Gambol Photography Charlotte NC – Bad Review & Horror Story

This is an article about a friend that had a horrible story working with Gambol Photography in Charlotte, NC.  Megan Mook was the photographer that was doing the photo shoot.  Gambol Photography was giving away a free bridal portrait in Charlotte NC.  The winner of this photo shoot had nothing but a horrible time trying to work with Megan.

Here is a list of reasons why

  • She never meets deadlines – She will postpone your pictures over and over again
  • She will set priorities based on how much she gets paid per job.
  • She overbooks herself. – She is slow
  • Very unprofessional when working with clients – You can see the email below.
  • She could ruin your whole engagement experience
  • Would you take a chance on Gambol Photography?
  • Belittles you as a person
  • Very Judgemental – Please read email below

Honest opinion.  You can try using Gambol Photography but I would not risk it especially if you are paying big money to get the pictures of your dreams.

After missing multiple deadlines over and over again.  A friend wrote a email saying they really want the pictures and that she is ruining her whole experience.

~ Yea she might be good but if you get on her bad side.  Do not be surprised if you get something like this. Are you really going to take a chance?~


This response will be very factual and to the point, mainly because I do not allow myself to be drawn into arguments that have no reason to have begun in the first place. I will lay out some facts for you, and leave it at that. Let me preface by letting you know that I am sorry that you are upset and unsatisfied, and truly hope you find a photographer for your big day that is able to deliver exactly what you are expecting.

1.      First and foremost, let me remind you that you were chosen/drawn/picked to receive a free bridal portrait session. Free. Our entire goal in doing that giveaway was to choose a deserving bride and gift her free photos of her in her wedding dress. A regular bridal portrait session is $250, before tax, travel fees and prints. You asked me if you could switch it to an engagement session instead. I generously agreed, even though I knew we were in the busiest time of the season as far as weddings were concerned ( that is my fault entirely for attempting to do something nice, and probably won’t be happening again now that I’m aware how grateful people are when they are given a gift ). I asked you to pay a measly $50 for your engagement session. A regular engagement session is $300, before tax, travel fees and prints. I didn’t charge you tax, I drove over an hour to the location YOU requested because it was special to YOU, didn’t charge you anything for travel, hiked through the woods while pregnant, and gladly snapped away at every idea and whim you asked of me.  We gifted you $250 toward a photo session that we never intended to give away and didn’t complain a bit. I feel so sorry for the hundreds of other brides that put their names into the jar that we could have chosen.

2.      I know you stated you “could care less what else ( I ) have going on” but the reality is, there are other people getting married in the area. I know that no bride wants to hear that she is not the only one getting married, but unfortunately, other people depend on us and have paid thousands of dollars for us to deliver their wedding day to them. Your wedding day is next October. I’m sorry, but I refuse to say to my 4 recently-married ladies, “Sorry, your wedding photos that you paid $3,000 are going to have to wait a few weeks because I have to focus all of my attention on 1 person that is getting married next year and received a *basically* free photo shoot.”  The world runs on priorities. I understand it feels like eons to receive photos back, but in reality, waiting a month or more is not outrageous, or even uncommon. And wedding albums? Don’t expect anything back from any professional photographer for at LEAST 2-3 months… Oh, except us. We actually have one of the fastest turnaround times in the region.  This section actually ties in with your whole question about, “What on earth were you doing with them for over five weeks if you weren’t touching them up?”  Answer: laying them aside while I completed previously contracted weddings that came month and in some cases, a year before we offered you a photo session that you originally didn’t have to pay anything for. Surely, SURELY you can understand this workflow. Which brings me to the next issue:

3.      I deeply apologize for correcting my honest mistake and delivering corrected, blemish-removed photos to you. Totally unacceptable of me. I most definitely should have simply allowed you to view the untouched versions so you’d be happy. Please forgive me for taking the time to painstakingly making sure your skin looked perfect. So silly and unprofessional of me. And, how DARE I be honest with you and let you know what I missed and that I did take the time to correct it. I’m truly a con-job.

4.      Everyone and their Mom is a “photographer” today. If you have a nice camera, you can be a photographer! And put out mediocre work! And charge actual money for crap!  😀

Aaannd you’ll get exactly what you pay for.

You want your images delivered when you *want* them? That’s fine, they’ll look hideous. You want your images delivered when they are *ready* and *finished*? Good! They’ll look how you hoped they would. One of the biggest annoyances about our job is people who are under the impression that editing a photo is as simple as popping it into Picasa and running a bunch of cruddy effects on it. Sure, you can do that. Or, you can put time and effort into it and *shocker* make it look like actual photography! The latter sounds better to me, and that’s exactly how we do things. It. Takes. A. Long. Time. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what photography studio you use, I don’t even care how much you pay. A *real* photographer will not release poor quality, un-worked images to you, period. Sometimes you have to wait a while for great things. Fact of life. Want to know how long it takes to fully edit 1 ( one ), ONE photo? About half an hour. Know how many engagement photos we typically include in the final disc? About 50 ( so, laughably, I actually gave you about 20 more than I ever give normal, paying clients. I do apologize for that mistake as well ). Know how many wedding photos we typically include in the final album? Between 6 and 700. I’m sure you can do the math to figure out how long it takes JUST to edit that many images. This doesn’t even factor in weeding, RAW editing, finalizing, burning, etc., etc. It’s a process, a long one. Fun fact, take it with you whenever you have to work with another photographer; they’ll really appreciate your understanding how long and hard they work.

5.      As far as the “timeline”, I believe I already addressed that quite enough in the section where I mentioned our currently contracted clients ( “client” being someone who has signed a contract to book us for their wedding day, paid the balance due them, and treats us civilly ).  But just to wrap that up, I told you the day of your shoot that I would “probably” have your “sneak peek” up that evening, but never did I guarantee anything. I do not give guarantees to anyone without a contract, because  A:  I can get into legal trouble if something were to happen and their album was late, and  B: because they are paying me a lot of money to deliver the biggest day of their life that happened in the very, very near past. Those people get priority, as I mentioned, and surely you can understand the workings of that.  At that time, I also made you aware of the fact that the month was about to get extremely busy for us, but that I would give my full attention to your images when I was able. That was the full truth, and I kept my word. I apologize for that. I should have simply split my attention between your and 4 other brides’ photos. That would have been more fair and professional. Sorry!

*Bonus Fact!* –  Our Facebook page is there solely for the enjoyment of our fans and current clients. Nowhere, in any contract do I ever guarantee that I will post anything. Facebook is a tool. I don’t have to post any images on there that I don’t feel like posting ( this actually didn’t even apply to your shoot; I loved your images ).  We did a wedding the other weekend that was very plain and not well thought-out. That’s not getting posted. Because I don’t want to. Enough said ( by the way, I went ahead and removed your photos that I had posted, just because I’m sure you don’t want them up there for everyone to see that you worked with such a terrible, unprofessional photographer. No need to thank me ).

6.      I do not work when I am out of town for weddings, or during family holidays ( aka, Thanksgiving ). So, that cut out a little bit of my normal working time. Literally the only days I do not do any work whatsoever are on Sundays ( oh, except for people that I thought were kindhearted and thankful to have a free photo shoot that I drove over an hour *on a Sunday*  to come and do for them while pregnant ). Sundays are my only “days-off” with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yep, life again, at its best. But, it’s work and I don’t complain, just wanted you to know that other little fun fact.

7.      About rescheduling your shoot twice:  I explained all of this to you and was replied to with:
“Hi Megan!
Rescheduling will actually work better for us – I definitely need to recharge after this week!”

The second time, I explained that I had a bridezilla on my hands ( a couple of them, actually ) and asked * if it was ok* with you to reschedule. I ASKED. That means, I inquired as to whether or not you were willing to. How did you respond?

“Not a problem at all – I’ve heard some horror stories about bridezillas!  Don’t worry about it, we can reschedule 🙂  ”

Now, I may be wrong, but those responses sure seem understanding and perfectly willing. I mean, surely if you had a serious issue with it, you would have SAID so, so that I wouldn’t have rescheduled you? Typically, when you have a problem with something, you speak up about it. I was greeted with “rescheduling will work better”, “not a problem at all”, and smiley faces. I truly apologize for being so dense as to not notice your seething frustration about the reschedule.

8.      I’m glad you think the photos are beautiful. I put a lot of time and effort into them ( again, sorry about that! Silly me ).

9.      Last but not least, this is just a PSA:  Short of driving the delivery truck myself, I do *not* control the mail. I don’t have much faith in it either. That’s why in my text message to you the other day, I asked you to please let me know if the package did not reach you today so that I could make the trek down to Charlotte and personally hand your disc to you. I didn’t WANT you to have to wait, why would I? That’s absurd. I wanted you to have your images as soon as possible so I was perfectly willing to make that happen. How uncaring and sneaky of me.

You can certainly choose to not believe that the receipt I sent you was from my mailing your package; that’s fine. However,  here is the conversation that took place before I sent that out on Friday morning:

Nov. 28 (WED)
MEGAN:    “I’ll let you know when I get your disc mailed out ( which, like I said, I’m  expecting  will be Friday morning, so you’ll  probably  have them in your hands by Saturday.”

( Look at all those non-guaranteed words. Never did I promise your disc would be there on a certain date. Not once ).

Nov. 29 (THURS)

Plain and simple:  I updated you to let you know your disc was ready on Wednesday, asked for your address. You replied with your address on Thursday. I mailed out your disc on Friday morning ( and sent you a photo of the receipt ). Like I said, you can believe whatever makes you feel best, but I don’t really have the time to debate what I have record of doing and try to convince you that I’m being honest. My whole livelihood relies on my honesty and being open with my clients. Not sure why you think I would jeopardize that.

10.   With all said and done, I really am sorry about the wait you had to endure, and I apologize from the bottom of my heart for everything. Specifically, I’m deeply apologetic for:

–       Being honest with you
–       Taking my time to ensure you received flawless images
–       Not working on my precious-few off days or holidays ( so selfish of me )
–       Catering to your requests ( driving so far for your shoot, hiking, etc. NONE of which I minded in the least, until now )
–       Delivering your final disc to you BEFORE I received your scathing, aggressive, uncalled-for email

And finally, I am deeply sorry for choosing you to receive a free portrait session. That’s totally our fault, and I can see now how huge of a mistake that was. Please forgive us.

If the mail system actually comes through and your disc makes it to you ( which, as luck would have it, probably will arrive tomorrow just to annoy me ), I truly hope you enjoy your images. Had you sent me that email one day earlier, I certainly would have thrown the disc in the trash, sent your whopping $50 back, and not given it a second thought. It’s out of my hands, however, and I don’t have the time to waste getting into legalities. Enjoy your photos. Oh, and I’m very sorry about the freebies I emailed you today. It really sucks that you now have pictures in which your skin is flawless to show people, instead of the untouched versions.

I shame myself with how terribly mean and unprofessional I am.



45 Responses to “Gambol Photography Charlotte NC – Bad Review & Horror Story”

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    I rather liked her email. She was much nicer than I would have been to the idiot that was complaining about her FREE photo shoot. fyi, you aren’t the only person in the world dear future bridezilla.

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  13. Dawn says:

    I think I love Megan Mook. Her response is “nicely” done with that droll sarcasm that I LOVE. GAME: Mook. Bride ~ should be smacked back into reality.

    If her wedding was not until October, at the time of all this, then she should have been gracious and patient. Especially since it sounds like Megan was pregnant!! What a nasty little bird, trying to hurt someone’s business off of a free gift. If I were her fiancée, I would have to check myself, before I wreck myself, you know what I mean. A lifetime of this…..ack!!

    And what the heck are all the other commenters talking about? I am soooo confused. It’s obviously NOT the email/Stupid News. Please enlighten the unenlightened.

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    hay i allso know how she feels too bend over and giving freebies from the kindness of my heart too customers like not charging for extras becausethay seam like peaple that would appecate something like that but just arnt happy no matter how much u frost the cake thow are peaple who are never happy and wont tell u till afterthen stab u in the back and take take take!!! u know what now i dont do freebies and i learned by not doing so peaple love me and cant be more happy with me ps dont do freebies nomatter how it fulfills your heart in give the very best and just do the basic,s and u will be the best at what u do just remember your damed if you dont and your damed if u do.

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