With Once Like a Spark it was a "three strikes, you're out" situation.
Strike 1 - Client coordinator Darcy arranged for myself and my fiance to speak with two photographers (Once Like A Spark has a bevy of photographers) who were available on ...
our wedding date. The first photographer was prompt in arranging a telephone interview, but the second photographer, Nikki, skipped out on the interview, claiming computer problems and illness, so we had to reschedule. At first we thought nothing of this. Stuff happens. But we soon saw this was a pattern.
Strike 2 - we chose Nikki. We liked her work and, once we were able to conduct the originally ill-fated interview, she seemed sweet and charming. From there, we started the planning process for our engagement session. Once Like A Spark prefers you work through an intermediary - in this case Alicia - to arrange dates/times/ locations. Through a series of back and forth, we decided on Cagle Farms, one of a couple of corn mazes Alicia had suggested. We also requested an evening shoot, so that we could get sunset photos and s'mores pictures at the corn maze. Alicia approved these requests, but just 4 days before the date scheduled for the shoot, Nikki (through Alicia) came back and said she couldn't do either the Cage Farms (too far for her to drive) or an evening shoot (she'd made plans that night.) She wanted to change the shoot to a corn maze closer to her house, and shoot in the morning so she could keep her plans. We said this was unacceptable. Outfits and makeup appointments had been purchased. Approval had already been garnered from Alicia and from Cagle Farms. Unacceptable.
Strike 3 - After some back and forth between Alicia, Nikki and ourselves (we began requesting to speak with Nikki directly, instead of just through Alicia, as we thought that perhaps some of Strike 2 may have been the result of miscommunication at the middle man level), we decided to compromise. We chose Stone Mountain park because it was closer to Nikki, and agreed to a morning shoot. We were still shaken by Strike 2, but willing to give it another go. My fiance cancelled her previously-scheduled makeup appointment, and we got up extremely early to get dressed, ready and out the door in time for our 9 a.m. shoot. As we walked out the door at 7:51 a.m. (1 hour and 9 minutes before we were supposed to begin shooting) we received a text message. It was Nikki. She said she was sick and that she needed to cancel. She also said she felt like it was too cold that morning to shoot (again, she chose the morning shoot). We were furious. We called Once Like A Spark that moment to complain. It was a Sunday. We did not hear back from Once Like A Spark until Monday, at which time they said they'd have to schedule a time to speak with us. They chose the following evening as the time to speak with us (two days after their photographer cancelled on us at the last second).
They listened to our complaints, and apologized (thus the rating of two stars instead of one). They offered to reschedule the engagement session and throw in an additional session for free. They also offered rush delivery on our wedding photos. But the damage was done. We no longer trusted their photographer or their business model. We terminated the contract with Once Like A Spark and haven't looked back. There are too many wonderful photographers in and around Atlanta to put up with being given this kind of run around. I wouldn't recommend this company.