Your handsome prince has just popped the big question…and you said YES!!! You are suddenly swept up into an overwhelming sea of suggestions, to-do’s, deadlines, exciting ideas, and soooo many choices to make! Chances are, you have already been dreaming of your wedding since you were a little girl (or a little guy, I mean, come on, guys can love weddings too!), and you probably know what you want your dress to look like, your cake to taste like and what kind of flowers you want and where you want them (EVERYWHERE!). And we know what that’s like…we loved every part of planning our wedding, but it definitely can get overwhelming sometimes…and often it’s the little details that cause the most frustration! One thing that often doesn’t get as much attention as we think it should is (you guessed it) your PHOTOGRAPHY. When we got married we KNEW we wanted a good photographer…no, a GREAT photographer…to do our images. We knew that we had spent so many hours planning every little part of our wedding…and had made sure that everything about our wedding screamed US. Our colors were our absolute favorites (a soft coral and light gray), Ashley’s dress was STUNNING, the cake was an incredible spice cake with buttercream frosting that had a rustic-refined twist to it, topped with a Willow Tree cake topper…it was US. And BECAUSE it was us, we knew that we wanted a photographer who would be us too. What could be worse than all the blood, sweat and tears spent on our wedding details only to wind up hiring a photographer who did not represent who WE are, and didn’t know how to capture the “US” in our wedding?! So…we knew we wanted someone who could.
At the time, Ashley had been following Katelyn James, a wedding photographer we had long admired for her style and her passion for capturing the joy in her subjects. When we started planning our wedding, we knew she would be the perfect photographer to capture who WE are…we knew she could make us shine through in our images! But that perfect match came with a price…and it was about 4 times more than our budget. We didn’t have the money or the ability to open a credit line to hire Katelyn or we WOULD HAVE. We ended up hiring a photographer who did a great job for a much lower price, but this search for a wedding photographer opened our eyes to a very important truth: there are many different kinds of wedding photographers!
The photographer we hired provided quality images and was generous, flexible and great to work with. What we knew Katelyn provided was an experience that BLEW YOUR MIND. What we began to discover is that there is nothing wrong with a photographer who shows up, is efficient and good at what they do, shoots great images, and delivers them on a CD a month after your wedding. Nothing at all. And there are plenty of brides who want exactly that in a photographer and nothing more. But there are also brides who want so much more…you want someone who genuinely cares and shows it, who begins working hard to get to know you from the first time you reach out to them, who goes above and beyond to help you plan, execute and enjoy the wedding season of your life, who is committed to serving you even if it is waaayy outside of what their contract states, who delivers fully-edited images as fast as they possibly can and is just as excited about your wedding as you are…and who maintains a supportive relationship with you AFTER your wedding is over! And there are wedding photographers who DO this!!!
Our little wedding photographer search opened our eyes to the vastness of the wedding photography industry and made us quickly realize why there are some photographers who charge $30,000 to shoot a wedding and some who charge $600…and also made us realize why they are BOTH able to run sustainable businesses! Someone who has just bought the latest consumer DSLR camera, a zoom lense and puts up a Facebook page can easily begin booking weddings at $600. They are able to sustain themselves because there is actually a market SATURATED with people who just want photos of their wedding day….nothing more….so they’ll book a wedding every weekend if they try hard! On the other end of the spectrum, there are photographers who have spent years and years investing in themselves as artists, as business owners, as ministers of photography and have carefully purchased all the right equipment and know how to work it to get AMAZING images (and by the way, equipment is NOT cheap…professional photography gear can be tens of thousands of dollars just for a single setup!), they have carefully built a business that leans heavily on creating an experience, they work closely with you for months and months (not just on your wedding day) and have priced themselves starting at $30,000. They only expect to book 6-8 weddings this year because they plan to spend SO MUCH extra time on each bride, making sure she gets exactly what she has paid for. And they BOOK. Many brides see the value in what they offer, and they stay busy year after year!!
So, it became clear to us that we had to decide where we were going to fit as wedding photographers. We knew we wanted to be the kind of photographer who goes all out and serves and loves on their clients from day one. We knew we wanted to emphasize heavily on educating ourselves to constantly improve and deliver the best that we possibly can. And we knew we wanted the kind of clients who VALUED that and knew they wanted that in a photographer! After all, your images are the most lasting part of your wedding day (apart from the fact that you just married your best friend, of course!!!), so wouldn’t you want to make it a priority to make sure you find the photographer who is right for you?!
We have spent years carefully building our brand, what we offer, our experience, our style and our image quality…in fact, we consider it a ministry! Yeah! We want to blow your mind with loving on you and giving you more than you even thought you were getting when you hired us! And we KNOW that not every bride is for us…but we also know that there are so many young brides and grooms who are looking for exactly what we do! We want to make sure that YOU, as a bride, bump that “find wedding photographer” line UP on your priority list!! Seriously, make sure you make the right choice when you choose your photographer…it is more important that your PHOTOGRAPHER is perfect for you than that your centerpieces are exactly what you always dreamed! (Trust us, poor photography can make an incredibly-styled wedding look pretty bad….and a GREAT photographer can make a budget wedding SHINE!!).
Thank you for reading…and HAPPY PLANNING!! (; Feel free to email or call us for any questions!