graphic design

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.

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.