5 Things to Think About if Wedding Pictures are Important to You

5 Things to Think About if Wedding Pictures are Important to You

wedding picturesYou’re sitting here thinking “Of course wedding pictures are important to me, Christine!”. But I ask because when you are planning your wedding there are a lot of areas where you can cut costs, and with some of those choices you don’t notice the cut, but in others you do. In all honestly, wedding pictures are an area where if you cut too deep, you wind up with images you might not just regret but ultimately hate.

When a photographer is breaking into the wedding industry they typically price themselves in a lower {aka more appealing} price bracket. For reference, the average cost for a wedding photographer, according to The Knot, is $2783. I like to say the you can find a great photographer within $500 higher or lower for this amount. But anything less than $2200 and you are entering into what I call “newer” photographer territory. So to help navigate these waters, where you don’t want to spend an arm, leg and kidney for your images, but you still want the WOW factor, here are some tips in getting there:

1. Do you Mesh?

You are your photographer are going to be around each other all day—on a day that sometimes can be very stressful, highly emotional and a lot of times there is nakedness involved—on your end! Experience makes a difference here, as does their personality. Are you comfortable being mostly naked in front of them? Getting in your dress is a bare-all experience! And sometimes for the men too! I was photographing the details for the men in an adjoining room when the groom walked in, in his underwear. We laughed it off and joked about it for the rest of the day, but only because we had that rapport. Plus, I have experience dealing with near-naked moments and have a few one-liners at the ready for such a moment.

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2. Price < Personality

I know I just discussed meshing with your photographer, but how do you get to that point of comfort? And how to you interview photographers to find the best fit for you and your partner? I cannot emphasize meeting in person enough. Ask them to bring a complete wedding with them or send it to you ahead of time. See if they are interested in you two, or if it is all about them. If the conversation is only about pricing and business and doesn’t flow into natural conversation, it’s not the best fit. And you won’t know that until you meet with them in person. I know it is so easy these days to email and text to get pricing and a portfolio, but tone and personality fall flat in these forms of conversation. With this person being in your world for all the moments of your wedding day, ensuring a good personality fit is paramount!

wedding pictures

3. Getting all the Right Moments

Your wedding day moves fast, as do the off-the-cuff important moments. I remember the first and second wedding I photographed, I missed moments because I didn’t anticipate them {like the mom instantly cry when her daughter was in her dress and all done up, but walked away quickly to compose herself}. But now I understand an almost unwritten rhythm of the wedding day, things people don’t necessarily talk about, but happen at every wedding. You learn when to anticipate the tears, the wiping away of tears, the guffaws of laughter, the hand-to-chest, head tilt emotional smile moments. Those are the moments people cherish in their album. Yes, they love the formal portraits, but it is those off the cuff moments that wind up on their walls.

wedding pictures

4. Plan to WIN

As mentioned above, your wedding day disappears in the blink of an eye. Having a plan for your day, with those important moments {mom doing up the dress, dad seeing you for the first time, doing a first look if that’s your jam} worked in is invaluable. Seasoned photographers know to build these moments into the timeline, ask about it in advance, and want to deliver these important moments to you. Not only will they instinctively know where to be, they will also have it in their timeline to be prepared. Heck I even just recently bought an Apple watch so that it will vibrate each step of the timeline for the day!

Soul-Mate Photographer

5. The Fine Print

One of the few things not talked about as much is ensuring your photographer is licensed and insured. Newer photographers are less likely to be a legitimate business, which also allows them to be less expensive. If they aren’t paying taxes or insurance, then any possible horror stories could happen. They might not show up on your wedding day at all {God forbid}. What if a guest falls over lighting equipment at your wedding and breaks something? Or knocks a camera to the ground and breaks a lens or the memory card inside? A licensed photographer is covered for such terrifying moments. And a lot of times your venue will request proof of insurance from the photographer for such situations.

In the end, getting wedding pictures you love is about value—finding that hidden gem within your price point. If you can afford wiggle room, I highly recommend going with a photographer who is slightly above the national average if the personality fits. Because a great fit is truly priceless.

 

Houston, TX PhotographerLove my work? Want me to capture you and yours? Let’s talk!! It’s easy, my email address is Christine@cwrightphotographyhouston.com. Let’s have a heart-to-heart, get excited about the possibilities of your wedding or session and come up with a plan that is uniquely you! I want to hear from you!

Houston Wedding Photographer | Sarah’s Bridal Portraits

Houston Wedding Photographer | Sarah’s Bridal Portraits

Sarah’s Bridal Portraits

The sun was soft and warm, the morning of Sarah’s bridal portraits. She was ready at the break of dawn, her mother having flown on a red-eye flight to make sure she was there to help. Sarah’s dress is strapless with pockets and a gorgeous belt. Combined with the sun and nature, Sarah’s bridal session is nothing short of gorgeous.

I am excited to share Sarah’s bridal portraits, as she and Earl got married yesterday! Remember their engagement session? The wedding was beautiful and fun! Congratulations to this amazing couple!

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Wonder Woman Bridal Session | Houston Wedding Photographer

Wonder Woman Bridal Session | Houston Wedding Photographer

Wonder Woman Bridal Session

Finding a lack of ingenuity within the wedding world for bridal sessions and weddings with personality, I have been planning and photographing styled sessions to show you can do this in a timeless way. That was the goal behind this Wonder Woman bridal session. I wanted to incorporate touches that were distinctly Wonder Woman without it being too garish. Weddings are moving more towards a showcase of the couple and illustrating their personality.  And I feel superheroes are vastly under-represented and seen as too comical to be taken seriously. Well, no more!

Inspiration

The inspiration for the Wonder Woman bridal session started with the origins of the woman herself. In her mythology, she is a demigoddess and warrior of the Amazons. Basically, a regal princess. The Amazons from Greek mythology bring to mind lush gardens and greenery, columned architecture and long flowing one-shoulder dresses. I wanted all of this for the session.

With particular attention paid to not making this session too garish, a team was assembled! What makes this have a Wonder Woman feel without being too comic-booky is the dress. And it being combined with the location. Rice University has columns galore and lots of lush greenery. The dress was simple but elegant. It draped over one shoulder and had a gold waistband. As an added touch, a gold lasso was incorporated to hang at her side. The finishing touches were the accessories–with particular attention paid to the head piece. This piece is the most obvious for the Wonder Woman touches, but is still elegant. Overall, I feel this session looks elegant and is inspirational all at the same time!

I held onto these images for a while because it was published in Offbeat Bride in October. When I saw that the movie was going to be released early this year, I decided to roll these images out in conjunction with the movie. Which, I must add, was amazing!!!

Vendors

Dress: La Couture D’Elizabeth
Venue: Rice University
Couch: Eastlake Events
Head Piece: Honeydrop Designs
Flowers: Hope’s Florals
Hair: Taylor Finck
Makeup: Ashley Granados Makeup Artistry

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10 Tips for Natural Posing & Being Relaxed in Your Session

10 Tips for Natural Posing & Being Relaxed in Your Session

Houston wedding photographerBeing Relaxed?

Let’s be honest, being relaxed and feeling comfortable in front of the camera can be a challenge. It’s uncomfortable initially, you don’t know what to do with your hands, how to stand and I know I am always thinking “is my face weird?”. I am also probably obsessing over my body and thinking about the parts that displease me the most {my arms, if you’re curious}. That’s why I am writing this! There are truly techniques and little things you can do to make you look better in pictures and have more fun.

1. Make the People with You Laugh

If it is you and a significant other, there is a ton of opportunity to do this. My favorite is to get a couple wrapped in each other arms and have them say “banana” in a sexy whisper. It is guaranteeeeed laughter. For groups and couples I always encourage tickling and fake farts. Or sharing an embarrassing story. When you laugh, everything feels natural and you aren’t thinking in your head “what do I do with my hands?”.

2. Use Props

Yo, props are so much fun!! And they give you something to do! Currently I am in love with the huge balloon trend, but you can use anything. Like a glass of wine, or a lightsaber. Seriously, all bets are off. And the best part? A prop can help tell the story of your relationship.

Houston maternity photographer

3. Weight on One Leg

So you’re standing there and you’re feeling a tad awkward. Typically this is the start of the session. You’re with your family or your boo, and you don’t want to look like a static robot. Shift your weight to one leg. It makes it so that your hips are not square and that you don’t look boxy in the picture. This is my stand-by when I am not given direction. I might also turn a bit to my side. Cause angles.

4. Wear Comfortable Clothing

You know what is attractive? Confidence! I am not saying show up in leggings or pajamas. What I am saying is wear something that is nice but you also feel awesome in. Something that fits you well and makes you feel attractive. You know what happens when you feel attractive? You take amazing pictures!! So wear something that makes you feel like Don Draper from Mad Men, you’ll look and feel like a million bucks!

10 tips on posing

5. Bring your Pet

A pet is great for both couple and family pictures. That cute pooch or kitty tends to turn into the star of the show, taking the focus off you. Plus, with an animal, you’re interacting with it, creating movement, which is always a great thing. You know what else is adorable? An animal in a freaking bowtie that matches your outfit. I know it’s cheesy but it’s also cute! Cute AF.

6. Silliness is Encouraged

This is similar to rule #1 but I want to emphasize this. Your pictures do not need to be an oil painting of your and your family, statically posed. I encourage being goofy. Bring some silly string and have a fight or make faces at each other. The more you are yourself and are being authentic, the more epic your pictures will be. I love playfulness, and feel your best images are a direct result of that.

C Wright Photography

7. Motion is your Friend

Sitting/standing there posing with a smile makes me feel awkward writing it, let alone taking a picture of it. Family photos are my favorite when you are a group and walking towards me. Or you are together and I say “bear hug!” and you try to hug the life out of each other. With couples, if you dance or whisper to each other, that’s not only sweet, but those turn into some dang romantic pictures! And they all involve movement.

Houston wedding photographer

8. Planning Activities

Your session doesn’t need to be sitting in a park on a blanket. The sky is the limit! Let’s go to an ice cream shop and get messy. Your session should reflect you two {or your family}, so let’s do something you love to do together. Play tag at a park? Want to have some on Galveston beaches? Let’s brainstorm some epic ideas and have some serious fun!

Houston engagement photographer

9. Get that Light

I am a sucker for good light. I also get that waking up at the crack of dawn isn’t everyone’s favorite, but seriously, the light as the sun rises is the best. It’s soft, it frames you like a glove, making your images basically perfect. Plus, in Houston, it is basically the coolest time of the day = a sweat-free session. Next best? Sunset lighting. It’s a little warmer and humid, but that light an hour before sunset? Gorgeous! I mean you are already investing in a session, let make it the most beautiful one possible.

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10. Choosing the right Photographer

Not every photographer meshes with every person. Think back to when you had an awkward interview or a terrible blind date. I have had my fair share! The conversation was stinted, topics were on short supply and it was painful! The clients I have had the best sessions with were the exact opposite, they found my humor endearing, conversation flowed and at the end they said how easy and painless the entire session was. This is why I encourage meeting or talking before booking–we need to make sure we mesh, that I would fit in with your friends and that I would still be funny if you were tipsy at your wedding. If we can make sparks fly during a  15 minute conversation, imagine how fun and comfortable your session will be.

 

Houston, TX PhotographerLove my work? Want me to capture you and yours? Let’s talk!! It’s easy, my email address is Christine@cwrightphotographyhouston.com. Let’s have a heart-to-heart, get excited about the possibilities of your wedding or session and come up with a plan that is uniquely you! I want to hear from you!

6 Ways to Find the Best Vendors for your Wedding

6 Ways to Find the Best Vendors for your Wedding

best vendors for your weddingBest Vendors for Your Wedding

Finding the best vendors for your wedding can be tricky! These 6 tips are a guide to help you navigate hiring the best vendors for your wedding. You are essentially planning a big party, with a lot of people contributing to it. It can be overwhelming, and more times than I care to admit, I have heard horror stories about everything to florists, to bakers, DJs and venues to {gasp!} photographers. You don’t want that to be you! To help you make the best decisions possible, here are a few tips from my experience both as a bride and as an industry professional.

Contracts

Have one!

Promise me now, you will not hire any vendor without signing a contract. A contract you have read and understand. This piece of paper isn’t there to just protect the business owner; it’s there to protect you too. It sets the expectations for both parties to come together and do business. The wedding industry is made up mainly of self-employed individuals, and if you know the ‘right’ person, you might get a great discount {yay you!}, but don’t hire them if there isn’t even a whisper of a contract. That contract holds them accountable for their services to you and outlines payment, among other things.
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Houston Engagement Photographer – Crystal & Kenneth

Houston Engagement Photographer – Crystal & Kenneth

Introducing Crystal & Kenneth

This engagement session with Crystal & Kenneth was like no other that I have photographed. Kenneth is a chef and he loves to cook for Crystal. They have a special ritual where they come together on Monday nights and break bread together, share their lives and catch-up because they are so busy. You see Crystal is a news producer and has crazy hours, just like Kenneth does being a chef. Their crazy hours don’t match, so when they get time off together, it’s special.

When it came time to plan the engagement session there was a strong consensus: a home cooked meal by Kenneth. A meal that is special, where Crystal would contribute and romantic pictures would be captured. It was perfect.

The Engagement Session

Kenneth planned this delicious dinner. He likes to think of the food he prepares as creating an endgame with flavor notes for the person eating it. When Crystal sent over the menu, as a foodie, I about fell out of my desk chair! And possibly excitedly wrote to another foodie friend about how delicious this engagement session was going to be.

Since this wasn’t your average engagement session, everything was done in stages. From making the homemade pasta, to finishing the last course. The best thing about this session though? These two are obvious best friends, partners for life. They exude happiness and a deep love for each other. It was truly a blessing to be invited into their home to witness their special Monday night ritual.

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