Does anyone have experience with Essence, George Street, or Timothy Whaley photo

posted 2 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: Your experience, based on the photography company
    Essence- Good experience : (1 votes)
    10 %
    Essense- Bad experience : (0 votes)
    George Street- good experience : (2 votes)
    20 %
    George Street- bad experience : (5 votes)
    50 %
    Timothy Whaley- good experience : (1 votes)
    10 %
    Timothy Whaley- bad experience : (1 votes)
    10 %
  • Post # 2
    Member
    1062 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    Where are you located? I bet a lot of bad experiences are based on the photographer who was contracted with the agency.

    My coworker used Georgestreet and had glowing reviews.

    I only interviewed one of the photographers at Georgestreet but I didn’t go with that photographer or the other ones available simply bc I met some independent photographers with a stronger portfolio. However, I found the interview process to be pleasant.

    Post # 3
    Member
    650 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I used George Street in NYC because it was the only photog (service) in my budget that I liked, and our cousin had a good experience. We had a wonderful experience. 

    Some bees shamed George Street a bit when I booked, when I noted that my particular photographer was affordable through GS but not as an independent photographer, so I doubted myself for a minute, but it turned out to be totally unfounded. 

    Post # 5
    Member
    103 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    marhealy:  We are going with Essence based on a few great reviews from friends.  We also clicked well with the photographer when we met her.  I have heard mixed reviews about George Street, mostly around very long delays to get pictures and also photographers being substituted at the last minute.  I only have one friend who used Timothy Whaley and she was not happy. She said they were very overpriced for what she got.

    Post # 6
    Member
    44 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I’m also in the Chicago suburbs.  I used Timothy Whaley.  Ended up being more pricey than I thought it would be…however, I really enjoyed my photographers and I ended up with some really great pictures.  So, in the end I definitely think it was worth it.

    Post # 7
    Member
    842 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    marhealy:  I saw some of those bad reviews too, so I ran for the hills. I’m still looking, but I found some very promising vendors at a bridal show. Have you been to any? There is one with a good fashion show as well. A bit overwhelming, but still has what looks to be good vendors.

    http://www.bridalshowexpo.com/dates_and_locations.html

     

    BTW, this show has a free raffle where they give away TW photo packages. The 3 photo companies you mentioned are usually there, but so are some of the lesser named and small independent companies.

    Post # 8
    Member
    3201 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    marhealy:  Well, George Street was our second choice for photography. I had a phone interview with someone with them and what was supposed to be a quick ten minutes to book our interview turned into over an hour just chatting about the wedding and different things with my FI and I. They were very helpful and they seemed absolutely awesome! The only reason I didn’t go with them is because I found someone more local who I just had a gut feeling about. I’ve only ever seen good reviews about George Street.

    Post # 9
    Member
    852 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

     

    marhealy:  I have found that George Street and other large photo companies hire photographers that also work independently on the side.  A lot of times, these photographers are semi new to the business and do not have enough clients to be able to work as a full time independent wedding photographer.   I have found that in major cities it is not uncommon to find great photogaphers working for companies like George Street…… I would ask to see individual work by the photographers and then sign a contract specifiically listing the photographers you want……

    Post # 10
    Member
    85 posts
    Worker bee

    Also, whenever on Yelp, check the “Not reccomended” reviews at the bottom.  I always do that now with EVERY business I yelp after I realized that any time I gave a glowing review it was filtered, but if I trashed a business it was left up.  Ever since yelp won the case that they can filter all positive reviews and leave up the negative ones, I haven’t trusted them as much.

    Don’t get me wrong, go with your gut and if all (filtered and unfiltered) are negative, then take that into consideration, too.

    Post # 11
    Member
    1437 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2014

    marhealy:  As far as I know, the beef with George Street isn’t necessarily the photos…it’s that they are contractually allowed to pull the bait-&-switch on you at any point in the process. So, let’s say you meet photographer John through George Street – you love his work and his personality – so you decide to choose him. 2 weeks before your wedding, George Street calls and tells you that John is no longer available on your date and they are replacing him with photographer Jim, whose work they claim is similar. Unfortunately, you never got a chance to meet with Jim or see any of his work, and it turns out that his style isn’t what you wanted at all (or worse – he’s brand new and completely inexperienced). The contract that you sign with George Street stipulates that this exact scenario could happen and you would still be obligated to pay the full amount initially agreed upon when you signed John.

    I’ve heard this scenario a million times on these boards and in Yelp reviews. I’d say just be on the safe side and sign a reputable photographer directly.

    Post # 13
    Member
    44 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    marhealy:  Our main photographer was Jerry Amber.  Everyone really liked him as far as his personality, and like I said before, wehave a bunch of pictures we love.  We also had a 2nd photographer too for 5 hours.  I’m blanking on his name right now, unfortunately.  If you look up reviews on Jerry, they are all positive.  

    Post # 14
    Member
    103 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

     

    marhealy:  We met with the owner (Mike?) our first meeting and he talked to us to figure out what our style was.  Ours is more playful and candid with a few formal shots but we definitely don’t want a lot of cheesy posed photos.  The reccomendation for us was to go with Amanda Mauser, and we absolutely loved her portfolio.  It captures a lot of things we definitely want.  I would say if you are just “ok” with a couple photographers, ask to see more portfolios and see which one fits your style the best.

    Post # 15
    Member
    103 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

     

    marhealy:  I also wanted to add that another reason we did not pick George Street is because we were told their photographers all have othwer day jobs and only do wedding photography on the side, therefore you are given a range of when you can expect to see your proofs, and you are also not promised an exact photographer as conflicts may arise in their personal schedules.  That said, I have a few friends who used George Street and their photos are absolutely stunning.  For me, I did not want the uncertainty and I wanted someone who only does this type of work. 

    Also, we were mainly looking at these larger companies because we wanted both Photography and Videography and found it was best if both came from the same company.  If you are only going with photography it is much easier to go with an independent photographer.  My florist actually gave me a contact for a friend of hers that only does photography and his portfolio is amazing.  Let me know if you want his contact and I’ll send it your way.  I live in Schaumburg btw, sounds like you’re not far from me.

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