Just a warning to brides looking for a great value on photography - YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR...
Warning about Jason Margarita Photography and Ever After Aruba
While I can say that our vow renewal experience was heart warming and touching to my husband and I, the experience after has been nothing but stressful. Despite my grandmother passing away on our vow renewal date, we tried to make the best of a difficult and sad situation. However, following up with our photographer and his team has been more stressful than shopping on Black Friday. I'd love to tell you that we had a great experience with Jason Margarita and his team, but I can't promise that this review is going to be about a great experience.
I can tell you that his hair and make-up person, Allan Kock, is perfection! He did my hair and make-up exactly as requested, showed up on time, and tried to make me as comfortable as possible despite the gloomy outlook I had for the day. He even was fine with a last minute change to my hair on our vow renewal day because I wanted my hair curly because my grandmother liked it that way. He made me feel special despite being red-faced and snotty from crying all afternoon.
For months prior to our vow renewal, I sent photo after photo to Jason and his team via email and via a FB group that I created especially for our event. I wanted to capture an intimate romance between my husband and I. I didn't want cookie cutter images that everyone poses for. I wanted special images. I can say that I like a handful of images, but I was not happy with the experience at all. Jason even stated that I had a great eye for photography, so I thought he would enjoy recreating some of the images I selected. However, I was wrong.
Jason's response via email was that my husband and I were too big, too casual, too pale, too red, and that my husband wasn't in to the entire experience of photographs, so that is why our images turned out the way that they did. I asked to meet with Jason regarding the locations for the pictures, but that never happened. In one of our vow renewal images, he has us hugging a tree...and I just knew that these images were not going to be what I expected.
On our trash the dress day, I believe that Jason and his team were almost an hour late in picking us up for our images. Then we were taken to the lighthouse which I never requested images there and then had to rush to get to the rock formations for the images I did request and he forgot about. It just was not organized, even though I gave months and months of preparation. Through my FB images (which he was our FB friend), you can tell that my husband and I aren't small people. However, a great photographer can make images work. It shouldn't have mattered what size we were or what color our skin was, but it should have been made clear to us that some of our images would be a bit different than I anticipated because my vision was too elaborate, etc. I've consulted with several photographers after this who said my images weren't too elaborate and could be recreated with anyone - if the photographer was willing to complete my vision.
One of his complaints was also that my dress was see through, which I did not realize until the day of the vow renewal. It's a different type of sun in Aruba than here in WV. If I would have known, I would have brought a slip or added an extra liner to my dress. He seemed to blame this as an issue for why my images were not the way I anticipated. It just seems like a ton of excuses.
On our last day, the person was late bringing us our disc and we were late getting to the airport for our return flight home. Once I got home and loaded the images, I realized that I was only happy with a few images. I immediately contacted Jason and his team to express my unhappiness and that is when I was met with the insults about us being too big, too pale, too red, and that my husband was not into the pictures and did not want to move. My husband would move heaven and earth for me and would do anything for me, but he was grieving as was I for the loss of my grandmother. I don't believe anyone took that in to consideration during this time frame.
I finally submitted the images I wanted to have edited to Jason in July and received a response back from him in August with the edited images. But several of them had black dots and were edited with weird colors and just didn't look how we wanted them to. He promised to fix the images, send us new digital copies, and fix the images for our printed materials. This was on August 29, 2012. His contract states that I would have my images with 2-4 weeks. As you can see, at this point in August we are already passed that time frame. I again stated how unhappy I was with the images and still nothing was done.
Months go by without a word from Jason or his team, I follow up in October about my digital images and printed images. At this time my album is still in queue. Another month goes by and I follow-up again. I'm told that my album was pushed back due to the storm that hit the East Coast but my album was due to ship out. Still nothing in November or December. I contacted Jason and his team again at the end of December and heard nothing back throughout the remainder of the month or January. In February, I contact Jason and his team again because it's been months NOT WEEKS like the contract stated. Jason states that my album was delivered but sent back. It was NEVER delivered to me. At this time, I've also never received the corrected digital images either. So still, almost another month has gone by with several unanswered emails to Jason and his team. I even contacted Nashette, the wedding coordinator at Bucuti, to please help me in getting some answers. It's almost 9 months later and I have no images and a horrible experience to show for our time in Aruba.
I finally received a response this week. But the only reason I received a response this week is because I told his team that contacted the Consul General for Aruba, the Aruba Chamber of Commerce, and I'm now writing this review which I did not want to do. The response wasn't from Jason, but from Evita who stated she was unfamiliar with my issues even though she has been included on the emails since August. The only response I received back from the Consul General is to file a lawsuit which I do not want to do. I have received no response back from the Aruba Chamber of Commerce either. Nashette has been most helpful in helping me organize my thoughts and understanding how stressful this situation has been for me.
I'm just at my wit's end, and I'm not sure what else to do. Almost 9 months after the event, and there is no end in sight.