Expressions Photo and Design Stealing Photos

Platinum Photography LLC aka Expressions Photo & Design aka Expressions by Aaron in Des Moines, Iowa

Website 1: https://www.expressionsphotoanddesign.com/
Website 2: http://expressionsbyaaron.com/index.html
Website 3: http://desmoinesweddingphotographer.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Photo-1552624121673737/ (he changed the name and has deleted all of the images)
App: http://myapp.buzz/expressionsphotoanddesign/
Newsletter 1: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/The-Fall-Bridal-Shows-Are-Upon-Us–Come-See-Us-at-Bridal-Forum-.html?soid=1112168023966&aid=bYMNVFmQCT0
Newsletter 2: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Summer-Special-Wedding-Photographer-and-DJ-For–1995-00-.html?soid=1112168023966&aid=ZnO9Vn39XHE
Newsletter 3: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/You-don-t-want-to-miss-this-wedding-sale.html?soid=1112168023966&aid=uBgj7yRl8rA
Newsletter 4: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Pre-Bridal-Show-Specials-and-Upcoming-Bridal-Forum-Information.html?soid=1112168023966&aid=JGCkaqnYXz4
You Tube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikFZ7nylFjo&feature=youtu.be
Current Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/expressphotogroup/
Wedding Wire: https://www.weddingwire.com/reviews/expressions-photo-and-design-des-moines/ad0388bd2a22dc27.html
The Knot: https://www.theknot.com/marketplace/expressions-photo-and-design-des-moines-ia-661088
Website 4 (rebranded): https://platinumphotographyllc.com/
Website 5: https://platinumphotography.godaddysites.com/

 

Last night I received a tip that one of the photographers listed here in 2015, A&K Photography, was back up to his old tricks and using stolen images in his portfolio.  Not only that but he’s been pulling no shows at weddings as well.  I wonder if he’ll blame the former partner again?

Here is a link to the news story that aired last night about two weddings he no-showed to.  http://www.kcci.com/article/newlyweds-say-photographer-scammed-them-on-their-wedding-day/8677634

Also of note is that right when all of the shit started to hit the fan there was a sudden influx of 5 star reviews on his listing on The Knot.  Now you have to dig to find the negative reviews.

Of course most of the client reviews on his website are plagiarized.  Color me shocked.

Updated 2/16/17 – New Facebook Page has been added.  More plagiarized reviews have been added to his Facebook and Website and the original sources are linked below.

Update 2/26/17 –  There’s a few updates that I’ve done but in the past week haven’t had the time to properly document so I am adding those here now.

  • On 2/18/2017 PlatinumPhotographyLLC.com was registered anonymously on Go Daddy.  The website not only showed Expression Photo & Design’s images with the same name used to title the images but the phone number for the new company also is linked to Expressions Photo & Design.  Since the proof is in the pudding, all of the proof is shown below the cut.
  • On 2/19/2017 I received a slew of fake reviews across various platforms for my business.  One of those reviews had also given Expressions Photo & Design a glowing review… which was plagiarized from another review on a different photographer.
  • Since 2/21/2017 (my birthday, well done!) I’ve been getting increasingly angry emails, phone calls and texts from a “Gary” claiming that Platinum Photography LLC has no affiliation with Expressions Photo & Design and demanding that I remove the added link to this listing.  I even received a Cease and Desist from a law firm that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

 

Website

Unknown original source

stolen image by expressions photo and design in iowa

Unknown original source

Original photographer

Original source

Original source

Original source

Original source

Original source

Original source

Original source

Original source

Facebook

By the time I was alerted to the news story that aired Aaron had already begun to scramble and his Facebook has been cleared of images and the name was changed so it doesn’t come up in a search.

I couldn’t help screen cap this tip from January though.

Newsletters

On his Facebook Page he also posted a few of his newsletters he sent to clients.  I am listing the images below that haven’t been seen above.

Original source

Original source

Unknown original source

Update:

Original review source

Original review source

Original review source

Original review source

Original review source

Original review source

Original review source 

Original review source

Original review source

Platinum Photography LLC of Des Moines, IA is Expressions Photo & Design 

I received a tip from an anonymous source that Expressions Photo & Design had rebranded to Platinum Photography LLC.  I investigated the tip and found that he had indeed rebranded.

Here is the former phone number from the contact page of Platinum Photography LLC which is the same phone number for Expressions Photo & Design on The Knot.  He has since changed this since it was pointed out but it does remain in a few spots on the website.

expressions photo and design des moines iowa

Here is the same images from the portfolio section of the website that are Expressions Photo & Design’s original work.   He has unlinked the portfolio section since this was pointed out the home page but it is still live.

expressions photo and design platinum photography llc iowa

Furthermore, if you view the page source, you can see that the image names in the portfolio have Expressions Photo & Design in the image file name.

expressions photo and design iowa platinum photography

Let’s keep going, shall we?

The packages by both companies is the same.

platinum photography expressions photo and design iowa

Expressions Photo & Design now links http://expressionsbyaaron.com/ in the about section (images are most likely stock) on Facebook for the URL associated with this company.  I know this doesn’t outright seem related but keep going.

expressions photo and design iowa

On the “Expressions by Aaron” webpage just beneath the packages there is this (bold is mine) blurb in which “Expressions by Aaron” calls himself “Platinum Photography”

“THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST IN PLATINUM PHOTOGRAPHY , WE WOULD BE HONORED TO WORK WITH YOU ON YOUR EVENT. I WOULD LIKE TO SCHEDULE A TIME TO DISCUSS YOUR EVENT NEEDS FURTHER.WHAT DAY AND TIME WOULD BE BEST FOR YOU? ALL PRICES ARE NEGOTIABLE ALONG WITH PACKAGES. EVERY PERSON IS UNIQUE SO WE OFFER THE ABILITY TO BUILD YOUR OWN CUSTOM PACKAGE AS WELL.”

platinum photography llc expressions photo and design iowa

On 2/21/17 I got a text from Aaron asking for Platinum Photography LLC to be removed from this listing.

expressions photo and design iowa

When I didn’t meet his demands I got a follow up text message from “Gary” with similar demands.

The problem is, there is no Gary with a Platinum Photography in Des Moines Iowa, at least not with a web presence that isn’t either a) in Arizona (and I checked, not him) or b) with images and a website that is dripping with things from Expressions Photo & Design.   There is also no Platinum Photography LLC registered in the state of Iowa.

So of course the next step is a Cease & Desist.  I’m familiar with these and this is unlike any one I’ve ever seen before.  Both my lawyer and I have contacted the firm that this is supposed to have originated from but being a weekend we have not heard back.  I’m told that others have received the same/similar C&D but on behalf of Expressions Photo & Design.

Since I didn’t comply with his demands and deadline, I received a phone call today.  Per my lawyer’s advice I did not answer it but let it roll to voicemail.

I think I’ve proven my case pretty plainly here?  Aaron of Expressions Photo & Design, Expressions by Aaron etc. has renamed his company Platinum Photography LLC.

Now… why did I bring up my lawyer?

Let’s move onto the reviews.

On 2/19/2017 and 2/20/2017 I received a slew of negative reviews for my business online.

Addison had one other review out there and surprise, surprise… look who she reviewed?  Also note what she hasn’t reviewed now this all came to light. The original source is Jennifer on 05/1/2014.

At this point in time all of the negative reviews have been removed.

 

 

 

 

  • Marc W.

    Wow, his replies to bad reviews are so arrogant.. especially when he’s caught stealing again.

    These: https://www.theknot.com/marketplace/expressions-photo-and-design-des-moines-ia-661088#reviews-area

  • Photo Stealers

    The You Tube is FULL of stolen images but I had to take a break.

  • Michael White

    I was never a partner of his. I shot his wedding and tried to show him a few things after. Cause he wanted to do photography till I saw he had pictures that were not on his on his website. I wanted him to take him down he didn’t didn’t so I busted him out .

    • Photo Stealers

      I know, but that was his prior excuse.

  • Thanks so much for the heads up on this! Already taking action!!

  • Peter Kelly

    It’s unforgivable to use another photographer’s pictures, portraying them as your own work, even worse if you can’t produce good quality, but I just don’t get these loathsome clowns who go to all the trouble of creating this persona and provide very little.

    I always feel it must be exhausting to go around fighting these fires, when people complain, and constantly inventing appointments and excuses.

    It must be only for the money, but I can’t help thinking that they must work as hard at their criminality as if they did the job properly, so why not make an attempt?

    Clearly this character has no intention of going straight, though, so I just hope he gets done for fraud and ends up in prison.

  • Photo Stealers

    Appears his website may be down.

  • You can’t fix stupid

    Wow, really wow. What an asshole. The time he has spent stealing images he could have studied and practiced and might have been able to actually shoot something decent. I just feel so bad for all those people who he scammed.

    I have just read the replies to the reviews on The Knot. Wow he is full of excuses not to mention how rude he is.

    • Photo Stealers

      I feel awful for his clients.

  • Photo Stealers

    Take some time to read the comments from some of his past clients. It goes far beyond just stolen images in his portfolio.

    https://www.facebook.com/kcci8/posts/10154199822705079?hc_location=ufi

  • Jayme Peters

    First and foremost, I want to give a huge shout out to Photo Stealers for getting this story out right away!! I was the person who contacted her with information, and I honestly do not care if Aaron knows it. This is going above and beyond any scam I have seen — this is DELIBERATE!!! As we are now 5 years out from his first offence, and he is still out there doing it. Shame on you! #1 YOU DO NOT scam clients or steal photos from other photographers..that is illegal. I am planning to make a phone call to the attorney generals office in Des Moines in the morning as soon as they open, because he is and continually has been committing fraud. This HAS TO END! It’s hard enough for the rest of us, don’t ruin this industry because you can’t do what it takes to be a REAL PROFESSIONAL photographer. I’ve also talked with at least 20 brides today who have ALL now asked for refunds to avoid this creep…

    • Cydney Craft

      I just read on his fb business page that is still up that he’s booked 38 weddings for 2017. Oh, those poor brides if that’s actually true…

      • Its almost impossible to do that many in a year without a team

        • chuck knuckles

          It’s not hard at all if you don’t show up, or don’t complete the work for most of them…

  • Photo Stealers

    Updated to include Platinum Photography whose number was the same as Expressions Photo & Design, who had the same reviews on their page as those for Expressions Photo & Design and also had images with Expressions Photo & Design in the file name. He has claimed it was not him but after the listing the website has been removed.

    I also have had reviews on my personal business with at least two “brides” who also reviewed Expressions Photo & Design but their original reviews were plagiarized. Those reviews have been removed. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6a2f9cd469e09f418dd326b75b17f49073986a7c8d38477c587b45461d5a2c23.png

  • You can’t fix stupid

    Is he seeing how many times he can get caught lying? Really I don’t think any previous thief has gone this far. It is crazy.

  • You can’t fix stupid

    Just reading the lawyers letter again. Why would the lawyer refer to his client as “I”? Normally , with all the legal documents I have dealt with, they say “Mr So-and-so” not “I”

    • Another lowlife pretending that they are innocent. Also lawyers do not refer to themselves as “I” as you said a big rookie mistake and quite hilarious.

  • Michael Goolsby

    The “lawyer” letter is hilarious. Full of “I’s and “me”s, and doesn’t even include a lawyer’s name. I hope the law firm was notified of this. Impersonating a lawyer is, I believe, against the law in many states.