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.
In keeping with our new format, I'll keep my initial comments brief. A quintessential New York couple, Dana and Greg had an intimate and elegant wedding at The Four Seasons in Chicago. The decor for their ceremony was spectacular, so keep an eye out for it in the slideshow we'll be posting soon. A big thank you to Lisa Zimbler who masterfully brought everything together in for this wedding.
This shot by Nancy sets the scene wonderfully. It captures the fury of activity surrounding Dana as she gets ready, while also showing the view from her suite at Four Seasons in the background.
I think their expressions and body language really make this photo. While we spend a lot of time discussing locations and settings with clients, I always remind them (and myself) that it's not about capturing spectacular backgrounds, but creating images that show their unique connection.I like the setting in this picture, but I only saw those expressions on their faces when they were around each other.
There's just something about beautiful dresses on elegant staircases. In this case I get to also add in my love for birdseye views as Greg pauses to help Dana down the stairs.
There's just something about the soft fabrics, shades of pink, and flowers that made this photo standout to me. Captured in a fleeting moment while we were aranging the photo above it, it underscores one of the benefits of having two photographers covering a wedding.
Dana's niece was fascinated by the violin players, and while she was refusing to pose for other photos, I grabbed this shot of her starring down at the string quartet that welcomed everyone into the ceremony.
This photo, and the next five that follow it are simple and straightforward and yet they are images I want from a wedding more than any others. Dana's excitement as she walks down the aisle escorted by her parents; Greg's huge grin during his first dance with Dana, Dana's reaction to the same (also notice Greg's badass blue tux!), Dana and Greg embracing her parents after their toast; Dana's dad going thorough so many emotions during the father daughter dance - these moments always differ in their particularities but are universally understood which is why I find wedding phtoography so personally rewarding.
This crowd could dance! I've often found it hard to pick out just a few dancing photos for the blog, because there are so many great moments but I think they often need each other for context. It feels strange to single out one great moment from the hundreds that were happening all around me on the dance floor - and I can't blog 40 dance photos. This one, however, works quite well on its own. I love Dana's huge smile as she dances and Greg's parents along with a bunch of groomsmen cheering them on. The guests clapping with their upraised arms on left of the frame adds to the energy of it.