Shopping for a Photographer

I am, if I do say so myself, a very efficient shopper.  You can count on me to zoom past the racks of schmatas guaranteed to make me look like the third Olsen twin (triplet?), locate the handful of items worthy of stripping down to my skivvies in a Loehmann fitting room for, and zone in on the one flirty number that is just right in style and price. And, unlike Mr. HC, who takes 3 hours to buy a pair of khakis, I can usually do this in less time than it probably took for us to find parking.

So imagine my frustration when I found myself lost amongst forty something photographers' blogs, trying to distinguish the difference between photojournalism and lifestyle, digital and film, lens flare and no flare. Thousands of shots of rings (rings on candy, rings in flowers, rings on tile, rings on lego people . . .), gowns in the window, and silver Jimmy Choos later, I was in what could best described as a tizzy.  If there were yellow wallpaper in my apartment, I would have crawled into it to escape my Google Reader.  I needed a personal shopper.  Stat.  Or else I'd be exchanging my wedding gown for a white garment of a more institutional variety.

To the rescue came Angel Swanson, our amazing wedding planner.  I likely would have hired Angel anyway based on glowing reviews from Mrs. Jasmine and Mrs. Lime alone, but as soon as I met her I knew she spoke my language.  Exhibit 1: Angel took one look at my list of photographers and immediately emailed me this:
Since I know you love fashion . . . I will classify them as stores . . . based on their style. ;-) I'd say [A] is like J.Crew (a little preppy, classic), [B] is like Anthropologie (more free-spirited and vintage feeling), [C] is like Betsey Johnson (romantic yet edgy) and [D] is like American Eagle (young, fun, carefree).
In one sentence, she solved all the problems I was having discerning one photographer's point of view from another.  For weeks, I had been trying to describe what I was looking for in a photographer; she made articulate what had to that point been the verbal equivalent of pureed peas.

Can you guess which photographer I chose?

 "Why, Miss Hot Cocoa, you heart Anthropologie.  It's like your mother ship."

"The answer must be [B]."

Is [B] your final answer?

"Yes.  Anthropologie rocks!"

Of course, you're right.  Behold the work of the awesomeness that is [B], a.k.a. Anthropologie, a.k.a. Leigh Miller, a.k.a. Ms. Seriously Talented:

Excuse me while I take a moment to wipe off my drool.  Just to underscore how Angel "gets" my aesthetic probably more than she even realizes, Leigh was the first photographer whose photographs made my heart skip a beat, the first photographer whose blog I bookmarked, under the title of "The Photographer!" -- and that was months before I started looking for a photographer.  I just didn't think we could a) afford her and b) convince her to shoot ordinary mortals (I mean, those radiant people in her photographs, they had to be models, right?).

All images courtesy of Leigh Miller Photography.
(Psst.  Image above is of the gorgeous and talented Erin Cole.)

I hope you enjoyed a little weekend eye candy.

How did you choose your photographer?  How would you describe her or his style?  And -- because nothing says fun like a good simile -- if your photographer were a store or a brand, what would he or she be?

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