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Vancity Vendor –
Butterfly Photography

October 7th, 2011 by Jeannine

Vancity Vendor: Butterfly Photography

Selling cameras wasn’t enough for Martin Gregorian. After receiving some professional training at Focal Point in Vancouver, Martin took his interest in photography one step further and turned it into a fulfilling career. He created Butterfly Photography, where he provides a wide range of services including portraits, maternity & baby shoots, engagement, but weddings are his primary focus. He’s been in the industry for about 6 years and have over 150 weddings under their belt.

Pricing depends on how many hours you need their services. Packages start at 5 hours, which includes coverage by 1 photographer for $1,100; however, their most popular package is the dual photographer, 8 hour shoot for $2,400. All wedding packages include a DVD with colour corrected wedding photos, travel within Metro Vancouver, a selection of fully finished images and an online gallery. They do offer promotions too, they update their Facebook and pricing page on their website whenever they have something special going on.

They also provide photobooth rentals for weddings, parties or corporate events! These include props, delivery and setup within Metro Vancouver, 10-second double print photo strips, customized photo strip layout, and a DVD with all the event photos, among others. They have a special deal going on right now if you book an 8 hour package with them, you will save $50 on a 2 hour rental and $100 on a 3 hour rental.

SPECIAL PROMO: Mention that you found Martin thru Vancity Bride and
he’ll give you a $50 referral discount when you book an 8-hour package!

A Few Words With Martin…

What should your clients expect when they have their first consultation with you?
“I generally go over their wedding day to see what type of coverage they need. I show them various albums we offer as well as more portfolio content. I also like to get to know my clients on a personal level. Many of my clients are now good friends of mine.”

What do you have to offer for brides with lower budgets?
“We offer quality products for very reasonable prices. Wedding photography can be extremely pricey but we make every effort to keep our packages accessible to as many people with various budgets.”

How would you describe your photo editing style?
“Our photography approach and editing can be described as sweet, simple and sophisticated. We definitely do not like to drown images in over the top Photoshop. We  like to keep images bright and vibrant colors. We also like to convert images to black and white and modern sepia/aged as this toning affect is timeless in appearance.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?
“We love to meet new people from all cultural backgrounds.  We have had the privilege of documenting weddings from  many different cultural backgrounds.Vancouver is blessed to have such a diverse population!”

What was the most creative shot you took and how did you come up with it?
“I wouldn’t say I have one specific shot I can say is the ‘most’ creative.  There are many images that my photography team and I have taken that I would say are definitely in my top list of favorite shots. I don’t necessarily “come up” with the shot.  My approach to photography is to think creatively on the spot. The angles, composition, vision come to me while looking at a particular area that I may want to use for photos.”

Which part of the wedding is your most favourite to shoot and why?
“My favorite part of the wedding is the reception. I love to take candid shots and the reception, especially when the DJ is playing high energy music, provides ample opportunities to capture many great candid shots.”

Where is your favorite place/part of the city to take pictures for a shoot?
“There is one specific place I would say is my favorite place to shoot. I do have a few locations I really like though! Steveston Village, Cypress Mountain, Gastown are just a few locations I love.”

What gear do you use?
“Canon 5d Mark II and a lot of 2.8 L series lenses!”

If you had one piece of advice for a bride and groom, what would it be?
“Sleep! Get lots of it the day before or else it will show in your photos that you are super tired!”

To contact Martin, please visit his website.
Do you have what it takes to be a Vancity Vendor? Apply here.

Vendor prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are accurate to the date published.

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  • October 7th, 2011 at 12:15 pm
    Martin says:

    Join our facebook fanpage at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Butterfly-Photography/10588679251?ref=ts

  • September 19th, 2016 at 5:13 pm
    Carlie says:

    We wrote an extensive review so if you don’t want to read it all… here is a brief rundown

    The good:
    He has been photographing photos for a long time
    He has experience (not sure if that matters?)

    The bad:
    1. He uses his contract to do the LEAST amount of work possible
    2. He is NOT accommodating (I had a vision of filters, poses, locations) and he basically was not interested in helping me.
    3. He is holding out RAW photos hostage and will not give them to us…even tough we paid his 3,200$$!!!!!
    4. You as the client have no say in the quantity that get finished, or the selection that they finish.
    5. His ideas and poses are from 1999! He tries to put you in poses from old traditional looks
    6. Not very artistic or talented in current 21st century looks
    7. Not a very nice person

    Long story:
    We decided on Butterfly Photography as our wedding photographer based on a selection from their website. We had 1 engagement photo session, seemly went okay, although I wasn’t overly impressed with the photos. While not bad, I found them to be “under-whelming”, which truly is the theme of our experience with Butterfly.

    The main photographer, seems to know his trade, arrived on time, with equipment and ready to shoot. He is a bit quirky, but once you get used to him, you can have a bit of fun with it. He and his secondary photographer took a plethora of photos, I’d say 50/50 poses we had researched and poses they typically do, probably to the tune of 1000-1200 photographs. Now, we were very particular that photos were very important to us, therefore we did a lot of research of locations and poses that we specifically wanted. The photographer was open to working with us in an effort to get the specifics we wanted, after all, it is our wedding right?

    The trouble came when we got an email that the photos were almost ready, less than 2 weeks after the event. In my experience, wedding photos can take months to edit and “produce”. With baited breath we waited… when the link came in, we eagerly opened it, and, as before…. So under-whelmed.

    Of the 1000+ photos taken, less than 10 had been heavily edited/modified, the remainder had very little of anything done, and truly were very under-whelming. Now, with that said, the selection had some impressive work done to them (like I said, he seems to know his trade). The problem with this is, of that selection, there was only 1 that we actually wanted as an edited/manipulated photo, the rest, although nice, were not ones that we were interested in. You see, the company went ahead and edited a selection of photos, without so much as asking if there were any specific ones we may want them to work on. When we contacted the company and explained that his selection of photos weren’t photos that we were interested in, the company initially indicated that this was all they would produce, as per the contract they reserved the right to select which photos they would edit. After some back and forth, the company reluctantly agreed to edit 4 more photos, as we wanted a thank you card, and to make a photobook. We provided an example of the type of finishing we were hoping for (off Instagram), and so, that’s exactly what they did, for all 4 of those photos, no more, no less – they may have even just used Instagram for all we know.

    So, again, dramatically under-whelmed by our wedding photos, and with little other option, we decided to offer further payment on top of the thousands we have already paid for their services. We told the photographer that we would like to make a photo book and would like to know the cost for him to finish 20 photos of our selection for us in order to make the book. He quoted $50.00 per picture…. So now, for us to finish 20 pictures of the 1000+ available, the company wanted another $1000 dollars?? If they had simply asked us originally what photos we wanted done, we could’ve avoided this all together – feels like a really bad cash grab now that we’re literally locked in.

    We solicited a friend who is in the industry to help us with the 20 edits, they reluctantly agreed, but said the JPEG quality was not high enough to enable significant edits, and therefore, would be little they could do to edit the photos to our liking. When we asked Butterfly to provide us the raw photos for editing, they indicated they would not as it is industry norm to not offer raw photos, because photographers don’t like “unfinished” work being “out there”….. wait, what?!? We’re trying every avenue to have them finished!? So as it stands we are at loggerheads.

    Get a per picture price for additional finishing – we failed to do this, and therefore are essentially being extorted as we can’t get the photos we want finish unless we pay the ransom, and we can’t get the raw files to have someone else help us out, doesn’t that feel like extortion?

    Unfortunately we are left with a photo for our thank you card we don’t like, no opportunity to make a photobook as we have insufficient quality photos (even if we used the ones we don’t care for), and no raw photos in order to have someone else produce them for us.

    Our memories are literally being held hostage by our paid contractor…. We are now actually considering small claims court in order to at least get the raw files so we can make our damn photo book of our wedding!

    Would I recommend Butterfly – no, not with the amount of photographers out there. If you do go down this road, look at the contract in detail and get everything in writing. Their contract is very one sided weighted to their benefit, and leaves the client very little room to move if unsatisfied – and well, the bill is paid, so what can you do? I mean, after all, it’s only your wedding right?

  • September 19th, 2016 at 8:04 pm
    Butterfly Photography says:

    Thank you for providing us a detailed review. It is unfortunate you felt that you did not get your monies worth with my photography services. I try my very best, within reason, to make clients happy. With that said, I feel it is necessary to clarify some of the points you raise in your review. Many of the points are partial truths, distorted or taken out of context. I will respond below to the points that are not correct. Before I provide my response I have to say that I am a bit surprised by your review. When I contacted you after the wedding you said “ Thanks again we for sure need to meet at some point for a little thank you.” and “ You and your wife were a blast! We have a little something for you guys so let us know when you are in the neighbourhood or downtown and we will come find you guys.”

    “We had 1 engagement photo session, seemly went okay, although I wasn’t overly impressed with the photos”. Sorry, but this is not a truthful statement. This is exactly what you wrote to me once you got your engagement photos “Thanks a ton I really love them and you are truly worth the $$$ !!!I was so apprehensive at the beginning because the overall cost for photography is so expensive but I would pay it all over again. They are exactly”what I wanted!”

    “He is not accommodating (I had a vision of filters, poses, locations) and he basically was not interested in helping me.” This is so far from the truth. 1. I spent a lot of time answering all your emails (Over 100 email exchanges) 2. I accommodated you by giving you an opportunity to provide a 1 page document of photos you love and would like me to try to incorporate into the wedding party photos. I tried my best to get the majority of photos on the list for you. 3. I made sure we were on time for photo taking and was on top of things in general 4. I provided you with beautiful engagement and wedding photos. I provided you with over 1000 photos so you have great selection. 5. I accommodated you by editing more photos then I am obligated to edit. 6. I was very pleasant to you, your wedding party and guests and try to make the photo taking fun while being efficient. To further clarify, your “vision of filters” was not brought up to my attention until after the wedding photos were delivered to you. Also, as a photographer, I have my own style of editing and photography and the photos I provided you with are the style that you see in my portfolio. You hired me based on what you saw in my portfolio and that is what I delivered to you.

    “He is holding out RAW photos hostage and will not give them to us…even though we paid his $3,200” There are two points that need clarification. It is clearly written in the contract that photos are provided to the client in jpeg format”. RAW files are not included in the package. In fact it is common for professional photographers not to provide RAW files to clients. If you were expecting RAW files to be included in the package the best thing would have been to contact me before signing the contract about this. Also, the package price I provided you for $3,200 as you mentioned was for photography, engagement session and photo booth. I also included a few hours of unpaid breaks to stretch your time with me by 2hrs. You received a very good package deal. Other companies easily charge $1000 or more for a similar package.

    “You as the client have no say in the quantity that get finished or the selection that they finish” The contract is very clear that it is the photographer who decides what photos are edited and how. Clients hire me for different amounts of hours and the amount of photos they receive will vary according to the number of hours they hire me for. Therefore, it is not feasible to write in the contract a precise number of photos that will be included as it will vary from wedding to wedding. The photos that I do choose to do further editing on are chosen by me. Logistically this is the most efficient way of doing things. Further, clients hire me because they see the work on my portfolio and want that style of photography and editing. That is what I deliver to them.

    “His ideas and poses are from 1999!” My photography poses are classic and timeless and as I previously mentioned I do give my clients the opportunity to provide me with a 1 page document of photos they really like and would like me to try to incorporate into the photo session. I offered this to you and accommodated the majority of your pose requests in the document you sent me with various poses you like. Further, if you found my style of photography “1999” then you were under no obligation to select me with to be your photographer.

    “Not a very nice person”. This comment by far saddens me the most. I try my very best to make sure my clients have a fun day and that they get beautiful photos. I put in 110% effort into every wedding. You comments in past emails to me “You and your wife were a blast! We have a little something for you guys” and in your review “The photographer was open to working with us in an effort to get the specifics we wanted…He is a bit quirky, but once you get used to him, you can have a bit of fun with it” show that I am in fact a caring person.

    “He uses his contract to do the LEAST amount of work possible”. This is not true. I have photographed hundreds of weddings and have never heard any of my clients say this about me. The contract is fair and balanced. I have had clients that are lawyers and they had no problems at all with the contract. The contract is 100% transparent and my clients appreciate that. You did have a few points of clarification you wanted me to add to the contract, when you were initially signing it, and I was happy to accommodate you where it was feasible. The best thing to do if you thought the contract was one-sided would be to communicate that to me so I can clarify and potentially make amendments. We had several email exchanges about the the contract and you had time to review the contract before signing. During that time you did not contact me about any concerns related to the editing. I would have been happy to answer any further questions you have about the contract.

    “The trouble came when we got an email that the photos were almost ready, less than 2 weeks after the event. In my experience, wedding photos can take months to edit and “produce” It is clearly written in my contract that I provide clients their photos within 21 business days after the wedding. I work very hard for my clients to make sure they get their photos in a timely manner. I give each client the same level of care and attention to their photos. Most clients would be thrilled to receive their photos in a timely manner!

    “The company reluctantly agreed to edit 4 more photos, as we wanted a thank you card, and to make a photobook”. This is not a truthful statement. This is the exact text I wrote to you: “you can send me a couple of photos for me to look at for further editing. If you want only filter application to the photos then 20 additional photos (max) is fine. If you want filter and/or editing (i.e. removal of boaters) then it will be 2 additional photos.”
    These additional edits offered were already beyond the scope of the photography package. You only provided me with 4 additional photos when I clearly stated that you can send me 20. You then proceeded to send me another email, after I edited the additional photos you requested, asking for more photos to be edited. At this time you offered to pay for additional edits. This was a fair proposition but after providing you with a quote you decided not to proceed and instead demanded I give you RAW files or else you would write negative reviews all over the internet which is extortionary in nature.

    In summary, I provided you with over 1000 beautiful images from posed to candid photos. I tried to accommodate you as much as possible but within reason. You received a package price that was very competitive. I was friendly and professional to you, your wedding party, and your guests and it’s truly sad you would write a review like this.


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