Thursday, October 14, 2010

Photog Phrenzy

Hey ya'll!! I've been dying to talk about photographers because, well, I have a confession to make... I think photography might be the most important part of any wedding!!

Let's go over a list of things that fade over time:
The dress's shine
The bride's figure
Everyone's memory of everything that happened at the wedding

Let's go over a list of things that DO NOT fade over time:
The photographs...

Nuff said! So, in short, the photography has been a quiet obsession of mine for awhile. Let me tell you, it wasn't always that way, when we were first developing our budget, photography was on the bottom of our list, and it had a very small allocation of our total moneys. I started shopping around on the knot and in the yellow pages and I found out my budget was ridiculous. It scoffed at me as if to say "what were you thinking???" In a later post, I think it will be funny to go over my initial budget and my current budget. It's for fun.

Well, I had NO IDEA photographers were so expensive, even my mom was surprised because I guess she thought I was looking at all expensive photographers, and when she started looking, she was like, wow, they really are that expensive. Yup! The lowest prices on a basic photography package that I can find are about $2000. I could have a photographer who only stays for half the day and whose package includes absolutely nothing except a hi-res DVD of the images and those prices were closer to $1000, but I came to realize that only the photographers that were not that good offered packages like that, and furthermore, I realized I do want every moment captured, edited for the vein in my forehead, and preserved for all time!

Now, I've narrowed my ideal wedding photogs down to three. This didn't take too long because of the ones I e-mailed with back and forth, if I only kind of liked the photog and the price was too high, they were immediately dismissed. And of course, everyone's prices were too high, so, if that makes any sense; they had be be awesome, and the price just is what it is.

I found two awesome photogs, one a husband and wife team, and the other just one guy. The husband and wife comprise Sweet Pea Photography, their motto is "Photography for Awesome People." How sweet is that? Their style is a little grainy, a little antique-looking, candid, cute, quirky. Maybe perfect for me but maybe not right for Kyle? Their basic package includes an engagement session and the two of them, not just one photographer, for the whole day, for $2500. Yikes, I know, but in a minute, you'll see they're pretty high quality photogs and if you compare those prices to others in the area, they become all of a sudden pretty cheap. The second photog is Ben Weldon, based on his photos, he's also got a really great antique feel to his photography, again, kind of grainy and raw, but he's more romantic in the atmosphere of his photography, not that people don't still laugh and have fun. His package is just him, no engagement session, no extra camera, for $1900. Hmmm. Well, let me know what you think, below will be side by side Sweet Pea, then Ben Weldon of some key pictures:

Obligatory lower body shot:

And of course the groom's party with an adorable ring bearer:

So, now that you've seen my two favorite more modestly priced photographers, I want to introduce you to my hero. Ladies and Gentlemen, my hero, the one and only Shea Roggio!!
He used to be a photographer for the NY Times, he's photographed Jose Garces, Danny Bonaducci, and other famous people that I don't know. His wedding photography is spectacular, due in part to his editorial eye and in part because of his obvious talent for editing AND because he's obviously got the best cameras. Shea doesn't have quite as many cute Daddy or ring bearer/flower girl pictures, but he makes up for it with spectacular scenic beauties. His packages are a little bare as well, consisting of just him, all day, and no engagement session for $3500... but take a look at what you could be getting!
Whew, breathtaking right??? How the hell do I make this decision when I've got this to choose from?! How could anyone go for the cheaper options (by the way, guess who photographed Ben Weldon's wedding... none other than his good friend Shea Roggio) when Shea Roggio is available?? Now, I know it's ridiculously expensive and you're going to say "The other two look good enough to me to save $1000-$1500" and you'd be right! Of course! But could you say no to Shea Roggio?? I forgot to mention the story of how I stumbled across Shea Roggio:

I was on the knot looking up photographers and I specifically put in a more modest price range, well, the knot puts their featured vendors along the right hand side of every window and Shea Roggio happened to by there, so I clicked on the link because the thumbnail that was shown was gorgeous, and I was like 'yes, yes, call him, call him, must have this guy right here!!' And so I hastily pulled out my phone, got his voicemail, and left him a very flattering message about how amazing his work was... Sooo, then I went to his website, and realized he was like... basically famous. He has management and everything. I just called a famous person. I was mortified! After a day I was like "whew, looks like he won't call me back, probably just deleted the message along with every other crazy voice mail he gets every day." I also figured there'd be no way I could afford him. Well, about two days later, my phone rang and I picked it up all non-chalant, like 'who could this be?' Well, it was Shea Roggio himself, just as sweet and down to earth and humble as can be. Of course, he was well out of my price range, and as I mentioned earlier, I should have felt completely embarrassed, about an inch tall, but not so! He made me feel so comfortable, we instantly fell into easy conversation and he was totally helpful and kind. We've been e-mailing back and forth ever since, he recommended some other photographers, but told me to get back to him when I start having babies so we can do family photo sessions! He was amazing, and I felt like I was talking to a famous person!!

Well, once I found out that my dress might be a good deal less expensive than I thought, and once I talked to Kyle who graciously offered to help pay for photography (maybe not $3500 help, but help nonetheless), I e-mailed Shea again, and I will keep you posted as to what we decide, because I think no matter how I feel, we have to meet with all three of these wonderful photogs (technically 4, you know what I mean) and figure out who we mesh with best. And of course, keep in mind Kyle isn't as easy to please as I am... just a fact.

1 comment:

  1. Shea's work is GORGEOUS! I liked them all, but you know. I had a horrible time picking out a photographer that was in our budget. Having had work in the photography field myself, it's needless to say that I am VERY picky about photographs, but still had to stay in budget (otherwise my FH would kill me). I ended up going to someone who is about $2000 and it's 3 hours of coverage before the ceremony and unlimited the rest of the day. I also get a high res DVD of all the images and 100 of them are edited and also an egagement shoot with a high res cd. Her work is amazing and she is super sweet, too!

    Good luck, I hope you get the one you really want!! It's a hard process and I agree.. photography, to me, is one of the most important aspects of the wedding