Sydney wedding photographer disappears overseas with booking deposits

So many things can go wrong at a wedding, but up to the top of the list has to be a photographer taking your $6000 deposit and disappearing without a trace just weeks before the big day.

Sydney based wedding brand Phao Photography originally owned by Sam Ansari, was sold off for $20,000 on 10 August 2023 to another Sydney based wedding photography / video business – NYC Films.

Wedding clients were sent an email from Ansari days later stating the sale to Ellie Kalajian of NYC Films had been made, and that current bookings, as well as previous undelivered work were part of the sale.

Many customers were dismayed to find out the bookings were not to be honored, as Kalajian said that the sale was only for the Phao business name. Worse still, booking deposits would not be refunded.

Kalajian’s lawyer has stated that his client was innocent and was taken for a ride.

More than eight clients are awaiting refunds and others are still waiting for the actual photos from previously shot weddings.

Ansari is believed to be hiding in Dubai and is not responding to any media or ex-clients requests.

You can read more about this and see an interesting video on the issue on A Current Affair.

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