When Brendan and I began planning, we knew that we would definitely have to set priorities for what was most important for us to have at our wedding. Maybe it’s because of all the blogs I have read over the years, or maybe it’s just the sentimental part of me, but I knew right away: Photography is a major priority at our wedding.
I know some people don’t feel as strongly as I do about photography, but I am pretty confident that almost everyone wants pictures of their wedding. Even if you don’t look at them often, your wedding photos will be the longest-lasting souvenirs of your big day. Long after you’ve eaten your first-anniversary cake, long after you can’t even find your wedding dress, let alone fit into it – the pictures will still be there, helping you remember how the day looked and felt.
As I was growing up, my family always took a lot of pictures. My parents recently packed up for a cross-country move (to be closer to me!), and we sorted through many, many boxes of old photographs. Of course, some of them are so grainy and yellowed that you can barely imagine being there, but as time goes on, the quality of the images gets better and better. I am definitely thankful that we are getting married now, when digital photography is excellent and image storage is simple – we know that even if our wedding album gets lost or damaged, we will truly have these photos forever. Knowing that our pictures can actually be timeless (well, except for the outfits and hairstyles!) is definitely a selling point for investing in good quality photographers.
I was probably spoiled by all of my pre-engagement wedding blog viewing (thanks in part to being in bridesmaid A's wedding the year before), but I definitely wanted more than just pictures that captured how everything looked. I wanted artistic, beautiful pictures that captured the emotion of the day - done right, I know that photography can absolutely be moving, and I wanted our pictures to be gorgeous and full of emotion.
I have to say, photography was the first big thing that caused Brendan and I to go through sticker-shock. Wedding photographers are expensive, yo! Everywhere we looked, especially in Boston, photographers’ packages were pricey – even knowing that this would be the case, I was definitely surprised. Brendan and I even prepared to limit what we could get pictures of, or forgo engagement pictures or an album. Luckily, we persevered – with a little bit of digging, mostly on the WeddingWire reviews pages, we found a few good options. One thing we noticed was that the photographers located outside the major cities (in our case, Boston) were much more affordable – and in most cases, they were more than willing to drive anywhere around the metro area, so even if your wedding will be held in the city, I would definitely suggest shopping around a bit!
Not counting the terrible meeting we had with a husband-and-wife photographer pair (truly the most awkward encounter I’ve ever had), we met with two photographers during our hunt. We were lucky enough to schedule the meetings in the same week, which definitely helped us to compare styles and personalities. Both photographers were friendly, and we meshed well with both. Their portfolios were stunning, and we could definitely see either of them shooting our wedding. And both of them had relatively similar package pricing – it was really difficult to choose!
Ultimately, because both of our options were good ones, our decision was made on relatively small details. Although both of the photographers were friendly and professional, one of them stood just a bit above: Samantha Melanson.
Our personalities clicked immediately with Samantha, and her professionalism was obvious. Although she is young, she is definitely on top of her game – she even answered Brendan’s questions about data management and security without batting an eyelash! We could tell that with Samantha, our wedding would be in good hands.
We had our engagement session in the fall, just over a year before our wedding – more on that later, but for now, here are a few teasers!
(all above images copyright Samantha Melanson Photography)
Did you have a hard time choosing a photographer? What helped you make your choice?