Bella and the Denis Reggie Experience--What Do YOU Think?

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by picturesque, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. If you don't already know, Bella Pictures and Denis Reggie have partnered to present a new offering--the Denis Reggie Experience. If you don't know, Bella Pictures is a national 'wedding mill' who has so far made some inroads in the low/middle/upper middle wedding phtoography markets. With this new product they are poised to start tackling the high end. Details can be seen here.
    The purpose of this question/thread is two fold.
    1. What do you think about the new product?
    2. For you established photographers, and particularly photographers in the upper/middle and high end--how does this affect your market position and what, if anything, are you going to do to counter this effort?
    Note: Please keep all comment civil.
  2. "The Denis Reggie Experience" shot by photographers who has been handpicked by Denis Reggie.

    Edited and album designed by designer also certified by Denis. And the final album is personally reviewed by Denis.

    Sounds great! Price is from $5500 according to website.
  3. 1. To me, this is like eating at a restaurant owned by a celebrity chef, but the chef's not there. You pay a premium for the name on the door, but the food isn't cooked by the same hands. In short, it doesn't carry much weight to me.
    2. The choice of a wedding photographer is -- or at least should be -- an intensely personal decision based on chemistry, like-mindedness, and trust built on experience and personality. I believe that's where the established wedding pro can win over the "certified" photographers. At a starting price of $5,500 plus a fee for a second shooter, you're up over $7,000 if you have more than 100 guests. And this does not include an engagement session or any of the other nice little add-ons that a pro might toss in when sitting across from the B&G, getting to know them, and knowing that something like an Animoto video from their engagement session that they could carry on their iPods would make a difference. A nameless, faceless person is not going to know that.
    If anything, the entry of this wedding photo offering should cause each of us to take a good look at why our customers choose us, and bring those qualities up front in our marketing efforts. "Amazing to work with." "Really got to know us." "Knew exactly the kind of images we wanted." "Got to know my family so well and it made a huge difference in the photos."
    Just for kicks, I went to "purchase" one of their packages, filled out the date and location (Phoenix) and clicked through. The response I received was "We do not currently service this location." Nice. Real personal.
  4. 1. Like any business they have to continue to change and adapt to the market - this is one way of doing that. Similar to Lifetouch creating Flash! studios in many of the same malls served by their JC Penny Studios. This obviously is aimed at higher end clientelle. Honestly - How many brides are going to know who Denis Reggie is? Maybe if they study the wedding mags...
    2. I don't put myself in that group - I'm more upper lower (by choice) and lower middle. If a bride has $5,500 to spend on wedding photos - she's not coming to me - I'm more in the $1,500 and under category.
    In general though - it is further making wedding photography a commodity - something that you can apply a template to, follow a checklist, apply a set of photoshop actions and get a consistent result. I'd really like to think that Photography is about more than that - it's about applying one's own unique expertise, experience and VISION to the subject. To me - that's why one chooses a particular photographer - whether it is for a wedding, family event or portraits.
    Finally - I agree with Peter - kind of like going into Wolfgang Puck's in the LA airport and expecting to actually get something cooked directly by him - kind of the same - but not quite.
  5. 1. What do you think about the new product?​
    To be honest, I haven't really thought about it. I do think that Bella caters to a very different clientele. Most brides want to hire their own photographer as opposed to letting a broker find one. But of course, there are those that don't mind using a broker.
    2. For you established photographers, and particularly photographers in the upper/middle and high end--how does this affect your market position and what, if anything, are you going to do to counter this effort?​
    I honestly don't see how it would affect me. The bride is either going to interview her own photographer or use a broker. I think they are two different brides. And actually, I would rather defend against a $5000+ cookie cutter package than explain why $3000 isn't a lot for wedding photography!
  6. As far as I'm concerned, the biggest potential of Bella's product is taking brides off the market because they now have 'across the board' offerings. So if a bride is inclined to check out Bella, based on interest in the high end Denis Reggie product (let's face it, people inquire without having any real intention of buying), the bride can be directed up or down the price range, to be heavily sold at whatever price point she can afford, and you can bet the salespeople will find that point quickly. The value of the package is to get that bride into talking range.
  7. 1. There's a sucker born every minute.
    I can't imagine wanting to pay a premium for a famous name and knowing that I'll be having some no-name person show up to provide the service.
    2. This doesn't affect me. I'm not competing for the same clients. Same reason as I'm not concerned about Craig's list photographers or new photographers that are driving toward the bottom as fast as possible to compete on price. That's a game nobody can win.
    The clients that book me want me to personally show up and create photos. If a bride is looking to check off the box that says she's hired a photographer, then she's not my target market, anyway.
  8. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Discloser: This “competition” is way out of my geographical location; whist I still Photograph Professionally, I ended shooting Weddings for profit a few months ago. Nonetheless the USA has market trends and I have watched (and used) them for many years, so I think I would like to comment.
    I think that a small percentage of prospects buy a “fashion label” or an “original” – even if they don’t really understand what it is they are buying and those folk usually have money to buy. There are others who will buy one of the 1000 numbered limited edition facsimiles and pretend it is an original, they usually don’t have the money to afford the facsimile, but they scrape it together. Then there are those folk who buy a coffee and cake from a franchise chain, simply because they have never tasted real coffee and do not understand the art and taste of Patisserie.
    Whilst being neither exactly - this is a combination of: Limited Edition Facsimile and Franchise – and is strategically innovative – maybe I have my head in the sand but I haven’t seen this nuance of flavours before.
    Just because it is a big banner name and seemingly well planned and executed – it does not mean it will strafe competition in ALL sectors of the market place.
    It is my gut feel that that there would be more "Franchise Coffee Club Diners" having a peek and potentially being up sold to something way in excess of their opening budget, perhaps on a lay-by and a "no interest 50 month payment plan" (hey is that an Idea or what, Denis?) . . . than practical down to earth purchasers who take note of detail, want something personalized and might come, initially from a personal referral to a Photographer in the similar price range - so my guess is, initially anyway, there will be more suck from the low and mid-low market, rather than the from mid and mid-high market - whatever that market is, and how it is defined, in various areas across the USA.
    On the other hand, the act of saying “it will not affect me” is not a magic prophylactic.
    On theory only: it could be argued that the “Original” (i.e. Reggie originals) will take an hit in value – time will tell.
    I think both the magic and weakness is in the detail: the magic is in the broad ranging appeal, interest, big name, well recognised, wide casting net, professional sell once they have the prospects’ attention & conversation.
    The weakness is in the one, three, six, eighteen, “Accredited” Photographers each year, who stuff up.
    It is a percentage game and the odds are stacked for “most” clients to be happy.
    So if I were to battle this, I would leverage that weakness in my favour by playing the “you get me” card once the Prospect is in the door.
    But there is the issue of: “there are fewer prospects available knocking on my door”, which is the issue Nadine is raising, as I understand it. In this regard if I were competing, I would be as relaxed now as I have been previously and as my previous comments indicate – I like my business cards, my face to face, my networking, my pro bono work, my follow-up of old customers my creating/marketing to niche market group(s).
    On a technical note, I engaged the website, the offer of sale appears not to have full USA coverage - yet, but input capital from intial sales will fix that I would think - that's a pretty standard roll out mechanism.
  9. I think this is an interesting product. Not sure how many takers it will get, but I do see the potential it has for getting the bride's foot in the door ;-)
    Like WW, I too operate in a totally different market, so these are my tuppence based on my observations: Bella have probably tried to create a new niche for those brides who perhaps may have the money to spend, like the idea of a big-name photographer and perhaps cant or don't want to invest the time meeting face to face.
    What the Denis Reggie name brings is a level of confidence that a competent shooter will cover their big day. That it won't be the man himself covering the event may be largely immaterial, because he will have "endorsed" whoever is doing the coverage.
    It's in a sense similar to how Richard Branson's Virgin brand is exactly that; a brand that can be sold to the "right" buyer(s). One doesn't expect Sir Richard to be on hand to serve drinks but one would expect a certain level of service delivery that has come to be associated with that brand. I think it's the same thing in this case, but applied to a different market/industry.
    It would be interesting indeed to see whether this new offering will boost Bella's sales. If anything, it could well improve their image to be associated with one of the top wedding photographers in the world...
    Finally, if I were a wedding photographer in the US, I wouldn't be too jittery but rather continue to work on refining my craft, service levels and my marketing strategy. We live in ever-changing times, after all. Just do you :)
  10. I find it interesting that fewer than 5% of Bella's photographer pool make it through the certification process to take part in the DR Experience. Read the other way, Bella is saying that more than 95% of its existing talent pool isn't up to scratch, which says something about where their usual quality bar is set.
    I don't think it's a competitive threat to anyone who already specialises in that type of work or client - as others have noted, the offering is too different. Not to mention that anyone already doing well in that market is successful on their own strengths. Anyone who's even moderately interesting will have their own style that clients book them for. They're not being hired for their ability to mimic someone else.
    But this might represent an interesting opportunity (or even occasional sideline) for skilled reportage photographers who want to fill spare slots in their schedule, or who would enjoy the 'no strings' approach of being hired through a broker.
  11. What do I think? Having watched "Melissa & Jeremy" gallery, I find this photojournalism "ordinary" and I find nothing "high-end" there. Both technique and technics are affordable to many newcomers... Maybe I am assumptive and I do not know the character of american market.
    Will they be using Pentax 645D or digital Hasselblads printing portraits of 1 meter high with retouching and insert them into expensive hand-made frames covered with gold? Lots and lots of photographers would provide better and more interesting PJ pictures for less money. I find this obsolete - to pay for name, 90's are gone...
    I assume that wedding photography has a tendency to be "posed" back again after "unobtrusive photojournalism" of last days of film - around 1998 -2005 but with a "twist": special tonal tints, postproduction, stylization, etc .
    Only mass market can survive nowadays. I believe, it won't be a commercial success.
  12. Neil--unfortunately, what sounds like a nice way to fill empty dates has hidden barbs... Apparently, other independent wedding photographers have reported in the past, that Bella has been known to use photographers 'against' themselves by telling clients they can get 'that' photographer cheaper (once that photographer has worked for Bella, and even if they haven't), and by buying photographers' names for search engines. So once you work for Bella, you are pitted against yourself.
    As I previously said, the biggest threat, in my mind, is not that the package itself is any kind of threat to an established independent photographer, but that prospects can be 'captured' and taken off the market to begn with, since Bella now has 'tentacles' at every price point. They are able to sell the prospect up and down, as needed. You (the independent) would never see that prospect, if they are successful with their sometimes questionable sales techniques.
    To say that your brides would never contact them to begin with, and you are therefore immune (I'm not talking about you specifically, Neil), is a mistake. Everyone kicks tires. If I were a bride to be, I might contact them just to see what I can see. I would not be so confident that even a bride who believes she will be immune to sales pitches would not be affected. The 'deal' is more important to couples than wedding photographers may think.
  13. I think this offering will be something Bella can upsell to it's existing mid-market clientele. And I think a 'high end' client won't necessarily be tempted to approach an otherwise mass-market provider, and will continue to prefer the very personal, boutique style service that independent high end photographers provide.
  14. Being associated with Bella might legitimize the business a bit and gets it on the map quick, but I also think it detracts from the high-end brand that they're trying to sell.
    My experience tells me this will only work if they can get in with good planners. I've found that clients that have this kind of cash for photography ($7K for a photographer and second shooter), generally don't make all the arrangements for their wedding. This is where it gets tricky- do planners want to sell something like this? It just doesn't feel exclusive enough to me for them to be interested. Like Lindsay said, anyone can get this product. It's a bit like Michael Graves at Target.
    Also, the website feels cheap to me- like Ladies Home Journal- too much stuff crammed onto one page. If they're selling an experience, it should be an experience.
  15. I agree with you Lindsay--the mid range prospects are the ones to be upsold. Or, the DR Exp certified photographers will be dangled in front of the mid range prospects' noses as possibilities for their mid range, non DR Exp packages.
  16. Not my market, but maybe you all could write DR a letter asking him if he is trying to destroy his fellow photographers market. But I doubt it'll help. He's obviously in it for the money and the money only. Bella made him an offer he couldn't refuse.
  17. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    " . . .Or, the DR Exp certified photographers will be dangled in front of the mid range prospects' noses as possibilities for their mid range, non DR Exp packages."​
    Yes. . .this is a very interesting angle to this thread and more interesting when viewed from three different sides. I would like to explore a little, the possible outcomes when a business seeks to engage sub contractors* rather than employees*. (*no arguments in minutiae, I use those two terms descriptively NOT legally).
    IMO, there is a greater risk of a subcontractor undermining the main business by acting in his own interests, rather than the company’s. And added to that, she might use the credential of association to promote her work to a new prospect, as mentioned.
    In regard to the second I have had not much to counter, except holding the “you get me” line and noting that words and must say words are very powerful – so, for example, phrases like “we don’t have subbies” [shakes head and furrows brow] has slipped out of my mouth a few times, I must admit to that.
    In regard to the first it would be good business practice to tie up in knots the “Accredited Photographers” (contractually) . . . and as it also seems the parent company could be suspect to, let's say, "hardball tactics", perhaps this crew of "Accredited Photographers" will have a constituent which will be a revolving door of new names – which is another chink in the model.
    I do think that the main threat to established sole traders is the megastore / one stop shop concept of the business model and I reiterate that it is my opinion just stating “it won’t affect me” does not offer protection – actively rethinking and actioning ideas and analysing results, however - does. Even if some ideas only do nothing more than keep the enthusiasm percolating.
    The other leverage a small sole trader has against the megastore concept is: nimbleness.
    The one off mega store can make big impact but is actually quite slow to move; the sole trader can actually move and make adjustments quite quickly, trying new (sometimes outlandish) things – the problem is many are either too scared or too much in a rut to do so.
    Just at the beginning of the GFC I was talking with a business colleague (not Photography). He mentioned an idea he used to increase sales, I brought the idea home and discussed it with my business partner.
    We implemented the idea but at 3 times the level/value that my colleague suggested was the “absolute upper limit” for it to work.
    My logic was, “it is going to cost about $400 to implement, so I might as well try for three times the returns” . . . “if I get zero back then I lose $400 and maybe I try again later.”
    The point is, being a small business, I could write a cheque; buy the necessaries; make a minor change to our selling; recap after three months and decide to stick with it or not – the other point is, if I had been conservative, we would only be reaping 1/3 of what we did gain.
    Another element which fascinates me incredibly in this story - is Reggie’s down-board thinking.
    Analysis of his business, notes growth from: “Reggie doing it” to “Reggie and Associates doing it”; to “Associates doing, but Reggie available for ‘signature plan’ Weddings” . . . to now - the association with the Bella Company.

    Prima Facie this association implies D Reggie has fewer thumbs on the pulse and less pressure able to be exerted by those thumbs . . . Which could mean that history might repeat itself and there could be no play on the football field because those thumbs could be injured - - - (an injured thumb I believe was how D Reggie got into Photography in the first place).
    If I could buy Denis a Single Malt and ask him an off the record question, over that quite Scotch – it would be about his down-board thinking, in this regard.
  18. I guess I have been lucky to deal with a number of exclusive very high-end clients over the years, especially those using private closed (inner circle, as they're sometimes called) contacts and country clubs here in the upper NJ area. Honestly, I don't think they would bother with this, but we'll see in a year or so. I don't have much contact with this any more but I have friends that are still involved so they will say over time. Again, knowing the usual chain of events I doubt any impact on the top end around here. Ah, the suspense :cool:)
  19. The gallery is standard looking, not even that interesting to my eye. Not bad work, but only solid in the sense it is reasonably composed, exposed and PP'd.
    I don't care much what they do, but the idea of a cookie cutter photographer probably appeals to those who shop wMart and McD's and think they are the celebs.
    Best of luck to them.
  20. "And the final album is personally reviewed by Denis."

    This type of line always makes me think of the old ad line "Hospital tested". Doesn't mean that the hospital liked or approved of it. So what if Dennis reviews the album. Doesn't mean that they will all be done up to what his personal higher standard may be. May just look at it and say 'good enough'.
  21. I just don't think that Dennis Reggie is a name that resonates with many brides, low-, mid-, or high-end. As photographers, we know about him because he has sold his name out to countless events and products. We have seen him dance, but I don't think anyone was ever too impressed.
    If a bride believes that the photographer who photographed a dozen Kennedy weddings is going to show up at their wedding, they will be in for a surprise. (Of course, it always helps to mention that he is married to Ted Kennedy's sister).
    In many locations in the Bay Area, Bella has a terrible reputation. Horror stories abound about late or absent shooters, and many locations will not welcome Bella to their facilities.
    It's arguably a huge step down for Dennis, Once the 'experience' falls flat, he can go back to hawking PJ photography. It will be all that's left.
  22. The sample photo album is junk. There, I said it. I do a better job for $2,300. This is not me posturing or being egotistical, my images are better, and so are the images of most of the other photographers I know. To be completely blunt, the quality of the samples they are showing is comparable to that of some of the better newbies in this forum.
    I shot a few weddings with Bella as a second photographer, and really wasn't impressed. As photographers we all know why a bride should hire an independent photographer that they really connect with, but there obviously is something about Bella that gets them customer, so the question is how to sell against that without sounding negative.
    Also-who the hell is Dennis Reggie? Never heard of him.
  23. If you are serious about not knowing who Denis Reggie is, he was influential in popularizing photojournalistic wedding photography in the late 80s and 90s. He shot that famous photo of John F. Kennedy Jr. kissing the hand of his bride immediately after the ceremony, and has photographed the weddings of high powered political and celebrity couples in the U.S. Go to the About Denis Reggie section of the website and look at his client list, on the right. Remember that when he started photographing in the photojournalistic style, he was doing so with a Hasselblad and a Metz 60 flash.
  24. You have to admit though, when Reggie was doing his early workshops with Hasselblad and Kodak and everyone was up his butt promoting their toys, his 6x6 slideshow was awesome. He really was breaking ground with that stuff. When I was helping with the old WPI stuff in the 1980s I met him a few times, and he really was on his game doing that PJ stuff. So now the big Q is does he need Bella, or Bella needs him?
  25. Denis was doing alright I suppose, but selling his name to Bella (I'm sure his must have heard about the crappy reputation) looks like he needed the money desperately. The wedding business and prices being down lately must have had its impact on him too.
    His PJ "style" has a lot of followers among the ex news paper guys and a lot of snap shot shooters, who bought a DSLR and who started a pro business right away, because it looked so easy. I find a lot of weddings more or less the same, sometimes simply boring. Not so much PJ that's challenging enough for me. Me too shoot funny faces, people crying, lovely children etc. but I find it a bigger challenge to make the couple look as good as they have never experienced before. Just if you have shot many celeb wedding doesn't say a thing about the quality, but more about your networking abilities. Reggie is a salesman pur sang. I agree with A. Davis I too am not too impressed about the shown images. Average stuff if I may add, highly overrated. It's all about marketing eventually.
  26. Nothing new here in terms of a marketing concept. No different from Martha Stewart's association with a big mass retailer, Wolfgang Puck blending some coffee for Keurig, fashion designers doing a special edition of a car or even a camera, or Porsche Design adding their touch and name to some item. People are in the habit of paying a premium for that.
    If you haven't noticed, this society is both brand name and celebrity obsessed. Denis Reggie is both. It doesn't matter if clients specifically know of him, they know of his previous clients. Just his name decreases the 6 degrees of separation, and brings clients closer to celebrity.
    In today's wedding photography marketplace the range of quality has become extremely polarized, and in many ways it is a gamble for uninitiated clients who have never paid this much money for photos in their life, and probably never will again. Such "endorsements" from a known name tends to promise consistency, and frees many uninitiated clients from their own limited knowledge about photography, and introduces the possibility of wedding photography to "safely" transcend the narrow confines of their own knowledge.
    People here have commented on the DR end product package looking "average" ... but I doubt clients will see it that way.
    While I DO agree that a big challenge for all of us is to make the client look better than they ever have looked, I do NOT agree that shooting great candid photography is a no-brainer, "me too" endeavor. If one hones their emotional insight, split second timing, and can truly connect with the clients, their family and friends ... then magic can happen, and IMO specific moments in time can express the real underpinnings of a wedding. Lots of photographers tout this ability, but it is as rare as those who can turn a Bride into fashion model.
    In essence, the assertion that the "real" challenge is to make the client look better than ever is derived from the same celebrity/fashion obsession being criticized : -)
  27. Keep the civil? Ok I'll try. You go to Bella to meet with them. You say "Can I meet with the photographer who is going to do the wedding?". The response "No, but he is a Denis Reggie approved photographer". The bride says "Well can Denis shoot my wedding?" The response "No because you can't afford him". Then what's the point. Denis stamps his approval and everything is magic. C'mon. Denis isn't even that great. Sorry but he's not. Brides want to feel comfortable and confident in the photographer they choose. They don't want some random person showing up and have no idea about their style or manners for that matter. On the other hand maybe they do. If they do the volume of weddings that they do obviously they are doing something right despite their 100's of complaints on the BBB. When brides start to realize that a personal connection means just as much as an artistic one then Bella will soon be offering a "$800 Photography Special". Bella is nothing more than the Pros (another cut rate organization) just with slightly better cameras. Denis Reggie sold out in my opinion.
  28. Looks a bit cheesy to me, anything that has 'experience' at the end of it makes me roll my eyes shake my head and snort a laugh out! The type of client that needs a broker to undertake something thats so very personal really isnt the client I would like to deal with, I feel the images on their front page speak volumes about the clients they attract, the images are generic, unimaginative andcheesy!!!
    Flush please!
  29. I would have to agree with Laurent. My guess is that brides in their 20s and earlier 30s wouldn't know the name. I'm of that demographic and if I were getting married, his name ... or the fact that he shot for the Kennedy family, wouldn't mean much to me. Granted, I'm not easily impressed by celebrity anything. But I can more easily imagine a girl my age being impressed when finding out that a photographer shot for JLO, Gwenyth Paltrow, and other more modern celebs. Actually, I had never heard of him until this post -- and I'm a photographer (albeit relatively young in the field). Maybe that makes me a bad photographer, lol. I don't know. Now that I've seen some of his work ... it's nice. But if I was really impressed by his work ... then I would want HIM ... not one of his "certified" photographers. And as is always the case with a large company ... there is no emphasis on developing a relationship with the client. That's fine for some clients. But those who prefer personal relationships will always look to an individual photographer rather than a large company. I'd rather save up and hire Joe Buissink! But that's just me.
    On the flip side, I think it's a cool idea for Bella to try out for their own business. I have a feeling that they'll tweak it as they go and will have success with it. I guess we'll just have to wait and see! Although I agree with the comment above that points out that it makes the rest of their non-"certified" shooters seem not so great.
  30. There is a reason that the "Yum!" group of Brands is the largest restaurant system in the world ... LOL!
    Personally, I think those being so hard on Denis Reggie's work need to be hard on their own work first : -) Denis was one of the pioneers that made today's candid wedding approaches popular enough to be viable for those who came afterwards. One need not worship a fellow photographer to at least acknowledge their contribution.
    Kate made an interesting observation ... that IMO proves the notion that marketing is paramount for certain levels of esteem. In contrast, If I were to be married now, and could save up enough to hire Joe Buissink, I'd forget conventional approaches and use the money to hire someone like Marco Grob or Joao Crlos and let them do their thing instead, and get something unique ... OR, even better, get married in an exotic location and take my pal Irakly Shanidze to photograph it, since IMO he's a better photographer than any wedding shooter's work I've ever seen ... but that's just me : -)
  31. Marc:
    I don't intend to come across as being sycophantic, but over the years as I've seen your work, I've thought, "Man...wish I had had Marc for my wedding photographer." Not to the point where I'm willing to leave my wife just for that opportunity, though. :)
  32. Thanks Eric. It's always nice to hear that from a fellow photographer.
    It's interesting how one can be inspired by other's work ... Denis Reggie once did that with one iconic romantic photo: the Kennedy exit shot from the little New England church. Next May I have a wedding in the Cambridge area at a quaint little church, and that was the first image I thought of while musing about it ...mostly thinking about how to not copy that idea ... LOL!
    Actually, for me the biggest influence regarding other wedding photographers has little to do with making of the work ... I usually look elsewhere for artistic inspiration. For me, it is more about making a success of it on your own terms. When I first started doing this in ernest, I saw an article in Studio Photography magazine about a Boston area woman that got a huge amount of money for shooting weddings, she shot only what she thought appropriate, only printed twenty-five 7"X7" prints that she picked, and she was booked two years out. For the life of me I cannot recall her name, but she was the single biggest reason I kept doing this work.
    Denis Reggie is still here, where many of his contemporaries are history. That in itself is saying something.
    The rub comes in that most of us are very individualistic and bristle at the thought of any impersonal regimentation like Bella represents ... Denis Reggie or not.
    I am glad Bella Pictures doing something to increase the perceived value of creative wedding photojournalism.
    We are in a market where many photographers and companies are trying to underbid the other guy and where a new photographer is born every time a DSLR is sold. Add to that the fearful economic mood of the country and we have a recipe for disaster. Our industry is in a severe depression. I am no longer able to charge the rates anywhere near what I did just a few years ago. In fact, I am getting close to the the rates I charged when I first started. This is in spite of the fact that the quality of my wedding imagery continues to exceed. Of course this is in part due to my poor marketing & sales but I had the same poor marketing & sales back then as well, (worse actually).
    If Bella Pictures & other large providers of Wedding Photojournalism educate the bride to the point where they know that exceptional wedding imagery comes with an exceptional rate, we can start to again be compensated in a manner more fitting for the artistry we create.

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