Should I give my photographer a shot list?

In the excitement and frenzy of your new found wedding planning talents life can get a little crazy pretty quick. Between finding all of your favorite vendors, creating a list, getting the dress, notifying your friends, the list goes on; there are some minute things that can work their way into the list of importance as well. One of those being your shot list.

There are times when finding the perfect photographer for your wedding day can get a little crazy, and that's kind of the fun in it as well. But, what about when you've actually found them. The consultation was had, the energy was great, the collections offered were perfect, and the example work was beautiful; now it's just the waiting game until the wedding day. In your patience your best buddy suggests you get on Pinterest to find all of the photos you want taken by your photographer on your wedding day, and so ensues the creation of the longest and most scripted shot list one could find.

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While the care and ambition is truly honored and appreciated; there are some problems that can come from this. Actually, let's talk about it.

Now, don't get me wrong, there is a level of creating a shot list that is appreciated. Maybe you're notifying the exact family members you want in a photo, or maybe even one-two moments while getting ready and during the portraits? However, there is a thin line between hints and direction :). Things begin to get tricky with your photo professional when they're handed a three page list of "natural moments" found by a mixture of other photographers from the web. This is why this may want to be avoided. The photographer you found and hired is a consummate professional, and one who cares about not only ensuring the story of your wedding has been told, but also cares to deliver in the most beautiful and unique way possible. It's tough for her to deliver what draw you to her when she has to focus on a list through out the entire day. The uniqueness of your day will fade away; worse, more important moments can be missed due to the focus of his attention.

Instead allow your photographer the freedom to create and tell the unique story of your day as it unfolds. This is what makes your day as special as it can be. You and your fiance are created different from anyone else, so make sure your wedding day is the exact same.

How in the heck do I pay for these wedding photos?

Yes, Yes I know. Sometimes seeing the price tag of what your wedding photography may cost can be a little daunting. I’m sure the cliche things are coming to be a bit repetitive. Sure, we know this is for a historical moment in your lives. Yes, we know this is the one thing that will be consumed over and over again after the wedding date. But, I mean, I STILL HAVE TO PAY! Well, I’m here to tell you; it’s more possible than you think.

Given the few things I mentioned earlier, it’s good that you are serious about making sure your wedding day is documented the best way possible. Ensuring a full story meshed with unique art and elegance is how you set yourself apart from all of your friends. When looking at photographers and their prices (even when doing so for my own wedding) I found myself, internally, THANKING the photographers with a higher price. Why? It saved me the guesswork. I didn’t have to search high and low. I could generally assume that photographers in a certain price range would give me the best experience. Similarly to how I know a steak from Ruth’s Chris is more than likely going to be better than a steak from Denny’s. They take the guesswork out of it with their price, because they are just that confident in what they do.

ANYWHO! There are still ways to get what you want when it comes to your wedding photographer. First things first, it’s all about your mindset. You have to think of this as an investment on your legacy. An investment so your kids’ kids will know who their people are, where they come from, what they look like, and the stories that go along with it. This is the only time this type of event will happen for you or your fiance; so cherish and protect it. Treat it like the important event that it is. Once you have that understanding, everything else will make sense.

In dealing with weddings week in and week out, I’ve really come to notice THREE different ways couples acquire their dream wedding photographer. Let’s talk about them here.

1. PAYMENT PLANS:

Yup, that’s right. There are some photographers out there in the world that will allow you to make payments toward your wedding, and not just two payments. Look at it like this. If you could agree to make $200-$400 payments on a car every month for 60 months straight on something that’s eventually going to die. Then you could certainly make smaller chunks of payments on something that will last forever. This takes me to my next point.

DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO BOOK YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER! Do yourself the favor by making your payments less aggressive than they need to be. Most couples set their wedding date out 12-18 months. There are some photographers who allow up to 10 payments. 10 payments to be made in up to 18 months? That sound like 6-7 weeks between each payment. VERY relaxed, right?

Book your photographer A.S.A.P. to make sure those payments are as aggressive as they need to be.

2. Coupons/Promotions

Sometimes you can even find different promotions or coupons available within a certain studio. Some may offer a certain percentage off, and others may offer additional services or products for you to get more bang for your buck. The possibilities are endless! This can help a great deal when you’re making your dime work it’s best for you. If nothing else just ask (don’t let that be the first question though, see if the photographer is even a good fit before anything else).

3. Gifts

Finally you have gifts from family and friends. While it’s not the most reliable, there is always a chance for you to get blessed with some aspect of your wedding by those who love you most. You never know, it may just come up in conversation.

So, yeah. Don’t run from the photographer YOU WANT purely because of the price. See how you mesh, see how the experience is, see how well the work looks. Let those aspects be the determining factor. After that workout your payment plan, find coupons or promotions, and maybe get blessed with a gift or two. It’s more possible to have the photographer of your dreams than you think! :)

Stop Registering in the PAST | A why to guide on filling your registry

So, you just got engaged? The world is moving by you like a whirlwind. Planning this, booking that, and you barely have time to look up to actually enjoy that fact that you are actually engaged. Welp, now you have to add one more task to the ever growing to-do list. That task is… CREATING YOUR WEDDING REGISTRY! Fun, right? Yes it really is. I mean, this is the time (if you both don’t already have your own) where you and bae get to shop for yourselves. This is where you get to create your own lives by bringing the both of what you enjoy together. And believe it or not, the home stuffers plays a big part in establishing that feeling.

We’ve all seen the many social media videos of couples in their favorite department stores, scanner in hand, beeping their registry wish-lists into oblivion! I like to imagine Mandark from Dexter’s Lab evil laugh with endless beeping in the background, lol. While this is can be a very fun aspect of the planning process; we just have to consider one thing… TIME! Between your full-time job, their full time job, family, friends, life, other planning responsibilities, it can get a little crazy trying to find the good time to head out and spend an afternoon fake shopping! News flash, I HAVE A SOLUTION!

ENTER zola.com! Yes, there is a newer site circulating around solely for creating your online wedding registry! Let me tell you, this thing is dope! All the two of you need to do is sit down at your computer or phone, create your account, and start adding what you see yourself wanting to your account! That simple.

Now we’ve solved some things here:

  1. You don’t have to get up and move anymore. Save yourself time and gas :)

  2. Your shopping experience is now easy and just as full with the over 500 top brands that they carry

  3. NEVER WORRY ABOUT RECEIVING DOUBLE GIFTS! lol

If that’s one thing I’ve seen happen so many times is the plight of the double gift giver. You know, the person who goes to shop off of a friends registry, but doesn’t make sure to give the cashier the name of the registry their shopping for. So, now that item stays on the list for the next person to buy… AGAIN. And It just becomes a vicious cycle. I’ve been to a function where someone LITERALLY received the same gift FOUR TIMES. This only adds just another trip to your to-do list after your wedding.

With Zola, you don’t have to worry about this anymore because as soon as a guest makes purchase, that item is taken out of your Zola store! Simple and hands off; which is what I love.

Check this out to see how things work + more!

Oh, and not to mention it syncs BEAUTIFULLY with our wedding website design service.

I encourage you. Check Zola.com out. Save yourself some time and make your wedding experience just that much better! :)