Sam & Rigo // Chicago Wedding Photography // North Avenue Beach House

I love Sam and Rigo. That's all that needs to be said, but I'll continue for the sake of detail. I photographed their engagement session last year and had a blast hanging out with them. It seemed that the laughter and joy didn't stop the entire evening - a sign of a fun wedding ahead. Sam got ready at her place in University-Village / Little Italy, along with her bridesmaids. The day was rolling and Sam was cool and calm - she stayed this way the entire day. Good for you Sam. After preparations we took off to the beautiful Assumption Catholic Church. It was a great ceremony and it was even better seeing Rigo and Sam smiling the entire time. These guys are so into each other!

The bridal party portraits took place at the North Avenue Beach House. It was a perfect day to be outdoors shooting near the lake. I was hoping for a lot of sun, and that's what we got that day. I love the photos of Rigo with the red background - he was living it up. I sure hope they had a ton of fun that day - I know I did.

The reception took place at the Hyatt Regency Woodfield - Schaumburg. The lobby to this place is really cool, very retro/modern. The floral design was done by Liz Middendorf of Specialties by Liz - she did a great job as the reception area was beautiful.

Here are a few pics from the wedding - one I'll remember for a long time:

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Thank you again Sam and Rigo. I'm so honored to have shared such an important/awesome day in your lives. My many thanks to my friend and second shooter Steven Ryne. It's always great working together with you!

Info on the venues:

Assumption Catholic Church 323 West Illinois Street Chicago, IL 60654

North Avenue Beach House 1600 N Lake Shore Dr Chicago, Illinois 60614 312.742.7529

Hyatt Regency Woodfield - Schaumburg 1800 East Golf Road Schaumburg, Illinois 60173 847.605.1234

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By The Way: Use off-camera flash even in the brightest of days. I know it might sound a little counterintuitive, but it rocks!

Wheaton Wedding Photography // Danada House // Caitlin + Michael

Second shooting a wedding is a lot of fun, especially when I get to do so

    with a friend. These images are from a wedding I second shot with Todd James Photography a few months back. It was great photographing a wedding in Wheaton, especially in the downtown area - what a cool and quaint place it is!

    The reception was at the amazing Danada House in Wheaton. What an elegant location to be at and what a treat, as a photographer, to photograph such a beautiful bride and groom at this place. To see more of Caitlin & Michael's wedding you can check out Todd's photo's on his blog. Thanks again Todd!

    Here are a few pics from the wedding with permission of Todd James Photography:

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    By The Way: Being a second shooter is a ton of fun, but also a huge responsibility. Working with Todd was such a blast, but I know that I am there to serve him and his clients first. This was not my client but I still want to make sure that I rock it out for the main shooter.

Tabitha + Joseph // A Family Celebration - Pt. 2

A Wedding All Their Own

Here is part 2 of Tabitha + Joe's wedding just as promised. I hope that the photos communicate the fun spirit of this wedding, a wedding that was totally their own.

I really loved the non-traditional setting of this wedding - from the outdoor ceremony to the portraits shot on a hill in a nearby park. The feeling of family and friends was all over this wedding, and I loved it. You see my wife was the matron of honor, my daughter was the flower girl, and my brother-in-law officiated the wedding. So familiar faces were all over the place. It was really cool seeing Tabitha and Joe's families come together to celebrate their wedding day.

Shooting this wedding was special for me because I have known Tabitha since we were teenagers. I couldn't help but feel reminiscent of our teenage years! It was amazing seeing her at the alter and then think about where our lives have headed since we were 14.

So enough of my emotional babble and on to the photos. Here are just a few of my favorites from Tabitha + Joe's wedding day:

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So my many thanks to Tabitha and Joe for having me be a part of their wedding. It really is a pleasure and honor to photograph someone's wedding, it's one of the coolest jobs I can think of. My many thanks also go to the fabulous, and super talented, Suzy Rohan for assisting and shooting with me. I always have a blast working with her. You rock Suzy!

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By The Way: During the formal portraits we were invaded by a small army of gnats. We had completed about 80% of the formals. My temptation was to move to a new location, and spend more of my clients time, but I knew that having all of the portraits in the same location would look best. Stick to your vision even if there are nasty little gnats annoying the entire family of the bride and groom :)

Tabitha + Joseph // A Family Celebration - Pt. 1

We Go Way Back

Tabitha and my wife, Christina, are best friends and have known each other forever. I met Tabitha when I was 16 years old, so we go way back as well. In fact, Tabitha was there the night that I asked Christina to be my girlfriend, and was also there on our first date. She means a ton to us, so it was an amazing experience being her wedding photographer. What a treat!

A Few Quick Pics

I am so excited about how well Tabitha + Joe's wedding went. It was supposed to rain the entire day, but we were able to somehow dodge the rain. In fact, the sun came out the moment she started walking down the aisle - NO JOKE! It was awesome.

Here are a few pics from her wedding that I am pumped to share. More to come for sure!

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By The Way: Let's keep a positive outlook when it comes to weather. The most important part of a wedding is that the couple wed - plain and simple. So we must keep that in mind when the rain is pouring or the humidity is at suffocating levels :)

Jennifer + Rob // Naperville Wedding Photography

The Wedding Photographer Connection

I met Steven Chellappa about a year ago. Steve is my boy and a fellow wedding photographer. I shot a wedding with him earlier this year and went on a photo adventure late last year. We ht it off quickly and have fun every time we hang out.

The Long & Short of It

So Jennifer if Steve's sister - in case you were wondering who Steve was. He forwarded her my info, she emailed me, we set up a meeting, I photographed her wedding, and now you're reading the blog post about her wedding. That's how I met Jennifer and Rob in nutshell.

Jennifer, Rob, and I met up at a local Starbucks and it's safe to say that I liked them right away. They kind of reminded me of my wife and I before we married. They posses this quietness and integrity that I rarely get to see in a younger couple. They're both crazy bright and a lot of fun to talk with. It was cool getting to know them as I listened to them share about how they met. I was excited to meet Steve's family and spend time with them at Jennifer's wedding. It was such a beautiful wedding and Jennifer looked amazing in her dress. I am sure Rob would agree. Shooting with my girl, Jaclyn Simpson, made this wedding even more of a blast.

Awesome Naperville Wedding Vendors

All weddings are a huge collaboration of many talented vendors. This wedding was no exception. Here are the vendors that made the wedding amazing: • Jennifer's hair was done by the talented Mia Sorella Salon & Boutique - Tiffany Christiansen rocked it out and was great to work with. • Floral arrangements by Karen's Floral Expressions - The bouquets looked amazing and were a blast to photograph. • The wedding & reception were at the beautiful Meson Sabika out in Naperville.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from Jennifer + Rob's wedding:

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By The Way: Always be ready to think on your feet! Weddings are great events, though sometimes the day goes by a little faster than expected and thus we have to make quick decisions about locations, posing, and lighting. But remember: creativity is brought on by limitations. Rock it out!

Happy Anniversary Vanessa + Luis // 07.25.09

One year Ago

It was one year ago today that Vanessa + Luis tied the knot in the beautiful Holy Cross Church. I was so honored to have been their wedding photographer and to have experienced their amazing wedding day. You can see the original post here. Congratulations to you guys. I hope that you had a great year - and here's to MANY more!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from Vanessa + Luis' wedding:

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Laughter & Love // Elysia + Donny Married

Donny The iPod Guy

It's an honor doing what I do. Photographing my bride and groom is something I never take for granted. Elysia + Donny's wedding was particularly an honor because they are my friends - and they are totally into each other :)

I met Donny back when I was a student at The Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago where we were both Visual Communications (graphic design) majors. Donny was the first person I ever met that owned an iPod - remember how big and monochromatic they used to be? That pretty much made him the coolest person I knew at that point in my life. As time passed I got to know him and had the chance to work on a few jobs together. He's a brilliant person, and both compassionate and crazy talented. Yes, he's one of "those" people, the type that just get things so much quicker than most. Oh, my daughter loves him and he introduce me to Penny's Noodles. What more can I say?

So one day I hear that he and Elysia are getting married! My wife and I flipped (not literally). You see, we had secretly been hoping that they would wed. I totally wanted to shoot their wedding and was so glad that he and Elysia felt the same. They are amazing people, the kind you just want to hang with, chat, laugh, and have meals with.

Awesome Chicago Wedding Vendors

Weddings are all about collaborations. And when each do their part, amazing things happen. These Chicago wedding vendors rock:

• Floral arrangements by the amazing fleur - Kelly and her crew did an amazing job!!! • Elysia's dress was custom made by Dame Couture in Evanston. • Location: Glessner House Museum and Woman's Park and Garden in the South Loop.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from Elysia + Donny's wedding:

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Elysia and Donny: thank you again for having Christina and I be a part of such an amazing day in your lives. Seeing you guys make your vows was so inspiring. I hope that you have amazing futures and that we have many more dinner dates. You guys rock!

My thanks also go to my friend Nick for assisting me. You rock Nick!

Glessner House Museum 1800 S. Prairie Avenue Chicago, IL. 60616 312.326.1480 fax - 312.326.1397

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By The Way: I always listen to and enjoy the vows made at the ceremony. This is what the wedding day is really all about! I know as photographers we want to capture those really cool and sexy photos after - but let's enjoy all aspects of the wedding day.

A Wedding with Style // Adler Planetarium Wedding Photography

I had a great time seconding shooting with my friend and fellow wedding photographer Veronica Hinojosa a few weeks back. We had the privilege of documenting Adriana & Steven's wedding. My day started over at Steven's house, over in Alsip, where I met him and his family. What a warm and funny family! I must say, I had a great time being around them. Seeing them work as a family unit was inspiring to say the least. After a few family portraits we headed over to the beautiful St. Mary of Perpetual Help Church.

After the ceremony we went around Chicago for the bridal party photos. We visited the Adler Planetarium first and then went to the Kinzie Street Bridge. The weather was a bit on the gray/gloomy side, but this was a fun group and they didn't care, so neither did we. The rains were held and the Adler Planetarium and Kinzie Street Bridge are great places to photograph, so no worries. Onwards to the reception!

The reception was held at the Chateau Bu-Sche in Alsip, IL. The decor was spot on and the reception was beautiful.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from Adriana + Steven's wedding:

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My many thanks to Adriana & Steven and to their amazing families for being such a joy to be around. And a huge shout-out to V for having her own style and for having me shoot another sweet wedding with her.

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By The Way: Seconding shooting is a TON of fun. But I never forget that I am there to assist the main shooter - this helps make our days go a lot smoother.

Zion Wedding Photography // Melanie + Ashley Married

I met Melanie and Ashley through my friend Jill, whose wedding I photographed 2 years ago. It's always so cool and encouraging to get a referral from a past bride whose wedding I photographed. It means that they were willing to give my info out without me having to ask. That is good stuff indeed. So thanks Jill for introducing me to this fun and loving couple! It's been really fun getting to know Melanie and Ashley (M+A) - I liked them right away and I could tell that they really cared for each other. What was there not to like? They're both fun and creative, love to laugh (Ashley), mad comm skills (Melanie), and had custom Chuck's made for their wedding. Enough said.

Their wedding took place in Zion, Illinois at the Illinois Beach Resort and Conference Center. The coastline of Lake Michigan looked sweet that day - thanks dramatic clouds! It was my first commitment ceremony, so I was very excited. The day started off really rainy and overcast. I was hopeful it would get better. And then it got REALLY cold. I think it got down to like 50 degrees at one point. I was still hopeful it would get better - I had to since the wedding was to be outdoors. The rain was still coming down as M+A walked down the aisle, but I could see that the clouds were going away. It finally stopped raining as the ceremony began (finally!) and then never rained again. Awesome!

Shooting at Illinois Beach was really cool. The sand and dramatic clouds made for an amazing setting. M+A were totally up for walking around the beach and we all had a blast shooting out there. I was assisted by the talented Suzy Rohan who took some beautiful detail shots and also kept me laughing the entire day.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from M+A's wedding:

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Melanie and Ashley, thank you again for being such a joy to work with. Photographing your commitment ceremony was such an honor and I, too, had a great time. I hope that you have amazing futures, as I am sure that you will. You guys rock! My thanks to my "dos" shooter Suzy again for making that day fun. Your willingness to learn is refreshing.

Illinois Beach Resort & Conference Center 1 Lake Front Drive Zion, IL 60099 (847) 625-7300

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By The Way: Don't get too discouraged if the weather is nasty. Have a plan B and communicate it with your couple. Setting them at ease is a huge plus and a success to the rest of the day.

It's All About the Details // Grayslake Wedding Photography

I had the privilege to second shoot the wedding of David & Crystal with my good friend Steven of Steven Ryne Photography this past weekend. I met David and the guys over in Vernon Hills at a local bowling alley. Yes - bowling alley. It was so cool hanging out with them and photographing them as they bowled right before the wedding. I could see that these guys really cared for each other, which made my job so much more enjoyable.

The ceremony and reception was at the Byron Colby Barn in Grayslake. That surrounding area was perfect for portraits. I remember driving up to the Barn and thinking "these portraits are going to be AWESOME! Just look at all of this open space." It was almost perfect to shoot in except that it had rained the entire day. No problem! We just made sure that everyone had umbrellas and we were all good to go out for a few portraits.

One thing that really stood out to me were the details. I typically look at the details and shoot away. I might move something to light it better, but that is about all of the interaction that I have with them. But these details stopped me in my tracks and forced me to notice them. I HAD to look at the top of the cake - I HAD to look at the hand written menu board - I HAD to look at the table decoration - I HAD to look and touch the wedding info handout - I HAD to photograph them all. All of these pieces made for a really great experience. I was then blow away to find out that Crystal, the bride, had designed and planned all of these details herself. What a talented bride/designer/wedding planner!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from this wedding:

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I want to thank Steven again for having me shoot this amazing wedding with him. Dude, you rock. I really appreciated your posing ideas. It was also really cool seeing you give and interact with your clients. Way to go!

My thanks to David and Crystal. I hope you guys have an amazing marriage!!!

The Byron Colby Barn 1561 Jones Point Road Grayslake, IL 60030-3536 (847) 543-1202

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By The Way: Shoot at f/1.4 if you need to. I sure did for this wedding. The Byron Colby Barn is a great place to shoot, but it is very dim once the sun sets.