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Michelle Pearl Gee - Wedding photographer kept $1500, and didn't show up on the wedding day

We hate having to spell this out, but this was a shocking lack of respect, professionalism and care by a wedding photographer. We hired Michelle to be our Wedding Photographer for our September 2011 wedding day. She gave us a generous discount off her packages if we pre-paid the entire amount for her services beforehand, which we were happy to do. She set us up with an Engagement photoshoot for a summer evening, and we were excited about it. Our first red flag was when she texted us a few hours before our shoot time and asked for a ride. What? We would have had to gone very much out of way to go pick her up, take her to the shoot location, then double back to take her home and then back to our own place. Michelle said she would rent a car instead (which made us wonder, where IS your car? How can you run a business without being able to ensure you can make it to your appointments?) She arrived an hour late to the location. And then, she said "oops! I thought this was somewhere different! Let me run around and see where I can find places for us to shoot around this park!" Major red flad number 2 - she hadn't taken the time to properly find a shoot location for us, her paying clients. It really made us feel that she didn't care about us, our time or or photoshoot to not have properly prepared for it. The shoot itself was rushed because the sun was setting and we were running out of natural light. We hoped for the best that the pictures would pull through and be fabulous. The Engagement photos arrived in our email over 3 weeks late, with no return phone calls or emails to the inquiries we sent - and only half of them were there - 75 were promised in the agreement, and only 40 came. They were mediocre at best. It showed that they had been rushed, and that they weren't her best work - which is what we paid her to do. Because of the tardiness of the photos, we were only 3 weeks away from our Wedding day and knew we had to make a decision. We couldn't trust Michelle to arrive on time, and take our Wedding day pictures with the overall lack of care and professionalism she had shown us. I finally got her on the phone, and she seemed very kind and understanding about our unhappiness with the photos. She said she would refund our payment but that she didn't have it at the time - it was spent. Another BIG red flag - a business should never spend the payments from a client until the event is complete!! Michelle said she would have the money by next week and would mail it to us. I thanked her for being so understanding. The next week, we received an email saying she would only give us a partial refund, and that it was dispresectful of us, her clients, to expect more. Apalling and rude to say the least! We knew then we were going to have to give her a list of all the facts noted above of why we expect a full refund back and that she had till the end of the month to repay it or we would have to take her to court. No replies, no emails or phone calls. Our Wedding day came and went, we went on our honeymoon, came back and still nothing. September 30th came and went and we were shocked that she was so blatantly disregarding our email response. On October 2nd, a Sunday, she sent the text "Check in mail". Why would she send that on a Sunday, mail doesn't send out on a Sunday? We knew it was fishy, but we waited the entire week to see if anything would show up. Nothing. She still wouldn't reply to our messages, so we sent her another stating that we were moving forward with court if she did not respond or we received a refund. Another week later as we were starting to file with our attorney, she sent an email saying that she had sent a money order last week, and that if we don't receive anything by this coming weekend, she would cancel it and send another. We have not seen anything, and it's obvious she's been lying about sending a refund. It does not take the postal service more than 2 days to deliver an envelope to the same city! Deceit is not a way to run a business. Overall, it's been a horrible, disappointing experience. We felt it was only fair to let others know our story, and that there are photographers out there who will run off with your money. Michelle's purposeful disregard for a customers needs, time and money was the worst we've ever seen. It's very sad that we had to have this blight on our wedding experience.
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8 comments
#548072

Can you all please email me. I am compiling a lawsuit against her and I will also report her to the attorney general and will file an injunction to shut her down permanently.

email nsdang@***.com. I am an attorney that she has defrauded as well.

#516224

Lol you must be someone she knows. To be completely honest with you , if your pictures were almost a year late, you didnt get any responses , and you have seen with your eyes that she has done this to others, and is STILL doing this to others, you would want her to be out of a BUSINESS, where it is her duty to provide a service to brides.

You have no idea about hurting anyone, it seems.The fact is she doesn't give refunds, and some of us really do have contracts (Proof) with her or have been completely ignored by her. So, while you are singing praises and protecting her, try being on the other side of the arguement...when you dont get a response from this "professional."

she is actually lucky she is not in a bigger city where people have less patience , she would be eaten alive.

#515977

A lot of you sound like you want to hurt this person. That seems really cruel. Even if she did everything you say (which I'm not sure I believe because there seems to be a huge lack of proof), why so hateful and mean? Be mature about your complaints.

"Passion is evidence of exaggeration, not truth"

Expecting a refund, or being dissatisfied with the product is fine, but deal with it like adults. Throwing a tantrum and threatening to ruin someones career is childish. Seriously, have some self control. Rallying people together to "shut someone down" or "knock her out". I'm shocked to see this kind of behavior. Have some perspective as well. Clearly Aimee, you canceled the wedding contract.... so what is the problem? Why expect her to show up if you canceled. And sorry to say most business offer a partial refund. I'm getting married this year and almost all vendors told me if I cancel I don't get my deposit back. It sucks, but that's the way it works. So if you're only issue is that you don't like the pictures, don't you think you are over reacting a little by wanting to ruin someones entire career!

Michelle did my engagement photos, and they were amazing!

I know she'd be really sad to see all of the personal bashing.

And in my opinion, its in really bad taste. No one is saying you can't be upset, but have some class in the way you deal with it.

BTW, I've never seen Michelle write a bad review of another photographer. Could you even prove that?

#508857

Sean, thank you for your comment. I am so sorry to hear that she has been slandering other people in her industry. If we can help you out please let us know, you can email us at threebrides@***.com.

#508821

Just so you all know, Michelle writes fake negative reviews of other photographers. She wrote some very volatile, untrue things about me online and I am looking into suing her for libel.

None of what she says about others is true, so take whatever she says with a grain of salt. She puts others down to make herself feel better, because as we all know- MICHELLE PEARL GEE IS THE FRAUD!!!!

Michelle is disliked by just about everyone in the bridal industry. I know photographers, cake decorators, florists, and even dress designers that can't stand her. It's not too hard to see right through her arrogance.

She's just an immature, disorganized little girl trying to play with the big dogs.

Sorry, Michelle, but you will always be a nobody. Time to put on your big girl panties, deal with the complaints, and give these people back their money.

#488177

I am for shutting her down. My wedding was at the end of august 2011.

I received only about 40 pics, some of them idiotic in how she "modified them" aka sharpened the image. contact me also amy.salnikov@***.com

#466733

Thank you for sharing this! i am trying to get michelle pearl knocked out of what she is doing.

She did the same exact thing to my best friend! Who is also a photographer and worked with michelle on shoots (not together) but saw and met her. My friend is heart broken that michelle pearl gee would back stab her and not give the pictures. I am now trying to get people together and over rule her and shut her down or else get all the photos.

jmorann89@***.com is my email. Please help me do this! This isnt fair!

another friend of mine got a hold of her and demanded michelle to give him my friends wedding pics to him to give to me and she hung up on him after trying to flirt with him. Pretty low life of her!

#385287

I'm not surprised. Michelle acts like she is the best business person in the world, in fact she writes NASTY hate-filled "reviews" about other businesses- all the while she pulls this kind of stunt?

Seriously! Michelle, I know you are obsessed with reviews---- take this home with you----- don't throw stones if you live in a glass house.

Don't understand me? Look it up.

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ID
#267845 Review #267845 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Portland, Oregon