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Vendor Spotlight: Engagement & Wedding Photographer

Vendor Spotlight: Wedding & Engagement Photographer

Elle Taylor Photography

Our Vendor Spotlight: Engagement & Wedding Photographer, is featuring Elle Taylor Photography this month. Elle Taylor is a local wedding & engagement photographer in the Chicagoland area. Elle Taylor Photography’s style is beautiful, bright natural light photography. She loves bringing couples’ love stories to life in her photos. Elle also loves light pink and her puppy. Trust us, you want to learn more about Elle Taylor Photography and her beautiful photos. Because of this, we’ve interviewed Elle so she can tell you about herself and answer your wedding planning questions!

1.What is your favorite part of  being an engagement and wedding photographer?

My favorite thing about shooting engagements and weddings is the relationships I’m able to make with my couples. They’re all SO sweet, and I am genuinely so excited to meet them/see them again when I photograph their engagement sessions and wedding days. I always leave with a full heart (and full memory cards, haha!)

2. What attire or clothing advice do you give couples when they plan their engagement photos with Elle Taylor Photography?

When planning for engagement photos, I send each one of my couples an in-detail outfit planning guide with my favorite tips and tricks for coordinating outfits, my favorite stores to purchase clothing for their “formal” looks and their more “casual” looks. I also send them tons of inspiration photos from other couples’ outfit choices to help show what outfits will look like when paired together for their photos. The most important thing I tell me couples to remember is to make sure that they’re comfortable in the outfits they choose because if their uncomfortable, it’ll show in the photos.

3. Is there an experience you’ve had while photographing an engagement or wedding that you will never forget?

This is such a hard question because I leave the majority of my engagement sessions and weddings with my face hurting from laughing so much with my couples. I could never forget any of them, but there is definitely one shoot that I will never, ever forget. After one of my shoots this past summer, I got engaged!! My fiance (boyfriend at the time) had been setting everything up while I was at the shoot, and he surprised me later that night 🙂 Best day ever!

For more wedding planning advice and vendors, checkout other Chicago Wedding Blog posts below!

2018 Trends

We are already into March and seeing some of the hottest trends emerging! Here are some of the 2018 trends:

  1. Card Displays. For your escort cards we love unique displays. You can use the escort/seating cards to give your guests an extra gift. Create a flower wall that your guests can take a bloom home or a fun keepsake like a bottle filled with candy. We also love the idea of using shot glasses for your guests!

2. Registry details. This year it’s not uncommon for a couple to already have essentials like home goods. So, they are asking for cash! The Knot allows your registry to also include funds for adoption or down payment on a home. It’s not rude in this day and age to ask for what you really need. If that isn’t pots and pans then that’s fine.

3. Another 2018 trend we are seeing are balloons and arches! What a fun way to decorate for a spring/summer wedding. Balloons add that flair of color that will make your area pop. Also, you can pair Mylar balloons with latex to get a variety of feels too.  The romantic round archway is also getting a re-vamp this year. A circle represents unity so it’s perfect for your ceremony! Similarly, you can even decorate the arch with balloons to get both trends. Balloons don’t always have to be associated with being out doors either. You can create a lovely archway for your reception venue with balloons too!

No matter what your style you can choose to capitalize on these trends with your own flair. Add in your personal touches to make it the day you want!

Love and Technology

Love and Technology

Technology is engrained in our everyday lives from Skype, text, apps, hashtags, and smartphones. Why not incorporate technology into your wedding?

From a live broadcast feed of your ceremony on Skype to displaying your vows on a screen whilst reading them from your Iphone, these are just some of the ways people have gone about using these tools to enhance their special moment. You could save up to $360 using technology!

1) Use your Phone

From phones, wedding websites, and apps, brides are using these devices more than you think. 69% of brides have a personal wedding website, 58% of brides are using their smartphones to take and share wedding-related pictures. 1 in 5 brides use a mobile app to plan, shop, or register for their wedding.

2) Guests Capture & Share Video

Video just isn’t for the wedding day anymore. Brides are having a blast making fun of the silly things they’ve said and done during their wedding planning. Over 25% of videos are captures on Smartphones. Save $1,400 by asking your guests to record and send you the videos to create a DIY wedding story. Storymix makes it easy with a mobile app, HD camera rentals, and custom editing services. Weddings.Storymixmedia.com

3) Reception Fun

Have access to a big projection screen or a big white wall? Instead of using it for a slideshow, use it for epic video game fun that most people can’t get at home on their small screens. Replace the game with your favorites like Rock Band or Wii Play, and you’ll have a reception activity that will have guests forming a line.

4) Social Media

This isn’t the first time cell phones have been at the altar. You’ve probably seen a YouTube video or two where a bride or groom whips out their cell phone to update their Facebook status or post a tweet. Have you ever seen it as a part of the ceremony, though? Before this groom is allowed to kiss his bride, they must update their Facebook statuses. Cool or cheesy?

Maybe you’re not into having mobile technology used that way during a wedding—we can understand that. But what if mobile technology could allow people, that otherwise couldn’t, be a part of your wedding? As we mentioned, not all guests can make it for your big day, so what if you could bring them to the wedding through FaceTime?

As mentioned earlier, consider how to incorporate technology into your wedding planning process. Such a method can allow for consistency in information sharing and time management. Take a moment to give it a try and see how this affects your planning.

Pinterest Pins of the Week

Pinterest Pins of the Week

Pinterest Pins of the Week

Flower girl portrait: Let’s put aside for a second the fact that this little girl is just too cute for words, and her perfectly coifed bouffant hairdo is beyond perfection. The idea of having your littlest attendant sit for a portrait style shot is a great idea. For one, it’s timeless and is actually a nod to the days when brides and their wedding party sat for a painted portrait instead of all day photo shoots during the wedding. A few quick shots of just your flower girl is a classic and lovely way to mark the day and in just a few years ( or way down the road) when they are all grown up, it will make a perfect memento to always remember their part in your marriage. We LOVE this idea so much and we hope to see some serious little lady poses in future weddings to come!

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Pinterest Pins of the Week

Natalia Zakonova Photography

Rustic Wedding Charm:  We may sound like a broken record at this point when it comes to our love of rustic, natural elegance for weddings.  This stunning display features wooden rounds that look freshly cut from the woods to create a warm, natural feel perfect for so many types of weddings. This look could enhance a winter-white wedding or a summer soiree that brings the outdoors in.  You can even carry the theme through with wooden coasters, menus created on thin slabs of wood, and rustic farm tables with no linens just maybe a burlap runner down the middle.

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Pinterest Pins of the Week

 Colin Cowie Weddings

Champagne Fountains: What ever happened to the champagne fountain? It used to go hand in hand with high-class weddings and events ( hello, haven’t you seen The Great Gatsby or even a single episode of Downton Abbey?)  SO yes, we are declaring the champagne fountain is officially back. And whether you look at it as a throwback, or a really fun and chic way to explore your love of champagne, the look just screams “Time to celebrate!” And we , of course, are all about that! For an added touch of nostalia, try seeing if your venue will serve other drinks in fun champagne coups. It really does make everything taste so much better!

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Pinterest Pins of the Week

 One And Only Paris Photography

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

3 Ways to Avoid Wedding Day Regrets

3 Ways to Avoid Wedding Day Regrets

3 Ways to Avoid Wedding Day Regrets. I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times, but you’re wedding day will go really fast. When it is all over with, you want to be able to look back and know that you made the most of the day and captured as many memories as possible. While planning the wedding, it is easy to get caught up in the budget and traditional must do’s, but there are some reoccurring things that brides often say they regret. Here is how you can avoid making the same mistakes.

Splurge on the videographer

Most couples skip the videographer due to budget restraints. They figure the photographer will capture all the major moments, so there is no need for a videographer. The truth is photos don’t let you relive your tear-filled vows, or re-listen to the speech given by your best man or let you re-watch your best friend’s attempt to do a split on the dance floor. If you can’t afford a videographer, at least ask someone who is good with a video camera to capture some of the most important moments.

REM Video Photography

R.E.M. Video & Photography

Don’t only order a few prints

Photographers offer a variety of packages with the option of prints, a disk with all the photos, or a combination of the two. Even if you decide to have the photographer print and assemble your wedding album, you should splurge on the disk with all the images. It can be overwhelming to choose from all the pictures and you might later wish you could print other images you didn’t originally choose.

whaley picture

Timothy Whaley & Associates

Take plenty of family photos

You may be tempted to rush through photos so you can enjoy the cocktail hour and start the reception, but don’t forget to take plenty of family photos. It isn’t that often that you have the whole family together (with everyone dressed up), so don’t miss the opportunity to get some great pictures.

hazelton photography

Hazelton Photography

These are just a few of the regrets brides often have. The key to avoiding regret is taking the time to enjoy every moment and capturing as many memories as you can so you always remember your special day. While you don’t want to blow your entire life savings on one day, you do want to make sure it is special, so do the things that are most important to you.

Ensuring Great Photos

Ensuring Great Photos

Ensuring Great Photos. The photographs from your wedding day are ones that you will cherish for life, looking over them and sharing them countless times, so don’t you want to make sure they are some of the best photos you’ve ever taken? If you follow these tips below, you’ll have photo you will love to re-visit over and over again.

Be Well Rested  The week before your wedding can be busy and full of last minute details to take care of, but sleep is a very  important factor in looking your best in wedding photographs. Lack of sleep can show up as bags under your eyes, tired posture and dull skin. While it’s true that photographers can fix some of these problems in Photoshop, it is best to come to your wedding day with your best face forward…literally! Sleep will not only help you look good, but also feel great. Setting a sleep schedule the week before your wedding and sticking to it will ensure you are well rested on your big day.

Sleeping-Bride

Hire a Professional Hair and Makeup Person  For some this may feel like an unnecessary splurge, but hiring professionals can make a world of difference in the final photos. Hair and makeup people know the products to use that will last all day and show up the best in all lighting situations. If you want to look and feel like a celebrity on your wedding day, this is an investment worth taking.

Tim Whaleyjpg

Tim Whaley & Associates

Hire a Photographer That Makes You Feel Comfortable  Having a professional that you are comfortable with behind the camera may be the most important factor. When booking a photographer, you should meet with them at least once and see how the chemistry is between you. Asking for a reference or two may be a good idea as well so you can speak with people that have worked with the photographer on their wedding day. The photographer will be with you the most during your day, so this is a person you want to feel good around and someone that can bring the best out of you.

photographer

Carissa Woo Photography

Think Happy Thoughts and Be Yourself  Stay focused on what the day is all about and be in the moment. If you are authentic and allow those feelings of bliss, happiness and joy to permeate your being, that will show up on your photographs. And when you look back at these images years later, you will remember exactly how you felt on your special day.

Happy-Bride

6 Wedding Shots to Add to Your Photo List

There are the traditional shots that are a must on your list, but why not spice up the day and add some fun wedding shots to your photo shoot. These poses are sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.

The Not So Serious Sexy Pose

We love the slightly sexy bridal poses that are trendy right now, but we also love a bride (and groom) who can have a good laugh. Involve the groomsmen in a not-so-serious sexy pose and you will have a picture that will keep you laughing for years to come.

The Morning of Photos

There will be plenty of pictures of how you and your pretty ladies looked on the big day, but don’t forget about what you looked like the morning of. Make these pictures fun by purchasing matching robes for your bridesmaids, and don’t be afraid to take some candid shots without your hair and make-up done. (Gasp!)

The After the Wedding Shot

You and your new hubby will create just as many memories after the wedding as you will at the ceremony and reception. Why not capture some of those precious moments on film?

Michael Segal Photography

The Just for Him Shots

Every groom is dying to know what is under that beautiful gown you are wearing. Let me remember that image forever with some sexy, yet classy, just for him photos.

The Boys Will be Boys Photos

While the girls are spending the day being pampered, the guys are spending the day goofing off. Let them have their fun, but be sure to capture it all on film.

The Before the Wedding Pictures

You don’t have to let the groom see you before the wedding to get some priceless photos together. Blind fold him for a pre-wedding kiss, or let a door separate you while you exchange some pre-wedding words.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vendor Spotlight – R.E.M. Video and Photography

What is your vision/mission statement at R.E.M Video & Photography?

The ultimate goal is to capture as many priceless and eventful moments possible, in the most professional and discreet manner.

What sets you apart from other special events photographers and videographers?

We meet with each couple and try to customize each package to fit their needs and personal style. Every video and album is designed as a unique film/book to tell a wonderful story of the wedding day. More than a straightforward documentary, there are creative touches that help bring out the romanticism and emotions of the day. We believe that every wedding is different and deserves personal attention.

What can a couple expect their experience with R.E.M. to be like?

Each video and photo shoot is customized to the couple. We meet with each client to discuss their project and incorporate each couple’s ideas and vision into their video. Once we’re filming on the big day, whether we’re with the bride at her dressing location, at the ceremony itself, or capturing your guests’ dance moves at the reception, we remain unobtrusive in your wedding day scene.

What are some of the ways that couples can customize their photography/videography package with R.E.M.?

We can customize your video and photo package at your consultation. Before you come in, think about how much you want to spend. Once you’re here, we find what services are the most important to you and will fit within your budget. With all this information we will create a custom package that will meet your needs.

How quickly after the wedding can a couple expect to receive their wedding photo album and/or wedding video?

We can guarantee a final video up to two weeks after the wedding day (an expedited service). Otherwise, a completed edit can take up to 16 weeks. We spend between 30 and 40 hours in postproduction to guarantee the highest quality product possible.

A time frame for completing photo albums really varies from couple to couple. Depending on when you choose the pictures and when we receive them, finalizing a wedding album can take between three and six weeks.

What advice do you have for brides & grooms when considering a photographer or videographer?

The best way to start is to decide how you want the final overall look and feel of your video and photos to turn out. This is different for every couple, but it is definitely a decision that you need to make before the ball really gets rolling. Look at samples of different work to see who really matches your style and personality.

Please enjoy the following gallery from R.E.M. Photo and Video