After the surprise, shock and excitement finally wears off of your engagement, the very next thing you do is set a wedding date. The first two vendors that should be decided upon are the venue and the photographer. But, what happens if someone has gifted the Texas wedding photographer for you? By “gift” I mean pays for this service for you.
Someone willing to gift a Texas wedding photographer is a very generous soul. First and foremost, you should really, really thank this person from the bottom of your heart. In a 2009 poll conducted by TheKnot.com and the WeddingChannel.com, the average cost of a gift from a friend was $70, while a gift from a family member averaged $129. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that there are very few professional wedding photographers within this price range. (If they are this inexpensive, they are just starting out or not very skilled—in photography or business matters!) Chances are, someone who is willing to gift your wedding photographer is spending way more than the average wedding guest.
Hopefully, the photographer hasn’t already been chosen. Ask if you can help select the Texas wedding photographer. There are a few reasons why you and your fiancé should help choose the photographer. The two most important reasons are style and personality. If the images you would like of your wedding do not look like what is in the portfolio of your gifted wedding photographer, there’s going to be a problem. And, if you and the photographer’s personalities clash, there’s going to be a problem. The way you feel about your wedding photographer will be the same way you feel about the images they capture. If you think the photographer is yicky, then you will think your wedding day images are yicky. Don’t have yicky images! You won’t be happy.
What will the gifted photographer offer as part of his or her services? If you have your heart set on an Italian-made storybook album, but the gifted photographer doesn’t offer this as a resource, then you’re not going to be happy. What if you’d like a first look session, digital negatives or a day after session? What if the gifted photographer is purely a shoot and burn photographer and doesn’t offer any of these products? At the end of the night, they hand you a DVD full of unedited images and walk off. You won’t be happy.
What if the Texas wedding photographer shoots 75 weddings a year and doesn’t deliver your finished images in a timely manner? (I make a promise to deliver all my finished images within 21 days of the wedding.) Anything longer than that just isn’t acceptable. There are many court cases involving photographers who don’t deliver as promised simply because they are overbooked, under experienced or both. Look for a photographer who requires a written agreement. This way you are aware of all the expectations beforehand and there aren’t any surprises. You want to make sure that your gifted photographer is not overbooked and has adequate experience to deliver the products, services and images you want. If you have to wait eight months to see your images, you won’t be happy.
There’s many other factors that are just as important. Things like insurance, back up plans, second shooters, and professionalism are all items of importance. As seemingly unimportant items as they are, they could become very important on your wedding day. What if the photographer’s equipment fails? What if he/she becomes ill? What if they enjoy partying like rock stars with your wedding guests? Even if youwere gifted a wedding photographer, make sure the wedding photographer is a good match for you. If not, you’ll feel yicky and your images will be yicky. Your whole wedding experience will be yicky. Don’t be yicky.
If it happens that you’re not satisfied with your gifted wedding photographer, the first thing you need to do is tell the person who gifted it. Be honest. Let them know you are extremely grateful for their generosity, but you just don’t feel like the photographer will be a good fit for you. Ask if there is any way the monetary amount can be applied to a photographer of your choice. If this isn’t a choice, ask about the possibility of having a second photographer for your special day. If neither of the fixes are viable, you just have to find a way to politely decline the gift. It will probably be a very difficult conversation to have, but it’s important. We’re talking about one of the single most important days of your life AND one that you just can’t do over.
Here are some questionsthat will help you choose a great wedding photographer and here are some warning signs to be on the lookout for. If you know someone is considering gifting the wedding photographer to you, help them get educated about choosing wedding professionals. The more everyone knows, the better choices can be made all the way around. Be photographed!
Until next time, be positive, happy, and healthy, and don’t forget to be photographed.
I am a San Antonio-based wedding and senior photographer who started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. As one of the up-and-coming San Antonio wedding photographers, I am also available to shoot in Austin, Houston and Dallas and the surrounding areas. I am also available for destination weddings worldwide. Ata-Girl Photography Co. offers an amazing wedding photography service that you won’t soon forget. As a professional photographer, my sole purpose is to provide you the absolute best photography experience.
I am a professional photographer who enjoys documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. When I’m not photographing a wedding, family or high school senior, I enjoy watching my daughter play softball, hiking, cycling, reading, and listening to Elvis!
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