3 couples demand wedding photos after local photographer allegedly took their money and ran away

Almost a year later, with no response, a bride is still waiting for her wedding photos from photographer Donny Tidmore.

AUSTIN, Texas — A group of brides are making a final appeal after they say Pflugerville-based photographer Donny Tidmore captured their wedding photos, took the money and ghosted them.

Their wedding was a perfect day, but Caylee Villarreal and her hubby only have two cellphone photos to show off.

“I wanted to respect the photographer and not have people’s cellphones in our ceremony photos,” Villareal said.

Respect that Villarreal said they found out the hard way wasn’t reciprocated.

“I found Donny, I think, like even before I got engaged,” Villareal said.

Villareal said it was Tidmore’s outdoor wedding photos on her website that caught her attention, along with her rave reviews.

She said once he took her 2020 engagement photos and delivered them on time, she thought he would be perfect for her wedding.

“Just, I, you know, I trusted him from the start to talk to him for those two hours and everything,” Villareal said.

They bonded over their love for photography, but that bond was quickly severed after they photographed her wedding on April 18, 2021.

“I haven’t heard from him since that day he left my marriage,” Villareal said. “That was the last time I spoke to him. So I don’t have a single photo from our ceremony.”

Villareal said she and her husband sent him texts, calls, emails and social media messages, but no response.

She showed us her signed contract with Tidmore. He said edited photos were “expected within 10 weeks of the wedding date”.

“I posted on Facebook, for example, an Austin wives Facebook page that I was in and asked, for example, if anyone knew him,” Villareal said.

It was there that she found a message from Macy Myhill, who also got married in April 2021, looking for Tidmore and a second photographer to help him.

Does anyone know who this photographer is (sorry for the terrible photo). She was the second shooter at my wedding on…

Posted by Macy Myhill on Monday, July 19, 2021

“We started blowing up her Facebook, leaving comments on Instagram, going, like, going to a wedding, like, everywhere,” Myhill said.

Later, under another Facebook post, Brittany Severson was also looking. She said she only got a few photos from her November 2021 wedding because a family friend took them.

“There were a lot of pictures that she didn’t get because she let him have them,” Severson said. “So we have no family photos, no family or no photos of us getting ready.”

Severson’s contract with Tidmore had the same guarantee, photos delivered within 10 weeks, which passed at the end of January 2022.

She said Feb. 1 was the last time Tidmore responded to her, saying arm surgery was taking longer to heal and he needed two more weeks.

“So this Valentine’s week has passed, still nothing,” Severson said. “I think it was a week or two after we were kind of, like, what do we do?”

The bride group contacted KVUE Defenders. We checked Tidmore’s website, and it was still up, advertising its wedding photography services for $2,700 to $4,000. He promised to bring “all his heart to every wedding”.

His Facebook hasn’t had a new post since 2019. His Instagram is now deleted.

After he didn’t respond to calls, emails or social media messages from KVUE for over a week, we went to Tidmore’s home in Pflugerville. He was’nt here. We were told he had moved.

“At this point, I’m pretty concerned about his well-being,” said photographer Alexandra Acosta. “I tried to contact a couple of his family members, and they basically said he was fine.”

Acosta is the second photographer Myhill was looking for in her fuzzy Facebook wedding photo. Acosta said Myhill’s wedding was the first and last time she worked with Tidmore.

“So I just wanted her to be able to have some sort of tangible memory of that day,” Acosta said. “If that means providing him with some footage, then I was happy to do that.”

After Myhill got her money back from the bank, Acosta sent her some of the keepsakes she had been dreaming of.

“So we had pictures of her, which was — she’s amazing,” Myhill said. “She was so sweet about it.”

The other ladies who haven’t hired a second shooter hope that this latest plea helps them.

“You know, we want our photos back. And, at this point, we would be okay with unedited photos,” Severson said.

“He booed at our wedding and I want to be able to have pictures, you know,” Villareal said. “We really don’t want this to continue to happen to anyone else. It pains us so much.”

These brides said they found at least five other couples in the same situation.

So what can you do to protect yourself? Consumer advocates said it should be ensured that the photographer’s website and social media pages are up to date with recent posts and photo galleries. Also check recent reviews and references and read up on wedding forums before booking a photographer.

For them, the money is gone, but the photos are priceless.

At the time of this article’s publication, Tidmore had still not returned calls and emails from KVUE.

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