Xavier Photography Complaint - Xavier Photography - Harassment

Review by JGSeattle on 2010-03-06
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- I had a negative experience with the Owner of Xavier Photography located in Seattle, WA back in January. He changed an appointment time via email which I did not see until I was checking my email to see the address of the coffee shop we were meeting at right before our scheduled meeting time. When I called him to verify we were still meeting at the original time, since I never responded to his emails, he said he was expecting to meet at the later time. When I asked him why he didn't call to change the meeting time he said something like "maybe I should have". I told him that I thought he was unprofessional and I did not feel comfortable working with him - and then the phone line went dead. I had always given him the benefit of the doubt that maybe I hit the hang up button on my phone or the line dropped (Later he freely admits to hanging up on me b/c he knew I would be hard to work with!). I was bummed b/c I was excited to see his portfolio and I probably would have been a pretty easy sell.

I had all but forgotten about the guy until the morning of March 3 when I received a VM from him at 8 AM upset about some supposed Yelp.com posting that he accused me of writing. He ranted that the post was untruthful, that he hung up on me because he did not want to work with me, and that I needed to "get over it" and remove the post. 1 problem: I DID NOT WRITE THE POST.
He continued to call all morning and left another threatening VM where he informed me that his lawyers would be contacting me and possibly serving papers.

He also proceeded to email me:

Good morning,

I came across your yelp review this morning. I'm shocked to say the
least. I offered you an amazing deal. I kindly asked you to re-schedule,
meet me at noon rather than 10am. Only to give me more time to prepare
for our consultation. I had to drive from Wenatchee that morning. I know
for certain you get your email messages forwarded to you cell phone. Is
it really that un-professional to change a meeting by a couple hours?

I wanted nothing more than to shoot your wedding and offer you an
unbelievable deal. I'm sorry you found it unprofessional to ask for 2
more hours. Because of this you missed out on an amazing deal, that is
not my fault or my wrong doing.

I hope you find the courage to delete that false post. Otherwise my
lawyer will be contacting you very soon.

kind regards,

Xavier Photography

And text message me:

"I did nothing but try to help u. U ignored my message to reschedule. That was your choice. U r not a client of mine and have no right to yelp. Tell the truth."

"I hung up on you cause I knew ud be hard to work with."

"My lawyer will be contacting you shortly, possibly to serve you papers"

Remember: I DID NOT POST ON YELP OR EVER REPLY TO HIS 4 CALLS, 2 VM'S, 3 TEXT MSGS, AND 1 EMAIL (in less than 3 hrs). This incident and all correspondence (which I have saved) was completely unprovoked.

I created my own Yelp account and messaged the person who posted the original negative post (we have the same first name and last initial and therefore have the same Yelp user name) and she confirmed that he had been harassing her as well and she took down her post b/c he threatened legal action. Now all negative posts have been taken down and almost all positive posts have been put up in the last few days.

Make up your own mind if you want to work with someone who has no problem using your personal contact information in such an inappropriate and harassing manner. He only stopped contacting me when the police left him a voice mail. If he ever contacts me again via my personal contact information he will be receiving a letter from MY lawyer.
Comments:17 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-03-08
Posted by Skye on 2010-03-06:
Well at least you now know what you would of been dealing with. I'm sure you found another photographer by now.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-06:
Be sure to save everything involving this creep, even voicemails. You never know when he'll start up again (such as after he sees this posting) and you will want a paper trail to either get a Protection Order to stop him from contacting you and/or to take him to small claims court for harassment.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-03-06:
Good review. You handled this with more professionalism than the photographer. It worked out for the best. You had to find another photographer, but he'll have to find clients who are willing to be hung up on. Good luck with that.
Posted by Nohandle on 2010-03-06:
I'm curious about something. When your original appointment was made was it by email, perhaps through a website, or verbally? If verbally why on earth would he notify you by email the scheduled time was changed? How hard is it to pick up the telephone and speak to the prospective customer? I might go several days before I check emails.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-03-06:
When the OP asked him that question, he admitted that he should have called. He probably regrets it now.
Posted by Pepper on 2010-03-06:
hmmm i wonder. i'm going to search a few photography sites to see if there's anything interesting about him there..

the original act of rescheduling via email is in my opinion nothing bad
however repeatedly calling you and threatening you does seem rather unprofessional

Posted by JGSeattle on 2010-03-06:
Thanks for the feedback! This has been such a bizarre situation!
The original appointment was made via telephone and we had played phone tag a couple of times before that. The only email correspondence we had was my initial request after seeing a cragislist ad and when he sent me the address of the coffee shop which I replied to to let him know I received it. I did reply to his email on my phone, but I do not get emails fwd to my phone and I don't generally check my email on my phone. Also, we spoke on a Thur/Fri and set up the meeting for Sun. He emailed me on Sat to change the appt time for the next day! This wasn't like I didn't check my email for 1 wk or anything - it was like I didn't check my email for 18 hrs. Also, as a business owner if you set up a time and try to change it via email and never heard back from the person, isn't it a good idea to be ready to meet at the set time? Regardless if I did all my correspondence by email, as the customer it is not my job to be on top of things. If I am paying a ton of money for a wedding photographer, he can get up a few hours early to make sure he has the presentation ready and is on time!
Sorry for the venting :)
Posted by Pepper on 2010-03-06:

that was a quick search. I saw his web page and his model mayhem pictures.

I personally found the shots to be... boring. He has some potential but right now... I found the shots to be bland. The ones that could have been good were in sepia and of low contrast so nothing really "popped" at me.

I like photos that have some kind of drama, ones that use image to evoke emotion.

These pretty much evoked nothing in me.

i feel you can do a lot better.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-03-06:
He might have had valid reasons for changing the time, but I agree that he should have called you instead of emailing and not just assumed that you received the email and that the new time was acceptable to you. That's not the way to change an appointment. It should have been confirmed.
Posted by Pepper on 2010-03-06:
if you want to know who else is in your area for photos, i recommend checking out photography/modeling pages such as "model mayhem". you can often view the photographer's work prior to even contacting them.

i can't guarantee what the various photographers' prices will be but you may at least find better options

the other site i'm familiar with is "one model place" but that's more model-based than photographer based.
Posted by JGSeattle on 2010-03-08:
Just an update: This keeps getting better!!

I finally posted the experience on Yelp and almost immediately I get a response from Lance w/ Xavier Photography via our Yelp accounts. He semi apologizes/mostly blames others:

Yolanda L. has sent you a message on Yelp:


"This was a mistake. I apologize. I had no intent to accuse you of wrong doing. I have been sabotaged by an ex girlfriend who is making up fake reviews.

Again, I am truly sorry. I am a little confused and upset due to these false, fake posts.

Again, I'm very sorry.


Well you'll notice it says "Yolanda L." sent you a message - which is one of the fake accounts he gave himself a positive review with. He actually sent me an "apology" via a fake account! Of course I sent it straight to Yelp. I don't know if Yelp is fast or he realized his mistake, a short time later almost all of the positive posts had been taken down - including Yolanda L.

So so bizarre. All I can do is laugh at this point!
Posted by Pepper on 2010-03-08:
sounds like that company has a bit of drama

are you still going to hire them for the wedding?
Posted by Skye on 2010-03-08:
Ahhh, the plot thickens...

OP, thank you for coming back and updating us. Please, no apology necessary for venting, that's what the site is for.

I don't know if you intend to use their service or not, but just remember, you will be spending your entire day with him, from sun up to sun set, and it's important you feel comfortable with him. I loved our wedding photographer, and they were so nice, professional and curteous. We even had a place setting for them at dinner. He did an amazing job, him and his wife, and they even gave us a gorgeous picture frame as a wedding gift, which they did not have to do.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-08:
IMO this photographer should NOT be hired. He has proven himself to be a hot head and unprofessional. It would not surprise me if he got a bug up his behind and held the wedding photos captive for whatever reason he thinks up. I would move on to the next photographer you may have been considering and take Xavier out of the mix all together.
Posted by Skye on 2010-03-08:
I totally agree Pro. If he behaves like this, can you imagine her wedding day??
Posted by JGSeattle on 2010-03-08:
Heck no I am not hiring this guy! If I'm going to be spending $$$$ I have a higher standards then he can meet. ;)
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-03-08:
Good decision, JG. I wouldn't let him anywhere near my wedding. I hope you have a beautiful wedding day and get lots of great pictures.

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