How Samantha and Yoni met: We actually met on J-Date. But we like to believe that we would have met anyway, and J-Date just sped up the process. We both were planning to move into the same neighborhood within a few months of meeting and happened to have many mutual friends. But the craziest part of it all, is that Yoni's dad and Samantha's mom actually went to middle school together in Chicago and Yoni's dad was in the same age group at camp as both of Samantha's parents! And even more coincidentally, both Samantha's grandma and Yoni's grandma were friends when they were 10 years old in Jainesville, Wisconsin!
The proposal: On Thursday morning, September 13th, Sam woke up at 5:30am to get ready to go to the hospital for clinical. As she was brushing her teeth she found a note above the sink: "Check the front door before you leave." Taped to the front door was an envelope that said, "Sammie- Do not open until 12pm." Yoni proceeded to send Sam on an elaborate scanvenger hunt beginning in Evanston at a nail salon and ending with a proposal at the Bean in Millenium Park. Yoni rented a stretch SUV limo to escort Sam and the rest of the crew. At each of the eight stops Sam was greeted by a friend or family member who gave her the next clue and then joined her in the car. Each clue was a rhyming poem with a hint about the next stop. Each stop was a location special to Sam and Yoni: Prairie Moon, the location of their first date, Schuba's, where they went to a concert on their third date, the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, where they saw a show the night before they went ring shopping. The list goes on... The second to last stop was in front of the Ramah office where Sam's parent, Beth and Jeff, and Yoni's mom, Linda, were waiting. Linda came in from Boston for the event! At the final stop Sam got out of the limo and walked to the Bean where she found Yoni awaiting her arrival, flowers in hand. He got down on one knee and proposed. Sam, of course, said yes! They hugged and took the now iconic photo of their engagement. Following the proposal Sam and Yoni were driven to a restaurant, Zed 451, where the entire scavenger hunt crew was waiting with champagne. Everyone toasted the couple and had a wonderful celebratory dinner together. It was an incredible night.
We met seven years ago in Madrid Spain in a concert with common friends, a friend of mine introduced us and we were talking for hours. It was the right moment and the right place; it seemed that we knew before. I was studying my first degree in engineering and Ignacio was doing the phd in biomedical science.
It was love at first sight and we started dating after that day. During this time we supported each other, I studied architecture and landscape architecture and Ignacio finish his doctoral thesis. After a few years Ignacio had an offer to go to Chicago for work and he left in October 2011. Three month later I decided to pack my life and move to Chicago with him. I have been working in an architecture firm in Chicago and Ignacio was working as post-doctoral position at the UIC. All this time in Chicago had made us stronger and our feelings were growing through time.
I love photography’s power of suggestion. For example, in this image, one can easily tell by the range of expressions on the faces of Tyler’s bridesmaids upon first seeing her how stunning she looked in her dress.
While it’s become popular to do dozens of bridal party pictures at different locations, we’ve found that a lot of quality is sacrificed for the sake of quantity. When thinking about an album or framed prints we’ve found most couples ended up needing or using only a handful of images of their bridal party. With this in mind we recommend that more time be taken for fewer, better images. This image took over 45 minutes to accomplish (it takes a while to pose and light 21 different people in a crowded bar), but I can’t imagine a better or cooler picture of their wedding party.
Choosing where to be or stand is likely the most important and repeated decision we must make during a wedding shoot. I make this decision more frequently than what lens to choose, what camera settings to use, or any other question on the wedding day, “where will I be?” is the one I ask myself the most. I’m constantly having to weigh the odds of maybe getting a spectacular shot, vs getting and safe and “just ok” shot. While working with a 2nd photographer makes this decision easier, I often find myself wishing for a 3rd or 4th (which is why we offer those options). For this shot I decided to ignore the chance to get a more traditional shot and be in a place that I thought had good potential to capture an important moment but had no way of knowing for sure. In this case I was rewarded with this shot. Moments before walking down the isle Tyler’s mom reached up and hugged her son, and then gave him this smile that only a proud mom could give. Of course, I could recount dozens of times that potentially great shot did not happen, but these examples make them all worthwhile.
After we gave them their pictures, Sean wrote me and asked me which was my favorite and why. If forced to choose just one, it would be this one. I love his triumphant gesture, and how it’s mirrored by hers. I love the the smiles on their faces. I like the long line of guests and the Rockefeller chapel in the background. Also, there are sparklers.
It’s no secret in Chicago that if you want a good party, you call Ken Arlen and his orchestra. The combination of them with the energy of this crowd led to one of the most amazing parties we saw last year. At one point he took to the dance floor for a sax solo while dancing with both Tyler and Sean. On a formal level I love how Ken is almost perfectly framed by Sean and Tyler’s arms.
The dancing at the reception is usually my favorite thing to shoot, and often my favorite images from a wedding. They are also often underrepresented on this blog, but mostly because I find it difficult to only post a few. It’s sort of a post none, or post 50 thing for me. That said, I had to post these three.
We are thrilled to see Dana and Greg's rustic, yet elegant, Four Seasons wedding featured in the current issue of Inside Weddings magazine! The wedding was coordinated by Lisa Zimbler and the three page spread features several shots of their stunning decor, put together by Kehoe Designs. Revist Dana and Greg's French country wedding and pick up a copy of the summer issue of Inside Weddings for more inspiration!