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Review of Clayton Austin Photography

03 Jun

In short, we didn’t like Clayton Melton (aka Clayton Austin), his services, the finished product or his “professionalism”.  In fact, his lack of professionalism started ALL of our bad experiences with him.

We did have a blog set up telling the truth about our experiences, but it honestly generated such a shit storm and he was such an arrogant asshole the entire time that we’ve decided to let it go.  There are NUMEROUS other negative reviews online if you just do your due diligence.  He also has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau – and we didn’t get around to filing a report with them!   If you go with him as your photographer, good luck.

http://claytonaustinphotographyreview.wordpress.com no longer is available.  Although we did nothing but share the truth of our experiences with him, it just isn’t worth the karma.

Douchebaggery abounds and there ain’t much one can do about it.  Peace out.

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40 Comments

Posted by on June 3, 2010 in Informational, Uncategorized

 

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40 responses to “Review of Clayton Austin Photography

  1. US Photographer

    June 5, 2010 at 5:18 am

    [Dolcegal and US Photographer are actually the same poster who lives near Kaiserslautem, Germany. She lives there with her husband who is stationed there in the Army. Both friends of Clayton, I can only assume, and also the same ones he photographed in Paris. By the way, this doesn’t appear to be an actual wedding shoot, since the couple has been married for four years now. – Joseph]

    Recent landmark cases in some U.S. states have found that Internet service providers can be held responsible in some instances for content published on their networks….
    Internet Libel, I’m just saying~ [Why don’t you just stick to playing photographer? It suits you better.]

     
    • I.K.

      June 5, 2010 at 11:04 am

      We both work for litigation and intellectual property law firms and are aware of our rights to publicly criticize a professional’s service. Generally defined, libel consists of knowingly making false statements in a malicious manner. We have stated facts that we can prove are true through supporting documentation. In the US, a plaintiff that brings suit for libel must prove that the libelous statements are false. Opinions that we have offered are based upon our experiences and are clearly stated as thus. What we have done is acceptable under “Fair Comment and Criticism”. We have given Mr. Melton the ability to comment and defend his position, but he chose to tell us off instead, further underscoring our position. He also said that our “trashy” blog would not hurt his business in the least, which is another sort of litmus test for cases involving libel. Thanks for your input.

       
      • Lithium

        March 1, 2011 at 2:33 pm

        I think you are absolutely out of your mind. If you could dedicate as much energy as you have here publicly roasting this photographer you could power a city for a full month or feed a village of hungry children. Now get to work!

         
      • I.K.

        March 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm

        Your comment is certainly rash. It was meant to be.

        There are people in the world, and I can only assume that you are of the same camp, who believe that standing up for one’s self and stating the facts is an insane thing to do. I pity those people. In my opinion, living life in any other way is ridiculous and such people might as well just let other people live their life for them. Actually, they probably do.

        If Mr. Melton had dealt with us as human beings, paying clients, and concerned individuals, then none of this would have ever been made public. Ah, but he enjoyed the roasting and has even recently (this week) sent us unsolicited correspondence bragging about how well he has done despite our public dissection of his treatment of us – all despite the fact that his attorney told him to leave well enough alone. This level of arrogance is one reason for our falling out, but you don’t care about that, do you?

        Now, comments like yours show me that many people lack the intelligence, testicular fortitude and ability to multi-task to put something like this together in a relatively short amount of time. Contrary to what some believe, this site did not consume much of our energy. In fact, most of it was written sporadically as we waited six months for our photos, and after being ignored and talked down to by Mr. Melton for months. Instead of stirring the pot any further with him (after he threatened to withhold photos and we had reason to believe that we might not even get our photos if we didn’t just sit back and let him be an arrogant jerk), we took notes instead. Rather than letting our anger about the situation consume us, we wrote instead, which helped us diffuse our frustrations. After Mr. Melton kept pushing us and berating us, we just kept on researching and taking notes. This culminated in the contents of our blog.

        Save your hot air, dear “Lithium”. Such a waste of synaptic discharge.

        Oh, and I only spent five minutes on this response, which is probably half as long as it will take you to read and comprehend.

         
      • Dan Robinson

        October 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm

        My daughter’s pictures have NOT been completed almost 1 year after her wedding…… What a joke….. Somebody get me an address and I’ll drag him into a Texas Court of Law….. Send it to drdanwrobinson@hotmail.com. Thanks.
        Dr. Dan Robinson

         
  2. US Photographer

    June 5, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    [Dolcegal and US Photographer are actually the same poster who lives near Kaiserslautem, Germany. She lives there with her husband who is stationed there in the Army. Both friends of Clayton, I can only assume, and also the same ones he photographed in Paris. By the way, this doesn’t appear to be an actual wedding shoot, since the couple has been married for four years now. – Joseph]

    I am shocked that you would actually post that “libel consists of knowingly making false statements in a malicious manner”. If I didnt have the ability to read the 10 plus postings sprawled over the WWW, then I would almost buy into it. But I could easily cut and paste “malicious” statements that were much more than what would be considered “fair comments”. Fair comments and outright opinions fall into two entirely different areas of libel.
    Perhaps your employment with a litigation and intellectual property law firm has given you both a feeling of false empowerment? Working in a law firm and actually being a lawyer are two very different things.
    I would not be all too surprised if you will be receiving a letter of cease and desist in the near future.
    Personally, I wouldnt blame Mr. Melton one bit.
    Your fanatical abuse of comments and blog postings are beyond extreme. Having an ax to grind is one thing, trying to intentionally ruin someones livelyhood is pathetic.

     
    • I.K.

      June 5, 2010 at 4:37 pm

      *yawn*

       
    • Dan Robinson

      October 5, 2011 at 1:34 pm

      Get a grip……. This photographer has repeatedly not delivered photographs of wedding pictures to multiple clients. These are wedding pictures, for God’s sake…. My daughter’s pictures are going on 1 year and we have received nothing. How would you like it if your daughter had a signed contract, and no wedding pictures. It is my intent to drag this guy into a Texas Court of Law and let him explain himself………Dr. Dan Robinson

       
      • Average Joe

        October 6, 2011 at 7:50 am

        This US Photographer is a good friend and mentor of Clayton who also went by another name on this blog and the other. She doesn’t care about you or your daughter, which is sad because she also runs a photography business. I’m very sorry that your daughter has been rooked by this guy. I’ll contact you privately.

         
  3. US Photographer

    June 6, 2010 at 2:20 am

    [Dolcegal and US Photographer are actually the same poster who lives near Kaiserslautem, Germany. She lives there with her husband who is stationed there in the Army. Both friends of Clayton, I can only assume, and also the same ones he photographed in Paris. By the way, this doesn’t appear to be an actual wedding shoot, since the couple has been married for four years now. – Joseph]

    LOL! You claim that Clayton only puts up images on his blog that he is proud of, maybe he only puts up images of good looking people? :)
    Just because he photographs you doesnt mean you will be featured on a blog. Its his RIGHT to produce anything he wants on that blog. Its NOT part of any photographers contract to be featured as clients on that photographers blog.

    BTW… I have the name of a good Dr. for that herpes cold sore you speak so openly about. :(*

    Consider it a blessing… no one wants to see that~

     
  4. The More You Know...

    June 6, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    I think it’s funny that you brag about how many new and unique visitors you get to your blog daily because of this crap. Now the amount of people that think you’re a turd is growing exponentially! I can understand you’re not happy with your photographer. It happens and there’s avenues you can pursue to recover from any wrongdoings you feel you have suffered. But to go to this extent? Read a book, go on a walk, pet the dog… get a life.

     
    • I.K.

      June 7, 2010 at 8:58 am

      I’m glad you can find a little humor in this.

      If you think 50 visitors is something to brag about, then you misunderstood me entirely. And, it seems silly to have to say this, but this blog is an avenue to voice my complaints about “wrongdoings [I] feel [I] have suffered.” I have a life, enjoy reading profusely, love to jog and hike and have a dog who is most content in my loving arms. This blog is a way for me to work out my frustrations with this situation, to voice my complaint to anyone who wants to listen, and provide feedback to our photographer that he would not accept any other way. The more you know, the less ignorant you sound.

       
  5. Dolcegal

    June 7, 2010 at 2:05 am

    [Dolcegal and US Photographer are actually the same poster who lives near Kaiserslautem, Germany. She lives there with her husband who is stationed there in the Army. Both friends of Clayton, I can only assume, and also the same ones he photographed in Paris. By the way, this doesn’t appear to be an actual wedding shoot, since the couple has been married for four years now. – Joseph]

    Its a frightening thing… to see someone “lose it”. If you could step outside your box and take a look at yourself and see how you are acting/reacting, I dont think you would like yourself very much. And why drag the US ARMY into this now? You mean that same Army that fights daily for the freedom of free speech you are abusing now? Perhaps you should be concentrating on your new marriage? Or perhaps seaking the advice of an anger mgmnt. professional?
    I wish you peace~

     
    • I.K.

      June 7, 2010 at 8:52 am

      It exposes ignorance when people tell me things like “[the] Army … fights daily for the freedom of free speech you are abusing now”.

      First of all, as the Constitution and Declaration of Independence state, our freedoms are not granted by government, they are not earned through wars or even by the efforts of brave men. Human freedom is a right, not a privilege. This right is bestowed upon each and every human being by virtue of being created. I have not and would not chastise servicemen and women for doing what they do. My stepfather was in the army. My father was in the navy. Both served their country honorably.

      Secondly, your statement that I am abusing my freedom of speech is certainly your opinion. Often times, those who argue that freedom of speech is being abused are the very ones that would limit that freedom of speech if given the chance. Luckily, this is America, and I have spent much time educating myself on my rights and the founding principles of our country. We can agree to disagree.

       
  6. Dolcegal

    June 7, 2010 at 9:04 am

    [Dolcegal and US Photographer are actually the same poster who lives near Kaiserslautem, Germany. She lives there with her husband who is stationed there in the Army. Both friends of Clayton, I can only assume, and also the same ones he photographed in Paris. By the way, this doesn’t appear to be an actual wedding shoot, since the couple has been married for four years now. – Joseph]

    Yes, we surely can agree to disagree. But remember, just because there is a thing called freedom of speech doesnt mean one can run into a crowded theater and yell fire. There are limits to what one is allowed to say or do.

    Calling me ignorant for my beliefs falls into the same arena that seems to have started this entire mess in the first place. Your attitude. And, it is such a shame.

    Ignorant would be to devote an entire post around anothers comments (See US Photographer) calling then fanatical… when you have developed an entire blog to your comments. If you are putting this all out there in the open then you should be expecting to recieve some comments… positive and negative, on your topics. Kinda goes back to that “free speech” thing???

    Again, I wish you peace. Much-Much peace~

    And for the record… there is a combined 123 years of military service in our family. I surely know about honorable service to our country. :)

     
    • I.K.

      June 8, 2010 at 4:37 pm

      If ignorance fits, it must have been tailored for you.

      You argue that my setting up a blog to review and criticize a vendor’s service is akin to running into a crowded theater and yelling “Fire!” It appears you missed logic class in college. How ridiculous you sound. Ever heard of Straw man? Reductio ad absurdum? Yes, there are limits to freedom of speech, but this AIN’T it and you are quite mistaken.

      If you don’t like me saying that your statement exposes ignorance (note, this is different from calling you ignorant, which, for your information, doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you are unaware of the facts), kindly visit another place in cyberspace.

      Otherwise, by all means, please continue your pissing match and I will continue to expose your ignorance some more.

       
  7. The More You Know...

    June 7, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I can tell you like reading books from all yer fancy words and quoting the U.S. Constitution ‘n stuff. So with all that knowledge you’re carrying around in your head you know that you could recover damages if you were able to. If you can’t, which I kind of doubt you could, then you’re just kinda being pissy. Here’s a thought: Why don’t you be the bigger person, call up the photographer and say “hey, buddy, sorry this went all crazy. We’re not happy, you’re not happy. How can we make this better?”. What’s that saying about a frown taking more energy than a smile??? Just a thought.

     
    • I.K.

      June 7, 2010 at 9:26 am

      That seems like a reasonable approach, but he stopped taking phone calls from us and rarely returned calls before that. : /

      I’ll put the offer out there for him to call us and see what we can do to rectify.

      [As of 8/24, Clayton chooses not to rectify.]

       
  8. unicornsandhearts

    February 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Did you report him on weddingwire.com? I love that site, it was made for situations like these so others can learn from your misfortune.

    Treating clients like this does such a disservice for anyone in the wedding industry.

     
    • I.K.

      February 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm

      Well, we certainly reviewed him on Weddingwire. :) Thanks for your comment.

       
    • Dan Robinson

      October 5, 2011 at 10:36 am

      Better yet, lets sue him in a Texas court of law. Send me his address to drdanwrobinson@hotmail.com. 1 year later and no pictures. Just unbelievable….. This guys needs a good old fashioned day in a Texas court, of which I intent to pursue. Send me a good address. I’ll have my Texas contacts track him down.

       
  9. Anonymous

    July 1, 2011 at 5:54 am

    I would not recommend this photographer. He does not value or respect his clients enough to return phone calls or simple e-mails. Just because he is the the highest demanded in the industry does not mean that you should hire him. We love our photos, we just regret the fact that 6 months later, we still have no photos and outrageous excuses that make no sense. Your memories cannot be replaced. Don’t take the risk.

     
    • Dan Robinson

      October 5, 2011 at 10:31 am

      This happened to my daughter as well. I’m planning on suing him in a Texas court. Can you get me his official address. My email is drdanwrobinson@hotmail.com.
      Dr. Dan Robinson

       
  10. Anonymous

    July 1, 2011 at 6:01 am

    By the way, I just want to add to the folks that are appalled by such blogs as this–you don’t know the frustration that we feel. You don’t know how helpless you are that your captured memories are in the hands of a person that really doesn’t care about you once he gets paid. I am thankful for reviews such as this. I wish that I had done the research on Clayton Austin Photography before I got carried away by his talent (that which I will not deny). However, his lack of respect and empathy is not worth it. You can find innumerable talented photographers who have just as much talent, but also value and make each client a priority. If one intends on running a business, and has to deal with clients on an individual basis, it would behoove him/her to learn customer service.

     
    • Jess

      August 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      AMEN and thank you!!!! “You don’t know how helpless you are that your captured memories are in the hands of a person that really doesn’t care about you once he gets paid.” That is EXACTLY how I felt!! Except that eight months after our wedding, we found out that he had permanently lost our images (and found out due to persistently trying to contact him) after his two hard drives fell off a shelf and shattered.

      We might as well have not hired a photographer at all. It sucks. Horribly.

       
      • ilovethsea

        September 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm

        Jess, I am so sorry. I totally felt that our pics were lost too when he wasn’t getting back to us and he finally emailed me and told me he didn’t understand why I was worried. When there is no communication, it’s hard not to think somethings up.

         
      • Dan Robinson

        October 5, 2011 at 10:35 am

        One year later and my daughter still has no wedding pictures. Can you send me his official address and I’ll sue him in a Texas Court of Law. My address is drdanwrobinson@hotmail.com.
        This guy is unbelievable.
        Dr. Dan Robinson

         
    • ilovethsea

      September 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm

      I can’t believe how every story on here sounds like ours. I am heartbroken by this. It has been 14 weeks since our wedding and we just now got to view our gallery. And let me just say that this was not without weeks of unanswered emails and unanswered calls. It seemed that he was always to busy for us because he was traveling as if we weren’t paid clients that mattered. We are still trying to rectify this situation, but I have been trying to call him every day for the past four days and nothing. I emailed…nothing. My husband called… nothing. I too was so impressed with his blog that I didn’t even think to look at reviews and I wish I had. It is so frustrating when you feel like there is nothing you can do. Has anybody done anything that has given them any results with this awfulness?

       
      • ilovethsea

        September 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm

        Oh and I forgot to mention that the wait was not worth it. There were 300 pics, but a lot of them were fillers and of basically nothing. There were so many important events that were missing. When I finally caught him off guard and he answered he said “he didn’t want me to feel like he was ignoring me” Well I do feel that way when you don’t return phone calls for days and weeks at a time.

         
  11. anony1130

    September 22, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Why is this guy still in business?? I want to know what on earth is keeping him in business? I wonder if anyone else has reported him to the BBB. We are all in the same boat together.

     
    • Dan Robinson

      October 5, 2011 at 10:33 am

      Please send me his official address. I am planning on suing him in a Texas Court of Law…. My email address is drdanwrobinson@hotmail.com. Almost 1 year later and no pictures. Just OUTRAGEOUS…..
      Dr. Dan Robinson

       
  12. donothireclaytonaustinphotography

    October 5, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I am in disbelief that Clayton Austin is still receiving business. I receive e-mails & comments from clients who have been wronged by him, and it truly angers me. Clayton–Karma is coming your way.

     
    • Average Joe

      October 6, 2011 at 7:56 am

      you and me both. his contract states, “please remember to feed your photographer, it’s just good karma!” well, sounds like someone’s going to feed him a legal complaint. instant karma’s gonna get’cha!

       
  13. MB

    October 6, 2011 at 6:07 am

    I am forced to file a lawsuit against Clayton because he has yet to give us our photos after nearly a year of waiting. He will not return our emails or phone calls. I am soon to filing a criminal complaint as well over the nearly 4,000$ he has “stolen” from us.

     
    • Average Joe

      October 6, 2011 at 7:49 am

      Wow. All I can say is, wow. It has been about a year and four months since we started our review blog of Clayton’s services and it has been a crazy ride. We were attacked, ridiculed and then Clayton himself threatened us with a lawsuit for copyright infringement and libel. Of course, he didn’t have a case and we told him we weren’t taking the blog down. We agreed that we wouldn’t update the blog any further. Since that time, I have received a dozen comments from people who have been wronged by him. Some of them later wrote me and requested to have their comments removed because Clayton threatened them! I am saddened by this because we went through it and wanted to put up this blog so people would think twice. I am very sorry that Clayton didn’t deliver. He shouldn’t be allowed to practice wedding photography because it started with lies, fiction, help from friends in the wedding industry and he has little regard for customer service. I mean these are irreplaceable moments that should have been captured on film as was contracted, and instead … utter incompetence. Good luck with your suit. I think we won’t be able to recover anything past the initial amount paid, and you still won’t have your photos. Truly sad and despicable of him.

       
  14. charlene schreuder

    October 23, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Mr Clayton if you want to come to RSA, I will be willing to wait for 1 year for my photographs. Because I know it will be SO worth it!!

     
    • Average Joe

      October 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm

      As a professional photographer, Charlene, I take it you’re okay with making your clients wait a year for photos that were contractually obligated to be delivered much earlier. I assume that it is okay since you’re so keen to leave a comment on how “worth it” it would be to wait that long. Good to know. Something that potential clients may want to consider. You do nice work, however…

      Also, your site is subtitled, “Real People, Real Photography”. If you’re so in love with Clayton’s pics, then perhaps you should know that many of his early “clients” were fake couples staged to make it appear to be real and dressed up with flowery fiction to make it appear even more so. Deceptive and dishonest, in my opinion.

       
  15. gemma

    November 4, 2011 at 11:15 am

    How is this individual still in business? All I read on weddingwire and forums on the net is how he has yet to deliver albums , pictures, etc….that’s a ponzi scheme. Take money, then don’t deliver good, meanwhile building your business to draw in new business.

    If it were my wedding pictures that were ruined, you can bet your @ss he would see me in court.

     
  16. Business101

    December 14, 2011 at 10:42 am

    For aspiring photographers and business people, here’s a wonderful recent article of “How to say ‘sorry’ to an Angry Customer”. Clayton obviously missed business etiquette training and forgets that his business is one of serving clients, not profiting from them or inflating his ego.