Wedding tips, ideas & stories, from The Photographer

Posts tagged “ceremony

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; 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


Congratulations: Kate & Alex July 23rd, 2011

Smart museum chicago wedding

Surrounded by ArtSmart museum chicago weddingKate & Alex, tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony at the Smart Museum of Art, on the University of Chicago’s campus in the Hyde Park neighborhood. It’s a location I’m very familiar with, since I am an artist and the museum is only 5 blocks from my home, I’m there quite often (my son on a recent trip there, you may recognize the painting from the ring photo top left).

The couple and their guests were truly in luck, as gloomy morning skies gave way to clear blue and sunny. While the reception and ceremony were held outside, the museum was open to all guests and the ketubah signing & cocktail hour were held inside the museum, allowing for a unique backdrop for any event.

bride getting ready

smart museum art wedding chicago hyde park

I love the similarities between this painting and Kate & Alex.

ring bearer drops the rings

I've seen very few weddings that don't have just a little bit of drama or an interesting side story. This photo below is part of a search for the wedding bands after they come undone from the ring bear's pillow. As a former two time ring bearer myself, my heart went out to the little guy as family & the bridal party searched for them. And yes they were found.

smart museum art wedding chicago hyde park

One of the few places in the museum which is sans art, is the handicap access ramp from the lobby to the museum floor. I took this photo as the couple made their way to a small table for appetizers and some alone time just after their ceremony.

speeches and toasts

Toasts and speeches can be one of the least exciting parts of a wedding reception, but I have to give it up to the groom, for really giving a great thank speech to his family and guests. It was warm and heartfelt and given flawlessly without a single note, or cue card read.

The wedding ended at midnight, but not before some lightning showed up.

Wedding guests dance in the open air garden at the Smart Museum under a lightning storm.

For a complete gallery & to purchase photos from this wedding visit my storefront
(Please contact the couple if the gallery is password protected)
www.VincentDavidJohnson.com
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Congratulations Meredith & Joe; June 26th, 2011

Wedding Lehman Mansion

A Midsummer Night’s Wedding

Wedding Lehman Mansion

Meredith and Joe, were married at the Millburn Church in Lake Villa and celebrated afterwords at the Lehman Mansion. Both beautiful locations that played along nicely with the theme of a Midsummer’s Night.

Accessories for the bridal and flower girl.

bride getting readyGetting ready.

bride & fatherMilburn Church Lake VillaWalking down the aisle with dad. The view from the balcony. Meredith & Joe walking down the aisle as husband and wife.

Meredith’s dress was beautiful with hundreds of flower pedal like fabric attached, her dress seemed to float when ever she moved about.

The introduction of Meredith & Joe.

Dancing under the stars and spot lights outdoors at the Lehman Mansion.

To see more images from this wedding visit my Facebook page.

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Congratulations Suzi & Dave; Aug. 28th, 2010

Wheaton Cantigny wedding photography

Wheaton Cantigny wedding photographyBeing a city person, I hardly get out to the suburbs unless it’s on assignment, or for a wedding. However, there is one place myself & most wedding photographers who work around the Wheaton area know all to well and that is Cantigny.  I know that almost sounds like I’m rolling my eyes when I say it, but there’s a reason why this place is so popular with brides & Photographers. It’s beautiful and you’d have to photograph 2 dozen weddings there before you’d run out of new places to take pictures at and that’s not including different seasons.

While I’ve shot bridal parties inside the park before, Suzi & Dave, were my first couple who were actually having their ceremony at the park half of Cantigny. Complete with our own golf cart & driver we made our way around the park and got some great photos.

The peacefulness of the park really lent itself nicely as a back drop beyond posed photos once the ceremony started.

Cantigy Wheaton Illinois wedding photography

See more photos from this wedding on my Facebook page. (Don’t forget to like me)

vincentdavidjohnson.com


Photojournalistic Style

New Lenox Wedding reception

Chances are if you are reading this, you have at least heard of the term “Photojournalistic Style Wedding Photography”, but what is it and why is it so popular?

Back in the day wedding photography consisted of a trip to a photo studio where a formal posed photo would be taken after the wedding. Mainly because cameras were far to large and churches were a lot more strict. When cameras got smaller, formal photos went from the studio to the aisle and eventually the reception. Since most of this work was done by studio photographers, it retained much of the look and feel of studio work. Heavily staged & formal. You can read more about the changes in wedding photography here.
http://www.wedpix.com/articles/001/evolution-of-wedding-photography/

So why did brides start to prefer a “Photojounalistic” look, over a glamorously posed photo studio session?

One big reason as mentioned in the article I linked to above was magazine coverage of royal weddings in England & Marolyn Monroe’s wedding by magazines like Life & Look. What’s more glamorous than having your wedding covered like a newspaper or magazine story.

Another was back in the 60’s & 70’s photojournalists started to photograph weddings out side of their newspaper work and it was often done using black & white film only and shot mostly as unposed candid images. They’d go back to their darkrooms and develop and print images up at a much lower cost than color film would allow. Why do you think they call it Photojounalistic Style.

Well the natural look of it took off and some in the Photojournalism industry left and started shooting weddings full time. Some wedding photographers never even worked in the industry, but employee similar techniques. Since Photojournalism isn’t really a style, it’s a field in photography, you’d truthfully be better off and I actually prefer to call it what it really is, which is “Documentary” style photography.

As I mentioned before “Photojournalistic Wedding Photography” has kind of become a buzz word in the wedding industry, but many outside of the photo world often mistake it for several things. Make sure when you are looking for a photographer who says they shoot “Photojournalistically”, that not only do they shoot documentary style, but that you actually know what that means yourself.

First a little bit about what “Documentary” style isn’t

1. A wedding shot in all black & white, is not documentary style. Black & White film was a cheap alternative to color film and many of the photojournalists I talked about above, started out shooting just in black & white. This is a film choice not a style. Although there is a different astetic to black & white photography. It is not a style in itself.

2. Different angles, close up & purposefully blurred photos, doesn’t make it documentary. All photographers strive to get different looks of a subject, myself included. These are part of a photographer personal style.

3. It has to be candid? No not really. It’s very hard to not notice somebody standing 2 feet from you with 3 cameras wrapped around their neck, but it’s easy to get use to that person being there and in time forgetting about them. Plus, all good documentaries have head shots or group photos. Looking at the camera isn’t a sin in this style, but doing the old “buddies with their arms around each others shoulders” photo isn’t what it is about.

So what is documentary style?

Basically it is the idea that what you are taking photos of will eventually have a final output, and ending if you will. Your wedding is essentially a story and capturing moments that happen during it are very important. Detailed images of rings, glasses, hands and so on are elements of that story and when laid out in a book or slide show, these images should flow together like a story without words, or voices.

A photographers personal style is their own, you can see this in their portfolio, as chances are it is a collection of the work they have done that they feel represents what they do best. A sample of how they photograph a wedding from start to finish,is a good indicator of the overall style they shoot in. Are they Documentary? Artistic? Commercial?

And while you may not have the eye that a photographer has to tell the difference, just know if you see a lot of straight on photos of people looking right at the camera, chances are that photographer won’t be laying upside down on the dance floor to get the guys diving for the garter. And if you see an image like the one at the top of the page, chances are that photographer isn’t going to grant somebodies request for a grip and grin photo.

There’s a photo I show in my full wedding presentation. It’s of a groom on the ground with his butt in the air looking under a bed. I love the weird look I get from brides, but the next photo is his cat, under the bed, because he was looking for it as friends and family gathered at his home prior to the ceremony. I always say that there’s a method to my madness. Make sure you ask about that method and figure out whether it’s right for you or not.

www.vincentdavidjohnson.com