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Frequently Asked Questions

To start the design process, log onto your wedding website and click on the My Account section then Album Planner. You will be asked to review the album guidelines, submit your design preferences and enter your image selection to start your album. Once you have submitted this information, we will review it and send you confirmation that the album design process has begun. If you have any questions or want to change your album products, please contact our client experience team at party@bellapictures.com.

Unfortunately no. By accepting your album, you are also accepting the additional album details you provided in the online album planner including gilding color, imprinting text and imprinting color, cover type and cover color. Final production will begin immediately upon approval so no changes are allowed after this time.

When you approve your album, you will be asked to submit your album shipping address. Please note that a signature is required for delivery of your album and that someone must be present to sign at the address you provide. Business addresses are suggested.  If we are unable to deliver your album to the provided shipping address, additional reshipping fees may apply.

It depends on the type of album you purchased. Albums with standard layouts include proofing service only. After submitting your preferences, you will be able to review an online proof of your album within 8 weeks. The album proof enables you to verify that all images selected were included in the album. If additional images or changes are requested, a revision fee will apply.

Albums with custom design come with drafting services. Our album design team will create a first draft of your album design within 8-10 weeks and you will be able to review it online. You may either approve or submit edits to your first draft. If your requested changes involve swapping in new images, you may request up to 3 new images not selected in the original image selection. Complex revision requests (such as those requesting extensive retouching or changing the album design style) may incur a revision fee. If a revision fee applies, you will be contacted with a quote before the changes are made. Additional draft fees apply if you request drafts beyond your contracted number. For albums purchased before November 1, 2009, 3 drafts are included at no charge. For albums purchased after November 1, 2009, 2 drafts are included at no charge. Revision and draft fees start at $100/hour and vary based on the complexity of your request. Each round of revisions takes an additional 4-6 weeks to fulfill.

You may request to include special details from your wedding day in your album. Details such as wedding colors, invitations and toasts may be incorporated into backgrounds on some album pages (custom design layout only) if these elements were photographed. Additional charges may apply for more customized style requests, such as including wedding vows or music lyrics. Special requests must be included in the Notes to Designer section when submitting your design preferences.

To make your album uniquely yours, you will select all of the images that are to be included in your album. The maximum number of images may not be more than twice the amount of the total number of album pages. For example, maximum 60 images for a 30-page album.

http://www.bellapictures.com/content/album-styles

  • Matted Albums offer a combination of both matted photographs and 2 full page magazine style panoramic pages. Custom design services and drafting is included.  Matted albums come with cameo cover and the Traditional design style only due to the inherently traditional construction of the album. Additional panoramic spreads may be added for an additional charge with a limit of 1 panoramic spread for every 10 album pages.
  • Flush-Mount albums are our most popular album style offering the ultimate flexibility and personalization. Custom design services and drafting is included.  You may choose cameo or photo cover and one of Bella’s 3 design style options:
    • Traditional - a classic style layout, consisting of simple black backgrounds and classic layout choices.
    • Modern - a contemporary style layout consisting of asymmetrical layouts and liberal use of photos as backgrounds.
    • Artistic - a scrapbook style layout, consisting of edgy layouts and liberal use of photos as backgrounds.
  • Photobooks are an amazing value.  Photobooks come with photo covers and lay-flat, pearlized pages. Standard layout with proofing included for photobooks.
  • Gift books are the perfect accompaniment to any Bella package.  Gift books are sold in sets and come with photo covers and sturdy, glossy pages. Gift book sets can be ordered as clones of the main album or as unique gift books. Unique gift books come with custom design and this design applies to all gift books in the set.

 

Depending on which album you purchase, your album will come with one of the two layout styles we offer:

  • Standard Layout: Standard layout allows you to show off the beauty of your day through a classic, clean approach. Page layout consists of 1 or 2 images per page selected by you. Images are presented with black backgrounds. For optimal aesthetic results, we suggest that no more than half the pages contain two images, which allows for dramatic full-page images. Option to upgrade to custom design is available at an additional charge for wedding books and photo books (not available on the traditional albums) . Wedding books (purchased prior to November 1, 2009), Photobooks, and Traditional albums offer this layout style.
  • Custom Design Layout: Custom design is a layout personalized by our talented album design team using images and a design style hand selected by you. Page layout varies throughout the album and ranges from scrapbook layout with multiple images to panoramic spreads. Backgrounds are personalized with wedding colors, flowers and other details from the wedding. Flush mount and matted albums as well as wedding books (purchased after November 1, 2009) offer custom design.

We are here to walk you through every step of the process and to make sure that your wedding album will be the cherished family heirloom that you want it to be. If you have any questions, please contact our Client Experience Team at party@bellapictures.com.

Bella Pictures warrants that all album products you purchase from us shall be free from substantial defects in materials or workmanship during the lifetime of the original purchaser, excluding normal wear and tear, cosmetic aging, and damage caused by mishandling or improper storage.

Additional costs may be incurred in three ways; by changing your album product, requesting extensive custom design work and/or requesting additional revisions beyond your contracted amount.

  1. Album product changes may incur additional cost and include changes to cover type (e.g. glove leather), changes to album type (e.g. from flush mount to matted) or changes to album size (e.g. from 10x10" to 12x12"), and/or increasing your page count
  2. If you request extensive custom design work after the design process has begun, you may be assessed revision fees at an hourly rate of $100. All costs will be quoted to you before proceeding with any changes so that you can approve them. This may include changing your album design style, adding multiple images after the design process has begun, requesting the usage of non-Bella images, inserting special details such as vows and lyrics that were not photographed, or extensive custom retouching. Note that you may replace up to 3 additional images after your design process has begun.
  3. If you request additional drafts beyond your contracted amount, you may be assessed a draft fee of $100/draft.

 

The first draft will be produced approximately 8-10 weeks from the time you submit your design and image selections. Once a draft is available for your review, you will be notified via email and a link to view your draft online will be available in the album planner. You will then have the opportunity to accept the draft or request revisions. The turnaround time for most draft revisions is 4-6 weeks, depending on the complexity of the changes requested. When you've approved the final album draft, your album goes to production. You can expect to receive your album in hand approximately 12 weeks after you've approved your final draft.

You may check the status of your album at any time throughout the process by visiting the Album Planner located in the My Account section of your wedding website.

For most albums, completion of your album will take approximately 6 months from start to finish which includes drafting, production, and final delivery. You can help ensure the process moves as quickly as possible by responding promptly and thoroughly with feedback on drafts and confirming approval of your final draft. Traditional albums are produced within 8 weeks and do not include drafting.

Your album should be a unique expression of your tastes and preferences, and you'll have a great deal of control over the appearance of the finished album. Depending on the album type that you reserved, you may specify your choice of the following:

* Album Design Style
* Cover type
* Cover image
* Cover imprinting
* Page edge gilding
* Images included

  • Incredible networking opportunities
  • Build your portfolio
  • Shoot more edit less (no editing required for Bella)
  • Coaches will do free wedding critiques and reviews
  • Markets host Pizza nights/workshops
  • Make money on the days you wouldn’t normally be shooting 

It depends on your availability and the market you shoot in. Our busiest shooters can do 25+ weddings a year for us. The average photographer generally does between 5 and 15 weddings every year for us.

 If you don’t get hired it does not mean we are closing the door on you. For whatever reason it was just not a good fit this time around. If you are placed in our developmental pool you will still have access to all of our training material, workshops and newsletters if you wish to subscribe. We highly encourage you to re-apply you when had a chance to shoot a few more weddings on your on your own and address whatever issues did not allow you to reach certification the first time around.  Contact the recruitment team once again when you fell you’re ready to reapply.

 

We believe firmly in creating a win-win-win situation for all the parties involved. That is, nobody wins unless the photographer, the client, and Bella Pictures are all happy.  Our freelance photographer agreement respects and protects your ultimate ownership of the work that you produce, but also provides rights and protections for the clients’ and Bella Pictures’ interests in the images you create.  You will always retain the ability to use your images for your own promotional purposes, and no-third party commercial use of your images will be permitted without your express consent.

We require our photographers to provide digital photographic equipment appropriate for covering weddings.  Bella Pictures has a list of approved equipment and file standards, which continues to expand as camera equipment changes.  In general, our photographers provide:

  • 2 Professional digital camera bodies
  • 3-4 Lenses ranging from 24-200 with an aperture of 2.8
  • 2 strobe units

Your initial payment for wedding services is refundable for 3 days from the time of purchase. Subsequent payments are subject to our Terms and Conditions at www.bellapictures.com/terms-of-purchase

Payment plan change requests can be made by contacting our Client Experience department at party@bellapictures.com. We will evaluate these requests on a case by case basis.

Bella accepts credit and debit card payments. Subsequent payments will be charged to the card used for initial purchase unless your credit card information is updated in your account. You will receive notice prior to charges against the card.

We offer a risk-free reservation policy and straightforward payment schedule. Here's how it works:

-A $250 payment secures your date and is applied to the cost of your package.

-You can choose from several payment plans ranging from 1 full payment to 8 payments depending on the time to your wedding.

-The full balance is due 30 days before your wedding date.

Your digital negatives are included when you purchase one of our DVD options with your photography package. All photos are provided in an industry-standard file format, with some color correction. These files provide a great degree of control over the final print output and maximum compatibility with a wide range of digital printing systems. In this format, the files are viewable and printable, but not necessarily "ready-to-print" — they may require some manipulation to get the best results. Most digital-ready photo labs can provide this service, but may assess an additional charge. If you plan to print the photos with your home computer, you will need an image-editing application such as Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to alter or edit the pictures.

Within 28 days of your wedding, your photos will be posted to your wedding website. You will be able to view your pictures and order prints instantly via our easy-to-use online ordering system. You will receive a selected set of the best images from the day. If you purchased one of our DVD options, we will send your digital negatives on DVD soon after the images are posted online.

We will post your engagement 28 days after your photo shoot. You will receive a selected set of the best images from the shoot that should total 30-40 images. You will be able to digitally download your engagement photos from your wedding website. You may purchase your engagement photos on DVD and your outtakes on DVD for additional fees.

We always try our best to coordinate your schedule with the photographers, but we know these trips are filled with lots of meetings and time is scarce. If an in person visit is not possible we’ll schedule a call that can just as productive.

Most photographers only show you the work they want you to see. When we evaluate a wedding photographer, we see all of the shots they take — not just their favorite few. Almost every competent photographer is capable of making a great picture some of the time. What's much more important is how consistently they take great pictures, not to mention how well they work under the pressure. All Bella photographers have completed a rigorous certification process. Certification includes a thorough portfolio review and successful completion of apprentice weddings. Certification standards ensure consistent photo quality, skilled technical composition, thoughtful storytelling and sociable personality.

Yes, you can meet your photographer when and where it is convenient for both of you. Please recognize the photographer selected for you may not live near your home. They most likely live closest to the location of your ceremony and therefore you may have to travel to meet. The point of this meeting is to get to know one another and look over the work of the photographer. It's an opportunity to communicate the types of images you like the most. Unless it is a few weeks before your wedding, this is not the time to discuss details as they will likely change many times. The photographer will call you 14-30 days before the wedding to go over all the details of the day.

You may request the same photographer for your wedding and we will do our best to accommodate this request. However, our ability to honor this request will be based on the photographer's availability.

We ask all clients to be prepared for bad weather and have a location indoors chosen prior to the shoot date. Great indoor options are your reception venue, nearby museums, college campuses and even your home. Engagement sessions cannot be rescheduled due to inclement weather. They must be canceled no later than 14 days in advance to avoid a charge.

You can expect to receive 30-40 of the best photos from your 1 hour engagement session. These photos are best for save the date cards and newspaper announcements. Engagements sessions are also great for giving you practice in front of the camera. You will take hundreds of photos on your wedding day so getting comfortable in front of the camera will only improve your wedding day photography.

The location of your engagement session is up to you enabling you to personalize the setting. Most clients choose a location that has special meaning, e.g. where they got engaged. It is important to have a back up indoor location in case of bad weather.

If you purchased a photographer meeting, your photographer will call or email you approximately one week after they are assigned to your wedding to introduce themselves and set up a time for a face-to-face meeting. During the meeting you will get to know each other, view more work, go over your wedding photography planner, and discuss the styles of photography you like. If the meeting occurs extremely close to the wedding date, your discussion may include finalizing the details of your day. If the meeting occurs more than a few weeks prior to the wedding, this is not the time to discuss details as they likely will change many times. Regardless of the meeting, the photographer will call you 14-30 days before the wedding to go over all the details.

Nearly 100% of Bella brides are happy with their initial photographer match. If after viewing their work you decide that the photographer is not a fit, we'll work to find the perfect match for you.

Approximately 60-90 days before your wedding, we will make your photographer match if your photo planner is complete and your account balance is current. If you are not ready for your match, we will let you know! Once we match you, we will send your photographer's biography page with a description of their style and approach, and a portfolio of their recent Bella weddings.

Log on to your wedding website and start planning your photography coverage. Rate photos, enter wedding day timeline, and complete portrait planner and photography questionnaire. We will need all of this information to match your photographer to you.

All prints are cropped according to the print size being purchased, with a standard center crop. We provide tools to adjust this crop as needed on your wedding website before placing your order. Additional fees may apply for special instructions, like switching the orientation of the image or printing without a crop, adding borders to the print.

Absolutely. We want you to be thrilled with every part of your wedding — that's why we offer digital retouching as an important part of our photography services for a small additional cost. All retouching is done to a copy of your photograph, so your originals will always remain unaltered. Once the retouching work is complete, you can have as many prints as you want, and your digital negatives will include copies of both the original and retouched photos. Learn more about our enhancement options by going to the Product Catalog link at the bottom of your wedding website.

Yes all Bella photos may be printed in black and white for no extra charge on your wedding website. Bella photos are always provided in color so that you can print them in either color, black & white or sepia. This provides you with ultimate flexibility.

We offer loads of options for your prints including different prints sizes from 4x6 to 11x14, print colors ranging from black & white to sepia to color, custom cropping, and enhancements. Customized canvas prints are also available.

If your package included specific prints or print credit, your credit may be applied to any print or enhancement purchases that you make on your wedding website. To check your print credit amount, simply add one item to your shopping cart and go to check out, you will then see your credit amount. If your wedding date was prior to July 10, 2008, please contact our client experience team at party@bellapictures.com and they will be happy to assist you.

Most couples approve their Highlight Reel after we post it online for their review. However, Bella also offers you an opportunity to participate in the editing process of your Highlight Reel by soliciting your input on music swaps, audio cuts, photos and reordering footage. Once we provide you with a Highlight Reel for review, we’ll ask for your feedback within 3 weeks. After the first round of editing included in your video package, you may decide that you want additional editing which we are happy to provide at rate of $200 per hour. The Full Length Reel is a minimally edited piece comprised from RAW footage of the must-have moments of your day so there are no additional editing services provided for this product.

Bella offers a superior product compared to the raw footage offered by other companies: we provide the Full Length Reel, which is a minimally-edited video that includes the events of your wedding day in their entirety - usually 45-90 minutes long. The Highlight Reel is designed to share with friends and family online. If you decide you still ‘want it all’ we can fulfill RAW orders.

Yes, most of our videographers have HD equipment and film as such. However, your final product will be delivered in standard definition.

We are glad to use the time between your ceremony and reception to interview your VIP guests.

The Highlight Reel is five to seven minutes long, and the Full and Basic edits are 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the length of your ceremony and reception.

Yes. We provide you with a DVD of your videos and also host the Highlight Reel online. You are free to share the link with anyone, and you can make as many copies as you like for personal use or for family and friends.

Unlike working with an individual, an advantage of working with Bella Pictures is that no matter what happens, you will always have a Bella Videographer and Certified Bella Photographer on the day of your wedding.

In all the excitement of your wedding, you will be surprised at how quickly you forget about the camera. The professionalism of our videographers and their ability to remain unobtrusive is one of the biggest advantages of the Bella Pictures approach. They are there to record the true events of your day, and will not interfere with or influence what you are doing in any way.

Hiring a talented friend to handle catering, music, video or any other part of your wedding could be a good way to spare your budget. However, professional videography delivers more than just a chronological series of clips from your wedding. Our videographers know how to set up artistic shots, shoot in challenging conditions, skillfully conduct important interviews, and remain unobtrusive so they don't disrupt the natural flow of the day's events. So, what you pay for is a professionally shot and edited video, as well as the peace of mind that no important moments will be botched or missed.

Our goal is to document the environment and experience that you create for your guests. For example, you may want to turn down the lights for your first dance. We encourage you not to dim any lighting. In general, it’s easier for us to stay out of your way in well-lit environments.

Typically, outdoor or beach weddings include Mother Nature as a guest. We will always use high-quality recording equipment; the sound of wind or surf may become a part of your vows.

If you choose to have us shoot interviews, we'll plan for it ahead of time. Our aim is to capture the interviews right after the ceremony, when emotions are highest, and so that we don’t have to interrupt your guests at the reception when they're having a good time!

We capture the vows using a subtle wireless microphone that’s attached to the groom’s lapel. All interviews and important speeches are recorded using the same high-quality microphones. Whenever possible, we plug in to your venue’s sound system to get optimal sound.

We typically use a tripod for the ceremony, and then shoot with a handheld camera to capture action during the reception. Our goal is to always position the camera for the best possible angle while respecting your space and the experience of your guests.

Most video coverage begins 30 minutes before your ceremony. We recommend six hours of video for an eight-hour day, because most brides prefer photo coverage of their prep time and opt out of extensive dance floor coverage at the end of their reception. The best way to plan coverage for your day is to schedule an appointment with a Bella consultant.


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