I currently live in Arkansas, but our wedding was in the Charlotte area, so I never had a chance to meet the Jessica (and her husband/partner Jeremy) until we met in downtown Charlotte for our engagement pictures. I asked for recommendations on Twitter one night, and got a few good prospects. One of them being JJ Horton Photography. I ultimately picked them based on the quality of the work I had seen on their site, the recommendation from an acquaintance from college and (very importantly) they were in our budget.
I didn't really know what to expect, and I was really nervous. I would have liked to have met them in person before booking to get a sense of their personalities and whether or not we would work well together, but the long distance planning & the need to book services pretty far in advance made that impossible. I'm a professional bridesmaid, and a lot of the photographers I've been around in the past were not exactly my style, having leaned more towards posed, formal pictures than relaxed and fun candid photos. That definitely was not the case and Jessica and Jeremy immediately helped put me to ease. We chatted and made small talk while we walked around downtown and by the time they started shooting, I was more relaxed. What I loved most about our e-session was that Jessica would tell us where to stand, and tell us just to be ourselves and talk to one another and she and Jeremy would start shooting. Of course there were some posed pictures, but they seemed interested in letting our personalities and how much we love each other shine through. (You can check out some of our "engagement" photos here =))
With our wedding, we had an even better experience. (First of all, they were the only people who were on time the entire day =)) Jessica took the time to get to know me through twitter, pinterest and Facebook, and I think the photos from our wedding reflect that. I spent a lot of time worrying (and tweeting) about centerpieces and place settings, and gushing about how gorgeous my cake was going to be, and she captured all of those things. Her detailed shots of my wedding cake made me so happy since I hated cutting into it and ruining that perfect cake. She definitely takes the time to get to know her clients and listens to what they have to say and what they want, so that they can have the perfect photographs from that day.
I LOVE that the photos from the reception captured SO much of the fun from the evening. They seemed to have a knack for getting the shot when someone is laughing their hardest, or when people are slow dancing and you can absolutely feel the love. My in-laws are the most happily married couple I have ever known, and they got a series of shots of them dancing and laughing, and the pictures are just absolutely perfect. I saw things that I never noticed during the night, and I think I must have looked at them a 1000 times already. They managed to capture SO much... from my brother-in-law getting down & dirty on the dance floor, to my 4 year old cousin dancing with her older brother.
Picking a wedding photographer is, in my opinion, the second most important decision you have to make when planning a wedding (the first is the cake =)). When the day is over, all that is left is the marriage and the pictures from the day. There are a lot of ways you can cut corners when wedding planning to save money, but the photography is not one of them. JJ Horton Photography ended up being slightly over our budget, but it was worth it, in my opinion. Every time I look at the framed images on my wall, I smile. When I'm bored I'll flip through my pictures on Facebook and smile as I remember our perfect day. Be sure to find the right photographer to document that day.
And on a seperate, but related note, buying the disc of digital images may seem pricey, but it is also absolutely worth it. I'm not one for the fancy, expensive albums. I'm happy with the book I had printed from My Publisher and the enlargements I ordered from Snap Fish, but none of those things are possible without buying those images. You can't upload them to facebook, share them on a blog *ahem* or anything else without that disc.
Every single photo here was taken by JJ Horton Photography.