SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Imagine getting an email just a day before your wedding and finding out you no longer had a photographer or videographer. To make matters worse, you already paid for the services and wouldn’t be getting a refund.
The company we’re talking about was called Glasser Images. Couples in a handful of states, including South Dakota, would contact the North Dakota-based company to get videos and photos of their weddings.
Glasser would then hire local photographers and videographers to shoot the weddings.
They would send the files back to Glasser, which did the editing and sent out the final project.
Clients were spending anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000, and were told they would not be getting that money back.
This promotional video shows what every bride and groom dreams of – the perfect dress, a beautiful day and a photographer capturing stunning images to document every moment.
Catie Noethlich is one of those photographers. She quit her full time job to shoot weddings for Glasser Images. Less than two months later, the North Dakota business suddenly closed.
“It freaks me out to think I would have moved to Bismarck, which is like 3 hours away from where I live now, and a month later, the company’s gone,” said Noethlich.
Noethlich didn’t know if she’d be paid, or what to tell her customers.
“I called the couple that I had in Fargo for that next day crying because I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know if I could legally go and shoot their wedding because I was no longer working for Glasser, Glasser didn’t exist,” said Noethlich. “But this couple sitting there like they had a wedding photographer and it’s the day before their wedding, what would you do? What could you possibly do?”
Other customers were still waiting to get photos from past weddings.
“So they actually have nothing, because they put so much trust and faith into Glasser images covering their memories,” said Noethlich.
As Noethlich still waits to get paid, other photographers worry that Glasser’s reputation may leave couples questioning others working in the industry.
“So now, you know, as a whole, other photographers are painted badly and there’s no trust there,” said Savannah Meikamp, owner of Luke + Savannah Photography. “So we have to work hard to reassure them that no we are reputable, we can help you, we’re not going to do what they did.”
Local photographers are trying to help those affected as much as they can.
“Some are offering discounted rates, some are trying to hook them up with other photographers who they know are available,” said Meikamp.
All to ensure they have a picture perfect wedding day.
As of Thursday, a lawyer representing Glasser announced that people who already had the company at their wedding will be able to download their photos at no cost for one year. But, clients do not know if these are the edited or raw photos.