Mr. Llama and I will be meeting our photographer for the first time in less than a week! We are so excited to finally touch base with her face-to-face.
When we started looking for a photographer, there was one big thing that we'd hope would work in our favor, budget-wise and availability-wise.
Yeah, not necessarily. We contacted probably about 20 photographers to inquire about pricing, and I'd say only half offered some type of weekday discount. Photography was important to us, but we didn't want to spend more than ~$1500 - $2000.
Mr. Llama works for a videographer, and so (sort of) works in the photography field. This meant that yes, he could tell the difference between a lot of the photographers' styles, and yes he had strong opinions on who he did and didn't like! So I first got his approval on anyone I contacted.
Disney has a photography department, but we were very glad that we are not required to use them. A)They are very expensive, and b) we did not love what they had to offer. A lot of that overly dramatic, overly-edited, "fuzzy" look, which is simply not our taste. Everything feels very posed.
We liked clear, crisp photos that documented the day, appeared mostly candid, made us look like the best version of ourselves, and captured the emotions and personalities of us and our guests. You know what else we liked, though?
Someone who had done a Disney wedding before.
I was surprised at how many Orlando photographers I had talked to had never photographed a Disney wedding! Hiring someone new to Disney wasn't out of the question, but ideally, we wanted someone who had been there before, was familiar with the property, and would come to our wedding with some ideas of what they know works in that setting.
Enter Ashley Jane Photography!
"I'm a big kid at heart and a Disney freak and passholder; that mouse totally has me wrapped around his little finger! "
Wait, WHAT? She has mad photography skills (to our taste, anyway!), her wedding coverage starts at $1695+, AND she loves Disney?? We were so excited.
On top of all that, she got back to us very quickly, and was extremely open to customizing a package that made sense for us. All in all, she is getting us:
- 9 hours of her time
- 6 hours with a second shooter
- Easy digital download/high-res print release of all photos
And all comfortably within our budget! At the time we booked her, she had not YET done a Disney wedding, but was doing her first back in September. She sent us those images when they were complete, and they were so gorgeous! We knew we had made the right choice. All we really wanted was someone who would be familiar with the Disney property, and not need direction from us on where to go and what to get shots of, and Ashley fit the bill perfectly.
So in a few short days, we will actually meet Ashley at Disney's Kona Cafe for breakfast, where we'll get to know each other a bit, review the timeline of the wedding day, and go through a list of the photos we definitely know we want.
I think this was the most laborious part of wedding planning so far... so many photographers don't list any indication of their price range, and even after inquiring via e-mail, wanted to talk on the phone before giving us a price. Because I like to be thorough in my research (did you SEE how many dresses I tried on?), I refused to give up until I knew I was getting the best option for us, and while I'm glad I did that much digging, I felt it was really tedious.
So what super-annoying wedding task is still ahead of me? What will make the search for a photographer look like a piece of cake?