Becoming engaged is SO exciting! I remember the day I asked Jane to marry me. I was really nervous. I pre-planned each detail and waited for the most beautiful warm spring day. I had the perfect wine and the most luscious fruit, along with our picnic blanket in tow. I suggested that she put on her favorite flowing summer dress and I offered a hike to our most favorite hiking location- an abandoned golf course on top of a mountain with expansive views and long, pliable grass (Jane loves grass!). As a photographer, I knew that light was of utmost importance and made sure that the sun would be casting it’s golden glow across the field at the exact time of day that I placed my body on one knee before her and asked her to join me as my friend and wife for life. She said yes and we were ecstatically happy. I made sure I took a few snapshots with my travel camera to remember the occasion.
It’s funny though because if you were to talk to Jane, she would remember many of the same things – except for one thing. She remembers the details of the day through the photos that I took. I’m not sure that she can recall all the small things that I labored over in my planning, but she DOES remember what was in the pictures. The photos have actually BECOME her memories!
After 12 years of photographing weddings full-time, I have come to understand this phenomenon a little bit better. I often think that photographing a wedding is like shooting a full feature film. There has been planning and production, decor, stylist, makeup, hair, hours of preparation, and even characters cast! But the big difference is that there is no opportunity for a retake, so it is vital to trust someone to capture it all right the first time. This is where relationship is key. If we are known for one thing, it is relationship. It is an amazing thing to be invited into a family’s “inner circle” on the day of the wedding, experiencing emotions that only those closest to the bride and groom experience. I think that we take that so seriously, and know that the comfort felt on that day is the result of months of time invested in building a relationship with the couple. Trust. If my clients trust me, then they will believe me and allow me to use my expertise to create images with them that will be what they treasure after years of marriage.
I completely believe that the amount of investment a client is willing to make will be directly evident in the final product that they have, so photography is never an area to skimp. Food, maybe yes, alcohol, perhaps, but the only lasting element of months of preparation- no. If budget is limited, the focus should be on the time allocated to documenting the day. Things can be added on later- books, prints, but the wedding cannot be recreated, the hours involved in the day can not be redone.
We want our clients to be well informed and know that they should think about several things as they move through their planning. Be sure that whoever you hire has a proven record for providing consistently great images. Make sure they back up their images in at least 4 different places (one of which needs to be off-site in case of a natural disaster). You will want them to guarantee that they will produce your images within a timely manner (we provide them within 3 weeks of the wedding). We want you to be happy because we fully believe that your photographs will BECOME your memories, more than your actual memories themselves. The day will fly by and you will be surprised after the wedding how little you actually remember. In fact, there will be so much that you will miss, but a professional photographer will not. Be sure to also check out some reviews about your photographer so you can find out what other people are really saying too, such as Wedding Wire, or from the photographer himself. Lastly, a great photographer is recognized by art directors as being so, and you will want to make sure that the person that shoots your wedding is regularly published by national magazines, not just wedding blogs (where the need to create content occurs 365 days a year, making the process of featuring vendors much less selective).
We just received a review from the father of one of our bride’s. In an industry that is truly flooded with people taking photos, I thought it might be helpful to share the email Jane and I received from Reagan’s father, Don Murray. Many people can take photos, but not all people are photographers.
Wishing you only the very best,
Jane and Jeff:
These images are absolute artwork! We could not be more pleased with the way you and Jeff captured the utter essence of Reagan and Blake’s Wedding! As an avid photographer myself, I am having difficulties finding superlatives, perhaps because I so seldom use them.
In the game of tennis, there is a phrase that describes anyone who can be on court with the best of them, compete and deliver at the highest level – “World Class!” That best describes the work Jeff produces for his clients – World Class!
Working with you and Jeff, from the very first day we spoke with you, has been a privilege. Let me share a deeply heartfelt “Thank You!” from all of us for helping to memorialize this most amazing event at The Greenbrier in such an extraordinarily artistic, imaginative and accomplished manner.
Lastly, if I can ever help you or Jeff explain the multitude of differences between what Jeff Greenough does for his clients on critical, once-in-a-lifetime events and special occasions, and everyone else out there, please feel free to send them my way. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss the distinctions.
Kind personal regards,