Bismarck wedding photography company suddenly closes, leaving couples scrambling

Glasser Images, a photography company based in Bismarck, is at the center of a new investigation with the North Dakota Attorney General’s office after closing abruptly and leaving couples scrambling.

Thankful for a handful of photographs of the first look prior to their June wedding, Malory and Chris Van Guilder are anxious to see hundreds more they paid $2,100 for. 

"I messaged our photographer. She says she has our photos backed up but doesn’t know legally if she can give them to us," Malory said. "You have my photos. It just seems really evil to hold onto them. There’s no way I can recreate that day."

Friday morning, Malory was shocked to learn Glasser Images has apparently closed. 

A group on Facebook has formed, made up of a mix of photographers who have not been paid by Glasser and brides scrambling.

Some in the Twin Cities and across the Midwest received a letter stating Glasser is closing and not able to work scheduled events this month. It also states, "if there is anything paid, we will not be able to provide any refunds."

Owner Jack Glasser directs any questions to an attorney, who later told FOX 9, he’s not representing Glasser due to a conflict of interest. 

Stephen Martin in Colorado Springs worked as a subcontracted photographer for Glasser in 2019 and 2020. While recognition from all the major wedding sites - including The Knot and Wedding Wire - created plenty of jobs, Martin says it was a constant fight to get paid.

"Nobody was getting paid," Martin said. "It’s like they are doing it again in a second round. Saw it coming last year, and finally, this has happened, and they’ve closed doors."

Now, many photographers and couples looking for their money have lots of questions for Glasser -- especially when paycheck protection program data shows the company has received two rounds of loans in the last 18 months, totaling more than half a million dollars. 

After receiving more than 170 complaints Friday, the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office has launched an investigation. 

Malory plans to file a complaint and is holding out hope for the rest of the images of her precious memories.

"They are holding them hostage, it feels like," she said.