Weddings

Essence Photo & Video Reviews

Essence Photo & Video View more information

332 Reviews

Rated
4.7
out of 5.0
Recommended by 94% of couples
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Awards

  • 332
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2020 Winner
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2019 Winner
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2018 Winner
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2017 Winner
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2016 Winner
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2014 Winner
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2013 Winner
  • WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2011 Winner

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  • S
    Shahadah T. Married on 05/30/2021
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    Recommend Wholeheartedly.

    Omg I had THE best experience with Essence. The day of my wedding Peggy was so helpful and amazing. She was so knowledgeable about the wedding flow and timing. She worked seamlessly with my wedding planner to ensure everything went smoothly. She even got me several edited photos back 1 week after the event. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. The videographer was great as well. My bridal group and I wanted to do lots of TikTok and he was helpful and he got lots of the parts on camera. Photos turned out amazing. They really know how to get the shot. Peggy had these helpful mini tutorial meeting with me and my hubby on how to best get certain shots when it came to the wedding and it was so helpful. Overall just had an amazing experience and would 10/10 recommend wholeheartedly.
  • Allie
    Allison P. Married on 05/22/2021
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    Highly recommend

    We worked with Amanda for our photographer and she was EVERYTHING WE WANTED AND MORE. She was very attentive to everything I wanted done and made sure to keep everyone on track to make sure we got everything perfectly. She was very creative in her shot selection and listened to exactly what we wanted. I would recommend her to ANYONE AND EVERYONE who asked. We also used their videographer and she was also AMAZING. I am unsure on her name because she was too busy capturing everything we wanted her to on our special day. Both had so much fun and made our night PERFECT. Thank you!
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer M. Married on 02/13/2021
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    Absolutely amazing & very professional

    Gabe & Elle were our photographer’s which were absolutely amazing! Both of them had an eye to make the Bride, Groom & wedding party look amazing! Peggy who is the photographer manager helped with all the behind the scene stuff which was amazing with getting us through all the details. All together I was SO PLEASED WITH having this company do my son’s wedding.. they all are truly amazing & I truly will recommend them to all my friends who are getting married
  • Vicky
    Vicky D. Married on 02/07/2021
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    Absolutely Amazing Photos

    We could not be happier with our choice of photography for our wedding. Our photographer Penny did an amazing job. She was very friendly and attentive.. she captured every photo-op that we requested.. She did an amazing job.. our proofs look absolutely stunning.. We definitely made the correct choice.. Thank you Essence for everything..
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    Mary K. Married on 11/21/2020
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    Amazing and extremely reasonable

    Looking for a photographer was a stressful process. I had researched and spoke to a quite few different companies. Majority of the time I felt no connection with the company as I was just emailed a pricing flyer. Then I found Essence. Not only were they quick but brought my fiancé and me in immediately for a consultation. Mike explained the entire process and wanted to get to know us and our story. I felt comfortable and very eager to talk about my fiancé and I’s journey. Choosing Essence was a seamless process. They care so much about making the couple happy and finding the right photographer to do just that. Their pricing is unbeatable. Other companies honestly want to charge so much money for their services. I understand for some couples money isn’t an issue but for us budget conscious brides I didn’t get a sinking feeling in my stomach when we went over prices. I thought they were extremely fair and reasonable for what we choose. I highly recommend scheduling a consultation with Essence.
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    Letisia Married on 09/19/2020
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    As we are deciding on our wedding photographer for next year, we came across Essence Photo & Video and from the beginning I was in awe in the way they approached our interest. I felt extremely pleased that instead of taking the regular approach that many vendors do when you email them, Mike took that extra step and called me to schedule an appointment. More than anything he made us feel like he wanted to get to know us more than selling his business to us over the phone. When we first walked into the studio we were mesmerized by the beautiful portraits and we became even more mesmerized by the work he continued to showed us. I loved the approach he took with us by asking questions about our relationship and family because that just showed me he cares more about finding someone that will fit our personalities for our special day

    Overall Essence Photo & Video set the bar extremely high and no other vendor has been able to top it. We are definitely looking to book with them.
  • Kimberly
    Kimberly Married on 09/13/2020
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    So helpful and friendly!

    From the beginning Essence was amazing. Chris did our consultation and was so informative and helpful with everything. Leading up to our wedding Kathy, Karen and Peggy were so helpful answering all my questions/emails. We unfortunately had to postpone our original April date twice. They were amazing with our rescheduling and replying frequently to my emails when everything was constantly changing. They quickly got us our new contracts and dates changed. A week before the wedding we got bad news that our original photographer we had picked had to leave town due to a family emergency which we totally understood but were also extremely nervous not knowing what was going to happen. Peggy called me and explained everything to me, she was so sweet. We were assigned Kamil, he called me that night and we talked for about a half hour in regards to the schedule, timing, locations, what we liked and what we didn't like. He seemed to excited and thrilled. After hanging up with him he sent me a follow up email restating everything we went over to make sure he had everything correct! Come the day of the wedding everything with Essence went super smooth, Kamil was awesome! Super friendly, making jokes, keeping us all laughing throughout the day, while we were getting our dresses on he took some photos I didn't even request but absolutely love the eye he had for photography. Our location for post-ceremony pictures was extremely wet/muddy so the generic grassy pictures were out of question but Kamil did not disappoint with how he posed my Husband and I including our bridal party. We are absolutely in love with our photos. We had one photographer and received over 2,200 photos! Our videographer was extremely kind as well and really seemed to love his job and knew exactly what he was doing. When we received our photos I noticed there were certain ones missing that I knew we took, I wasn't sure if maybe someone's eyes were shut or they were blurry but I thought I'd ask. Peggy called me and had me explain these pictures specifically to her so she could find them since our upload had stalled due to there being so many photos! She found the photos I was looking for and uploaded them to our album. I know there are some mixed reviews but my experience was nothing but the best. Thank you Essence for making our wedding day to memorable!
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    Luke S. Married on 08/28/2020
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    Choosing Essence and Engagement Photogrpahy

    Our experience with Essence so far has been a good one. Unlike other companies, Chris and the Essence team were responsive to our questions and set up a time to meet within 24 hours of our inquiry.

    When we met Chris, he explained all the packages that they offered and worked with us to create an experience that fits our budget. Chris did not pressure us to sign with Essence and asked at the end of the meeting what Essence can do to create a better experience for the next couple to inquire about their services.

    The Essence portal is great for keeping in contact with them. Kathy is very quick to respond and great in answering questions. We scheduled our engagement photo session and picked our wedding photographer through the portal with ease.

    We chose the standard location for our engagement photo session with Dave as our photographer. The standard location was at the Schaumburg Municipal Center, which is close to their Schaumburg office. Dave texted me the day before to confirm that the plans were still on and gave me his cell phone in case we couldn't find each other.

    Dave was a great photographer that has more than 13 years of experience. He has taken pictures at that location for years and knows all the good spots for the best pictures. He shot over 100 photos in less than an hour, at more than 5 different locations, around the park/pond. At the end, he made sure that we took all the pictures we wanted. The turnaround on our photos from the session took less than a week and most of the pictures came out the way we wanted them. We were put in a couple awkward poses that we tried out and those pictures did not come out as well as the others, but that was only 6-10 pictures out of 110-120 photos.

    We have not had our wedding yet, so I cannot comment on their photography/video for the event. I plan on updating this review once the wedding pictures and videos are in my possession.
  • Jannett
    Jannett E. Married on 02/22/2020
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    Wonderful experience!

    We got married on 2-22-2020 and found out about Essence Photo & Video at a bridal expo. There were other photo/video/photobooth vendors there but Essence's booth was very inviting so we decided to stop by. We met Chris and he happily introduced us to their services and showed us their samples and portfolio. We were impressed and proceeded to schedule an appointment to discuss in depth what we wanted for our wedding. At the consultation, Chris was very informative and helpful. He made suggestions based on our wants and needs. For everything we wanted, Chris managed to give us the best deal for photo, video and photobooth. We ended up saving over $2000 by bundling all services versus hiring 3 different companies to do each service. The other companies we spoke to at the expo were charging so much for mediocre work!
    The communication between us and Essence was wonderful. Throughout the planning process, Kathy and Erik were always prompt with answering all my questions. They helped me with the wedding day timeline to make sure that we stayed focus on all the shots we wanted done at the wedding.
    We were given several choices for our main photographers and we chose Gabe. We had Patrick as our videographer and Tommy as our 2nd photographer. Both Gabe and Patrick reached out to us about a week before the wedding to discuss timeline and asked what we wanted included in the shots/poses. Gabe, Patrick and Tommy were very professional, friendly and fun. We loved the guys’ personalities and they all made us comfortable and it showed in our photos and videos. I’ve seen pictures where smiles and poses were just so awkward-looking and I think that it has a lot to do with the wedding party not being comfortable with the photo/videographers.
    We also enjoyed the photo booth. They have an open booth concept so more people could fit and they had a touch screen camera so we and our guests had a lot of fun with that! They also provided really fun props and we enjoyed looking through all of the photobooth pictures the day after the wedding because the attendant left us a USB with all of the photos taken at the booth.
    A couple of weeks after our wedding the pandemic started and everything shut down. We were afraid that we would not get our pictures and video for a while because of the lockdown and offices being closed but to our surprise we received an email that our proofs were ready almost 2 weeks early and the video not long after that. The pictures and the video were so wonderful! The shots that both photographers took were great and the video captured things that we didn’t see at the wedding.
    There were some people and portions of the wedding that were important to us that weren’t included in the edited version of the video (we completely understand why they weren’t included since the editor wasn’t at the wedding). I reached out and Chris was so helpful and courteous by getting us in touch with Peggy who handles the designs/editing part of the process. They both quickly made sure that our concerns were addressed and went above and beyond to make sure that our issue was resolved. It was nice to look back and relive our wedding.
    We are so happy that we went with Essence to capture the most amazing day of our lives. Can’t thank you guys enough for being “our eyes” at the wedding and allowing us to experience our wedding day all over again.
  • Rachael
    Rachael Married on 02/15/2020
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    A great company to work with

    We had an amazing experience working with Essence Photography. Before going into the first meeting (we booked online several weeks ahead of time), I didn't really know what to expect - my assumption was that we would receive a brief (15 minutes tops) session outlining services and costs and then we'd be on our way. It only took a few minutes meeting with Chris to realize he would completely exceed our initial expectations and then some. The first meeting lasted more than an hour - Chris was extremely thorough and helped us brainstorm the best ways to optimize our photography/videography while maintaining our budget, and all of this was before we even committed to Essence. The fact that he spent so much time working through options with us, and never once made us feel like we were taking up too much time, meant so much to us both personally and as customers. We would absolutely recommend Essence to anyone looking for professional photography, whether it's a wedding or something else - the quality is incredible, the cost is reasonable, and the staff/owners really care about their clients.
  • Becca
    Becca Married on 11/30/2019
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    Professional, Efficient, and SO talented!

    My husband and I are so grateful for Essence. We hired them for photography, videography, and photo booth services for our wedding on 11/30/19. They were so thorough and informative during our initial meetings and we felt confident in choosing them to document our day.
    Chris (photographer) was incredible and worked so well with our entire bridal party and family to capture as many beautiful and creative pictures as possible. He was so organized and efficient and kept us stress-free and ahead of schedule the entire day. Kuni (videographer) was amazing as well and was so kind and professional. Everyone had a blast showing off their dance moves and we are so grateful for his efforts to capture the ceremony and other special toasts and moments as well. Mario was also fantastic with the photobooth! There was a continuous line from the start to the end of the photo booth duration, and people really seemed to enjoy it! We are still getting comments from our guests about how friendly and professional all three of them were, and we've already recommended Essence to several people in the wedding planning process without hesitation.
  • Robby
    Robby G. Married on 10/11/2019
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    Good choice

    5 stars. Our wedding was October 11, 2019 and we booked Essence for photo/ video for 10 hours. (Seems long but the staff really feel like family and not a bother) Prior to this, we were totally naive to the pricing of these roles in a wedding and after a lot of research it had us worried our expectations would not be met for our budget. We found essence and immediately booked a consultation. They took care of us right away showing us all options. Leading up, we were constantly in contact through the portal with our expectations and poses we found on Pinterest; not sure if other companies offer this but it did help to build that relationship even before meeting our photo/ video men. Thankfully they were reasonable enough to even upgrade the video quality which now receiving our video is awesome- the picture quality is so crisp/ clear! We have already recommended 2 couples and are thoroughly excited to see the style of video they choose and will continue to do so. Thank you for capturing our special day and making it beautiful!
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    Andrea Married on 09/22/2019
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    Our experience with Chris was awesome! He was the only vendor to take the time to call me immediately after inquiring info and met with us right away.

    During our meeting, Chris was very transparent and did an excellent job at answering all of our questions. He was not overwhelming and did not make us feel pressured into making our decision right then and there.

    We are very impressed with their services and their price for the quality that they provide. - We are excited to work with Essence Photo & Video and would highly recommend them to our friends and family!
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    Alyssa Married on 09/14/2019
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    We met with Chris at Essence last weekend to see if they would be a good fit for our upcoming wedding and the appointment was a breeze.

    I had submitted a request for pricing on their website and Chris followed up with a phone call to go over all the details and address any of our questions or concerns. He even met with us on a Saturday evening so my fiancé and I could both be at the appointment.

    When it came time to discuss which plan worked best for our wedding he offered multiple options an tailered a package to fit all of our needs.

    I would highly recommend Essence Photo & Video for your big day, we cannot wait to continue to work with them.
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    Alyssa Married on 08/31/2019
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    Today, my fiancé (Zack) and I had the pleasure of meeting with Mike from Essence photography and videography. Zack and I recently got engaged and have begun the very intimidating process of planning our wedding. Both Zack and I are not the most photogenic people in the world so meeting with photographers was one thing we were a bit nervous about. Approximately five minutes into the meeting, both Zack and I knew we wanted Essence to be our photographer and videographers (as well as providing us with a photobooth!).
    Walking into this meeting, I expected to meet for about 20 minutes, discuss pricing, wedding information, etc. Instead, the meeting lasted for about an hour and was centered around getting to know Zack and I. Mike asked us about our engagement, how we met, our family, what we were truly looking for in a photographer, and much more. Mike made us feel like he didn’t just want to show up at our wedding and take the “normal” pictures that everyone takes. Instead, he wanted to photograph our wedding day to creatively reflect our relationship and who we truly are, in additional to capturing the “normal”/ “traditional” wedding shots. After really getting to know Zack and I, Mike walked us through the online portal that Essence offers which allows couples to be in constant contact with their photographers. Additionally, we were able to see various wedding albums that displayed some of the amazing work that Essence does, as well as watching an example wedding video.
    The one thing that really confirmed my interest in Essence photography was the genuine advice that Mike offered to us. He gave us so much advice that took away some of the stress and “not-knowing” that comes with the beginning steps of planning a wedding. The advice that he offered was very genuine and not in a direction that was pushing us to spend more money. It was very clear that he just wanted us to have the perfect wedding day.
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    Katie Married on 08/17/2019
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    After becoming engaged and booking a majority of our vendors for our wedding, my fiancé and I began the nerve-wracking task of selecting a photographer and videographer for our engagement and wedding photos. After hearing countless horror stories from family and friends about their experiences with photo and video from companies they selected, we knew we wanted to take our time and choose the best company for us that fell within our budget but did not sacrifice on quality. After all, we knew at the end of our wedding all we would have to take with us is our photos and video so we wanted to put a lot of energy and time into this selection.
    Essence was the first company we met with after finding them online, and right from the start we could tell what a great fit they were. We met with Chris who was thorough, personable, and went out of his way to understand us as a couple and what our needs were. Our interaction never felt like a sales pitch, but that he truly wanted us to feel comfortable with what Essence had to offer. Their packages were customizable and we were able to add an engagement session, second photographer, and album all without feeling we were breaking the bank. We even had the opportunity to view demos of several photographers they had on staff to make sure their style matched what we wanted. Of course since Essence was the first company we met with, we went to go see two other companies (1 independent and 1 high volume) and at the end we went back to Essence as their package best fit our needs. An added bonus was their video package included a cinematic 3-5 minute trailer that we were unable to match at the other companies. Through their online portal we have already been able to schedule our engagement session with Karen, their wedding coordinator, and I will say we are impressed by the quick response times and like the fact everything is stored in a central location so we don’t have to go back-and-forth over emails.
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    Devon Married on 08/03/2019
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    Awesome job

    Essence made our photography process easy and smooth. We also loved our photographer, Ryan, from them! He was fun and exactly what we needed for our day! I would definitely recommend essence to people looking!
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    Maura C. Married on 07/27/2019
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    GREAT photographer, customized experience

    Allison was our photographer through Essence and she was WONDERFUL! We got to customize our experience with her and received every shot we asked for. She did not stop snapping pictures the entire time she was with us and would pop up at the reception throughout the venue to get tons of shots, too. She was so accommodating and adapted to our style so quickly. Loved her!!
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    Danielius J. Married on 07/26/2019
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    Essence - Great Experience

    We first learned of Essence at a wedding expo event and booked a consultation. The first day we met with Chris at Essence, we booked! From Karen in the front office, to the prep the week of with Allison and Kuni/David (photo/video), we could not have asked for a better experience. The portal essence utilizes is a fantastic resource to have. Every conversation and every request is recorded. When speaking with both Allison and Kuni, they were looped in on all of our requests and made the process very easy on us. Our date was July 26th, 2019.

    Photo - Allison quickly became one of the wedding party. We had an absolute blast with her! Throughout the craziness of family photos, she was able to take lead and get them done in the most polite manner. Our wedding party enjoyed every moment! Everyone had a great time, while getting great shots. As a bride and groom, Allison was able to capture intimate moments and create those once in a lifetime shots throughout celebratory group photos. It was a perfect combination!! Thank you Allison for your vision, professionalism and being a fantastic piece of our special day

    Video – Kune and David were also fantastic! They both had worked together before, which was great to hear. I loved seeing their creativity come to life. Kune was able to be subtle and captured intimate moments beautifully! We loved his ability to sneak in and out and get really got shots on the dance floor. Thank you Kuni and Dave for your hard work, teamwork and ability to capture our big day!

    Essence collaborated on every aspect from start to finish. Keep in mind, you do not hear from your personal photographer/videographer until the week of the wedding. We set up calls with both our photographer and videographer the same day and made us feel comfortable for the wedding day. If you use the portal provided through out planning process, you should get everything you need ahead of the big day.
  • Izabella
    Izabella Married on 06/29/2019
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    I am writing this review in a reflection of my consultation with Essence Photography.

    As I began my search for a photographer, I went through probably at least 15-20 companies' portfolios that I had found through WW. Yes, every single photo of each portfolio because I am that picky. I was able to narrow it down to about 8 companies I liked. After that, I looked at reviews and general pricing info that was available on WW. And alas, I found myself with a top 5 that fiancé and I liked, including Essence. We met Essence at a bridal expo, along with 2 other companies from our top 5, and Essence left us feeling the happiest. Mike was professional, informational, and not pushy with sales. We decided to proceed with booking a consultation, and I am VERY glad I did!
    We got to meet with Mike again, and rather than him just sitting us down and shoving pricing & sales pitches down our throats, Mike talked with us to get to know us better as a couple. He tried his best to get a general understanding of our personalities, our families, and what we are looking for in a photographer. It was a very laid back experience, laughs were shared, and Mike helped us better understand what we should look for in a photographer. He was really good at explaining things we had never known, and also brought our attention to things we never knew to look for. Of the 4 pages of questions I brought into our consultation (told ya, I'm picky!), there were only 2 that Mike had not touched on.
    After the experience we had at Essence, we are canceling a previously set consultation we had made with one of their competitors, as we have realized how much the experience and bond you have with your photographer means, meaning, we do not want a big chain company that's just there to make some $$$.
    Thank you, Mike, for such a pleasurable experience and for all your help!
  • Kristin
    Kristin Married on 06/08/2019
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    Great photographer and DVD/album

    We did the combo of photo, video, and photobooth with Essence. Our photographer Ryan was AMAZING! We (and my family/friends) would not hesitate to use him again. We recently got our wedding album and love all of the photos, it was hard to choose!
  • VIRGINIA
    Virginia Married on 06/02/2019
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    Amazing team of professionals

    When my (now) husband and I met with the owner, Mike, we instantly clicked and loved his candor. So, when he mentioned he would not be the photographer for our wedding, I admit I was skeptical, but something about his confidence and the fact that he seemed to "get us", eased my mind. He did not disappoint.

    I can't say enough great things about Ryan. Within the first minute of our conversation, we knew he was the right fit for us. He communicated with my bridal party and offered guidance without being pushy. He blended in well with our guests and didn't feel invasive. He truly made us feel comfortable and was such a pleasure working with. We strongly recommend Ryan and look forward to seeing all the images captured from our magical day.

    Mike you're a match maker! Karen, you are a rock star!
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    Lisa S. Married on 06/02/2019
    Rating 5 out of 5
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    Great experience!

    We met with Chris to talk about photo and video options for our wedding and had such a positive experience. He thoroughly explained all of the options and the packages that would work best for us. He was friendly, knowledgeable, and really seemed interested about learning about my fiance and I. We were unimpressed with the two consultations we had with other photography companies prior to meeting with Chris so we were not necessarily looking forward to our meeting. However, meeting with him was exactly what we were hoping for. We are very much looking forward to our big day and look forward to working with Essence!
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    Quisha Married on 06/01/2019
    Rating 5 out of 5
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    Excellent experience.

    Our photographer name was Chris and he did an amazing job. We are overly satisfied with how our pictures came out. The photographer was very professional and flexible. We love our pictures and would recommend others to get their wedding pictures done with this company.