San Francisco family hires photographer for daughter's quinceanera, never get pictures

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- You hire a photographer for big events-- like a wedding, bar mitzvah, anniversary-- but what if you never get your photos?

It happened to a San Francisco family who paid $1500 for a photographer to record their daughter's traditional "coming-of-age" quinceañera. They knew the photographer had taken hundreds of pictures and hours of video of their celebration -- but a year later, they hadn't seen a single one. What happened to them?

7 On Your Side found out -- and watched as they relived that magical day -- one year later.

Lisbeth Reyes still treasures the glittering gown she wore for her quinceañera.

RELATED: A mother is given the money needed to celebrate her daughter's quinceañera

"I like it 'cause it looks like a princess dress," she said.

And the silver tiara that sparkled in her hair.

"When I see it, I feel like emotional," said Lisbeth, a San Francisco high school student.

They are among the few keepsakes to help her remember her magical celebration.

"My mom always dreamed of me having a quinceañera... what I know is, you start being a woman," Lisbeth said.

Her parents Otto and Sandra spared no expense-- there was the stretch limousine, hundreds of guests, mounds of food, dancing into the night.

"They work very hard to make my dream true," their daughter said.

And a photographer recording it all. But that's where the dream ended.

A year later, the family still hadn't received a single photo.

Otto Reyes tells us his contract with the limousine company, AB Limousine of San Francisco, included $1,500 for photos and video. However, the limo company never paid the photographer. So, the family never received their photos.

"I feel sad because we pay for the pictures and we didn't receive anything," Otto told 7 On Your Side through a translator.

Otto contacted 7 On Your Side. We reached limousine company owner Alex Bermudez. He would not discuss the case but finally did pay the photographer.

And the family got a beautiful video and hundreds of photos.

"I cried because it looked so nice. It makes me remember everything," said Lisbeth.

It was like stepping back in time -- reliving the magic.

"I cry when I see me and my dad dancing. Also with my mom. And I was telling her, thank you for everything," said the teen.

"Thank you for talking to the man, he gave me the pictures," she said.

The limousine company also has no transportation carrier license listed with the state PUC. We called Bermudez about that. He hung up the phone.

If you're having a big event with many services, consider paying each vendor directly. Don't count on a third party to pay for you.



Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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