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Photo Essence / Lack of quality and professionalism

1 United States

For our September wedding my husband and I selected a photography company called PhotoEssence. We decided on this company after they did our engagement photo session. The only flaw was when we requested our engagement photo be touched up-it wasn’t completely repaired. This problem was forgotten after the photographer agreed to reorder a new print. At first the photographer of PhotoEssence was accommodating with scheduling meetings and answering questions. After deciding on a photography package I commented to the photographer about a checklist so I would get the pictures I wanted. The photographer stated that she and her other photographer were professionals; a checklist wouldn’t be needed because they have done many weddings and know who to take pictures of/ what is important in a wedding.

When our proofs were posted online I was very surprised. There were very few pictures of the bride and groom and the wedding party! Many pictures were of people’s backs, multiple pictures of the same person or pose, random and irrelevant objects in the church and at the reception (i.e. prayer candles, a statue of St. John, a card with our names scribbled on it, heads/bodies were cut off, etc.). At the wedding the photographer did not pose anyone in the wedding party for their pictures. She didn’t know who to take pictures of and frequently asked what to do next. Then rather than ask the bride or groom what to do, she took the advice of anyone closest to her. Since the photographer didn’t take the time to pose anyone at the wedding, pictures consist of people looking in different directions, glare from glasses, etc. and even mix-matched families!

To add to our frustration we were informed that the photographer took too many pictures and my husband and I needed to pick out 400 pictures to keep out of 600+ that were shot or pay and additional $100 for all. We only wanted the pictures that were relevant to the wedding. The easy part was finding 100+ pictures to throw out with all of the duplicates and random images of the church, kids playing, scribbling on a piece of paper, etc. The hard part was trying to find 400 worth looking at as a proof. My husband and I decided to throw out the 100+ and reluctantly pay for the extra proofs hoping the physical would be better than what was online.

When the photographer received the list of pictures to take out she became annoyed and said it would take a long time to go through all those pictures and it would be easier to let her go through and decide what was good and bad. When we requested on just getting the pictures we wanted was when more trouble began. The photographer began ignoring phone calls and when she was finally contacted, it was reiterated that we would have to wait until she had time to get to them. It wasn’t until late December that our proofs were ready and delivered. Looking at the proofs we immediately noticed HALF of pictures that we had requested to take out were in the album and many of the pictures we expected to see weren’t there.

There is not one picture in this group of 400+ photos that we would want to have enlarged to a 16x20 or 8x10. We even have trouble finding 40 to put in our final wedding album or put on a DVD and all of these things have already been paid for. We have resorted to giving the proofs to friends and family to help pick somewhat decent pictures to keep and they are having trouble as well. This photographer didn’t seem to care about considering what my husband and I wanted and to aggravate matters we were still waiting on our new engagement photo from back in August.

To date, I am left with a pile of proofs I didn’t want, no 8x10’s to give to our parents, no 16x20 wedding portrait, no DVD or wedding album, and still no engagement photo. Photo Essence advertises that they make sure “the wedding is all about you,” but the proofs I received reflect tell that the wedding is all about statuary, kids and backsides. All I wanted was some nice portraits of my husband and I, our parents, and the wedding party; I didn’t get it. A word of advice to those considering hiring a professional would be that top dollar does not ensure top quality or professionalism. Choose wisely.


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