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You have been warned this is a pic heavy post…

Pretty pictures… we want ’em.  We also want a photographer that will be ok with non-pro paparazzi and plays well with other vendors, I talk a little more about our vendor requirements here if you want to read all of the randomness.

You see my dad doesn’t just like playing with motion pictures, he also likes photographs as does my sister and a few other guests.  These people will most assuredly have a camera on them at the wedding, they will probably try and sneak shots alongside the pro.  AND we want them to do their thing too because that is a good time for them.  We absopositively do not want a photographer that is snippy and tells people to go away or worse yet points at people and says “you here”, “you move”.  So impersonal.  Oh there was a laundry list of wants, likes and “oh no they didn’t” to consider.  They included things like we get the rights to our own pictures, maybe they set up a faux-to booth, they were fun, they liked people… So we looked and looked.

There was something really surprising to us that we didn’t anticipate at all, at least half of the photographers in the Kansas City Area mentioned G-d on their website.  Some of them are fantastic photographers but we didn’t want to risk it because our photographer is going to be interacting with all of our guests, and they are going to spend a fair amount of time with us.  After creating spread sheets, showing websites to our nearest and dearest we reached out to 3 photographers that had pictures that captured emotion and were modern…

Image from Melissa Lin Ellis FB/Photo by Melissa Lin Ellis/Wedding: Nikki & Tobias

Image via Melissa Lin Ellis/Photo by Melissa Lin Ellis/Wedding: Tiffany & Greg

Image via Melissa Lin Ellis/Photo by Melissa Lin Ellis/Wedding: Diana & Matt

* See the ground in this photo???? It covers an entire patio, I saw a photo of Melissa’s from 2008 that made me fall madly in love… sadly the venue is in Chicago (Prairie Production)

Image via Heather Brulez/Photo by Heather Brulez/Wedding: Mindy & Jim

Image via Heather Brulez/Photo by Heather Brulez/Wedding: Cary & Aaron

Image via Heather Brulez/Photo by Heather Brulez/Wedding: Amy & Phil

** be still my heart a pic with a pup gets 5 gold stars from me

Image via BlueRue Studio/Photo by Aaron Newell/Wedding: Amber & Garrett

Image via BlueRue Studio/Photo by Aaron Newell/Wedding: Stephanie & Adam

Image via BlueRue Studio/Photo by Aaron Newell/Wedding: Christina & Doug

So Thanksgiving Week a year ago I sent out the following e-mail to all three:

“Hi so and so,
        I found your website through Weddingwire your photos really stood out, so I showed them to my girlfriend who agreed that she liked them as well.
        We are interested in finding out more from you about your photography process, the investment, and see if there are any questions that we can answer for you.
        Since we have had the benefit of reading a bit about you we thought we would share a bit of our background, we are a lesbian couple getting married in Kansas City Sunday, July xx, 2012.  We are starting the process a bit on the early side for a few reasons, primarily we are planning from California.  We are having 150-200 guests most likely and it will be a kid friendly event (we are guessing somewhere between 30-50 under 13).  Our guests will be coming from all over the country a few internationally so we aren’t likely to get to have everyone together at the same time again (which also means we really want to capture the awesomeness that much more!).  Our reception venue is Boulevard Brewery, we are hashing out the ceremony location over the next couple of months but it will likely be outdoors.  We are working with Jen Fyffe from I Do Savvy Planning for Day of Coordinating.  Those are the vendors that we have signed contracts with.
          Our family and friends a) get along famously, b) can get a little rambunctious and c) may or may not carry around cameras like it is their job (only a few of them, I can think of 5).  The good news is that there shouldn’t be too many personality issues to deal with, there will probably be plenty of people doing funny things for some good candid options.  For a photographer though they may be a little crazy making because they might want to take pictures too which I know can be frustrating for some pros, best to know it up front right?  We will also have a videographer, we are still on the hunt for someone who will work well with a photographer and our guests.
          We are trying to be very conscious to let potential vendors know who they are working with up front because we want everyone to feel like they are a part of our wedding and we really want to work with people who are a good fit.  If we sound like a fun couple to work with then we are definitely interested in continuing the conversation, if not then I really appreciate you taking the time to read through my ramblings🙂
Happy Thanksgiving!”

The first response back was from Heather, she was a cool cat like us and has the same anniversary we will have, so she doesn’t work that weekend.  Boo, I really liked her work and she had experience shooting in our venue… onwards and upwards.

Then I heard back from Melissa Lin Ellis and Aaron Newell with BlueRue Studio.  Both were available.  We had phone conversations with both of them, and both were very nice but one stood out from the rest… we scheduled only 1 in person meeting (gasp) for our next trip to Kansas City…

Our 1 singular meeting was scheduled with Aaron Newell of BlueRue Studio… We instantly connected with him, he was funny, we could see hanging out with him having a beer, he actually wanted to do a same-sex wedding, and you see he is a Gorilla (Pitt State anyone???).  Pitt State happens to be Sweetie Scone’s alma mater, once that tidbit came out of the wood work they couldn’t be stopped…  He was totally ok with the “must play well with others” requirement, he was down for a bunch of kidlets running amok and having a harem of amateur photographers prancing around.  The best part… engagement pics and a disc are included in the package AND for a minimal price he will come to our rehearsal/welcome dinner and capture the  pre-party!  We no longer needed a faux-to booth if we had a photographer for both the reception and the rehearsal!

Did I mention we are totally enamored with Aaron?  He is freaking fun and we have a blast with him every time we meet up… sooo that’s the scoop, did we do good?

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