Schaumburg

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!

My Little Ballerina! Chicago Toddler Portraits

My daughter is a part of every photo shoot that I do. She is a) either entertainment for the models, b) a testing "assistant" while I adjust my lights, or c) just a innocent bystander while I shoot. Whatever she is, I am glad that she is there to watch me work. These portraits came after my model was done with her Dramatic Portraits. Jocelyn came in with her tutu ready to be photographed, and I am not to shy away from a portrait session opportunity. Plus, I love photographing children, especially when it is my kid.

Here are a few of my favorites from Jocelyn's impromptu portrait session:

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Set-Up

  • Nikon D90 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
  • Alien Bee 400 strobe with 22" Beauty Dish
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • White seamless for backdrop
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 for editing
  • Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    By The Way: Be ready for impromptu shoots. I was getting ready to pack up my gear when Jocelyn came in dancing and wanting to be photographed. I was tired and ready to stop, but I could not pass up taking a few frames of what I knew would be a memorable portrait session with my daughter.

    Sam the Handsome! Huntley Baby Portraits

    I love baby Sam for many reasons. One is that he is just so darn cute (his head makes a perfect circle)! Another reason is that he was such a pleasure to photograph (I love baby photos). He also has this very cool and calming attitude about him that makes him even more lovable. But the main reason I love him is that he is my nephew, my youngest baby nephew. I love photographing my family, even if it means traveling to Huntley, Orland Park, or Merrionette Park. I do my best and make sure that my nieces and nephews are photographed because they will never look the same. They grow up so darn fast. Here are a few of my favorite Sam portraits:

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    Set-Up

  • Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
  • Tokina 12-24mm f/4.0
  • Nikon SB-800 fitted with an umbrella for background
  • Alien Bee strobe with medium softbox
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • White sheet for backdrop
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS3 for editing
  • Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    By The Way: Always be careful when shooting babies. I always have the parent sit right next to the child as I photograph them. The final image you see is a composite of 2 images. The one with the baby originally had the mother right next to him. Then I photographed the background without the baby and then combined them in Photoshop.

    Happy Holidays From The Rascon Family

    Chicago Illinois Child Photography

    Happy holidays guys! I know we are all getting ready to celebrate with friends and family, so thanks for stopping by my blog. What are some things you are all doing for the holidays?

    I am look forward to a few things like hanging out with my family and watching some movies. I am just about done with my Family DVD slide-show I do every year. So I am pretty darn excited about finishing that and giving it to my family on Christmas. I also just got a Play Station 3, so there will be some HD viewing this holiday season at my house.

    I hope that you all have a fun time and make some amazing memories over the next week. Peace and see you soon!

    Here are a few outtakes from the shoot:

    Set-Up

  • Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 (I love this lens)
  • Alien Bee strobe with medium softbox
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • White sweep with 2 lights pointed to it
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS3 for editing
  • Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    By The Way: I am a big fan of holiday music. I especially like KT Tunstall's Christmas CD. Check it out!

    Family Portrait Fun - The Espinoza Family

    I LOVE it when families make the time to take portraits. I guess I feel that way because my family never made the time to do so. I cannot look back at a time when my family was together and when my siblings and I were younger. That's kind of a bummer. As a parent I now understand how it can be difficult, and even frustrating, to make the time and get everyone ready to go out and take family pictures. But family portraits are important to our lives, they are an important part in our histories. Think about this: never again will this couple (whose photos you are about to see) look the same, nor will their children. Their likeness have been captured in time. They can look at these photos later in their lives and reminisce about how young everyone was and how beautiful they all looked. That is pretty cool and almost magical.

    Here are a few of my favorites from this session:

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    My HUGE thanks to the Espinoza family for coming in all the way from Rogers Park. They looked great and were so much fun to spend time with. Their little ones are SO cute! You guys rock!

    Set-Up

  • Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 (I love this lens)
  • Alien Bee strobe with medium softbox
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • White sweep with 2 lights pointed to it
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 for editing
  • A lot of energy to keep up with the 2 kiddos :)
  • Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    By The Way: Make sure that only one parent is communicating with the kids during the session, or even just your assistant. Having both parents talk and make noises can be too much, both for the kids and for the photographer :)

    Hattie the Cuttie - Chicago Baby Portraits

    I was really pumped for this baby portrait session. You see, my wife and I are great friends with Hattie's parents. I have photographed their little Henry before. We were so excited to hear the news when they told us they were pregnant! My wife and I were both like "No way! Congrats! I hope you guys have a girl!" Well, I wanted them to have a baby girl. They already had a boy, so a girl would bring balance to their family :)

    Here are a few of my favorite portraits of the new born shoot:

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    Set-Up

  • Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4
  • Alien Bee strobe with medium softbox
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • White sweep with natural light
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 for editing
  • Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    By The Way: The power of the strobe was beginning to make little Hattie fidget, so I decided to only use the modeling lamp of the strobe to get a handful of images. I switched to my 50mm f/1.4 lens and went to town :)

    Cute Sibling Portraits - Chicago Family Portraits

    Jennifer and Vanessa were high school friends. I photographed Vanessa's wedding earlier this year. Jennifer saw Vanessa's wedding photos and really liked them. So she emailed me wanting some family photos and set up a family portrait session. I love how these connections are made. Okay, that was a really quick intro on how I came to meet Jennifer and her family. They are a really warm and loving family from Downers Grove with two amazingly beautiful children. The little girl and her baby brother both made my job pretty easy as they smiled and allowed me to take their portraits. Having a 2 year old has helped so much in preparing for kid portraits. You have to be quick and ready for anything that they throw your way.

    I really love photographing families out in different outdoor environments. But there is something very special about going into the families home and photographing them in their home environment. Here are a handful of my favorite photos from this family shoot:

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    My many thanks to Jennifer and her family for having me photograph them. It is such a privilege to meet new families and for them to allow me into their lives. I hope to see them again soon.

    Set-Up

  • Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.4
  • Alien Bee strobe with medium softbox
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • 36" silver reflector for natural light portraits
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 for editing
  • Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    By The Way: Have a plan A, B, and C when photographing young children. You just never know which plan will work best.

    Hi-Key Little Beauty - Chicago Child Portraits

    Is there anything more cute and amazing than seeing a baby smile? I don't think there is. I became really interested in baby portraits the second I knew my wife and I were going to have our daughter. Since then I have had the privilege to have taken so many of my families, friends, and clients baby photos. I have traveled to Wicker Park, Downers Grove, Orland Park, and other places and into peoples houses and lives. So my many thanks to you all! Here are a handful of images from one of my latest baby portrait sessions. This cute little baby girl is probably one of the best babies I have photographed in recent memory. I don't recall her crying at all, or even fusing. We wanted to do her first year pictures and some Christmas pictures, but that might have been too aggressive of a plan. We ended up breaking up the portrait session into 2 sessions. Her parents were so cool about doing so and brought her over the following week. It was a bit of a challenge to select the images to post just because she had such a great smile most of the time.

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    Set-Up

  • Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
  • Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
  • Alien Bee strobes - 2 on the background and 1 on my model. Note: the background was about 10 feet away from my model. Any closer and the light reflecting from the white seamless would enter the lens and create some contrast issues.
  • Pocket Wizards (2)
  • White Seamless background
  • Small white table for baby to sit on. Her father was just behind her.
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 for editing
  • Rock On! info@ottorascon.com | my portfolio | facebook | twitter | 773.430.4785

    By The Way: Shooting hi-key images is so much tougher than you think!