Jeff and I started out by looking through the websites and blogs of about forty different photographers, and narrowed it down to a handful that we really liked.
Last week Jeff and I spent a few hours on the phone talking to our top five photographer choices. Here's what we learned:
Vada Photography (Biff Ulm)
First off, we really liked Biff - he just seemed really nice and personable. He told us that he usually works solo, though he can get a second photographer if there are multiple activities going on at the same time (for $400 per hour). Even though he works alone, he said he really tries to be everywhere (and looking at his pictures, he seems to do a great job of capturing a variety of things). He said that is style is generally photo-journalistic and a bit quirky. He is from a city three hours north of the Twin Cities, but he's photographed in Minneapolis often. Though he hasn't photographed at our venues (the City Hall and the Central Library).
Noah Wolf Photography
Noah works with a second photographer (his wife) and also an assistant, so there are two people with cameras and one without. His style is a fusion of photo-journalistic and commercial, though he also enjoys doing portraits. His prices are a bit higher than some of the others, but he said that he thinks he still provides when of the best values - he has a very high level of service and ensures that his clients have high expectations. He has photographed some portraits at the library and has photographed a reception at the city hall. In general, even if he hasn't been at a particular site, he says that he's confident in his creativity and his ability.
Studio 306 includes two photographers - a husband and wife team. They each carry two to three cameras. Their style is photo-journalistic and documentary - they're drawn to authenticity. Their photographs are quirky and whimsical, and they're graphically clean. They enjoy working in unique spaces. They have photographed at the library, and are familiar with both locations. In general, they enjoy the challenge of a new space, and know of lots of possibilities for photographs near our venues. They said that they're technically adept and great at working in many different types of lighting.
Live and Love Studios (Jackie Boldt)
Jackie works with a second photographer. She fits her style to the style of her client, so she can either go with the flow or take the bull by the horns. She has a photo-journalistic, creative style and likes working with different locations and people. The pictures depend a lot on the attitude of the group, and what they like. She said that she enjoys shooting in the city, because you can get great lighting early in the day. She hasn't shot the city hall or the library before, but she would be willing to visit them before the wedding.
Clewell Photography (Kris Clewell)
Kris works with a second photographer (his wife). He has a mix of styles including photojournalism and fashion. He enjoys doing group shots. He prefers urban landscapes, and said there is a lot of interesting backgrounds just east of our venues. He has shot at the City Hall and the Library before. He said that the City Hall is very cool and that the lighting is really good. The lighting at the library is not as good, but there are interesting spaces.
Hopefully we'll make a decision soon!