Holland bride devastated after wedding photographer doesn’t deliver photos

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HOLLAND, Mich. — When it comes to weddings, one of the biggest parts of the puzzle, for both the bride and groom, is the photographer, whose responsibility is to capture tangible memories for years to come.  For a couple in Holland, reliving their special day can only happen in their minds for now. The photographer they hired has not made good on delivery, so they called FOX 17 Problem Solvers to track her down.

Laura Uildriks was looked forward to her wedding day her whole life. She was hoping to have pictures documenting the whole event so she could show her children one day, but after waiting eight long months, she doesn’t think she’ll ever see them in this lifetime.

Saylor Moon Photography in Holland charged the couple $800 to take pictures of their 30-minute wedding ceremony, including some family pictures afterwards. They came to do Uildriks' photos on May 30, 2015, but have not handed over any wedding shots.

“How would you feel if somebody lost your wedding photos?" asked Uildriks. "Yeah, I can dress up and redo it, but you’re never going to get those first looks."

“My girlfriend took a picture with her cell phone behind the photographer when we were in downtown Holland after the wedding. It’s the only picture we have.”

Uildriks said the photographer is ignoring their requests for the photos.

“At this point I don’t know that they exist at all,” said Uildriks.

Uildriks found Saylor Moon Photography through referrals and looked on their Facebook page to size up their work. The photographer promised Uildriks would have the photos four months after the wedding, but it has now been eight months, and and Uildriks has nothing to show for it.

“I have sent Facebook messages, I have posted on her Facebook wall, I have texted, called, left messages, emailed, and I went over to where she was living. I have asked mutual friends if they could see what they could do.”

The West Michigan Better Business Bureau said the business is not accredited. They received a complaint in August from someone other than Uildriks. The BBB gives the photo business a D+ rating.

FOX 17 News tried try to contact Saylor Moon Photography. We visited the photographer’s home, called her number, and emailed. The number listed was disconnected, and one of the email accounts was deleted.

“Something had to have happened, because what could make a person not want to give somebody their wedding pictures?” wondered Uildriks.

Uildriks does not have any other wedding photos, because she asked her guests to refrain from taking photos while the photographer was around. Uildricks did not want others’ pictures to get in the way of the Saylor Moon photographer.

Uildriks stills holds out hope that the photographer will return her photos. She said at one point back in September, the photographer texted her and promised to get the photos to her, but Uildriks has not heard anything since.

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56 comments

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  • Kyle

    Same thing happened to my wife and I. The girl fell off her rocker. She is now living with drug dealers in holland. She has stolen people’s memories, hard earned money and belongs in jail.

  • Sara

    I was the one who filed the complaint against the BBB! She also took my daughters one year pictures and never returned them! Horrible business.

  • Kyle

    She took my daughters 1st, 2nd and 3rd b-day pictures along with numerous family pictures . We are still waiting on those 3rd b day pictures from April. I just saw her at McDonald’s and she flicked me off. This girl needs help. She has lost her business, family and is now living with drug dealers.

  • Courtney

    I am very sorry that this has happened to you both. I know that pictures of any special occasion is a great way to look back on that day. I hope that they turn up for you. I went on the fb page, saylor moon photography, looked at some of the photos to see if anyone was tagged in them. There was one girl on the page, chyna schut who used saylor moon photography for photos. I wonder, if you get in contact with her, if Chyna can help you reach the owner of saylor moon? Just an idea. Also, searched google and this number popped up, 616-786-9613 Did you try that? Again, I am sorry bout this happening to you.

  • kay

    Saylor moon photography did my wedding photos 2 years ago. The owner was slipping then. It took over a year to get back and constant nagging and messaging her. When I did get them I cried. I was so disappointed in the quality and lack of time she put into the photos. Which is so strange because my family and I had done mini sessions with her before and love loved the pictures. I’m so sorry to hear about this. Its disgusting. But I’m afraid you will not get your pictures back if what they say about her around town is true. Try her assistant Melissa Shinsky or her sister Kendra Myler.. Maybe they can help track down this scoundrel.

  • jessica

    Wisper Vander wal

    Her mom is tann Murphy try contacting her on Facebook to get ahold of her daughter. Anything is worth a shot! Other wise press charges and arrest her

  • Kendj

    You people have NO clue what has happen to that woman. Things you could never live with yourself. Im sorry your “priceless” pictures were never given to you and your money taken. But to make up lies about drug dealers and other bs you all should be ashamed of yourselves. And to be contacting her mother??? …. your just as sick as her. This has happened to me before…it sux and it hurts but i have my life, health and family, and for those simple things i am thankful.

    • Marlene

      Your right people have no clue, and word may have gone too far but from a buisness stand point. What has happen is not okay. If something bad has happen or kept her from working she needed tobkerp in touch with clients. But to disappear right off the map .. Can you see how that looks from the brides point. All things aside, its downright sad and unfair the precious memories captured…and now gone. That’s the article, not about her doing drugs, being a thief , contacting othervppl but just bad business.

      • Kendj

        If its about bad business then people need to keep it that way…why spread rumors and lies about someone they dont even know. …is it because you all feel cheated? Sad?… because retaliation in such manner isn’t going to make matters any better… why people are so mean and hurtful i will never understand…if you all knew the truth…

        • Adam

          It doesn’t matter whats happened to her…she’s robbing people out of money and the most precious moments in their lives. She’s a crook now no matter what she’s “been through”

          • Jared Jelsema

            Agree. Business & personal life should stay separate. But you can’t get past the fact that this was a one time deal thing for the couple & there’s no “redo” for them. To cheat them out of any photos of the wedding is horrible. Doesn’t matter if “personal issues” happened. This was “suppose” to be a BUSINESS and she should be held accountable like one. I too have heard bad about this particular photographer & chose a different one. Glad I did since Saylor Moons photos are not near the quality I received & got my pictures within a week with all the originals too. Here photos look pretty crappy.

          • Jared

            Nothing against the photographer on any personal level, I don’t know her. Just feel sad for the couple & others that it has happened to. People work really hard to earn money to pay a photographer and some can barely afford to pay in the first place. They work hard to pay you, you work hard in return to give them what they want. Simple as that.

          • A photog

            Does anyone even have an idea that it could have been she had a drive go bad etc One big clue is that they only paid $800 that is only less then half of the average low end cost. I hate to say you get what you pay for but to recover a drive could cost $3k+

    • Kendra

      Just wondering out of curiosity, do you know Wisper personally? When I wasn’t getting my pictures at first, I tried on so many levels to be patient, kind, understanding. We even talked and texted one day, and I told her that I understand she’s going through difficult time, now, while the story could possibly be false about her living with drug dealers and doing drugs, some of the behaviors and things she has said to me in the past could very easy lead me to believe this. Either way, at the end of the day, she has taken advantage of multiple people, stole from them, etc. she could potentially land herself in larger trouble. There is no excuse to treat “customers” that way. I do know what she went through, and she’s not the first, nor will she be the last woman to go through it. we are upset, and we have a very good reason to be.

      • Kendj

        I do know her personally and have my entire life. By all mean be mad, upset…i dont care about that. I care that people are making up lies that are NOT true. Shes not a druggie. Be mad aboutbyour pictures. But leave the lies at home. No reason to make them up. Id avoid everyone too if they started calling me some of the names people have called her. And leave her family out of it…they didnt take your pictures.

        • Kendra

          Last I checked, no one brought her family into this. Your an enabler. Have you said to her what she is doing is wrong and she could get charges brought up on her, that’s what a real friend would do, not yell at people who are already upset and hurting.

          • Kendj

            Yes they did her sister and mothers name have been said on this post. And a real friend dosnt treat people that way. And I’m not enabling shit…there ya go making up stupid rumors again you’re pathetic

        • Jamie

          Then you do know about her and her prescription drug problems. She has problems and is living with a dealer. She needs to just hand over the files to someone else.

        • Kendra

          If she is not a druggie….then why is she doing this? Has “what happened to her that we don’t know” give her the right to treat people like this? Take their money and memories? Are you justifying her actions by saying that it’s ok if we are all hurt and mad but to keep our mouths shut? The article doesn’t mention her prescription drug problem, which she does have, whether you believe it or not. She hides it very well. I hope that she just does the right thing, just give people the pictures! Edited or unedited? What does she want to keep them to herself anyway? Maybe she needs an intervention.

          • Kendj

            She dosnt have a prescription drug problem you moron…where you dropped on your head as an infant or just that stupid…u clearly don’t know her so yeah.. keep your f****** mouth shut.

          • Kendj

            Im done arguing with you tho i dont know you nor care to. Have a wonderful day revolved around this…so sad you have nothing better to do then to slander someone on the Internet lol

        • Kendra

          Lol, “keep my mouth shut”….look who is losing their temper. It’s doesn’t matter if I shut my mouth, she already ruined her name and business. And has a lot of people mad, if your her real friend, ask her to do the right thing. Your just as sad of a case as her if you don’t.

    • Kyle

      No clue!!! The house and man she stays with is a known drug dealer in holland. Her good friend and former business client knows him. She has ruined many peoples memories that can’t be replaced.

    • Jamie

      How do you know they are lies???? Do you know her personally??? I do know her situation personally and can tell you they are not lies. She does have issues and personal problems and business have been mixed. She just doesn’t care.

    • jonjon

      So because she has fell on hard times means that she can screw people over on their pictures they paid $800. You’re and idiot please get smarter.

  • Chris

    Buyer beware, customers should have been throwing red flags just by the name being adapted from a cartoon. I hope they find their pictures or get some justice.

  • Jennifer

    It honestly doesn’t matter at this point what she is going through…she needs to have charges brought against her..she took their money and didn’t deliver any photos, so either she gives the money back or she has to deliver quality photos…if it was my pics I would have already called the police or taken her to court…she should be out of business and have to pay back all the people she ripped off!

    • Lisa

      I took her to small claims in October and she never showed up. Now I have to try and place a lien against her. I have one picture from my daughters newborn session. A time in her life that I can never recapture. I have used her many times before. Her personal problems are unfortunate but it also doesn’t give her the right to mislead clients and take their money.

      • coppermusings

        Wisper is committing fraud by accepting payment for services / products she isn’t providing. It’s a long process but you are doing the right thing. Hopefully more follow suit. Small claims, lien, if she has employment, her wages will be garneshed.

  • Shelley Plaggemars

    I had the same thing happen as well. We got pictures taken in May. I have tried everything to contact her and have had no response. I also paid up front and have no pictures.

  • Kait

    I -knew- it would be this photographer when I clicked on it… I’ve read nearly 50 complaints on yard sale pages complaining they were scammed by her but this is the first wedding I’ve seen 😔 I hope she’s prosecuted for every time she’s done this.

  • K

    I feel very bad/sorry for wiser. My family offered to help her. Life is full of choices and she seems to be making some bad ones. Bottom life is she needs to produce the product that people have PAID for or return their money. Both of which won’t happen

  • Alicia

    Just press charges on her to the fullest you can. …she is a thief, and should be treated as so. Let the police talk to her family to find her then.

  • A Local Professional

    The problem here is complex. Technology has allowed untrained individuals to take very nice looking photos. This in turn has caused many of them to seek careers as photographers by starting up their own businesses, despite having no idea what is involved with running a business of this sort. They simply look at what those of us who have been doing it for 30 years charge, and see that they can get away with charging a lot less. The problem is that they don’t see what running a photography business *over an extended time period* entails. They simply don’t have the necessary knowledge to enter into a profession. These people are hobbyists, presenting themselves as professionals merely by virtue of declaring themselves as such. It is like if you or I were to buy some dental tools and a dental textbook, and then call ourselves professional dentists.

    The other side of the problem is that people are simply too trusting. They see a fancy business card/website and an expensive camera, they see a select group of very nice looking photos, and they think that a person can be trusted. They see that the person is charging far less than the photographers in the Yellow Pages, or at the Bridal Shows, or at the art exhibits, and they see that as a no-brainer decision. Which it is. But with memories at stake, it really should be a decision made *with* brains. You should get references. ALWAYS! Don’t rely on blurb quotes on the person’s website. You should verify *long term* experience in taking the type of photos you are looking for. Ask if they are insured. Ask where they were trained (school, apprenticeships, etc.). Ask where their works have been published or shown, if applicable. You should ask what the procedures are in place for what to do if things don’t go right. If there are no plans, or if you are not happy with them, find someone else. If the references are not quality references, find someone else. If their history is not lengthy, and their experience is light, weigh that accordingly. If there are no written contracts for you to sign, detailing exactly what they are providing and when, and for how much money, find someone else. But above all else realize that like in every other profession you will never get more than what you pay for.

    Here are some tips from a guy who has been a professional photographer for over 30 years:
    1. If you are paying $400 for a wedding photographer, you will be better off setting up a wireless network on a laptop and having your guests upload all the photos they take with their cellphones/cameras to a hard drive at the event as they take them. I have seen this done several times, and with absolutely fantastic results. If you are on a budget, this is definitely the way to go. If you are not on a budget, you can get Hollywood movie quality wedding photos for around $3000. Most people are looking for something in between, which is where it gets harder to distinguish between hobbyists and professionals. That is why following the above steps is so important. Especially for weddings and other events that you only get one shot at.

    2. An industry secret is that many fine art photographers don’t advertise this, but they can be hired for event, corporate, and portrait work, usually for less than most photographers who specialize in these areas. They will be very selective about what they will and won’t do, but if nothing else they usually will be willing to steer you in the right direction with a reference. The point is that you shouldn’t automatically exclude a photographer just because they are not in the phone book or because they are less expensive. There are a fair number of really talented and experienced photographers out there who don’t do a lot of marketing simply because they don’t need to. I know one local guy in particular whose nature photography is internationally recognized (National Geographic, etc.) and who does really incredible and affordable portrait work (even does pets and high school senior photos!), fantastic corporate architecture work, and can even be hired to do documentary and surveillance work, but you won’t see him advertise anywhere simply because he doesn’t want to be known professionally for anything but his fine art/nature work. This is not an uncommon thing, and can be a very useful bit of knowledge particularly if you are looking for work which requires discretion.

    3. Photography is easy. GOOD photography *requires* trust, and trust is not easy. Trust has to be earned. That guy on craigslist who says he is a student working on an art project and wants you to send him nude photos before he decides whether to “let you” model for him? Yeah, he has been posting the same ad for the last 7 years. Trust is not something that you can have immediately. it is something that you have to develop over time, which is why the single best piece of advice I can give anyone looking for a photographer is this: Start looking way ahead of time. Don’t make it a last minute thing. Take the time to develop a level of trust between yourself and the person you are thinking of hiring. If they are not willing to do that for you, find someone else.

  • Curtis

    Unfortunately this news release did not do a great job of saying who the photographer was at the wedding. This could be someone posing with a different business name each year and doing the same thing to other people. It would’ve been better to list the name of the photographer to warn others. If it was in the new story, I must have missed it and I apologize.

    • Mr. Happy

      Wisper did my wedding. It took 6 months and a lot of phone calls. My wife had been in tears many times over but…… We got our pictures and I and my wife were absolutely overwhelmed at her gift at photography/editing and what it’s done for our photo albums as she has done my daughter’s photos since birth. I am not making excuses for Wisper as we are waiting on photos we may never actually see but I do know since we’ve started with her some 3 years ago that she is troubled and has a hard time with being professional, bringing her personal conflicts into her business for means of excuse as to why she is not able to finish her bids in a timely manner. Wisper, if you’re reading this I pray you are okay and you manage to get out from underneath this and turn it around for your children as they will undoubtedly be affected by not only this but all the decisions you make. I would also like to thank you for all the moments in our life you have captured with your amazing talent and are able to find a business model that allows you the time you need to keep your life in order. God bless you and your family and may you get through whatever you’re going through a wiser woman.

  • SAD SITUATION

    Actually Wisper is a fantastic photographer…sadly though she’s now hurt a lot of people. The phone number and address in this thread and news article are not hers…she moved in with some guy when she left her husband and four kids. Supposedly someone on one of the online garage sales had found her, but I’m not sure what that means. She clearly fell off the deep end and has screwed a lot of people. I give credit to her husband who is holding his four kids together. She managed to bail on all of them.

  • Grant Freilich

    A promising career has been thrown away. She had undeniable talent, but who would hire her now? A family has been abandoned. A husband and four kids now have no mom. At least not one they can trust. Physical records of peoples’ most cherished memories have been lost along with their money. An entire industry’s reputation has suffered, with local businesses in that industry bearing the brunt. Photographers, even good ones, will have a harder time starting out their businesses in the area now. And why? All because of one person’s selfishness. That is beyond sad. That a human being can disregard the consequences of their actions to that degree is beyond pitiful. It is tragic and moreover it is shameful and uncivilized. This is exactly the kind of socially destructive behavior that is the hallmark of a civilization in decline.
    I hope she reads these comments so that she can see just how far the effects of her actions have reached. So that she can know that nothing–nothing–is ever just about yourself.
    If she had any heart whatsoever she would at least turn over her photos to the people they rightfully belong to.

  • eesha

    No matter what u think of this situation. Keep your trash talking out of this. She has 4 amazing kids and no matter what u think of her she is a good mother. It would be terrible if her kids read this b.s. about there mom. If u have a problem with your photos it’s not a reason to trash her personal life. Trash the business not her family situation. Respect her kids and watch what u say for there sake. Time to grow up people trashing talking isn’t gonna get u ur photos Any quicker

    • A guy

      There not getting them period because this fool is a criminal. So she is a great mom who steals money from people…good stuff…so sorry peeps keep “trashing talking” as you call it. Sounds like the chick deserves it.

      • eesha

        Grow up.. I said say whatever about the business but keep her family outta it.. did her kids take the pictures?? No.. Do they deserve to hear the negativity about a parent’s business.. No…. put ur kids in there place..

  • Commonsense

    If she stole $800 from me then tried to hide and not make any effort to make it right, she would very likely be on a crutch with a bad knee . I am sick and tired of thieves and criminals.

  • RealPhotog

    Does anybody realize that paying $800 for wedding photos is like paying $8 for a haircut and complaining about stray hairs. Support your local economy and pay a real photographer. At least a business that isn’t named after a cartoon… Sounds like you got straight hustled by a depressed college girl. YOUR FAULT, for 800 you would only get 4 photos from me… The walk, the ceremony, the reception, and the toast. Take your own photos, get someone you know to do it, or don’t be a cheapskate.

    • FormerClient

      You really sound like an insensitive jerk! She only took pictures for 30 minutes (the ceremony) so, actually $800 is quite a bit. Regardless of what the couple paid, this is not their fault! As for the photographer, she does amazing work. When my photographer double booked her schedule for the day of my wedding, Whisper was available within a 4 day notice (all scheduled by my photographer) and she took amazing photos. This was in 2012…..apparently, she’s fallen off the deep end since and there are no excuses for that. I however, can testify that Whisper was not some depressed college girl. When she had her crap together, she was great at what she does and came highly recommended.