‘A Day You’ll Never Get Back’

A recently married couple is urging any would-be bride or groom to take extra care when hiring a wedding photographer for their special day.

The warning comes after the photographers they hired to shoot their nuptials produced a series of blurry and badly lit images that have, in some instances quite literally, cast a shadow over the day.

The role of wedding photographer is an increasingly important one, particularly as more and more couples opt to ban guests from taking pictures on their cell phones. In a 2021 YouGovAmerica poll of 1,295 adults, 49 percent approved of a ban on people taking pictures using their cell phones, with only 32 percent opposed to it. That’s why a good wedding photographer is important—and why a bad one can prove disastrous.

Alexa Logan and Colin Tapp tied the knot back on August 18, 2022. “We were trying to do our wedding for under C$15,000 [$12,000] in Vancouver but still have 100 of our closest friends and family,” Logan told Newsweek. “We wanted the focal point of our wedding to be the music so we didn’t budget very much for a photographer.”

Colin Tapp and Alexa Logan's wedding photos.
Colin Tapp and Alexa Logan’s wedding photo.
Colin Tapp/Alexa Logan.

In July 2021, they came across listings for Mike Huffman Photography on Bark and the website WeddingVibe. They began communicating with Huffman over Zoom. “He mentioned he was changing his website so there would be some stock images until he replaced them with his images,” she said. “He also said he was about to increase his prices by 200 percent but because we got in early he would still do our wedding for the agreed upon price.”

Newsweek made several attempts to contact Huffman but his website is no longer up and running, while the email address he previously communicated to Logan through now bounces.

Logan said during one call Huffman mentioned he was going to be taking wedding photos for another couple from Saskatchewan. By chance, she encountered that couple a few months later after their initial chat with Huffman. “This gave me the impression that he was an in-demand and respected photographer,” she said.

Yet with just a few months to go before the wedding, Logan said they became concerned after struggling to make contact with the photographer. About a month before they were due to marry, she said Huffman finally got in touch to say he “had been in a car accident so he wasn’t able to communicate but was still able to do the wedding.”

“He assured us he would be healthy enough to do it, and he also brought his wife as a second shooter in case he was starting to feel tired,” she said.

Colin Tapp and Alexa Logan's wedding photo.
Colin Tapp and Alexa Logan say photographer Mike Huffman has stopped taking their calls.
Colin Tapp/Alexa Logan.

During the wedding itself, things appeared to be going off without a hitch, though Logan said Tapp was a little perturbed by Huffman’s approach. “My husband, an amateur photographer, asked him why he was using a telephoto zoom wide angle lens on a carriage ride when he was 3 feet away,” she said. “But he seemed to have an answer for everything.”

Logan said they paid Huffman $1,500 for his services, a tenth of their overall wedding budget, but were left waiting 3 months to see pictures of their big day.

During this time, Logan alleges that Huffman told her he was “having to go through cancer treatment” and could not sort the images for them. Finally, he invited them to view an online collection of images from their big day and choose a few to edit further. They didn’t make for pleasant viewing.

“The majority of the photos were blurry or too dark, or looked like he had put an Instagram filter on them,” she said. “My husband asked him if he had sent us the wrong file? Perhaps these were the photos he meant to delete, and there were good photos somewhere he just sent the wrong file. Mike Huffman assured us these were the right photos, and immediately both our hearts broke.”

Colin Tapp and Alexa Logan's wedding photo.
The couple received close to 100 photos of varying quality.
Colin Tapp/Alexa Logan.

In an email exchange shared with Newsweek, Tapp challenged Huffman to “pick 10 photos you think would be acceptable to show someone.” “Alexa and I were hoping that you accidentally uploaded the rejected photos from our wedding,” Tapp wrote. “There is not a single acceptable photo in that folder.”

Logan said they received “no response” from Huffman to that email and claims he began screening their calls. “When we called him he would answer, hear our voices, and then immediately hang up,” she said.

The experience has left her devastated. “A wedding is a day you’ll never get back again, and we are so sad that we don’t have anything to remember our special day by,” she said.

Despite the difficulties encountered on their big day, Logan and Tapp’s story, which was first reported on by CTV, did prompt an outpouring of support, with several photographers offering to help them recreate their wedding snaps, free of charge.

Colin Tapp and Alexa Logan's wedding photos.
The couple have been approached by photographers offering to organize a photo shoot for them.
Colin Tapp/Alexa Logan.

Another couple, Bianca Rose and Brock English, have since told the Prince George Post they went through a similar experience with Huffman, alleging that he also delayed giving them their photos, citing his cancer treatment.

They hired Huffman to photograph their wedding in September 2021. Three months later they were sent a link to a file containing 150 photographs. “Only 20 of the photos were usable. They were nothing like the one portrayed on his website,” Rose told the news provider. “We felt like fools.”

Logan hopes that by coming forward and sharing her story, others will avoid making the same mistakes. “I hope that someone sees the warning signs a bit better than we did.”

Colin Tapp and Alexa Logan's wedding photos.
Colin Tapp and Alexa Logan’s wedding photos.
Colin Tapp/Alexa Logan.

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