You know how there are some things that are super important to you, and then others that don’t matter as much? It varies by person—some think the food is the biggest deal, others the music, and then there’s photography. Apparently I care about none of those things. (I do care about paper products, meaning I’m at least willing to spend some time looking at options, but mostly I’m just
cheap practical, and those honestly aren’t that big of a deal either.)
So now that we have a venue, I’ve moved on to the rest of the things-that-could-get-booked. Which means we’ve got the photographer and the DJ to deal with, and I’ve set my sights on photography first.
I don’t get photography. I mean, I understand the concept of pictures, and I’ve been blogging for quite some time. I can tell that basically everyone’s pictures are better than mine. (Shamrock takes all of them for me, and neither of us knows how to edit—I keep hoping maybe he’ll want to learn.)
Fun fact: I took some pictures of my cards on the dining room table when Shamrock was traveling and asked him to download them when he got back (the memory card never works in my computer). He was teasing me about how bad they were (I seriously cannot take a decent picture) until he got to the end.
“Oh, this one’s not so bad. I kind of like it.”
“I dropped the camera.”
“I was putting it down on the table and it slipped and I hit the button so it took a picture. It was an accident.”
“Oh. You should drop the camera more often. Its the best one.”
Which means that I’m finding photographer searching mostly stressful because I don’t know what we want, how much it should cost, and what we should look for. Sort of like going to the art museum, where I end up feeling dumb as soon as I finish reading the informational placard. “Yep, that is a mother. And a daughter. In a garden”¦pretty flowers…very pretty…why is everyone still standing here? Why don’t I get it?”
So basically I end up feeling stupid and inferior because I don’t get it—I’m not saying people aren’t good, just that I can’t seem to tell the difference much. Kind of like Magic Eye, which I also can’t do.
To compensate, I spent hours looking up photographers, reading old Weddingbee posts (and adding a thread of my own), looking at Yelp, Google, and Craigslist. (I had high hopes for that last one, but there were ZERO Chicago wedding photographer posts. Boo.) No pricing? Bottom of the list. I don’t get that. Wouldn’t we both rather know, instead of me email you to find out your coverage starts at $6,000? Even I fell in love with your photos, I wouldn’t magically be swayed into paying. Why can’t you just tell me what it costs?!
Anyhow, we did our good old fashioned blind-ratings system and each assigned the options a score between 1–10, then averaged them. We came up with a top three, and then shortly after went to visit my sister and college roommate, both of whom actually like photography and come with built in opinions, so we made them do the same thing.
They have better taste than us, mostly because our taste is somewhat defined by “which one’s cheaper.” Classy.
We came up with a top three together, and then added in the other ratings. The same guy was first both times, so I sent him an email on July 1 (which I recognize is a weird week). Then I called several weeks after the email—still no replies. Probably not our wedding photographer, huh? One of the other people I emailed also has never replied to me (boo), but the third replied within an hour—to tell me she no longer lives in Chicago.
My wedding photos won’t look like these, but she replies quickly! / Photo via fellow bee Jenna Cole
Then we went to Guatemala for a week, which is hardly an appropriate time to choose a wedding photographer, so I forgot about it. And honestly, I was frustrated because I had decided that ALL wedding photographers have outdated websites and/or never get back to you. This is clearly ridiculous, but I was annoyed.
At my birthday dinner on Tuesday, though, my friends shared their baby’s one-year pictures and recommended I check out their photographer (who clearly is currently taking pictures, meaning she isn’t going to ignore me or no longer exist). That led me to more Yelp searching and a couple more photographer options, as well as revisiting a few more of our earlier choices.
Luckily, my second try was much better! I emailed three more photographers, and had emails back within the day. WIN. Oh, and one of them asks you how excited you are in the contact form and I put “Medium. Also I’m overwhelmed,” and she referred to it in her super quick email back. Cute!
Now I feel like I can totally do this!
How did you find your photographer? What the heck should I be looking for?