(Closed) Beware of TruLavie Wedding Photography/KTB Kiss the Bride Weddings/Ezra Primack

posted 6 years ago in Los Angeles
Post # 3
Member
395 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Wow, I am at a loss for words… I did go to his website (http://ktbweddings.com) and read the letter he left for his clients… Then I searched his “new” one that you were talking about (http://www.trulavie.com/Contact/contact.html) and I see what you mean! In his letter, he says that they will be closing for good!

I am so sorry this has happened to you and thank you for making other brides aware of your experience and warn them.

Is there a class action lawsuit that is being filed against him? 

Post # 4
Member
540 posts
Busy bee

I read this, and I’ve skimmed to see if there’s an answer to my questions for you, but I don’t see it, so:

Did you see any recent wedding photography work of his prior to your wedding? Did he provide references, and did you talk with any of them about their experience having him as their wedding photographer?

Personally, I could not/would not hire any photographer that I, or someone I know, did  not already have a previous photography experience with, especially for my wedding.

Post # 7
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

Hi Folks…

Hi its Ezra from Ktb Weddings here. Wow I know this looks bad .. I guess I am hoping to be able to defend myself just a bit here. I will keep it as on point and as concise as I can. Stella has a right to voice her views although I do not like the personal attacks and I hope when you contrast the things she has said with what I am able to show here it will bring her credibility in to question in general. 

Let me preface by saying that yes working with us during this period was an exercise in frustration for many of our clients. I have had some really bad luck over the past 20 months. At one point our office computers were hacked, at another point a staffer tripped over the cable to a hard drive connected to one of the editing workstations and 2 months worth of work had to be re-done from backups. The “coup de grace” in this epic tragedy was that owner of our building had the property foreclosed on and we had to move. Well during the move our u-haul got broken into and over 5000 man hours ( 120 weddings ) worth of edited work was stollen on the computers and backup drives we were moving ( Pasadena PD Police report#11016257). While we back up all the originals online this still had a major impact on delivery dates. Talk about karmically bad luck :/  I challenge any one to operate a business perfectly under these circumstances. The one thing I didn’t do was give up and I hope somewhere this is acknowledged.  

The easy thing to do at this point would have been to pull the pin and just walk away – pull an Enron and leave it up to the bankruptcy courts to sort out. I didn’t do that – I actually stopped bidding on 90% of the quote request that came in and just took enough work on so that I could survive the next 18 months.  18 months- yep  thats what I thought it was going to take me to single handily  make up 5000 hours worth of work. Call it the triumph of optimism over experience. It would be a much longer journey than that. Im still trudging through it ( but down to 11 weddings as of January 28th 2013 ) I started with more than 120. 

So now you know the context of everything while my working relationship with Stella developed. On to the more salient points of her review….


Stella Statement: 

“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. “

 

Ktb Response:

When she booked us the website we had at that time was brand new. It had some highlighted weddings – mostly the stuff we just shot at two events, one in Paris and one we did in Ireland as well as what I consider our specialty of engagement shoots. That said I am very proud of our weddings and invited her into the studio where we have tons of albums and a large LED 50″ TV with about 40 complete recent weddings showcased for her perusal. This was important to her I just wish it was important enough for her schedule to allow as she alluded to. 

Here is her engagement session: http://www.ktbweddings.com/client-pages/Stella_Glenn_Engagement.html

Stella Statement: 

 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.  

Ktb Response: 

Unless the client specifically request the photos for other media purposes ( save the dates, invites etc. ) we do the engagement session to accommodate the 12×12″ hardbound photo guest signature album and 24×36″ triple framed portrait that is for use on the wedding day. Stella never never requested the work to be expedited for her personal use so we took the time to do all of the body contouring, skin and blemish work as well as compensating for less than perfect weather the day of or shoot ( looking at the photos you would think it was a perfect sunny day – it wasn’t ) but thats where some of the time went. I could have cut corners and said “you know thats the way it was – I didn’t – I wanted the result to be as good as I could make it… 

Stella Statement:

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.


Ktb Response: 

I apologize for this but it has always been our policy to bring the material goods with us the day of the wedding. This ensures that the silver metallic ink pens ( the only things that will write on the glossy signature photo album pages ) don’t get lost – or the books forgotten ( its happened when we did turn it over to clients in the beginning )  and the prints that are framed don’t get left in too hot or cold of an environment where the adhesive that the print is curing to the frame could wrinkle ( this has also happened ) – I am proud of our work and want to make sure it is presentable the day of the clients event. In almost 300 weddings only once did we not show up to the wedding with the book and frame ( Justin and Janea’s Wedding ) and for that we changed policy about staff photographers checking onto the office before leaving.  Mistakes will happen but only that one time out of nearly 300. More frequently material goods would get ruined or lost by 3rd party mistreatment prior to the wedding. Thus the policy. 

Stella Statement:

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 

Ktb Response: 

The day of this meeting I was in Las Vegas on an Engagement shoot. My Southwest flight was scheduled in plenty of time to make my meeting but was delayed. I am looking into flight history databases and if I can find something publicly viewable. I offered to reschedule the meeting – I was apologetic and of course the situation was regrettable. I  had packed frame samples with me before I left that day and already had the outline of discussion topics saved on my computer for our meeting. This was not intentional but an unfortunate circumstance I wish I could have been able to do something about. Stella Knows this and I have to wonder why she would make this a point of discussion – especially because I had no awareness of the flight delay until I myself was at the airport also wanting to head back to LA. 

Stella is right on and accurate in this….

I will stipulate to all of Stella’s frustrations in regards to the protracted post production time after her wedding. This was an unfortunate and regrettable product of the circumstances surrounding the backlog I was still drowning in. Stella was not the only client that was stuck waiting for me to get through to her pictures. I was doing my best to work through the clients who had been waiting the longest and work my way up to more recent clients like hers. I could not unfortunately skip her ahead of other people that had been waiting even longer for their pictures… this would not be fair to them. Being robbed made life painful for everyone – I pretty much lost a business that I had spent 5 years building. In fact if you read reviews prior to all of this you will see that they were glowing… it wasn’t until the universe felt that my charmed life had to come to an end and decided to humble me that you see all of the client aggravation. 

Where I disgree…

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. 

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. 

Ktb Response: 

Now watch this slideshow of her actual wedding day photos. If you can please zero in on her statements that: 

A. The photos are poor quality.

B. No Stationary, Decorations

C. Not a Single shot of Seven Degrees Architecture

D. Not a single shot of the reception space “NONE. ZERO. NOTHING”

Keep in mind this slideshow is just a fraction of the 2500 photos she received and everything she says was missing I was able to find in less than 5 minutes of looking through the very contact sheet and photos she was provided. Many of the “missing shots” are towards the end of this slideshow. 

here is a direct link to all the “missing” shots: http://www.ktbweddings.com/Post_Proof_Stella_Glenn_Wedding.html

You will find photos of everything she said was missing. Her statement regarding the missing mirror ceiling shot is true – but it was also another decision while made on the “front lines”. Her reception was lit in such a way that you could not see the reflection of the tables at all. The shot that replaced it was from the opposite angle where you could see the whole room and the origami birds that she made it a point to tell me to cover.   

Stella Statement:

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.

Ktb Response: 

I would also like to clarify the statement above. I NEVER said 7-degress is ugly. I actually love that venue and have shot there often. What i DID say was the curb side view was an ugly shot and thats why I didn’t get it. What I also said was something to the effect that when you hire a photographer you are hiring that photographer for the types of creative decisions they make.

While I want to accommodate client request and it’s not a problem for me to take a special photo even if I don’t think its going to be a “masterpiece” this was all after the fact and I was giving her my rational for not doing that specific shot. Yes I should not have used the work “ugly” but semantics aside my intention was to provide shots that were going to be “aesthetically pleasing”. Unfortunatly this was a conversation that took place after the fact – never was discussed at our pre wedding meeting. At this point all I could do was gibve my rational for why I made the decision I did.

Stella Statement:

…instead of hanging my dress somewhere, someone was holding the dress hanger so you can see their fingers”

Ktb Response: 

As far as finding a place to hang the dress – there was not a good place in her hotel room as there were no floor to ceiling windows. We opted for the lobby and did a simulated Hanging from a perspective that made it look like the dress was hanging from a fixture in a part of the lobby that did look great. The fingers would be photoshoped out and the effect is convincing. Stella never opted for this picture in her comprehensive edit choices so that edit was never made. Given the circumstances however I am more than happy to fix that. In this case trying to be resourceful and go for a better shot was somehow seen as a negative. I do think the shot we opted for still has the potential to be far better than her dress hanging on a bathroom door in a cramped messy room or hanging over a half height window with a poor view and an AC unit bombing the shot directly below the dress. 

Stella Statement:

 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.

Ktb Response: 

At this point we were still exploring our options and I did not want to create a public panic. Yes being the filthy capitalist that I am I was hoping to preserve the business that I loved and worked so hard to build. At that time I still believed that we were going to recover and Lord willing perhaps a chance that I would get a call from the police saying that they raided some place and recovered my stolen property.  

Stella Statement:

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.

 

Ktb Response: 

It is possible that Stella comes from trust fund money. I unfortunately do not. I somehow have to eat and finance the ongoing operations of a business that had commitments to other people. These are functions that require money. I am the first person to wish that I didn’t have to shoot anymore and could have focused 100% of everyday and night on just editing backlog. The distraction of having to work so I could eat and have electricity to power the editing  computers is an unfortunate by product of having to live while doing the work. In all seriousness how can someone expect a person not to need to earn enough to finance the very work they are asking for?

Stella Statement:

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. 

 

Ktb Response: 

Trulavie was a brand extension of Ktb that was going to market a different set of wedding photography related services ( A same day edit on wedding photography, premium albums etc ) This was never designed to be a replacement or new startup after Ktb to fool people. If you look up the date the domain was registered you will see that it was originally registered almost 2 years ago. Yes I have been tempted to try and get new work with it from time to time but I have not really pursued that. My reason for even being tempted is out of desperation. Reviews like Stella’s have handicapped my ability to get even the minimum business to finance album production and other material goods production that people are waiting for. I want everyone to get their albums and everything they are owed. Its really hard to do that when you are no longer have any cash-flow resultant from the fallout of a disaster that you never wanted in the first place. 

Stella has publicly displayed my personal phone number on the internet ( my clients all have this – other than broadcast it to the rest of the world when I have already been robbed I cant imagine why she would do this ) – Publicly called me a criminal and a con artist when anyone who takes a second can see by reviews online that peoples wedding photos are being delivered ( yes it slow – i’m still only one person – but I haven’t given up or disappeared which a con artist would do ). Stella has also made other statements that are the definition of slander and defamation.  

I take an immense amount of pride in the work that I did – I encourage any of you to visit http://www.trulavie.com and look at the main and portfolio pages. There are dozens of weddings that show the kind of effort I made to capture peoples special day. I only link this in because as person who creatively tried so hard and cared so much to be seen this way does hurt. 

When life deals you a really bad hand its the hope that the community will rally to help those in need survive something… especially when we all sink or swim together. 

 

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