I won my photographer!
It was truly the most wonderful contest I have ever won and I still feel so grateful for the prize. Virgil Bunao of CVI Photography was AMAZING! [see my favorite pics above]
We saw the pictures he had taken for the wedding of a friend of ours and absolutely fell in love with them, but not necessarily the price tag that comes with having such a talented photographer. It is not just the camera equipment and time spent at the wedding, but also the time of all the assistants, having the overhead of a staff and studio, and then the editing time that goes into the final best photos taken and this can become understandably pricey.
Having such a talented photographer was well worth it and given the opportunity again, I would have paid for his services and cut back elsewhere to get the type of photos we now enjoy on a daily basis, even though my thoughts didn’t start that way – I had a bit of sticker shock. I believe his rates were roughly $5,000.00 for the package I won which included an engagement session, 2 photographer’s full-day coverage, and a CD of all the edited pics (over 550) from our wedding, and I couldn’t have asked for better pictures from the best day of my life!
Back to the contest…
While longingly scrolling through CVI’s website I found a link to the contest and just knew and felt inside that I had a great chance to win. It was an essay contest on how your wedding will be a “green” wedding and/or DIY wedding and I was all over that topic! Having just passed the LEED exam only a month prior, I felt like it was fate and got instantly excited.
I wrote about my history with recycling, my love of the earth, non-wasteful wedding ideas I had, and some innovative ideas I had already incorporated or was planning to incorporate into the big day.
My essay actually won third place, but part of the restrictions that applied was that the prize, or photographer, couldn’t have any previous bookings for your date, and being that my wedding was on a Friday (I will give you more on that later), my date was the first one available in the order of winners!
If I could give you two pieces of advice from this entry it would be this:
One, whatever the cost, get a fantastic professional photographer, someone that you feel comfortable with and can prove his successes by having a large portfolio for you to look through. Don’t be afraid to tell him or her if you want a specific pose or feel uncomfortable with something. Remember you only get one shot at capturing your special day and Virgil was just one more reason I felt less stress because my trust in him was so great.
And two, enter that contest! A locally held one will give you a higher chance of winning than the ones you see in the back of Brides Magazine for a dream honeymoon, but you never know! There are many drawings at local Bridal Shows you can take advantage of as well and this is also the perfect spot to speak with vendors, ask them questions, and become knowledgeable about the ones you want to use. The hard part is figuring out how to get them for free! :)