Mays Landing, N.J. - Wedding photos are not only cherished by the couple who tied the knot, they are passed down and enjoyed for generations to come. So imagine if you never get them.
That was the situation for a couple in South Jersey who came to the Action News Troubleshooters for help.
Dana and Anthony Champion have only have a handful of cell phone photos to remember their wedding day.
"Nothing great but I still cherish them because it's the only thing that we have," explained Dana. "Every time our anniversary comes around, it's happy, but we always think 'where's our photos?'"
The Champions got married five years ago on September 2, 2012 and they did hire a professional photographer.
"Every time I turned around he would be there taking a picture," Anthony said. "I was kind of blown away with everything he did."
The Champions now have two children. They've also had two losses, Anthony's great grandmother and grandfather, who were both present at the wedding, have passed.
"I'm very bothered by it. Without a doubt I know that he is probably doing this to others," Anthony said.
The couple hired photographer David Christenson and paid half of the $3,000 package price as a deposit. But they still have no photos.
"We wrote him, we'll text message him, we still call him, mailbox is full. We will leave a message once it's open ... nothing," said Dana.
Christenson has now moved his business from Northampton County, Pennsylvania to Fresno, California. He also changed its name.
"It's infuriating because it's not fair," Dana said.
The Troubleshooters contacted Christenson and he told us there was an issue with the final payment. And the contract is confusing. On one page it states "the client understands and agrees that the entire amount owed for the wedding photography package ... is due at the event or a week prior to the event's occurrence." But on another page it states "100% of the remaining balance it due on the clients' receipt of the final images."
The Champions tell us the latter line is the expectation they understood.
"I'm not going to pay you without getting anything," Anthony said.
Since the Troubleshooters got involved, Christenson said he would send the Champions their photos and waive their $1500 balance. He also said in a statement:
"... as a new small business, early in my career- demand for services grew faster than I could have expected- as a result I had a few missteps in client relations. A college student at the time, the systems were not in place to handle the volume of work that was need to maintain good client relations. I'm glad that the Champions and I were able to resolve the situation, and I'm equally as pleased to hear that they love the photos. As far as the past clients you mentioned, these past matters from several years ago have each been addressed, and I have been in contact the clients and resolved all, but one of the concerns. Each of their concerns are important to me and I'm actively working to bring resolution to the last one this week."
"To see his name on my phone after five years was a complete shock. I called her right away. I absolutely could not believe it, I could not believe it," Anthony said.
Christenson did live up to his promise to the Troubleshooters. Within a week, the Champions received a package from him. The Troubleshooters were there for the very special moment when the Champions opened the package and got to see their wedding photos for the first time.
"I'm so happy, I want to click all day. They are beautiful," Dana exclaimed. "I really didn't think this was going to happen ever and I love them and I'm so happy and I want to keep looking. They're awesome. There are no words to explain it, thank you so much!"
The Champions' situation shows it pays to be persistent and to read any contract you enter into carefully to make sure there isn't conflicting language that could cause a problem down the road.
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