Photography jobs

Local photography firm accused of being wedding day nightmare

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – Local photographer Whitnie Wagster is accused of doing bad business.

Clients have said photo shoots meant to capture precious memories turned into a disaster and ruined their special day.

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

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

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

According to McClure-Cheeney, the assistant photographer never showed up and no refund was issued to her bank account. She said her wedding photos were taken with a cellphone.

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

News 4 contacted Leopard Photog owner Whitnie Wagster, but she refused to appear on camera for an interview. Wagster provided a comment saying the claims are false and that it has refunded customers.

“All of the photos she took for the wedding were really blurry and just weren’t professionally done,” Anthony Abotobik said.

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

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

“It’s terrible what you are doing. You ruin memories,” former clients Aaron and Melissa Brenner said.

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

“I took pictures on my phone, then when I posted them she sent me question marks asking who took the pictures,” Melissa Brenner said. “I said I did it 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. Marriages, freshman, sophomore, whatever it is, you can’t get it back,” Aaron Brenner said.

All of the customers in this story said that Wagster never gave them their money back.

Whitnie Wagster made this statement to News 4: