Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Finding our Photographer -- Part II

Warning: This post contains lots and lots of beautiful pictures!

After I caught my first glimpse of stunningly beautiful wedding photography, the search was on to find a photographer for our own wedding who could provide images that we would truly cherish forever. We knew we wanted a photographer who took amazing pictures (duh), fell within our budget, and was able to travel to Maine for our wedding. I was happy hiring anyone who fit within these criteria, although I had a slight preference for a photographer who was based out of the Boston area, since in-person meetings would be a lot easier in that case.

Then, when I was talking about photographers to my mom one day, she mentioned that her yoga teachers had a Boston-area photographer who took pictures of their family and 3 children once per month. I knew these particular yoga teachers had pretty good (but also pretty expensive) taste, so I figured there was no harm in checking out the website of their photographer.

...which originally led me to Kelly Lorenz. I immediately LOVED her wedding images. (And I may have cried a bit at the heart wrenching story on her blog about giving birth to her baby after a pregnancy of only 5 months! -- The baby is totally fine now and in great health. Nothing short of a miracle!)

Here are some of her gorgeous pics:

This image and the ones below are from Kelly Lorenz' blog

I showed these to the Architect, and he agreed that we should contact Kelly to get a price estimate. As expected, she came back with a number for her most basic package that exceeded our budget. And I shed a small tear. My next step -- which I recommend to all brides who are searching for a photographer within their budget -- was to email Kelly back. I said something to the effect of:

Hi Kelly,

Thanks so much for getting back to me. Like I said, we absolutely love your documentary photo style. Unfortunately, I don't think we're going to be able to afford you. (Our total budget for wedding photography is more like $----.) If there is anyone else who you can recommend, definitely let me know. We will certainly keep you in mind for photography in the future (or if our photo budget miraculously grows!).

...and this is when Kelly told us about Ashley O'Dell. Ashley used to be Kelly's assistant. Kelly even had Ashley shoot some post-wedding photos of herself and her husband, so we knew that the recommendation of Ashley held some weight to it. (See? It never hurts to ask!) I checked out Ashley's website and blog, and this is what I found:

This is a picture of Kelly. Isn't she gorgeous? Clearly, if you can't afford a photographer, then the photographer's photographer isn't a bad second choice!
*This image and the ones below are from Ashley O'Dell's blog

Check out this awesome red wedding dress!

Can I have a horse at my wedding? Pretty please!

Gorgeous, right? I think Ashley's photos are at least as amazing as Kelly's. ...and her pricing? Ashley could provide us with photography within our budget (although just barely). We met with Ashley in late July before we moved away from Boston, and we totally loved her. At the end of our meeting we told her that we still wanted to look around a bit more before making a final decision on wedding photography... and then we proceeded to do exactly zero more research into wedding photographers, since we were way too busy with moving to to the west coast. In mid-August Ashley contacted us to let us know that she had another inquiry for our wedding date, and at that point we took the plunge and booked her. Even though she was the only wedding photographer that we had met with, it was the best wedding decision that we have made so far.

Did you make any quick decisions on any of your vendors? How did you find your wedding photographer?

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