Local photography business accused of being a wedding day nightmare

Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 10:07 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Local photographer Whitnie Wagster is accused of doing bad business.

Customers said photoshoots meant to capture precious memories turned into a disaster and ruined their special day.

“I don’t have all of the getting ready pictures. I don’t have all the pictures of walking down the aisle. I don’t have a picture of my husband’s expression,” said former client, Sara McClure-Cheeney.

Sara McClure-Cheeney got married in June and says her wedding day was not picture perfect. According to the bride, hiring the company, The Leopard Photog, owned by local photographer Whitnie Wagster is the reason why.

“It was probably like 30 minutes before I was supposed to walk down the aisle. I had messaged her. I’m like, ‘hey I’m just making sure you have the address and that you know where you’re going and making sure you’re still coming’. She goes ‘oh I’m sick. I have a second photographer that’s going to be coming,’” McClure-Cheeney said.

According to McClure-Cheeney, the backup photographer never showed up and neither did a refund in her bank account. She said her wedding photos were taken on a cellphone.

“I have what my friend was able to capture and that was it,” she said.

News 4 reached out to the owner of Leopard Photog, Whitnie Wagster, but she declined to go on camera for an interview. Wagster did provide a comment saying the allegations are false and that she did give customers refunds.

“All the pictures she ended up taking for the wedding were really blurry and just not professionally done,” said Anthony Abotobik.

Abotobik got married in February and says Wagster showed up late and left early at his wedding.

“She was sitting on the stage just looking around at the ceiling,” said Abotobik. “I walked over and said ‘can you take some pictures?’ and she said, ‘of what?’”

“It’s terrible what you’re doing. You’re ruining memories,” said former customers Aaron and Melissa Brenner.

The Brenners said they paid Whitnie Wagster a deposit to shoot their daughter’s first birthday. According to the couple, she kept pushing the dates back until they canceled the photo shoot.

“I took pictures on my phone and then when I posted them she sent me question marks asking who took the pictures,” said Melissa Brenner. “I said I did because she’s my daughter.”

The couple also shared with News 4 that Wagster was working under a different company name in 2019.

Wagster’s current photography website, The Leopard Photog, remains active. The company’s Facebook page, however, has been deactivated.

“These are one-time events. Weddings, first year, second year, whatever it is, you cant get these back,” Aaron Brenner said.

All the clients in this story said Wagster never gave them their money back.

Whitnie Wagster gave this statement to News 4: