Today’s post is going to be a little wordy, but they’re words I need to share. I’ll throw in a few pictures to keep things interesting! Now, on to the task at hand.
Not surprisingly, wedding photography is at the top of my planning priority list. I knew who I wanted my photographer to be before Seth even proposed to me, and I knew I couldn’t afford her. However, I also was willing to wait awhile in order to save the money to do so. Luckily, Seth is on board with this. Now, you might think it’s nuts to drop a couple grand for some “pretty pictures,” but let me make my case:
A lot of money goes in to planning a wedding. Between the dress, the food, the invitations, the flowers….you get it, everything adds up. When the night is over and the last song has been played, you go home with two things: your new spouse, and the anticipation of receiving your photos. Those flowers, while beautiful, will wilt. Even if you press them, they’ll eventually brown. The dress will go in the back of your closet. The food will be eaten. The invitations thrown away.
All of that comes back when you receive your wedding album from your photographer. All of those gorgeous images captured from your day allow you remember every detail and every moment over and over for years to come. Your wedding album becomes your family heirloom. You children and grandchildren can look through it and see how beautiful their mother was, and how completely in love their grandparents were. I know when I was a little girl, I loved digging up photos from weddings in my family. I can’t wait to have some of my own to pass on.
So that’s the WHY on investing in your wedding photographer, but what about the HOW to choose the right one?
Personally, I don’t want to leave all of those memories in the hands of someone who isn’t really invested in what they’re doing. I want to work with someone who truly cares about me, my marriage, and my wedding day. When Seth and I first got engaged, I thought it would be a good idea to go to the upcoming Wedding Expo. I was so completely overwhelmed by the people and the pushiness of the vendors, but I did come out of it with a “free” engagement shoot. I decided to give the photographer a chance, and set up our appointment. We went in an did out studio shots and then sat down to talk with the photographer. She pressured us into ordering photos that we really didn’t like and then started telling us stories of some of her previous weddings. One of these stories included a wedding where she had caught the groom making out with the bridesmaid. She bragged about how he had tipped her extra at the end of the night for not mentioning anything. Seth and I looked at each other in utter disbelief…this woman was not setting foot within a hundred miles of our wedding day.
So here’s my advice to you:
Set your photography budget, and then go on the hunt. Don’t just google for photographers. Ask your friends who have gotten married for referrals, ask family if they know anyone. If you do google, don’t just book someone from their website. Really look through their images, read their blog, send them an email and get to know them. This person is going to be spending the most important day of your life with you, and you want to be comfortable with them. They should have similar personalities and morals (unlike the first woman we talked to!) to yours. Make sure they value you as more than just another wedding to shoot. I would advise against using those lists of “questions to ask you photographer” that you can find online or in many magazines. If you find someone whose work you enjoy and you feel comfortable working with, chances are those questions aren’t necessary.
One last thing- don’t rule out a photographer just because you think they’re too expensive. Many people offer payment plans or can recommend a photographer with a similar style who might fit your budget better.