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Wedding and Event Photography
I chose Sparks because Tom had so many if not all great reviews. I also looked through his photos and they seemed like professional, quality shots. I spoke with Tom on the phone before booking him, and he seemed thoughtful and professional as well. He told me he would probably be the one to shoot my daughter's Doljanchi (major Korean event to celebrate 1st birthday). A couple of days before, he messaged me and told me one of his photographers, Monet would be coming instead. I started to feel unsure about it, since I had only spoken to Tom about what my expectations were and which shot (s) were most important. I specifically hired a photographer for a single shot of my daughter sitting on a table with all her 'blessings'. This is a costly table that is carefully set-up for this specific portrait photograph. This photo is a photo I was going to send out to friends and family as well as a photo for my daughter to look back on to understand her heritage. I reiterated in email and on phone that this was the shot I needed. I also specifically asked for 'no flash' because the entire space was surrounded by windows and natural light (not knowing the photographers abilities to shoot in this condition). The settings were so off, that every single shot (130+) came our blurry regardless of pixels per inch. There was also not enough exposure so all the white surfaces were dark and gray. Side note: You can not edit a photo to have more light, that was not taken with enough exposure. I am not a pro photographer, but I am also not a novice. Even I know how to shoot in these conditions. If you are a paid photographer that is not familiar with no flash photography or you feel there is not enough light to produce quality shots; it is your job to make the professional decision to use a flash; perhaps with a diffuser. Not only were the settings on the camera off, the photos were framed so poorly, and I didn't get all of the shots I requested. The one shot I did request, she took ONE single photo of with half the table cut off. It was so bad I cried when I saw it because I was so upset. I cried because my baby will never be one again. I cried because we spent weeks getting all the table objects, some from Korea. I cried because I knew I would never get my squirmy baby in that Hanbok ever again with far away family watching. Lesson learned: I should have spent more time on a photographer or given myself time to do it. Monet also did not greet me when she came in, I had to walk up to her in the midst of setting up and talking to friends and family who flew in from across the country. She didn't say a single word to me except to ask me what a certain object was. She did not smile once, did not say anything really. Tom clearly did not communicate to her what we had discussed. Knowing now, I would have hired a professional photographer three times the cost, to get the one photo Sparks missed. I do blame myself too, but wanted to communicate that anyone else that decides to choose Sparks - speak DIRECTLY to the photographer coming to your event (not just Tom). What a disaster!!! PS. Tom was very professional in responding to my dissatisfaction and refunded half of the charge. He also offered to re-shoot with everything set-up which was not possible. It was nice of him to offer.Mar 8, 2019VerifiedSparks Media Group's reply
Hi Amy, Thanks again for your feedback. I am sorry that you were dissatisfied which is the main reason I refunded you 50% of your package price before reaching out to you. Let me clear somethings up please. I did tell you that I have several photographers that shoot for me and I cannot guarantee it would be me, but that a professional photographer would arrive. Monet arrived to a room full of people and indicated she didn't know who you were but was happy when you introduced yourself, it's easy for everyone to pick out the photographer in the room but not easy for the photographer to pick out the client. I dispute the fact that "every single shot (130+) was blurry, this just isn't true, I delivered all images to you, some of which had a shallow depth of field, but none were "blurry" as you say. You expressed to me that you didn't want flash and I urged against it, even mentioning that we use diffusers on our flashes, you said no flash. We went with your method, having said that. You are incorrect when you say you cant edit a photo to have more light, you can brighten up photos. The example photos on my profile here and on my website were all edited in a similar style and manner to your photos, I assume that's what drew your eye to me and led you to hire me. I didn't edit yours any different than the hundreds of other events we've done in the past. Having said that, I did offer several times to edit the images to your specific taste, which you declined. The "main photo" of Gia on the table, was shot exactly as the example images you sent to me, with the focus being on gia, not the entire table from floor to tabletop. We delivered that photo, could we have taken more, sure, but the photo that was delivered was exactly like the example shots you said you wanted. I did fill Monet in on everything that was discussed including your key shots you wanted. Again, I'm sorry you were dissatisified with the service that you were provided. My photographers and I photograph hundreds of events a year and have a steallar rating (as you can see from my reviews on here). Take Care, Tom
Tom is a good guy and his quality is great. We got many pictures at the city hall of SF, cathedral charch, on the street, palace of fine art, and Hopper's hands in 3 hours. He sent us the edited photos in 3 days after the photo shooting. We are so happy that he took our pre-wedding photo shooting.Apr 7, 2019Verified
What a great choice we made hiring Thomas! We had 100+ people that all wanted individual family portraits and only 1 hour to do it all. Not only did Thomas get every picture we requested, he had time left over for fun pics. Very easy going and non-intrusive. Definitely going to hire him again for our next goat-roping!!Nov 15, 2017Verified
Boy are we lucky we chose Tom! He is now our favorite photographer. We booked him for our company individual head shots as well as team photos. He is very responsive, arrived on time with a smile, and suggested great spots/lighting for each shot. Most importantly, he made everyone look fantastic, taking several different photos of each person until he got that perfect look. Highly recommended!!Mar 30, 2018Verified
Thomas was super personable. His pictures turned out fantastic and he was truly concerned about how much we liked or disliked the photos. When we arrived at the shoot location he was already there and had found a few locations to shoot. He got the pictures to us next day!!! I highly recommendNov 21, 2017Verified
- What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?I try to custom fit my quotes to what the customer is requesting. A family photo shoot 5 miles from me will be less than a family photo shoot 50 miles from me. A small wedding at a court house would be less than a big wedding at a winery for example. I do have general package prices on my website however to give you a feel for what I typically charge. As always, my prices are able to be customized to what the client needs. Please rest asured that my price quoted is by "best price" and was chosen based on the specifics you noted in your request.
- What is your typical process for working with a new customer?I like to have consultations (via email, in person or phone) with the customer to ensure we have the same vision for what they'd like done. From there I prepare an invoice or contract and send it to the customer in order to collect a deposit, deposits secure the shoot date/time. A couple days prior to the shoot I will confirm via text or email so that the customer is aware that the shoot is coming up and to ensure nothing has changed on their side. During the photo shoot I let the customer see the images I am shooting to ensure that what we discussed is being captured. After the shoot is completed I send the customer a secure web gallery link typically within 3 days (weddings sometimes take longer as there are generally a lot more images shot) that has all their edited images. They may share this link with family and friends, download images (with print release) and/or order prints directly from the link.
- What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?I'd like to add that I have photographers insurance covering me for up to $2,000,000 in liability. I am able to get a Certificate of Insurer (COI) for locations that require it in order to shoot at.