Should I base my choice of photographers on price alone? What other factors should I consider?

Even though Caffrey’s Photography offers very competitive pricing, you should not base your decision solely on cost. The most important question is “Who can you trust to preserve the most important day of your life?” Cake will be eaten, flowers will wilt, and tuxes returned, but your photos should last a lifetime. It is important that you hire someone who understands this. One of the primary factors in choosing your photographer should be their personality. You are going to spend a number of hours with your photographer during your bridals, engagement photos, at your wedding and several times after your wedding. It is very important that you feel comfortable and enjoy the people that you choose to work with. I can promise that if you do not like your photographer you will not get the best photos of yourselves. Another factor to consider is your photographers style. There are alot of photographers that photograph weddings and we all have our own individual style. Some are very plain and old fashioned, some are trendy and artistic. You should look at wedding photos and decide what you like and then seek out photographers that produce photos in  the style you prefer.

When should we look for and book our photographer?

You should select your photographer as soon as your wedding date has been selected and your ceremony and reception site are contracted, or at least 6-18 months in advance. Your chances of retaining the photographer of your choice is substantially reduced the closer you wait to your event.

How can I be sure that the photographer I have met is the one who’s going to show up at the wedding?

Be very careful about this. There are wedding photography operations with multiple photographers on staff. Unless the contract includes the name of the photographer you interviewed, they could send anyone. You might have one photographer for your engagement portraits, another for your bridals and yet another show up for your wedding. You’re safer dealing with an individual photographer who works alone (with an assistant, of course). When you book with Caffrey’s Photography you can be assured that Becca and I will be your photographer.

What is your photography style?

The simple answer is that we employ a mix of both traditional and photojournalistic styles. There are times when a photographer needs to be very hands on and in our opinion is essential to proper coverage of your wedding. An example of this is the posed formal photos taken at most weddings. Therefore, we feel it is essential to blend the two styles so that you receive flattering posed photos as well as a candid portrayal of your dream wedding. We truly feel this is the best option to capture your wedding day.

What is Photojournalism?

Photojournalism is a more modern style of photography that captures the event without being obtrusive. Unlike traditional posed photos the photojournalist takes pictures based on what is occurring at the event. Think of a photographer for a news paper. He is there to capture the action without any input given to the event. Traditional posed photography tends to be very hands on with most of the photos being orchestrated by the photographer.

Do you use film or digital equipment?

We made the decision to go 100% digital about 15 years ago and haven’t looked back. Currently we use professional grade Canon cameras and lenses and feel the quality of digital photography has caught up and surpassed, traditional analog film photography.

What is your Travel Policy?

We love to travel and are ready, willing and able to travel world wide for your event!  We have photographed weddings in Florida, Georgia and throughout Texas.

We currently service the Greater Houston Metropolitan area. Any area outside of the Houston metro area will be based on an 80 mile radius from our home in Katy Texas which includes areas such as Bryan, College Station, Columbus, Galveston, Richmond and Rosenberg. For travel beyond 80 miles please inquire about our Destination Travel policies and costs.

Can we view entire weddings before we book with you?

Absolutely! We encourage couples to look at entire weddings to make sure their photographer provides consistent work throughout the wedding. If your interested in seeing some complete weddings let us know and we will send you the links and passwords to access them. If you know your venue let us know that as well and if we have any weddings from that venue we will include them.

How many images will you take?

The simple answer is “it depends”. When we say “it depends” it means that every wedding is different and unique. Some are HUGE events with tons of stuff happening and others are very small intimate affairs that are very simple. Naturally there will be more things to photograph at the larger events so it all depends on your wedding and what is happening during the day. Our goal is to take enough images to capture the story of your wedding and not a set number of photos. We do not charge by the image. We photograph everything you want, everything we should and everything we see. All images that meet our professional standards and criteria you will see when we upload them to your proofing gallery.

Do you have backup cameras and equipment?

Yes, and this is an important question and frankly any true professional photographer will have complete backup gear just in case.  Our backup system is an exact duplicate our primary system so that there is no difference in their operation. This allows us to focus on you and your event instead of having to worry about a different camera and its settings in the event something happens. We take every precaution to ensure our equipment is in top working order. Should something fail technically, we are normally carrying the back up with us and within seconds will be shooting away. Most of the time you will not realize there was an issue.

What are your terms?

Our terms are fairly standard to the industry. We require a $1000 dollar retainer to hold your date. This is applied to your total cost with the balance due 30 days prior to your event.

Do you bring an assistant?

Becca and I both photograph your wedding so there should always be 2 photographers there. Generally we will try to have a second or even a third photographer at all of our events along with an assistant at times. We feel this is the best method to capture the full story of your wedding. We will be opaque as reasonably possible while still doing our work. Having more than one photographer is  another way of insuring your perfect wedding memories.

What is your Cancellation Policy?

Please try to remember, if we have held your date, then that date is gone for us. Often we will have numerous requests for the exact same date. If that date is booked with you, then we have to pass on the others. If you cancel, your retainer will be held as we have lost income AND the date. We have a detailed cancellation policy in our contract and will be happy to review it with you.

Do you do retouching?

Yes! Generally, we provide basic color corrections and minimal retouching for your proofs. We retouch all photos that are chosen to be printed and included in your album. Should you require extensive retouching on a photo we will review it with you and provide  you a quote to complete the work.

Do you offer online ordering and viewing?

Yes, all of your proofs are viewable online by anyone, anywhere in the world through your password protected site we provide. This site allows your friends and family to order any of the photos online.

Why can’t we just copy the proofs to save money?

  1. It is illegal unless you have been given written permission to do so.
  2. Quality can be very poor when not using the high resolution files to print from.
  3. Longevity of your images may be severely reduced.

Of course, some photographers do not claim copyright and even release the negatives. The right of a photographer to copyright the photographs has a firm basis in law. A number of copyright infringers have learned the hard way that illegally copying a photographer’s work is a big no-no and cost them alot of money in damages, fines and legal fees! So unless you have written permission, don’t try it – and don’t ask anyone to do it for you.

What is a specialty session?

Our specialty sessions are add on photography shoots that we do for our clients apart from their actual wedding.

These are examples of available Specialty Sessions;

  • Engagement Session
  • Bridal Session
  • Bridal Boudoir Session
  • Trash the Dress Session
  • Day After Session

Have an idea for something outside the norm let us know. We are always up for cool photo shoot.

What are bridal Portraits?

Bridal portraits are formal portraits of the bride in her new wedding gown taken before the wedding. These sessions originated from “down south” but have become increasingly more popular over the year. Generally, they are very formal portraits of the bride done about 6-8 weeks before the wedding and after the final alterations on the dress. Over the years the mother of the bride usually wants these done and they tend to keep them to display in their home. However, this does not have to be the rule and we have seen bridal portraits evolve into something that can be very different and unique. All of our portrait sessions are on location and we work with our brides to determine what style and look that she would like for her portraits. This can range from a very formal indoor session, to a destination for portrait session on a Caribbean beach or in Paris France in front of the Eifel Tower. The possibilities are endless and only limited by the brides imagination and budget.

Take a look at our Bridal Portrait Page for more info and preview some of our stunning brides.

What is an engagement Session?

An engagement session is a couples portrait session that is usually done at the very beginning of the wedding planning process. These are intimate relaxed portraits between the bride and groom to be. They can be very casual to very formal and can include special locations and props that are significant to the couple.

To get more info and to see samples of our engagment portraits take a look at our Engagement Portrait Page.

So what is an engagement session like and will my future hubby hate it?

First, we like to visit with you to determine what kind of “look” that you have in mind for your engagement portraits. Ideas are a country look, flowers, urban city vibes, beachy, a favorite bar, a favorite city, fishing, hunting or with a special car. (if you have a Pinterest wedding page we want to see it) Once we get an idea on what you would like your portraits to look like then we decide on a date and location that will give you that look. We are up for anything from something simple and local to an exotic destination if you don’t mind flying us there. After its all said and done we want your portraits to be something that you are proud to display in your new home.

Many of our couples describe an engagement session as “fast”. Our sessions last about 2 hours and most grooms would rather go to the dentist than have to do an engagement photo shoot. The funny thing is after they are done, we usually here about how much fun it was and how surprised they are that it went so fast. So don’t worry “grooms to be”, we make this fun for you to.

What is a bridal boudoir session?

Picture a spa day, mixed in with a glamourous V-S styled photoshoot, combined with your wedding dress and intimate bridal lingerie and you get the idea of what a Bridal Boudoir session looks like. These are for the bride to be that wants to give her new husband a truly unique and one of a kind gift at her wedding or during the honeymoon. Our Boudoir sessions are designed to be a lot of fun, laid back and full of laughs.  From start to finish, we will be there every step of the way, from helping you decide what to wear, finding hair and makeup artists to selecting the amazing images for your album. The experience is designed to make you feel like a supermodel. There is no need to worry about knowing how to pose or what to do during the shoot. We use our years of experience to get you into poses that will make you look your sexy best. Our sessions are carried out in a tasteful manner as we work to make sure you are completely comfortable in everything you will do. What we find interesting is that after these sessions brides to be have told us how empowered they have become and how much their self confidence has grown.  Most are truly surprised that they can look so beautiful in their photos and they cant wait to see the reaction they get from their new hubby!

You can see more on our Bridal Boudoir Page

What is the deal with the Trash the Dress Session?

The Trash the Dress session is unlike anything that you might have done in the past. This is for the bride that wants to have a truly unique photo session in her Bridal Gown. The concept is to relax, let your creativity flow, and enjoy wearing your dress one last time in a fresh, exciting way. These sessions are almost ALWAYS done after the wedding because the dress may get really trashed depending on what we do. We treat these sessions more like an editorial styled photoshoot with a model so the poses and looks tend to be very trendy and fun. (Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a model to do this. We will guide you every step of the way) The location can vary a great deal and range from a greasy downtown styled shoot to a more elegant beach themed session. The sky is the limit on where a bride might want to wear her dress “one last time”.

Take a look at our Trash the Dress page to get some ideas on how to wear your dress “one last time”

What is a day after session?

The “Day After” session is done the next day, usually in the morning, with the bride and groom dressed back in their wedding dress and suit. This is a session that is nearly ALWAYs done at a destination wedding in the Caribbean. The session is a time for the bride and groom to have some intimate, unusual portraits done before they jet off to their honeymoon. These session are generally very relaxed and will be treated as more of a editorial session with the couple. At a beach wedding they nearly always end up in the water in a cross over with a Trash the Dress session.

How many hours do I need to book my photographer?

This is a question that comes up alot and the best answer is that it varies. We suggest that you consider a couple of things.

What time will your reception end?

Do you want your photographer there until the end to photograph the grand exit?

What kinds of things do you want photographed before the wedding?.Do you want your photographer there while the girls are getting hair and make up on?

Typically we tell our brides that we should be starting to photograph the wedding about 1.5 – 2 hours before the wedding starts. From there we suggest that you consider what time your reception will end and then count back to determine how many hours it will be if we started 1.5 – 2 hours before the wedding. That will give you an idea about how many hours you will need your photographer there. Our packages start out with 7 consecutive hours which usually covers an average wedding. If you see that your going to have a really late reception but you dont have the budget to add the additional hours you can stage a mock grand exit. In these situations the time line usually has all the normal wedding things like cake cutting, first dance, bouquet toss and open dancing setup early in the reception and then the DJ will call for the couple to do their mock exit. Everyone does what would normally happen at the end of the reception send off(leaing under bubbles, sparklers or rose petals etc) so the photographers can photograph it. At that point your photographers take off and your guests head back in for the “after party”. We see this some when couples plan to have a VERY long reception. It is not an issue for us since we will get a ton of photos of the party while there.

How many photographers will be at my wedding?

Our packages all include 2 photographers. Typically that will always be myself and my wife who is my second photographer. During the time leading up to the wedding she usually hangs out with the girls and I spend most of my time with the guys. Through the wedding and reception we will both be taking photos so that you will get 2 different views of the event. Our years of experience working together have allowed us to fine tune our workflow so we can maximize your wedding photography coverage.

How long will it take to get my wedding photos ready?

Usually, your proofs will be online and ready to view in 4-6 weeks but varies due to our workload. During holidays it may take a bit longer. If we see that we will be taking longer than normal to get your proofs ready to view we will make sure keep you informed on the status of your photos.

Can I get a link to where my photos can be viewed so I can add that to our wedding program?

We would be happy to provide that for you. Just let us know that you need that you would like to get it.

Do you furnish printed proofs?

Printed proofs are a byproduct of old film photography. Since switching to digital we no longer provide them. We do provide a password protected site for online proofs for all of our packages so that you can share your photos with friends and family worldwide. We can give you the web address for your proofs in advance if you would like to print this on your wedding program

Can others take photos as well?

Part of our contract is that we will be the only professional photographer at the event. Since you get a high resolution disc of images we just dont understand the need for guests to take photos of things we are already photographing. With that in mind we understand that some guests will want to snap a pic. The main thing is that we ask them to let us do our job first, and then they can take a photo. Ideally, when our cameras are up and taking pictures we want all eyes on us. During formal photos for example, time is usually of the essence. We have many people to photograph. Please ask your guests to not hold us up.

Can we get the raw unedited image files?

It is our policy that we do not give out or provide any of the raw or unedited images for any reason.

Do you need to attend the rehearsal?

We have rehearsal coverage available if you would like us there but typically it is not necessary. If we are going to a venue we have not been to before we typically will arrive 20-30 minutes before our start time to get a feel for the place. With that said, if you want us at the rehearsal let us know and we will discuss adding that to your contract.

Do we get the copyright on the images?

We retain full copyrights to all of our images. It is very rare that a couple will actually need the copyright to our photos. We do give our brides a limited release which allows the couple to print images, create their own scrapbook and post them on social media. It doesnt allow the images to be sold to a third party or to be used in any commercial endeavor without our permission. As you can, for 99.9% of our couples the release is all they need. If you must have the copyright to the images please contact us and we ill get out attorney with yours to negotiate the terms.

Do you have wedding albums available?

YES we do and to be honest we LOVE them. We offer 3 distintly different wedding albums and we are happy to show you some of our sample books when we visit with you during our initial consultation. Our books have a variety of design options so you can customize your book to be a unique piece of art.

What is the process to get a wedding album and how long does it take?

If you have purchased a wedding album as part of your package then here is the process and timing. After the wedding is over and the proofs are back to you I will begin designing the wedding album. The design is meant to detail the wedding day from start to finish and that is how we design the books. depending on my current workload, it usually takes 10-14 days for me to get the initial design to you. At that point there will be options available for you to “swap” images that are in the book to get it looking just like you want. I have seen this take anywhere from 7 days to 8 months. Once we have all the changes made to the design and we have met to select a cover then it will go to the printer. At that point it takes between 2-8 weeks to get the printed book back to us. This big spread in time is due to the different books we offer with one being a very high end completely hand made book.

Do you do videography as well?

Sad to say but videography is like a foreign language to us so we do not provide that service. We are happy to recommend some quality videographers that we have a good working relationship with.

What is the first look and why would I do that?

The first look is a time before the wedding where the bride and groom will see each other all dressed up and ready for the big moment. This is meant to be a very intimate time between the bride and groom without all the stress of the actual wedding going on. The benefit is that the couple can spend a few moment before the wedding without being worried about the chaos that goes on during the service. A side benefit from this is that you can do the first look, then set up all of your formal portraits before the wedding so that once the wedding is over you can go directly to the reception.

I have downtime between events on my wedding day. Will I be charged for that downtime?

All of our packages are based on consecutive hours so if there is travel time between venues or a scheduled break that will be part of your contracted time. If these breaks are going to create an issue for your scheduled time we can discuss adding extra hours or setting up a mock grand exit.