Picture This

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

Photos are the one thing you take away from this very expensive, very busy day.

Or so the conventional wisdom goes.

And I agree, to a certain extent. The dress? Not going to have many opportunities to wear it again. The food? Eaten. The venue? No longer your own personal playground. The memories? Intangible.

So photos to the rescue. To show you what you didn’t see when you were talking to Uncle Eddie with your back to the rest of the room. To catch those little (sometimes staged) moments between you and your beloved, one of which you can blow up to 16×20 and have printed on canvas for your wall.

Or not.

See, we’re not the hang pictures of ourselves on the wall type of people. We’re not planning to have children, so no generations to pass them down to. And if our respective histories are any indication, we’re not going to pull out the album every anniversary and get all schmoopy over the pictures again.

Not that there’s anything wrong with any of the above behaviors, it’s just not us.

For the record, there were 3 separate videos taken of my first wedding and I’ve yet to see even 5 seconds of any of them. Of those wedding photos, the ones I valued most (we had a photographer-friend offer to take the pictures for the cost of the film–which we had developed ourselves) were the random, candid shots of folks at the reception. Mr. Road Trip thinks he might have watched his wedding video with his ex (before she was an ex, obviously) maybe twice in the 10 years they were married? And the photos flipped through about the same.

So when I see starting “investments” of $2500 or more for a local photographer (that being half our total wedding budget), I start thinking that the majority of pro photographers aren’t for us.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not even for a moment trying to say that photographers don’t earn every penny of their fee. Sure, a chunk goes into the physical album (which we do not want included, and I’ve asked several photographers at bridal shows ‘Do you have a package without an album?’ and, with the exception of the one dude with the very nice custom flash drives in their own wooden boxes, they all fluster and bluster about how we can’t possibly NOT want an album), but their time is just as important, and therefore valuable, as my own. They have a business to run and I respect that.

Nor am I whining about how I want stuff I can’t afford and hoping the Universe will hand it to me on a silver platter. Because that’s just it: I’m not lusting after a certain out-of-budget photographer. I don’t have visions of dreamy shots or over-saturated artistic interpretations. And I certainly have no desire to traipse around our venue for 2 hours doing photo after photo of T and I staring dreamily at each other; away from each other; at some indeterminate spot in the distance. Nor do I want a single shot of someone’s hands holding some tiny thing like it’s a fragile baby bird. This is a wedding, not a catalog shoot.

Yes, I want photos. Of us with our friends, of our ceremony, of our friends having fun and laughing and eating and drinking. I see the perfect photographer for us as a personal paparazzi-meets-photojournalist. No avant-garde artistic sensibilities, just an honest representation of the day, however it turns out.

And I’ve got a feeling that’s out there. At a price that won’t strangle what’s left of our budget after the venue, food, drinks, and attire have taken their chunks out. I just have to find it, is all.

So tell me, am I alone in my photography is not the most important thing ever sentiment?