Even before we were officially engaged, I liked to torture myself by spending hours looking at the galleries on wedding photography websites. We both knew from the start that photography is possibly the most important element (after the love, of course), because every bride I know says the day is such a blur that the photos are the only way to remember certain details. I quickly learned that there are really two types of photographers worth considering. Some are reasonably (though not easily) affordable and take ‘pretty’ pictures. You look at them objectively and say, “aw, how nice”, and quickly flip to the next one. And then there are the kind who are able to communicate the energy, emotion and drama of each moment. They make the viewer feel close to the people in the photo, even though they’re complete strangers. Their photographs rivet you and make you emotional, just looking at them. That’s exactly what we wanted, but I knew we’d never be able to afford a photographer like that, not on our budget.
Then, I saw a post on A $10,000 Wedding about a photographer who offers 3 pro-bono wedding packages each year to needy/deserving brides who cannot afford high-end photography for their weddings. Rather than being a competition-style offer, its just an incredibly generous outreach to support couples who cannot otherwise afford remarkable photography. I looked at the Chennergy website and I honestly could barely breathe. His pictures were so vivid, so moving, so beautifully composed and emotional… I had never seen anything like it. For a couple days, it was all I could think about. I decided I had to write in and see what happened, or I’d always wonder ‘what if…’
I sat down at the computer and out it poured. The story of us as a couple, the wedding we dream of, and all the personal, complicated reasons which prevent us from affording the kind of photography about which we dream. I hit send with butterflies in my belly, and tried to put it out of my mind.
Two days later, I woke up to an email from Dan at Chennergy. We had been selected! I thought I was dreaming, but it was real. I still get choked up remembering the feeling. He receives multiple submissions every day, but he chose us. We have our photographer, and I luuurve him.
We are incredibly fortunate. I hope he knows what an amazing impact he is making in our world – to be so selflessly spreading love and goodness, warmth and generosity around. An artist who not only inspires with his work, but also his attitude. His approach is so genuine and rare, and we are truly blessed to have him be a part of our wedding. Stunning photos and good juju – what more could we want?
I encourage my fellow brides (or anyone, for that matter) out there – never give up. Don’t listen to that voice inside that says “It will never work” or “I’ll never win” because sometimes the stars align, and everything is possible.
Take a look at some of his work… my meager words simply cannot do it justice.