Wednesday, March 1, 2017

wedding wednesday: finding our photographer!

So it's been a hot second...or three months...since we last talked wedding plans! And that's because...we haven't done a ton of planning since we booked our venue. Since our engagement is 18 months long, we have a lot of time to really work out a lot of the details. But there were certain things we knew we had to do right away, which included finding the venue and our photographer.

One of the issues with getting married in a city you aren't from is that you don't have a lot of people to reach out to about their own experiences with vendors. So I relied on the internet! I started off with a simple google search, which lead me to Wedding Wire and The Knot. Nicole, whose job is working for Junebug Weddings, also sent me several great suggestions. Using our trusty Google document, I wrote down all the information I could find about each of the photographers - where in upstate NY they are located, what packages they offer, the prices of the packages, and what is included (second shooter, albums, rights to pictures, and so on).

When CR and I first started working on our budget, he was shocked by the cost of a wedding photographer. Which, I mean, some of the prices were a bit outrageous, considering some of the fees would have been a third of our entire budget! I was less shocked, and was definitely willing to spend a bit more on our photographer. As a very visual person, and someone who loves to document through pictures, I wanted to have pictures of our wedding that I really loved. So we agreed that our budget for our photographer was $3000 but would really prefer to stay closer to $2000. Setting a price limit actually really helped cut down our list of potential photographers.

From there, I looked closely through all of the portfolios, websites, and social media accounts. I read reviews, and clicked through hashtags. I, of course, have a bit more of an opinion when it comes to what style of photography I want at our wedding. I want the pictures to be intimate, crisp, and timeless. I want pictures that catch us at our happiest, and ones that capture our loved ones in their best light. Looking through dozens of websites and instagram accounts, I really fell in love with Becky's work (it was really this album that sealed the deal for me!).

I sent her a message to see if she was even available for our wedding date, and she got back to me quite quickly and said she was! Since she's located in Rochester, NY and we live in Ohio, we agreed to have a FaceTime date instead of meeting up in person. I loved that we did this, because it really gave us a chance to hear how her side of this process works, and it gave us a chance to share what we were looking for in a photographer. CR and I had discussed our likes and dislikes quite extensively - he was adamant about the photographer not being "in his face" throughout the day, as we had gone to wedding once where the photographer was super distracting throughout the ceremony and reception. We both dislike the really posed and cliche shots - we don't want any jumping pictures, fake "surprise!" pictures, or trying to be funny pictures. Becky suggested having a list of all the groups of people we want pictures with, which I know will be super helpful in the rush of trying to take pictures during the cocktail hour.

We pretty much decided right after hanging up the phone that we were going to hire Becky to be our photographer. I sent her an email to say we would love to book her, we signed the contract, put the check in the mail, and now have our photographer!

For those of you who have gone through this process, is there anything you wish you had done differently when it comes to working with a photographer? Is there something that surprised you? Would love to hear about your own experiences!

Up next in the series is something I'm possible the most excited about in the wedding planning process...the dress! I'll be sharing a bit about how I'm approaching the ultimate try on process and hopefully get to share some pictures from my upcoming appointments!

*pictures found on Pinterest