By Paul Pannone
eWedNewz is looking at the ongoing consolidation of wedding services expected to adjust to declining requirements in all segments of the wedding market. The wedding business has seen a rise in the number of wedding services to administer to the shrinking number of formal weddings– or couples no longer willing to pay what they feel are exorbitant prices.
Eventually the rise in wedding businesses will slow, as more people realize there will be no chance to overcome the logistics or fight the reality of an oversaturated market. At some point there will be consolidation of business-minded organizations that look at the data and react appropriately to market conditions.
In some instances consolidation has already occurred. Companies like Men’s Wearhouse added a tuxedo rental division to their men’s suit sales in the 1990′s, leveraging their buying, advertising and marketing power to create a sub-business, tapping into existing traffic. The impact reshaped the tuxedo rental landscape, garnering a significant share of the market. eWedNewz disputed the data source that said the company rented 50% (one out of two) of tuxedo rentals in the US but did establish they do currently own 33% of the market. This doesn’t mean that Men’s Wearhouse won’t own a greater share of the market at some point; it simply means they’re not there yet.
David’s Bridal takes full advantage of the overage of photographers and in-house traffic to create a new photography business.
Interestingly, companies like David’s Bridal are launching unrelated businesses to their core products. In May of 2011 the following ad appeared on Craigslist, seeking qualified photographers in local areas that met their criteria, according to eWNz photography sources :
Get in on the ground floor of an exciting new business for Timeless Images and David’s Bridal!
Timeless Images is the newest division of David’s Bridal Inc. and we are looking for an independent wedding photographer in your area!
Timeless Images is a national wedding photography and videography company. We are a rapidly growing business and we are seeking an experienced, motivated and extremely enthusiastic independent wedding photographer who enjoys what he/she does, has invested in high quality commercial grade equipment, and wants to increase his/her booking potential.
Please see our website for more info on our company:
As an independent photographer for Timeless Images, you will have the opportunity to shoot up many events annually, depending on your availability and your market’s needs. This is a wonderful opportunity for any event photographer to supplement their regular business income and enjoy their work while not having to spend additional time or money selling, marketing, designing, editing, or even retouching the photos taken for these events. You shoot the event and we take care of the rest.
In order to be considered as an independent photographer for Timeless Images, you must have and maintain your own equipment which includes a minimum of 2-3 strobes, two professional digital SLR cameras of 12mp or higher, multiple compact flash cards, extra batteries, on camera flashes, multiple SLR lenses. Our requirements include completing a Questionnaire about your experience, sending us a DVD of recent unedited images, and completing a test shoot.
If you would like to be an independent photographer for Timeless Images, please email email@example.com with Albany in the subject line and your website address, resume, rate,and or references. If you do not have the appropriate equipment, please do not respond. We are unable to consider any photographer without the minimum necessary equipment and experience to properly shoot our clients’ special events.
The project is growing, as a plethora of photographers find it increasingly difficult to book their services. eWedNewz has discovered many photographers are using the built-in traffic and resources provided by David’s Bridal and are simply punching in and out of jobs– picking and choosing what weekends they want to work.
One source that did not wish to be identified told eWedNewz, “I let them market me, send me the work and stand by me; the brides love it because they bought their dress with them. Plus if there is a problem, they act as an intermediary for me.”
Communication with David’s resulted in what appeared to be a boiler plate reply saying:
Photography by David’s Bridal (previously Timeless Images) is a brand new division of David’s Bridal. We are expanding , each quarter into more and more David’s Bridal stores. A David’s Bridal Photo Rep is selling photography and videography services directly to our brides who are shopping for their dress and additional wedding planning services.
Our independent contractor photographers are NOT responsible for ANY marketing, pre or post event sales, editing or production costs. We have departments in-house that handle all that, including customer service. Many of our photographers and videographers use us as supplemental income to their own business, to fill in non booked or canceled dates for their own studio or other studios they are working with. When our independent contractor photographers/videographers are contacted with event dates, they have the option of refusing or picking and choosing , their call 100%
Independent contractors are responsible for their own insurance to cover their primary and backup equipment and liability. The client purchases their photography from us, Photography at David’s Bridal and typically they purchase the copyright to their wedding images in their packages. Contractors indicate their day rate without any pre or post event sales, marketing,editing or production costs on the Questionnaire under financial arrangements.
Hope that answers some of your questions.
We are in the infancy stage of our development. This is a ground floor opportunity to join us as we expand into different areas and across the country. The Knot.com states “1 out of every 3 dresses that goes down the aisle in the USA is a David’s Bridal dress and that number is increasing.”
If interested, please review the information I included on our company and complete and return the attached questionnaire, at your earliest convenience. Please save the pdf as a file and return it completed to my email address, if possible, instead of hitting submit button. We will also require some recent unedited wedding images/footage be uploaded or sent in. I will forward you more information after receipt of your completed questionnaire.
Members of the Wedding Water Cooler that read the correspondence felt the response to be standard and impersonal.
“I don’t know what you wrote to her; but I’m willing to bet you weren’t asking for work so her response is indicative of someone who didn’t read your inquiry very well and just sent you a standard form letter.”
Most of the members agree; one even doubted the authenticity of the entire program. But one disagreed with the response to eWedNewz as typical saying:
“Do you honestly believe that anyone would take the amount of time required to craft this email response to you if they weren’t required to do it? I don’t. Most people don’t like to write and like to communicate in writing even less. They hate the prospect of being quoted. This lady provided a deliberate and thoughtful response to your question. Her response was professional and courteous — not condescending. Obviously, she is taking you very seriously.”
Photography by David’s Bridal offers a range of photography packages ranging from $895 to under $2,000 dollars.
eWedNewz has been in contact with a recruiter in charge of interviewing photographers. A call to David’s Bridal corporate offices in Conshohocken, PA was not returned at the time of this story’s release.
The story is already taking several twists and turns. eWedNewz continues our investigation.
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