- 6 years ago
See screen shots of all my text messages with Ezra Primack to see proof for yourself the shady-ness of his ways: https://picasaweb.google.com/111981800743651957310/TruLavieFormerlyKTBWeddingsTextsWithEzra?authuser=0&feat=directlink.
Ezra Primack of TruLaVie Wedding Photography formerly (Kiss the Bride (KTB) Weddings) is a horrible, immoral businessman/criminal who rips out the beating hearts of newlyweds everywhere. This is my detailed account of the extremely negative and very unfortunate experience I had with Ezra and KTB Weddings. Prepare yourself for the long story I am about to share.
What has become one of my biggest regrets IN LIFE is booking Ezra Primack and KTB Weddings as my wedding photographer. I will never stop kicking myself for letting myself get tricked into this tangled web of lies and tears. Ezra of KTB Weddings was the very first vendor I booked for my wedding – before I had a venue, a set date, and before I was even engaged.
I had my eyes on another photographer who did not turn out to be available for the tentative wedding date we selected (it was initially the 09.10.11 date). Thinking that my wedding date was going to be more of a popular one, I panicked thinking I wouldn’t be able to book a good photographer. I made it a priority to find and book a photographer which is how I ended up booking the photographer as the first service/vendor I booked for my wedding. Wedding photography was one of my top, top priorities and getting awesome photos was a top priority for me. Isn’t it ironic that I say that now after this has become one of the worst nightmares of my life?
I came across KTB Weddings and Ezra’s work on The Knot.com website and I was instantly enchanted by the photos and amazing editing work that I saw. I knew at the time that this was the photographer and photojournalistic style I wanted. I was bummed that he wasn’t going to be available on 09.10.11 that I even ended up changing my wedding date entirely to accommodate Ezra’s availability. My wedding ended up being changed to 10.21.11. He seemed like the NICEST human being on the planet before we booked with him (of course he would be, right?). I remember now that he actually was subtly pushy in getting me to expedite making my final decision about him as soon as possible so that the booking, confirmation, and deposit could be all settled quick.
Here are some of the puzzling factors I encountered with Ezra on the journey towards my wedding. Only in hindsight do I now realize that these were all red flags which I failed to see along the way. If I would have had the ability to recognize these as red flags…if only. And if I would have had the courage to walk way towards the end and just cut my losses, give up my deposit with Ezra, and find a new photographer…if only. I didn’t want to go through that process of having to admit and recognize there could be a problem and jeopardize this perfect vision I had of wedding planning. I didn’t want to have to shift gears and find a new photographer one month out before my wedding when the red flags built up the most. If only… If I was brave enough, I would’ve saved myself almost a year of heartache and tears. Instead, I kept swallowing the situation as it was and just pushed forward. It was only later I realized my mistake. Hindsight is 20/20.
Back to the puzzling factor/red flags:
1) After our engagement session, I wanted to get a better sense of the quality of work from the actual wedding days of his clients (most of his work on his website at the time was work from his engagement sessions). He didn’t seem forthcoming on helping me understand the quality of his wedding day work. He couldn’t speak to it and tried to show me some on his iPad after our engagement session but it wasn’t that clear. He asked me to come to his studio to look at albums but my schedule just didn’t allow for that. He couldn’t direct me to any posted photos of his wedding day work online. I found that odd.
2) There was one time where his assistant told me that my husband and I had to re-do our engagement session because Ezra lost our images. I was annoyed when I read this because I had just started a new job and couldn’t take time off to re-do an engagement session. I purposefully accomplished this before I started my new job because I knew it would be difficult to get time off with the new job. Come to find out later that it turned out to be another couple’s engagement session images that were lost. I was relieved. But in hindsight, this is a red flag that he would even “lose” a couple’s engagement session photos.
3) It did take longer than the average time to get our engagement photos. It took around 3-4 months. That’s the amount of time (or less) that photographers return official wedding photos in.
4) Communication from his assistant and administrative team was slow and painstaking throughout my engagement and wedding planning time. Customer service was of poor quality. Communication was not thorough and was slow.
5) Ezra did not demonstrate any approachability, interest, or cooperation to speak with me as my wedding date neared to go over all of the details. I did this a lot with all of my other wedding vendors so I found it odd that it was so difficult and like “pulling teeth” to do this with him. We also had some last minute challenges with the church related to taking photos after the ceremony and I didn’t feel confident or that Ezra was available to work with me through this challenge. I would expect him to be available on the phone so we can discuss the situation, but he wasn’t. Having found that out last minute and not have a cooperative photographer was completely nerve-wracking in the last couple of days and HOURS leading up to the wedding.
Another example of these negative behaviors on his part is that he wasn’t available to give me the photo frame and guest book in advance and insisted that he bring those with him on the actual wedding day. I wanted it in advance so that I could have already given it to the venue and so it would just have been already there for the wedding day. I wanted that for piece of mind. Doesn’t a bride deserve piece of mind? But no, he insisted I couldn’t and that he would just bring it. My nerves were right because I would come to read reviews later where he ended up failing bringing these on the wedding day for some other clients. Thankfully, he did end up bringing these as he said he would but why wouldn’t he accommodate me getting these in advance for my piece of mind? It probably wasn’t ready due to his procrastination and disorganization. If communication was effective all along, perhaps we could’ve resolved this more ahead of time. But of course, poor communication helped nothing at all.
Lastly, Ezra’s behaviors were demonstrated by in an extreme case when he canceled a meeting we were supposed to have at the VERY LAST MINUTE. I finally was able to get Ezra to commit to meeting with me before my wedding to go over all of the details (i.e. I had a comprehensive list of every single photo I wanted to have taken on the big day). I had specifically planned it so that my Wedding Coordinator was going to attend this meeting with me so that Ezra and my Wedding Coordinator could meet each other. My Wedding Coordinator and I both rearranged our work schedules to fit in this meeting with Ezra. As we were headed to the meeting location, I receive a call from Ezra saying he was stuck in Las Vegas on a photo shoot still that he was working on all day and would not be able to make our meeting. First of all, you were stuck ALL DAY at a photo shoot in LAS VEGAS and you are telling me about the cancellation 30 minutes in advance??!?!? Have some decency to tell me earlier in the day so that we could’ve avoided having left early from work to make the meeting. No consideration or courtesy at all. I was completely shocked by this cancellation and could NOT believe he just did that. I was LIVID. How could he do this to me when my wedding was coming up so fast? But in reference to one of my previous paragraphs (several ones up), I was too “chicken” to cut my losses and make a change with my photographer. If there was any moment I really should have done this, it would have been after he canceled this meeting on me last minute. But alas, I had no such courage to make that call. Ezra was able to reschedule the meeting two days later. When I met with him, he did not seem engaged AT ALL. I was trying to review the flow of the day (we had a long wedding day) and the photo list I compiled. I was trying to set my expectations for him on that day. I am the bride and he is the vendor so you would expect that HIRED vendor to bend and flex to the bride’s every need, want, and desire. Ezra seemed completely disengaged, uninterested, and disenchanted. It seemed like he was “too good” or “above” this process whereby I reviewed these details with him. What the heck?!?
Again, these red flags came up and I ignored them. If only…
Let me now tell you a little bit about how the timeline unfolded after my wedding:
1) He gave me a quote of approximately four months for post-production though I was not clear (due to his poor communication) if that referred to only the edits of the raw images or the comprehensive edits too.
2) I had one clarifying question about the shot of the wedding rings at approximately four months after the wedding. This was resolved fine.
3) I didn’t even start bugging and confronting him about the wedding pictures until six months after the wedding. That’s TWO more months after the estimated timeframe.
4) Around four to six months after the wedding, I started feeling anxious and started noticing all of the negative reviews on Yelp and various websites about KTB Weddings. I picked up the intensity in my follow-up (but was still professional and nice) around April 2012. I told him I was getting nervous because of all the reviews I was seeing. He freaked out when I told him this and quickly sent me an email (which was obviously a pre-typed template he sent to many of his clients) explaining his situation. We all now know his situation is that his camera equipment was all robbed when he was moving his studio. He lost raw images and edits as a result of this theft which caused him to refund money to a lot of clients and let go of his editing staff. All of this caused a backlog because he became a “one-man” show. The email he sent me described the situation in great detail. I CANNOT BELIEVE HE WAITED SIX MONTHS TO TELL ME ABOUT THIS SITUATION!! It wasn’t only until I confronted him about the negative reviews that he told me. What if I hadn’t? I doubt he would have been forthcoming on his own.
5) I finally got my contact sheets and raw 2500 files seven months after my wedding (May 2012). When I got these, I immediately noticed and told Ezra that I remember (in my foggy memory since it had been so long!) taking pictures on the wedding day that weren’t amongst the 2500 raw images he sent. He then admitted to a mistake that took place with compiling my first set of edited photos. He said that there were 500 “key images” that were not included in this upload in May because they were dropped in a separate folder that were ignored and left behind for purposes of the upload. He said that these were the best photos from his wide angle lens. I was bummed to hear that I couldn’t quickly see the “best” photos from my wedding. Because honestly, I was not all that impressed whatsoever with the other 2500 raw images. It was disappointing and underwhelming. More about the overall quality of his work later in the review.
6) He informed me that the Comprehensive Edits after this point would take approximately 30 days. Another extreme lie and inflation of timeline on his part.
7) Then we had miscommunication on when he was going to send the remaining 500 raw images. (See I felt better with each step I made. Obtaining the raw images meant at least I had those in my possession if he were to ever go “missing in action”). I assumed he could just upload those 500 raw images so I could obtain them. However, he only sent me the Contact Sheet for the 500 key images but not the actual raw files themselves. I was not pleased with discovering this “miscommunication” because I thought he said he committed to uploading the raw images too. He kept saying his intent was just to provide me with the Contact Sheet so I can easily submit my 50 image selections that were going to go through the comprehensive edits. He didn’t end up sending the 500 raw images until August and that was only because of another “miscommunication”.
8) In August 2012 (approximately 10 months after my wedding), my follow-up was becoming more and more intense and I was becoming less tolerant of this preposterous situation. I demanded everything that was owed to me as soon as possible. I thought that I was finally going to get that. He let me know he was uploading “everything”. After days and weeks of technical difficulties downloading his files from the server, I was disappointed to find out that his definition of “everything” was just that was going to re-send all Contact Sheets, the 3000 total raw images, and the raw images from the engagement session. He had not finished the Comprehensive Edits and did not include these in the upload. I was frantically looking for the Comprehensive Edits because that would mean this nightmare would be over. But they were nowhere to be found in the upload. So disappointing to find this especially after significant technical difficulties in the download process. By the way, the contract stated I would receive a CD with all of the images but all images were obtained through Ezra uploading the photos on his server and the client downloading them. There were multiple instances where power outages took place delaying the upload, servers went down, glitches happened, etc. It was painstaking and it would have been easier to have just gotten CDs. It was a complete alien request when I asked him if we could meet up and exchange hard drivers or CDs or something so that I could avoid the difficult download process. It was now 10 months and I finally at least had all 3000 raw images but I was still owed the Comprehensive Edits. Remember his editing style is why I was originally gravitated to his work.
9) It was finally September after a lot of harassment, prodding, and nagging that I received my Comprehensive Edits.
Let’s now talk about the quality of the wedding day photos and the Comprehensive Edits. Remember after my engagement session when I wanted to better see the work from the wedding days? Well that was a right hunch because the resulting quality of photos he took from my wedding day were extremely poor and negative. Someone who was attentive to detail could see all of the sloppy details in his photos – faces cut off, heads cut off, individuals blinking, instead of hanging my dress somewhere, someone was holding the dress hanger so you can see their fingers, etc.
The comprehensive photo list I had reviewed and given to him? He probably only accomplished 50% of it if that! There were so many details missing from the wedding photos. I worked so hard on the details, stationery, and decorations of my wedding day. Yet, he missed all of these.
Also, my biggest pride and joy in my wedding was actually my wedding venue, Seven-Degrees. It was our complete pride point of our wedding. I was in absolute love with this place. There was not a SINGLE shot of the uniqueness of Seven-Degrees and its architecture. Nothing.
You know what else he missed? Wedding receptions at Seven-Degrees come out very unique with the mirrored ceiling, lighting, table layouts, etc. Ezra did not take A SINGLE SHOT of my reception space. NONE. ZERO. NOTHING. Sure, I could go back to Seven-Degrees and take photos of its architecture and outside. But there was not a way to recreate my actual wedding reception.
It was utterly heartbreaking. Do you want to know how he DARE responded to my confronting him on the missing venue photos? HE HAS THE NERVE TO SAY THAT SEVEN-DEGREES IS PRETTY UGLY AND THAT HE DIDN’T THINK IT WOULD MAKE A GOOD SHOT. EXCUSE ME? HOW DO YOU GET TO HAVE AN OPINION ON WHAT IS GOOD OR NOT WHEN IT IS NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT YOUR WEDDING. He said it was the photographer’s discretion on what he thought would make for good photos.
That’s another regret because I now know his style wasn’t my style at all. Maybe because he’s a male and couldn’t have the attention to detail important to brides. But yet there are other male wedding photographers who can do this. He was into taking candid shots while you moved instead of static shots. I think that’s why he didn’t take a lot of the photos he thought would be BORING but yet that were so important to me. Remind me again whose wedding this was? AND I EVEN REVIEWED MY EXPECTATIONS OF WHAT PHOTOS I WANTED DURING THE LAST MEETING. BUT WAIT, I DID SAY HE WASN’T ENGAGED DURING THAT MEETING. OBVIOUSLY!!!! The photos came out nothing like I had envisioned. After all of the drama and pain of waiting for the photos, this was what I was left with? Heartbreaking and gut-wrenching. It was barely the work of a professional. My heart kept sinking and it felt horrible.
I was gravitated towards his magazine editorial and photojournalism editing style from his website wayyyy back from 2010. Seeing my Comprehensive Edits finally in September (11 months later!) was so disappointing and underwhelming. It was BARELY underwhelming. There was no excitement reaction from me upon seeing these. An incredible shame based on why I selected him as my photographer to begin with. My photos did NOT come out like the photos I saw on his website from 2009 and 2010. I did not even cut corners in budgeting for my photographer. I did not cop out on a “cheap” wedding photographer. I paid more than average price for Ezra and KTB Weddings and I couldn’t believe this is what I ended up with. A nightmare and barely stellar results. At the end of a long 11 months, yes, I was relieved I finally had everything but was just so regretful of how it all turned out. There were a lot of tears cried and pain felt. A lot. 11 months of it at least.
There was never any honesty on his part. I found out during my painful 11 months from some other source (which I can’t remember from what exactly now) that his theft incident took place at the end of the busy wedding season in 2011/end of summer. That means that the theft took place BEFORE my wedding and he dared not even tell me about this?!??!? He didn’t bring it to my attention or make me aware. If he did, it could’ve been the kick I could’ve needed for an escape route and to cut my losses. No such escape route was given to me due to Ezra’s cruelty and maliciousness. In fact, this means that the theft incident probably already took place by the time I had my final meeting with Ezra (the one that he canceled on me). During this final meeting, there was actually something odd told me to from Ezra. During that meeting, I told Ezra I noticed that Sue Park was no longer on his team and was no longer corresponding with me. He explained this by saying that he fired her for losing clients’ photos due to not storing it remotely on their “cloud” system. I think back now and wonder how accurate this portrayal is. There were other just instances of bad luck that his business encountered. I wonder to what extent these are lies or just purely bad luck? He gave me a discount a couple of months before my wedding because he said that his business’ accounting system was hacked and he lost a lot of information. He was providing discounts for clients to assure them that their confidential credit card information was not compromised.
It was completely ridiculous to wait 11 months for my wedding photos. There was no clarity on what the post-production process was like. There was ZERO communication over email or by phone. Voicemails left were ignored. Phone calls just kept ringing. His voicemail box was full and at capacity very often. He only accommodated phone calls like once or twice throughout the whole post-production time. May 2012 was probably the very last time I spoke to him on the phone.
It amazed me how he continued to shoot weddings in 2012 for pre-booked clients while he had this building backlog of wedding photos he still had not reconciled with clients. If he was fair, he would have stopped consuming his time with the 2012 weddings and focused on getting rid of his backlog. He would also be fair by warning the 2012 couples of his situation and give them a chance at an “escape route”. But of course he is an evil individual that probably did not do this. I have been in touch with other clients who got married before me and my husband who were still waiting for their photos. Some of these couples lost all touch with Ezra COMPLETELY. I was lucky that he was still responding to my text messages albeit responses would be weeks apart from each other. Each time this happened, I was afraid he would just go “missing in action” before I got everything I needed. I think I was able to get my photos partly because I just kept nagging, being overly persistent, setting deadlines, and threatening legal action. When I would set a deadline on when I needed to hear back from him, he would always wait to the last minute to give me my response. It was like pins on needles wondering if he was still around. At one point, he gave me “information” for his lawyer and where legal action should be directed to. I don’t know if that information was accurate.
But I can’t believe all the others that were in worse positions than me. How could he do this? How could he be such a tormentor to what’s supposed to be a happy memory? Now all of the couples, including me and my husband, have tarnished memories of this whole experience. We will NEVER be able to think about our wedding without remembering the nightmare we went through with Ezra and KTB Weddings. There was a time when he actually wrote a manifesto that he posted on the “My Experience with Kiss the Bride Weddings” Facebook page where a lot of clients go to congregate and discuss our negative experiences. He wrote a loooong manifesto defending himself and taking absolutely ZERO accountability. Within a week or so, he deleted his manifesto.
I was so traumatized by this whole experience that we decided to do a one year anniversary do-over photo shoot where me and my husband got back into our wedding day attire and hired another photographer to take shots of us again. This helped to alleviate the pain a little bit that Ezra left behind on us but it doesn’t change the fact that Ezra has completely tarnished memories of our wedding day (photograph memories literally).
Ezra now has the nerve to start new wedding photography company called “Trulavie”. It’s obvious this is Ezra’s new wedding photography business. The music, the website style, the fonts, they are all the same. He has a history of entrepreneurship and having his own business start-ups if you Google his name. It makes me absolutely livid to think he can get away with all of his wrongdoings and just start up something new and fool new, innocent couples. It makes me angry. It is ludicrous that he would do this. My only hope is that people will come across my long story and see the truth. Ezra, you have absolutely shattered one of the most important days of our lives. Karma will come back and take care of you.