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.