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Deceptive Practices and uncaring st...
Uncaring Staff and Deceptive Practices. I am writing this review to let everyone know about the deceptive practices employed by Kim Jew Photography and their uncaring staff. I have held off writing and submitting this to avoid a heat of the moment response. However, after reflecting and evaluating what happened to me, I didnt feel I could stand by and not say anything. My experience with Kim Jew started, of course, with family. My parents were due to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary on September 24, 2016. I had coordinated with my siblings and we were able to get everyone here for the event, which was not an easy task as my brother and two sisters live in Helena, MT; Seattle, WA and Portland, OR respectively. It seemed like a lucky coincidence when I saw a Groupon for Kim Jew offering an in-studio session and $200 credit towards pictures. I bought the Groupon and scheduled an appointment. At first, everything went well. The session was run by one of their photographers, Matt Foster, who did a great job with the session and ended up taking some really amazing photos. I have nothing negative to say about Mr. Foster, he is a great photographer. Unfortunately, that was the highlight of the session. Next started the high pressure sales pitch. First, they offered 50% off of pictures purchased that day, but we had limited time with everyone in from out of town and a lot of family events planned, so I deferred. I finally was able to schedule a visit to pick photos in early November. The salesperson assigned, Jazz, quickly brought up the pictures and started running through them quickly, asking me to compare and pick. I had not had the opportunity to preview any proofs as of this point. Going through the photos was difficult, as I liked several, and knowing I would have to be careful in my selection due to budget. I was able to select several, but the sticker shock was impressive. Then the first switcheroo happened. Jazz said the discount was only 40%, not the 50% offered by the photographer. Then the second shoe dropped. When I mentioned my $200 off from the Groupon, she said that did not count against the discounted price and would apply against the most expensive item, a $650 framed family photo that was to be a Christmas gift for my parents. You can do the math, but 50% off would be $325 and even 40% would be $390. So in the end, I ended up spending $425 instead, because I had a Groupon deal. Some deal. I am embarrassed I allowed myself to be bullied by the staff like that and ended up paying MORE than if I didnt have the Groupon. I left feeling abused, but thought that the Christmas gift would make it worth it. Fast forward to December. I received a call from the photographer that my prints were ready, but the framed picture was not. I was a little worried hearing that! And seriously, the prints were made from digital images they had had since September. Does it REALLY take 13 weeks to print a digital image?! The following week, the week of Christmas, I called to get the framed picture. Jazz got on the line and said it wasnt ready. The framed picture I had ordered two months prior. For Christmas. I asked Jazz if that was really the case and when I could pick it up. She matter-of-factly told me that it wasnt ready, the framer was behind schedule and, Oh, they dont ship anything from now until January 6th, so you can get it then. I got a bit upset and explained that this was a Christmas gift for my 80 year old parents and yada yada, (you get the picture). She said she would call me back. No one called me back, so that evening around 5, I called and she said she forgot to call me back, but actually it was ready and I could pick it up tomorrow (December 23rd). I did go and get the framed picture, but it made me wonder. Was it always ready and Jazz just couldnt be bothered to check because she didnt give a crap because they already had my money, or did they do a rush job and finish it in 24 hours because I complained? I dont know the answer to the last, but I can say I will never use Kim Jew photography again. After reading this, you are free to decide whether or not you will. I would obviously warn you not to. If you do choose to go, I would advise you to get the price list FIRST, and leave your heart and feelings for the subject of your photos at home, because they will use those feelings and emotions against you to suck every last dollar out of your pocket. I look at the pictures and they are beautiful, but I cant see them without recalling the horrible experience I went through to get them, which takes a lot of the beauty away.
They say you get what you pay for and that could not have been truer in our case with Larry Michaels. We hired him for our Wedding Videographer and DJ in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and what a big mistake that was. I am going to talk about each experience separately. DJ Experience: My maid of honor and I met with Larry a couple of times prior to the wedding to discuss the wedding music: dinner, entrance and dancing. I should have questioned his professionalism when he showed up in a Hawaiian shirt half buttoned down with his chest hair showing, but I thought maybe he would be the fun, carefree DJ that hung out with celebrities as all of his pictures on Facebook and his Website suggest. A week prior to the wedding I gave him a list of MUST play and DO NOT play songs as well as our entrance songs. I was a little taken aback when he asked me if I could upload all the music files and send them to him. First, a week before the wedding I was really stressed and didnt have time to be uploading music and second isnt that why I am paying to have a DJ. If I were going to upload all my own music I would just have saved the money and used an IPOD. The day of the wedding came and luckily he played all of our entrance songs correctly, but during dinner the music was so loud my wedding planner had to ask him to turn it down, and in response he was quite rude to her. He did turn it down though, and the rest of dinner was fine. It wasnt until the dancing/party portion of the evening when my husband and I were furious. First of all, he sat the entire evening in a chair looking completely bored and annoyed that he had to be there, not once did he get up to energize the crowd or get people on the dance floor, and he even had the audacity to talk on his cell phone several times while in the middle of providing a service. I guess one of his Celeb friends called! He also played numerous songs off of our DO NOT PLAY list including the hokey pokey, electric slide, Celebrate (which my husband cant stand) and several others. I couldnt believe it! Why did I even make the list! As far as the MUST PLAY songs, he would play a different song by the same artist, but it wasnt the same thing. Example: Lady Gagas Lets Dance is a fun dance song, but Paparazzi, even if being a good song is not a dance song in my opinion. Play the song I asked for please. The dance floor was slow the whole evening and I was really disappointed because my husband and I wanted our guests to have a really fun time. Most traveled a long way to be at our wedding. The dance atmosphere just wasnt there. The guests began leaving around 10:30 because they were getting bored. I was really upset because although Larry sat behind a table pushing a button to play music all night, which I guess is what he was technically contracted to do, that is where service ended. The energetic, fun, interactive, entertainment part of DJ services was not there, and he was obviously just there to get an easy paycheck. Overall, my husband and I, and even my wedding planner who has worked with numerous DJs, thought he was very unprofessional and disinterested in providing a whole DJ experience. I would not recommend him! Videography Experience: They did show up on time, which was a plus, but that was about it. I dont even know where to start! Before hiring him he told me he used Crystal Clear imaging that was just as high quality as HD. I looked at a video sample he provided on his website and thought it looked good, so I didnt question it because I am no video expert, but it turns out my IPhone takes higher quality videos. The technology was obviously obsolete and I am not sure why he was still using it. The video is pixelated, blurry, and not sharp at all. He also used his IPhone to record our ceremony because the large camera was stationed behind our officiant. During the recording of our ceremony using his IPhone a black border appears in the video, he is walking around and the picture is shaky, he tripped and stumbled a few times and captured the ground, and he also started talking on the video, so instead of our vows you can hear him talking to someone. Awesome! Per our contract he was also suppose to bring small microphones for my husband and our officiant to wear, but he did not bring them, so you hear more of the wind than the vows and ceremony. Per our contract he was also suppose to provide a wireless microphone during the speeches which he did not do, so during dinner the wedding party and my dad had to get up to walk to the dance floor to make speeches instead of enjoying our dinner. Not a huge deal, but if you say you will do something please do it. The video recording was also suppose to go for a certain amount of time per our contract, but the recording kept going past the cut off point. Of course, I am enjoying my wedding and not paying close attention to whether or not the recording has stopped. Larry comes up to me in the middle of dancing and says he needs a check right then and there for the additional video time. Um, okay! This is extremely tacky, and unprofessional if you ask me. He had been paid prior to his services and could have addressed this after the wedding. I had to leave my wedding to go locate my purse in a locked room somewhere in the country club and bring my check book up and sit and write him a check in front of all my guests. Once again, this should have been addressed after the wedding. Plus, the recording should have stopped by that point, but any way to get more money I guess. After the wedding, my husband and I were nervous to receive the video because we had no idea what to expect, though based on his website clips I thought everything would turn out all right. After months of waiting the video finally arrived. We popped it in and watched it and couldnt believe it. Like I mentioned earlier, the video quality was awful. It was completely pixelated, blurry, shaky, had a weird black band around most of the video, and the editing was a whole other issue. The talking during our ceremony was ridiculous, he had the background music so loud in the video that the part where my husband and I were asked say something nice to the other person about how excited we were to get married is inaudible over the music, so what is the point of the message? The editing is choppy and has no continuity, and I am sure we didnt even finish the video because we were so disgusted. I sent it back to him for re-editing and honestly we still have not watched the re-edited video because I am too scared and mad. My maid of honor, who has background in video, said it was one the worst amateur jobs she had ever seen in terms of quality and editing. I wish I could go back and hire someone else, but hopefully this review will save someone from the same fate!
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