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  • Jess McDonald

Plan My Wedding With Me! Picking A Photographer and Videographer


Picking a photographer and videographer was almost as important to me as picking the groom that would be at the end of the aisle! (I'm mostly kidding)


I knew I needed someone I could connect with, someone whose work I loved, and someone I knew would advocate for us and make sure we were the most beautiful version of ourselves that day. So because of that, I knew I needed to work fast.


Once Corban and I were engaged, we had a conversation about what was most important to us on our big day. For me, it was being able to truly be present in the moment (not having to control everything) and getting some amazing photos and videos. For him it was making sure I had a great time (direct quote y'all) and again, making sure we got some great photos.


So once we had discussed budget, which definitely should be discussed before picking these vendors, the hunt was on! We had a great list to start with from Avonlea's preferred vendor list. You should definitely check with your venue to see if they have a list like that because your venue can be your biggest ally when picking other vendors - they are the ones that have worked with a lot of the industry before!


There were some great photographers in our list, such as Emily Hancock, Jordan Dickerson, Xiaoqi Li, Savannah Tilghman, and more! But like a venue, the fit has to be just right. Also some of my favorites were already booked (hence the hustle to pick one!).


When choosing both a photographer and videographer it's so important to actually see a full portfolio of their work. I highly recommend asking a photographer to see a full gallery from a wedding they have done in the same season you want to get married (to see how they handle color). It's important to not only see what they find pretty enough to go on their Instagram, but also what would be important to you like family group photos and detail shots. Same with a videographer, watch a full video of theirs - especially the long 15 minute ones - that's how you see their style and range! Then, don't forget to read reviews!


I ended up going with Caty-Scarlett O'Connell from Love & Lore Photography for my photos. I got lucky that Caty-Scarlett had my date open because she had just spent a year doing photography in Cape Cod so didn't have a ton of Virginia clients for 2022 yet (not so much the case anymore!). What I love about her photography is that not only is her editing superb, she also has a great eye for capturing those candid, intimate moments between the groom and bride which can often be missed when trying to get a huge shot list.


Is it getting hot in here or is it just me?

Love & Lore fit all of my criteria: they were in budget, they had my date, they fit the style of my vision, and I felt confident in their reliability. All that was left was selecting my videographer.


For my video, I knew I wanted something less music-video, more documentary and for that I knew I couldn't go with anyone but Grey Walters with Iceberg Media. Iceberg has a great range, but their feature films are so intimate and real - it was exactly what I wanted.



Not only would Grey be capturing the big day, he'll even be coming out and recording our rehearsal dinner - which I just love because it will get to show a side of Corban and I that I don't think we'll get to show off much on our big day - that normal side that shows how we are together on a regular day. We'll probably be helping set up the rehearsal dinner and I'll be telling him what to do and he'll be lovingly putting up with me. It'll be real and that's what I can't wait to see captured in video.


Photography is something you can look at every day on your wall, but video is what will make a huge impact on you in twenty years. Getting to hear each other's voices and see those shared looks - it will truly be magical.


With this team, I know I'm going to capture some really wonderful memories in October. Be sure to follow along because you KNOW I'll be posting it all on the website!

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