Lake Forest Photographers: Alyssa Michelle Photography
Review: Sad Cinco De Bride
Reviews Posted: 1
- In January I began looking for a photographer for my May 5, 2012 wedding. I did an internet search and joined a few 'wedding' sites, looking for photographers in my area and to see examples/photos that had been done and to see what I liked.
I ran across Alyssa's Facebook page for her photography and 'liked' it. I liked her style of photography and thought she was very talented. Shortly after liking her page - she friend requested me. I accepted and then shortly after, received a message from her, thanking me for liking her page and asking when my wedding was.
Through the course of messages, we came up with a package that I could afford. She was going to give me a great deal and throw in some extras that made everything sound wonderful. I knew she was a young photographer, but figured we could both help each other out - me with my tight budget and her with experience and more pictures for her portfolio.
My Mother in Law (to be), my coordinator and I met with Alyssa and her partner, up at the church where the ceremony was going to be held and I gave her my deposit. I was expecting a contract right then - but she said that she forgot to bring it and would get one to me right away. That was on March 19, 2012. I figured we still had a little bit until the wedding and all should be fine. Especially after meeting her and her partner - I really liked them and was thrilled to be able to get such a great deal with someone who I really liked.
On April 9th I still hadn't received a contract, so I messaged Alyssa and reminded her to shoot me a contract. I didn't hear from her until April 12 - saying that she was going to send it to me, but had to retype it. She didn't send it to me until April 15. When I received the contract, it was basically blank.
It didn't include my name or any of the important information (IE: how much I was paying, how many pictures I would receive, etc.). I emailed her back, right away, asking her to include all of the basic information. I couldn't send that to my coordinator without anything on it.
I think this is where everything went wrong, somehow. She sent me back the revised contract, including only the basic information - basically copy and pasted from my email and added into the contract. I sent it off to my coordinator and she read it over.
She had a few basic suggestions of things she wanted to add to the contract to make it complete. Things like: The photographer and her partners names, what would happen in case of equipment malfunction, times she would arrive and then leave, an outline of what she would photograph.
I sent Alyssa the email from my coordinator and asked if she could get a contract back to me asap - so we could wrap this all up (it was 3 weeks until my wedding and I NEEDED a contract!). Attached to the email from my coordinator was a list of family and friends that Alyssa requested, so that she would know who I wanted to get photo's with.
I didn't hear from her for a few days, but thought I would give her a day or so to get the contract back to me. I texted her on April 24th asking if she was going to get me a contract, that I wanted to wrap this all up so I didn't have to worry about it.
She texted me back saying that we needed to talk because my coordinator was asking for unreasonable things to be added to the contract. I asked her what she meant and she said that it is unreasonable to add family/friends names to the contract (of photo's we wanted), because what if they didn't show up - I could sue her for not getting their photo.
I explained that we didn't want those names added to the contract, it was just a list of photo's we wanted. Something she had asked for. I asked her to re-read the email and let me know when she could get me a contract. She said she would send it right over.
All the next week (2 weeks before my wedding) I tried to call, text, email and message Alyssa - with barely any response. She promised me 3 times that week that I would have a contract - but she wouldn't send it or call me back. By Friday, April 27th, I was really worried. This was THE last thing that I needed to wrap up and I had this sinking feeling that she may just flake on me. That Friday night she told me that I would have it when she got home from work, so I crossed my fingers and prayed that it would still work out. After all, I really did like Alyssa and thought she was talented. Friday night came and went and I didn't receive anything, not even a phone call, text or message.
Saturday I sent her texts, emails, voicemails - all to no avail. I was feeling so sad and upset thinking that she wouldn't even give me the courtesy of calling me back - it was a week before my wedding!
I ended up remembering her partners name (thank god) and looked her up on Facebook. I sent her a message, explaining what was going on and she didn't know anything about it. She apologized profusely and let me know that what we wanted added to the contract was completely standard and she didn't understand what was going on. I explained to her that this put me in an awful position - I not only had to try to find a photographer 6 days before my wedding - but I wasn't sure she would even give me my deposit back (leaving me with a smaller budget than I already had!).
Her partner apologized profusely and ended up going down to where Alyssa works, picked up my deposit and drove it to my home - herself. 4 days before my wedding....
I think Alyssa is talented, but unfortunately she is not established herself professionally. She was rude to me, non responsive and actually blamed me for all of this (because we were asking for unreasonable things?). I never even received an apology for her not understanding the email that was sent.
I debated whether or not I should write this - but I don't think its fair to other brides out there. This was a sad experience that I wouldn't wish on someone else - especially a bride to be who is nervous enough already...
Overall Rating: 1.8 / 5.0