As a freelance photographer it is in our best interest to publicly alert others about the triffling and unprofessional behavior of other photographers who can give the freelance photography industry a bad name. This morning I received an alert from a beautiful bride who used a photographer by the name of Darrin Jesse Small. I had the opportunity to work as an assistant with the photographer at her 5th day event in May 2009. The bride used Darrin Jesse Small photography services for one entire week to capture her special event. He called me on a Friday evening from a Craigslist posting. On short notice he asked if I could help him shoot the event because he had a photographer who bailed out on him. I wasn’t doing anything and drove an hour to get to the event in Chantilly, VA. I thought he was a bit of a character when he finally show up extremely late to film his own photography gig. Of course I kept shooting the beautiful bride and thought nothing of it at the time. What pissed me off about him was he tried to talk me out of being paid for my services the night I performed my assistant photography services for him for 5 hours….a sista was not having it! We got into a bit of a heated discussion which I told him I expect to be paid the night I render photography services. Jesse tried to talk me out of being paid and asked if I could be paid the next day. Hell to the naw I said.…needless to say he didn’t speak to me the rest of the evening. Hinesight is a mother I tell you….he also tried to talk me into going somewhere in Baltimore to photograph a group of grooms. I told him no because I did not feel comfortable with the gig. First of all I don’t know Baltimore and my husband is from there. When I conveyed to him what this dude ask…he said why don’t he shoot the grooms and you shoot the bride? My intuition kicked in at this point because he was not forthcoming in his approach, nor did he have any business cards, etc. As a freelance photographer the first thought you may think if a bride hired him he must be legitimate….right? The next day on the phone I told dude he was unprofessional to work with and I was appalled that I had to wait two hours to be paid for my services. You see he used stalling tactics to try to get me to leave without. I was actually paid by the bride once she got wind what was going on with the vendors that were hired by him. I did not want to work with him anymore. I was still a bit pissed off from the night before….he hardly did any shooting and he was the main photographer. I never heard from again. I am sure he is still posting on Craigslist soliciting photographers to assist him and scamming brides out of their hard earn money.
This morning I received a message in facebook inbox from the bride that she has not received her images and video from this guy. She alerted me about his past performance. I was shocked to learned that photographers operate on this level….he is taking this to a whole new level of scamming.
Of course she got the 487 images I took of the event. Thank goodness I did not listen to the photographer who told me that I should not give this women the images I shot. You know that standard way of thinking in the wedding photography industry about not giving a person their negatives because they could be held hostage by the photographer for future images. Digital photography has totally changed the game and should have changed the way we do business with potential clients. A bride and a groom deserve a copy of their high resolution digital images on a DVD.
Spread the word to stop this guy from taking anyone else money and scamming brides out of their memories that they trusted him to take on their wedding day and special events, etc. Twitter, facebook and spread this around the internet like a virus. This dude must be stopped before he scams someone else. Last known location in the state of Maryland.