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Photographic Memory

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Several weeks ago DJ and I took a little trip to Las Vegas. I thought it would be fun, while we were there, to have a set of pictures taken by someone else. We don’t have a lot of pictures of us together, and I thought it would be a fun memory of the trip.

But I didn’t want to spend a lot of money hiring a pro photographer that I couldn’t vet ahead of time. So I scouted Craigslist for a photography student who wanted to build her portfolio.

I’m happy with the results; I’d go the student route for any number of occasions, but maybe not a wedding. Or maybe – our girl didn’t have a lot of suggestions for locations or poses, but I could probably have compensated for that by giving more direction myself. Or having less Leno Jaw…

Still, I think we have some pretty pictures. (There’s the unwedding dress!)

The whole thing made me even more excited to work with our wedding photographer, Kim Hall. I’ve known Kim via the internet for about five years. During that time she left a job as a newspaper photographer and started her own business, and I always thought that if I did ever get married I’d like her to take the pictures. I like the composition of her shots, and they have a vibrant quality that makes them seem almost interactive.

But I live north of Chicago while she is several hours away in Indiana. When DJ proposed, she had a toddler and was planning #2. (#2 arrived a few weeks ago!) I felt so guilty about asking her to travel away from her family that I never really asked. A few months into planning, I mentioned it half-jokingly. She responded by offering any of her packages at a steep discount, including her travel. Her generosity plus getting what I really wanted had me crying over my inbox that day.

DJ and I decided that none of her prices were fair (to her), so we asked what we could get for our photography budget. It wasn’t huge. Not even big. But somehow our little budget gets us Kim’s whole weekend, plus an album and perks like a slideshow and prints and maybe her backup camera for a mock photobooth.

Kim says that I am probably biased because her I like her personally. This is partly untrue – I wanted a photographer that knew their stuff and some talent. Those are the basics. Then again, she’s right – I think we’ll have much better photos and much more fun taking them, thanks to her shiny personality.