photographer accused of charging for album cover closer to win defamation trial

Aug 7, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

photographer accused of charging for album cover closer to win defamation trial

Aug 7, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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A year and a half ago we picked up a story off of NBC, where a couple (the Moldovan) claimed that their wedding photographer (Andrea Polito) held them hostage unless they paid extra charges for album cover (you can read our original story here). That was a big story, and the unique situation spread through the media like a wildfire. It was picked up by all the major photography blogs, some major non photography blogs and a few other media outlets.

The story resurfaced when Polito made a statement about her side of the story and later filed a defamation suit against the couple demanding a jury trial and a sum between $200,000 and $1,000,000.

Well, the trial hasn’t even started, but preliminary actions are definitely in favor of Polito.

Here is the thing, while the story was not “done” and many media outlets kept the reporting as a rolling story, updating on the defamation  suit, Polito’s business was crushed. According to the case documents:

Instead of booking 30 to 40 weddings as she had in January and February of previous years, and approximately 75 events for an entire year, Polito booked only two weddings between January and June 2015 when her response to the motion to dismiss was filed

While the case is still going, I think it is clear where it is heading too. At this stage of the case, the Moldovans tried to dismiss the trial under a formality, and the return from the system was quite strong. Here is a brief excerpt:

  • We first conclude that Polito and APP offered clear and specific evidence that the Moldovans published defamatory statements. In their original petition, Polito and APP pleaded that twelve groups of statements published by the Moldovans were defamatory
  • We next conclude that Polito and APP offered clear and specific evidence of statements by the Moldovans that were defamatory per se. Although none of the statements criticized Polito’s skill as a photographer,8 all of them assert that Polito and APP were “dishonest in [their] fees.”
  • Next we conclude that the defamatory statement was the cause of damages to Polito and APP. Polito and APP introduced evidence that over 350,000 people viewed the story around the world. Many responded by posting negative comments on Polito’s Facebook page and on websites for reviews of wedding-related products and services

If the excerpt is not enough, you can read the entire legal doc here, and follow the case here.

I wonder how much this case will end for.

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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13 responses to “photographer accused of charging for album cover closer to win defamation trial”

  1. Steve Avatar
    Steve

    It’s nice to see the photographer win, but she’ll probably never see the money. Hopefully her business will bounce back now.

    1. Daniel Shortt Avatar
      Daniel Shortt

      If i recall right, the couple who are about to be bent over were rather well off.. she will probably see about 400k. It depends on how much you can prove you have lost not just this year but over the coming years.

  2. Arcmor Avatar
    Arcmor

    Live by social media….

  3. Maxim Bulat Avatar
    Maxim Bulat

    While reading the article I wanted to comment a bit on the way the article is presented and not the story itself. I am fully with the photographer who suffered from a couple of arrogant fools, who think they are smart and bright, and strongly believe that the couple should be punished and punished very hard. On the other hand being Moldovan as well, I find it weird why the author focuses so much attention on the nationality of the couple. It was done in previous news and it’s done twice in this article. Is there any intention to imply that all Moldovans behave the same way as the mentioned couple? Arrogance, foolishness and idiocy has no nationality and pretty certain we could find similar cases with people of different nationalities. To cut the long story short, there are a lot of good Moldovans that do not defame people, behave properly, etc… and I think it is not fair to create such associations between the nationality and the deeds of some unintelligent people. Yes, I wish good luck to the photographer and may Andrea’s business rebounce.

    1. udi tirosh Avatar
      udi tirosh

      Hi maxim, Moldovan is not their nationality it’s their family name

      1. Maxim Bulat Avatar
        Maxim Bulat

        Thanks for clarifying without being smart… as an ass such as ext237. The confusion comes from their last name which is exactly what you would call people from Moldova.

        1. jfc62 Avatar
          jfc62

          You were searching for ways to be offended and accusing people of being racist. Dont accuse people with things if you are incapable of understanding what is written , and If you dont want people to be smart asses , dont be a stupid ass and read the article before writing a wall of text and trying to victimize yourself. Maybe then you wont have to whine about people calling you out. Maybe the reason for you to easily jump into that conclusion is that you are the racist one?
          Have a nice day.

          1. Maxim Bulat Avatar
            Maxim Bulat

            Yet another one… There is no point in your commentary. There were at least two people who have pointed out my mistake and I guess we have clarified this issue by now. And I have already explained as to why there was a confusion to the nationality/name issue. And I have not accused anyone of being racist. That was a question of nationality identity/defense. I have questioned something in the article and I have received the answer. Why do you feel you had to comment and accuse me of whining and being racist (since you have raised this issue, yet you have to prove me being racist in my comments…)? What’s the point of your remarks? You have assumed too much in your reply and everything is wrong. I wish you the very best for the rest of your day…

          2. ext237 Avatar
            ext237

            “There is no point in your commentary.”

            “You have assumed too much in your reply and everything is wrong.”

            Irony. :)

    2. ext237 Avatar
      ext237

      “Is there any intention to imply that all Moldovans behave the same way as the mentioned couple? ”

      No. Neither is there any intention to imply that people have actually read the article before posting a silly comment.

      1. Maxim Bulat Avatar
        Maxim Bulat

        And I am not implying that people do not need to be smart asses after reading articles. People from Moldova are called… surprise, surprise… the Moldovans. Wow! Such a huge mistake!.. Have a nice day…

        1. ext237 Avatar
          ext237

          This is a follow up on a previous article linked above. “… a dispute between newlyweds: Andrew and Neely Moldovan and wedding photographer Andrea Polito.”

          It may have been prudent to understand the full story before implying Udi is making racist remarks about the Moldovan people. I live for moments to be sarcastic. Other folks live for moments to jump to conclusions.

  4. Richard Tack Avatar
    Richard Tack

    Maxim Bulat and his failure to read has the Court saying, “the couple from Moldova published defamatory statements,” etc. Brrrrnnnng… pick up the clue phone, Maxim, it’s for you.