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TOPIC: Bella Pictures has been sold

Bella Pictures has been sold 7 years 7 months ago #1

  • rmtagg
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Bella Pictures has been sold to the company that operates Wal-Mart (PictureMe) and Sears Photo Studios.
This is all I know. Just sharing.
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Bella Pictures has been sold 7 years 7 months ago #2

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As one who has never heard of Bella Pictures, what significance is this?
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Bella Pictures has been sold 7 years 7 months ago #3

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blackcloudbrew wrote:
As one who has never heard of Bella Pictures, what significance is this?

I never heard of 'em either. A quick look at their website indicates that they are a wedding photography chain/franchise. I guess their acquisition by PictureMe expands their presence considerably.

What I found extremely interesting is that Bella provides you with original high-res "digital negatives" (I'm assuming DNG). I know this has been a point of contention amongst the wedding photography community since digital became a viable option.
The democratization of information will leave us all misinformed, equally.

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. - Dr. Seuss
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Bella Pictures has been sold 7 years 7 months ago #4

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Bella is not that high thought of by pro photographers. They hire freelance photographers. I knew someone who use to shoot for them as the lead photographer at weddings. $300.00 bucks for the day and editing :( So now I guess it will be quality as usual, Walmart quality images
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Bella Pictures has been sold 7 years 7 months ago #5

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rmtagg wrote:
Bella is not that high thought of by pro photographers. They hire freelance photographers. I knew someone who use to shoot for them as the lead photographer at weddings. $300.00 bucks for the day and editing :( So now I guess it will be quality as usual, Walmart quality images

Well, if the price is commensurate with the quality...

The last 2 weddings I've attended had photogs who took boring, lifeless photos - and the photogs themselves seemed like boring individuals. From what I've seen/read/heard, there is a multitude of uninspired wedding photographers working, and many folks are satisfied with mediocre results. Like so many other industries, wedding photography is becoming commoditized.
The democratization of information will leave us all misinformed, equally.

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. - Dr. Seuss
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Bella Pictures has been sold 7 years 7 months ago #6

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lostminstrel wrote:

Well, if the price is commensurate with the quality...

The last 2 weddings I've attended had photogs who took boring, lifeless photos - and the photogs themselves seemed like boring individuals. From what I've seen/read/heard, there is a multitude of uninspired wedding photographers working, and many folks are satisfied with mediocre results. Like so many other industries, wedding photography is becoming commoditized.
We have friends who used them for their wedding and paid a pretty penny too. She cried when she got her images, and not tears of joy either. They were horrible, looked like someone who just got a camera took them.
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Bella Pictures has been sold 7 years 7 months ago #7

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Does this mean that now I can go down to Wallyworld and get a low paying part time job as a wedding photographer? Yee haw ! Do ya think they'll give me a discount on fishin tackle too?
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Bella Pictures has been sold 7 years 7 months ago #8

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It's unfortunate that newlyweds-to-be often don't know any better when it comes to wedding photographers. At least not until the wonderful event has passed and all you have to show for it are dull, miserable snapshots of the bride's most important day (I think most men don't care nearly as much, except that they now have to put up with a pissed off new wife).

We forwent a wedding photographer altogether for our wedding. I knew nothing about photography back then, and I figured the guests (all 10 of them, it was a small wedding) would do a good enough job with their point-and-shoot cameras. Now I look like a big dumbass because all our memories of that magic day in the middle of the Nevada desert are captured on mostly garbage snapshots. My favourite ones came from my mom, who forgot that she had her camera set to 2 MP and lowest quality JPG. Oh, and she had EV comp set to +2 for the first bunch of shots.

Is there a web site dedicated to explaining why carefully choosing a good wedding photographer is important? If not, there should be.
Photons are your friends! :-)
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Bella Pictures has been sold 7 years 7 months ago #9

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There's layers of sad misfortune to modern wedding photography.

Changing times and technology has made it easier to spend a few bucks on gear, take pictures and hire your lens out if you're so inclined, but as a population we're not really smarter or more tasteful than before so it's no easier to be a really GOOD photographer or for an outsider to grasp what's important in choosing a photographer.

Choosing a pro when you're not versed in a specific field is always hard and relies so much on a basic trust that most "professionals" are going to be passably worth the label. This simply isn't true of photographers anymore with the market glutted with anybody who can afford a camera and who has the guts to decide to charge for their time.

Your average Jack & Jill (or Jack & Jack or Jill & Jill as the case may be) with no photographic skills looking to tie the knot and hire a photographer to commemorate the happy day faces tragically high probability of doom in the current market. It's just not reasonable to expect every prospective couple to effectively educated themselves in advance; photography is too complex to grasp technically and artistically over a few evenings of surfing the web. Shopping by price isn't very effective either, as independent shooters can decide to charge outrageous prices and still get by being terrible.

I can't really think of a good solution to this issue. I'd say that every prospective couple needs at least one decent photographer as a friend to advise them, but .. how are they going to know if said friend is any good or not if they're not photo enthusiasts?
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Bella Pictures has been sold 7 years 7 months ago #10

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Leighgion wrote:
I can't really think of a good solution to this issue. I'd say that every prospective couple needs at least one decent photographer as a friend to advise them, but .. how are they going to know if said friend is any good or not if they're not photo enthusiasts?
That brings up an amusing comment a friend of mine shared with me recently. One of her friends was showing her some recent wedding photos and gushing over how awesome they were, and my friend kindly agreed that they were beautiful pictures. Afterward, she got in touch with me and started ranting about how bad she really thought those photos were. She felt they were dull, boring, essentially well-focused, high resolution glossy snapshots. Then she flattered me by saying "I know you would've done a way better job. When the time comes to choose a wedding photographer, I know who to go to for proper advice!"

(at least she didn't dare say she'd ask ME to be her wedding photographer)
Photons are your friends! :-)
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Bella Pictures has been sold 7 years 7 months ago #11

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I've had several people over the last few years ask me to do their wedding for them. I've declined each time on the basis that I don't know enough to do them and that this is a highly specialized field of photography and just because I shoot landscapes and things doesn't qualify me to do weddings. I have offered and followed through on taking candid shots with the understanding that there will be no obligation and I'll keep out of the way of the hired pro. This format has worked quite well and I've actually complemented the pro's formals + candid shots. As I've usually known the couple or family, I usually get shots in context that the pro wouldn't see. That is the extent of my wedding photography 'career.'

Unless I was specifically trained or studied the heck out of it, I have no business doing that biz. As mentioned by others, too many photogs just port themselves as wedding shooters and make a mess of it. Given that I've been married almost 39 years, I know almost nothing about 'the perfect wedding,' but give me a lovely landscape and I'm all over it.
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Bella Pictures has been sold 7 years 7 months ago #12

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Friendly Photon wrote:
...That brings up an amusing comment a friend of mine shared with me recently. One of her friends was showing her some recent wedding photos and gushing over how awesome they were, and my friend kindly agreed that they were beautiful pictures. Afterward, she got in touch with me and started ranting about how bad she really thought those photos were....

That's another related issue: if the bride is happy with her crappy photos, who is actually going to wreck her mood by pointing out they suck? Of course, this has the negative side-effect that said bride may then recommend her lousy photographer and the continue the vicious cycle...
blackcloudbrew wrote:
...I have offered and followed through on taking candid shots with the understanding that there will be no obligation and I'll keep out of the way of the hired pro. ...

This is about my level of willingness too. I could shoot a good wedding to my own particular standards, but being able to deliver what the couple would want? Totally different story.
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Bella Pictures has been sold 7 years 7 months ago #13

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Actually I think this recent craze to photograph weddings with Hollywood studio perfection is greatly over rated. Strolling down memory lane I recall none of our friends and family that hired a professional photographer to shoot their 'most memorable day'. As Frank mentioned, folks relied on that one acquaintance with a decent 35mm camera to do the job; and didn't bitch about the results. Now it is unthinkable to not hire a professional photographer to basically be director and photographer of the occasion. And if it pales in comparison to blockbuster movie productions or images portrayed in splashy magazines, then it is determined to be a flop. My own humble opinion is that couples should worry more about the important things in life and less about capturing the perfect Vogue-like image of their wedding day. They will (hopefully) have literally thousands more days together that should not be judged or measured against whether the photos taken that one day were of professional quality. I encourage lots of picture taking on the wedding day. I recall one wedding - before the digital era - that they handed out dozens of one-time disposable film cameras to the guests. They told me that the results were not by any means fantastic or professional but they were memorable, and that's the goal.

As dedicated photographers were are a critical bunch. When someone shows us the 'great' pictures from their wedding all we see are the mistakes. They don't see the images through our eyes. Perception is personal. If they like them, then so be it; I like them too. :)
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Bella Pictures has been sold 7 years 7 months ago #14

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JS - excellent points. For older daughter's wedding in 2002 which we did on a shoestring, was photographed by (at my daughter's request) a friend who clearly indicated that he was no pro and would do the best he could but that was it. He did what he was asked to do, she was happy, that was that. The cost was just the film and the processing. It's all about meeting expectations. In the '90s as I recall there was a trend in weddings to have disposable cameras on tables at the reception. I've read that this seldom turned out very well and the processing was usually an annoying extra cost for a lot of, well, poor quality snaps. I know one wedding I attended where these cameras were out on tables, I surely added to that lack of quality shots...
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Bella Pictures has been sold 7 years 7 months ago #15

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DamnRedneck wrote:
Does this mean that now I can go down to Wallyworld and get a low paying part time job as a wedding photographer? Yee haw ! Do ya think they'll give me a discount on fishin tackle too?
hm, you funny! :)
Friendly Photon wrote:
It's unfortunate that newlyweds-to-be often don't know any better when it comes to wedding photographers. At least not until the wonderful event has passed and all you have to show for it are dull, miserable snapshots of the bride's most important day (I think most men don't care nearly as much, except that they now have to put up with a pissed off new wife).

We forwent a wedding photographer altogether for our wedding. I knew nothing about photography back then, and I figured the guests (all 10 of them, it was a small wedding) would do a good enough job with their point-and-shoot cameras. Now I look like a big dumbass because all our memories of that magic day in the middle of the Nevada desert are captured on mostly garbage snapshots. My favourite ones came from my mom, who forgot that she had her camera set to 2 MP and lowest quality JPG. Oh, and she had EV comp set to +2 for the first bunch of shots.

Is there a web site dedicated to explaining why carefully choosing a good wedding photographer is important? If not, there should be.
educating the bride and groom is an important part of the initial meet with the photographer. However with digital cameras and so many newbies wanting to make extra money by shooting weddings offering cheap pricing has created what I think is a public miss conception. So many brides and grooms now think everyone should charge those cheap prices for their work. Blogs and web sites publishing articles on how to save money promote the idea of using people looking to develop their books and ports. These articles want to tout how they help people save money on their weddings but they never explain the down side to this choice. I think I smell my brain burning and the beginning of a new blog post!
Leighgion wrote:
There's layers of sad misfortune to modern wedding photography.

Changing times and technology has made it easier to spend a few bucks on gear, take pictures and hire your lens out if you're so inclined, but as a population we're not really smarter or more tasteful than before so it's no easier to be a really GOOD photographer or for an outsider to grasp what's important in choosing a photographer.

Choosing a pro when you're not versed in a specific field is always hard and relies so much on a basic trust that most "professionals" are going to be passably worth the label. This simply isn't true of photographers anymore with the market glutted with anybody who can afford a camera and who has the guts to decide to charge for their time.

Your average Jack & Jill (or Jack & Jack or Jill & Jill as the case may be) with no photographic skills looking to tie the knot and hire a photographer to commemorate the happy day faces tragically high probability of doom in the current market. It's just not reasonable to expect every prospective couple to effectively educated themselves in advance; photography is too complex to grasp technically and artistically over a few evenings of surfing the web. Shopping by price isn't very effective either, as independent shooters can decide to charge outrageous prices and still get by being terrible.

I can't really think of a good solution to this issue. I'd say that every prospective couple needs at least one decent photographer as a friend to advise them, but .. how are they going to know if said friend is any good or not if they're not photo enthusiasts?
Friendly Photon wrote:
That brings up an amusing comment a friend of mine shared with me recently. One of her friends was showing her some recent wedding photos and gushing over how awesome they were, and my friend kindly agreed that they were beautiful pictures. Afterward, she got in touch with me and started ranting about how bad she really thought those photos were. She felt they were dull, boring, essentially well-focused, high resolution glossy snapshots. Then she flattered me by saying "I know you would've done a way better job. When the time comes to choose a wedding photographer, I know who to go to for proper advice!"

(at least she didn't dare say she'd ask ME to be her wedding photographer)
blackcloudbrew wrote:
I've had several people over the last few years ask me to do their wedding for them. I've declined each time on the basis that I don't know enough to do them and that this is a highly specialized field of photography and just because I shoot landscapes and things doesn't qualify me to do weddings. I have offered and followed through on taking candid shots with the understanding that there will be no obligation and I'll keep out of the way of the hired pro. This format has worked quite well and I've actually complemented the pro's formals + candid shots. As I've usually known the couple or family, I usually get shots in context that the pro wouldn't see. That is the extent of my wedding photography 'career.'

Unless I was specifically trained or studied the heck out of it, I have no business doing that biz. As mentioned by others, too many photogs just port themselves as wedding shooters and make a mess of it. Given that I've been married almost 39 years, I know almost nothing about 'the perfect wedding,' but give me a lovely landscape and I'm all over it.
J.Scott wrote:
Actually I think this recent craze to photograph weddings with Hollywood studio perfection is greatly over rated. Strolling down memory lane I recall none of our friends and family that hired a professional photographer to shoot their 'most memorable day'. As Frank mentioned, folks relied on that one acquaintance with a decent 35mm camera to do the job; and didn't bitch about the results. Now it is unthinkable to not hire a professional photographer to basically be director and photographer of the occasion. And if it pales in comparison to blockbuster movie productions or images portrayed in splashy magazines, then it is determined to be a flop. My own humble opinion is that couples should worry more about the important things in life and less about capturing the perfect Vogue-like image of their wedding day. They will (hopefully) have literally thousands more days together that should not be judged or measured against whether the photos taken that one day were of professional quality. I encourage lots of picture taking on the wedding day. I recall one wedding - before the digital era - that they handed out dozens of one-time disposable film cameras to the guests. They told me that the results were not by any means fantastic or professional but they were memorable, and that's the goal.

As dedicated photographers were are a critical bunch. When someone shows us the 'great' pictures from their wedding all we see are the mistakes. They don't see the images through our eyes. Perception is personal. If they like them, then so be it; I like them too. :)

Everyone has posted interesting comments. The bottom line is that today brides are joining web sites and forums which bombard them with information. They post info on how to save money by hiring inexperienced photographers but they never post about the nightmare results. After all after the wedding it takes a while to get those images and by then the brides have usually left the forums or those sites. What these sites should do for their members/brides to be is to help educate them about the choices they will be making.
We have friends who got married just at the time I was getting my first camera a few years ago. They had a huge budget for their wedding but went with Bella for their photography. She cried when she saw her images the first time they were so bad. I mean really bad. It was shocking to view them. After I got better and more experienced I had did some portraits of her in her dress so at least she had something pretty. It is sad and not much anyone can do after the fact to make it better. A lot of people fail to realize that a few years after the wedding the food may be forgotten but those pictures will be there to remind you of your day.
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