Wedding tips, ideas & stories, from The Photographer

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Did Maroon 5 Really Crash Weddings?

Did Maroon 5 Crash Weddings for Their New Music Video?

Best Wedding Reception Ever!

Did Maroon 5 really crash a bunch of weddings in Los Angeles? Well after watching this video ourselves [see the full video below] we questioned how authentic the video may be. After all it’s not hard to find a couple hundred extras in L.A. to stand in as wedding guests.

But after doing a little bit of searching for videos & photos from weddings that may have been crash, we have to admit this might be one of the coolest publicity stunts with a wedding theme we’ve seen in history.

Whether, or not couples will be asking DJ’s to play “Sugar” this wedding season remains to be seen, but we have to admit watching brides’ lips say “WTF?” in some of the outtakes is priceless [watch at the 1 minute mark] and the song is pretty catchy.

If You Don’t Have An Album, You’re Doing It Wrong!

Have you ever asked yourself, “What do I really need a photographer at my wedding for?”

Photo copyright of Vincent David Johnson. http://www.VincentDavidJohnson.com

 

“You Can’t Print An Excuse”. It’s been almost 20 years since I heard those words for the first time. It’s what every photo editor, at any publication will tell you if you don’t get the shot, or miss the assignment all-together. Hopefully for your wedding you received photos and not an excuse, but chances are you’re like so many couples today who stopped at “getting photos” part of the process and didn’t move onto the “print” part.

 My wife & I paid for the majority of our own wedding, so I understand budget reasons when it comes to getting a heirloom quality album you can pass on to future generations, but if you’re thinking just sharing them on the internet is good enough, then I have to tell you “you’re doing it wrong“.

Putting all snark aside, I’m not suggesting you need to get an elaborate album like the one I just finished for a couple who’s wedding I shot last year (above photo). Believe it or not, while my wife has put together 3 small albums with various 4×6 photos printed out, ten years later we still have nothing close to the amazing albums I make for my clients, but we have something that is tangible.

What I’m really getting at is your phone, or laptop are no way to show off your wedding photos when you have guests over, or once your children are born and old enough to look at them. I bring this up because it just so happens that the day I was shipping off one of my latest albums, I also read an article from a journalism school on how text is making a transition to mobile, but photography might be getting skipped over.

Why spend all that time on picking out the perfect locations, design pieces, cake, dress and more? Securing a good photographer for your wedding day is a waste if you never print up the images beyond a few photos for your wall, or office desk. Beyond the love & vows of weddings, the day itself, above all else, is a spectacle and is designed to be photographed and displayed larger than the palm of your hand.

 

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Off Topic: Photo Contests

If you like taking pictures (professional, or not) and maybe you take a cool photo once in a awhile. Please be mindful of entering contests. I would guess 90% of contests I see not run by a photographic organization (aka a random business) are just looking to get free photos they can use in advertising, social media & elsewhere.

Sure it might be cool to win an award, or get a photo published, but that’s what they prey on. Meanwhile you save them money on what they would have ended up paying a agency, or photographer for the photo they wanted, and they also can turn around and sell every photo, even the ones that didn’t win, profiting off of you and everyone else who entered.

Don’t believe me. Here’s the fine print to a contest someone share with me today:

“By entering this Contest and submitting an Entry, Entrant hereby grants Sponsor and its affiliates and subsidiaries a perpetual, irrevocable worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, and display the Entry in whole or in part, in any media now existing or subsequently developed, for any purpose, including but not limited to Sponsor’s photo contest, and the advertising and promotion of such photo contest.”

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to show off a great photo, and a lot of people say “so what”, but imagine how you might feel if you found out a landscaping company was billing your elderly neighbor every time you cut her lawn out of the kindness of your heart. More, or less thats essentially what these contests are doing.

 

Congratulations Meghan & Ryan, August 10th, 2013

Vintage Dress, Pie, and Rock & Roll

From the vintage wedding dress, to the wedding cake being a wedding pie, the wedding day of Meghan & Ryan was a little askew from the norm, but in a way that rocked.

The bridesmaids skipped the main stays of getting ready at a parents house, or hotel room and hit up AirBnB for a late 1800′s apartment in Wicker Park. The location was a perfect fit. Short of a cell phone in a photo, with Meghan’s hair & dress, you might be able to convince someone the image was made in the 1940′s. Ryan busted out a good looking three piece suit and we did some first look photos in Union Park on the near west side which had a nice view of the city skyline.

The ceremony and reception took place at Kitchen Chicago, where the couple skipped having a wedding cake and instead asked guests to bake and bring a pie. Making it the first wedding pie I have ever seen. The officiant for their ceremony was the owner of the Hyde Park restaurant Z&H, where they first met each other and also how I met them. From the location of Kitchen Chicago, with its gritty factory surroundings, to mixed the gender bridal party, and the overall vibe of the day, I have to say this wedding rocked.

Thank you for being up for some of my “less than traditional” wedding photos. I had a blast.

getting ready with pearls

vintage 1940's wedding dress

Vintage 1940′s style wedding dress

The flower boy.

first kiss

Kitchen Chicago.

Union Park Chicago


To see more photos from this wedding, check out the photo galleries on Facebook & Google+

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 www.VincentDavidJohnson.com