Hello Everyone, and Happy Sunday!
Today is a pretty special day for me and Derric, and we're so excited to celebrate with you. One year ago, this very day.. we got married! I can't even explain how special this past year was to us. When people tell you time flies, they weren't joking- We can hardly believe a year has gone by already. It's been an incredible journey, learning to live together, save/spend money together, laugh together, cry together, and in the difficult moments of our first 'newlywed' arguments.. It's been easily said one of the best years of my life. So today is a day where we look back, and remember the most precious moments. The decorations, flowers, tears, butterflies.. All of it. As we look back, we're so incredibly thankful for our friends and family who love us and support us through this journey called life!
I'm so excited to share these tips and honestly, just a general viewpoint from a photographer, bride, and friend to you! Planning your wedding day, the day you used to sit on your bed and dream of as a little girl - is a big deal! And clearly, the goal is to hopefully only do this one time. Your wedding day isn't all about the videos, photos and pretty details but the vow you make to each other and commitment to God. But, these are just some of my thoughts and perspectives after being a bride! And how I'm literally, thankful everyday that I invested in a good, no, not good.. GREAT photographer. *Cough* Michael & Carina Photography. I will admit. Choosing our wedding photographer probably was the most stressful element of the wedding for me. I'm a pretty laid back person, so "bride-zilla" wasn't a thing with me. But I will say, looking through the thousands of photographers in the world- it was the most difficult decision.. which instantly turned into the easiest decision. Let me actually go back a second, I think when choosing your photographer you should find someone who 1. Fits your style / the style of your wedding day 2. Someone that immediately draws your eye to their work 3. Someone you can TRUST to capture these moments, without a worry. 3. Someone that has similar values as yourself. Because, you're going to be intimately sharing the most precious moments of your life with your photographer! Okay, back to my main point. I myself am a digital photographer, but I've always admired the look of bright + airy film. So basically, that's where I started "Film Photographers" I remember searching on Facebook.. and I remember passing through lots of photographers, and then I hit Michael and Carina. I specially opened a new tab with their website, drooled for like a good hour and then moved on to continue my search. And that's basically where it ended.. I kept going back to that tab. Everything on their website drew me in. Their branding, their blogs, their adorable video about their vision and love. They also were two souls who got married young, and that was something that meant a lot to me- Because being a young bride wasn't always easy. Some people looked at you like you were crazy for getting married young. So my heart was instantly sold.
Now, Contacting them.. And this point isn't to discourage you, but to just be realistic. Wedding's aren't cheap. So, pricing was the next decision, what collection to go with.. what was in my budget. This is where your true value of photography comes into place.. M&C we're in my price range. I'll be honest. But I couldn't deny that they weren't the ones I definitely wanted to go with. As a wedding photographer, and bride - I viewed having them as my photographers as an investment. I knew, that beyond the memories and emotions that we'll remember from our wedding day. The images are the things we're truly going to be looking back on. That's what we're going to show our children, grandchildren.. along with the stories and memories. Like I said, you will only do this once- so spending a little more and making that 'investment' is a wise choice. I promise you. As a photographer, I was willing to invest in someone else.. also because I want people to trust and invest in me to capture their wedding day. And let me tell you. M&C invested in us. Wedding photography isn't just a one sided situation- You pay them, but they essentially pay you back with incredible images, and tangible memories.
They invested in us.. I'm strongly using this point because it's true. They really did. They are two humans that know exactly what they're doing with their business. They knew the images that I'd love to look back on. Down to the details of what we had on our tables, our favors, the hankie I gave my dad. I can look back in my mind and remember those little details, but then look back at our wedding gallery and really re-live it. And as my point below will hit on, they've even taken the time to help me on my own business / photography journey.
They became our friends.. A true business owner and photographer invests in their clients and truly gets to know their hearts, and them as people. (Which this is also my vision.) Michael and Carina, were to open-hearted people with their business and their lives. I talk to them on a pretty regular basis, and I think that's awesome. I love the fact that I can truly ask them questions, and be thankful for them as now FRIENDS.
Hiring a photographer for the full day.. Most photographers have multiple packages for the amount of hours they will cover on your wedding day. Want my honest opinion? Get the highest amount of hours, or the amount before that. (8-10 hours). Why? There wasn't a moment missed on our wedding day. They were even there in the early AM when we were setting up, and I love the images of my family helping put together our dream day. They have the precious moments of Derric and his guys getting ready, me and my girls, and me and my dad seeing each other for the first time. (Which was one of my favorite memories + a total meltdown) And not to mention, My Maid of Honor and best friend helping me put my shoe on, and my foot totally cramped and we couldn't stop laughing - one of the most ridiculous moments of the day, so so funny. Like really?
I love looking back on these images, with my best friends. And remember that CRAZY amount of butterflies in my stomach at these moments.
They know what they're doing.. I know I've already hit this point. And I don't want to beat a dead horse, I'm just like- serious. When you're investing your money into your wedding day, choose someone you can trust. Choose someone who knows the ropes, and captures those special, unique moments. And the moments that every typical bride would want. (their fiances face when they see you first the time, the kiss.. ect) And did they exceed my expectations? Yes. #someofmyfavoritemoments hunny, don't kill me for posting this- you're so adorable. :)
They celebrated with us.. Throughout our entire engagement, wedding planning, M&C were involved. They went above and beyond. They really truly cared just as much as we did about every detail. I felt like they were truly a part of our day, and weren't just 'photographers' who showed up took our photos and left with no connection. And that's my vision as a photographer as well, not just to come and go, but to invest in you, to get to know you, and truly celebrate with you on your wedding day. Because, weddings are, yes, more than pretty pictures and details but a unity of two souls with God. And it's really, really a beautiful thing.
They had a back-up plan.. The weather was unsure that day. Rain, no rain? But the Lord heard my billion prayers and it turned out to be a beautiful day. But the night before, they contacted me and we were slowing working out a plan if it rained. They were that awesome to think ahead, and be realistic that you can't control the weather but you can make the best of it. So had a backup plan if the weather wasn't going to cooperate. That's worth the peace of mind just knowing, either way you're going to kick-butt images!
I hope that you found this blog post useful, and relate able! It is at all no means to pressure anyone into making themselves broke for a photographer, but really just seeing the investment your making and how it truly pays off. Coming from a former bride + photographer! :)
Hire your wedding photographer for your engagement session.. I feel like lately a new thing is hiring a different photographer for your engagement and wedding. In my personal preferance, I 110% suggest hiring your wedding photographer to do your engagement as well. A couple reasons.. It really allows you to get to know them before your wedding day. We had a few hours to hangout with Michael and Carina, tell them our story and get to know them as well. Which, I really appreciated. I loved that I felt I knew them pretty well on our wedding day, because we had hired them for our engagement session which really allowed us to get to know them!
They truly captured us as a couple, our young hearts and personality.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and view some of our wedding day images! The most special moments and images of our lives. We truly adore each and every client, and value you all so much and your unique story. We hope that you found this helpful, and enjoyable!
Below are some blogs that our wedding day//engagement was featured on to view more of our wedding day!
Click here to see Style Me Pretty wedding feature. Click here to see Hochzeitsguide Wedding feature. Click here to see WEDDING wedding feature. Click here to see Dream Weddings wedding feature. Click here to see Ruffled Engagement Session feature.
And a genuine thank you to Michael and Carina Photographer for all these lovely images.