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Trust / Choosing your Lake Tahoe wedding photographer

Trust. What does it mean? How is it achieved? What am I writing about trust? And along those lines….faith…vision….belief…etc. and etcetera. As a bride or groom, you trust in the experience, the relationship with your loved one, which is why you’re getting married, because you want to spend the rest of your life with this person, and you want to make it known to the world, with your friends and family sharing this once and only day with you. For photographers, you trust in your ability to connect with your client, how you grow and maintain your business, your technical skills, there’s so much you have to know to be confident in what you love to do. Coming from a bride’s perspective, first you want someone who knows what they’re doing, you’re already looking for that connection from the photographer’s work and perspective. Then you’re thinking, “Holy Sh**! Why is photography for my wedding so freaking expensive?” And there’s plenty of photographer posts about why wedding photography is so expensive, which I’ll let you Google that one.

I photographed a wedding recently from a bride who found me online (as most do). She booked me for her photography about a year or so in advance for her short and sweet wedding. The thing was, she really wanted snow for her wedding. Unfortunately this has been the worst snow year in Tahoe since before I was born. So snow wasn’t going to be possible with her timeframe. She had suggested, as I typically do, scout locations for best environments for photographs. I found a location that was so not typical for wedding photography, with it’s edges and lines and architecture for photographs (in addition to the harsh mid-day light I would be dealing with..hard mid-day light – work with it to your advantage…sometimes  you can come up with some pretty phenomenal photographs). When I suggested this location to her, she immediately dismissed my idea. Thus, whether my idea and photographs would have been good, who knows, I wasn’t given the opportunity to expand upon my vision. Thus I did my best with the visual and light restraints I was given, the couple loves their photographs. All I know is, I did a great job with the restraints I had, and if the couple is happy with their photographs, that’s far more confirmation that I need. Coming from the newspaper industry, one of the first things I learned was, “Take what you’re given and try your best to make it phenomenal.”

So the other day I was looking for sugar on Amazon. And I’m a weirdo who likes to explore my options before making the trek to Safeway to buy brown or white or Raw sugar for my molasses/ginger cookies made with almond and coconut flour. So of course, I’m comparing turbinado to brown to sucranat, and then I explore a bit further, seeing what options are available for someone who prefers a low glycemic index to her foods. So… all in all, after the research I found Palm Sugar or even coconut sugar with lower carbs (and yeah I’m not so into the whole Stevia thing) than brown or white sugar. So what’s the cost? Will I be spending more on my “alternative” sugar for my molasses cookies? Of course, because what I put into my body is important to me. I have struggled with my health for years, years, and I try to make the best healthy decisions that work for me and my lifestyle.

The same could be said for wedding photography. You have this once in a lifetime day, that you plan on only doing once, all the planning, the dress fittings, the flowers, fighting for returns on the RSVPs, the bridesmaids (your closet and dearest friends and family), and you want your day to be be perfect. But with perfection comes patience and a helluva research and budgeting for what works for you. But in the end, it’s a big party to celebrate  your marriage with your close friends and family. So when it comes to your photography, you’ll definitely want to choose someone whose work you trust, whose work creates an emotional reaction from you. There’s a lot of really good photographers up here in Tahoe, while most have the same style of photography, some elevate and you will to see how their work stands out from others. Do you want stylized photographs, traditional photographs (which will be the most variety and cost comparative) from the standard eskimo kiss to family portraiture, or are you striving for someone who really connects with you when you want pure, real documentation of your once in a lifetime day?

Who you are, and what you want as a bride, groom or parent for the wedding…strive for that when you choose your photographer. When it comes to pricing and you want to stick within a budget, (there are blogs that recommend when you budget $$ for your wedding, better add on $$$ to really get the party you’ve planned for you and your spouse with your friends and family?) when  you find a photography style that resonates with you (as all my clients resonate with my photographic vision), and if that photographer’s work you love is $$$ compared to your $$ for photography, you know that photographer will work with you with budgeting (whether a payment plan or Paypal, a credit card, whatever) so the least amount of your worries will be the memories captured from your wedding day.

God knows, I’m dying to buy a 35mm f/1.4 lens and with it’s $1500 price tag, once I get a few bills paid, I will charge it, because I know and fully believe I will get that baby paid off in 6 months or less. When you know you need something, and you have to charge it, you know it will be worth it in the long run because of the effort it took you to achieve it.

It all works out in the long run. Honest. yes?

When it comes to your once in a lifetime photography…anyone (even your uncle or aunt with their pro DSLR) can produce this (maybe…):

Edgewood Tahoe

But…is this more real to whom you are with your friends and family?

Edgewood Tahoe weddings

Or do you love the quality and realness of film photography?

Edgewood Tahoe wedding

Or even this…my choice of a real moment with it’s indiosyncracies. Love this image because of it’s realness (and yes, this is a digital image)

Edgewood Tahoe wedding photography

When it comes to cost for your wedding photography, when you find someone whom whose style you love, and when you meet with them, you know totally want them to photograph your day, even if you have to charge it, your trust and faith in your photographer for your most important memories are so beyond worth it.

I met with a couple who got married up at the Ritz Carlton Tahoe a couple years ago recently. (I wasn’t an option to be their photographer), and I asked them if there was anything they could change about their wedding, or the planning, what would they change. They said they were beyond happy with everything with their wedding. And that makes me happy, even though I wasn’t an option for their wedding photography, they are totally happy with everything and the photography from their wedding. 🙂