Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Choosing a Photographer

Everyone loves to see race photos of themselves. After a race you wait for days and days for the professional photos to be posted so you can see yourself pounding out the miles of the race. And you hope that you don't look funny or have a horrible expression on your face. I personally love photography, yet I really know nothing except how to use my point and shoot camera.

I have been researching wedding photographers for a solid two months. And I mean searching the internet for exactly the right person to take the photographs of Brian and I that we will treasure forever. I don't want to look funny in these pictures or have a weird expression on my face! I need a photographer to capture all the details of the wedding and to get the shoots that I will LOVE!

Photography is pretty high on my list of important things but it isn't like I can just shell out a ton of money! I needed to find a great photographer, with a package I wanted, that was within our budget and that had my date available! Easy, right??

I even made a spreadsheet listing all the photographers that I found, with prices and what packages they offered. Then I organized them based on how much I liked their pictures and how much they cost. Once I narrowed down my top four I started making calls.

Four weeks ago we met with photographer #1, who was my original top choice. He was great. And like any girl I was emotional attached within the first 5 minutes. I loved his style and ideas and it just clicked. I left there thinking that maybe I was done. But that didn't stop me from looking online for even more photographers.

I set up a meeting with Photog #2 (who didn't list her prices online - note to self that means she costs A LOT) the next week and almost fell off the couch at her studio when she showed me her high prices! She offered mostly album based packages which I did not want. My mom and I left there not knowing what to think.

Meanwhile I asked Photog #1 to send me references and he sent me an actual site with ALL the pictures from a wedding he had shot last year. This was exactly what I needed to make me feel in my gut that this was my photographer. But I was not impressed and was even more confused than before.

I continued making calls to my next favorite photographers and learned that my third and fourth choices were already booked on my date! My search started again and I continued to add photographers to my spreadsheet and rearrange who I liked the most.

I met with Photographer #3 last week. She was so nice and I loved her pictures. I left the meeting feeling like I could totally see her shooting my wedding. Once at home I looked at her references, as she too had given me a whole wedding to peruse through online. I once again didn't know what to do because I did not like any of the pictures! I didn't like the angles or the lighting. And I most certainly did not like the 100+ pictures of the couple kissing by the tree or the barn or the rock. Brian and I aren't really the type that liked to be photographed while we kiss or rather pretend we are kissing for seconds on end while the photographer takes multiple pictures.

Yesterday I met with Photographer #4. The meeting was short and sweet. We went over packages, asked a few questions and then were on our way. I once again requested that she send me a link to a photo website so I could see a full wedding she had photographed. A few hours later, I received an email and quickly opened it to find a link to a website! I was giddy with excitement and when I saw the pictures I knew in my gut THIS WAS THE PHOTOGRAPHER that I wanted!

Everyone says that they should "know" which wedding dress will be "THE ONE" and I hope to feel that, but I also know I want to feel that for my photographer; to find a person that I want to be "THE ONE" to take pictures on that special day!

Now the only thing left to do is contact her and hopefully book her for our wedding! Once we do that I will feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders because it is one less thing to worry about!

Is photography important to you? If you are married, how did you pick your photographer??

22 comments:

Marlene said...

Hubs and I BOTH became attached to the first photographer we met, and we booked him on the spot. Not the way they recommend doing things, but he did a wonderful job and we love love our photos! It is so important! All you have left after the big day are the memories and PHOTOS. God luck!!

Lacey Nicole said...

i love when i "know"!!!!! i am not looking forward to having to make so many choices and decisions when it comes time to wedding planning, but i suppose if you embrace it then it isn't as stressful as it could be. glad you found a good fit for photos!!!

Tricia said...

happy you found the perfect one!

Jacqi said...

I emailed countless photographers and met with the 3 top contenders. One was crazy, one didn't really have much style, and one was awesome. We went with the awesome one and we are really happy with our pictures (and can't wait to get them in the mail!).

Don't be scared to collect photos you like from around the internet and show them to your photog. They'll never know what you want if you don't tell them.

teacherwoman said...

Good photographs of my wedding would be very important to me. I remember when my sister got married a few years back... this was the one thing that they splurged on. I love those that really do some great candid shots as well!

Jamie said...

Our photographer was right behind the place and caterer. Super important! You want someone you are comfortable with because they will be with you the entire day!!! I loved who we went with. Be sure to discuss if you want more candid or formal and what kind (and who should be in them) shots. We wanted candid but needed very specific formal shots for the parents/grandparents

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

My brother decided not to pay for a photographer for his wedding because he didn't want to spend the money. 25 years later, he has no wedding photos at all, except for a quick shot my mom took of him coming out of the church.

We hired the local photographer who had been doing weddings and the high school yearbook photos since we were in high school. We paid the big bucks for the largest album. I never even noticed him during the wedding or reception, but he had pictures of everything and everybody. He also gave us a GIANT pile of his "rejected" pictures for free, which turned out to be really good pics.

20 years later, the wedding album is the best set of pictures we have of the wedding and I'm so glad we spent the money.

marathonmaiden said...

sounds like such a pain! i have a friend getting married in the spring and i hear her complaining all the time about choosing everything!

Andrew Opala said...

good luck - but I think you're wasting too much time

we looked at our wedding photos, when we had to move the album to another shelf ... not all mind you just where the album opened

live your life don't trouble yourself over recording it

kilax said...

Phew! I am so happy #4 worked! We were lucky enough to have a high school friend do ours (http://www.bobbiandmike.com/blog/index.php/kimsteven/). She has great style. I cannot imagine the stress of searching!

(We have one kissy photo of us and I think it's kind of weird!)

Katie H said...

I think your photog is one of the more important things! I hope it works out with #4 :)

I found my photographer looking for an image of the venue I selected. They turned out to be one of the more popular/expensive photogs in the capital district but it was money well spent in my opinion :)

Candice @ I Have Run said...

Photography is very important to me. And your photos are one of the few things that last beyond the actual day of the wedding. We got lucky with our photographer, because we were on a budget and I didn't really know what I was doing. It sounds like you have done your homework and you will know.

Bethany + Ryan said...

aside from the reception site, this was our more expensive thing! i think we are paying just over $3000, which is pretty resonable around here. I used FB to ask my friends who their wedding phototgrapher was. quite a few of my friends let me look through their entire album online which was really helpful.
My sister's wedding photos are AMAZING!! so romantic and just beautiful, BUT the photographer was NOT easy to work with at all and was pretty moody. we didn't even get a family picture that day!
good luck!

The Happy Runner said...

Yay for finding a photog! We just hired my mom's friend and she did a decent job. I was glad to have a few key photos but there was nothing spectacular. I hope you get terrific pics!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

We were poor and got referred by a friend, thankfully he was GREAT!

I am glad you found the right person, you have to feel comfortable and anjoy his/her work..

YIPPEE!!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

i did a destination wedding so I didn't care about much except the photographer and that was awesome... you've read my poopy wedding story, but I got some amazing pictures prior to because of the photographer I actually have a day to remember

Sassy Molassy said...

Wow, that is quite the process, but no doubt necessary when photography is important to you. And it is to me. It's going to be one area I will not scrimp on. The photos are tres importante to me! Oh and the memories w/ friends and family won't be too bad either. Glad you found the one!

Nicole said...

I think pictures and your photog are most important. Then comes the dj, then the food. And next in line for me would have to be chair covers or cute chairs. LOL Ive been in a ton of weddings and I know exactly what i want and how i want it... when and if i EVER get married. LOL Ive seen so much i know what not to do, and what to do that i'll probably be some freak bridezilla or something! LOL!

I'm glad you got your photog picked out!:)

Molly said...

The photography was very important to me, we got very lucky with our guy, he was reasonable, and when I learned he did our Mayors wedding I was sold!

Badgergirl said...

Glad to hear you found a photographer!

Suzy said...

So glad you found a photographer. We had one at our wedding. Easy to pick, we had the only one in town.

Leana said...

http://engineergeekunite.blogspot.com/2010/10/question-of-photography.html

Photography is definitely important to us! I was sold on our photographers when I was searching for pictures of the venue we were interested in booking. I did some looking around and confirmed that their prices were pretty standard. Because we are getting married in a different city we really only met with Leslie while we were visiting Vancouver and no one else. She brought the pictures of her favourite wedding to show us and it happened to be the pictures I fell in love with and what made us realize we wanted to book them. The pictures are the one thing that last years later!