Dr. Amit Patel NJ surgeon

‘I hope no-one else ever hires him’ – Photographer sued for 76k by Amit V. Patel – An New Jersey Surgeon with Advanced Vascular Associates – Here’s a fact check – Photographer offers full refund to Turkey charity but father wants the money for himself.


In 2021, Amit V. Patel – a vascular surgeon from Morristown, NJ inquired with Clane Gessel Studio (The Studio) to shoot the wedding of his daughter – Anisha Patel and Arjun Mehta wedding in Bodrum, Turkey in May 2022. An article published in the New York Post claims Amit Patel was ‘forced to replace the photographer’ because the photographer “began making 11th-hour demands,” then “pulled out at last minute because he wasn’t booked into five-star hotel in Turkey.” Patel asked for a discount in original negotiations in order for the photographer to stay at the exact same hotel.  Here’s what happened –


Hiring The Studio –

In 2021, Arjun and Anisha inquired with The Studio about photographing their wedding in Bodrum, Turkey in May 2022. The original contract amount was for $81,000, for which Arjun Mehta (groom) asked for the hotel costs to be removed, “We will have extra rooms we can give them (sic) and it should reduce cost”. Arjun Mehta was referencing extra rooms from the hotel they were planning on buying out, but the hotel name wasn’t mentioned in the contract because they hadn’t booked the hotel yet and were deciding between two different resorts.

The Studio agreed, and they settled on a final amount of about $76,000, which included all travel for the six Studio members.

A week before the wedding, Amit Patel called The Studio and said they were all out of rooms at the hotel they booked – the Mandarin Oriental in Bodrum, and the Patels would have to put photo/video at another hotel. The Studio didn’t care to stay at a luxurious five star hotel, they were there to work, but to be onsite and easier for Arjun and Anisha to get ahold of them is beneficial as they may need a photo taken.

When you’re getting married, one would assume you’d want the photographer on site, as it makes it easier if you need something shot right away, they can simply come downstairs rather than drive 45 minutes, by which any photo opportunity has likely passed. It’s unclear why Patel was adamant about The Studio staying elsewhere for his own daughter’s wedding. Interestingly enough, they put the replacement photographer up in the Mandarin, along with the entire band and most vendors who each got their own room. The wedding planner offered Patel for The Studio to use one of her rooms at the Mandarin, to which Amit Patel refused, even though The Studio had lowered the price to stay at the hotel with the couple. During negotiation, The Studio agreed to lower the price on their request for the convenience of being on site with the couple and family. One would think you’d want your photographer able to sleep and be well rested, Indian weddings are large events, having a photographer get up at early morning and drive an hour, then work till midnight and drive an hour back, only to do it all again the next day can be exhausting. On top of that, photographers need a room at the hotel where they can charge batteries and download photos, which is why The Studio offered a discount to do so. Vendors are commonly booked at the same venue where weddings take place for this reason. Perhaps Patel had something against Gessel and wanted him out for another reason, oh at least it certainly seems that way.

It’s Not About the Hotel –

The Studio decided to go anyway, regardless of Patel getting a discount and reneging on his agreement – The whole Studio were on the plane to Istanbul and were about to take off when Amit Patel called Clane and told him not to come, that they hired another photographer and his services were no longer needed. The Studio were all willing to come- proof of which is they were on the plane when they got the call from Patel.

The Studio told Amit Patel they wouldn’t be able to give any refund, as they were already on the plane and had been offered other gigs that weekend that they turned down. Had Patel called The Studio months earlier and canceled, a refund might have been negotiated. Opportunity cost is a big issue for wedding photographers, as you can only be in one place at one time. On a holiday weekend, most photographers book out a year or more in advance. The Studio told Patel in a call and email they would come and shoot the wedding without staying at the Mandarin, to which Patel refused.

It’s Not About the Money –

Clane Gessel offered to donate the entire sum of $76,000 to charity. Gessel offered a charity that helped Turkish children from the 2023 earthquake. Amit Patel declined the offer, as he wanted the money for himself.

A lawsuit was filed in 2022, and Patel went to the press in 2023, even asking the photographer if he could use their images in the article, but she declined. So he took screenshots of them and sent them to the newspaper along with his half of the story. “I hope no one ever hires him,” Amit V. Patel said to the Daily Mail. The photographer “demanded that they be accommodated at the Mandarin Hotel Bodrum – a five-star hotel – at the expense of Patel” according to the article. The truth is, he asked The Studio to stay at the host hotel to get a discount. “Part of the reason that I have done this is so that no other bride or family has to go through this. I hope that nobody ever hires him again.” said Amit Patel.

Dr. Amit Patel NJ surgeon

Bungled Lawsuit –

Patel threatened to sue The Studio in July 2022, Gessel sent the address where he would accept service on behalf of The Studio (at the registered Seattle address). Patel’s council chose not to follow these simple directions, and wanted to file in New York.

Why Patel’s council decided to file in NY Southern District isn’t known, but Patel’s attorney has since spent hundreds of billable hours just working on the jurisdiction argument, amounting to tens of thousands of dollars.

It seems smart on the part of Patel’s attorney to advise Patel to ignore that email and attempt to serve The Studio in person, so they could bring the case in New York, where neither Patel or The Studio are based, but where Patel’s attorney is allowed to practice. Patel could have just gotten a new attorney, but instead they failed to execute service properly multiple times. Initially, Amit Patel and his council claimed they served The Studio in New York in early 2023, but later court records show Patel’s council conceded that point – admitting that no one was served personally, Patel even asked The Studio’s attorney to accept service on his behalf, which was declined.

After conceding that service was never enacted in New York, the Southern District of NY offered Patel’s council another chance to serve The Studio and prove service by Jan 2024, which they bungled again. Patel’s council claimed they served Gessel personally at his winter house in Arizona. Regardless of the fact that Arizona is not, in fact, in the jurisdiction of the New York Southern District, court documents show they served a short woman with brown hair and claimed it was Gessel, a man. Despite Amit Patel’s claims that proper service was personally executed in Arizona and New York, the judge disagreed.

This jurisdiction argument has dragged on for more than a year, as noted in the court documents. Amit Patel spent all of 2023 paying his attorney to work out jurisdiction, even as they fumbled the simple task of service time and time again.

As of April 2024, the case has yet to be argued on the merits. One would wonder how much money Patel could have saved by either hiring different counsel or sending service via certified mail as recommended by Gessel in July 2022. No doubt Amit Patel sure has wasted a lot of money up until this point on attorneys’ fees.

Did Patel’s attorney bungle the case purposely to get more billable hours from Patel? We can’t say for sure, but we can all think that, can’t we? However we can say they had all the information they needed to serve properly way back in 2022, long before they even filed but chose to ignore it.

Dr. Amit Patel is threatening, bullying and intimidating other vendors, including the wedding planner- he’s asking for an entire refund from her through arbitration, even though she did the whole wedding and executed each event flawlessly. For being a doctor, someone who is supposed to heal others, he sure seems to be doing the opposite.

Patel has a history of threatening, bullying and intimidating and will no doubt try to get money back from hard working vendors that did their agreed upon job, such as the wedding planner. One would wonder what other stories might surface from this Patel fellow, but we’ll update this as needed.

A Response?

Gessel said of the incident, “misunderstandings happen, but we were willing to go and shoot the wedding anyway, stay at the other hotel, and forget about the additional costs and time, as well as the other discount which is still in the client’s pocket. As wedding vendors, the only thing we all want is happy couples, I think it sucks when parents get in the way of that. The couple were quite lovely – I hope they ultimately got a photographer they liked, as no one deserves to have bad photos on their wedding day. My opinion is that it’s unfortunate Patel has ruined the memory of his daughter’s wedding for money after agreeing to the terms then changing his mind.”

According to court documents, Patel had requested to settle, and as part of a settlement agreement, Amit Patel requested a sworn affidavit signed by The Studio saying whether or not The Studio paid a commission to the wedding planner, for a separate arbitration lawsuit Patel has filed against the wedding planner. He’s asking for a refund the entirety of money paid to her, years after the event and after she did her job flawlessly. Is Patel is running out of money? Or maybe he just thinks asking for a refund from vendors that did their job is standard?

Settlement talks broke down, and there are claims The Studio has against Patel that have yet to be addressed.

Of note, one comment on the NY Post article said “Medicare and IRS should investigate this Dr. Amit Patel”- is this commenter suggesting Patel wrote off the whole wedding as a business expense to avoid VAT and other taxes? Patel wrote checks to vendors from “Spine Exposure Specialists LLC” a business with a variety of connected addresses. Could you pay for your daughter’s wedding from a business then presumably write it off? That’s a question for the IRS, not for any of us.


“A New Jersey dad was forced to replace the photographer for his daughter’s lavish nuptials at the last minute.”


FACT CHECK: Patel and family changed the terms of the contract a week before the wedding. The initial agreement in writing was that The Studio would lower their price to stay at the same hotel they bought out (host hotel). The Studio’s standard policy is to stay in the same hotel as the couple to be closer to them for the sake of the photos. A week before the wedding Patel and family made new demands breaking the contract. Though it wasn’t what they were contractually bound for, The Studio agreed to the new terms and tried repeatedly to cooperate. The Studio was on the plane to Turkey days later when they received Patel’s call telling them not to come- even though they had agreed to meet the new demands from the week prior and stay off property- however Patel had already hired another photographer.

“Patel claims in a lawsuit that the celebrated shutterbug he originally hired began making 11th-hour demands.”

FACT CHECK: Patel hired another photographer before firing Gessel and The Studio. The Studio were on the plane and willing to go, when Patel told them not to come. The Studio had already agreed to stay off-property at another hotel.

Patel chose to replace The Studio, he was not forced to.

“Photographer pulled out at last minute because he wasn’t booked into five-star hotel in Turkey.” FALSE.

FACT CHECK: Patel asked for a discounted rate and put The Studio up at the host hotel, then tried to kick them out last minute, to which The Studio was still willing to go.

The initial agreement was The Studio would lower their price to stay at the same (host) hotel. The Studio’s standard policy is to stay in the same hotel as the couple to be closer to them for the sake of the photos. A week before the wedding, Patel demanded The Studio accept the new terms of the agreement, with no additional compensation, and stay more than 30 minutes away off-property. The Studio accepted Patel’s demands to stay off-property. A week later, The Studio was on the plane to Turkey when Patel called to inform them he had found another photographer.

“The bride was ‘left in tears’ after she discovered that her photographer for the wedding had pulled out.” FALSE.

FACT CHECK: The bride – Anisha Patel (Mehta) may have been in tears from her father’s actions, but the photographer never pulled out. He was still willing to go, as documented above. It sucks when parents ruin things for their kids, but she’ll certainly think about the choices her father made every time she looks at her wedding photos and videos.

There is no intent to profit from this website, and everything stated is factual. Amit V. Patel is a surgeon with Morristown Medical Center and Advanced Vascular Associates in Morristown, New Jersey.

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The Clane Gessel Studio

Patel, a surgeon with Advanced Vascular Associates in Morristown, New Jersey went to the press with this story in early 2023.

Quoting this article above.