As I've mentioned before, Daniel does not care about photography. Wants good pictures, but wants little to do with the choosing process. So this decision was pretty much all on me. And contrary to my OCD, must-research-everything-or-perish-trying personality, I basically just booked the person I wanted because I wanted to.
Not that there weren't any cognitive processes going on in this decision. I did research. I've been bookmarking people casually for months, and I definitely searched for cheap, good photographers in the Bay Area (thank you WeddingBee). I ended up actually speaking to four photographers which definitely isn't nothing. But for once in my miserable excuse for a life, I didn't overdo it. Even though I knew I could find someone good for a cheaper price than the photographer we booked, I just did not want to put in the exhausting amount of effort it would take to do it.
And I am in love with our photographer. I mean, who wouldn't be after this:
He was the one I wanted from the beginning. There are a few others that I was very interested in until hearing their prices, and one in particular who was willing to work with our budget despite her large amount of experience (Jen May is awesome, check her out), but our photographer was BY FAR the most reasonably priced for his ability.
As soon as I saw Helen and David's wedding, I knew.
So it is with great pleasure that I present to you, Stephen Cheng Photography!
The main reason I didn't book Stephen immediately is that he lives in Orange County, so we have to pay for him to travel to NorCal. Daniel and I initially viewed this as a totally unnecessary burden on our budget. Why pay for travel expenses when there are plenty of good photographers in the Bay Area? Well, thing is, these awesome but cheap photographers seem to be hiding from me, and Stephen was perfect. I couldn't get his pictures out of my head. He just seemed like an awesome fit. His style, romantic without sacrificing realism, is exactly what I was looking for. I'm even considering using 2 of the 4 songs on his website for the ceremony procession! It just seemed meant to be except for the whole price issue.
So we met with him (and boy was it nice to be able to finally meet with a photographer in person), and I was happy to hear that he is excited about our wedding! Always a good attribute in the person who's going to capture it (and I'm pretty sure he was sincere. Our location is the shit). We were able to work out travel expenses that will only put us slightly over budget, AND he agreed to give us an extra 2 hours of coverage just because he would be there anyway. That was what really cinched it for us. Daniel was very impressed by his reasonableness, and I knew we were never going to find a better deal than 8 hours of coverage for our budget.
And so we booked our photographer with enough thought and research to back up the decision, but mainly because I am in love with this:
In spite of myself, I feel really good about this decision. The pictures will be good, we get along with the photographer, and our budget will live.
Have you made wedding decisions based on instinct (or laziness)? How did you choose your photographer?