Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Number Four of The Big Five

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was dedicated to nailing down my Wedding Big Five (reception venue, ceremony venue, photographer, dress, DJ). I had the venues handled, I finally decided on a dress and I had given the task of music to The Candyman to handle. That left me with the photographer issue. Now, first of all, I had no idea that photographers cost so much money! I also had no idea how much work went into the entire process of wedding photography. After a lot of research, several appointments and one really patient photography team, I was able to make a decision that I am so excited about!

First though, I'd like to share some honorable mentions to a handful of great photographers in the Nashville area. I had several lovely email exchanges with Meisach Moore of Meisach Moore Photography. Our timing was off in regards to how quickly we were responding to one another, but I love his work and would advise others to give him a look-see!
A wonderfully attentive communicator was Evan Baines of Evan Baines Photography. Check out his website!
Another amazing resource was Jack at Silent Light Images. He was one of the first photographers I spoke to and he was a wealth of information. He offered the names of other comparable photographers, sent me links to past clients and offered names of other wedding vendors I was in need of. I was so impressed. Sadly, his services were just a tad out of my price range.
Upon recommendation of a past client (this bride is on the first link to their wedding section!), I met with Macia and Cade Truitt of Inara Studios. I have to say that meeting with this couple was truly a delight. The were professional and personable and sweet in every way. Again, my budget was not happy with thier rates and there were certain things I knew I wanted that would put us way over our allotted amount. Again - Boo. Hiss. Their prices had gone up since 2008 and they have raised them again since they quoted me in February. Honestly, if your budget allows, they are worth it.
I also spoke with Josh Reeder of Josh Reeder Photography. Fellow bridal blog readers and Martha obsessed folk know his work from Liesl and Kevin: Franklin, TN. He is an amazing photographer and surprisingly affordable on Sundays!
I discussed options with Hartz Photographic (I particularly liked the fact that Johnny Cash plays on their home page!) and Michael Howard Photography. While all of the photographers I spoke to were great, I never felt a strong connection to them.
While this may seem silly, it's something that The Candyman and I have paid particular attention to on this wedding journey. We need to feel good with the people we are hiring. These are the people we are inviting to be a part of the most important day of our lives together. Granted, we are paying for a service, but that service is based on the the fact that we are celebrating a special union with our closest friends and family. I don't want any old dude snapping pictures of me. I want to feel like I have a connection on some base level with these people. It sounds silly and wishy-washy, but that's how we've been rolling. Now, do not forget that I am a no-nonsense business woman. I know a deal when I see one, but I also know that you get what you pay for. There is a delicate balance in paying a fair price for the best services. Enter Jonathon Campbell Photography. I contacted them via email from a postcard I picked up at the Nashville Bridal Expo held in January. I liked what I saw on their website too. Sharon, Jonathon's wife, gave me a call to discuss the particulars. After about 40 minutes of sharing our "I lived in LA too!" stories, we realized we'd barely talked about wedding photography. We were off to a great start! The Candyman and I met with Jonathon and Sharon and they really went out of their way to explain their process, how they work and had prepared an incredible presentation that went above and beyond the call of duty! My little anal retentive heart pittered and pattered so! The Candyman gave his stamp of approval the second we parted ways. I am getting super excited for our engagement shoot coming up in May. They have also announced their Spring Mini-Session in the Park for an incredible price of $99! Check it out!!

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