We started seriously planning about six months before the wedding. All the photographers I knew in my home town were already booked. So I expanded my search and came up with three photographers who were willing to drive and had our date available. Maggie who I contacted, but never returned my calls, Craigola a nature photographer who sometimes does weddings ($800) and Mark Kegans a journalistic photographer out of Des Moines who takes beautiful pictures ($2,600).
I struggled for a long time on this one. I knew I wanted a really good photographer. I sunk half our budget into Mark Kegans. As you can see from the pictures on this site. (But not this photo. He'd be pretty cool if he could take his own picture of himself working. Although if he had taken it, it would be much nicer than the one at right.) Mark did a beautiful job. I love all his photos. He gets a glowing review from me. He was polite and unobtrusive, but his sense of humor still came across. We got the smallest package which included almost 300 4x5 prints in a keepsake box and a CD/DVD set with large resolution images and ready to print images. He doesn't make albums, but I can make an album (although I haven't gotten around to it yet). If you are having a wedding in Iowa I highly recommend Mark. He's a very talented photographer.