April 28, 2013   |   personal, tips, wedding

DanaandEricblog6

I’m starting a new blog series called “A Look Back,” and I’ll use this series to showcase specific moments or details from past weddings: bouquets, first dances, ring exchanges, etc. And, since it’s a moment that is becoming increasingly popular among couples, I thought I’d focus on first looks for the first installment in this series.

First looks are great–not just for the photographer, but also for the couple. They are great for me as the photog because, usually, having a first look means that we will get extra time for portraits, and the couple won’t have to miss their cocktail hour. In short, first looks provide lots of flexibility in terms of the timeline, and flexibility almost always means better pictures!

For my clients, though, first looks allow them time to really have a MOMENT. And that moment is, at the end of the day, why I think that first looks are such a good idea. As these photos will attest, first looks allow couples to really bask in seeing each other–to have an intimate moment without having to worry about immediately beginning their wedding ceremony.

In fact, I can now speak about first looks from personal experience. When I was married this past June, my (now) wife, Sona, and I decided to have our own. We did a very low-key first look in our hotel room, surrounded by our friends and family. At this risk of embarrassing myself, I’m sharing some photos from that moment. It was, for both of us, one of the most special moments of our lives, and I’m so, so happy we did it. And yes, I cried like a baby. Go ahead and laugh; I can’t blame you.

Bethany from Maypole Studios was our fab photog, and she took the next two images.

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And now, here are some of my favorite moments from first looks at weddings I’ve shot over the past few years.

AngieBenblog6

DaliaRyanWedblog7

janetandericblog7

KatieDanblog6

LanaJonblog7

LindsayAnublog12

MeredithBrianblog11

SarahNeilWedblog6

Youngmieblog81


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April 21, 2013   |   wedding

This past weekend, I shot Janet and Eric’s wedding–my first wedding of the 2013 season! They had their ceremony and reception at Spiaggia in downtown Chicago; I’ll be seeing a lot of that venue this year, as it turns out.

For anyone in Chicago, you know that the last two weeks have been rainy, grey, and cold. So, needless to say, Janet was checking Accuweather obsessively as her day approached (we’ve all been guilty of that, right?). Luckily, though, we had lots of sunshine on their big day!

Even though it was bright and sunny, it was still very cold and very windy. Janet and Eric were such troopers. They really wanted some lakefront photos to represent the beautiful city they were married in, and they didn’t complain one bit as we battled the brutally chilly wind for photos.

I was so happy to work with these two, as they are unendingly kind, courteous, and loving. What a great way to kick-off wedding season!

Here are some photos from their big day.

So happy to get her veil on! This is the moment when most brides say, “It’s real!”

Janet was very touched by the letter–I mean novel–that Eric wrote her on their wedding day. 😉

Eric was equally touched by Janet’s letter.

Much to my delight, Eric and Janet decided to do a first look. I love these moments I captured as they first saw each other.

Next, we headed down to the lakefront for a few portraits.

It looks warm, right?!

We also made a quick stop on Michigan Ave. for the ever-popular shots in the middle of the street. This was actually a candid I caught as we were about to cross the road. Love it–even more than the “real” portraits.

The ketubah!

And a few shots from the lovely ceremony at Spiaggia.

Lots of smiles.

The reception was beautifully decorated, thanks to Natalie Walsh of Hello Darling. She did an amazing job!

I loved all the purple hues and the candlelight–very romantic!

There were some entertaining toasts…

…and plenty of dancing.

But nothing can top Janet’s face as she was lifted up during the hora. (Sorry, Janet. I had to do it.)


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April 14, 2013   |   engagement

When I was setting up my first meeting with Mark and Diane, Mark wrote me that I’d know them because, “I’m 6’4” with glasses, and Diane is the beautiful blonde who has made me such a happy man.”

From that second on, I knew they’d be an excellent couple to work with. These two are just so in love. It was such a blast to shoot their engagement session this past weekend–my first of the season, no less–because all they did was cuddle and giggle and smile. Couples like Mark and Diane make my job easy.

Even though it is still a bit chilly in Chicago, we decided to take advantage of the sun–something that we haven’t seen too much around here lately. We started the session at their favorite neighborhood breakfast joint, and then we headed down to Lincoln Park for some great city views.

I can’t wait to shoot Mark and Diane’s wedding in just a couple of months. If these engagement photos are any indication, it’ll be hard to get them NOT to smile.

LOVE this one!

This was the last series we shot, and they are some of my favorites!


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