For Brides

How do you choose a wedding photographer?

We want you to make the right choice in your wedding photographer.  Not all brides who view our websites are our clients – styles might be different, the needs might be different but we do feel that there are some helpful hints to help you out in the search for your photographer.   In the end, it helps all wedding photographers out there and the industry as a whole if you have made the right choices – plus, you’ll have great images to enjoy for years to come.  It’s a win-win.

Here are some common sense ideas that you should definitely consider in your search:

1.  View at least 3 complete weddings from the photographer you’re interested in.  At a minimum, view 3 wedding slideshows of at least 100 images each.

This is the most important steps in your search and it will take time.  Any photographer can come up with 15-20 decent images for the blog, but only a few can provide consistent wedding coverage throughout the entire day.  They should have no problem providing you with 3 or 4 recent weddings to view.    When we get an inquiry, we will send out 3-4 slideshows of recent weddings.  The slideshows will run about 10 minutes each, anywhere from 120-200 images.  (If it’s an 3 day Indian wedding it can run as long as 20 minutes and 450 images).    The key thing is, we want to show the entire day of coverage, not just a few highlights.

The only way you can get a feel of what you will receive as your final product is to view those slideshows or a complete wedding set of proofs.   After viewing the slideshows, if you wanted to see more, i.e. a complete set of a wedding or two, that will be sent to you as well.

2.  Does the photographer artistic skills work for him/herself or for you?

One of the most common complaints about wedding photographers out there is that they didn’t cover guests or family members – and that they’re just into photographing for themselves and their portfolio.  That’s something you will get a sense of by looking at a complete set of proofs.  Does the photographer take the time to photograph the family members and guests?  Yes, it is a lot of work to go table to table, but it’s a necessary part of the business.

While we absolutely LOVE photographing dance shots, romantic moments, humorous images, loving moments between the bride and groom, and are good at it, we also know that some of the older family members are not going to be on the dance floor.  Whenever possible and schedule permitting, we will go to tables and photograph the guests.    Here is a couple of collages:

And we know when we do this, we might miss a couple of dancing moments on the dance floor, but that’s OK.  Our primary focus on your wedding day, is you.  We want you to have as best coverage of your guests that you have invited to share this beautiful day with, as we possibly can.  We will obviously deliver all of the artistic and documentary photos, but these are there to ensure decent coverage of your wedding in general.   Besides, it’s fun to meet and greet the guests!

However, if I see grandma dancing on the dance floor, then i’ll definitely drop what I am doing.  Grandmas on dance floor equals the highest priority!

3.  Does the photographer offers the same style that you want?

Only after you have spent time to view complete weddings, could you answer this question.  You have to invest in your time to determine this.  After viewing the slideshows, you should get a sense of their style AND the consistency of the wedding coverage.  Both are important aspects in the decision making process.  Can they provide the same level of quality to your wedding as they have provided to their other clients?   What does the photographer emphasize in the slideshow and proofs?  Family members?  Parents?  or just couple by themselves?    What you see, is more often than not, what you will receive in your final product.

4.  Pricing…..  prices….

Wedding photography prices ranges greatly in Austin and anywhere else in the country.  In the end, you will have to determine if it is the right price.   However, if you’re within a few hundred dollars of the budget, ask yourself this question:  “Would it be a wise choice save $500 and ends up with an inferior product that you will have to live with for 10, 20, 30 years?”   How much is a great moment of you and your dad worth to you?   If one photographer offers a free session or a free album but the work isn’t quite up to your standards, is that album or whatever extra goodies, really worth it?

Hopefully these questions allow you to make the right choice in your photographer.  In the end, it’s up to you and how much time you want to invest in finding the right person as your photographer.    In my referral group of four photographers with different styles, we have heard from so many married couple wanting to reshoot a bridal/after wedding session because they have made the wrong choice and wanted a reshoot of their portrait session so that at least they will have images that they really like.   Portrait sessions can be redone – MOMENTS, on the other hand……  are gone forever.

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