Wedding Couple Moldovans’ thrash photographer over $125 fee ,Dallas court asks them to pay the photographer more than $1 million in damages
Dallas,August2:An autumn affair at the Petroleum Club in downtown Dallas, the union of a full-time beauty blogger and the love of her life, appeared to be a gorgeous thing — marred by one misfortune.
Three months after the ceremony, in front of a local television crew, Andrew and Neely Moldovan showed off a box of empty picture frames.
Their photographer was withholding the images, they told NBC affiliate KXAS in January 2015, and was demanding an extra $150 when they’d already paid thousands.
“It’s heartbreaking, because, you know, these are our memories,” Neely Moldovan said.
And many agreed.
“Wedding photographer holds couple’s pictures hostage,” blared the Daily Mail a few days later.
The Moldovans’ sympathizers descended on photographer Andrea Polito’s review pages, calling her a scam artist, or worse.
Her reputation was ruined, her business dried up and she closed her studio.
And then the story changed.
Polito sued the Moldovans, claiming all they ever had to do to get their glossies was fill out a form, choose options for their wedding album and pay a small charge they had long known about.
The photographer showed the court emails in which she and her employees tried to appease the couple — even as the Moldovans were calling reporters, whipping up a furor on social media and plugging their newfound fame to fans of Neely Moldovan’s beauty blog, Polito said.
On Friday, a jury in Dallas decided that the tale of the ransomed wedding photos was not heartbreaking, and not even true.
In fact, the jurors concluded, the accusations amounted to malicious defamation, for which the Moldovans should pay the photographer more than $1 million in damages.
The Moldovans haven’t commented on the verdict, which they can still challenge. Neely Moldovan did not mention it to her thousands of followers in her latest blog post, which concerned post-pregnancy pore troubles.
But Polito, who hopes the jury’s decision will help her rebuild a ruined career, was happy to share her version of the saga with The Washington Post.
After more than a decade in the wedding photography business, she said, her studio was booked every weekend, months in advance, with couples from the poshest parts of Dallas and its suburbs.