Alex and I's wedding celebration was August 25th,2011. We were coming in from out of the country to see family, friends and to have a memorable occasion.We were doing most of our wedding planning from out of the country. Alex insisted that we hire a photographer so we signed a contract and negotiated a price online for an engagement photo shoot and wedding photo shoot of $1600. Michelle said that if we pay the money up front we could get a $100 discount. We sent the contract 5/31/2011 and wired her $500 shortly afterwards.
We arrived in the states on August 18th and shot the engagement photos around the 23rd. The photo shoot was very random, she did some of my make up touch ups for the light, Alex and I had some kiss shots but it seemed that Michelle had us doing the same poses for the entire time we were with her. Alex and I decided to spice it up and do different poses so there would be variety. At the end of the shoot she asked for a ride...I was very put off by this, why would she not have her own car if she is constantly going to shoots? This made me question what exactly we had gotten ourselves into. We spent more time with her getting some night shots in downtown portland. Alex asked her when we should pay her and she said now if you have it. We paid her $1000 dollars that night to ensure we would receive services later. August 25th came and Michelle shows up with an assistant (that she didn't even inform me would be there). We paid for her assistant's meal anyway and at the end of the day we left with something along the lines of "you guys are truly lucky to have found one another, all of your pictures should be done in about a month." Great!
A month goes past, nothing, two months, nothing, three...after several emails asking what is going on and receiving no reply other than to thank me for a thank you card I sent to her....she replies when I tell her I will be having someone represent me, so she can talk with them from now on. She explains to me that she was having hard drive issues and that she lost data, had to get it fixed and pictures should be here in about a week. She gave us a link to where she uploaded about 40 low-mid quality pictures...Pictures that my cousin could have taken and gotten better shots. I was understanding with her, even empathetic and gave her a final date that she could submit ALL of the pictures.
It is now Mid April and we still havent received our wedding/engagement pictures.Memories have been lost and I am really upset over the whole ordeal because I have never been cheated before. Everyone wants to believe in the good of someone...that they will be respectful and responsible but when something like this happens it puts a stain on what could have been a very nice day and destroys the trust between a service provider and his/her clients.
Michelle Pearl Gee is a sorry excuse for a photographer. She is unprofessional, she does not respond to emails or phone calls. It is now 6+ months after our wedding, we have about 40 low quality pictures and hardly any memories to show our family. She could have kept in contact with us, letting us know her issues or at least been responsible enough to refund our money.
Next time we will not prepay ANYTHING! Do yourselves a favor and make sure to see how long it takes for a photographer to get back to you...it may be ok initially but make sure to call/email in between dates to make sure they are prompt. Do not make the mistake we made, especially on a day so special :(