Okay, before I can share more about our meeting with Garrett Davis and our photography decision, I have to explain a little more about my photography experience and search.
I love photography and own my very own DSLR. I can't claim to have much knowledge about f-stops and ISO and all, but I can tell you that I have an eye for photography. I know how a photo should look, and love it even more on the rare occasions that a photo can take my breath away - exceeding my expectations of it. I have ideas of how photos should be framed and am often dissappointed when a stranger offers to take a picture for me and it isn't what I wanted, even if the average person would think it was a perfectly nice picture. I know that I could potentially be very dissappointed with our wedding day photography. I also know that a major reason I care at all about how everything looks - my dress, the tables, the venue - everything - is based around how it will look in the pictures - they're that important to me. So, needless to say, deciding on a photographer is a big deal.
While in college, I went to the same church as Jerry and Ingrid of Jerry Yoon Photography. Many of my close friends have had them photograph their weddings, each one providing more stunning photographs than the next. When David and I started discussing marriage, I get it stuck in my mind very quickly that for photographers, I would have Jerry and Ingrid and nothing less. I knew I could trust them to show up and do an amazing job, I was confortable around them, and they did absolutely amazing work.
Unfortunately, they are also too expensive for my little budget. (With good reason, though. Not only are these guys insanely talented, but they put so much time into every client's photos to make everything perfect.)
I looked around at other photographers, but everything I found fell into one of two actegories:
 waaay too expensive.
 photos that didn't even seem worth paying for.
I convinced myself for a long time that I had to pay $6,000 for photos that would impress me at all. I just didn't know how I could possibly convince everyone I knew that it was worth the expense.
Until one day, a post on weddingbee provided me with a new set of photo blogs to drool over. Some of the photographers I was seeing were actually really, really good. And they all started their prices at $2,000 or less. Amazing.
The three I liked most and e-mailed were:
Megan Ann Photography
and of course, Garrett Davis
Garrett was the most responsive and my personal favorite of the three, so we set up a meeting. I knew that the lower prices of these photographers must mean that they came with less of the bells an whistles. I was expecting a bare-bones package, and had even convinced myself that bare-bones was okay. Heck, I could have a friend do our engagement photos and we could make our own album, right?
Well, meeting with Garrett proved that I don't need to sacrifice anything to get the photos I want. His middle package - at just barely over what I was aiming to spend - includes a 10x10 in. album, a 8x10 in canvas print (both can be upgraded), and an engagement session. All of his packages include unlimited shooting time no. matter. what. Basically, with his photojournalist background, he insists on staying until the story is over - as long as it's still our wedding day, and we want him there, he stays. at no extra charge.
The best part? He told David that he will include a band shoot for his band at no charge if it's at the same day/place as our engagement session, AND he is interested in getting involved in the whole photobooth trend, so he wants to try to set up a light stand and camera with remote including an assistant for us for free as well (!). I'm so excited.
Looks like we're going to end up with so much more than I expected for a fraction of the cost. Is this really possible?