We (I) started looking for a photographer pretty quickly. Several years ago, my aunt (the mother of our adorable ring bearer!) had an intimate destination wedding on the beautiful island of Kauai. She had a gorgeous ceremony, a handsome groom and unbelievable weather (and yours truly as a junior bridesmaid!). It was perfect! The only thing she didn’t have? Pictures.
|My aunt and her husband|
My aunt is a smart woman, an artist, and not strapped for cash. She is also the last person who would hire someone unprofessional, untalented or suspiciously priced. He showed up to the wedding, did his thing, and that was that. He sent them a few sneak peek pictures a week or two later and then….nothing. Long story short, he skipped town. This was probably eight or nine years ago, and as far as I know, she still hasn’t heard from him. Thankfully my grandparents are never without a digital camera, so she still had a few pictures to treasure.
It’s interesting the level of trust we place in our vendors; how huge it is that we place our perfect day in their hands! Of course things like contracts protect our financial investments, but that’s hardly a consolation. I sometimes suffer from memory problems (I guess my doctor would blame it on ADD) and I’m committed to remembering every detail. Because of this and my aunt’s experience, I was prepared to do my research. I’m not sure how long Weddingwire or similar review sites have been around, but I creep those sites like nobody bidness.
Image via knowyourmeme
Problem: our budget was relatively low. Our original budget for photography (with or without engagement pictures) was originally $1800, or 10%. Luckily, our long-ish engagement gave us (me) plenty of time to search.
SPOILER ALERT: We discovered later that the best way to stay in budget was to find a photographer whose style we really loved, tell them our budget dilemma and ask them if they happened to know anyone with a similar style whose business is relatively new, but may have been a second shooter/intern for someone prestigious for years. They have the talent and respect of a professional, but not the “reputation” that costs you. If you have the time to find that balance, I highly recommend this method!
We considered a few options. I think everyone within 100 miles knows that photographers like Allison Davis and Johnathan Ivy are pretty much the gold standard in Dallas. They absolutely deserve every penny! I love their work, and with that in mind, I set out to find someone with similar talents more in our price range. It was an adventure!
Photo Credit: Allison Davis
Photo credit: Jonathan Ivy
Despite being amazing in their own right, these particular pictures are of our venues! Left: Reception Right: Church (More on that later!)
Have you had any family experiences that effect the way you deal with vendors? Are you willing to trust a relatively new vendor if they are backed by professionals?