Today's it's personal. My story on choosing my wedding photographer. (I was just about to type, "You only get married once", but in our culture... that's not often true. But it will be for me. So... I'm only getting married once. So there.)
I'm only getting married once, so I had to do it right. Wait for the right man, wait for the right timing, and pick the right photographer. Jesus took care of getting me the right man, and we waited on Him for the right timing, so all I had to do was pick the right photographer. Easy enough, right?
Sunil can attest - I was a wreck. We had a budget, and I wanted to stick with it: cheap. Melissa Jill Photography has been my DREAM for 6 years, ever since I found her blog. I've oodled and drooled and stalked her for years, and loved every wedding she's done. So naturally, I wanted her to shoot my wedding. Easy enough, right?
She wasn't in my budget. I, being the saver, wanted to not spend millions of dollars on my wedding, so I was cutting corners at every turn, which included the photography. So silly me, I decided to look for someone cheap. What was I thinking? I really don't know. I wasn't thinking like a photographer anymore, I was a bride. I wasn't thinking like a business woman, I was thinking like a stressed out, soon-to-be wife. As I searched around for a photographer, I just wasn't satisfied. Melissa was still my dream. What was stopping me?
One night, Sunil sat me down for a talk. (And when I say, "Sunil sat me down for a talk", I really mean we pulled up our laptops and decided to try to close the 7 hour gab between us by video chatting.) He asked me what my dream was. Because we all have dreams. Dreams about our future. He asked me who my dream photographer was. Naturally (duh!), my answer was Melissa. "What's stopping you from hiring her?" "Babe, it's not in our budget..." "But do you have the money?"
Yes. I did. You see, God had blessed me abundantly last year, and I had a bunch saved up. It was like Sunil was offering me my dream on a platter and I didn't want to take it - it was too risky. Since when is life not about taking risks?
So I risked. I emailed her right then at like 11:30 at night, hoping she wasn't already booked for our date. She emailed me back the next day that she wasn't booked, was totally open, and I booked her the same day.
Freedom. Joy. Rest. I was like a little kid that had just found out that Christmas was TODAY! The whole experience with her was incredible - from the booking process, to the engagement shoot, to our wedding day. I couldn't have dreamed for anything better, and since that moment of decision, I've never ever regretted it. She gave me the incredible gift of trust. I trusted her. I was able to focus on Sunil - not my photographer ("but are they doing it right? Do they know what they're doing? That's the wrong lens for this shot! This lighting is going to be horrible!"). I knew everything would be amazing. And it was.
So this is for all you people out there looking for a photographer - whether it's for your wedding, or even just your family pictures for that year. Do you trust your photographer? Did you choose them because they were affordable? Are you making excuses or dreaming dreams? I learned something..... If I, as a photographer, wasn't going to splurge and INVEST in my own wedding photography, how could I expect my clients to?
So please. Invest. Invest in your photos. Tomorrow, they may be the only way you can remember yesterday.
To see all our wedding photos - click here: http://www.melissajill.com/blog.cfm?postID=1109&sunil-and-amanda. Melissa did an amazing job!!!