Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vendor Review - Be Creative Photography

Alright, total confession time - I wanted to hold off on this one last wedding vendor review until our one-year anniversary, but I just couldn't. This posting has been in "draft" for months, and I swear I update it almost daily - but I couldn't wait any longer!

Not a single day goes by that I don't look through some (if not all) of our wedding photos. Over the past year I've felt like my life is moving faster than I can keep up, and it's both exciting and overwhelming. Maybe that's why I love looking at my wedding photos so much, because they make time stand still. They remind me of just how lucky and blessed I am.

Not to mention, they are breathtakingly gorgeous.

Oh, and the photographers are amazing. More than amazing. I can't put words on how awesome they are as people, as business owners, and as photographers. I never expected to become so inspired by them and their business story.

So who are these amazing, talented and inspirational photographers? They are Brooke and Eric Lagstein, of Be Creative Photography.

I first heard of Be Creative Photography when I googled the name of the another venue and up popped some pictures by Brooke and Eric at that location. It was the first time I realized how amazing wedding pictures could actually be; it was the first time I realized how amazing my wedding could actually be. I can't explain it, it's like, I saw those pictures and things all of a sudden clicked for me.

Before I did any photography research at all, I used the budget tool from The Knot. You know, the one where you put in your budget and then it tells you what you should be spending for everything based on percentages. The tool led me very, very astray. It estimated that I should budget $1,500 on photography - so, I figured that was about what photography costs. I know, some of you are reading that and laughing out loud. I'm laughing too. But at the time, I hadn't done any research yet, and figured the estimate would accurately reflect the cost of photography.


So, when I called Be Creative the first time, I was devastated to find out they were way out of my "budget". Again, Be Creative was the very first photographer I called, so I had nothing to base them on besides the insanely low estimate from The Knot. I was so surprised by the cost that I actually hung up on Eric. Eeek! Sorry, sorry, sorry, Eric!

However, I didn't immediately rule out Be Creative. Instead, Mike and I began looking at other photographers with similar styles to get some comparisons. I made a ton of other calls for price quotes and went on a bunch of consultations. At the end of the day we realized that The Knot was off it's rocker. In comparison to similar styled photographers, Be Creative isn't the most expensive at all, but they aren't inexpensive either. Don't get me wrong - you could easily get a run-of-the-mill, no frills, all posed, emotionless photographer for a quarter of the price, but that's not what I wanted. I wanted amazing, I wanted jaw-dropping, I wanted heirloom - I wanted Brooke and Eric, and after doing all the research, I was totally comfortable with their cost.

And so, feeling like a total idiot after handing up on him the first time, I called Eric back and made an appointment for a consultation. I never told him I was the crazy girl that hung up on him. Cats out of the bag now. Sorry, again, Eric.

On the car ride home from meeting with Brooke and Eric, Mike and I decided we wanted needed them at our wedding. It's the best wedding decision we made. Everything else on the day of the wedding only lasts a few hours, but pictures, well they last your lifetime. They become heirlooms. They are worth every single penny.

Before the wedding, I spent a lot of time on the phone with Eric, figuring out where the pictures would be taken, planning all the formal family shots, coordinating the times of arrival etc. He is meticulous, about timing which was perfect because the last thing any bride wants to do is be rushed and have to omit pictures. We made sure we got in every picture we wanted, and we still allowed enough wiggle room in the timeline for the little things that popped up. Which of course happened when the couple before us at the church were running super late - pushing our wedding back a bit of time.

Not only did Brooke and Eric take stunning pictures, their photo journalism style came to life as they captured all of the fun, human, and emotion filled parts of our day.

After the wedding was over, Brooke and I spent a lot of time chatting and working on the design for the wedding album. One of my favorite things about Brooke and Eric is that they require you to finish your album within something like 60 days after the wedding. That's unbelievably fast turnaround! I had all of my pictures (two sets of digital proofs sent on DVD - one set with watermarks for internet use, like on this blog, and one set without watermarks for printing) plus the album in what seemed like a flash. I literally have friends that still do not have their finished albums, or pictures, almost a year-and-a-half after their wedding!

Some other fun facts about Brooke and Eric from our wedding day:

  • Eric saved the day after a corsage mix-up
  • Brooke did some saving of the day as well, by suggesting we crash my neighbors garage sale when the timeline got pushed back
  • Brooke wore Toms at church to keep the noise down when she walked - which inspired my husband to buy a pair for himself. The Toms did, and always will, look better on Brooke though
  • They made sure Mike and I ate something during the formal photos
  • They both giggled & had trouble keeping a straight face when Mike's brother played the CSI "YEA" on his cell phone during "serious" pictures.

So, thank you again to Brooke and Eric of Be Creative Photography. The two of you are amazing people, amazing photographers, and an inspiration to me and my business as well. You've given Mike and I two of the most precious gifts we could ever ask for - amazing pictures and an amazing experience. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

So, this is the last of my wedding vendor reviews. I'm sad to be closing this chapter, as it means I no longer have a good excuse to blog about my wedding. Eventually (hopefully) I'll post a little more about my own invitations and all of the DIY elements of the day. But, for now, I hope you've found my vendor reviews helpful. Here are all of the other reviews I've done:

The DJ - Funktion 67
The Florist - Events By Stylish
The Cake & Cupcakes - Baked
The Ceremony - St. William the Abbot
The Transporation - Elegant Limo
The Location - Nikon Jones Beach Theater
The Details - Dresses, Rentals, Tents, Tuxedos

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