Public Mediation

Kristen Minardi vs. Ashley Crawford Photography

Lost Wedding Photos by Ashley Crawford Photography - I need refunded!

K. M. vs. Ashley Crawford Photography
2205 Coventry Dr, Bellevue, Nebraska, 68123-2089, United States
    • Status: In Negotiation
      This claim has posted for public comment and negotiation. It will remain posted until resolved to the claimant's satisfaction. Suggest a resolution to help these parties reach a settlement.
      (seeking public comment)
    • Claimant Seeks: View.
    • Claim #: 5292118
    • Amount Involved: 1,800.00
    • Filed On: Dec 18, 2016
    • Posted On: Dec 29, 2016
    • Complaint(s):
      • Bad business practices
      • Problem with a service
      • "I just feel ripped off."
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Statement of Claim
Claimant says:
"My husband and I contracted Ashley Crawford to do our wedding photography. We hired her with great confidence that she would be professional and not make any errors.  Her reviews were good and she charges accordingly.  We also requested that she use a second photographer to be able to get some shots that would personalize our wedding album.  Those photos were to include the men of the bridal party getting ready at our house, my husband and me with our dog in front of our home after the ceremony, the bridal party on the party bus, and the bridal party at our favorite pub.  Ashley told us we would have the photographer for 4 hours.  When we finally received an email from Ashley that our photos were ready to view on  line we were excited to see all of them, especially the ones by our house.  When we did not see those photos we contacted Ashley and she said "we need to talk".  When I called her she said that all of the photos taken by the second photographer were not recoverable from the camera. She also belittled the situation by saying we had only lost maybe 40 photographs, and that we had gotten everything that all of her other brides get as far as wedding photos.   I asked her in an e-mail to explain her protocol for digital photography and backup of the photos as well as to tell me where she had taken the camera memory card to be worked on to recover the photos. I also asked her if our second photographer was only hired to take 10 photos per hour, since she stated that we had only lost 40 photographs.   She did not answer those questions. She refunded me $500 and offered to do a reshoot at the house and to make a wedding album for me which she placed a value of $850 and to do another photo session valued at $1,000. My dad put a review online about the second photographer which said "She lost all of my daughter's wedding photos.  Feeling really bad about this."  Ashley called me and very rudely told me to remove that review from the second photographer's website.  At this point the ball is in her court.  She has not responded to the email I sent to her on November 6 stating that doing a reshoot at our house was not an option because my dress was already cleaned and preserved and it would be too costly to rent a tux, buy flowers, pay for hair and makeup and take time off work for this, in addition to the seasons having changed from summer to fall.  I told her we declined her offer to make the wedding album because I did not intend to purchase one from her in the first place.  It would not have included all of the photos I wanted and it would also be missing all of the photos from the second shooter.  I also told her we are not interested in doing any more photo shoots with her.  It would not be a comfortable situation.  She said that she was offering these solutions to her mistake as a gesture of good will.  I believe that she has been negligent in failing to back up the photos taken by the second shooter and since she has placed a value of $1800 on her error, I would prefer that she reimburse us for her error and negligence in cash in the amount of $1800. I told her that we are very disappointed in her lack of service and professionalism.. She should have notified us the minute she realized the photos were missing instead of hoping we would not notice when we received our photos from her.  She also had the nerve to charge us extra for the second photographer staying late at our reception.  She was only there because she did not have a car to leave by herself, and we did not hire her for that part of our day.  After all, she was only hired for four hours and 40 some photographs."
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  • 08-13-2016 — Wedding Date
Additional Communication Between Claimant and Ashley Crawford Photography Hide
  • Dec 20, 2016, () added:
  • Kristen & Sam Minardi entered into a contract for wedding photography with me on October 8th, 2015. Per their contract, they hired me for 9 hours of wedding coverage as well as an engagement session. There is no mention anywhere in the contract of a second shooter being included and/or paid for, but I do often hire one on my own, separate from the contract, as a bonus and to make the day run a little smoother for everyone involved. On their day, my second shooter was sent along with the party bus for some candid photos as well as 2-3 images of the couple in front of their home, while I photographed the details of their reception. They also specifically asked both myself and my second shooter to stay later due to their day running longer than scheduled. After being made aware of the fees associated with extra hours added on, they agreed to have us stay and keep working. To say they didn't agree to that is absolutely untrue. After their wedding, the second shooter's card was unfortunately misread on the card reader and corrupted. After attempts to recover were unsuccessful, the couple was sent their gallery of 715 photos and Kristen immediately responded with how much she loved them. I reached out via phone afterward to explain what happened with the 40 or so missing ones and what I planned to offer, even though the second shooter was never on the contract or paid for by the couple themselves. Kristen reacted by beginning to breathe very hard, seemingly hyperventilating. I explained that I was extremely sorry for the disappointment and tried to calm her down with kindness and understanding. I offered her $500 as a gesture of goodwill, even though she had not paid me for the second shooter's photos in the first place. I offered it because I just wanted her to understand that I cared and felt it was more than generous. We ended the phone call amicably and I promptly sent $500 via PayPal. I then received a phone call back from her mother who began by yelling at me that she "had a daughter who was having a nervous breakdown." This threw me off, as I believed Kristen and I had just had a decent conversation, with her accepting my monetary replacement. Her mother ranted & raved for many minutes as I tried to explain that I was very sorry but it was only just the few candids as well as 2-3 images of them in front of their home as a seemed as though maybe lines had been crossed and she must have thought it was many more photos from the day. I further explained that all important events had been delivered to excess: getting ready photos, first looks, portraits, family photos, 98% of their candids, wedding ceremonial moments, details, introductions, toasts, first dances, dancing photos as well as staying later to capture the food truck they'd requested. As a further gesture of goodwill, I offered a wedding album valued at $850 as well as a future shoot valued at $1000. She said that would suffice and ended the phone call. I then was made aware, from my second shooter, that her business page had just had a review left from the father of the bride stating that she had lost "all her daughter's wedding photographs." Not only is that a complete lie, it also had nothing to do with my second shooter who was nothing but professional throughout this entire situation. I called Kristen & kindly asked her to please have that review removed due to it being factually untrue. She agreed, said she didn't realize it had been left at all, apologized and reiterated how much she does love the photos she hired me for. Later that afternoon, Kristen called me back "to vent and cry" stating she just needed to talk about what had happened because she was "incredibly devastated." I reiterated my apologies and that I hoped she was enjoying the gallery of her day and reliving all the beautiful moments captured.

    I was then sent a series of emails from both the bride's mother as well as the bride demanding details on how the backend of my business works: what steps I take in order to check equipment is working before a shoot, all information including names/addresses/phone numbers of everyone who had worked on the card, the timeframes it had been worked on, what I do to back up images after a session and my general overview of protocol when working. At this point, I let them know that my extremely generous offer of $500 was accepted as a gesture of goodwill and to put this behind us, even though no money was paid toward the second shooter to begin with. Then, after the money had been sent and I believed settled, I went even further above and beyond offering a family session for future use as well as a wedding album. I also offered to reshoot the few photos in front of their home if they wished for me to do so. These things were offered as a contingency for moving forward, not repeatedly rehashing an issue with something that they never even initially paid for. I also repeated my request to have the review removed from my second shooter's business page as it was 100% false. This email was sent to Kristen on October 12th, 2016 and went completely unanswered. And now, months later and right before Christmas, I received notification of a dispute on this site. It does appear there are ulterior motives at work here, regarding the monetary request and it being so close to the holidays, which is very disappointing.

    As an experienced wedding photographer, I think it's important to point out that this is the very reason wedding contracts were created: irrefutable proof as to what both parties have agreed to. Unfortunately, Mr. & Mrs. Minardi have failed to provide all information about this situation and have apparently never bothered to read the contract we both discussed and agreed to. My responsibility to respond to this unbelievably brazen request ends with a copy of the contract showing they never even paid for a second shooter or had one included in their wedding day. But I did feel a moral obligation to respond to each point due to the absolutely untrue nature of so many of them. I also think it takes a special type of person to take the extreme generosity of someone and flip it around on them to act as though they are somehow entitled to that generosity. It's important to note that the couple are currently working with both their wedding planner as well as florist to have their wedding photographs submitted to various blogs and publications, to further prove how complete and cohesive their gallery is as well as prove how much it is being enjoyed.

    The couple are owed nothing more than an apology, which has been given time & time again. Far above and beyond that, they were given $500 back of money for services they never paid for as a gesture of goodwill. If this situation is not closed following my response, I will be creating a counterclaim for the $500 returned, as it was never owed to them and was sent out of the kindness of my heart.

  • Dec 22, 2016, Claiming party added:
  • Ashley’s narrative is neither correct nor complete and contains false assumptions and accusations. Sam and I are fully aware of the contents of the contract. I inquired about a second photographer through Facebook messages, of which I have attached screenshots for viewing. On May 21st I asked if Ashley would have another photographer with her. On May 25th Ashley responded saying yes, we would have one for 4 hours the day of our wedding. Through multiple other messages we coordinated the logistics of the wedding day. Ashley never indicated that there was any additional fee or presented any invoice. We paid Ashley promptly for all other invoices. To recap our payments to Ashley: $700 deposit paid via Paypal on October 8, 2015, $2992.50 check and $900 cash for 3 additional hours on August 10, 2016 (for which we did not receive a receipt ), $340 fee for staying late paid via Paypal on September 14, 2016. If she had requested an additional fee, it would have been paid as promptly as the others were.

    There are also multiple Facebook messages through the month of September of me inquiring when our album would be available to view. Ashley sent a few sneak peek images with which I was pleased. I stated to her on more than one occasion that I wanted to see all of the photos before I made a decision on which one to choose for our thank you notes. I was hoping to use one of the poses in front of our house with our dog. She did not at any time indicate that some of the photos were not available. Throughout all of our communications, Ashley had plenty of opportunities to notify us of her error but never did. The contract states ‘Digital negatives to be mailed (postmarked) within 6 weeks event date on USB drive.’ This was never received. There was an emailed link of a viewable album which was received 6 weeks and 5 days past the wedding date. Again, with the email there was no indication of her error. I immediately questioned where the other shooter’s photos were and this is when Ashley called me hysterically crying.

    In a response email sent November 6th to her October 12th email I again questioned her protocol and quality assurance to prevent this from happening. I questioned her efforts to retrieve the images from the corrupted memory card and which professionals she had taken it to, which she claimed she had. There was never a response to those questions. Working in medical imaging, I am very well aware of sophisticated software available for image retrieval. I am requesting to have the memory card in hopes of recovering the images on our own. As a professional photographer, she should still have this in her possession and it should be marked in a way that identifies it as photos taken of us on August 13, 2016.

    Ashley offered a $500 refund, an album of only 60 images worth $850, to reshoot the images in front of our house and ‘recreate’ the moment, and an additional photoshoot worth up to $1000. I never agreed to any of these offers. In communications Ashley had with my mother, none of
    offers were agreed to either, as she cannot speak for me. Ashley indicated that she only wished to communicate with Sam and me, as we are the contracting party. The $500 was sent to me via Paypal without my consent.

    Ashley was very quick to offer these refunds worth $2350 which leads me to believe she recognized and was embarrassed of this significant mistake. I am declining her offers and am asking for $1800 as a monetary refund based on the dollar value she placed on her offers. I am also requesting the original memory card with the corrupted images, and a USB of the digital negatives that we never received.

    This is very unfortunate that we have had to go to this length to work through this. This was a mistake made by Ashley and she should correct it. If she can supply us with the facts about what has been done to the memory card, we could still possibly obtain our missing photographs. We enjoyed working with Ashley during our wedding planning process but are extremely dissatisfied with her unprofessionalism as this was a result of her mistake.

  • Dec 23, 2016, () added:
  • I will no longer be moving forward or taking my time to respond to these ridiculous and slanderous claims and as stated before, will now be creating a counter-claim for the $500 sent, as it was only meant as a goodwill offering and it has been kept with no intention of keeping goodwill whatsoever. I have attached a copy of the contract Kristen & Sam signed, with no mention of a second shooter or payment detailed for one.

    In any case, even if there was a second shooter contracted (which there was not, and can be referenced in the attached contract), Kristen & Sam would refer to the "Liability" section of their contract. It doesn't appear to me that they've read anything they agreed to. Please see that paragraph below.

    "Liability. The Supplier and any of his agents or third party associates will not be liable in the unlikely event that a problem arises, whether due to lateness, no show, accident, neglect, human error, loss of materials, acts of god, equipment or other failures. The Supplier is not responsible for loss of, or interference with, the photography due to restrictions on the location, including but not limited to, interference from surrounding devices, access limitations, flash restrictions, and the like. This limitation on liability shall also apply in the event that photographic materials are damaged in processing (film and digital), lost through camera malfunction, lost in the mail, fire or otherwise lost or damaged without fault on the part of the Photographer. Client understands the unpredictable and non-posed nature of photojournalism (assumption of risk) and waives any right to any civil action due to missed or lost photographs (including but not limited to unintentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence). In the event the Supplier fails to perform for any other reason, the Supplier‘s liability is limited solely to the return of all payments received from the Client under this Agreement."

    I have also attached a link to view their wedding gallery. Since Kristen & Sam would like to ensure their unhappiness is made public, I would like to ensure everyone can see the gallery they claim is now incomplete and unsatisfactory to them.

    On a personal note, I have worked with over 200 wonderful couples and countless families and have never had any problems. To the contrary, some of my closest friendships have been made out of these relationships. I'm disappointed Kristen & Sam have made the decision to go this route.

  • Dec 23, 2016, () added:
  • page one of contract.

  • Dec 23, 2016, () added:
  • Site will now allow for any attachments. Please feel free to contact me at for a copy.

  • Dec 25, 2016, Claiming party added:
  • Ashley has missed another opportunity to explain to us what has been done to the memory card to try to recover our photographs. With our extremely high tech abilities today, there is such a slight chance that this should have happened. The liability portion of the contract also states "in the highly unlikely event that something should occur". Once again I am asking that she provide us with the memory card and details of what she has done to try and recover the photographs. Perhaps we can find a professional to help us recover the photographs if she is unwilling to do so. Again, I must express our disappointment in her professionalism.

What Claimant Wants Hide
1. Compensation: Cash Dec 31, 2016 $1,800.00
2. Other – Copy claim to regulators Dec 31, 2016 $14.99
3. Other – Pay for claim posting cost Dec 31, 2016 $7.99
4. Other – Physical delivery charges Dec 31, 2016 $4.99
Cash total : $1,827.97
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Respondent's Counteroffer

There has been no response to this claim from Ashley Crawford Photography. This claim will remain posted until resolved
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