Can you recommend any photographers?

Here are some fantastic wedding photographers I've had the pleasure of working with the past few years. I receive no kickbacks from them, I just genuinely enjoy working with them and I think they do wonderful work. If you contact them, please let them know I referred you.

Liz - somethingblue-design.com
Wendy - lockedinphotography.com
Diego - maplewoodphotography.com
Michael - michaelnovophotography.com
Ebby - ebbylphotography.com
Jami - photographybyjami.com
Danielle - danielleheinson.com

Do you have any examples of Full-Day videos online?

Because of the video length and the music used, I only include the Full-Day edit on your physical copy (DVD/Blu-Ray/USB). The playlist of Trailers at the top of my website home page will give you a good idea of how I shoot, but you're also more than welcome to stop by my place in Oak Park to see some Full-Day examples.

How many hours of coverage do you suggest?

My general rule of thumb is to start at least one hour before the bride gets dressed, and to finish up about one to two hours after open dancing starts at the reception. That allows me to get some footage at the beginning of the day with the bridal party getting ready as well as some artistic detail shots of the dress and rings. And unless there's anything out of the ordinary planned for later during the reception such as a sparkler send-off, usually one to two hours of open dancing is the perfect amount of time to get great shots of anyone planning to hit the dance floor.

Will you come to multiple locations the day-of?

Absolutely. Unlimited locations are included in every package. But I do offer a $100 discount when the entire day takes place at one location.

What's the deal with the drone?

I think of the drone as another camera option. At any given point during the day, I'll be using some camera or other. If you'd like that camera to be a drone, we can discuss beforehand when, where, or how drone usage might work best. I mostly recommend using it to get ariel shots of the venue or scenery rather than documentary style coverage or portrait style shots of the bride & groom.

Drone use is included free of charge with every package, but usage may depend on FAA regulations, weather, or the amount of time available.

Can you describe your process?

One of my favorite things to capture is the small and intimate moments in the middle of an otherwise very busy day. I love catching quick glances or kisses between the couple, or hugs of congratulation from friends and family.

As far as my interaction and direction, I try to be as discreet as possible especially during the ceremony, toasts, and special dances. One of my favorite things to hear from couples after they show people their video is "they didn't even know we had a videographer." The rest of the day, I try to interject myself only when necessary while trying to create a relaxed and positive atmosphere for the day.

Any general wedding advice you can give us?

When making your day-of timeline, make sure there's a buffer between each important moment. Nothing can stress out a bride and groom more easily than feeling rushed or behind schedule. Allow a little extra time when moving your wedding party from point A to point B, especially when people are in separate vehicles.

Deligate responibilies to your best man and maid of honor. Have them prepared with umbrellas (clear umbrellas work best for photography), bug spray and anything else you think you might need. Find out who in your wedding party plans on having their phone on them all day, and make them your day-of contact for vendors.

Consider having a phone-free ceremony. Guests often don't know when they reach out into the aisle to take photos that they may be obstructing your photographer or videographer from capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments. When your guests are seated before the ceremony starts, you can have your officient make an announcement encouraging guests to leave the photography to your hired professionals.

Remember snacks and water!

Bring any unused printed items such as invitations, thank-you cards, etc. Your photographer will most likely want photos of them.

Brides, consider planning a quick reveal moment with your bridesmaids, parents or any other special someone once you're dressed. It only takes a few seconds and can make for a really great photo/video op to see their reaction.

Are we supposed to tip?

A tip is usually encouraged for subcontracted vendors, such as a photographer or videographer working for a studio.

However, for self-employed freelancers such as myself, tipping is always appreciated but never expected. In fact, if you do feel like tipping, I encourage giving my tip to the serving staff at your reception venue or making a donation to a Chicago education nonprofit charity.

Oak Park, IL
© RJO Photo
All rights reserved