MASON, Ohio (WKRC) – A photographer hired to capture life’s happy moments leaves her clients in a lurch. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office is suing that photographer for not living up to her contract.
Madeleine Secrist met Kelsea Hopkins through a mutual friend. She signed Hopkins’ business “Dear Tomasine Stills and Films” to take her wedding photos.
“Our pictures were due by the contract by Dec. 1, 2017. Around that time, I reached out to her and radio silence. I would email her every day asking her, ‘What’s going on?'” said Secrist.
The Secrists paid Hopkins more than $2,000 upfront in cash. On their first wedding anniversary, there was no photo album to reminisce.
“Family, friends, my parents, my grandmas, I mean all of them wanted to know when they’re going to see the big monumental moment of my life, and I just could never give them an answer,” said Secrist.
Secrist continued to call and text Hopkins, but the photographer changed her number.
“We went to social media and we got a lot of outreach from people…I’m not the only one she’s done this to. She’s taken their picture and never given them results. It’s not just wedding, it’s baby pictures, family sessions — it’s a lot of things,” said Secrist.
On Dec. 7, 2018, Secrist received her wedding pictures more than a year after she was supposed to. Secrist did not receive the wedding video, canvas print, album, or black and white photos she paid for.
“I’ve read other people who took her to civil court, but she’s not required to show up, so she wouldn’t, and the cases would just be open and nothing would come of it,” said Secrist.
Secrist is one of five named in this lawsuit filed by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. It requires Hopkins to reimburse her customers and pay court costs and civil penalties.
Local 12 asked Hopkins about that lawsuit. She responded via email: “I am unaware of the couples mentioned in the attorney claim. I am finding out this information via your email. I am making further steps to figuring out who it is and what I need to do. I am just now getting word of these events and plan to make whatever steps I have to immediately to comply and help the situation.”
Secrist hopes Hopkins is never allowed to take people’s pictures again.
“People hire photographers because they want these big life moments taken and captured that they can have forever, not for someone to take your money and then not give them to you,” said Secrist.
Dear Tomasine Stills and Films has an F-rating on the Better Business Bureau website and has never been registered as a business with the Secretary of State’s office. The Attorney General’s Office said Hopkins has also worked under the names “Dear Tomasine” and “Blue Boots Photography.”
To report unfair business practices, call the Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515 or visit OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.
and tonight with a local 12 exclusive wedded bliss turning into wedding blues a photographer hired to capture life's happiest moments is apparently leaving her clients in a lurch Tessa de tiro has spoke with one of those victims tonight and she's here now with the story hi Tessa hi kami more than 20 local families say they fell victim of Kelsey Hopkins their stories are similar they hire Hopkins to capture their wedding the birth of a child or a milestone and never get what they paid for Madelyn Seacrest met Kelsey Hopkins through a mutual friend she signed Hopkins business dear Thomason Stills and films to take her wedding photos our pictures were due by the contract by December 1st of 2017 around that time I reached out to her radio silence and I would email her every day asking her what's going on the secrets paid Hopkins over two thousand dollars upfront in cash on their first anniversary there was no photo album to reminisce family friends my me my parents my grandma's like all of them want to know when they're gonna be able to see this like big monumental moment of my life and I just I could never give him like an answer Madeleine continued to call and text Hopkins but the photographer changed her number we went to social media and we got a lot of like outreach from people that like I'm not the only one she's done this too she's done this numerous people she's taking their pictures never given them a result so it's not just wedding it's baby pictures it's family sessions it's a lot of things on December 7th of last year Madeline received her wedding pictures a full year after she was supposed to she did not get the video canvas print album or black-and-white photos she paid for I've read other people who took her to civil court and she's not required to show up so she wouldn't and then the cases would just be open and nothing would come of it Madeline is one of five named in this lawsuit by the attorney general's office it requires Hopkins to reimburse her customers pay court costs and civil penalties I asked Hopkins about the lawsuit tonight she responded via email saying in part she is unaware of the couple's mentioned in the suit and she will take the steps to comply Madeline hopes Hopkins is never allowed to take people's pictures again people hire photographers because they want these big life moments taken and captured so they can have forever not for someone to take your money and then not give them to you so dear Thomas instills in films has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau the Attorney General's Office says Hopkins has also worked under the name blue boots photography so the AG is suing Hopkins for not living up to her contract Wow so definitely don't hire that person not at all did they have like a portfolio or anything beforehand did she show them something to prove that she was a legitimate photographer I believe she did and she showed them her online portfolio as well right I guess you could just can never be too careful you said you feel so bad for the people that would write this scheme yeah there's Mel Bay and it seems like more and more families are coming out and saying I use this photographer as well well I think no one else will have to yours right yeah thank you