Did you know that you can buy a Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure on Amazon? I cannot make this up.
So in the age of Etsy and eBay and and 1,500 live lady bugs, it’s no surprise that plenty of brides are turning to buying a dress online.
Something we love at Fox and Bloom is a #girlboss. Oh, and flowers. We’re crazy about flowers.
Enter: Hanna Osterwyk. Fellow ginger. Way awesome wordsmith. And floral designer. We met in college and immediately bonded over our mutual love for literature, Pinterest and Jesus. Besides the debt I’m about to owe her for crafting such a gloriously beautiful wedding, this wonderful human played a huge hand in helping me discover my faith. *Sigh*
Have I mentioned that my mom is growing most, if not all, of the flowers for my June wedding with her actual hands? Uh. Yeah. Talk about a girl boss. She runs Lavender for Luck on her farm in Southeast Ohio—our engagement photos were taken there—and if you’re in the area you do not want to miss the open house on November 7. Jussayin.
I almost didn’t get engagement pictures. *Cue gasp*
To be honest, I didn’t really see the point. I had very rarely seen any that I loved, and I didn’t exactly relish the idea of mailing out pictures of my fiancé and myself so 300 people could stick them on their fridge. (Please note that I have happily put many a save-the-date on my fridge and smiled every time I saw them. It’s just not what I pictured for myself.)
Right off the bat, we were practically finishing each others’ sentences. She knew the exact aesthetic I loved, and I knew that I was willing to work around any schedule she needed to get the perfect light. She understood that I did not want awkward or posed engagement photos, and I wanted her to get to know Jon so she could take better photos of us.
We were in love.
I do not pretend to be a wedding planner. I am just an overly emotional ginger who happens to be planning a wedding. Basically I’m just stumbling through the next several months and trying to make sure my groom doesn’t end up wearing a T-shirt and jeans at the altar.
I am obsessed with my wedding photographer.
Obsessed in a I-might-marry-you-instead-of-the-groom kind of way. I beg you, do not check out her Instagram unless you want to fall madly and deeply in love.
This, as people will tell you, is not normal. But shouldn’t it be? Afterall, this is a person who will be spending excruciatingly intimate moments with you on one of the most historic days of your life. She may or may not see you nekked. Shouldn’t this be a person you love? I’m not implying that you need to have a sleepover at your mother’s lavender farm (*raises hand*), but is that asking so much?
Because she is a) a girl boss b) has incredible style + candor and c) possesses a faith I admire, I asked Kristian Irey to step out from behind the camera and provide some advice on choosing the best wedding photographer.
“I would start with asking friends. Word of mouth gives you the best options. The only problem is, you may get overloaded with options, so ask friends with similar taste to yours. If you have a creative friend, they probably follow photographers you may like.”
Point of fact: By now, it’s better to start your search on Instagram than on Google. Try searching local photographer hashtags (e.g. #ohioweddingphotographer) or local wedding hashtags (e.g. #Columbusbride).
Once you’ve narrowed your favorites to two or three candidates, it’s time for interviews.
While you’ll no doubt have plenty of questions for them, make sure you hit these three:
Like with so many things in life—used cars, false eyelashes, boyfriends—you get what you pay for. Bottom line. This is a hard and fast rule of thumb.
To be frank, lots of couples get sticker shock when it comes to photography. Interviewing a few that you love can help put into perspective what kind of budget is realistic.
If someone is charging less than $1,000, be cautious as they are most likely new or a student. Find out their experience, then ask to see a whole wedding from them and not just their highlights.
Side note: This is not to say that a student or newbie is a bad choice, by any means. This is to help you put the cost of this service into perspective. If you want to book your dream photographer, you’re looking at prices closer to $3,000 to $5,000.
If you absolutely have your heart set on one photographer but just can’t swing it, many professionals will be willing to make exceptions here and there.
It’s all in the approach. In other words, if you come to them with this plea: “I love your work and would do anything to have you at my wedding,” you could be in business. You might offer an art trade, to reduce the hours, have no assistant or forgo the wedding album book. But making them feel like you’re just trying to get the best deal? No bueno.
“Expressing your desperation for them as an artist and seeking a way to trade something or reduce something from the package sometimes can allow you to get a photographer you really want for a more affordable budget.”
I love this answer, because it’s how Kristian and I became such fast friends. “Be engaging. Approach them as you appreciate them as an artist. The more you engage with them, the more they’ll engage with you. The people that are the most excited to have me as their photographer and are the most engaging with me, but are also respectful of my time, end up with the best images.”
And on your wedding day, please let the photographer have reign over the schedule. Ask your photographer for a tentative schedule for the best light and what the timeframe for each element is. Then take schedule and give it to the wedding planner—NOT vice versa.
Finally, if you’re not going with a photographer, follow up and thank them for their time. Just be courteous, k?
Kristian offered four final areas to consider before making your final choice.