Engagement Diaries

Engagement prep: The photographer

I’m picky when it comes to the quality of pictures. At least pickier than anyone I know. I’ve been following a few noted photographers online — Joe Zakaria, Afnan Omar, Fad Manaf, Bak and Kude (to name some). But I wasn’t willing to spend so much yet. Hence, I sought help from contacts and asked whether they knew anyone capable of taking good photos with that ‘touch.’

I scheduled an appointment with this one photographer, after a friend, who was a fan, suggested his Facebook page to me. After going through several albums, I decided that I kind of like his work. He had an eye for detail and his style’s fresh and clean, a little reminiscent of those I’ve seen on Style Me Pretty. I asked for a quote and got it and since the rate was reasonable compared to the other options that I had enquired, I set us a date.

From our meeting at a nearby coffee place, I learned that he was involved with an ad agency for years before he started building his own, so you can say he’s got a creative mind. Although he’s had experience in photography, I assume that he had only begun to venture into wedding photography seriously. Impressed by this, I agreed on hiring him, booked a date and made a deposit later. This was done months before the ceremony.

There was no black and white. Since I had no experience and consulted no one about this, I had no idea how this was supposed to work. I was told that as soon as I paid the deposit, I’d be receiving an invoice. But there was none.

I was, at one point, scared that he had forgotten to book my date. So I tried calling a few times, for weeks before the ceremony. Calls were not answered and I got worried.

Then, two weeks or so before the event, he told me that he underwent a surgery before that and was advised by his doctor that he shouldn’t be moving a lot. His state of health explained his being MIA previously, but this also meant that he was not going to photograph my engagement day!

He asked me whether I’d like to, either (i) let his assistant take over or (ii) get my deposit back and find a replacement on my own.


It was too near the date, who on earth could I hire? It’s a no brainer — I settled for his assistant. I tried asking for a discount (since the rate we agreed upon was for his service), but he said the rate would be the same. The assistant’s number was forwarded to me days before the ceremony and the details were confirmed with him.

Thankfully, the assistant did a decent job. He was punctual. In fact, one of the earliest to arrive on the day!  He was professional in conduct, nice in person. He did a couple of great shots and editing, which didn’t deviate from what I appreciate in photography and what I had expected. So at the end, it was all good.

The assistant had started uploading the finished products on his Facebook a few weeks after the event and had told me to liaise with the main photographer to be able to receive the whole set. As agreed, I paid the remaining balance of what I owed them after the event (I wasn’t aware that other people pay the balance only after receiving the pictures LOL). However, due to time constraints on his side, I only got the images in the form of a DVD earlier this year.

I’m glad the pictures turned out well, but with all due respect, I just thought that it would be better if time was properly managed and concerns were communicated early. But to give the benefit of doubt, all might have gone well for their other clients — I might have been the unfortunate one.

I still would recommend them if you want an affordable service with good results (I still prefer their work more than those who are charging about the same rate), but perhaps you’ll need to be more persistent than I was. Their Facebook page is undergoing some maintenance, so it’s not up now, but if you’d like to get in touch with the person who captured the photos, just send me an email.

Unless otherwise stated, all pictures used in posts related to my engagement is taken by the photographer. You’ll see more of them in subsequent posts 🙂

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  • Reply
    July 4, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    i want to know.. =)

    • Reply
      July 4, 2013 at 11:24 PM

      Email you the details tomorrow!

  • Reply
    July 5, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    Try also FotoEnak ! they charge quite decent and their photos are pretty!!!! I think they have FB page as well as instagram 🙂

    • Reply
      July 5, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      Seen. Thanks for the recommendation 🙂

  • Reply
    July 5, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Well, same thing happened to me. I was expecting an invoice for my deposit and kept bugging the team for it and there were none came to me. This is for my side. I was furious and had my fiance to ask for it since I am already embarrassed to keep pushing them. Turn out, it is their way of doing business and yes, in the end every thing went to smooth.

    And for the balance, they have nt keep a record on it and rely on us to remember! The payment schedule was 50% during wedding, 25% after wedding and another 25% when we received the photo+album.

    So for my fiance (now husband) side, we just follow the style. No invoice, no receipt, no record keeping. The only reference we had is my email with all the payment amount we had done, the date and etc. HAHA.

    Unless the photographer has a company/studio, it will be more proper I guess.

    • Reply
      July 5, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      Mine was a photography company, but since they’d just started, I think that’s why they’re a bit chilled. They forgot how much I paid, too and like you, I had to make my fiance call them because I got tired of not getting a response.

      But very worrying, kan?

      In contrast, I actually met up with another photographer months ago to enquire about the possibility of hiring him for my reception. He spent time showing us the printed terms (where I’d need to sign if the deal materializes) and actually explained the terms to us, one by one, so we would understand the whole process, from booking a deposit to the delivery of the album. When I stepped out of his office, I thought, “So is this how it’s supposed to be?”

  • Reply
    July 5, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Hi Mia

    One of the noted photogs you mentioned did my reception about a year ago and was extremely disappointed with his work. It was messy, the arrangements of my friends and family were not symmetrical and generally boring. It was really sad to have paid that kinda amount for a shoddy piece of work. I won’t say it here who that person is, but if you wish to know I could email you and show you the type of work he did for mine.

    • Reply
      July 5, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      Ouch. I’m curious. I’ve sent you an email.

    • Reply
      February 10, 2015 at 10:40 PM

      ouch. those named were some of photogs ive been consider to hire! Mia or X, can you guys email me his final work? their priced a bit mahal, afraid i will end up hating them 🙁

  • Reply
    Quya Anuar
    July 10, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    Hi Mia, if you’re still looking for a photographer for your wedding, i would love to recommend The Wedding Lights or Ayul Rahman Wedding Lifestyle Photography. Its my boyfriend’s anyway. Hehe.

    You can search his page on FB for his artwork. 🙂

  • Reply
    July 11, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    How about Jangguttouch ..pls take a look for them too..they did a wonderful job for my wedding (2012),my brother’s wedding (2010) and my brother’s sister in law wedding (2011)… their videographer (wayang pacak) also did a great great job for me… !! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 16, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Hi Mia, my cousin is getting married & was considering one of the noted photographer but after reading this post & ‘X’s comment, we’re kinda worried the same thing will happen to him. If you don’t mind, can I know who is the photographer respectively. Thanks & sorry to bother you

  • Reply
    August 16, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Hi Mia, my cousin is getting married & was considering one of the noted photographer but after reading this post & ‘X’s comment, we’re kinda worried the same thing will happen to him. If you don’t mind, can I know who is the photographer respectively. Thanks & sorry to bother you

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