taking advantage of and robbing brides and their families of money. DO NOT HIRE this man, I wouldn’t even send my worse enemy to him.”
Really? Notice how she continues to inflate the facts. This is common where people are upset. Remember, she is the only bride (and family) who has felt this way. No one else brought these charges against me. In ten years, Laura has written my first one-star review and I think I made the case that it was undeserved and unwarranted.
“My bridal reshoot was extremely successful, and is why I waited as long as I did to post my review, I wanted to see if wedding gowns are as impossible to photograph as Andre claims, or not. I only had 2 hours with my new photographer(10 hours with Andre, his 2nd shooter and a videographer) and I got over 90 pictures and loved every single one of them.”
I’m glad she loves her bridal session pictures. But notice again the inflated, misleading facts. My second shooter and I didn’t give her a 10hr bridal session. A whole wedding and a bridal session are incomparable.
The Gancarz picked out 65 more pictures of the raw photos. She’s being misleading again implying she didn’t like a single photo from the original gallery. How do I know this? They both picked many of the pictures from the original gallery to include in their physical photo album that they ordered that will be in their family for generations. She even chose some shots from the pictures she posted in this review! You can see a copy of the digital album here: Gancarz Physical Album
Now back to me cutting off the dress in her pictures. Yes, I did. She doesn’t have a single bridal portrait that shows the whole dress at an elevated angle. This and only this is the reason for why these past few months dealing with the Gancarz has been miserable. She loved her dress and had a whole story behind why that dress was so special. Those few inches that I cut off has made her hate most of the wedding gallery, in my opinion. That’s where she initially started her complaints and that’s where she spent the most of her time. I tried to make it right by offering to pay for another session but she couldn’t get out of her own way and, apparently, she still can’t. This easily fixable problem could have been resolved in a few days but she has allowed it to stain what could have been precious memories of her wedding day.
Here’s two more facts to consider:
- Laura posted my pictures of her FB page in a positive light but later took them down when she complained to her bank in an effort to get her money back. Her profile picture and banner picture were both ones that I took. She took them down presumably because it didn’t help her case.
- When she complained to her bank, they ruled in MY favor because the evidence speaks for itself. The complaint was that the product and service I provided was not as described in my marketing. After looking at the gallery, text string, contract, and emails, they didn’t think her complaints were valid.
Don’t be fooled by Laura.