Meagan Kunert Photography

The “big one” so to say.  Last week it was discovered this photographer was not only lifting entire weddings from other photographers (mostly in Canada) but was also submitting these images to blogs and publications.  She also was copying entire blog posts (mostly advice blogs written by photographers for other photographers or brides) from others as well.  She was publicly called out and the following day the whole debacle had spread like wildfire, even making the news.  Her excuse?  She wanted to be a “rockstar” and be well known.  Well, she got her wish… just not in the fashion that she imagined.  

Her site is now down (http://www.megkunert.com) but I have a sneaking feeling she’ll be rebranding and coming back before too long.  

P.S.: While her short lived apology was sweet and full of humbleness, she isn’t being quite as kind to her current clients that want out of their contract.  Rumor has it she ran to the bank with some checks the day this explosion hit and is now refusing any refunds to clients wanting to hire a photographer that isn’t a sham.  

Update 5/31/12:  Interesting read on Wedding Bee regarding Meagan and a client:  http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/psa-do-not-use-meagan-kunert-photography.  Basically she’s offering a refund or some photographers have offered to help her out by applying the retainer to a package they offer.  I’m not sure what I think of those photographers but at least Meagan isn’t hiding.  However the 1-2 months to refund is somewhat disgraceful, especially considering the short notice.  We’ll see if she actually follows through on refunds.  I also find it interesting past clients are coming to her defense.  

Update 6/20/12:  Meagan is now back and begging for forgiveness and people are mean for being mean to her.  Jeremy Cowart is saying she has courage and should be commended for posting this.  I see it as her trying to save face and use her faith to win some brownie points a la Scarlett Lillian Knuth.  http://www.potsc.com/potsc/how-i-ruined-my-career/  *note* I do not agree with calling for her death, that is a bit much I think.  However, I did agree with those that thought there should be a wall of shame for those that steal, thus Photo Stealers was born.  

Update 8/8/12:  I’m hearing rumors that Meagan has reopened under a new business name.  Am trying to verify.  

Update 12/12/12:  She was operating under the name Bella Vie Artistry as a partner but not named on the site but once she was called out on it, the site went under as well as the Facebook page.  A past bride happened to be a guest at a wedding she was photographing under that business name.  The site goes up and down. 

Update 4/3/13:  In the comments to this post some things came to light and I wanted to update this here just in case anyone really fell for the whole “forgiveness” BS.  

•  She is still working.  Yep!  Despite her claims to walk away from it, she’s still working as a photographer under various aliases and as a second shooter and associate shooter.  She’s been shooting since the debacle last year under Bella Vie or Belle Vie Photography (I’ve seen both mentioned).   

•  She recently put her gear up for “sale.”  She needed fast cash but no one bit it appears.  Why did she need fast cash?

•  She’s been arrested, multiple times.  The latest was the day before her camera gear sale.  Here’s her mugshot from March 17th for attempting to influence a public servant (!) and here’s a news article about her warrants for writing hot checks.   

•  She’s back on twitter as @megkune.  This is definitely her.

•  There is another account @meagan_kunert that I’ve been told is her but I can’t say 100%.  

•  She faked cancer in 2010.  Yep.  I’m still honestly m-f-ing her for that one.  Not a lot of “proof” left out on the WWW as she apparently shut things down when her scheme was outed.  She had a blog called Meg Fights Cancer on Blogspot that was shut down but it’s mentioned in the comments here.  Even though her girlnamedmeg Twitter is gone, you can still see the feed on Topsy.  Here’s one of her mentions of it, and here is another.  Here is a blog dedication to her with her battle of cancer.  Here’s another plea, stating the cancer is endometrial (yet on her twitter feed I see uterine).  She wasn’t supposed to be able to have kids after the treatments and surgery but yet she did get pregnant almost immediately after the surgery (or even before).  In this picture she is 15 weeks pregnant on 2/19/11, her surgery was 9/13/10.   Do the math.  

•  Here is her latest blog that hasn’t been deleted, meltdowns & princess crowns.  In it she mentions wanting to become a doula. 

•  If you didn’t see this all when it went down last May, here is a great post about what happend.  

  • Guest

    So, I haven’t been able to find any info about her apparently getting arrested or anything? Can anyone link it?

    • Photo Stealers

      Looks like the links above are now no longer working. I’ll see what I can find.

    • doncalifornia

      One arrest was for writing bad checks and i believe there was one for failure to appear, either for the hot checks or for a DUI. Honestly I can’t remember, she is just such a mess. She and the husband divorced about a year ago.

    • Alerting All

      Just so you all know: Megan (after pretending to be quite remorseful) has now added to her con-woman resume. Her latest scheme was applying to an adoption agency and pretending that she going to let a family adopt her baby. She signed the legal work and met the family and kids many times. It happened just like you would see on Dateline or 20/20. She faked the whole scenario, took money, and all the while was engaged to the baby’s dad and decorating her own nursery. This one topped even the fake cancer. HUMANS BEWARE.

      • JESUS!

      • V323

        Wow. This can’t be true, right? Image stealing is one thing, but faking adoption? Come on, that’s beyond horrible, I haven’t the vernacular to describe the awfulness of this. It can’t be true. Right? RIGHT?!?!

      • captain-confuzzled

        Do you have a link or something that verifies that? I see that she did have a baby less than a year ago (per her twitter)

        • Lindsay11

          I actually saw that someone had mentioned this back in January of this year. We’ve been looking and trying to find any information but hadn’t found any so we didn’t want to post it publicly.

          But since our guest brought it up, here is the comment from January. (attached) I did send a message to the person who posted this but they must not check their other folder, or they don’t want to talk about it.

  • Linda Z

    Get a life and let Meagan move on too.

    • Lindsay11

      OMG you are so smart! You bumped a forgotten thread from 5 months ago about your “friend” and now we are all going to start digging again. That was brilliant!

    • Helena

      Lindsay has a point. You did not help your friend by stirring things up again.

    • captain-confuzzled

      or…perhaps it’s Hi Meagan, need some more attention? Gotta love this article she did back then, First time I’ve seen a photo stealer with this approach. http://www.secondchance.org/potsc/how-i-ruined-my-career/

    • Your an idiot this post has had no action for over 5 months and now you stir the bees … Why do you poke us?
      Megan was one of the worse outed stealers.

  • Her Blog on how she ruined her career
    http://www.secondchance.org/potsc/how-i-ruined-my-career/

    • Lindsay11

      I found this comment that was posted in several places by different people, so I’m guessing it was a real actual comment Meagan posted. Fascinating! You can almost hear her begging to be caught. (attached)

      “She apparently posted this earlier last month (credit goes to xxxxxx from ModelMayhem for finding this)

      She blogged this on April 3rd:

      “This is a blog post I’ve been meaning to write for some time now. One that I keep hitting the “discard” button on because it comes off as negative. But it’s something I need to get off my chest and, in the process, hope I can encourage someone who is in a bad place.

      Over the last few weeks, I’ve been silently stalking some of my favorite photographers. Actually, stalking sounds like such a harsh word – let’s say fervently admiringtheir work. I sat for hours and hours, dissecting each image with careful eyes. Analyzing the composition. The light. The beauty of their work. The more that I did this, the more I found myself hating myself, and my work. The more I felt like a crap photographer. Thoughts such as “I’ll never be as good as ____“… “I’ll never see things the way THEY do“… “it’s just not IN me“… flooded my head. Constantly.

      Yes, lately I’ve been struggling. I’ve been struggling with the merits of my own work and my own photographic style. I look at other local photographers and I truly envy their ability to document life in a way that I simply don’t know how to…”

      • Justin Case

        Honestly, I don’t see a thing wrong with that post. It actually sounds honest and like the genuine struggle that most photographers, writers or any kind of creative person goes through at some point in their career. Maybe the most refreshing thing I’ve read from someone who was listed here.

        Reading this and the ‘apology blog’ Joseph links to above, I think she is just desperately in need of attention and validation. Hardly crimes in themselves.

        Meagan Kunert has certainly achieved one kind of fame: just type her name in a google search box and look at what comes up. Maybe she can start giving workshops soon.

        • Lindsay11

          I don’t think there’s anything “wrong” per se. I do find it an interesting post. It was written while she was stealing and she is basically talking about all the stealing she is doing and how sad it is making her. Fascinating, that’s all.

          • Justin Case

            sorry, I saw ‘She blogged this on April 3rd’ and I thought it was recent.

          • Lindsay11

            Oh my gosh, I’m sorry, I’ll edit my post so it makes more sense!

        • Marc W.

          Don’t give her ideas!

    • Lindsay11

      haha Oh Joseph, I’m reading a model mayhem thread and you posted there during all this. This must feel like a weird deja vu thing to you!

      • Yes I did .. I was on her butt and I help spread the word. This was before PS had a big following.

        Its a bit deja vu-ey

        • Lindsay11

          It’s good to know at least one thing will always be constant in this world: if you’re a photo stealer, Joseph will be on your ass somewhere on the internet!

          • Justin Case

            haha. Too true. JP, the stealers’ nemesis!

    • BullShite

      WHOA.
      Although it still bothers me that she is claiming that people said things, like wanting her to be stoned to death, or left her death threats over voice mail, yet NEVER showed a screen-cap, or ANY evidence ( I am 100% convinced until shown otherwise it was and is a ploy to get sympathy, you don’t get a voicemail death threat and not call the cops to at least REPORT it), and of course, the “few people” who were “supporting her” trying to make the people looking for accountability evil, as if the people who were pissed wanted anything more than this apology FROM THE BEGINNING…. again another ploy for sympathy….. I AM however, amazed that she not only admitted pretty much everything, but even put the Christianity angle in there, and it’s good to see the photography thing is not a “thing”…. at least for now.

      • Trust me … I was active around that time and yes the death treats and stoning comments happened.
        Too bad I was not a screen cap king at the time. Some ppl got really really nasty.

      • I think her public apology on her fan page hit over 1000 comments.
        Quite a bit was of a religious nature lol

  • Just a Girl

    Looks like the Twitter listed above has been over thrown by Russia! 🙂

  • alley

    Get a life, losers!

    • Joe

      My life only. Has meaning because of you 🙂

    • ALP

      You’re the one commenting on a blog post that was last updated in, what, April of 2013? And the last comment was 2 months ago. Pot, meet kettle.

    • captain-confuzzled

      awwwww, someone needs some attention… cute.

    • U Really That Dumb?

      What kind of life would you like us to get?
      One filled with divorce?
      Failed relationships?
      Parents problems?
      In-law problems?
      No, seriously, tell us how our life should be, and how your life is so much better than ours.

  • U Really That Dumb?

    Since this wasn’t posted in the beginning I’ll post it here now.

    Let’s just nip this one in the bud, shall we? I know, it won’t work, but let’s pretend it will.

    To MEAGAN KUNERT PHOTOGRAPHY,

    Welcome to the world of being outed by Photo Stealers (Stop Stealing Photos). It is our goal to root out and put a stop to photography copyright infringement. Your outing is one step towards that goal. You used photos you were not authorized to use, which is illegal. You’re probably confused and angry, so let us try to help you get a handle on things by giving you a checklist of things you should be doing and not doing.

    Please do NOT do the following:

    1. React with anger, go into denial, or start in with the threats. We already have the evidence against you. The best thing you can do for you is to be honest and to deal with this head on.

    2. Flag comments on this listing. The mods will just put them back, so don’t waste your time.

    3. Lie or offer excuses. We have heard every excuse in the book (really, we have. One guy even blamed Obama.), and you will not come up with something we haven’t heard before. You are not a special snowflake. Nothing you can say will justify what you did, so don’t bother.

    4. Accuse us of slander (because nobody ever figures out it has to be verbal to be slander). We stick to the facts, and if something is publicly available, it’s fair game.

    5. Create fake accounts to defend yourself. We will see through it, and it’s just a waste of time.

    Please DO the following:

    1. Remove any and all stolen images immediately. That means now. Right now. And no, simply hiding them from public view doesn’t count. They need to be completely deleted.

    2. Apologize DIRECTLY to those from whom you have stolen (and tell the truth!), and offer monetary compensation. You used their images in a professional setting to try to make money, so you owe them that much.

    3. Hope they don’t sue you. Copyright infringement is illegal under the law, and you can be sued for thousands of dollars, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, for EACH stolen image. Yes, seriously.

    4. Apologize publicly, on all the sites and social media accounts where the stolen work appeared. Again, you owe it to your clients, fans, friends, etc., to be honest.

    5. Learn about how copyright works. Look up the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. What you may think you know and what is actually the truth are probably two different things (as in: no, posting someone else’s photo as “inspiration” is not a valid reason, nor is it good enough to provide credit. If you don’t have express permission to post someone else’s image, then you don’t post it. That’s it, the end).

    6. DON’T STEAL. It’s not complicated — if you didn’t take a photo and don’t have permission to use it from the actual copyright holder, then don’t use it. It’s that simple. Yes, seriously. You claim to be a photographer, so why on earth would you want to use others’ images, anyway? How does that make sense?

    And remember:

    1. If you do it again, you will be caught. We go back and check old listings to make sure they haven’t started stealing again. And don’t forget — Google knows. Anytime someone searched for your business, this listing will come up.

    2. Think about the actual victims here (no, not you) — those whose images you stole. You screwed them over. And frankly, that’s a pretty damned crappy thing to do. And think about the clients you’ve mislead by presenting a false front. They’re victims, too.