Let’s talk about wedding stuff, shall we? As you know, we spent our Labor Day weekend in Kentucky earlier this month. It was an obligatory trip in order to attend my future sister-in-law’s bachelorette party and bridal shower. Plus, we wanted to see the new baby and we wanted to get our Engagement Photos shot. So, we crammed in a bunch of visiting and the above mentioned tasks into 2 days. It was a blast!
I really don’t know much about photographers. I know that I truly appreciate good quality photography, but have tried to create it myself and fail miserably every time. Also, when we first got engaged and I started frugally completing our wedding budget, I was so naïve about the costs of photographers. I thought we could secure a good package for $400. I know! Talk about embarrassing. When I mentioned this, I thought my sister was going to slap me clear across the face. “Of all the things in your wedding, you HAVE to spend money on your pictures!” Then my mom chimed in, “When it’s all said & done, all you’ll have is those pictures. Nothing else about the day will matter. Spend the money!”
So, I determined that the going rate in Cincinnati was about $3,000 – $3,500. Gulp.
My brother went to school with a girl who is a photographer, and an amazing one at that! Check her out here. She actually just relocated to Phoenix, but will travel anywhere. I started talking to her about shooting our wedding, but she was in the middle of the move so I told her to just catch back up with me when she can. After all, I thought we had plenty of time to discuss the details. Little did I know that as soon as I would tell her “we’ll get to it when we get to it”, I found an amazing deal! God bless Craigslist!
Leroux Visual. It’s a husband & wife team. I did a little perusing around their sight, their gallery, checked out what Google had to say about them. All signs pointed to “go!” but their pricing was SO reasonable. Almost TOO reasonable, if you know what I mean. But, I had confidence based on what I had seen of their work, so we went in for the best packages for both photography AND videography, and you know what? It’s STILL cheaper than the going rate of $3,500 for photography! I know! I’m so glad I found them. And, because they are handling both aspects of the “capture”, they can incorporate our photos into the video footage and disk extras.
Our photo package included an Engagement Session. So, we scheduled it for our Labor Day trip.
I received the CD of photos in the mail yesterday. Very anxiously, I opened the envelope and saw a cute graphic with one of our pictures on the label. I held my breath as I inserted the CD into my laptop. The first photo? UGLY! The second photo? More UGLY! By the third photo I was starting to wonder if it’s possible to BECOME a person with Down Syndrome through the aging process because, if you ask me, that is exactly how I looked. I had never felt so ugly in my entire life! This wasn’t an issue of bad photography. In fact, I truly liked the way the pictures looked … it was just that ugly chick in them that I despised! The City Boy was at work, so I sent him a text: “U r marrying a very ugly chick u know. I’m looking at our engagement pics. U r hot (of course) but I’m hideous!” He responded with, “Whatever. You’re gorgeous!” Then, I called my sister sobbing into the phone, “I’m getting uglier and uglier!! My eyes are drooping off the side of my face! I look like I have Down Syndrome!” She laughed at me, but then suggested maybe we get more pictures taken. She obviously didn’t understand.
“You don’t understand”, I said. “The problem is not the lighting, the photography, the colors! It’s the subject! No matter who takes my picture, they still will be working with an UGLY subject!” More crying. Honestly, I don’t know what came over me. I’m not usually very emotional … especially over things like this. But, damn it. I was very upset last night. She suggested that I email a few of the pictures to her to review, and I agreed. By the end of our conversation, I was already approaching the second loop of pictures.
Maybe it was the wonders of being calmed down by a sister from 910 miles away, or maybe my vision was blurred by all the tears, but when I saw the pictures for the second time, they really weren’t that bad. Sure, there were a few that made me want to stab myself in the crooked face, but I just quickly moved past those to the ones that weren’t so bad.
EDITED TO ADD: In the event that someone may have stumbled upon my site in effort to research references for LeRoux Visual, please don’t let my whining about my pictures let you think for one second that I’m not pleased with the work that was done. I think he did an amazing job with the lighting (which was a challenge due to all the direct sunlight), colors, poses, etc. He was very good to work with – he and his wife, and I’m looking forward to the wedding & reception shots as well! So far, I highly recommend them!
So, I’ve come to accept these pictures as what they are. Moments of happiness caught in time for us to remember forever. It’s not a beauty contest, it’s the looks of anticipation of our wedding, marriage and life together. It’s these pictures that mark our spot in time as we are planning, and dreaming, and talking about what we want to happen in the coming years. Where we want to travel. What our children’s names will be. Where will we move? What sort of businesses will we run? How will we balance fitness with family. Will we spend Christmas in Kentucky & Thanksgiving in Chicago? Some of these, we have the answers to. Others we’ll figure out together along the way, but can’t you see how excited we are? Can you FEEL it?!?