Hello there hive! I’m finally going to start my recaps. For those of you who don’t remember me, I married Mr. Moonbeam (for the second time) in November of 2009 in our large, Texas, family-oriented ceremony. We were married (the first time) in July of 2009 in a small civil ceremony in Malibu (for oh-so-romantic health insurance reasons). Both were great days for the two of us, but the stresses of our big ceremony have definitely contributed to my recap hiatus.
Confession: I really dislike our pro pics from our November ceremony. I will be forever grateful to our shutterbug relatives (Aunt Annie and Uncle Chris) who took some of my favorite pictures from our big day.
Full Disclosure: I found our photographers off of Craigslist, and we paid about $600 for their services. I wasn’t expecting blow-me-away amazingness, but I was expecting competence.
(I found our beach wedding photographer on Craigslist as well and she was awesome.) Our contract guarantees something like 30 images an hour, but what I would really like are 30 images from our hour long ceremony that are properly colored/exposed without a line through the center of every image. We hired our photographers, a young husband and wife team that is new to the biz, because we liked the images we saw, they seemed nice, and we thought it’d be great to have two shooters. What we ended up with was a photographer and a babysitter. They brought their infant to the wedding. I didn’t know this until said infant made an appearance at our reception. Ask anyone: I love children, but if they had hired a babysitter, we would have had two people shooting our ceremony and maybe one of those people would have been able to take clear pictures. I know they have two cameras, because he mentioned the gear used at our wedding on his Facebook page. And since there was a red line through every image of our ceremony, I wonder if something might be wrong with that camera, and maybe the other camera would have been just fine. I really hated coming to this realization about our photographers upon receipt of our disc of images because I quite liked them in person at the wedding, but in truth, I don’t think they’re ready to be charging for photography services.
Taken by John and Whitney Canales Photography
It’s not a crazy zoom in trick y’all, I promise. This was the first thing I saw in every ceremony picture.
Yes, it was late in the afternoon, with strong directional sunlight, but Mr. Moonbeam’s Uncle Chris snapped this from his seat, so I would expect a professional photographer to be able to shoot competently in the same conditions.
Taken by Uncle Chris. I didn’t do any editing, it’s just a clear shot.
After some back and forth with the photographers, I convinced them to send me everything in an unedited format, because they could tell the color was off and just sent me a bunch of black and whites. And though I like some of the editing that I’ve been able to do to the originals, the colors are still off and they’re still odd. And truthfully, seeing their unedited images upset me a bit more, because it became so obvious that they’re playing around with and learning how to use their settings. They have not mastered them, by any means, and auto settings would have been more competent in most cases.
A picture from Aunt Annie (thanks again) using the auto settings on my entry level DSLR. (On a side note, isn’t the church gorgeous?!)
Since our wedding some great things have happened, and I can partially blame the lack of writing on that. I got a job (being unemployed certainly gave me more time to write, craft and bake a lot of bread, but it was definitely leaving a void). We’ve had six different visits from out-of-towners this summer, and some even stayed with us. We’ve moved to a new apartment. And I’ve been out of the country for almost a month this year (2 of those weeks were our honeymoon, recently recapped). But in truth, I haven’t been writing because I haven’t felt like sharing. It’s been almost a year since the big wedding and I haven’t even sent out pictures to most of my family or made a wedding album, because it’s not fun to show off pictures you’re not in love (or even like) with.
So, to any of you budget brides out there, I wish you the best of luck in finding an affordable photographer (like I did for one of our weddings), but I also urge you to spend as much as you can on your photos. Also, it’s important to know your area. I think I got a great deal on a Craigslist photographer in Los Angeles, because there is an over-saturation of talented, creative types out here. In San Antonio, not everyone on Craigslist is “straight outta art school awesomeness.” I’m not saying you can’t get burned in a big city, but I think the odds are different. I know it’s an overheard phrase in all of this business, but they really are the only thing you take with you from that day, and if you’re a part of Weddingbee, you’ve probably seen a lot of beautiful things that you will constantly compare your big day to, and having images you love will make your memories that much better.
Rant complete. Next up, a couple of last minute projects.
How important is finding a good photographer for your wedding to you?