The Minks Find a Photographer in a Pizza Shop

I never attempted to write about our photographer before. As a blogger, I digest thousands of photos each evening, as I flip through the posts from my favorite blogs. With my feet in two blogging worlds, wedding and design, I’m keeping track of hundreds of feeds with my blog reader. I love photography. Photography is so important to me that I felt like a post about it deserved a lot of my time. Having taken a few days off around the holidays, I now feel as though I can write about this aspect of our wedding.


From Elisa B Photography’s Facebook page / Photo by Elisa Bricker of Elisa B Photography

You’d think that someone who loves photography would have launched an exhaustive search of portfolios, interviewed a dozen photographers, and created an elaborate assessment tool before picking a vendor. I like to say that I made up my mind in a pizza parlor…but it’s not entirely true.

In the winter of 2010, some people Mr. Mink knows opened a pizza shop in Charlottesville. When we visited for the first time, I was struck by their choice to make the interior very modern since most pizza places attempt an old world look. The shop had a wall covered in steel panels that immediately occurred to me as something cool to photograph or to use as a backdrop for a photo shoot. The next time we visited, a photographer showed up with a couple and started doing a maternity shoot against that wall. I remember thinking that if that photographer also saw something appealing in that steel wall, I had to see more of her work.


Maternity session at Rise Pizza / Photo by Elisa Bricker of Elisa B Photography

Did an image from a maternity session sell me on a photographer? Not really. However, it led me to start watching her blog and the blogs of other local photographers to get a sense of the different styles out there. I quickly realized that Charlottesville has an amazing community of photographers. Mr. Mink knew a few personally and we would later get to know a few more through friends. The options were fantastic, but that’s not always a good thing if you appreciate different styles. I started to fear that it could take us months to find a photographer for our wedding.

I found myself going back to the blog of the photographer I saw at the pizza shop again and again. Her name is Elisa Bricker. Elisa and her husband, Edward, run Elisa B Photography.

Recognize the location of this video? / Video by Josh Gooden of Josh Gooden Cinematography

Elisa and I met at a coffee shop during the busy season in my industry, which means I was probably a bit chatty after working in solitude for too many days in a row. We had a fun conversation about blogs and shoes and flowers and other things that I don’t remember right now. I remember thinking that I wouldn’t mind having Elisa by my side on the most important day of my life. I liked that she worked with her husband, so a second shooter wouldn’t by a mystery. I also liked that she was tech savvy and involved in social media.


From Elisa B Photography’s Facebook page / Photo by Elisa Bricker of Elisa B Photography

About a week after our coffee shop meeting, we signed a contact and gave Elisa a deposit. We could have drawn the process out for weeks or months, but I decided to trust my instinct and resist the urge to mount an elaborate search. I’m so happy with our decision.

Did anyone else simply trust their instinct when it came to one of their wedding vendors in lieu of doing a thorough search of all the options?


Mrs. Mink

Charlottesville, Virginia
Wedding Date:
June 2012
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  1. Member
    All In 1550 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:45 am

    Sounds like the “Blink” principle at work to me–I hope she’s great!

  2. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:05 am

    @All In: I didn’t even think of that! Gladwell would be so proud!!!

  3. thimble Member
    thimble 857 posts, Busy bee @ 11:09 am

    I kept my photographer search simple too. I saw my photographer shooting a friend’s wedding, and it was one of the first I’d seen working in person who was young and shooting digital. My family members had all sorta skimped and went with old guys stuck in old ways in the past. I asked for her name, loved her work and booked her and her husband-second-shooter =) Loved my choice. Looking back I can’t believe I didn’t get more caught up in research!

  4. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:24 am

    @Mrs. Thimble: Ha! I think the Blink theory is alive and well on Weddingbee!

    I’m with you on not really being excited to work with Luddites, but I DO like that many photographers still work with film. I think there’s room for both at weddings. :)

  5. Member
    Coffee cup 2319 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:40 am

    She sounds great. I think it’s good you went with your instinct, luckly you found a promising photog right away.

  6. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:58 am

    @Coffee cup: She’s fabulous! I’m definitely luck. :)

  7. msdoe Member
    msdoe 639 posts, Busy bee @ 12:21 pm

    I always trust my instincts :) Smart move!

  8. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 12:34 pm

    Love your photographer’s work! I think instinct is a very important aspect in finding a photographer; sometimes you just know what you like when you see it.

  9. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:39 pm

    @Miss Doe: Thanks!

    @Mrs. Pony: She’s amazing!

  10. Member
    TinyTina 3312 posts, Sugar bee @ 1:00 pm

    I did an exhausting amount of research on photographers, but once we met with ours in person we clicked so well that I knew right away I wanted to book with them!

  11. mink Member
    mink 2178 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:25 pm

    @TinyTina: Aw, it was meant to be!

  12. opossum Member
    opossum 84 posts, Worker bee @ 4:33 pm

    We had the same kind of experience with our photog…. once we found them we didn’t do any more research!

    When you know, you know I guess! :)

  13. raccoon Member
    raccoon 308 posts, Helper bee @ 7:46 pm

    The photos are lovely and I can’t wait to see yours!

  14. parasol Member
    parasol 2955 posts, Sugar bee @ 10:14 pm

    Such a cool and unique story! I love it! We kind of stumbled onto our photographers as well. They photographed a college friend’s wedding, and when I went to their blog to stalk the pictures, I was hooked. A good two and a half years before Mr. P even proposed. :) Long before we’d decided to get married or made any wedding plans, we knew exactly who we wanted to photograph our day.

  15. Member
    sugarbox 226 posts, Helper bee @ 11:30 pm

    These photos are so beautiful.

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    Mrs G, Guest @ 8:32 am

    You’ll love Elisa – she did our wedding this summer, and we couldn’t be happier!!

  17. Member
    Future Army Wife 2213 posts, Buzzing bee @ 2:34 pm

    Nice photos. And I’ve found several of our vendors through recommendations from other vendors. They’ve been working here in Fayetteville much longer than we’ve lived her, so I’ll trust their opinions.

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