Because I am a wedding photographer, I have opinions about what classifies photography as beautiful and extraordinary. It is an opinion, and simply that. My opinion is not ‘the end all, say all’ – I am human and just like you, and I have tastes. I have ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ and I have my personal favorites in the wedding industry, from images to personality (and some photographers embody both). In fact, I completely appreciate a photographer that has talent (or blooming talent) and know’s who they are, even if their imagery is not ‘my style’ and taste, because I love art. I appreciate artists, and simply want brides and clients to choose well. Choosing a wedding photographer, is like finding the perfect tattoo artist. I say this because a tattoo is with you for life, as are your wedding images. You can’t go back, you cannot fix and undo what has been done. It is a once-in-a-lifetime moment, and my advice is to: Choose well.
No. This blog post is not intended to raise awareness about my artwork. I am not trying to brag, tell brides to ONLY hire me, or claim that I am the best choice in booking a wedding photographer. In fact, if a bride comes to me asking for someone better, or if they tell me they want to drop BIG BUCKS on the perfect photographer, I would completely point them in a better direction (and more expensive direction) than myself. I would tell them who I love and who I would choose to re-photograph my wedding, because there are so many wonderful choices and styles to choose from, locally and all across the world. I do not think that my photography is perfect – In fact, I continually scrutinize my work and push myself to grow. I always want to be better every time. I aspire to be like my heros. I strive to be an expert, and maybe in 10 more years I will completely reach that goal.
Now, I am not trying to berate myself either. I can honestly say that I am proud of my work and how it has grown throughout the years. I adore the images that I display on my blog and website. Each one is special to me. From the light I manipulated to the moment created. I have finally educated myself, and have enough experience, to the point where I can call myself a professional photographer without cringing or feeling like a liar. All I want to accomplish out of this blog post is for brides to be educated. Something I was NOT when I was a new bride and busy planning my wedding.
I have to admit (gasp), I was a budget bride.
Come on, who isn’t? Everyone is usually on a budget, whether it is a large amount or small, the lining in the pocket book does eventually end somewhere. I understand ‘pinching pennies’ and wanting to stretch a dollar. I really do. But, I am genuinely passionate about QUALITY in the wedding industry. Specifically photography, and I wish someone would have educated me on the whole process and what to look for.
First and foremost, a bride should be looking for:
Please understand that this is just my opinion and these are just a few things that I personally would look for now that I am educated in the wedding industry. If I was creating my wedding all over again, I would choose and pay for the perfect talent. I can tell you that every photographer is different in person, growing as an artist, and probably pushing at making their business better. You have the choice. You can completely choose to hire someone “new” in this industry, take a chance, and save money – but there is a risk level involved with this decision. Hopefully even the “new” photographer will be honest and tell you that. (I personally warned my brides when I was starting out, that they were getting what they were paying for, a newbie with hardly any experience). I simply want you to make a choice that embodies who you are, and skip the mistakes I did by hiring the-price-that-is-right photographer and wanting to check off that box on your wedding to-do list. Yikes. If you do, beware, you might be paying the “price” later on! Please, be willing to stretch that dollar for awesome photography, amazing treatment and customer service… and be flexible working with your photographer to create the beautiful images that you want. It is a collaboration and beautiful dance to light. Choose wisely. Choose well.