Houston wedding vendors like florists, caterers, and musicians allow you to sample their wares before your wedding day. Although you can see samples of a photographer’s work, you really do not know what to expect from a Houston wedding photography service. In order to ensure that you choose the right wedding photographer, you must research carefully and find a photographer whose artistic style, photography skills and personality match your personal preferences to ensure your happiness.
Settling on a Photography Style
Before you ever begin researching Houston wedding photographers, you need to determine the style of photography that you like. This will help you get the best photographer for your wedding. Take time looking at wedding photographs on Pinterest and Instagram to help get you inspired. Save those that draw your eyes and try to determine what you like about the photographs and how they will work with your own wedding.
Do you want to pose, formal portraits, a photojournalistic representation of your wedding or soft, delicate photographs that capture the magic of your wedding? Look at the photos to determine if you prefer dramatic shots that have a lot of contrast or if you prefer natural looking photos.
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Take time to read some reviews by those who have recently gotten married. A good place to start is The Knot Marketplace. Here, you will learn about different photographers in the Houston area, what the newlyweds thought of the photographer and examples of the photos taken at the wedding, which can help you get a feel for each photographer. When you are looking at different photographers, take a look at how they capture those special moments like the mother of the bride fawning over her daughter, when the groom first sees his bride, etc. The photographer’s website design may help you determine the photographer’s preferred style and personality, so make sure to check it out.
Also, check social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Oftentimes, there will be examples and clients may have posted reviews about the photographer. Does the photographer respond to comments on their social media accounts? Does he/she seem friendly and willing to answer questions? These clues can help you determine if the Houston wedding photography service is the right one for you.
Setting Up Interviews
You should never hire a photographer without meeting them in person. You want to get to know your photographer. Decide on a few photographers that you are interested in meeting and call to see if they are available for your wedding day. If so, set up an appointment to meet with them. It is a good idea to send an email and include some photos that you like as well as a short bio of you and your fiancé. This will help the photographer get to know a little bit about you before your meeting. If the photographer is not available on your wedding date, ask them if they have any recommendations of Houston wedding photography services that may be able to help you.
If the photographer is available, set up an appointment and ask to meet them at their office. This will allow you to get a feel for the photographer. You should also take a look at their portfolio and get a ballpark estimate on what it will cost. At the appointment, the photographer will want to know the venue for your wedding, the style of your wedding and what you are expecting/wanting for your wedding photographs.
View Some Wedding Albums
You should never base your decision on a photographer’s portfolio alone. The photographer will put their best photographs in their portfolio which can give you a false sense of what to expect. To help you get a real idea of the photographer’s work, you will need to see several full galleries from recent weddings that they have shot. Ask the photographer to see the last two or three weddings he/she has photographed. Take a look at each photo to help you determine if the photographer is right for you. In addition to this, ask the photographer if he/she has shot a wedding at your venue or a similar setting.
If you are planning an outdoor wedding, you want to see how good the photographer is at using natural lighting to capture the best images. If, on the other hand, your wedding will be a candlelit service indoors, an outdoor wedding shoot will not help you determine if the photographer would be good at capturing images in an indoor service. As you can see, you need to find a photographer who has photographed in the same conditions as your wedding will be.
Ask About the Contract
The photographer’s contract will stipulate who will own the rights to the photographs that were taken at the wedding. You may not realize that the photographer has the right to use your image promotionally. Additionally, you may not be able to post digital copies of your wedding photos without crediting or ensuring they have the photographer’s watermark. Read the contract carefully before signing and negotiate any changes that you want to make, such as the ability to print your own images or post them online. Oftentimes, you will need to purchase the rights to your wedding images.