5 On Your Side

Studio Has Delivery Problem With Wedding Photos

Posted September 17, 2007

— Customers generally rave about the wedding pictures taken by a Wake County photography studio. The problem lies in the consistently late delivery of those pictures, customers say.

Eight more couples have complained about Mark Fowler Photography since 5 on Your Side reported three weeks ago about two couples who had not yet received the pictures they paid for.

Jennifer Norton said she paid the family-run Cary studio $2,445 to photograph her August 2006 wedding. When the proofs arrived a week after the wedding, she loved the hundreds of moments capture by photographer Brian Fowler, the son of Mark Fowler.

But getting Fowler to deliver the final pictures and albums took much longer. The parents' albums came around the New Year, but the Nortons' album didn't arrive until February 2007 - and it was incomplete, Norton said.

"When I first got the album, there blank pages like this throughout the album," she said.

Norton had to pick out the pictures, tape them in place and insert the pages into the album, but said she's comparably lucky.

"I feel bad for the people that still don't have their albums," Norton said.

Other of Fowlers' customers from August 2006 called 5OYS to express their frustration with delays in getting their albums from the studio. Ramsey and Adrienne Connor said they paid the studio nearly $2,800, and they, too, love the proofs of their engagement and wedding photographs.

"The only complaint is, we want the rest of our stuff," Adrienne Connor said.

"We just want our albums," Ramsey Connor added.

Brian Fowler spoke off-camera to 5OYS at his father's Chatham County home. He said Mark Fowler is sick, and the family doesn't have health insurance.

Mark Fowler is also on probation from pleading guilty to tax evasion three years ago. At the time, the court also ordered him to pay nearly $30,000 in restitution.

The studio is working to get all their customers the pictures and albums they paid for, Brian Fowler said.

Brian Fowler originally promised to complete the Connors' album by last Friday, but that didn't happen. He later said the mattes are on back-order and said the couple should have their album by the end of this week.

Of the 10 couples who complained about the studio to 5OYS, four have since received their orders.


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  • Smorgas_Of_Borg Sep 18, 2007

    "....called 5OYS"

    Sounds like a NY Jewish singing group. :-)

    (don't blow a gasket. My wife-unit is Jewish, y'all).

  • Obscurite Sep 18, 2007

    "However since you mentioned anyone with a digital camera, I assume you are not well informed in professional photography."

    Actually, I have spoke to a number of professional photographers, a few of them prefer digital SLRs (that number appears to be growing). There are alot of things you can do in post for color correction and effects which you cannot easily do with traditional film. The new digital SLRs also have more flexibility for aperture so based on your comments I can only assume that you are not well versed in digital media.

  • Brick Tamland Sep 18, 2007

    Wedding photographers are a rip off.

  • eac416 Sep 18, 2007

    ltbarkley - I agree whole-heartedly with you. I am not a professional photographer, but I know that the photographers I have hired take very good quality pictures, better than I ever could with my digital camera! What I have seen from them are works of art, not just a picture from a moment in time. Plus, for the price I paid (and most others), you are getting an engagment session and/or bridal session in addition to all-day wedding day coverage (usually about 7 hours). My photographers spent 2 hours photographing us for our engagement pictures and an 1-1/2 hours for my bridal pictures. We also get a certain number of prints included and a CD with all of the images and reproduction rights. So as a package deal, I don't think $2800 is a bad price!

  • ltbarkley Sep 18, 2007

    "Most people with a good digital camera can do just as good of a job."
    I have to respectfully disagree. Professional photography is so much more than point and shoot. You also have to know what to look for, get the perfect shots, and ESPECIALLY with weddings - get it right the very first time. Very important there. Photography involves more than that however. You have to have the correct focus, and set a dozen small variables before even thinking about taking the shot. A good professional can do that on the fly - a point and shoot camera cant even focus, much less adapt to changing sunlight/indoor lighting "temperatures", Aperture (f-stop) settings, filters, etc etc. However since you mentioned anyone with a digital camera, I assume you are not well informed in professional photography.

  • swisher1 Sep 18, 2007

    people try to get away with anything these days! And most of the time, they succeed!

  • Brick Tamland Sep 18, 2007

    Those people were already taken to the cleaners when they paid that much for photographs. Wedding photography is the biggest rip off. Most people with a good digital camera can do just as good of a job.

  • mrtwinturbo Sep 18, 2007

    Not exactly a picture perfect business

  • eac416 Sep 18, 2007

    It is too bad that Mr. Fowler is ill and doesn't have health insurance. I feel for the family, however, these people did pay for a service and product and deserve to get it in a timely manner. If they can't deliver, they should send the work to another facility to get it done. If the pictures have been taken, all they need to do is send it to another photographer to complete what they couldn't. That may cost them something, but it would be better than ruining your business by continuing to not deliver what you've promised and received payment for.
    My wedding is in 1-1/2 weeks and I paid $500 down to my photographers and the balance was due 30 days prior to the wedding. They are wonderful and have so far been really good about delivering what they've promised in a very timely manner. I think it would be fair to ask that you pay them in 3rd's...1/3 down, 1/3 30 days prior, and the last 1/3 when the album is delivered.

  • cryinshame Sep 18, 2007

    I'd say a down payment of at least 50 percent , all to often the consumer will screw someone, by not paying a bill due, using a bad check, then claiming oh i didn't agree i wanted that to be done. way more of those cases in the courts,