No money, mo’ problems: Strike a pose

Noted Fashion Photographer Nigel Barker thinks you need to Smize. Also, don’t stick out your chest so much, it makes you look porny. And, please, please, please try not to look like you’re sitting on the toilet.

Photography & Video — 10%: photography, videography, additional prints/albums and misc.

This is an area that’s definitely worth cutting that cheesy string quartet for. The drinks and food will be gone that night, your dress will go shoved into the closet, your flowers will be dead within a week, but your photos and video will be forever. The one thing, besides a new spouse, that you’ll take from this day are your images. Want to remember that day the way it was to you? Hire a good photographer. I was in such a haze the entire day of our wedding, I felt like my eyes wouldn’t focus. It’s been really great to get our photos back, and finally SEE everything. We got back nearly 1,000 pictures, and I’ve intently studied every one.

When looking for a photographer, you’ll want to find someone who has a style similar to yours. If you’re a couture bride with fashion sensibilities, you’re not going to want  a photographer that takes a hundred prom style pictures of your and your groom. You’ll get your pictures back, and hate them. And you know what? There are no reshoots on this day.

Check out portfolios and websites. See a bunch of matching sweater/white background photos? Pass. Lots of babies in assorted pumpkin patches? No, thank you. It might take a little work, especially if you live in a smaller town, but if you can find a photographer with a distinct creative style and a keen editorial eye, you’ll be set.

So, you found this amazing photographer. Are they a colossal asshole? DO NOT WORK WITH THEM. On your wedding day, there should only be room for one demanding starlet, and it should be you. Mothers, bridesmaids and vendors need not apply. Do your best to find someone who you can easily spend time with. This person will be following you around on one of the most stressful days of your life, they shouldn’t be an added, all day annoyance.

We were very lucky to find our photographer. I had been searching and searching for a photographer that fit our aesthetic, and had come up empty. I really just stumbled upon her card, and when we saw her photos, we were IN LUST. She was around our age and seemed to share a lot of common interests. Most important of those interests: good photography. We met up with her, she liked my Shins t-shirt, and the rest really was history. I am not a huggy person, but every time we met with her, I had to fight the urge to squeeze her. Our engagement and save the date photos came out absolutely gorgeous, and our wedding pictures are TO DIE. TO. DIE. Once the photos started being passed around, she quickly became a major celebrity among the members of my family. Her team was amazing, she was amazing, and our photos are amazing. These things are not a coincidence.

My mom wanted me to find someone cheaper. She thought we were overspending, and yes, we went over our alloted budget to work with the photographer we wanted. But, it has been more than worth it. She went above and beyond our expectations, and I plan to give lots of pictures of myself to family members for Christmas this year. It was worth the Veruca caliber whining I did to convince my mom to let it go. Why was I even arguing the point when we were the ones who wrote the check to her? I don’t know. I like it when my mom is on board with my ideas. So what? Spend the extra money here, on someone you want, and you’ll be happy. This is a subject where I really can’t, within reason, condone cutting corners.

A lot of cost cutting wedding blogs and articles will advise you to have a friend take your pictures. Unless your friend is a professional photographer, I really can’t think of a worse idea. You don’t want your friend trying out new effects on your wedding day. This isn’t like hitting play on an iPod, or making a cake. If your pictures don’t come out, it can be truly crushing. I’ve had friends that hated their pictures, and they will only serve as a constant reminder that you didn’t get what you wanted. I would freak out. Seriously. Then again, this would never happen to me. I went out of my way to make sure it wouldn’t.

I know this post is sounding like a review of my photographer, and not general advice. But, my general advice to you, is to find someone who will give you the same experience I had. Years from now, you’ll be glad you did.

Tomorrow, favors that aren’t sexual in nature.