When Sean and I first started wedding planning, we discussed the things that were most important to us (finding a venue in the city, having a walkable wedding, good food, and dancing). We also discussed some items that were less important to us (flowers/table decorations, the cake). Our wedding photos fell somewhere near the top of this second list. To our dismay, I quickly discovered, how crazy-expensive wedding photography can be! I could also see how a couple could become completely overwhelmed trying to choose a photographer from the (seemingly) thousands listed online! And as I combed through various listings, a light bulb went off in my head: What about Dario?
Sean and I are friendly with a couple that attends my dad’s church, Dario and Amy. Dario has lent his photography talents to take headshots for the church directory, so I knew he was, at the very least, a man who could take pictures and had a nice camera. After some prodding, we found out that Dario had dabbled in the wedding photography business, taking photographs of the weddings of some family and friends. Having heard that, Sean and I thought Dario would be a great person to ask to photograph our wedding. Not wanting to put a friend on the spot, I sent my dad to the dirty work and see if Dario would be interested. Luckily, Dario gave my dad a positive response, so Sean and I asked him to meet up and discuss the potential of hiring him as our wedding photographer.
We set a date to meet Dario for drinks at Philadelphia Bar and Restaurant few weeks later. As we walked to PBR, Sean and I talked about the aesthetic we wanted in our photos. Thankfully, we were on the same page, both wanting more candid than posed ,and for the shots to express a creative flare. Dario came to the meeting armed with an iPad full of the pictures he had shot at previous weddings, and his style perfectly reflected exactly what Sean and I were looking for! A few beers later, we had a deal: Dario would shoot both our engagement photos and wedding for us! And, bonus: Amy would come along, too, and shoot some fun and creative pictures using the Instagram app on her iPhone.
As you already know, Sean and I have already had our engagement photos taken by Dario, and, despite the awkward couple posing for the pictures (aka me and Sean), the shoot was a success! And while we still anticipate feeling somewhat uncomfortable when it comes to taking pictures on our wedding day, we are confident in the abilities of our photo-taking friends to capture the sweet moments in-between the awkward ones.
I said this before, and I’ll say it again: Make sure that you are comfortable with the photographer you choose, even if the picture-taking itself feels less than comfortable. Sit down with your prospective photographer beforehand and look through his/her portfolio to see that the look you want in your photos in reflected in his/her past work.
In addition to the photographer’s work, make sure you understand what photo packages you will be required to purchase when all is said and done. Sean and I are lucky in this respect, as Dario will re-touch our photos and send them to us all on a CD, so that we can print what we choose, no package necessary. I’m going to venture a guess that this is uncommon when it comes to wedding photography, so I recommend doing some research and talking to other brides about their experiences hiring a photographer and choosing packages (my girlfriend Sophia and her fiancé are photographer-hunting and finding it much more challenging to find the right match in terms of personality, price, and package).
At this stage, Sean and I are very happy with our photography situation and are now thinking about the necessity of hiring a videographer, versus just asking someone to videotape the ceremony and simply rely on pictures to capture the reception. Any thoughts about this? Did you use a videographer or did you find that pictures were enough? If so, was it worth it?