MIchael has been a total nightmare this whole process. Our first wedding anniversary is coming up in 3 weeks and we have yet to receive our wedding photos.
When we first started the process of planning our wedding, we actually were planning on bringing a hometown photographer, but were discourage in every way possible by the ROR. We put our trust in Michael, booking him for a full day, paying in accordance to pre-determined contract, and ended up with 11 photos out of 1100, which he is withholding and demanding more money.
He released our error-filled video (music cuts out, choppy editing, poor quality DVD) to absolute strangers that were staying at the resort, to take possession of, watch, and carry across customs back to our country. We received a shocking phone message from another couple, who had stayed at the Riu a week after us, stating they had viewed our video and wanted us to drive two hours to pick it up at their house. This because Michael was trying to get out of the shipping costs.
MIchael is arrogant, shady, and has been in the business way too long. He cuts corners, is dishonest, and has the ability of a below-average photographer. We have contacted the Riu to manage the situation, and they refuse as "he is not an employee or representative of the hotel".
We have been through a nightmare with our wedding photos, and do not wish this upon anyone.
- DO NOT PRE-PAY, no matter how much he demands it. He was a very nice man until he received payment, and that is when his attitude and honesty disappeared, and we began to have a million problems.
- BRING YOUR OWN PHOTOGRAPHER and VIDEOGRAPHER. The resort tries to tell you that it is not allowed, and they will charge you $80 per day pass, they cannot stay at the resort, etc etc. Every every wedding there that day (there were 5, yes, 5, and it is very awkward to be rushed because someone needs the altar an hour after you) had their "friend" taking photos for them. If I had to do it over again, I would have totally brought my own photographer. Shoud the hotel give you any issues on this, feel free to email me and I will send you their statement about Michael not being employed by them.
- Tell Michael to come find YOU with your video. We wasted our whole last day at the resort chasing him around (at his request) to pick up our video, which was filled with errors.
- His email conduct is offensive and rude when questioned. Save all emails for future actions.
- GET EVERY DETAIL IN A CONTRACT, and create your own as his is beyond simple, which screwed us in the end.
- Do not be shy about ASKING HIM TO MOVE when he / videographer purposely gets in the way of guests trying to take photos. We were informed after the wedding by guests that they did that the whole ceremony and reception, and have very few photos from guests without Photoshop staff in the photo.
- Ask him not to wear his red hockey jersey. As he stood in the way all day, he ended up in the backround of almost every guest photo.
I am truly sorry to give bad news to those already booked with Michael; cancel if you can, and if not, do not pay him until your photos are recieved, and editted. He is now refusing to edit any of our photos, and will not release the rights as we arranged in our contract.
We followed every one of his rules and requests, and were severely taken advantage of. We will never recommend the Riu Ocho Rios, or Photoshop.