Sooooo for those who don’t know, I recently got married. #happilymorrowed The whole thing was amazing (because what bride doesn’t think their wedding was), and I’m here to tell you that no matter what random stressors appear leading up to the big day, you will come out the other side over the moon with your life decisions. (At least I did, and I hope you did too!)
One way to make sure your day/week/month/YEAR! is as awesome as possible is to make sure the vendors you work with are top notch humans. Makes sense, huh? 😉
I know what you may be thinking, quality usually equals . But honestly, that’s not always the case. And one of the best parts about getting married in Buffalo is the relative affordability, giving you more room to find vendors who embody the vibe you and yours are going for.
My obsession with finding the perfect fit is how I ended up working with Colin Gordon Photography for the most important photo shoot of my life. #dramaticbuttrue If I could pick five pieces of advice to give brides on the hunt for a wedding photographer, this would be it:
1. It’s All About Style
Personally, I think a photographer’s style should be the biggest factor in your decision. It may sound crazy…. OR NOT…. but you should look at past wedding albums by your prospective picks, check out their Instagram feed, make note of the photos they choose to share on that feed (I’ve found those are most reflective of their style), notice their style of editing, and the things that set them apart from other photographers you’re looking into. All of these aspects combine to create a specific style, and it will be a big part of your wedding photos in the end.
About Colin: This was the first thing that drew me to Colin’s photography. His work speaks to me on another level – like if I were taking the photo this is what I would want it to look like. He likes candids, he like natural smiles, he values authentic realness and at the same time, isn’t afraid to try something off the cuff and different for fun. This is exactly what we wanted, and we ended up with an awesome album with a whole bunch of candids and some epic glamour shots too.
2. Pick a Photographer Who “Gets” You
I’m not saying date this person for 3 months before hiring them, I’m just saying meet with them and make sure you get each other on some level. This was one major reason we went with Colin. Having worked with him before on a couple Step Out projects, I knew he was professional, reliable, creative, and would make a great wedding guest (AKA someone my friends and fam would love to be around). That’s what I wanted and made sure I had it, and you should too.
About Colin: Something we loved about working with Colin and his second shooter Ryan, was the fact that our wedding party loved them. Being the rowdy bunch they are, our friends definitely weren’t always paying attention and doing as they were told, but Colin took it well and got things done while keeping everyone happy as clams. We’re eternally grateful because it made the whole shoot actually fun.
3. Do an Engagement Shoot
I’m sure to most people this is a given, but to me, it wasn’t. As someone who is short on time (aren’t we all!) and always trying to save money, I opted out of the engagement shoot that comes with 2 of the 3 packages Colin offers. This was a mistake for no reason other than my husband Paul and I could have been better prepared had we done a pre-wedding shoot. (Read: I could have worked on my different smiles in the mirror.) When I said we were going to pass on it, Colin warned me that it’s a huge help in getting ready for the big day, and I should have listened! It just would have made us more comfortable and aware of what we were doing with our faces, bodies, etc. at the wedding, which is something that everyone can benefit from.
About Colin: I’ve since seen so many engagement shoots by Colin Gordon Photography and every time I’m legit jealous of them. Our wedding photos turned out so awesome, I know I wouldn’t have regretted an engagement session with Colin. So learn from my mistake and just do it!
4. Have a Plan
Ok, so these last two are a BIT contradictory, yet equally important IMO. I found that having a plan in place (scheduled times for photos, a list of shots we wanted to capture, a time limit for photos with our wedding party) was major for us. We knew exactly what to expect and ran ahead of schedule because of it, which was so great. Take the time to think it through a bit and then talk it out (maybe even a couple times) with your photographer. You may not think you need to, but you’ll thank me later.
About Colin: Colin was great about a. Dealing with my wanting to discuss the plan several times, and b. Educating us on what parts of our plan were realistic/just plain crazy. Plus, he gave us tips on how to get exactly what we wanted out of the photo shoots without too much compromise. And we did. Thank you, Colin!
5. F*** the plan
Now take that plan, and throw it out the stained glass window, y’all. Maybe you or your photographer has an idea mid-photo shoot – go with it. Hopefully, this is the one and only time you get married, so have fun with it. Taking risks makes the experience that much more fun and the photos that much more exciting, I promise.
Having too much fun taking photos? Not ready to join the party yet? Keep going, the party will wait. Dying to see your friends and family? Maybe skip that pic your auntie said you “have to have”. Let’s be honest, no one’s gonna miss it. It’s your day. Do you.
About Colin: Colin executed both planned and unplanned shots so perfectly that I’d say it’s one of his greatest strengths. We never felt rushed or uncomfortable, awkward or burdensome. He’s able to flow from candid to posed without skipping a beat, and he was so supportive of our timing needs
For more info on Colin Gordon Photography (@colin_patrick on IG), visit colingordonphotography.com. Check out Colin’s blog post on our 07.22.17 wedding at 500 Seneca and Hotel Henry here!
-Emily (Kluckhohn) Morrow, Director of Storytelling and co-founder of Step Out Buffalo