INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Tamela Abenoja's mother was determined to live long enough to see her granddaughter get married. She did, but there is only one photo from that day to prove it.
There should be dozens more, but only about half the photos from her daughter's wedding ever arrived. There are no photos of the bride's father walking her down the aisle. There are no photos from before the wedding when the groomsmen were getting ready. Those are photos that would have included the groom's mother, who has also since passed away.
There's also no photo album.
The two photographers who shot the wedding were working for Phillip Flores Photography of Independence. They were there capturing every moment and that's why Abenoja wants to know where those photos are today.
Abenoja said her own mother kept asking to see the photos in the days before she died.
"'I would like to see them before I pass away,' she told me," Abenoja said. "'I'm not going to get to see them, am I?' That broke my heart."
Abenoja said promises by Flores to deliver the photos were always broken. In fact, Flores was even a no-show at the wedding. The day of the wedding, the bride got a text from him citing a family emergency. He sent another photographer in his place.
"Do you have a heart?" Abenjoa asked. "How can you do business this way?"
It was wedding planner Miranda Ritter who first warned FOX 4 about Flores. She had two clients who had problems with him.
"He needs to be upfront with clients, not taking their cash and not showing up on the most important day of their lives," she said.
Flores closed his Independence studio months ago, but is still booking weddings. He told us he knew he had a few unhappy customers and would refund their money by the end of the year. He blamed his problems on a growing business that had left him overwhelmed and overbooked.
After our initial story about Flores aired, we heard from many more unhappy customers. Some of the complaints cast doubt on Flores' excuses.
Kristina Brown hired Flores to shoot her senior pictures nearly five years ago. She never got her photos or a refund. That was long before Flores' photography business took off.
Brown has kept all the text messages she received from Flores through the years. Every time she asked about her photos, he promised to send them to her, but never did.
She thought she was the only one of Flores' clients unable to get her photographs. Then she saw the story on FOX 4 News. She called us wanting to share her story so that others would be warned not to trust Phillip Flores.
This past Sunday, Flores had promised to deliver Abenjoa's missing wedding photos. But when the day arrived, Flores sent a text saying he couldn't make it and decided to mail them instead. FOX 4 will let you know if they arrive.
Meanwhile, if you have a complaint about Phillip Flores Photography, we encourage you to contact the Missouri Attorney General's Office.