(photo by Brandon Chance)
I'm sure you're all wondering how the heck I found a wedding photographer available on a summer weekend to shoot a wedding on less than a week's notice.
I didn't. I didn't even look, because I know I can't afford myself, nevermind wedding photographers who charge 2x-3x what I do (which would be $1500, and it's only that low because I don't shoot a lot of weddings and I don't market myself as a wedding photographer).
I understand the pricing that goes into wedding photography, I truly do. I have the equipment and the talent and all that you read about why you should hire a $3000 wedding photographer. I can preach that too.
But sometimes...you just can't. I'm 7 months pregnant. We're down to one income as of now. Our house might need a well. $3000 for a photographer-though I know it's worth it- just isn't happening when the whole wedding came in under $2000 and that was with a LOT of help from our families. (And we cannot thank you enough!)
I've been watching up and coming wedding photographers for years, watching as their prices went up...and schedules filled, and prices went up again. They're making it. It's awesome seeing them grow. Was I a little sad that they have all ended up out of my budget? Of course.
But again. FIVE DAYS. Last Tuesday morning we didn't know we were getting married, and by Wednesday afternoon we had the minister, place, dress, license, rings, some food ordered, all guests invited. The next few days just involved decorations and party favor prep.
I figured, it's crunch time. One of our mutual friends, Katherine, had offered to shoot the wedding; she loves photography and shoots with the Canon EOS system. She even has a 60D, which is just what, one step down from my 7D's? I told her I'd let her use my cameras, she knows Canon, she could use my lenses if my cameras gave her any crap, etc.
Understandably, both of us were nervous! We had wanted to get together to do some practice shooting and check out the location, but I ended up having to work the day before the wedding and all our shooting plans fell through, so it was left up to the two hours before the wedding.
I just had to keep reminding myself that there was once a "first wedding" shoot for me, and I was nervous about that shoot, and I was shooting with a Rebel XS with a kit lens (that terrible little 18-55mm!) and everyone had been happy with those photos.
Hell, Kath had more official instruction in photography than I do -- because I've only learned from years of hands-on experience and reading, and doing. She took film photography courses while in high school, but her high school had an outstanding art program that's the envy of probably every high school in this state. Film is different than digital, of course, but it's not like she doesn't shoot digital. Her camera is decent and I've got L-series lenses. For crying out loud, what was I worrying about?
Besides, I was shooting stills of decor and party favors the morning of the wedding myself to take some of the pressure off the standard wedding stills that don't involve people.
Eventually, I made it to the in-laws and Kath met me there. We chatted photography while my hair was done, and then it was go time.
Another friend of ours, Brandon, was shooting with Kath's extra Rebel XSi, as her assistant, since he's just getting into it.
Between the two of them and the couple times I stole my camera back, they did it. I'm happy with the photos, and that's kind of a tall order to fill when normally I'm on the other side of the lens.
We had a beautiful ceremony and a perfect day! Even if we'd spent six months or a year planning this and thousands of dollars more, we couldn't have had a more perfect day.
Anyway, huge shout out to Katherine and Brandon for the awesome job. It's not easy and I know there was a lot of pressure, but in the end we had a great time!