Wedding tips, ideas & stories, from The Photographer

Posts tagged “wedding

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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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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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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Quick Tip; Cool In The Heat

California Hot

Hot California wedding

Even in April, it’s hot in California. These gummy bears didn’t have a prayer.

 

As Summer starts to heat up, just had to share a quick tip. If you’re having an outdoor wedding think about any desert items you might have for your guests.

A lot of attention gets paid to the cake, but going with items, normally not associated with melting, on a desert table could lead to a hot mess, or at the least a funny picture. Like these poor melted gummy bears, who were in the shade during the early afternoon California sun, but caught some rays later in the day.

Don’t be afraid to ask your caterer to stash those commemorative candy bars in the freezer till it’s go time for the reception.

 

 

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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

straps on a wedding dress geneva Illinois fox river

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

wedding sand ceremony

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

best wedding reception ever

Grooms and their socks

bride & bridesmaids sage green dresses

amazing looking groomsmen in tuxes

wedding photography discounts fox valley geneva Illinois Chicago

 

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Happy Fourth of July

Happy 4th of July

fireworks at your wedding

Happy 4th of July

So one of my brides emailed me and asked for a couple of sneak peaks from her wedding. Seeing as how I have a two weddings before her’s I’m still working on sneak peeks for I thought it wouldn’t be fair to skip ahead, but since there were some fireworks on their wedding day, I figured I’d sneak a few in to wish everybody a Happy 4th of July.

Congrats Morgan & Ryan. More to come soon.

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 www.VincentDavidJohnson.com

Fireworks on your wedding day

Fireworks at a wedding reception

 

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 www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


Congratulations! Anna & Josh, May 11th, 2013

Perfect Wedding Downtown at Buckingham Fountain

Anna & Josh, had a small Jewish ceremony just south of Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, right in the heart of downtown Chicago. The weather had been wet most of the day, but opened up for some beautiful weather right when the ceremony was to get under way. With mother nature playing nicely it was a short walk back to the Essex Hotel where they had their reception.

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

 www.VincentDavidJohnson.com

 

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

 www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


Congratulations; Katie & Shawn, April 27th, 2013

Felt Like A Royal Wedding

I have to say, I’m pretty confident with my skills as a photographer, but I still get a little butterflies, especially before a wedding. Because I know how important every image I create will be. I like to think this helps me push myself and stay on top of my game.

Of course I’ve photographed events before where even an 89 year old grandma with an iPhone could bust out a dozen good photos and this was very much the case for Katie & Shawn’s wedding. As the day started I just couldn’t help but fall backwards into amazing photo ops.

At one point during the ceremony I literally felt like I needed to do a double take after looking at a couple of shots I took. It was like a royal wedding; Katie in an spectacular dress, the gold plated wall behind the alter at the Mission Basilica in San Juan Capistrano and the Shawn in his Air Force dress uniform. And I hadn’t even seen the finishing touches put on the reception area yet.

I was briefly afraid as images were almost coming to easy and I knew there were probably hundreds of other professionals who would have bent over backwards to photograph this wedding, which was one more reason I was really touched that Katie had asked me if I would shoot her wedding before she really even had the wedding date set.

 

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

 www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


Congratulations: Jackie & Jason, March 24th, 2012

First Wedding of 2012; No Wild Horses

As far as March weddings go in Chicago, you can’t complain about 68 degrees and overcast, unless of course the last 12 days had been sunny and 80 degrees, but as most couples will tell you, the day goes by so fast with so much emotion, it would take a natural disaster to make you anything south of happy.

Part of my process of getting to know a couple, I often ask how they met, how did you propose and so on. Jackie & Jason have to have one of the more interesting stories I’ve heard and I’m sure the set backs would have had them prepared if there was another “Snowpocalypse” this year on their wedding day. To keep this brief, Jason had basically planned to pop the question at a picnic they were having while horse riding. As the couple made the trek from the Chicago burbs to downstate Illinois, Jason’s truck had a mechanical problem which essentially forced him to drive no faster than 45 miles an hour. This trip can take up to 3 to 4 hour trip at normal speeds. Finally on their picnic, it’s almost go time for Jason, and one of the horses comes undone and runs away.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, Jason didn’t take this as an ominous sign and went through with his proposal.

The ceremony took place at  Ascension of our Lord in Oakbrook Terrace. We made a stop at a local park for some informal portraits and then made our way to the Carriage Green Country Club in Darien, ironically the site of the reception for the last wedding I photographed.

Not that I’ve ever had to say different, but it was a pleasure shooting their wedding. Jason is an all around stand-up guy and Jackie, is a breath of fresh air with a contagious smile.

Congratulations once again.

Getting ready to tie the knot.

I always take care of my grooms too. You want a photo riding your Harley on your wedding day? Done. Not sure about letting one of the groomsmen drive my truck, but oh well. Got the shot.

Bridesmaids relaxing before the reception.

A littler fakery on the toss.

 

See more photos on my pages on Facebook and Google Plus

 www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #15; Choosing Between Black & White

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

Question #15

Is it possible to get black and white photographs as well as color photographs, or do couples typically have to decide between one or the Other?

 

Any photo taken in color can be changed to black & white with ease in the digital age. My web galleries allow couples to order photos in B&W, or a slew of other color shades if the photo was originally taken in color.

 

Choosing black & white for this photo was an easy call. The drab decore in the bathroom didn't do anything for the image and the purple dress was a distraction from some nice lines in the photo.

 

I've always been a bit torn on this image to go black & white because I like the small pop of yellow color, not to mention the image has a B&W feel to it even in color, but its the extra colors over the bride's hands that made me do it. The best part about most print ordering services today is you can do either as long as the original was shot in color.

Coming up tomorrow

Bonus Questions

I take a look at a couple of key questions I think were missed in my interview

Previous Questions

#14 Do prices typically vary for off-season or weekday weddings?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #14; Off-season pricing

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #14

Do prices typically vary for off-season or weekday weddings?

Yes, but not by much. You’re still paying for talent and experience and that doesn’t change with the weather. Neither does the insurance & maintenance on the equipment, along with advertising, light bills and the cost of the album to the photographer all stay the same in December as they do in June. Typically you can see 10%, sometimes more, but don’t expect to see 50% off. Last minute weddings can also see a discount since photographers know the likelihood of booking an open wedding date just a month or two out is rare.

If you are getting married when there's a good chance snow will be on the ground, or the middle of summer in a southern climate, chances are you might get a discount, but don't go looking for half-off Groupon style deals.

Coming up tomorrow

Question #15

Is it possible to get black and white photographs as well as color photographs, or do couples typically have to decide between one or the Other?


Previous Questions

#13  What equipment should a wedding photographer have?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #12; Determining Your Budget for Photography

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #12

How should a couple determine their wedding photography budget?

 

There is no magic number here. It’s really about how important photography is to the couple and it can also come down to what a couple wants from their wedding photography. I tell each couple there are three things that last after your wedding; the rings, the photos and your love for one another. Basically nobody is going to remember in a year if you had the top shelf liquor at your wedding, but you’ll remember if you didn’t get the best photographer you could afford, so it really should be the last place you try to save money at.

 

 

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #13

What equipment should a wedding photographer have?

Previous Questions

#11  What should a couple beware of with certain wedding photographers?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #10; What to look for in a Photographer

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 Question #10

What should a couple look for in a wedding photographer?

 

The first thing they should look for is an actual photographer. Photography is an art, you shouldn’t first talk to a sales person, then meet your photographer after you picked your package. Once you find a photographer who’s work you like, find out if you like the photographer. I tell couples all the time, if you like my price & my portfolio, but don’t like me… Walk away. You’ll be with your photographer more than any other person on your wedding day and if you don’t feel you have a connection, think twice about booking them.

In the era of online reviews I have had less & less requests for referrals from my past couples. While chances are a photographer isn’t going to refer you to a person who had a less than perfect experience, you’ll still be able to get a feel from the little details in the conversation. If someone you know gives you a good review about the photographer they used, look into it even if it’s a little over your budget. Better to pay 10-15% more on a photographer with a personal referral than to have bad photos.

Word of mouth is often the best way to find a photographer. If you have a photographer personally recommended by someone treat it like a golden ticket.

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #11

What should a couple beware of with certain wedding photographers?

Previous Questions

#9 At what point in the wedding planning process should a couple book a wedding photographer?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #8; Price Gap Between Photographers

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #8

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #8

Why is there such a large price range among different wedding photographers?

Talent and advertising. Some of the best photographers have a following where brides know they want to use them, even when they are still single. Those photographers can start around $10,000 to $15,000. A lot of amateur photographers with regular weekday jobs are trying to make side money on the weekends, so they can survive on just $300-$500 a couple of times a year. Most professional photographers haven’t reached that rarified air of the $15,000 wedding photographer and would go dead broke charging $500 a wedding. In a market like Chicago which has over 700 listed wedding photographers, advertising is a must to stay ahead and that often means between $200 to $1,000 a month to be listed in magazines & web sites. The Knot.com <http://Knot.com> alone costs a photographer $250 a month just for a basic listing (not the  front page).

 

 

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #9

At what point in the wedding planning process should a couple book a wedding photographer?


Previous Questions

#7 What is the customary deposit to put down, to reserve a photographer for adate?  When is the balance typically due?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com

 


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #4; Photo Proofs

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #4

What is a proof and what are the advantages of the different types of Proofing?

 

A “proof” is traditionally a slightly corrected image printed out for a couple to preview before purchasing as a larger image, or including it in an album. With the advent of digital most proofs now consist as a web gallery where a couple can order, view or share photos from. If your photographer is going to place images from your wedding in a web gallery, but is offering a proof book as well, see if you can get a discount for not getting a proof book, as this is really a hold over from the days of film, before the internet and may be a hidden cost in your wedding package.

If you have a digital gallery (web or DVD) having a book of printed proofs is a waste of money.

Coming up tomorrow

Question #5

What are the pros and cons of hiring two wedding photographers to take pictures at a wedding, as compared to only having one photographer taking Pictures?


Previous Questions

#3 Is it better to book a wedding photographer who uses film or digital equipment?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com

 


15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #3; Film or digital

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #3

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 

Question #3

Is it better to book a wedding photographer who uses film or digital equipment?

The main difference between film and digital is the look and feel of an image created with one, or the other. I tend to shoot both at weddings, but at the end of the day though it really doesn’t matter anymore, most couples will still be printing the same amount of photos to hang on their wall and they may only see a real difference in their wedding album. If you are going with a photographer who shoots only film I suggest that you do so only with a seasoned professional. Film is not for the faint of heart. Their is a reason photography has become so popular now days and that reason is because even with a point you really need to know what you’re doing.

The top right & bottom left photos were shot on film, the other two were shot digitally. The matching images were both taken within a minute of two of each other and similar settings.

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #4

What is a proof and what are the advantages of the different types of Proofing?

Previous Questions

#2 Why do wedding photographers copyright the pictures they take at weddings? Is this common?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


Congratulation: Stacy & Anthony 9-10-11

Family Wedding

Besides the fact it was nice to actually be sitting at a table with family instead of complete strangers at the reception. In all the years I have been a photographer, the one thing I have never done was photograph a family member’s wedding. I’m the oldest of 13 grandkids  from my mother’s side of the family alone and Stacy is only the third one of us to tie the knot. With 10 more to go, I’m sure this won’t be the last wedding.

I’m delighted Stacy found such a standup guy in Anthony and it was great to be involved in her wedding in some capacity, since I was the ring bearer in her father’s wedding (my uncle).

Gettig ready.

Waiting for the limo bus to come.

On the way to the church. Weather is looking good.

Hnagin' with the groomsmen before the wedding.

The map for the bussel looked liked a map for disarming a bomb, but Stacy's bridesmaids came through.

Molly gave a great toast for her big sister.

First dance.



I’m looking forward to getting to know my new cousin better and hope they find just half as much joy in the photos I made as they do in each other.
You can view more photos from Stacy & Anthony’s Wedding on Vincent David Johnson’s Facebook page.

For a complete gallery of images  & to purchase photos from this wedding, visit my web gallery

(Please contact the couple if the gallery is password protected)

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Preview of Posts to Come

lightning wedding reception
lightning wedding reception

Things got a little stormy at the end of Kate & Alex's wedding this summer, but they managed to miss bad weather. My advice & tips might not be able to stop storm clouds, but it could help you avoid disasters at your wedding.

It was a busy wedding season and I haven’t been posting as many tips and advice for couples about to get married, but there are a bunch of things lined up.

•Things to look out for with group photos

•Google for weddings

•Why you have a better eye for photos than your photographer

•Tips for the Groom

Plus ways to make your wedding more image friendly.

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com
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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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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
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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.

groom bride speech

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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Photojournalism at Your Wedding

Photojournalism at a weddingWith an open door policy, the First United Methodist Church is a resting place for some of the city’s homeless.

I’ve heard stories of wedding photographers who’ve had car accidents, fires, or other news worthy type events take place at them, but luckily for the couples & myself, most if not all of the weddings I’ve photographed have gone off without a hitch.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t moments where I see things that tell other stories outside, or intersecting with the narrative of the wedding, what those of us in journalism might call a feature story. So I just thought I’d share this really quick post about two of those moments that happened at the wedding of Laura & Chris.

The First United Methodist Church, is right in the middle of downtown Chicago. It’s a beautiful wood lined church with stained glass windows on the first floor of what looks like an office building, and like some churches they have a policy of welcoming anyone to come in and stay for awhile. This often means homeless or transient people will find a safe place on hot and cold days. They are asked to leave before the ceremony starts, but I was early and was able to take this image before the bride & groom even arrived.

First United Methodist Church ChicagoThe First United Methodist Church is a frequent stop along the way for many downtown walking tours.

Also, because of the beauty of the building and it’s two chapels (there is a sky chapel as well), it is a frequent stop on some downtown walking tours. This group happen to be touring the second floor art gallery, where the bride and groom were waiting till the ceremony began on the first floor.

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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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