(photos by Bow Tie Photography unless otherwise indicated)
When DJ and I were in Las Vegas last year, I gave that a try. Just to see, because I'm a research-the-options kind of girl. We hired a newbie photog for dead cheap, and she was very nice. But not a pro. She was late. She couldn't tell us how to pose, where to go, what to do to be interesting. We got some nice portraits, but I wouldn't have wanted her to shoot our wedding. Even if it would have cost half.
(taken by the Las Vegas student)
Then we had the pro engagement session a month ago, and the difference was extraordinary. Are we paying Kim more? Yes. Should we be paying her even more? Yes. She's cheap now, if you're near Indianapolis and need a photographer, hurry up before she starts listening to me.* Just look at the difference in light between the last picture and this one.
Kim fixed my hair, moved my awkward hands, cracked jokes, teased DJ, and treated us to ice cream. She researched the location, ran with my ideas, and left me feeling great about myself. I think that these are things you learn with practice, along with lighting and framing and white balance. If you can find a pro on Craigslist, great. But not everyone with a big camera is a photographer. I guess it's worth the engagement session to find that out, if nothing else.*Obligatory disclosure: Kim is my friend, but these are also my genuine experiences. I wouldn't have risked hiring a friend (and we did hire her, for the whole weekend, with money) if she hadn't been exactly who I wanted. I'm lucky to have talented friends, but it's business on both sides.