February 20th, 2007

photography

Who shoots the shooter?

This has been cross-posted to our official wedding Web site.
Yes, we already have an official wedding Web site.
You shouldn't be surprised.


When I told people I was getting engaged, the first question they asked me was “When is the date?” Apparently there are people so organized that they will choose their wedding date before getting engaged—not me. The second, unsurprisingly, is “who’s going to shoot your wedding?”

It’s a question that any couple should think hard about, but it comes with special considerations for me, as a wedding photographer. So first, a few things out of the way:
  1. No, I will not be the photographer at my own wedding.</span></div>

  2. Yes, if I could clone myself, I’d hire Ryan-beta.
This isn’t because I think I’m the best wedding photographer on Earth. But photography is a series of choices, many conscious and many more unconscious, built on your experience. The choices I make when I shoot a wedding are choices I believe in, which is why I make them. The logic is circular, but in this case it works.

The most obvious first choice, then, would be Sara Heinrichs, since we’ve worked together before on a wedding, I know her work really well, and while our styles aren’t identical our sensibilities are similar. But she’s in California, one of the few places we know we’re not getting married. Tom K and Charlotte Geary, fabulous photographers I know through Flickr and LiveJournal, are in Colorado. You can see how the Internet makes things tricky.

Of course, the real problem is that I still don’t know what part of the country we’re getting married in. Adam Nollmeyer is a great photographer in Arizona, should we end up there, and there are a few good photographers in New York City, I’ve heard, but the selection’s a bit thinner upstate, and I’d be looking mostly at photojournalists I’ve worked with and respect instead of weddings studios I don’t.

Of course, the problem is more complicated still: given my experience as a designer and photographer, my ideal wedding contract would be a bit … unorthodox … and many established photographers don’t want to wander outside of set packages for good reason. (My philosophy? “I’m just a guy, not Microsoft … we can work something out.”)