Wisconsin Wedding Photographer to Pay Out $14,000 After No-Shows

A Wisconsin-based videographer is being sued for repeatedly not showing up to his clients’ weddings. A group of women are now claiming they paid more than $1,000 for wedding services, which ranged from the videography itself to other services like DJs.
Scott Sockett is facing the lawsuit after failing to turn up, or in other instances, withholding clients’ footage. Heather Timm, who booked Sockett for her big day, claims she was sent the wrong family’s videos. After purchasing a package costing $1,500, Timm says the end product including clips of two strangers’ weddings mixed in.

To have someone intentionally mislead you and take advantage of you and change that memory for you somewhat, is really sad.

Another client, Michelle Heck, says Sockett didn’t even turn up.

About an hour before our ceremony was starting, I was getting my makeup done and kind of texting him. Saying I was getting nervous having a feeling that he wasn't going to come. That's when I realized this is all a lie. He is not going to be coming.

A third, Alexandra Moiser, also paid for extras such as a photo booth and a DJ. She, along with Timm, took Sockett to the small claims court and won their money back, plus court fines. Both claim they are yet to receive anything.

In total, Sockett has been ordered to return more than $14,000 to eight customers.

He claims a rival is writing bad reviews in a bid to destroy his reputation. When contacted by local news site TMJ4, Sockett claimed to have a directory of past customers happy with his services. He offered to email the station a list, but they never heard back.

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till theyll see a cent of their money, hell will freeze over

the guy will rename his business and come back

also, you pay $1500. thats what you get shady non professional an unreliable people

Michael Holst's picture

Some people can only afford that much.

Some people also don't know what the going rate of a videographer or photographer is so they assume whatever their quoted is an industry average. Yes, they could do research but even research provides wild prices differences and online reviews are trivially easy to exploit.

Word of mouth, despite being old fashion, is still one of the best ways to decide on a service.

dred lew's picture

Quality still costs money. There are a number of things in this world that people can't afford and that means they can't or shouldn't have them.

If money is that tight, the couple could have a tech-savvy relative use their phone to record the wedding (better than nothing) or scrap the ceremony altogether and just enjoy a nicer honeymoon (more beneficial imho). There is no obligation to show off to an entire group of people that one can('t) afford their wedding.

Michael Holst's picture

"Quality still costs money. There are a number of things in this world that people can't afford and that means they can't or shouldn't have them."

This isn't an issue of quality. It's an issue of delivery. The client might have known what the level of work they paid for would be but they didn't even get anything for their money.

dred lew's picture

As mentioned in the article, some did receive delivery but not quality. Others didn't receive anything at all. The point is that they didn't do their due diligence and consider other options that would have given them more value for their money.

Michael Holst's picture

"A Wisconsin-based videographer is being sued for repeatedly not showing up to his clients’ weddings."

"Scott Sockett is facing the lawsuit after failing to turn up, or in other instances, withholding clients’ footage."

Shooting the wedding is not the same as getting what you paid for. The product needs to be delivered.

Not saying that the clients shouldn't have been more skeptical but it doesn't make what Mr. Sockett did any less shitty. He's taking advantage of peoples ignorance and that's exactly why he's being ordered to pay back the money.

...some people can only afford a used Ford Explorer with 200,000 miles on it, too.

Michael Holst's picture

But in the end, they get the Ford Explorer. In the case we're discussing it's the equivalent of the customer paying for a car and then never getting the car.

The quality of work doesn't matter here.

Some concerning opinions on what poor people "deserve" in here...

Motti Bembaron's picture

Not the best comment ( I am being nice here). I charged many $1,500 weddings (photography). It has NOTHING to do with what you pay, do your research, ask people to recommend etc. All my events were word of mouth.

thank you Dr gbojie for your advertisement.

michaeljin's picture

While I understand that there are people starting off at lower price points to reflect their experience and ability, it's generally a red flag if someone is charging that little and customers would do well to get references. Unfortunately, this kind of thing is almost unavoidable just because you'll always have people who don't have the budget to hire an established professional (but still would like their big day recorded) and you'll always have people who get into the business who are unscrupulous, irresponsible, or just in way over their head. :(

Andrew Feller's picture

As a photographer that lives in Wisconsin (where this took place) and used to regularly shoot weddings.... $1500 is not "that low" for wedding video as there are a number of videographers in the area that average $1200-1800 as a base package. You can easily find someone who has been in business for 5+ years, a pretty solid portfolio of work, multiple great reviews, who will cover a 6-8 hour day for around $2k.

All this to say, the price should not on trial here. The couple not doing enough (or any?) research and hiring someone with a business.wix.com site last updated in 2015 should be. Yes, after a quick google one will learn that the only existence of a "portfolio of work" besides Weddingwire/Knot is this: https://scottsockett.wixsite.com/s2weddingsolutions

Scott Hussey's picture

And the only sample video on that site should've been enough for people to understand that he wasn't exactly "skilled at his craft."

Michael Holst's picture

Perspective is important. There are lots of people in the market who couldn't spot a poor quality video because they aren't photographers/videographers. It's easy for us because we do this every day. I've seen people LOVE shitty photos/videos because the subject is what they cared about more than image quality and production.

Generally, the consumer sees creative work much differently than the creative community.

Rob Mitchell's picture

I think this is totally unfair. Always wedding photographers in the tabloid spotlight for scamming people.
There must be other photographer ripping off people too.

Robert Nurse's picture

Every occupation has its douche bag wing.

Kirk Darling's picture

Stiffing a bride is always going to seem worse than stiffing a business headshot customer.

Actually it IS worse.

Michael Holst's picture

I really don't understand your logic. So this shouldn't have gotten coverage because the guy works in the wedding industry?

Rob Mitchell's picture

I'm pulling that face right now, you know, the one when you crack a sarcastic comment and it's wasted on the crowd. ;)

Michael Holst's picture

When it's an a comment on the internet sarcasm is usually lost unless you point it out because with the diversity of opinions online, there are probably people who side with your comment.

Rob Mitchell's picture

I'm British. Sarcasm is from birth, we forget other people don't catch on. Pointing it out, cancels it out. Bit like a comic on stage having to explain the gag. Never mind.

Michael Holst's picture

How do you tell the difference online?

Jeff Walsh's picture

Did this dude seriously try and say a competitor was trying to sabotage him, after HE was the one not showing up? haha "no see, it's a competitor making me not show up to the weddings I book."

Kirk Darling's picture

Yes, and I suspect that issue was already determined by the small claims judge who handed down the ruling. He's lucky they're only going after the money they paid.

David Leøng's picture

...April Fools?