Wedding Planning 101: How do I love our photographer? Let me count the ways…

I’ve spent the past five months raving about the people involved in our “little wedding” we’re having next weekend. [OMG. Breathe.] Today I want to discuss what has been the most stressful “hiring” decision yet: choosing the photographer. As a somewhat professional blogger, I know the photos will be posted publicly (namely, here) and the bottom line: They must be EXQUISITE.

When I discussed a potential photo budget with my parents, my dad was all, “HOW much do you want to spend?! You know you won’t ever look at those pictures again…”

The tension was palpable; thankfully, that conversation happened over the phone. My mom urged my dad to just stop talking.


It was clear; this was one “discussion” my dad wouldn’t win. Although if you ask me, everyone wins at the end of the day because we’re going to have amazing pictures! Right Dad?

Pictures and words are in my blood. I’ve worked for magazines, newspapers, and I pour my heart out on this blog approximately two to five days a week. The idea of choosing the perfect photographer was daunting… especially considering I haven’t lived in my hometown since 2004. Sure I know people here and there, but the wedding photographer scene was not one I was familiar with. I wanted to make sure I selected the perfect person for the job.

I did some research and whittled down my list. Some didn’t have the talent. Some didn’t take the type of photos I wanted. Some were insanely priced. But then, during a serendipitous Facebook stalking session, I came across Leah Stinson.

Lisa, my best friend (and maid of honor) and I occasionally stalk Leah’s photography ventures whenever she posts them on Facebook. Leah has done weddings, boudoir sessions, family portraits and everything in between, and despite her current residence in Ohio, I thought, Why not see what she has to offer.

I took one glance at Leah’s “wedding investment packages” and her incredible portfolio, and I knew she was the perfect choice for Sean and I. Her photos have a relaxed, but yet extremely classy feel to them. Her poses and angles are innovative, and her final outcomes run the gamut from dramatic to adorable. And for those magazine/photo geeks out there, Leah has a way with cropping photos in just the right way. Even choosing my favorite selections from her portfolio for this post was a challenge—THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD ONES.

What I love about these first two sets is the scale from one photo to the next—Leah has a great mix of people photos, and detail photos (pocket watch, feathers, etc.). And, Leah captures the bride and groom’s expressions just perfectly, as well as the whimsical feeling of their wedding. The colors are vibrant and the black and white images are dramatic and appropriate.

Side note, these dresses are like, Marie Antoinette crossed with a Midsummer’s Night Dream. LOVE that.

Just look at how she captures the details!

What I love about these next few are the focus on the bride… they look like they’re straight out of a magazine. The colors are so warm and the detail is lovely. Plus, those shoes are SO fun, right? We know this now: Anything with sparkles get a Mollie-approved thumbs up/high five.

I’m freaking out over the detail and cropping of these destination wedding photos. Again, straight from a magazine.

And finally, I want to share a bunch of pictures from this farm wedding Leah did. I think something about the type of wedding resonates with me and our own “rustic” vision. Such fun ways to capture our special day.

Leah: I have all the confidence in the world that the photos from our wedding will be equally, if not more amazing!

If you are interested in reading more about Leah, you should visit her blog, HERE. Or, if you want to hire her for an event or photo session, CLICK HERE.


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