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N.E Ohio newlyweds deal with wedding photographer woes

Posted at 9:00 AM, Jun 02, 2018

PARMA, Ohio -- Jessica and Phil Smith of Aurora were hoping their Dec. 2016 wedding would produce only some of the the best memories of their lives, but wedding photographer frustration put some shade on their big day.

Jessica Smith told News 5 she was forced to wait more than 18 months for wedding photos from Hai Bales Photography owner Amanda Karpus.

Finally, the Smith's had to take Karpus to Parma small claims court to get nearly $2,000 dollars returned to them.

Smith said the experience left her upset, and she says she still doesn't have printed wedding pictures, or a wedding album.

"It became a real painful experience," said Smith.

"She's ruined that for me.  When I see my wedding photos, I kind of, for many many months unfortunately, I didn't want to see them,"she said.

It was the same experience for Hillary and Matthew Berghone of Cleveland.

The couple has now been left waiting more than 10 months for pictures, following their July 2017 wedding.

Hillary Berghone told News 5 Karpus made plenty of promises, but has yet to deliver printed pictures, a wedding album, or a refund.

"There have been a couple of times where I've gotten really upset obviously, because who knows if I'm going to get anything back," said Berghone.

"It's not a day you can redo, it's not something you ever can get back," she said.

Hillary Berghone has also filed a case in Parma small claims court, along with three other couples who have pending case against Karpus.

Karpus, who is a Parma school board member, has since shut down Hai Bales Photography, and has provided the newlyweds involved with access to computer files containing their wedding pictures.

News 5 placed multiple calls to Karpus, to get her side of the story, but so far our calls have not been returned.

Meanwhile, Berghone issued Karpus one simple request.

"If you can't do this for us that's fine, but just give us some of the money back, so we can do it ourselves," said Berghone.