May 29, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

What?  $28,000 is the "average" cost of a wedding in the San Antonio Area!  Surprised?

So how much is for professional wedding photography?  For many brides, it's the last item on their list.  By the time a venue is rented, the caterer is secured, flowers, cake, (don't forget the Groom's cake too), wedding dress, the bride-to-be finds herself looking for a budget photographer!

There are 2-3 things that should be the first to secure:

  • Where will you get married and celebrate with your friends?  Most churches and venues are booked a year in advance.  Too many are disappointed after paging through wedding magazines, and searching on websites, to find that their first choice is already taken.
  • Who will capture one of the most important days of your life to remember forever?  Most reputable professional wedding photographers, like us, are booked 12-18 months in advance.  So commissioning a photographer should be one of the top items on your list.

Of all of the professional vendors a bride-to-be hires for her wedding, it's the wedding photographer that will be spending the most time with her. From the Engagement shoot, Bridal Formal, and the Wedding Day, the average professional wedding photographer will have invested 40-60 hours of labor into ensuring the wedding day is captured to look back upon many years from now.

So what is the accepted amount you should invest in a wedding photographer?  The industry standard is 10-15% of your total wedding costs.

Too often, we get leads from brides who indicate their budget is $500.  But they are spending, on average $25 per plate for 150 guests, $3,750 for food, $2,500 on the hall rental, and on average $800 on the wedding cake.  Three things that will not exist the day after the wedding!

What is professional wedding photography worth to you? _D4V5728_D4V5728


Senior Portraits

March 14, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

DSC_0183DSC_0183 It's that time of year, when we get that sudden RUSH for last minute Senior Portraits.  For the most part, gone are the days of wearing the cap & gown.  Although when we get called, we suggest that the parents take their own pics of their senior on graduation day in the gown.  Much more meaningful then posed pics a week before or after!

We love shooting seniors.  It gives our photographers a chance to be a little more creative, going to unusual locations and shooting on site. Wearing their sports attire, or standing next to their most important thing in their life - their car! 

Give us a call if you have a senior coming up.  It's not too late for 2017!  And we won't charge extra for the last minute RUSH!

GAS_1562_ppTimothy - Class of 2017Shot at Brackenridge Park

Texas Country Weddings in the Fall

October 30, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

MDP_3063mdp-1Moment AloneTaken at Marquardt Ranch

The Fall Season is extremely busy for Texas Wedding Photographers, including us!  The fall is popular for a number of reasons: Most likely more comfortable temperatures for outdoor ceremonies, bridal portrait sessions, fall colors, etc.

A couple things to keep in mind when you are planning your Autumn Wedding:

  • Will the outdoor venue for your ceremony accommodate the number of guests you are considering to invite.
  • If you are planning your wedding after the first of November, remember that you may be impacted by the "Fall Back" Time change, returning to standard time. This will have the sun setting an hour earlier, around 5:45PM.  So if you want outdoor group formals following your ceremony, you may want to consider a 4:00PM Ceremony.
  • Many of the ranch type venues are accessible only by poorly lit dirt roads leading into them. Consider the safety of your guests.  It will be dark when they leave, with Texas deer lining the pathway of their exit!

We love shooting weddings in the fall, and just when we think we have covered a wedding at every area country venue, we learn of another!


Wedding Packages - Don't Get Boxed In!

October 08, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Usually the first question of a prospective wedding bride when contacting us, "What are your wedding packages?"

One Size Doesn't Fit All Needs

Many photographers will price packages on hours of coverage, and a preselected group of products to remember your important day.  But what if your wedding day is unique?  What if the package choice is for 4 hours of coverage or 8 hours? Your wedding only needs a photographer for 6 hours.

Important questions to ask when interviewing a photographer:

  1. What if I need you longer than your package price?  What will be the cost for an additional hour or two?  Is that for two professional photographers or is one of them an assistant?
  2. What is the quality of the album included?  Is it top of the line, or a discounted book?
  3. What if I don't want the eight 8x10s, but instead just a couple?  How much will the difference be?

Matrix Digital Arts Photography Collections

We learned a long time ago, that each bride and each wedding is unique.  Every bride already has in mind what she would like to have for her wedding day, and about how long she would need coverage.

This is why we don't sell packages.  Instead, we believe the bride should have the option to choose how long photographers should be shooting, and also the size, type, and number of pages in her album; whether her digital images are delivered on a DVD disc, or a USB Drive Stick.  When we have a consultation with a bride-to-be, we present all of our available products and options, and help the bride on her choices where necessary. Then we bundle her choices together into a "Collection" and provide a package discount price.

Another unique difference with us: We don't charge for Pre-Ceremony Shooting. (The bride getting ready, and the groomsmen's last minute preparations.) Our agreements include that time automatically, even though we don't start the "clock" until the ceremony begins.

Things we like to give the bride a choice on, and should be considered when consulting with any professional photographer:

  • What about an engagement shoot? How long will it take, and what can you get?
  • How about the Bridal Formal?  The one of two times you will be wearing your wedding dress.  Do you have a choice of the shoot location? What will you get in return?  A Kodak 11x14 print or a professional Fine Art 16x20?  What are the options on shoot locations?
  • When does the ceremony begin, and how long do you want the photographers to stay during the reception?
  • Digital Images - What if you want them printed by a professional lab rather than a discount store. How is that handled?
  • Do you want a professional wedding album or a hard bound published book, commonly called a "coffee table book?"  How many pages do you think you would like? 

This is just a small sample of questions and choices.  But whatever you choose, make sure it is what you want!  After all, it is your wedding day and it's your choice on how you want to remember it by!


Congratulations on your Engagement!

December 30, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

We will provide useful information in this new series for the newly engaged couple to consider while reviewing all of the vendor opportunities.  This week, we will start off with the "Ceremony Location."

Once you have made the commitment to get married, a lot of choices and decisions need to be made.  One of those, of course, is the location of your ceremony.  But first, you must decide if it will be a traditional church wedding, or a simple ceremony at a park or wedding venue.

If you choose a church, there are a few things you might want to ask the wedding coordinator at the church.  Among these is:

  • Availability of your chosen wedding date. How will their time slots fit your plans?
  • Is the church more interested in preserving their reverence traditions or your experience of a beautiful wedding. We have experienced both. There are churches, which we have shot weddings, that have very strict rules as to where the photographer or photographers are allowed to position themselves.  One church in recent memory, required us to stay behind the seated guests and shoot from the back of the church.  If there is no balcony, this is limiting the available perspectives. We compensated for this by setting up remotely controlled cameras positioned to ensure we could get those "important shots."  Ask them if they limit where the photographer can shoot from, and if it's very limited, is it because they have had bad experiences with obnoxious photographers.  Our photographers have a reputation of being non-disruptive, and moving very slowly and smoothly to capture the wedding ceremony moments without even being noticed.  The bottom line: Ask the questions, because you are paying for the use of the church and you should have a voice in getting what you want!
  • How much time will the church allow after the ceremony to permit the photographers to shoot your group formals at the front of the church.  Is there another service or Mass scheduled 30 minutes after your ceremony?  This could pose a problem.  You want at least a full hour afterwards to allow you to get those important pics of you and all of your family members as desired.  Will the priest or minister be available for the first group shot?
  • If you will be using a wedding venue for your ceremony, you have no worries.  The coordinators at these locations know the importance of the ceremony photography and very rarely ever pose restrictions on vendor's participation.

Try to keep in mind for your planning purposes, the length of time between your ceremony and the reception.  The photographers are going to charge you from the very start, like pre-ceremony detail shots of the bride's preparation, to the wedding couple exit after the reception party.  If your ceremony is at 1:00PM, and your reception begins at 6 or 7PM, you have a few hours that the photographers will not really be doing anything, but you will still be charged.  We try to compensate for this time lag by capturing the limo ride, or going to the reception venue early to capture detail shots of the table decorations, cake, and your arrival.

We hope this small article has provided you with useful information to consider when choosing your ceremony locations.

As us for our detailed timeline list of the things you need to consider when planning your wedding day!

From the desk of Michael Holeda, Executive Director and Photographer for Matrix Digital Arts

January February March April May June July August September October November December (1)
January February March April May June July August September October (2) November December
January February March (1) April May (1) June July August September October November December