5 On Your Side

Rocky Mount dance parents never receive photos

Posted September 10, 2012

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— Hundreds of young dance students, thousands of dollars spent on photos and plenty of frustrated parents.

5 On Your Side has a list of more than 17 complaints right now from angry parents, as well as the studio owner, who paid for photos at a dance studio they did not receive.

Plenty of parents never got the pictures they paid for as part of a weeklong photo shoot at Crystal's Elite Dance Studio in Rocky Mount.

The studio hired photographer Laura Jolly to do the job. Many parents are not happy with the photos taken in May, promised by June and not delivered until this month.

"I think she's really just ignoring the problem it seems like," Stephanie Tamisiea said. "I sent her two emails myself and I've gotten no response."

Tamisiea paid $100 for a CD of her daughter, Anna. Initially she didn't get one. When it finally arrived, it wasn't complete.

"I have six poses that are missing," Tamisiea said.

She's one of more than a dozen parents who complained to 5 On Your Side about pictures not being delivered, and the quality of those that arrived.

Traci O'Conney paid $50 for a photo package of her daughter.

Rocky Mount dance parents never receive photos Rocky Mount dance parents never receive photos

"Obviously if she is a professional, she would know how to crop photos and not crop things out like a child's foot or hair," O'Conney said.

Crystal Harrelson owns the dance studio and hired Jolly. She says after repeated calls and emails, Jolly finally dropped off some of the photos.

"It was over $10,000 that she got paid during that week," Harrelson said. "When she saw me open a package and start looking at 'em, she was out my front door. I started calling her as she pulled out of my driveway, and it took me three days to get in touch with her."

5 On Your Side went to Laura Jolly's house in Rocky Mount, just to find out what in the world was going on. But a sign outside said "no trespassing."

5 On Your Side called and sent an email. Four days later, she offered an email response saying the dancer photo shoot was an "aberration." Adding, "We are working diligently to correct those mistakes at no additional charge to consumers" and that she expects to have "a quality, final product to customers in the near future."

"I just want whatever my parents paid for," Harrelson said. "They're not asking for any extras, they want whatever package they ordered to be fulfilled."

"Why would she sign up for a job that she knew she could not handle?" O'Conney said.

"At this point I really don't want my money back," Tamisea said. "I just want my pictures because there's really no way for me to recreate that moment."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • halfpint1552 Sep 18, 2012

    employeenc: That's funny because my son is in Nash-Rocky Mount Schools and he DOES bring home a packet of pictures that we choose what we like and send back the rest with the check...interesting!

  • employeenc Sep 17, 2012

    Superman-you are quite mistaken. Both Nash-Rocky Mount public schools that my kids attend require money up front. You must choose a package and send the money. They use to send a 3" "proof" glued to the envelope so that you could choose from pose A or pose B. You don't get an envelope full of pictures to choose from. Stay informed. And thanks for pointing that out. Didn't the hired photographer work for one of the "school picture photography" companies? No wonder school photos are so bad!! HAHAHAHA!!

  • superman Sep 14, 2012

    employeenc-- you cant even compare apples to apples. The people paid for the dance pictures BEFORE they received them. School pictures are taken by the photographer, they are printed and sent home. Parents have the option to buy some, all, or none. The school pictures do not require money "up front". Surely you dont think that school pictures illustrate your point of view.

  • Bill of Rights Sep 13, 2012

    Awful shot at the top of this article. The photographer cropped the dancer's shoes, the lighting is flat and there's an obvious shadow against the wrinkly, dirty looking backdrop. If that's the kind of photos she was taking, I fear for these people who spent their hard-earned ...

  • oconneygirl2 Sep 12, 2012

    I am one that has sent Ms. Jolly numerous polite emails asking for my correct photos. I have received no response nor have I received my photos. These were taken in May so Ms. Jolly has had efficient time to have these photos printed and delivered. I agree with mtamisiea, there really is no defense for what Ms. Jolly has done. Ms. Jolly took the money and did not produce the product that she was paid for, that is wrong no matter who you are. I feel there was no choice than to contact 5 On Your Side so that we can get the photos that we paid for and that our voices be heard so that this will not happen to anyone else.

  • mtamisiea Sep 12, 2012

    Mr.BlueEyes: Another parent here who paid for photos and only got a partial order back (missing 6 costume shots). When attempted to contact Ms. Jolly got no response (0) and am still waiting for the photos I paid for but fear will never get. There is really no defense for what Ms. Jolly has done. She has been months late on delivery of her product which at best can be considered grossly incomplete and of questionable quality. I think that those who contacted “5 On Your Side” were justified in their dissatisfaction and saw it as a way to make their voices heard.

  • employeenc Sep 11, 2012

    Superman: I have never received good "class photos", so should I demand that the school system make good on them, sue the school and the photographer?

    Mr.BlueEyes: Glad you had such a pleasant experience and got what you paid for. There are a few HUNDRED of us that did not. I made no changes in my order, paid up front, and waited three months to get bits and pieces of an order. The photographer was flustered AND disorganized the entire week of shoots. I took better pics the day of the recital on my CELLPHONE and those are the ones I'll keep. The photographer had her chance to respond to the PARENTS that paid her and she chose not to. If she were a professional businesswoman, the situation would never have reached 5 on your side. I guess I'll be waiting for the "quality, final product" in the near future. Maybe it will be here by recital next June.

  • leeloo67 Sep 11, 2012

    However, she has an "F" with the BBB, and because she didn't respond to the complaint (from the dance studio). Why didn't she respond to the BBB complaint?

  • MrBlueEyes Sep 11, 2012

    There's another thing. This story was completed at least two weeks ago, and WRAL held off on airing it. During that time, Mrs. Jolly continued to resolve the situation, yet no one contacted her again for any follow-up. Not only is the story one-sided, but it is also outdated. Why didn't WRAL make an effort to gain the most current information?

    I doubt William Paley would be pleased with the manner in which one of CBS' affiliates was besmirching his network's reputation.

  • MrBlueEyes Sep 11, 2012

    This is an example of one-sided journalism at its worst. You were informed of the threats that Mrs. Jolly received, yet you don't include that in your story. That is why she had to put up a "No Trespassing" sign. You were notified that some parents changed orders after the original deliveries were made and that Mrs. Jolly honored those order changes at no additional charge. Why would you leave that out?

    Laura Jolly took the photos at my wedding. Not only were the pictures fantastic, her delivery was prompt and her charges were extremely reasonable. She is an excellent photographer, and I wouldn't hesitate to use her again.

    What I would hesitate to do would be to EVER allow my child to go that dance studio. Any adult capable of harassing and making threats isn't trustworthy around children, in my opinion. I will also hesitate to give another 5 on your side report any credibility. Clearly, yellow journalism didn't die with William Randolph Hearst.