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Kelly Vanderploeg Photo

Vendor Spotlight Kelly Vanderploeg Photography

Vendor Spotlight Kelly Vanderploeg PhotographyEverytime I pick up my camera, my heart starts beating a little faster. I am a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP), which is not that common…that test nearly kicked my butt.  I am also a proud member of Professional Photographer of America (PPA), Professional Photographers of America – Northern Illinois (PPANI) and Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI). I offically opened my proverbial “doors” for business in 2007.  That was when I was trying to be a mom, a wife, a paralegal and a photographer…and doing none of them well.  Today, as a mom of four, it is a daily struggle to balance it all, but it is a way of life I have learned to embrace. I am a hugger.  I am shorter than people think.  I try keeping life simple.  I love home improvement projects.  I love a spontaneous dance party and I keep music playing in our home 24/7.  I eat more cereal than Jerry Seinfeld.  I call Geneva, Illinois home. Check my website and drop me a line if you see something that makes you smile. Also, my Vander Blog is filled with some great weddings.

I am lucky enough to shoot all my weddings with my BFF, Faye, so, when you book me to shoot your wedding, you get her as a little bonus (unless you are having a smaller wedding and just need one photog — in which case, we can chat).  We have both been brides and also stood up in each other’s weddings.  We have seven kids between the two of us, including two sets of boy twins, so we are prepared for anything and are anxious to get out of the house.  The fast pace hustle & bustle of a wedding day gets our creative juices flowing and makes our hearts flutter.  We dress in black and are ninja-like…seriously, you may not even know we are there at times. Ironically, we both speak Spanish (truth be told, I am more fluent after a few margaritas), but we also speak perfect “wedding”.  This is a non-verbal language spoken with the eyes in which fluency increases after shooting weddings together for so many years.  We are there to capture your day as it unfolds…we are not there to run the show, but are ready to direct traffic when the time comes. And I can not guarantee you won’t find us on your dancefloor…it might have been known to happen…just sayin’. Vendor Spotlight Kelly Vanderploeg Photography.

Vendor Spotlight Kelly Vanderploeg Photography
Vendor Spotlight Kelly Vanderploeg PhotographVendor Spotlight Kelly Vanderploeg Photograph

Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

Long after the “I Do” is said and the last rose petal is thrown, your wedding photos and album will be your lasting memory of your special day. Choosing a good wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when it comes to your wedding. Here are a few key things to think about when meeting with prospective photographers and finding the right person to capture this momentous occasion:

Style: First and foremost, what photographic style are you looking for? Do you want traditional posed portraits or a plethora of candid, in-the-moment snapshots? Wedding photographers tend to lean towards traditional or photojournalistic styles. Look through the wedding albums of your friends and family, and scour the Internet to view potential photographer’s portfolios, to get a sense of the pictures you like best.

Personality: Your photographer is yet another cog in the giant machine that is your wedding. To keep things running smoothly and to minimize your stress, you should choose a photographer who has a personality that complements yours. If you tend to be a little timid, you might want to select a shutterbug that isn’t afraid to take charge to ensure that photos are done in a timely manner. If your personality is stronger, snag someone who is a little more easy-going to avoid any challenging confrontations. All in all, pick someone you like working with and think will contribute to a pleasant wedding-day experience for everyone.

Effects: Some photographers use multiple camera types or photo editing programs to offer a wide array of wedding prints. (Think sepia, fish-eye, black & white, or vignettes.) If you have your heart set on a wide option of eclectic prints, or absolute abhor the idea of your photos being altered, don’t hesitate to ask a wedding photographer ahead of time what effects he relies on, if any, so that you won’t be caught off guard by the finished product.

Price: Cost is a major factor when choosing a wedding photographer especially considering the price range can differ drastically between one professional and the next. Since most photographers offer several packages, ask for a thorough explanation of what your specific package will offer, as well as what additional fees you can anticipate for an album, prints, or additional time. Expect to pay at least $2,000 to start and as much as $4,000 for a great photographer.

Extras: There’s so much more to wedding photography than snapping a few posed shots following the nuptials. Find out exactly what your photographer has to offer. Are engagement photos included? Will he be bringing an extra shutterbug to the wedding to snap shots from a different angle? Can he set up a photo booth at the reception? Ask questions to get a sense of the bigger picture and to find a photog that offers you everything you want.

Testimonials: Ask any prospective photographers to supply you with a list of testimonials from previous couples they’ve worked with. Exchanging information over wedding chat boards will give you a good sense of who the photographer is, how they work, and what the overall experience will be like. Research them on the Internet too to see if there are any negative reviews about them. And ask around to your recently married pals to see if you can get a personal recommendation from someone you really trust.  Also, ask your other vendors if they have any recommendations and be sure to ask the reason for the recommendation. In some cases a financial arrangement may be the reason for a referral…this is not the best scenario.

When choosing your wedding photographer, it is important to be sure that the person you are working with are vested in your happiness. Photographers must be flexible and knowledgeable enough to collaborate and cooperate with other vendors to ensure a great day for the bride and groom. More about choosing a wedding photographer.

Be sure to check out the following photographers:

R.E.M. Video & Photography specialize in producing elegantly crafted wedding photos, placing the company at the top of the wedding industry market. Each year, R.E.M. challenges its creative edge and continues to impress customers by developing new techniques in capturing special events.

Kelly Vanderploeg Photography is an international award-winning photographer specializing in “anytime” photography with a creative portrait and photojournalistic perspective. They are based in the Chicago area but available for travel.

Life On Prints Photography is a small team of photographers obsessed with capturing honest moments. We offer a well balanced approach, primarily photo journalism with just the right touch of traditional coverage to preserve everything about your day.

Erica Rose Photography  It’s in all the details…those little moments that might otherwise be missed, the things that you want to slow-down time for. I tell a story by capturing those details, those intimate or memorable moments that I am privileged to be present for.

Please enjoy the follow photos. Click on the picture to view the artist’s website.