AAH, it's like you're asking me to pick my favorite flavor of ice cream or something. Impossible! Okay, let's see. Hands down, Elsa (Tribesmaid Snarkbat) and Jonathan's wedding was fantastic. I was really touched by her Offbeat Bride guest post blind women get married too, so I was thrilled when she picked me to document the reception. Her Doctor Who/Steampunk/laser wedding bouquet kind of went viral earlier this month, but you can't see the laser lit up, which was sort of the best part.You can see more from their wedding in their highlights slideshow here. Plus, I think Elsa's going to submit her wedding so you can all drool over all the swing dancing, Dr. Who-themed awesomeness.
Oh! And you know my last guest post about Real People Vs. Models where I half-jokingly mentioned that one of the ways you can tell if a wedding is a real couple or a model is if there's a horse involved? I got to shoot an authentic couple with a horse last weekend!
Bethany and Darrin are an offbeat couple who had this amazing, rustic wedding with sustainable farm-to-table catering up at the Kaaterskill in Catskill, NY. And they're real! Not models! With a horse! See:
AND, the day before I got to shoot an Offbeat-lite couple who had a "secret Harry Potter" theme. They had a very fun wedding with a lot of onbeat things, like a white dress, a country club venue, flower girls and ring bearers, the whole thing, but when you look beneath the surface (literally), Danielle was wearing this amazing purple crinoline. They had dragon cake toppers and antique key favors as place cards, which was a nod to Gringott's Bank. The wedding date was 7/13. Only hardcore HP aficionados like myself might make the connection that Sorcerer's Stone was in vault 713. This couple had booked my package that includes rehearsal dinner coverage, so the night before we got to brainstorm. I suggested that the bride and groom bring their wands, which was fun.
Holy crap! So how many weddings have you shot in all?
Oh, man. Since I first started shooting weddings in 2000? Definitely more than 100, for sure.
Do you think your experience is what matters most to offbeat couples?
That's hard to say. If there's anything I've learned about offbeat couples, it's that we're all different. I think people like working with me because, yes, in the past 12 years I've photographed weddings in just about very imaginable type of venue and circumstance. I am very much able to adjust on the fly to whatever weather, lighting or family dynamic that comes up. I know my gear so well that I can tell if my flash is putting out the right amount of light by the way it feels against my forehead when it fires.
I also try to make sure that all of my clients get four kinds of photos:
- I take hundreds of candids that capture all the emotions, laughter and beauty of the day — from ugly cry tears to dance floor antics, so that someday people can look at your album and feel like they were there.
- I shoot all of the details that my clients have spent time and energy on in their planning, which makes me a great fit for DIY couples.
- I make sure to get all the "standard" group poses with your parents and wedding party (if you have one), because your wedding is the one day of your life when everyone you love comes together in one spot… but I'm super efficient and quick about it so you can get back to the party that brought you all together in the first place.
- I try to make very creative shots of the bride and groom that really tell a story about your relationship and the love you share.
With me, you get the full range of documention as I focus on all four of those things, and that seems to really please my clients.
So you mentioned earlier that you have a package that includes rehearsal dinner coverage. Packages are new for you, right?
Yes! They are new as of Spring 2012. I named them with my offbeat clients' input, because I just could. not. bring myself to name them, like, "The Platinum Princess Package!" My packages are: Destination Courthouse, Just Shoot Me, Gotcha Covered, Day of Awesome and Unicorns and Rainbows. Destination Courthouse is $400 for one hour and works well for people eloping in New York City. The most popular ones are the middle three, which range in price from $2400-$4500.
You know a LOT of our brides are budget brides, so this is worth bringing up… why is your photography worth so much?
Putting why it "costs" so much aside and focusing on why it's "worth" so much, I firmly believe that at the end of day, when the cake (or cupcakes, or pie) has been eaten, and your wedding attire has been cleaned and preserved (or repurposed), your documentation of the day is what you really have to remind you of your wedding. It's so much more than pictures.
It's the look on your partner's face when she saw you in your wedding finery for the first time; it's capturing the way your best friend's toast made you laugh.
Ultimately, choosing the right photographer comes to down to figuring out who is the best fit in terms of price, personality and artistic style. You want someone you can trust and someone you'll genuinely like having around on this really important day.
So, what about those aforementioned budget for offbeat couples who would LOVE to work with you but just can't afford $2,400 for photography?
I ALWAYS want to work with people who really want to work with me. When people appreciate that I offer something that not just any old person can do, it means the world to me. So, here's the special deal I'm offering:
If you book by August 15th, you can save 20% PLUS choose an add-on up to $800 in value. So let's say you want the "Just Shoot Me" package, which usually does not include a CD of high-resolution images. With this special offer, you save all the sales tax, plus $240 more AND you get the CD. That's over $1,200 in total savings.
Or, let's say you want the "Gotcha Covered" package, which includes a CD and an engagement session but doesn't come with an album. With this offer, you can add an album OR two extra hours OR a second photographer plus a day-after fashion session. That's more than $1,100 in total savings.
Wow. That's a freaking four-figure discount right there. I'm almost feeling bad asking this but…anything else?
I totally feel like the Sham-Wow!TM guy right now. "But wait! There's more!" I do offer one other super-secret special discount for people getting married in the slow season (January, February or March) or for people booking at the last minute if I'm not already booked for that date. You have to contact me to find out what that is, though.