Photo Research

People ask about the wedding planning all the time {such easy conversation, right?} and Evan always laughs and mentions what a thorough researcher I am. The thing is…I don’t know if people really know what that means. I practically majored in research in my undergrad, and I can gather data with the best of them.

When we got engaged, I had this idea that we would accomplish one major milestone every calendar month for the first few months. Month One, we chose a date and secured our church- not at all difficult or thoughtful. Month Two, we selected the venue for our reception. This was a little trickier, because we didn’t necessarily see eye-to-eye on venue requirements, and then we were a little shell shocked regarding  pricing {are you kidding me,$40 for a meal, and then another $30 for a bar package? And wtf with the 8-10k minimums? That’s most of my budget!}. We did chart about twenty possibilities in a spreadsheet, but in the end we chose a place that I had been considering for a while and brought into the game at the last minute.

Our photography, however, was a whole new ballgame. I had a general idea of our photography budget, and I knew what we would want for a package {two photogs, eight hours coverage, rights to print, and an engagement session}. What we budgeted for photography wasn’t really a small amount, but I was shocked to see that all of the photography that I liked was roughly twice what we could pay! After collected information from a few bridal shows, I started to put together a spreadsheet. By the time we were halfway through the allotted month for photography selection, it was clear that we couldn’t really find a way to make it work with the two dozen or so photographers I had amassed. Wa wa.

At that point, I embarked on a manic research project, which is what Ev is usually referring to when he comments on my thorough preparation. Using the resources available {the knot, weddingbee, weddingchannel, weddingwire} I amassed a list of, wait for it, 104 photographers located in the central Ohio area. And then {no kidding} I visited each of their websites, collected pricing info, and made a general comment regarding their portfolios.


Just a few of the over 100 photographers I looked at...

I was not messing around. I generally marked each listing as good, ambivalent or negative, noted why it was marked that way {everything from  ‘amazing photos’ to ‘offensive music, terrible pics’} and wrote in the general pricing information. {Sidebar: wtf with selective color? Like so many brides I know, if I see selective color in your portfolio, I usually eliminate you from the running. It hurts my heart, and destroys any sense of human decency.} From there, I deleted any marked negative or ambivalent and ranked those left over in order of pricing.

So where did that get me? Nowhere. The photography that we could afford was acceptable, but I didn’t love it, and the photography I loved was so far over what we were willing to pay. Thanks for showing me that, Google Docs J


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