Wedding tips, ideas & stories, from The Photographer

Posts tagged “Illinois

Brett Surprises Kelsey at Starved Rock – Proposal Photography

Fall Colors & A Pro-Photographer Dressed Like a Tourist

For the second month in a row I found myself at the Illinois State Park Straved Rock to shoot a proposal. Luckily for me, this time I wasn’t the rouse in-front of the proposal. It was actually pretty easy this time around. Especially once the weather held out and the couple came away with some beautiful moments captured on camera.

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Brett got in touch with me about doing the hidden photographer thing while he popped-the-question to Kelsey on one of the paths at Starved Rock. His plan was to find the right moment when nobody else was around on the path and get down on one knee. I just had to look as ordinary as possible so as not to create any suspicion. So I threw on some hiking boots, cargo pants and a backpack and made my way out to the path he planned on using.

I made sure to arrive nice and early and the place was already packed, as the fall colors were just starting to come out and I was worried that Brett was never going to find the right time to pop-the-question as the trails were almost as busy as the Chicago lake front path in the summer. A few text messages after they arrived I spotted the couple walking down some stairs towards me. Ironically I was giving some camera tips to some other fall color fans and I’m sure that helped me blend right in.

161015-engagement-1029I kept watch out of the corner of my eye as the two walked past. It really is a wonderful part of my profession to be able to be in on the secret and know something like this is about to happen. After a brief walk up some stairs Brett slowed down and dropped to one knee at the end of a long straight-away. Prefect placement on his part as I was far enough back to not be noticed and yet still have a perfect view. It took Kelsey a few steps before she realized Brett had stopped, at which point her phone just dropped right out of her hand.

I think the images below will help fill in the rest of the story. Like “did she say yes?”

Also, I have to give a big thank you to the random family who helped make the photo shoot even better, by helping me make it rain leaves in front of the recently engaged for one of the portraits we took.
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Hey, random family at Starved Rock, I don’t know who you were, but thank you for throwing some leaves in the air to really make this photo.

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See more photos from the engagement here.

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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.

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 www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


Congratulations: Meghan & Bill, May 31st, 2013

A Wet Dam Wedding

Every culture seems to have some folk-lore about rain on your wedding day, I believe the Irish say it’s good luck. I think it’s all just a nice way to express sympathy for a couple who’s outdoor wedding plans didn’t happen.

I’ve always been a strong believer in the idea that your luck is what you make it. Positioning yourself in the right spot sometimes makes all the difference, or in the case of Meghan & Bill’s wedding, having a backup plan instead of just hoping for good weather worked out as the sun lit the backdrop over the river dam in Geneva for their ceremony that was moved indoors at Riverside Receptions.

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groomsmen drinking before wedding

flower girl & bridesmaid

wedding dress over the river Geneva Illinois

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finishing touches on the bride Fox Valley Illinois

Riverside Receptions Geneva Illinois Fox River

Riverside Receptions Geneva Illinois Fox River

flower girl dress pedals

bride groom vows

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wedding photography Geneva "I do"

Meghan & Bill say I do

flower pedals on the floor at our wedding

Wedding with a view of the Fox river

The maid of honor speech

awesome wedding reception introductions

wedding cake cutting photos

groom eating cake Chicago suburbs

the toast at a wedding

an amazing wedding dress

the head table, bride & groom Geneva Illinois

Riverside Reception first dance bride & groom

getting her grove on beautiful bride

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Grooms and their socks

bride & bridesmaids sage green dresses

amazing looking groomsmen in tuxes

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Congratulation: Tara & Irvine, Aug. 28th, 2011

Royal Wedding with Princesses

dresses

Tara & Irvine got married at what I think is one of the most spectacular churches in the Chicago area; Rockefeller Chapel, on the campus on the University of Chicago. If you’re not familiar with it, that might be because it’s located in the Hyde Park neighborhood on the city’s south side, at a school many get confused with UIC.

The view from the choir loft at Rockefeller Chapel.

I was extremely excited to photograph this wedding for two reasons, first, while I’ve photographed couples in and around the chapel, I’ve never actually shot a wedding there. Second, Tara, runs the home daycare that my son attends and her and her family are wonderful. Their two little girls adorable and the three of them together were like princesses  with Irvine in a church that reminds me of a recent royal wedding.

Tara & Irvine's first dance.

I had to throw this one in because it makes me smile.

The groom and his princesses.

I couldn’t have been more happy when Tara & Irvine asked me to photograph their wedding. They’re a great couple and someone my wife and are glad to say we know.
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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Wedding Stories; Great Speeches, Angela & Ben

wedding toast speeches from the bride

An Amazing Wedding Speech

wedding toast speeches from the bride

[Angela, please correct me if I’ve gotten any part of this story wrong]

It’s no secret, weddings are extremely joyous & emotional events. Especially for the friends and family that are involved with the couple.

You’ve got a quivering bottom lip from the father of the bride as he walks his darling little girl down the aisle, a stuttering groom as he recites his vows and of course what wedding is complete with out tears from the mother of the groom and crying bridesmaids.

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Seeing over a dozen or more weddings a year I don’t often get choked up, so I tend to remember the one, or two times it does happen. I find it a little funny, as earlier in the day I had mentioned this fact to Angela (the bride), and thinking about it now, I can picture her saying in the back of her mind “Oh. I’ve got something for you later”. That is assuming she knew how emotional the room would be.

Angela was the last to give a speech that night and the story she would tell would be set up perfectly by her father, whom had mentioned in his speech about Angela’s issue of not being noticed by, or being able to find the right kind of man.

Angela, continued on with this story as she took the mic. Explaining that she was depressed about not finding that one true love. So one night she sat down and started writing love letters/poems to this yet unknown man who she was sure was out there, in hopes of one day being able to give them to him.

Admitting that the whole idea sounded like something a crazy person would do, she then produced one of the poems and read it aloud  in front of everybody and to Ben, for the first time.

As Angela, read her poem, she cried and sniffled through quite a bit of it, but finished strong in a giant embrace with her new soul mate.


To say there were very few dry eyes in the house would be an understatement. My own eyes were filled partially with tears and I had that dry feeling in the back of my throat. It was a wonderful moment and I was glad they allowed me to be the person to photograph it all.

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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 Laura & Chris; June 18th, 2011

Poetic Wedding

Wedding Chicago, First United Methodist Church, Laura & Chris

If there was one thing I couldn’t stop thinking throughout the wedding day of Laura & Chris, was that I needed to know more poets.The couple met via a love for poetry and their wedding day showed a similar theme of love for the spoken word.

Their wedding day played out much like a well rehearsed poem, from the magnificent stained glass and wood of the First United Methodist Church in the heart of downtown Chicago, to the private room at Jak’s Tap in the near west side. Even forecasted thunderstorms avoided them the entire day.

First United Methodist ChurchA view from the balcony at the First United Methodist Church.

wedding rings dress church ChicagoA view of the Church from Daley Plaza (l to r), Laura’s wedding dress, the wedding bands.

laura & Chris wedding first dance chicago, illinois

poetic wedding first dance chicago, illinoisLaura & Chris shared their first dance to live guitar played by a friend.

Click Here to view more photos on my Facebook page.

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