I am a huge DIY girl. I always look for a deal, and I have some crafty skills. I am also a photographer. I am sure that I could have saved some cash by shooting my own engagement photos. I chose not to. Here’s why: I wanted the experience of dressing up, showing up and going home. I know how much work is involved with photography, and I know how much it takes after the shoot to get to the final gallery. I did not want to put in the work to save the money, I wanted the experience of being photographed, I did not want the stress of a DIY on this, and I am so glad that I went with what I wanted. I splurged and it felt great!
I wanted a particular look for our session, so I set out to find the right person for the job. Looking for someone to capture your engagement session or your wedding day is a daunting task. It is overwhelming and can be expensive, but I believe it is worth it if photography is a priority for you. It’s not a priority for everyone, and that is okay too. I made it a point to make room in my budget for it, because it is sooooo important to me. I wanted heirloom type photos that were professionally done. I love the professional vintage portraits that I have of my relatives. I treasure that even though he’s been gone for many years, a lovely black and white photo of my Grandpop greets me from atop an antique desk every day as I walk through my front door. My grandmother, in her youth, sits on my end-table with finger waves in her hair and a lovely, pensive gaze that cuts right through the portrait. They transcend time. One day, I want my grandchildren to see me like this.
I talked to several photographers, and looked at many portfolios on websites. I looked at style first with everyone, not price. I made a list of people’s portfolios that caught my eye and I put them in order of 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice, etc. Then, I inquired about price with only the ones that made my list of the best artistic fit. Because, to me, photography is an art form, I chose not to begin my search based on price. My search began based on what I was drawn to artistically, after that price became part of the process of course. I decided on Jessica Bailey Photography and set to work.
I posted before about the 1920s-’30s vibe I was going for in the formal shots, and that I had scored a serious DEAL on a bad-ass dress. When my photographer took us to a speakeasy (located inconspicuously on the back side of a deli) for this set, I knew that my splurge was worth it and I knew that she saw my vision too! So, here is how it turned out folks! Its like my vision was brought to life, and I couldn’t be more stoked about these!
For the casual shots, I wanted a more light and airy feel. We had a more laid-back wardrobe on this set, and I love those options, too. We used one of the most unique special event venues that I’ve been to. It was a historic gym that had burned down, and the remains have been turned into an open air event venue complete with amazing antique brick. This was also a fitting location for the urban-esque casual shots that I described.
My take away from this experience is that, its okay to spend on the things that are important to you. Whether its flowers, photos, or a bad-ass dress … if you can make it happen, do it! Its okay to not do it all yourself. Find what you want, and go after it. Don’t go overboard, but don’t miss out on the important experiences either!
All photos by Jessica Bailey Photography
What splurges were your top priorities? How did you choose the right person for the job?