It seems that we hear about all sorts of unprofessional photographers more and more often. The latest incident is a bit unusual though. A wedding videographer from Australia lied about his skill, and possibly even his age. As it turned out, he is just a teenage kid who films terrible videos, and he ended up in national news after screwing up a few of them.
Brides Amy and Teagan paid $1,900 AUD (around $1,300 USD) for videography packages with Simplicity Films, a business run by a young man named Ashley. Looking at the footage on his website, they saw plenty of beautifully filmed and edited videos.
After their respective weddings, the brides waited seven months to get the “45-minute cinematic feature films,” which is already alarming. But when they did receive them, Amy and Teagan were unpleasantly surprised. Their wedding videos were nothing like promised. They were shaky, with terrible audio, and completely unusable.
Furious brides reached out to the investigative news show A Current Affair. Amy described her video as something “a child could have filmed.” She says that it’s so shaky that her husband calls it “found footage” and “The Blair Witch Project.” Teagan adds: “The footage of me walking down the aisle is so shaky and so disgusting. He’s cut off my head, my dad’s head, and most of it is focused on my bum. It’s horrible.” What’s more, the brides were allegedly promised raw footage too, but they say they never received it.
A few more brides reached out to A Current Affair with the same accusations. The show’s reporter then confronted Ashley, who admitted that he’s just a year 12 student. This means that he’s around 16-17 years old.
Ashley’s sub-contractor, Georgia Spencer, says that he lied to her about his age and told her that he’d been doing wedding videography since he was eight (?) years old. She adds that he owns her $1,000. Another videographer reportedly said to A Current Affair that he’s waiting on the same sum from Ashley. “He doesn’t pay rent. I don’t know what bills he has, so I’m like ‘where has the money gone?’” Ashley said to A Current Affair.
When asked what he did with the money, Ashley said that he had sent off a lot of it for refunds. He admitted that he’s “in over his head.” No wonder. According to A Current Affair, Ashley’s dad has sent out $400 to one of the brides, and the rest hope to get their refunds. Simplicity Films website has been taken down and it’s not available at the time of writing this article.
Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this whole case. I’m angry and even worried about the fact that someone so young is capable to invest so much time and effort to cheat people. He apparently created a website with work that isn’t his and deceived his customers. But at the same time, this same thing also makes me kind of sad.
I hope that couples will get their refunds soon. Since they are apparently coming from Ashley’s dad, I also hope that he is reasonable enough not to let Ashley get away with this.