Photographer develops bad reputation for not finishing job, say Winnipeg women
Customers didn't know photographer has lengthy criminal record
Two Winnipeg women want to warn others about using a local photographer they say took their money, but didn't finish the job.
Yolanna Yerex found photographer Brent Andrew Marshall on Facebook since they had friends in common. Marshall messaged her to be a friend on Facebook and asked if she was interested in getting pictures taken.
Yerex said Marshall told her she would have to pay another $100 to get high resolution. In April of this year, she sent him the money by internet transfer. Yerex said she never got the pictures. When she put a negative review on his business Facebook page, he blocked her.
"Then he told me he had a family illness and an emergency. I believed him and gave him more time. He eventually wrote back saying he would only send the photos if I removed all negative comments and reviews," said Yerex, adding she refused to do that.
"I told him I would complain to the media and the Better Business Bureau, and possibly small claims. It costs $50 to place a claim, it's not the point," said Yerex.
"I want my photos frankly. I would like to get them. They were really good."
Wedding photos never taken
"We gave him $1,000 deposit for what was supposed to be a bill total of $2,000. He gave us a couple of unedited pictures of our engagement, and then a week before the wedding we couldn't reach him. Then we get this call from his brother saying Marshall was having surgery and that his brother would do the shoot. We didn't know this guy or anything about him," said Gordon.
Gordon managed to find another photographer. When she tried to get the money back from Marshall, he said he was keeping the money because he had done the engagement photo. Gordon wanted to take legal action, but decided against it.
"We have two young kids and it was too stressful and it was too much time. We gave up. It wasn't worth the fight and the stress," said Gordon, adding Marshall blocked her husband on Facebook.
Marshall has more than 35 convictions between 2005 and 2013 including: theft, fraud, possessing property obtained by crime, assault, failing to comply with a no contact order and being unlawfully in a dwelling.
In 2003, an Alberta court ordered Marshall to pay more than $1,100 to a couple who had hired him as a photographer.
In May of 2014, court records show a Winnipeg woman said Marshall stole money, her credit card and her car. Court records show Marshall denies the claims and said he had been in a romantic relationship with the woman and lived together until October 2013.
Jenna Gordon said she thought Marshall was quirky, but is shocked to learn he has a criminal record.
"It almost makes me kind of happy we didn't pursue taking him to court," she said. "I don't want anything more to do with him."
The Better Business Bureau has three complaints on file for Marshall. His business is not accredited and has a rating of D+.
Marshall told CBC he was still working in Winnipeg and was recovering from surgery. He refused to comment on the women's claims.