The last big detail we have to get settled is a photographer.
Now, there are several solutions to having pictures taken during a big event. You can hire a really expensive photographer. You can hire a less-expensive photographer. You can ask friends. Or you can do nothing at all and hope everyone gets lots of snapshots.
Among the people we know, there are quite a few avid photographers and many of them are quite skilled. I have no doubts this will be a well-documented event! There are a few places, however, where it becomes quite an imposition to have a friend cover a wedding: 1.) formal portraits; and 2.) the ceremony.
My dad is actually an excellent photographer, to the point where he has been asked to photograph a friend's wedding. His advice on the subject: "Don't do it!" What happens is that the friend - who would normally be simply invited to the wedding - now has a responsibility everyone knows is a big one. It's a lot of work, and as a friend of mine who really is quite an excellent photographer herself says, "I've learned that you can either live life or photograph it." It becomes kind of difficult to enjoy or even really pay attention to an event when you're documenting it. It's one thing if you're documenting for fun; it's quite another if it's become your formal responsibility. We would like our guests to be able to be attentive during the ceremony; and we don't want to haul them out early so they can work hard just before it. It's just not a very hospitable thing of us to do.
So we would like to hire a photographer to cover certain aspects of our wedding, mainly the formal portraits and the ceremony. We've noticed that the reception photos are usually very well covered by enthusiastic friends who actually have a better chance than a formal photographer of getting lots of neat snaps; and Ben says for some reason he really finds the pre-ceremony preparation pictures a little unnerving. So while we might have limited coverage of the preparations, we really want the ceremony to be documented and we really would like the portraits of the bride and groom and the family/bridal party (same thing, in our case!).
In that pursuit, my task yesterday was to sort through the many, many photography sites online searching for someone who would be both within price range and within style. It was interesting going through that many sites because after viewing a lot of picture galleries, I started to get a feel for the fashionable poses currently in style and also for what the difference is between a good photographer and a gifted photographer. You know what I noticed the most? Gifted photographers have developed (no pun intended...) the ability to capture people with good expressions on their faces. Not only that, they balance the lighting so there is no glare, have a good feel for what to focus on, and set the pictures up so they are interesting and not just a basic snap of someone with a "cheese" smile on their face.
Another aspect of this type of photography is that it has a tendency to be totally unreal. Everything can be staged in such a way that you look at it and say, "Yeah right. Like he's ever really going to kiss her by bending her over at the waist while she's holding a bouquet of flowers just so." Or, "On such a busy day as a wedding, does a woman ever really naturally stand around staring with dreamy contemplation into her bouquet like that?" Or, "Yikes! Sand! She's getting that beautiful white dress all sandy!"
And then there's my favorite: "The entire bridal part is just spontaneously leaping joyously in the air at the same time?"
I understand why the photographer might like to create an air of spontaneity in photos that can have a tendency to get a little pompous and rigidly formal; but those jumping-in-the-air-photos give me the irresistible urge to giggle. Not in an "Oh, how neat!" way, but in a "My goodness...seriously?" way.
Benjamin and Leah told me last night that photographers do sit down with you and get a feel for what pictures you'd like and not like, so thankfully we have a chance to head the leaping pictures off at the pass, so to speak. And I found two companies who seem very promising and have our wedding day available. That is very exciting because I was a little touch worried we were going to have trouble finding someone this close to the day. I suppose having a Monday wedding has it's advantages...Monday evening is not a frequent night to get booked!
Wife of Benjamin and mother to two wonderful little girls who are getting bigger every day. Enjoys writing down thoughts and discussions we are having within the family and sharing them with whoever is interested in reading.
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