As a Bride – Picking a Photographer

April 26, 2015

How to Pick a wedding photographer, by the Ganeys, photography by High Five for Love

The moment anyone found out that we were getting married, almost everyone asked us “Well how are you going to pick your photographer?” We would joke about taking selfies – because I really had no idea. There are so many talented photographers out there. I didn’t even know where to start. Photography was one of our priorities and I was willing to cut corners in other areas but I also wasn’t going to bust our whole budget.

I started with our “requirements” – we wanted a team that always worked together, we wanted an awesome duo that was fun and creative, we wanted a photographer that used film, and we wanted them to live in Florida.

So, I took an audit of my (zillion) facebook likes, asked for some recommendations, and scoured through screenshots on my phone. I narrowed it down to eight and contacted them for pricing.

Many of them were out of our splurge range (dang, film is expensive) and I politely explained that.

There were three in our range. I wanted to speak with them – either in person or over the phone.

What happened next? (I don’t mean any of this in a mean way…just being honest)

  • One never wrote back
  • One said they would have time to talk in 5-6 weeks (and to their credit, they did follow up during that time frame)
  • One set aside time to speak with us that week

We had our phone call with the last option – chatted for an hour – asked all of the questions we could think of (and no, they weren’t The Knot’s suggested questions). We felt really comfortable moving forward so we set up an engagement session via email. We had a date nailed down about a month away.

I shot the duo an email a week or so after our phone call asking for the opinion regarding locations for the engagement session and never heard back. Never.

We followed up eventually – just days before the scheduled session – and received a response indicating that we should probably find another photographer.

I felt really frustrated and a bit shocked. Is this what bride’s deal with? I remember lying on the floor after work – just thinking. Going through our options. Wondering if this was how every bride felt. Thomas looked at me and said, “What about High Five for Love?”

I sat up. “But they live in Nashville.”

“We can fly them.”

“But they don’t shoot film.”

“They could borrow your camera.”

I thought about it for a moment longer. “Okay!”

Months ago, I had stumbled across High Five for Love on Ever-Ours, a wedding blog that (sadly) is no longer around. Their name is what first captured my attention. Anyone with a brand like that has to be awesome (I was suddenly super envious and wanted a fun name!!).

I clicked on their site and fell in love. I browsed their blog and loved their blurbs about their couples. Their images were fresh, bright, and a little funky. Some were even a little moody – and I loved it. It was just different. Not your every day photographer. Everything felt so different from everything I’d ever researched – but it also felt so right. I had the biggest smile on my face when I was on their site.

Soon their webpage became a top hit on my frequent browser history. I felt like I was friends with Chrissy and Eddie. They were so fun – I mean their “about us” page is perfect. And they have a doodle? Done.

However, during our wedding planning process they hadn’t been included in my initial list because they didn’t meet my “requirements.”

Thomas was the push I needed to recognize that I was forcing myself into a small box. Be flexible! Know what you want, but also know that when something feels wrong…. or right, you need to listen to your heart.

So that night – after being frustrated – we crafted our inquiry to High Five for Love. We filled out their inquiry form with as much detail as we could muster because we wanted them to get excited about us! We wanted them to want to make a trip down to Florida for our wedding. We wanted to feel like friends – and sometimes that only works if you share enough detail first.

Chrissy wrote back that evening and my heart was filled to the brim with excitement.

We set up a skype date and got to know each other (and our dogs) while munching on popcorn. They were awesome people and we knew they would make us feel awesome on our day – and that they would be just as excited about our wedding as we were.

A few added bonuses about these two:

  • Chrissy sat in traffic for almost an hour to come meet me in-person when I was in Nashville for a photography workshop. It was so nice meeting her in person!
  • It sounds silly, but it is the little things. Chrissy is okay with me texting her. She likes my photos on instagram. I feel loved and appreciated by her. I wanted our photographers to be our friends. And I feel that we are. None of the other photographers I reached out to asked to see our website.
  • They are doing this for all of the right reasons.
  • What’s really important to me – they’re good people.

We decided to book them and I’ve never looked back. Check out some photos of our wedding at Bok Tower here.

The Ganeys in Nashville Nashville wedding photographers, High Five for Love BHLDN Dress Engagement photos by High Five for Love