Engagement • Dustin & Kate • Revolution Brewing Company • Chicago

Dustin and I have at least two things in common: we both LOVE photography and we both HATE being photographed, so I took this one as a challenge. Dustin and Kate met in a bar and wanted to do their pre wedding shoot at a bar in Wheaton. I just photographed a wedding at Revolution Brewing Company and noticed that the bar had a perfect blend of window light at about 5:15pm, so I suggested we do the shoot at said location. The owners even let me behind the bar for a few shots. I brought my wife along to distract Dustin and Kate in conversation to get the non posed and natural approach they were looking for. We also had fun doing a few rainy day shots outside of Revolution.

Engagement • Claire & Graham • The Silver Room, Woman's Athletic Club • Chicago

I'll be photographing Claire and Graham's wedding late September at Chicago registered landmark Woman's Athletic Club. We met there recently to do a walk through and I ended up photographing them in various rooms throughout the building. It's a beautiful place, designed with a Persian theme. My favorite room is titled The Silver Room and is decorated with beautiful silver wall paper, as pictured in the first photos above.

Jose Villa Workshop

If you don’t know of Jose Villa’s work then you should stop reading this and take a look at his work right now. He’s an amazing talented photographer who shoots mostly weddings and kids. I think that the challenge of weddings for a photographer is to make images that appeal to people beyond the couple, their family and guests. Jose’s images are so stunning that they transcend their original use, like Richard Avedon, Irving Penn or Annie Leibovitz’s commercial work. In terms of technique, Jose shoots all film, mostly with a medium format Contax 645. He tends to overexpose his images by at least one stop to add a bit of pastel like softness to the images. Anyway, if you are not a photographer then I’ll not bore you with more technical stuff and if you are a photographer then you should take one of his workshops, as I just did one month ago today. Jose lives in the wine country near Santa Barbara, where the light and the scenery is beautiful. The workshop was about six hours of discussion on everything from technique to marketing, followed by a photo shoot where all photographers were treated to shooting side by side with Jose in a beautiful location during the “magic hour”. All the photographers at the workshop took turns shooting very photogenic models in a perfect situation. Click here to see some of the photos I took. If you like the look of the photos it’s mostly because I shot them at the right time of the day. A big part of Jose’s success is that he fights hard to insure that the timing of the day is centered around photographing during the best light. The other part of his success is that he is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. The make up was done by Mar at TEAM and Flowers by Renae's Bouquet