When brides are planning their wedding, they are doing many things for the first time, like shopping for a professional wedding photographer. Like most people, they have never shopped for professional photography, much less wedding photography. Most brides realize that their wedding images are one of the most important things that will have to walk away from the wedding with and so its important that they know what to look for and what questions to ask when they are comparing photographers.
Like most people, their only experience with professional photography is during their high school senior pictures where they sit in front of a faux bookshelf, holding their cap and gown and smiling for the camera, which in total takes less than 1 min and they are done .
Brides are not really sure what to look for and what questions to ask a photographer. So for many brides, they would start calling up photographers and asking, "What are your prices?" This in itself is not necessarily a bad question, but there is so much that goes into the photography that getting a price without knowing what they are getting is kind of useless. It would be equivalent to calling up a car dealership and asking "What do your cars cost?" Well, as you can imagine, that could be a large range at prices. Besides the many different models of cars, each model can come in several different trim packages and optional features. Professional Wedding photography is similar, to a certain extent, in the sense that wedding photography tends to come in collections and each collection can be customized to each client's needs.
Wedding photographers created collections because there are several things that most brides want and it's easier to bundle those things together and still have some a la carte items that can be added to collections to suit each bride's needs.
As you can see, asking for prices is probably not one of the first questions to ask. A more appropriate questions to ask is, "What do your collections start at?" This will give you an idea if this photographer is even in your budget and if you should do any further research. There is no point in doing further research if a photographer's smallest package is $ 3500 and your budget is $ 2000.
If you find that the photographer is within your budget, I would set an appointment to meet them and see more of their work. It's important that you request to meet with the photographer that would be shooting your wedding. I think it's important that you meet with at least three different photographers before you make your decision just to get a feel for what is out there and what you will get for your hard earned dollars.
At the appointment, you will get a chance to see more of their work, get to know them and what they offer in their packages. But before you start talking about numbers and prices, find out a little more about the photographer. One of the questions that important to ask is how long they have been in business. Although years of experience is not a tell tale indicator of whether they will do a good job at your wedding but I have found that the more weddings I do, the more confident I feel in handling any unusual situations and managing the chaos of the wedding day . Photographers are often helping the bride and groom stay on schedule and making sure they get ready in a timely manner to ensure that they have enough time to take the pictures that they need prior to the wedding. Weddings are a unique animal in itself, in that the photographer has one shot at it and not being able to get the shots that they need is not an option. It tends to be a stressful situation that is always short on time and you need to be professional enough to get your shots and do it I a timely manner.
Although this is not a question to ask but you want to make sure you see a large selection of their work and not just one album or selected images from one wedding. If you can see many images from a wedding, you will get a better idea of what to expect than if you only see the best 10 images the photographer hand selected. If you shoot enough images, you will unduly come up with a handy of images, but what do the rest of the image look like? What you want to look for is a consistent quality and look to the images and not a scattering of good images among really bad ones. This will tell you if this photographer is in control of what he's doing and knows what he's doing or is he just "spraying and praying" (It's a euphemism for shooting a bunch of pictures hoping that you will get some good ones. common practice among amateurs that really do not have control of their photography and do not really know what they are doing.).
Another question to ask is "what happens if you can not make it to the wedding ..". It's a very question to ask because you want to assured that someone will be there for your wedding! Not having a photographer there is not an option. This is a guarantee that you will have someone take pictures at your wedding. You want to make sure that your photographer has a plan in place in the unlikelihood that he can not make it. It's really for peace of mind.
Another important question to ask is how long will it take to get your images from your wedding. You want to make sure you get your images in a reasonable period of time. Timelines can range anywhere from 1 weeks to 6 weeks to see your wedding images, but any longer than that is worrisome! You want to see your images when you are still excited about your wedding and do not have to wait 3 months to see them!
I get this question a lot and it really makes no sense to me. "What camera do you use?" Unless you're a photographer yourself or very well versed in camera lingo, which 99% of brides are not, this does not tell you very much. Do you ever ask a painter, "What brushes do you use?" Does it really matter? A more important question to ask is "Do you have backup equipment?" What if they only had one camera and it malfunctioned during your wedding? All electronic equipment will fail at some point and you would want to know that your photographer has a plan in place to handle that situation. A true professional will be sure to have plans in place when that does happen.
These are some questions to start with when you are searching for your wedding photographer in Houston. I hope that this has been helpful.