Bring on the engagement photos!
Before I get to the good stuff, let me give a bit of backstory about my quest for photographers.
I’m a picture person. I could spend hours (and often do) just looking at images online, in books, in magazines, everywhere. For this reason, I always knew that photography would be an important element to our wedding, and after getting engaged it was one of the first vendors I started searching for. I searched high and I searched low. I had specific standards for the photography, and if I was going to pay for it, then I was going to pay for it to be done in a style that I loved. Most of the local photographers I perused were nice, but didn’t jump out at me. When I discovered the online portfolios of our region’s high-end photographers, my standards shot even higher. But the price tag…. they were all simply more than I could afford.
photo by Bryan and Mae Photography
I didn’t give up, though. After approaching some of the high-end photographers with my projected budget, and being politely told it was too low for their packages, I asked them if they had any referrals that were more in my range. Don’t be afraid to do this if you discover someone you love but cannot afford, most of them were happy to make recommendations. Just be sure to be polite and thank them for their time, and don’t be offended if they don’t respond or have no information to share. It’s a competitive field, and while a lot of our regional photographers are on friendly terms with one another, it may not be the case everywhere.
Despite these referrals and despite my attempts to discover the lesser-known photographers’ portfolios (there are so many out there, and some are amazing and affordable but lack the advertisement), it was one of Mr. Bunting’s friends that turned us in the right direction. He had gone to school with someone who worked in the wedding photography industry with his girlfriend (now soon-to-be wife), and showed me some of their work via good ol’ Facebook. I immediately sought out their website and blog and was instantly in love. Their style was fresh, their images crisp, and their compositions absolutely beautiful. Their work reminded me of a refreshing breeze on a summer day, and was creative without being forced and cliché. It spoke to me as a bride and as an artist. That was exactly what I had been looking for. So I contacted them with our date, only to learn that there was another bride with the same date that they were meeting with that weekend. Crapcrapcrap. They told me they’d give her a week after the meeting to make her decision, and if she couldn’t make up her mind or decided against them, our date would be open again. (I should probably note that this was one year in advance, so don’t wait to book as dates can go fast with photographers.)
While I was not-so-patiently waiting for the other bride to have first choice, I discussed pricing with the photographers to see if we really could afford them. They were more than what I wanted to spend, but I loved their work and I felt a strong connection. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right? Right! I crunched numbers and dipped into my personal savings, and then fate helped us by sending some freelance art & design work my way. With the extra money and some of my savings I was thrilled to discover we could afford them. Yes, yes, yes!
Now for that other bride… I prayed and hoped and wished that she wouldn’t book them for our date. When one week was up and I hadn’t heard anything, I anxiously called to see if our date was still available. It was! So we set up a meeting over tea with the four of us, went over the contract, and wrote a deposit check right then and there.
I am so glad to have been able to splurge on Bryan and Mae - they are incredibly talented and such an amazing couple. I could not have asked for photographers that are more passionate about their work, their couples, or each other than they are. Even better, they’re so easy to get along with that even the photo-shy Mr. Bunting is excited to be in front of their camera again!
I know you’re all dying to see the engagement photos from our spring session, so I’ll shut up now and let the images speak for themselves.
It’s hard to stay on budget with every aspect of planning, but was there anything you splurged on because it was so important to you? Was it easy to make it work, or did it take some effort?
*All photos by Bryan and Mae Photography