Wedding tips, ideas & stories, from The Photographer

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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

Congratulations; Morgan & Ryan, June 21st, 2013

Into Everyone’s Life A Little Rain Must Fall. So Have A Plan B

First Dance by Vincent Johnson

“First Dance” – This photo has become one of my all-time first dance images.

Over the years, the couples I have photographed on their wedding day have been somewhat fortunate when it comes to rain. As in I can think of only two weddings in nine years that have had to move inside for the ceremony. While the rain did let up during the ceremony for Morgan & Ryan, it wasn’t soon enough for the flowers and other decorations to be setup, so things got moved inside at Eaglewood Resort in Itasca, Illinois.

Like all couples should, Morgan & Ryan had a plan B. Of course they weren’t happy with the weather, non-the-less they shrugged it off and got on with what was a beautiful & fun event. They even took advantage of the chairs that had been setup already outside, to do a quick couple of portraits, of how the view that might have been.

Morgan & Ryan, might have had a little more practice at things not going according to their original plans too. During our pre-wedding meeting, I ended up driving the couple to pick up an extra set of keys when they became locked out of their house (add chauffeur to my title). Not to mention a mutual friend of ours asked me to step in as their photographer just a few weeks before, as job requirements would have limited his time photographing the wedding.

Like all weddings I shoot, I enjoyed my time with the couple and look forward to keeping in touch with them as they start their new life together. So once again, congratulations Morgan & Ryan.

Dad giving away the bride.

 

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 www.VincentDavidJohnson.com

Congratulations; Bonnie & Michael, June 7th, 2013

A Little Mid-Summer Nightmare to a Dream

 

Bonnie & Michael were in a bit of a pinch after unexpectedly loosing the photographer they had hired for their wedding, but through a mutual friend they were introduced to me just a few days out from their ceremony.

Some might say that they “lucked out” finding me, but after shooting this intimate wedding at The Grove in Glenview, Illinois, in beautiful evening spring sunlight. I finished the day with a collection of amazing images that I’m sure a few of which will make it into my portfolio soon. So I count myself as pretty lucky too.

Bonnie, had on a elegant vintage style dress that was accented with an intricate head band. The look blended in so well with the forest setting of The Grove I almost can’t picture a different style looking as good at this location. The wedding was small by most accounts with fewer than 100 guests and was decorated by friends and family.

Like so many weddings I photograph, the couple and their guests were very easy going and I was able to fit right in to capture some great candids. So much so that Michael told me he had several guests asking him if we were lifelong friends (see a link to Michael’s review below).

 

Read Bonnie & Michael’s review of my photography services here.

Don’t forget to like or follow me Facebook / Twitter /Google +

 www.VincentDavidJohnson.com