So you’re planning your wedding. It’s exciting, isn’t it! I did this a couple years ago myself–I loved every minute of it. Guess which detail I hammered out before any others? The photographer. 9 days after I got the ring I booked the photographer.
“But you’re a photographer, Mitzi, so naturally you’d do that first.”
But I’d argue that every bride should put a significant amount of time and effort into choosing her wedding photographer. I believe most don’t do this simply because they’re not sure how to approach the situation.
Your wedding is going to be great, but you’re not going to remember it! (Nope! Even if you remain sober.) If there is ever an amazing and ridiculous day in your life, it will be your wedding day. Putting a large amount of consideration into who you choose to document it and setting aside a good chunk of the budget to make it happen is just plain smart.
In the past, when people told me “oh my aunt/uncle/cousin has a nice camera so they’re just going to do it for free,” I used to use a cake analogy. I’d say, “Oh, and I have a nice oven so should I just bake your wedding cake? I mean I make box mixes all the time, how hard can it be?”
But lately I’ve adopted a new cake analogy. Partly because that one was kind of mean, but mostly because my outlook has changed. In fact, I don’t see much of a problem with having boring or even bad cake at a wedding. People will eat it and forget about it five minutes later. You won’t ruin the relationship you had with the aunt/uncle/cousin who baked the boring cake. You’ll get over it–probably before the honeymoon. In fact, as the bride you probably won’t even have time to eat it. You don’t have to hang that cake on your walls, and you don’t have to sit down with your grandchildren and show it to them. After all, that cake won’t etch the most important day of your life in your mind and the minds of your children for decades to come.
I recently read a post from a photographer friend of mine whose friend worked at the best cupcake bakery in town. This baker had a bride who ordered $3,000 in cupcakes for her wedding. When the baker asked for a wedding photo of the cupcakes for her portfolio, the bride said they actually hadn’t hired a photographer.
Remember this, too. Photographers and their styles are a lot like wedding dresses. First, not every bride likes every wedding dress. Just because I chose a huge, poofy dress doesn’t mean long, sleek dresses aren’t beautiful–it’s just a matter of taste and what I thought worked best for me. Secondly, there are $50 wedding dresses out there… but they’re $50 wedding dresses (and you get what you pay for). And finally, some wedding dresses are super trendy, but in 10 years they’ll look hilarious.
I’m passionate about weddings and wedding photography. Over the past four years I’ve worked in some crazy conditions with crazy families (we’re all crazy though so don’t worry!) and with the most stressed of brides to the most calm and collected of brides. I’ve also had my own wedding and have been a bridesmaid more than once.
Ask your photographer about their approach to wedding photography. Look through their portfolio and blog and see where their heart comes through in their work.
My approach to wedding photography can be summed up like this:
- A relationship with my brides and their fiances (I love love stories!)
- 100% of my energy, attention, and organizational effort on the big day
- An attitude that settles for nothing less than my very best work (from charging the camera batteries to retouching final images)
- Guidance for clients in choosing how to display and enjoy images for decades to come
- A high-quality professional product (nothing ruins great images like cheap printing services)
- Timeless images (that you won’t roll your eyes at in ten years)
Obviously I do not want to diminish the importance or significance of beautiful wedding cakes! I invested a good chunk of change in mine and it was stunning and delicious (but I spent about four times as much money on the photographer). The purpose of this post was to put wedding photography into perspective and to tell you more about how to hunt for a photographer (and more about why I love to do what I do).
Good luck with the wedding plans! If you think we’d hit it off, send me an email! email@example.com
Think you’d like to work with us? Wedding info here!