You'd think that someone who loves photography would have launched an exhaustive search of portfolios, interviewed a dozen photographers, and created an elaborate assessment tool before picking a vendor. I like to say that I made up my mind in a pizza parlor...but it's not entirely true.
In the winter of 2010, some people Marc knows opened a pizza shop in Charlottesville. When we visited for the first time, I was struck by their choice to make the interior very modern since most pizza places attempt an old world look. The shop had a wall covered in steel panels that immediately occurred to me as something cool to photograph or to use as a backdrop for a photo shoot. The next time we visited, a photographer showed up with a couple and started doing a maternity shoot against that wall. I remember thinking that if that photographer also saw something appealing in that steel wall, I had to see more of her work.
Did an image from a maternity session sell me on a photographer? Not really. However, it led me to start watching her blog and the blogs of other local photographers to get a sense of the different styles out there. I quickly realized that Charlottesville has an amazing community of photographers. Marc knew a few personally and we would later get to know a few more through friends. The options were fantastic, but that's not always a good thing if you appreciate different styles. I started to fear that it could take us months to find a photographer for our wedding.
I found myself going back to the blog of the photographer I saw at the pizza shop again and again. Her name is Elisa Bricker. Elisa and her husband, Edward, run Elisa B Photography.
Elisa and I met at a coffee shop during the busy season in my industry, which means I was probably a bit chatty after working in solitude for too many days in a row. We had a fun conversation about blogs and shoes and flowers and other things that I don't remember right now. I remember thinking that I wouldn't mind having Elisa by my side on the most important day of my life. I liked that she worked with her husband, so a second shooter wouldn't by a mystery. I also liked that she was tech savvy and involved in social media.
About a week after our coffee shop meeting, we signed a contact and gave Elisa a deposit. We could have drawn the process out for weeks or months, but I decided to trust my instinct and resist the urge to mount an elaborate search. I'm so happy with our decision.
Did anyone else simply trust their instinct when it came to one of their wedding vendors in lieu of doing a thorough search of all the options?