Sunday, February 28, 2010

Our Photographer

On the heels of my "Adventures in Bargain Hunting" posts, I thought I should tell y'all about the biggest deal we've scored thus far in our wedding planning:  our photographer.

Wedding photography ain't cheap.  And good wedding photography really ain't cheap.  Especially in the Los Angeles metro area.  The Mister and I are kinda picky when it comes to wedding photography, too.  We're fans of photojournalistic style wedding photography.  While we realize that some posed shots are necessary and we do want them, we want the majority of our wedding photographs to capture real moments, not staged ones.  And as for the posed shots, we want them to look as natural as possible, not contrived.  God forbid we end up with a photographer that takes pictures like this.


Please.  If someone even tried to take a picture like this of the Mister and I, we'd look him or her square in the face and say "No e-ffing way."  The inappropriate jokes I can think of by just looking at this photograph are endless.

Then, the Mister and I unknowingly went and made things even more difficult for ourselves by only alloting $2,000 in our wedding budget for photography.  While that sounds like a lot of money in theory, and I thought that it would be more than enough to book us a great photographer when I put the budget together, I quickly realized that the number of photographers who met our artistic standards and who were within our budget were few and far between.

Enter Julie Wilson.  I found Julie just like I found our venue, through the Mountain Lakes Wedding Association website.  She's a photographer who is based in the mountains and has photographed our venue a bajillion times (that's an exact count, btw).  Her work was great, she and her husband were amazingly friendly (it can't be under-emphasized how important it is to like your photographer as a person...they'll be with you all day on one of the biggest days of your life), and her prices were incredible.  We booked Julie (and her husband, they photograph together) almost immediately. 

Here are a few of my faves from Julie's website.  It's no coincidence that the top two are at my venue. :)

(all images by Julie Wilson Photography)


Alright.  I know you want to get down to brass tacks.  We booked "Package C", which includes 6 hours of coverage with 2 photographers - Julie and her husband, unlimited photographs, retouching as needed, an online viewing gallery, a high-resolution CD of all images taken with a copyright release, a 20 page album and an engagement photo session.  All this cost us . . .

Wait for it . . .

$1200.  That's right, we came in at $800 under budget, and booked a photographer we love!  We know this is the absolute best bargain we will get during our wedding planning, and Julie must have figured it out too, because Package C now goes for $2000.  To be quite honest, $2000 is still a really good deal.  But I have to admit, when I saw that she raised her prices I squealed a little bit and ran to tell the Mister how much money we saved by booking early. 

Was it hard for you to swallow the price of wedding photography?  Did you find a deal, like me, or did you end up having to compromise either on your budget or your artistic preferences?

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