In the wedding photography business, we're not dealing with a Chinese take-out order or a refrigerator repair, we're handling the memories from the most important day in people's lives. It's no small thing. But simply getting great photographs is almost the easy part of the day. And I would argue the more challenging task is helping to manage the anxiety and tension that will undoubtedly surround bride and groom. It's the photographer mind you, that is with the couple the whole day, from bridal preparation in the morning all the way through to dancing in the evening. No other wedding vendor will spend so much time with you on a day that will be exhausting, exhilarating and full of rushing, waiting, and anticipation. It's a day like no other and finding a compatible, professional photographer is one of your biggest and most important choices.
The odd thing about finding a wedding photographer is this: some of the best photographers are not very social people. In fact, the hobby and profession of photography attracts people who are introverted. So most of us, myself included, we work on our ability to relate and communicate with clients in a way that puts them at ease. Wedding photographers might not be the witty, funny types, but make sure that your guy/ or gal has sufficient communication and relational skills to make your wedding day as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.
The bigger corporate photography companies hire talented photographers, but you probably won't know who exactly will show up on your wedding day. Paying $5 to $10k to these companies in no guarantee that you'll receive the kind of service you'd expect for that kind of money.
Case in point:
From: Shannon N <email@example.com>
Date: May 4, 2010 2:06:18 AM GMT+08:00
To: Dan Johanson
I just had to email you to let you know that this weekend Nick and I were in a friends' wedding at the Dublin Ranch Golf Course--they hired a gigantic corporate photography company to do all of the wedding photography (Bella Pictures). I just had to to tell you that the photographer was horrible.....she was really rude, kept missing all of these shots (and even asked us to redo a few moments to catch them on camera) and even yelled at Nick and the grooms' mom when they had a suggestion about a photo opp. She didn't know anything about the couple....including that they had a baby together and she didn't even do any candid shots. She stuck to her list of "must have" shots and didn't take anything else.
So, with that being said, Nick and I looked through our album and watched our wedding DVD the next day and still can't get over how GREAT you and Paul were at our wedding. We feel really bad for our friends because they are never going to know what a good photographer is! We just are so thankful and blessed that we had you guys catch our special day. You two are the standard that we now judge everyone from! I did recommend you to our friends, but I guess they wanted a cookie cutter photographer with a bad personality.
Hope you and Hazel are well--I'm sure you two are getting close to having a little one...only a few more weeks, right?
[Dan Johanson] Photography completely gets the need to help grooms and brides minimize the stress going on around them. Dan and his team are drama-free, personable and do whatever it takes to make your day more enjoyable while capturing exceptionally great photographs.