MILWAUKEE - It's one of the biggest days of your life. So you want to have picture proof of your wedding. But some local couples have been waiting for years. They turned to 4 On Your Side for help.
We talked to a lot of unhappy couples who paid thousands of dollars to Scheer Photography. They called and emailed the owner, Brian Scheer, for months trying to get their portraits. As soon as we started investigating, we got some results.
"I don't think it's right to do that to people," Cory Corrao told us. She and her husband Tony married almost two years ago. They paid more than $1,700 for wedding portraits, and all they got was a box of proofs.
Those pictures are copyrighted. Meaning without photographer Brian Scheer's permission they can't duplicate them. Losing hope, they sent certified letters and are now trying to serve Brian Scheer in small claims court. All with no luck.
Three more couples with similar stories. All turned to us for help. Leah and Mike Sillix have only their proofs and not even all of those. "Biggest day of our lives fits in this little box," Leah commented.
Gina and Derek Berger have been married more than three years. Like the others, they got proofs but no portraits. No album. "He already has over $2,000 of our money," said Gina, "and he wanted us to pay more."
The Manning's are the lucky ones in this group. They also contracted with Scheer Photography. Scheer made good on their pictures but no album even though they paid for it.
Tina Gerth used to shoot weddings for Scheer. "His wife and him for a long time were trying to live off the business," Tina told us. She claims she stopped working for Scheer because she believed he wasn't making good on contracts.
When we started investigating this story Tina tried to get Scheer to do the right thing. "Morally and ethically you at least should give them what you have and that's their negatives," Tina said.
We caught up with Scheer at work, but he didn't want to answer any of our questions on camera. After weeks of promises made to clients, and us, and after countless emails and phone calls Scheer had his attorney do the talking.
Alan Eisenberg said, "He wasn't able to keep up. He was not able to keep up with it." Eisenberg admitted Scheer made mistakes. He claims his client did his best to satisfy customers but just got in over his head.
Since we started working on this story Brian Scheer finally started to keep some of his promises. Scheer has sent negatives to some clients but Eisenberg denies it's because of us.
So, while some of our couples got their precious memories back, others are still waiting.
Right now the Department of Consumer Protection is investigating Scheer for "failure to deliver product as contracted." Five of the nine couples we talked to did receive their negatives.
According to Scheer's attorney, his client is broke and will likely file bankruptcy. We've done stories involving wedding photography before and some people do eventually get what they paid for. We'll keep you updated.