Here's hoping she isn't taking any more contracts, but we had a horrible experience with her and we haven't even gotten to our big day yet!
We hired her back in December 2014 to shoot our October 2015 wedding and the initial contact and consultation meetings were great. I known had known Mara personally for years, but work/life/etc got in the way and we fell out of touch, as so often happens. I knew she did great work so when it came time to hire a photographer, I naturally thought of her. We met up, we made our decision and we hired her. Signed a contract, handed over a retainer check to hold the date, everything was great. We had agreed to wait until spring to do our complimentary engagement shoot since I'm not a fan of being outside in the cold.
Spring came around and we sent her e-mails that went unanswered for a few weeks. Then a month. Then I called her in a panic and left her a voicemail asking if I needed to hire another photographer because I probably should've been alerted of that a few months ago. She immediately returned my call, assuring me that she was 100% committed to our wedding and that a newly acquired "assistant" had been dropping the ball on e-mails. We found time to schedule the engagement shoot, all parties arrived at the appropriate place at the appropriate time. The shoot went well, we had a lot of fun, and she then promised we would see a sneak peek that following Wednesday and then two weeks after the day of the shoot we would have the full images. Two weeks pass and we hadn't seen our sneak peek. Four weeks pass and we hadn't seen our sneak peek.
My fiance and I both texted and called her every day of the fifth week and all of our texts, calls, and e-mails went unanswered. We have finally received some kind of closure with her and have an e-mail stating that she has hit a "rough patch" in her life and will refund us our deposit and send us a CD of the engagement shoot. We're still in a holding pattern at the moment, however the day she promised everything would be processed is fast approaching.
We have since hired a new photographer (Happy Gnome Photography out of Wauwatosa--Amy has been fantastic and very responsive so far!) and she has told us of at least three other couples that she has met with who have been burned by Mara.
So, for your own sake--don't hire her! And if you already have, let this be the tale that pushes you to start looking at legal action or whatever you need to do to get your money back.