Oklahoma photographer charged with ‘ghosting’ after weddings

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Several newly married couples say an Oklahoma photographer left them high and dry at the altar with little to show on the big day.

Three brides, Candace Crus, Kelsey Portillo and Callie Maddox, got married at various times in 2021. They each paid between $1,200 and $2,100 for Lindsey Nichole’s photography services, and say that during the first shoots of sight, the photographer was prompt and punctual with the delivery.

“The engagement shoot went really well,” Portillo said. “She sent my photos back to me within two weeks. She was pretty quick about it.

“We scheduled the engagement photos,” Crus said. “The turnaround time was incredible. I got them back so fast.

But as for the photos from the big day itself, all three said the delivery had been hit or miss.

“All I have at the moment are photos from the reception,” Portillo said – although she has since received more photos since speaking with KFOR from Nexstar.

“She told me six to eight weeks,” said Maddox, who married in April. “Then after the eight week mark, I texted him like, ‘Why? What’s going on?'”

Image courtesy of Callie Maddox.

Complaints about Lindsey Nichole’s photography business have been reported to KFOR for several months. However, it is difficult to find information about the company, because it is not listed with the state. The company’s Google entry, which was filled with bad reviews, has disappeared.

His former studio in Bethany, Oklahoma, was locked during the KFOR visit, with a small claims lawsuit taped to the front door for unpaid rent.

Erica Valadaz, another local photographer, had recently rented the studio space for two shoots.

“[Lindsey] actually texted me two hours before I was supposed to meet my client here. Then told me the owners were changing the locks on the building,” Valadaz explained. “It cost me twice as much because I had to book a different studio to accommodate my clients.”

Nichole promised Valadaz a refund, but she says she hasn’t received any money.

“I texted him, no response. I sent in my refund request,” she said. “She blocked me on Venmo.”

KFOR tried to contact Nichole at home, but without success. Phone calls were also not returned, nor were text messages or Instagram messages.

Failure to deliver customers their photos could get Nichole in trouble for state tax evasion. Indeed, in addition to digital copies, couples were to receive physical prints. Some customers have also signed up for personalized USB drives.

“In my contract, I was supposed to receive a personalized engraved USB stick with 30 prints,” Candace said. “Was supposed to come in a personalized box I believe.”

While digital copies are fine, the State Tax Commission said physical items and photographs are “subject to sales and use tax” and failure to pay could result in fines.

Cassandra Sweetman of the Tax Commission sent KFOR the following statement:

“Under the Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC 710:65-19-260), fees associated with the sale of electronically transferred digital photographs and videos are not subject to sales and use tax. Photographs delivered in tangible format and all related services are subject to sales and use tax The penalty for failure to report starts at 10% of the tax due and interest is 15% of the tax due. tax due each year.

Cassandra Sweetman, Oklahoma State Tax Commission

While brides interviewed by KFOR have received some of their photos, they all say it’s a fraction of what they thought they were paying. Several others online claim to have been completely abandoned, receiving nothing.

” It is very frustrating. I kind of gave up trying to get anything out of her,” Maddox said. “I just hope no one else hires him.”

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