After graduating from Columbia College with a journalism degree, I quickly dropped my pen, and picked up a camera. I have always loved storytelling, which I found I could do much better with imagery than words. My fascination with people is rooted in a strong love of psychology, and I try to capture the most genuine moments, primarily using natural light and minimal retouching. I am available for booking at firstname.lastname@example.org or by submitting below. Scroll down for some frequently asked questions, wedding tips, and vendors I adore.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Do you travel across the country or across the world? How much are travel rates? YES and YES. I love to travel and shooting a wedding outside of Chicago is a huge bonus for me. Shooting in another country is even better! Rates vary, so shoot me a message and we can talk about it!
How many photos do you deliver, and what is your turnaround time? I average around 75 photos per hour-- sometimes more, sometimes less. As for turnaround time, I always say two months, but in in the past three years, nobody waited more than a month, and most received their photos in a week or two! I pride myself in fast turnaround times.
Do you offer prints? You and your partner can print your photos through the online gallery your photos are delivered to. Pixiset is super fast and great quality, but you will be able to download them to your computer and print wherever you want.
Do you have insurance and back up equipment? Yes and yes! Don’t you worry about a thing!
What happens if you get hurt, sick, or (gasp) die and can't shoot the wedding? This is not ideal. I certainly don't want to die before your wedding day, and so far I've never been too sick to shoot, but in the unlikely case that something did happen, rest assured I have a HUGE network of photographers in Chicago. When someone needs our help, we all jump in! In the case of death, I have family members and friends who know the drill and would know the right people to contact to help you find a replacement. You will be refunded anything you have paid in advance, and charged the new photographers rates (not exceeding what our paid agreement was.) As far as sickness or other issues preventing me from shooting, I have a few go-to people with similar style that I would check with first, and then I would go to Facebook. I would be relentless.
Do you make albums? Totally. You can learn more about that in my price list when you email me.
How much is the deposit? I take a $500 non-refundable deposit to hold the date. This means that when you book with me, I hold the date and do not take any other weddings for that day. If for some reason you call off the wedding or change the date, or decide you don't want to use me anymore, you cannot get the deposit back. If I am the one that has to cancel for any reason, you will absolutely receive the deposit back, and I will help you find someone to replace me. Please make sure you read through the contract before booking!
You say you are a natural light shooter and my wedding won't have a lot of that, will that be a problem? In short--kinda. I'm primarily an outdoor/natural light photographer. This means I shoot a lot of outdoor weddings, or venue’s with a lot of light. It doesn't however, mean that I don't know HOW to shoot inside. 90% of my receptions are inside and after dark, so I certainly have experience with that. I want to make sure my style fits what you've seen on my website, and most of the things on my website are taken outdoors, or in places with a lot of light. I want to be able to maximize my skill set for your wedding day, and since I don't bring extra lighting equipment outside of a flash, if your wedding is in a dark venue for both ceremony and reception, I may not be the best fit, but lets definitely talk about it!
When is final payment due? By the time I leave your wedding. You can pay me as earlier, but as long as I have a check by the time I leave, we are good to go!
How much editing do you do? I like to keep the images as close to your true self as possible. I have custom filters that I have developed over the years and those will be applied to each photo in a mix of black and white and color, using my best judgment on each. I don't do any extreme altering of photos. I can remove a blemish or two, but that's as far as I like to go.
Can I have RAW files? Unfortunately, no. That's like asking an author for the first draft of his novel. Though I do minimal retouching, there are still things like cropping, and adding customized filters to your photos and without those things in post, I consider the images unfinished. Please be sure you are comfortable with my editing style before booking.
Do you take credit card? No, but I take Chase Quickpay, Venmo, checks and cash.
1.) UNPLUG! Please consider an unplugged wedding! You can just tell your officiant when he first steps up to the mic (BEFORE anyone walks down the aisle) something like this: "We want you to be able to relax and have fun with us today! This in mind, we invite you to put down all your favorite devices and just be present in the moment with us. Please leave your camera in your bag (we've got photography covered!). Thank you!" (I cut and paste that from the internet but you can google "unplugged wedding wording" and something you might like will come up.) The main reason is to prevent photos like the ones below. Often times people really get in my way and obstruct my view and if that happens, I can't be responsible for missing your kiss because Aunt Kathy decided to take a picture with her ipad at that moment, or someone who is "also a photographer" uses a flash and messes up my lighting. That might not make sense but trust me, it's frustrating and better for your photos long term since technology really dates them. Also, I will love you forever.
2.) THE ONLY SHOT LIST YOU NEED: Have a list prepared with the names of people you want for family photos and have someone close to you who knows who the people are help wrangle. This way we can get it done as fast as possible so you can enjoy your cocktail hour or we have more time for photos.
VENDORS I LOVE
The best ties ever: Lonesome Traveler
Flowers: Asarai Garden
Make up: Erica Janssen
Hair/make up: Sara Jean Stevens
Hair/make up: Jen Brown
Hair/Make up: Ashlynn Raquel
Wedding Planner: Chicago Vintage Weddings
DJ: Toast & Jam
DJ: DJ Audiojack (email@example.com)
Band: The Chicago Players Club
Rentals: Chicago Vintage Weddings
Photo booth: Fotio
Dress: Sarah Seven
Dress: Veronica Sheaffer
Dress: Miss Tashina
Cake/Desserts: Hot Chocolate Chicago
Video: I currently work with a wonderful videographer named Mike Pasky (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
He is in the process of building a site, but HERE is a short four hour wedding he did.
Video: Orion Pahl
Venue: Emerson Creek