Thursday, December 9, 2010

Our phab photographer phind!

(I'd just like to quickly point out that I know that "finding" (used in my last photographer title), "fab," and "find" all start with F.  I just thought I would be clever by making them start with ph... like in "photographer.")

Last I wrote about photographers, we were striking out hard core.  Nothing was tripping my trigger... there was a lot of "um... close, I guess" or "I guess that would probably be OK" but no "OMG BOOK THAT PERSON RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT."  I was sure that by the time we found a winner, that lovely photographer would be totally booked up for our date, leaving us with no other option than to request all of our guests take copious pictures with their cell phone cameras.  I was pretty much a millisecond away from a complete nuclear meltdown at any given moment.  I definitely would have earned the right to don this beaut of a sweatshirt.

Thankfully, I then had a nice little present fall into my lap: free time.  GG was going on vacation with his family and I had some time off work, so I decided to head home and get a reprieve from wedding planning.  Minus the fact that I'm not a reprieve type of person.  My coping skills consist of battering a problem until the issue and/or myself are bloodied and bruised.  I don't exactly subscribe to the belief that taking a step back from a problem can help.  Instead, I take about 20,000 steps RIGHT AT THE FRIGGIN' PROBLEM until I prove the victor... as painful as that process can be.

So, let's recap.  I'm in a photographer dilemma, in that I have no photographer.  I have hours of free time at home.  I have my laptop.  I'm pretty sure you can see where this is going...

That's right.  I cemented my tush to the computer chair and pretty much refused to vacate my seat until I had found a real possibility for our wedding photographer.  I Googled wedding photographers in every city pretty much within a 2 hours radius of Johnstown.  I'd done this before, but I was hoping maybe I'd missed a clutch website.  Greensburg, Latrobe, Ligonier, Pittsburgh, Murrysville... nope.  Still nothing.  And then I realized that I had missed something... an entire geographic region!  You see, I'd been so focused on working west toward Pittsburgh that I totally forgot about some of the mid-sized cities to the northeast!  Despite this discovery, I wasn't terribly optimistic.  I'd been let down by so many searches before, why on earth would I expect this one to be any different?

UM, BECAUSE IT WAS.  IT WAS WAY DIFFERENT.  I Googled "Altoona wedding photographer" and got a handful of promising leads, which was definitely a step in the right direction.  I was poking around a website or two, about to go back to Google and try again, when one website caught my eye.  I was hooked.  I was smitten.  And, most importantly, I was done.  I knew within about .00001 seconds of looking at the lovely Christina Garber's website that she was my wedding photographer.  What do I mean?  Exhibit A:

I kid you not, these three photos sealed the deal for me.  I loved how they were candid, but natural.  They captured the emotions of the "getting ready" process AND they have my beloved blurry background!  I spent the next chunk of minutes looking through all of her pictures and reading her bio.  It turns out she only does wedding photography... no pet portraits, no senior pictures, nada.  I took this to be a good sign.  Clearly she must love photographing weddings if she has specialized in this specific type of photography!!  

The cherries on top kept coming... when describing her pricing and packages, her website reads: 

"I remember being engaged.  I remember the endless choices I had to make.  I remember having to agonize over the details of package after package.
What I eventually chose was the simple option.  Someone gave me one price for their time and the negatives.
So here is my SOLE wedding package.  Why just one?  Because I like simple and I assume there are other people out there that like simple too : )"

UM, HELLO?  A vendor making it easy, looking out for the bride's stress level?  I am in love.  I immediately emailed her, and she replied super-promptly.  Even though I was already 100000% sold on her, her response email was utter perfection.  I had asked her about her availability, and she responded by congratulating me on my engagement and telling me how much she loves marriage and weddings in general, and oh, by the way... she's available that day.  The whole business side of things was of secondary importance.  She totally connected with me on a human-to-human level, instead of the vendor-to-cash cow level I had experienced so frequently prior to this point.  I seriously wanted to dance through the streets, bellowing about my new-found joy, a la Buddy the Elf:

I showed GG and my mom the website ASAP and they were both on-board.  And just like that, we had ourselves a photographer!!

Congratulations on reaching the end of this marathon-post... what can I say?  I get a bit long-winded when I'm excited!  I had a hard time getting images to transfer from Christina's website to the blog, so GO HERE to look at some more!!

Did you have any vendor searches that transformed from frustration to ecstasy really quickly?

1 comment:

  1. Congrats! That's what happened with my cinematographer... I went from not even wanting one to falling in love to booking an amazing deal withing 2 weeks. It was incredible.

    Just found your blog on the Bee. Look forward to reading more!