If you’ve ever been let down by a tailor, then you must be familiar with this variety of disappointment. You can also attest that it is painful your cloth was not ready when you needed it, or worse, you go to the tailor’s shop, only to meet it locked.
Now multiply this feeling by five if the wedding photographer you hired and paid in advance did not show up on your big day, after he has assured you he will be there.
This was Alyssa and Kurt’s story; they’d contracted a photographer, Chris Seibel, to take pictures and record their wedding ceremony, and paid his service fee of $3500 in advance.
Days later, the photographer assured them that everything was on track; thus, the couple were at ease regarding this aspect of their wedding… but to their shock, the photographer sent them an email saying, “We’ve gone out of business and we’re not able to fulfil any agreements that we’ve had, so best of luck.”
The astounded couple called and emailed the photographer several times, but he was unreachable; as he had disconnected all his lines of communication.
With $3500 gone, and an unquantifiable amount of disappointment, the couple turned to the Illinois Attorney General’s office for help.
But it turns out that they were not the only couple who had been scammed by this unprofessional photographer.
Britney and Matthew Martens reported too that they paid Chris Seibel, who also goes by Christ Frost of Frost Studios International $7000 for their wedding coverage. But before their big day, the photographer sent them an email,
“Please be advised that the photography/cinematography business is no longer operational, due in large measure to the COVID-19 crisis. Frost is not in a position to provide these services, and apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause. If Frost has already shot a portion of your wedding in 2020, allow some time for delivery of images as our editors have gone out of business too.”
Britney says, “We tried texting Chris and it didn’t go through…. A lot of frustration. A lot of yelling, crying, tears, panic attacks. After having to postpone your dream wedding for a year and then your photographer are no longer in business and not given you any answers is very frustrating.”
Another couple; Jessica and Frank Rooks had a slightly different experience at the hands of Seibel. Seibel did show up for their wedding in 2020, took the video and pictures, but after the wedding, he disappeared into thin air, and all efforts to reach him proved abortive.
Nine months later, he still has not contacted them to give them their wedding pictures and video. They’d paid him $5,350, and Frank says, “I feel like we got bamboozled.”
His wife; Jessica, emotionally agrees, “it hurts to know that someone can actually do this to people, if we don’t get the video, then that’s like part of our wedding missing.”
The Illinois Attorney General’s office received many more complaints from disappointed couples about Chris Seibel, and has said it will contact the business (Frost Studios International) as part of their routine mediation process. However, the office had something to say to intending couples.
“When looking for a wedding photographer, we encourage consumers to, as with all businesses, check for referrals from friends, ask to get digital copies of your pictures before you pay in full, and have lots of upfront communication with your photographer before the wedding to see how the photographer interacts with the consumer as this may be a sign of something wrong.”
Couples should take note of this counsel to avoid heart-rending stories.
Racheal Niza-Val is a Nigerian writer and author. She seeks to use her pen to do only three things. Entertain, Educate, and Enthrall.