Around mid-December, 2016, I was in one of the photography groups on Facebook, reading people's posts. One young woman who I know to be a mediocre newbie photographer was giving advice on how easy it was for her to launch her wedding photography business. I knew she was full of crap, and I decided it was my duty as a seasoned pro at this biz to give my own advice on what it would take to get some traction as a wedding shooter in 2017. I never once disputed anything the other gal said, I just recounted my own history and some advice that one might gather from observing it.
A number of people thanked me for sharing my insights. One in particular, Maurissa Jean McNellis (who I had never met), commented at length about how helpful I had been. She asked if she could get some personal advice and I told her "sure, send me a personal FB message and we'll have a conversation." And that's exactly what we did.
You'll find the entire conversation she and I subsequently had by clicking here. (It's long, it's dry, it's full of stuff about lenses and cameras, it's boring, and there was NOTHING in it that would give me an inkling that this woman had something in her past that had completely unhinged her.) Maurissa was bubbly and friendly (and when I checked her online blog, I had a lot of laughs. She struck me as a gem.)
Click here to see the first pertinent message in the conversation where SHE suggested we should get together for some face time. As you'll see, I responded with a link to a map that clearly showed I lived in a condo/apartment complex. Apparently, she simply punched the address into her GPS and didn't do her homework. Furthermore, she never seems to have done ANY homework about who I am! ANYONE with any connection to the FB photography or modeling groups in this town knows my name, not to mention that my family is well-placed here!
As you'll see on the next screen, I made it clear (in capital letters) that I LIVE in my home studio.
Nonetheless, when she arrived for our meeting, she discovered she was coming to a man's apartment and turned around and left.
This led to a series of text messages that you'll see here...
As you can see from our messages, she "didn't feel safe" and apologized if "this comes off the wrong way." Then she suggested we should meet in a public place. I felt put off by this - I have already invested a considerable amount in trying to help this woman, and since everything I could show her to help her further would be in my home studio, it seemed presumptuous of her to ask me to bend over backwards even more! I told her politely - in so many words - that if she had done her homework, she'd have known where I lived and who I was and said that yes, I DID think it came off the wrong way. Nonetheless, I wasn't at all mean or threatening, and she answered politely as you'll see in the text messages.
That was the end of things with Maurissa Jean McNellis. Until a week or two later.