I moved to Chicago from the Bay Area/California a few years ago. Honestly, I was not happy about the move cause I knew that I have to start my business all over again, but soon I realized it was worth it!
Chicago is a great place for wedding photography. It has a strong character and vibe and beautiful nature. In other word, it has all in one!
In this blog post, I want to talk about different environments for wedding portraits and my approach in creating images.
What you can be really sure about, in places like California, is the weather! It’s mostly sunny and relatively warm, always green and most importantly, predictable!
It is lush, with greenery almost everywhere. They all can be a great backdrop for your subject: bride and groom.
In Chicago, however, we are lucky to have four seasons. People complain about the weather all the time, but that makes Chicago a unique place. Each month has its own character and vibe. A wedding in the winter is completely different from a wedding in the summer in the same location and I love that. As a creator, wedding photographer, it keeps you on your toes to create something different according to the situation and I admire that.
Generally speaking, there are two types of weddings (each tells a lot about the couple):
1-Weddings in the city of Chicago
2-Weddings in the suburbs of Chicago
When I have an inquiry about a wedding in the city, I kinda know what to expect, even before the consultation session to go over the details.
When a couple chooses to have their wedding in a venue in the city, it tells me they love Chicago and the feeling of the city. It shows that they are city-couples, therefore they like to incorporate cityscapes into their wedding images. They like to have images in front of iconic buildings and places that describe Chicago.
Here are a few:
North Avenue Beach
BP Pedestrian Bridge
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Lincoln Park Conservatory
Clark Street Bridge
Kinzie Street Bridge
Ping Tom Memorial Park
The Chicago Riverwalk
Art Institute of Chicago
Garfield Park Conservatory
Chicago Board of Trade
Lincoln Park Zoo
If you grow up in Chicago, you have probably been to all the locations above and have memories of them and It makes sense to have pictures at those places on the most important day of your life.
Wedding in the suburbs, however, has a completely distinct feeling. Relatively speaking, the day goes smoother as we are not going to deal with the traffic and parking space.
The portrait pictures take place outdoor, which can or cannot be sentimental for the couples.
I remember, that I photograph a couple in a local park, right by the slides and swings, just because it was where he proposed to her which makes an ordinary place, an extraordinary location to create special memories.
In some situation, the couple pick a location for their portrait pictures based on the distance from the reception venue.
As a photographer, regardless of the location, be it in downtown Chicago or in a secluded recreation park in the suburbs, I have some plans to follow which I believe is different for each artist and is the main reason one’s work becomes distinct from the other.
What makes a studio, the highest quality wedding photography team in Chicago, is not only having a signature as an artist but also the ability to keep it consistence is another factor that you must consider when looking for a photographer for your wedding. I have no doubts that paying attention to the smallest details, will lead you to find the best wedding photographer in Chicago.
First, I make sure to shoot a few sets of, so called, “safe images”!
I find a shade spot, and I photograph the couple in a simple and classic pose, showing from head to toe in their wedding outfits and bouquets. I also make sure to shoot some individual pictures from each of them.
When I am sure of the images I aimed for, now, it is time to be creative. Here is how I proceed:
-I photograph them in a wide angle from a distance, where I can show the environment.
-I get close to them to shoot close-up shots of their faces and hands.
-I shoot through leaves and greens and anything around depends on the season and location.
-I shoot through the veil.
-I use a prism, a mirror or simply my phone screen to create some reflection.
-I have some poses that I suggest to them based on their style, their body types, the and the situation.
-I take some shots as they are walking towards me or away from me.
-I take some shots in actions and I don’t mind having some blurry result.
All being said, the location that you pick for pictures is not what makes your wedding images significant, but the photographer you choose! Please feel free to read “Choose your storyteller wisely” and “tips before hiring a wedding photographer in Chicago” and don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.
I am always open for giving FREE consultation for your wedding whether we decide to work together or not.
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