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Bride says wedding photographer holding photos hostage

1 week 2 days 22 hours ago Tuesday, October 10 2017 Oct 10, 2017 October 10, 2017 5:51 PM October 10, 2017 in On Your Side
Source: WBRZ

ZACHARY - A woman hired a professional photographer to take photos of her wedding and reception but says what she got is not what she paid for.

Olivia Smart's wedding was a year ago and she hired a family friend to document the event. When she got the photos eleven months later, she could not believe what she saw.

"You can't even tell who we are," said Smart.

As smart stands in her flood-damaged kitchen opening .jpg files of her wedding day, the words frustration and anger come to mind. She was expecting crisp, clean photos to remember this milestone in her life but says what she got was quite the opposite.

"It was a great night and I just wish I would have those to look back on," she said.

Smart got married October 15, 2016, and hired Shana Tull Photography. Her family paid $700 up front for the photos. After the wedding, months went by. The New Year, winter, spring, June, July, and August passed without any photos.

Smart says she would call and text the photographer and would sometimes get a response, other times she wouldn't hear from Shana Tull Photography for days.

That silence continued until a month ago when Smart received a flash drive and some of the photos from part of her reception. Smart thinks she could be missing hundreds of photos and the ones she did receive do not have proper lighting.

"I haven't found my bouquet toss or the garter toss," she said.

Tuesday afternoon, 2 On Your Side called the number for Shana Tull Photography and left a voicemail.

Smart says never in a million years did she expect something like this to happen. As she looks through her dark, grainy wedding photos she's thankful her family took photos on their phones.

It's especially sad for Smart, who says the photos are some of the last capturing moments with her sister, who passed away in May.

Kayla Orgeron tells a similar story to 2 On Your Side. She rehired Shana Tull Photography for her wedding, after the photographer shot Orgeron's maternity, newborn and engagement photos.

"I really loved her work," she said.

After her son was born, Orgeron says Shana Tull Photography took his pictures and it took a "really long time to get those pictures."

Orgeron tells WBRZ she was under the impression she'd been offered a discounted price for the trouble she went through with getting her newborn's photos. It wasn't until later did she find out she paid $800 for a wedding package, which she says is the same price other clients paid.

She was told it would be four weeks before she would see the 1,200 wedding photos and wedding video she'd paid for. Four weeks came and went.

"She wouldn't answer my calls, wouldn't answer my texts," said Orgeron. "After multiple days and weeks of no response, I drove to her house."

The flash drive Orgeron was given had 200 images on it and no wedding video.

"I'm not a fan, I haven't posted them," she said.

Reviews posted online at theknot.com have other stories about photos not being produced.

Shana Tull Photography also took photos of Smart's one-year-old daughter. Her daughter is now almost two and Smart has not received any of those pictures.

Some good news, a company is working to help retouch Smart's photos for free.

At the time this story was posted, 2 On Your Side did not hear back from Shana Tull Photography.

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