5 On Your Side

Delivery Problem Dogs Wedding Photo Studio

Posted January 17, 2008 6:01 p.m. EST
Updated January 17, 2008 10:27 p.m. EST

— Since 5 On Your Side reported about problems with Mark Fowler Photography in August 2007, the number of newlywed couples waiting for their pictures has multiplied – and so have Fowler's promises.

The empty frames and albums in Shannon Emerick's house should show wedding pictures. But although Mark Fowler took pictures at her wedding and reception last April, he never provided them.

"I would (like that to be my husband and me)," Emerick said as she pointed out a frame.

So Emerick did a little online research. She found previous 5 On Your Side stories about other local newlyweds who had hired the Cary-based photography studio and were left in the same situation.

"My heart sank when I saw that I wasn't the only one," Emerick said.

So far, 17 couples have complained to 5 On Your Side about Mark Fowler Photography. Thirteen of those couples still do not have everything they paid for.

"Those are irreplaceable. I cannot re-do my wedding. I cannot re-do those pictures," Emerick said. "It's a once a lifetime kind of thing. And they have all my memories."

Along with Emerick's money – more than $2,400 – our complainants say Fowler owes them more than $27,400.

Ramsey and Adrienne Connor got married 17 months ago and paid Fowler almost $2,800. When 5 On Your Side called, Fowler's son Brian, who also takes pictures for the business, promised the Connors would get their album by September.

Mark Fowler Photography, however, did not deliver on that promise.

Jennifer Norton got her album six months after the wedding, but had to complete it herself.

"When I first got the album, there were blank pages throughout," Norton said.

About a month ago, some couples got an e-mail from Fowler saying, "We have gone out of business." However, he still promised to send CDs of the couples' pictures, along with copyright releases that would let them get the photos printed elsewhere.

So far, several brides told us they have not received either.

The Fowlers previously told us they have financial problems. Asked about the whereabouts of the releases and CDs, Fowler responded via email, saying he will get them done in a "relatively short period of time" and "start mailing them out immediately."

"I am very ashamed of the decisions I made and how long it has take me to fix everything," Fowler also said in the email.

All those decisions and delays have left the couples feeling hurt and angry.

"I feel extremely betrayed by them. I trusted them," Emerick said. "And I do want my pictures. That's all I'm asking from them."

Fowler keeps telling 5OYS he's working on the photo orders – and the newlywed couples certainly hope he is.