Anyone used Bella Pictures?

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S0Excited Posts : 3 Registered: 8/22/08
Re: Anyone used Bella Pictures?
Posted: Aug 27, 2008 11:09 PM Go to message in response to: MagicalMomentsP...

Do you have any photographer suggestions withthis kind of experience?

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ispwp Posts : 15 Registered: 9/17/08
Re: Anyone used Bella Pictures?
Posted: Oct 16, 2008 4:50 AM Go to message in response to: S0Excited

S0Excited, this is an older post so you may have already found another photographer, but if you're still looking for an independent photographer in your area, I'd encourage you to look at the ISPWP website. There is a good variety of New York and New Jersey wedding photographers on that site.

These photographers not only own their own businesses, but they are already reviewed and approved by the ISPWP and thus have a LOT of experience in any kind of lighting situation. I'm sure there are a some good photographers who work for Bella, but from the posts here it looks like it's a bit hit or miss, depending on who you end up with. Good luck with your decision!

Joe Milton, ISPWP

International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers

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MagicalMomentsP... Posts : 742 Registered: 3/6/06
Re: Anyone used Bella Pictures?
Posted: Oct 16, 2008 10:36 AM Go to message in response to: S0Excited

S0Excited,

I'm sorry I didn't see your post until just now.   As 12/7/08 is off-season, I expect there are still many very good photographers available should you still be looking.  I don't personally know of anybody in your area.  But you can check www.wedfog.com for a list of photographers in all prices ranges.  If you contact me directly, I can also post your wedding on a photographer's board and pass the interested names along to you.  I can be reached at magical@mmpix.com  Please let me know how I might further assist you.

 


Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer

Magical Moments Photography


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Rochelles Posts : 1 Registered: 2/24/09
Re: Anyone used Bella Pictures?
Posted: Feb 24, 2009 12:48 AM Go to message in response to: Imzadi1018

I am best friend's with someone who currently works for them....
DO NOT BOOK with Bella. The "matching system" is bullshit, and the pricing is as well. She has worked there for over three years. They have had issues with "missing images", photographers bringing dates and getting drunk at weddings, a huge turnover rate in employees, no follow through, horrible customer service, and their 100% satisfaction guarantee is ridiculous. Beware.....message me for more info....horrible photography. You wouldn't believe the mark up prices on everything. I booked and bought some parent books. I paid $400 bucks, and it costs less than $180 bucks to produce. If you booked with them, and are contracted for an italian album (graphi), question what you are getting. They now work with an album company called Zookbinders. Their album has a seam, which Graphi does not. They try to tell you it is an upgrade, but it's not...you are not getting what you paid for.
Edited by: Rochelles on Feb 24, 2009 12:50 AM
Edited by: Rochelles on Feb 24, 2009 12:51 AM

Edited by: Rochelles on Feb 24, 2009 12:55 AM

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AmyPepper Posts : 1 Registered: 3/20/09
Re: Anyone used Bella Pictures?
Posted: Mar 20, 2009 8:16 PM Go to message in response to: Imzadi1018

I am another bride who is (almost) completely unhappy with Bella.
My husband and I weren't too picky when it came to photography style, so we were happy to go with belle who promises (and accepts payment) to help make the photography part of the wedding planning easy and stress-free. I have many complaints:
1) we were told we'd have 1 contact at Bella to help us from stage 1, right to completing our album. This is not true. We've been shuffled around so much. And from all the people we've been shuffled to, only one actually answers our questions. Our official contact never answered the couple of photogrpahy questions I had.
2) We didnt know who our photographyer was until just a couple of weeks before the wedding, and I only got his name because I had to email and ask/complain. We were told we'd be given this information much earlier, so we'd have time to review their portfolio and approve the choice. Luckily the photographer was ok. He was very nice and took good shots, though we are missing some very important portraits. There are some pictures i KNOW were taken, that aren't anywhere to be found on the disc they sent me.
3) In efforts to find a portrait to use our print credit on, we asked to have a simple crop and rotate done of some group portraits to get just the groom and I. That was back in January-- over 3 months later and I am STILL waiting for the CROPS. This should take 2 minutes. I'd do it myself, but they have over $100 in my money for print credit and I want to use it. I have called and emailed many times and they always tell me something to keep me waiting. They even sent 3 HORRIBLE prints of terrible pictures to hold us over. These pictures aren't worth the paper they're printed on, let alone the shipping.
4) the disk they send of the images is HORRIBLE to try to pick and chose your favorite shots. the disc is NOT chronological. It's seperated into their "story", "outtakes" and other lame sections. So when you're trying to pick the BEST shot of you and your parents, you need to fish around 3 or more folders trying to compare pictures. This is very difficult. I asked customer service if I can get a new disc that is NOT in folders so I can chose pictures for our album easier, and she said that wasnt possible. I offered to pay, she said they cannot create discs like that. ??????

Since it's taken nearly 4 months to TRY to get a portrait, I went as far as demanding our money back (the amount of the album and print credit) so I can get my prints and album done elsewhere. and they wont reply.

Moral of the story, Bella has been the most stressful part of my wedding. They are terrible to work with. They promise you everything, but you need to fight with them just to get SOMETHING. They are incredibly slow at everything, and are not getting their jobs done.

We only even gave Bella a though because one of my bridesmaids works for them. YAH, a member of our wedding party works for them and we're still ignored and not getting what we paid for.

VERY DISAPOINTED

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MagicalMomentsP... Posts : 742 Registered: 3/6/06
Re: Anyone used Bella Pictures?
Posted: Mar 21, 2009 5:28 PM Go to message in response to: AmyPepper

Hello Amy,

I'm sorry to hear of your problems. If the files you were given contain the EXIF data, it should not be difficult to sort the files into chronological order yourself. All you need to do, is copy all of the images from the disk into a folder on your computer. Then I think that windows will allow you to sort the files based on the time the images were taken. If that does not work, there are some imaging software packages that you can obtain a trial download which will provide the images in the order you desire. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer

Magical Moments Photography


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rfoxphoto Posts : 1 Registered: 4/4/09
Re: Anyone used Bella Pictures?
Posted: Apr 5, 2009 12:02 AM Go to message in response to: S0Excited

I have not heard good things about Bella Pictures from here, or on posts on Flickr. The general complaint seems to be the information Bellas passes to their photographers prior to a wedding, or lack of information...


Ryan Fox

R. Fox Photography- PPA, Triangel Bridal Association

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RitaBaumann Posts : 1 Registered: 6/19/09
Re: Anyone used Bella Pictures?
Posted: Jun 19, 2009 11:02 PM Go to message in response to: rfoxphoto

Bella is a crap shoot for the customer. It all depends on who you get as a photographer. You will see brides that had a great experience along with the bad. Their portfolio looks great because they can choose from thousands of images from thousands of photographers to make it.

Photographers hate Bella. They advertise to photographers that they are a way of filling empty dates on their calendars. They tell the photographer to shoot JPG (not raw). Then the photographer uploads the images to Bella and they are done. The photographer, if they are a really good one, gets paid about $500.

So - out of your $2500 payout - about $500 goes toward labor and materials to make your Graphi or Zookbinders Album (No Kiss or Leather Craftsman Albums for you), $500 goes to the photographer and the rest goes to profit and your consultant ahem salesman's commmission.

In addition, they will advertise in the photographer's home market with things like - why pay $XXXX for Sally Sue Photography when you can have her for $2500 through Bella? This deceptive practice makes good photographers leave Bella.

Your wedding is hopefully a once in a lifetime event. there are a LOT of great independent photographers who for the same amount of money you are paying to Bella, will give you more products and better personalized service. Use WedFog or PPA to find your photographer if you are looking.


Edited by: RitaBaumann on Jun 19, 2009 11:04 PM

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MagicalMomentsP... Posts : 742 Registered: 3/6/06
Re: Anyone used Bella Pictures?
Posted: Jun 22, 2009 4:53 PM Go to message in response to: RitaBaumann

The image “http://www.thomasherron.com/rtn/bella.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Studio Blue IS Bella!

Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer

Magical Moments Photography

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CorieLyn Posts : 1 Registered: 9/21/08
Re: Anyone used Bella Pictures?
Posted: Feb 10, 2010 11:48 AM Go to message in response to: Guest

I used Bella, got married May 09... I HATE BELLA PICTURES! The rep turn over rate is insane, i had 4 representatives in the time i was signed with them, they also LIE to you to get you to think your getting more than you are. My wedding album is SIMULATED leather and the pictures are printed and glued to the pages, mind you that was a $500 album! The only good thing about them is getting the rights to your pictures. My represenative also called me CHEAP becasue i am not getting drafts of my album before the final product!

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mob2009 Posts : 1 Registered: 4/18/10
Re: Anyone used Bella Pictures?
Posted: Apr 18, 2010 2:56 PM Go to message in response to: rfoxphoto

I'm a Bella UNHAPPY customer. Photographer great, pictures great, onto the bad. BEWARE "2 unique parent books" (direct quote from my contract) in Bella language means 2 identical ablums with the ability to choose different cover art from the brides album. This is totally unacceptable
when you only get 20 pages. I don't want an album with pictures of people I don't know in it nor does any other parent. My daughter has not gotten her album so I can't comment on it's quality or her satisfaction. I can say that she didn't get one item in her package & we had to fight for a full credit, they only offered 50%. The web site is hard to use to choose pictures for an album, similar pictures are in different locations that can't be viewed all at once. My daughter didn't like the fact that anyone could choose favorites or upload ANY picture they wanted & she could not do anything about it. It was very hard to get the parent book order form sent to me and the proof was sent to my daughter's e-mail not mine. The parent book proof was also shorted images & cover art. I was told the missing pictures weren't on the form but when I was sent a copy they were clearly there. It was also implied I didn't get cover art but I sent a copy of the order form, which clearly stated I did. E-mails to my assigned rep went unanswered and I was told she never got them, after we got a new rep things went fine as far as getting the final proof of the parent book. The new rep was actually the first person to come out and told me that my understanding was not correct, that in fact whatever I chose would be duplicated and that would be the 2nd parent album. The intentionally, in my opinion, misrepresented "unique" parent books so far was the worst. My daughter & I until my final proof was being worked on thought the same thing, which is what the sales rep & the contract stated, our package included 2 unique parent books. I skimmed these comments & replies and obviously there are alot of important misrepresentations made by Bella.

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MagicalMomentsP... Posts : 742 Registered: 3/6/06
Re: Anyone used Bella Pictures?
Posted: Apr 18, 2010 9:07 PM Go to message in response to: mob2009

Hello MOB2009,

I'm sorry to hear of another dissatisfied client. While I am not a lawyer, I can tell you some things about doing business. In addition, the rules differ from state to state, so I strongly urge you to consult a lawyer in your area. First, when a word or clause is not defined in a contract or can be misinterpreted, such as "unique" the writer of the contract cannot come back after the fact and say this is what we mean. The actual rule is "What would a reasonable person conclude when reading that clause" In this case, "unique parent album" would not mean differing covers but rather differing contents. Next, the only people who have standing to discuss the contract are the people who signed it. If you are a party to the contract, then you do have the right to have the terms enforced. Just paying the bill does not give you that right.

One of the big problems with this studio is the high turnover of sales representatives and photographers. The reps work on a commission basis and are pressured to meet sales goals. That can lead to problems such as you have encountered. The person who sold the package is no longer there and the replacement is trying to deliver the contract at the lowest cost. It does cost them more to design two different albums rather than two copies with different covers.

If you don't want to discuss this with a lawyer, then perhaps you should file a complaint with the BBB. I'm not sure this will do any good but there is a chance you might get them to see things your way. Just remember not to settle until you get what you want. I wish you the best of luck.

Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer

Magical Moments Photography


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RoJac Posts : 1 Registered: 9/29/10
Re: Anyone used Bella Pictures?
Posted: Sep 29, 2010 7:48 PM Go to message in response to: Imzadi1018

Absolutely TERRIBLE!

Like a lot of reviews on here, we spent roughly 3 hrs with a consultant. Felt really good about the meeting and even better about moving forward with Bella Pictures for photography and video services. BIG MISTAKE!

The only thing worse than the photos and video they produced, their customer service. It was terrible! We got bounced around from one idiot to another. Managers didn't returned phone calls and when they responded to emails it was like they didn't bother to read the original email.

Currently speaking with an attorney. I would never use this company or refer them to anyone!

If wedding photos and video are important to you, don't use Bella Pictures!

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MagicalMomentsP... Posts : 742 Registered: 3/6/06
Re: Anyone used Bella Pictures?
Posted: Oct 1, 2010 12:34 AM Go to message in response to: RoJac

This thread from www.glassdoor.com about B was recently posted on a photographer forum. Just thought it was relevant to the conversation:

THREAD

It is interesting to note the past employees are disgruntled and the one current employee has yet to have the life sucked out of them. In addition, there were several comments about having been a successful sales person with another company. Guess what? This means clients are meeting with professional sales people and not somebody who really understands wedding photography. You should also note the repeated comment of senior management not understanding the wedding market is fragmented around the country. What works in one area will not work in another.

Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer

Magical Moments Photography


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SKoplowitz Posts : 1 Registered: 12/1/10
Re: Anyone used Bella Pictures?
Posted: Dec 1, 2010 9:52 AM Go to message in response to: Imzadi1018

My nephews wedding was in July. Today is December 1st and we just got the proofs back and my mother is mortified!! There is only one picture of the grandmother of the groom and very few pictures of the grooms family at all!! Most of the pictures are just "action photos" so there is no symmetry, no organization and worst of all NO HEADS!! She used the back side of the house for a backdrop instead of the beautiful yard/garden at the brides home and there are dozens of pictures of people walking away (excuse me what WAS she looking at?).

I am very disappointed and have encouraged my sister and nephew to seek retribution for this fiasco of an otherwise perfect day!

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