I was contacted by Votary with a quote via Thumbtack. I was weighing a number of different vendors to do a dual realestate/personal photo shoot. Mike at Votary was very excited to get the job and followed up with me after sending his quote. He answered all my questions thoroughly. Despite his quote being the most expensive as well as the company not having any reviews posted on the web, I decided to choose them for my project.
One thing that was not clear was that Votary is simply a middleman between the client and photographer. If you ask for representation of their previous work, you will not necessarily see work of the photographer that will be assigned to your project. This would become a problem for my project.
The day of our shoot, our photographer arrived no problem. She had a great personality, and although she did not give as much direction to us as Mike had promised our photographer would, we enjoyed the experience and a shoot that was quoted at two hours was done in 45 minutes.
All photos were delivered to me in less than 24 hours, which was amazing. One thing to take away from this review: our realestatephotos were beautiful and exactly what we were hoping for. I was surprised to see that there were under 10 photos of my fiancé and I, so I requested more as I knew we had taken more. This is where our experience took a devastating turn - our photographer admitted that when she left our home and looked at her camera, most of the photos of us had come out blurry. She did not feel comfortable sharing additional images because of the poor quality. She offered to come back out and reshoot.
After some back and forth with the photographer, I reached out to both Mike and the owner of the company, Jed. This was a Saturday afternoon. I wanted to get their take on how to best handle an unfinished project. When I had not heard from them my Monday afternoon, I called Jed. Jed's lack of customer service really alarmed me and makes me highly warn anyone from trusting Votary with any pictures capturing something special in your life.
Jed was hellbent on accusing me of having tricked Votary into shooting an engagement shoot under the guise of a realestate shoot. What transpired was Mike brokering deals for the company that Jed clearly does not support. What should have been a private matter between business partners soon became my problem. Jed was accusatory, rude in his manners and uninterested in resolving the issue. I came to him to get his professional opinion on how to handle the situation as I was an unsatisfied customer that my photos had come out blurry (read: unprintable). He offered me either a $100 refund or a reshoot but only for one hour and at the same location. The $100 back was not nearly enough to warrant the total price paid for the work received. A reshoot would have been a mildly satisfactory solution if there had not been so much prep on our behalf for the shoot - house cleaner, hair and makeup, vacation days from work.
There was some back and forth but the bottom line is that this company has a lot to learn in regards to customer service. Especially being a company that contracts out their work, they need to learn how to deal with situations such as this. The shoot took half the time they quoted me (which would have been fine if they didn't come out blurry and were unusable), the photographer did not instruct us on poses (like promised) and the sense of pride and passion in the work that the company does is not a quality the team possesses.
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