In cities across the country, the cost of a wedding has steadily risen year on year and the Houston area is no exception. With plenty of competition for everything from catering providers to bakers, nailing down the big details like finding an affordable wedding venue in Houston Texas, can prove to be a hassle. And there’s one area of wedding planning and organization is easy to overlook in the shuffle: the photography. Today our team has put together five key points you should consider when choosing a photographer. This advice will help you narrow the field, but more importantly, save money while getting the memories of your dreams.
Know Your Budget
In most markets, wedding photographers are highly competitive when it comes to their rates; and though it is true that “you get what you pay for”, there are wonderful photography services available to suit a variety of price points in the greater Houston area. Knowing the total budget for your event, and especially the amount you are dedicating to photography helps you narrow the field by choosing services you can afford and maximizing your return on that investment with your chosen photography vendor.
Know Your Style
Though there are themes that run through all weddings, no two are quite the same. This is just as true for wedding photographers. If you know what style of photography you prefer in general, you can more appropriately inform your chosen wedding photographer about the sort of work you expect to receive. Additionally, knowing the style of photography you like (you don’t have to know any fancy terminology, but being able to highlight examples you like is key) allows you to contact wedding photographers who make images that fit with your chosen wedding narrative.
Have a Contract
Many couples are hesitant to sign a contract with their photographer. We advise you do this for a number of reasons: it guarantees a service for your wedding date, clarifies important specifics like turn-around time and number of included prints/albums, and protects both parties in the unlikely event something goes wrong.
Obviously getting a personal recommendation for a specific photographer from someone you know is a great way to get a head start on a good photography experience. However, read other reviews in multiple online forums to see what you can expect from them. But even the best of us have a bad day now and then, so don’t write someone off if you love their portfolio and they’ve got one set of bad reviews. Discuss the situation and find out what they’ve learned from it.
Have Realistic Expectations
Just as you intend to tell your photographer what sort of images you like, be sure you’re talking to someone who has images of that style in their portfolio. Ask to see the complete wedding album rather than just the “perfect” photo you saw online. If the whole wedding looks how you’d love to remember your own, go for it. At the same time understand conditions, locations, and people are different. If you are a blonde getting hitched in the town hall and you love the photo of a brunette bride with glowing, purple highlights in her cascading curls from soft light dancing through the trees, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
It is tempting, particularly as “everyone’s a photographer” nowadays thanks to smart phones, to save a bit of money and hand over the photography duties to trusted friends who “take nice pictures”. But time and again, experts recommend working with a professional wedding photographer yields better results.