Four women in Nova Scotia plan to take a boudoir photographer to court over claims she failed to deliver the work she had promised them. For her part, the photographer claims she is being bullied by the clients, and is asking for compassion.
The studio in question is Halifax Boudoir and its owner Jenn Gregory. The clients, some of whom paid upwards of 1.7k, claim that Ms. Gregory failed to deliver the hard copy album that she promised as part of the package. That album alone, they note, cost $500.
Particularly painful for the clients was the disconnect between the “empowerment” Ms. Gregory promised and the actual result of her work (or lack thereof). “I feel pretty used,” one client told a local newspaper, “I don’t feel power. She’s taken power away.”
While stories of photographers (particularly of the wedding variety) failing to deliver on their work are widespread due to the anguish they elicit in readers, Gregory’s case is particularly acute due to the nature of the images themselves. “I put myself in a very vulnerable position,” one client said, just by “going there and doing the pictures.”
Halifax Boudoir gained notoriety in 2016 for a billboard they placed on the side of a Halifax bus featuring a plus-size model, Jillian McClary. The ad’s slogan was “Be Empowered”. While purchasing the ad space, Gregory found out it would be the first Halifax billboard to feature a plus-size model not advertising plus size fashion. She demurred the her groundbreaking action, telling reporters that what mattered was “celebrat[ing] every body type.”
When contacted about the client’s complaints, Gregory admitted she was “100 per cent…in the wrong.” However, she noted that clients had received some of their package: “it’s not that [they] are receiving nothing at all,” she said. In addition, she called their actions—including getting together over Facebook to discuss how best to word their complaints—”nothing but bullying.”
She also admitted to currently being behind on delivering work to about 10 clients, blaming financial difficulties and ongoing depression. The blowback she’s been receiving from clients, meanwhile, has apparently only made the latter worse, and thus she asks that clients “be compassionate.”
Her appeals, however, have fallen on deaf ears; her company’s registration was revoked for non-payment, while the Better Business Bureau downgraded Halifax Boudoir to an F. The frustrated clients have threatened to take Gregory to small claims court. In addition to a refund, they say, they want their images destroyed.
“To be perfectly honest,” one client explained their motivation, “the pictures are worthless at this point.”
Cover Photo Courtesy Yuris Alhumaydy