TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A growing list of Tampa Bay area brides are fed up that they paid thousands of dollars to a Sarasota wedding photographer and received nothing in return.
Brides tell 8 On Your Side that photographer Naomi Chokr stopped returning their phone calls and text messages and they fear they’ll never see their photos. Yet the photographer has continued to work, shooting other weddings and working on a blog about food.
“I have nothing to show for the thousands we spent on professional photos,” said Tayler Eskew, who got married in January. “We have nothing.”
Eskew and her husband, Casey, paid $4,500 to Sarasota-based Naomi Chokr Photography, for wedding photos.The photographer, Naomi, shot their engagement photos last summer, and Eskew said those turned out great. She stretched her budget to be able to afford Naomi because, “I knew her work would be amazing.”
The contract she signed promised Eskew she would receive her photos 8 to 10 weeks after the wedding. At first, there were excuses, and now nothing. All communication has been cut off.
“She won’t answer calls, texts, messages, not only from me and my family but two wedding coordinators and two wedding vendors we worked with,” she said.
And she’s not the only one. Another bride, Alicia McBratney, contacted me, too. She’s been waiting on her photos for seven months.
“She won’t return my calls,” McBratney said. “I don’t know what happened.”
There are reviews online from other upset brides and one Sarasota woman sued the studio after she paid for a newborn photography session in September and received nothing.
Chokr sent this email:
“I, just like you want to do what is right for my clients. It has never been my intention to hurt anyone. I started this business and pursued this dream of mine to document weddings because of my love for the emotions, connections, and moments that happen during a wedding. I cherish and have so much love for my clients and the moments that transpire during their special day. It is just very unfortunate that I have suffered a terrible tragedy a year ago that has caused my work to suffer. I do not wish this on anyone and only hope that the pain and tragedy that I continue to go through…others will not have to experience. The timing of this all spilled over into the weddings I’ve shot and it has affected the delivery of my work. Know that all images are safe and my clients will receive them. I’m unfortunately human and anyone who has ever suffered or is suffering from a tragedy would understand the difficulties it takes to heal and perform. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart for hurting anyone. If I could take any pain and anger away I would. Thank you for taking the bride’s side… I understand 100% and take responsibility for my actions. I will be in touch with my clients and do right by them.”
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