Photographer Suliman Hasan [aka Hasan] runs a Los Angeles-based company he calls "Facet Studio." His work is featured in magazines such as Dimepiece Magazine and Black Men's Magazine, as well as on his website www.facet-studio.com.
My experience with Facet-Studio has been an awful one, and I seriously would not ever recommend Hasan's services to anyone...ever. Please note that my intentions are not to condemn him or his services, but rather to call a few flaws to the attention of other consumers so that I can prevent them from having an experience similar to mine.
I was very excited to learn that Hasan would be coming to the Washington, DC area to take pictures. On August 28, 2010, I contacted him to schedule a photo shoot. In order to reserve a time slot with Hasan, he requires a deposit of half of your overall cost, which in my case was $200.00.
I paid the $200.00 via PayPal on September 5th and Hasan scheduled my shoot for Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 1:00pm. He said he'd contact me closer to time to give me more details about where to report etc, but this never happened.
After he never contacted me, I called him on September 15th to get details of my shoot. Hasan acted as if he did not know who I was or what I was talking about. He said that my shoot could not possibly be on the 18th because he was leaving the Washington DC area on that day.
When I assured him that my shoot was scheduled for the 18th, he apologized for having not contacted me sooner to let me know that his travel plans had changed. He said he was under the impression that he'd contacted everyone.
Because I had a deadline to meet with my photographs, I did not have the option of canceling and selecting another photographer. Because of this, I agreed to reschedule the shoot for Thursday, September 16th at 9:30pm. (Yes, the very next day)
On Thursday, when I called to get directions to Hasan's Washington, DC location, he told me that he was at the Sheraton Suites located in Old Town Alexandria, VA. I told him that this was not the DC location promised, and he told me "It's not even that far from DC."
Again, pressed for time because of my deadline, I had to deal with this. I brought a friend with me, since the location was so far and unfamiliar to me. Hasan assured me that a photo session would take about 2 hours, and this is what I told my friend.
I arrived at the hotel at 9:15pm. The room Hasan was in was cramped and junky. He was in the bathroom putting makeup on another model and three of his friends were sitting in the very small sitting area. One of his friends was very rude and was passing gas in the small space, as well.
At about 10:00pm, Hasan began to eat cereal. My friend who accompanied me was starving as well and was getting very upset. So, I took her to get food in hopes that when I returned, it would finally be my turn. However, when I got back, Hasan was still eating cereal, and the other model's face was still incomplete.
Hasan did not start putting make up on me until about 1:30 am, and I was not done shooting until 4:00am.
As advertised, I was to receive "perfect, agency ready images" and I was supposed to receive a "disc of images the same day." None of this happened. Hasan told me at 4:00am that people don't do discs any more, and that the pictures would be emailed to me right away so that I could select the 4 photos I wanted retouched. I was to have those photos (retouched) 7-10 days after the shoot. He asked that I send him my email address, which I did...from his computer...at 4:12am. I paid the remaining $200 of my balance as well. However, I didn't get any pictures sent to me.
I began to "tweet" and direct message Hasan on Twitter every day after the shoot begging for pictures...no response. Eight days after the shoot, on September 24th, I sent Hasan an email at email@example.com letting him know that my experience had not been good so far with Facet Studio. I was very kind yet honest with him and then requested he send me pictures as my deadline was the day before. Hasan told me that I'd never sent him my email address. After I proved to him that I had sent him my email address multiple times via Twitter and email, he told me that he has lots of tweets and emails and didn't see mine.
Ok. He also told me that he'd send me two retouched photos that day and insisted that he was doing me a favor...which he was not. Giving me photos 8 days after a shoot, when I was promised 4 retouched photos in 7-10 days is not a favor of any sort.
Hasan went on to tell me via email that I have a problem with customer service. I am confused as to how I have a problem with customer service when I am not servicing a customer at all, but that's fine as well.
He told me that the due day for my images would be Tuesday, September 28th (12 days after the shoot). I let him know that Sunday, September 26th would actually be the due date (10 days after the shoot). He responded "Sunday it is" and sent me a ton of low resolution originals to choose from.
I did not receive pictures on Sunday. I contacted Hasan AGAIN on Monday, September 27th and finally received ONE high resolution picture, and in that picture, there was still a bump on my face, although he promised emaculate, blemish-free images.
Later, one of my friends asked me on Twitter about the photographer who took my default picture (the one he sent me) I told her it was Hasan, but to be careful with him because he wouldn't give her any pictures unless she was a model working through a magazine. (I said this because he stayed extra days in DC after all to take pictures of other girls and he tweeted retouched photos of them almost immediately afterward)
This made Hasan angry. He told me he'd never take pictures of me again (like I would ever care about that) and sent me a *** high resolution photo. Seriously, the photo he sent me looked a mess.
I have contacted Hasan countless times since then...I've seen him tweet about jumping from city to city taking more and more pictures of people, I've seen him tweet about parties and "chillin," and I've even discovered he returned to the Washington DC area last weekend to take more pictures. I STILL DON'T HAVE ANY OF THE PICTURES I PAID $400 FOR!
On Thursday, October 14th, I emailed Hasan and asked for my pictures again. He responded "Kkk I got it." ............. No pictures were sent.
On Thursday, October 21st, I emailed Hasan and asked that he refund me $275. I was trying to be nice...I didn't even ask for the full $400 back. I didn't ask to be reimbursed for the day of work he made me miss being in that hotel until 4am. I also didn't ask him to pay for the gas I paid for driving all the way to Old Town Alexandria, nor did I ask him to pay for all of the wardrobe I spend money on for pictures I never got etc.
I told him that if he didn't refund me my money, I'd seek to be reimbursed in small claims court. He never responded.
I took to twitter and began to @ him asking for my pictures again. He continued to start trending topics and talk about parties and then just un-followed me on Twitter and deleted me from his list of followers.
I emailed him again letting him know that I am going to take legal action at this point. He again, did not respond.
I located this video on YouTube about Hasan and Facet Studio as well... http://www.youtube.com/user/Flixchicks#p/u/14/V9ltjrrj3zk According to the video and the comments, Suliman Hasan floats around the country ripping people off, just as he did me.
He also distributes images of people without permission. He tweets this image http://twitpic.com/2oqsoh frequently to advertise his "exceptional editing skills." In doing so, he subjected the model to ridicule by strangers. According to the model photographed here, Hasan distorted her body in the "before image."
I am definitely going to take legal action. I will not allow this man named Suliman Hasan to continue floating from city to city ripping people off like this...taking people's money and failing to deliver...that is stealing.
If you are someone who is interested in photographing with Hasan/ Facet Studio independent of a magazine or other third party, please think twice and/or be extremely cautious. Make sure you get everything in writing. You might even want to get Suliman Hasan to sign something like ummm...a contract maybe.
Monetary Loss: $400.