This post was tough for me to narrow down, as a photographer sometimes I look at my photographs and put far more value on what it took to get the photograph than I should. Some of my best photographs this year were truly not very technically difficult. They were a culmination of timing, knowing my couples and having those same couples throw their trust in me so they can just enjoy their day. By then, capturing the photograph was the easy part. Scroll through and enjoy these moments. While some of them are captured and some of them are created, every single one I am very proud of.



Erin and Josh

I will kick off this post with one of my favorite photographs from Erin and Josh’s wedding. I had met Erin when she was a 16 year old cashier while I was a manager at Office Max with quite a bit more hair. Taking a quick photograph of the couple during night time has become something I really look forward to every chance I get. It creates a great ending to my night with the couple and gives them a very special moment. Erin and Josh’s photograph was one where I controlled almost everything. I setup the shot and went to give them some guidance. It could have been the moment they were in or maybe it was a little bit of Jack but I turned around to help guide them and I saw this taking place. Sometimes this is how I get some of my favorite moments. I set the location, set the mood, set the lighting and just get out the couples way.



Rachel and Ryan

Rachel and Ryan were my first couple I photographed that had a traditional Jewish wedding. I spent some time talking with Rachel to get a handle on the differences and important moments for them. I also spent some time on my own reading about the history behind the customs and moments I could expect. What I did not do is look through were other photographers Jewish weddings. I wanted to experience and see these events organically and not create a “mental pinterest board” of what I HAVE to photograph. Another vendor from Rachel and Ryan’s wedding pulled me aside shortly after their wedding and gave me one of the greatest compliments I have ever received. She said this photograph captured all the hard work and effort every vendor put in for their wedding. We all worked, learned and grew just so Rachel and Ryan could have this moment of pure joy.



Emma and Tyler

I love when people ask me how I create some of these sparkler photos. I usually get accused of Photoshopping it or using a filter or some other complaint and yet, the truth is far simpler. I love it because I get to answer with a smirk and truthfully say “I just run real fast”. Yes that is really the secret. That and a couple that wants something creative and unique past the blurry people writing “LOVE”. These photographs are not for every couple and that is why I like doing them. Photographing a wedding is not couples telling me what to do and it sure is not me telling couples what to do. It is just simply all three of us putting our heads together and giving them photographs they will cherish forever. No matter how many wedding I photograph, that ALWAYS ends up being something different.



Megan and John

I only had 2 photographs this year that did not include the couple in them and this is the only photograph of the couple’s rings. When I saw John’s ring had cutouts to it, I had to figure out a way to show that off. When I photograph couple’s rings and I try to use something from the couple’s wedding to accent the rings. Megan and John got married on the 4th of July and had the reception in their backyard. That makes the sparklers the perfect accent to their rings. This photo ties an element of their wedding to the rings and lights it in a perfect way.



Kristen and Erik

In case you could not tell, it rained on Kristen and Erik’s wedding day. What you probably did not know is that I photographed Kristen’s sister’s wedding in 2014 and it rained on her wedding day as well. So I did what every photographer does when it rains, I whined about it on the online forums I ran with it and embraced what was given to me and created this photograph. From a technical standpoint this was far and away the most difficult photograph I took in 2015. There is not after camera tricks to this one. I shot through the rain drop with Kirsten and Erik on the opposite side. If it rains on your wedding day, all that it means is that it rained on your wedding day. Everything else is your choice on what you make it.



Alexis and Joe

At Alexis and Joe’s wedding I remember it being a little crazy in between their wedding and reception at the Prairie Street Brewhouse. For a moment there, once all the photographs that needed to be taken were done, I actually lost them for a little bit. I came across them in the restaurant, Rockford Brewing Company and before they noticed me, I took this photo. This is one of those photographs where the longer you look at it, the more you see. It is a captured moment between a couple that just spent months and months at antique shop buying details, planning and waaaay too many meetings. They are finally married and are enjoying a quiet moment away from everything else.



Becky and Brad

Becky asked me to take a photograph of her and Brad under their veil. It is a simple request and one I have been asked for many times. While that photograph is not one that I would usually create on my own, I had no problem creating it for her. I have many couples ask me to take photographs that I would probably never put in my online portfolio. My take on those request is pretty simple. If it takes me longer to try and talk you out of it than it does to just shoot it, I shoot it. No need to try and say my photographs are organic and natural or drone on and on about my style and branding. Just take photograph, do the absolute best I can within their desires and give the couple the photograph. Occasionally I will take the photograph and then change it up some with my take on it and then just give them both. Other times, like Becky’s request, I end of with a photograph that we all love. Funny how when you embrace your couples ideas and requests, no matter what they are, things always work out in very positive way.



Cassi and Rob

This is another photograph where, as the photographer, I just set the mood and then got out of the couples way. Actually, I can not even take credit for setting the mood on this one, Cassi and Rob’s videographer set the mood! He guided them into a moment, let them run with it and I made sure I was ready for it. These moments are able to happen when you go out of your way to hire vendors that understand that no individual vendor is more important than the others and that if all the vendors just try and make sure the couple enjoys their day, everything will be perfect. This belief of mine is very unpopular amongst most photographers. Sure it is true that in most weddings the only permanent record you will have is the photographs but if I elevate myself above all the other vendors and make them bend to me, at some point that will clash with the couple enjoying their day. If I was not completing on board and let the videographer own some of that precious golden hour time with the couple, this moment would never have been captured.


Sarah and Brian

Ah Sarah, I know you are crazy social media creeper so I know you are reading this right now 🙂 You should see the photo I put in the frame you gave me, let’s just say it is very untraditional. I am going to take a minute and brag about Sarah here for this photograph. Sarah and Brian are very much couple that values the photographs taken of them. They made this clear in their engagement session and giving me extra time on their wedding day for photographs. Then a crazy thing happened, on their actual wedding day they just wanted to enjoy their day. It was really hot and we had got a lot of photographs done. So they made the call to cut the photo time a little short, go into their cocktail hour and be with their friends and family. In that moment I could not be more proud to have them as a couple. So I may not have explained why I like this photograph of their sparkler exit, that’s ok. Just know this photograph for me represents finding the couple that is more concerned with being married than getting married.



Katerina and Steven

Katerina’s dress is my other detail photograph that made the cut for 2015. I do not have a crazy backstory to this photograph or any technical marvels. This photograph does represent so much of what photographing a wedding is for me. It is embracing what you are given and doing the absolute best with that. This photograph is one that I really works for me because of the contrast of shadows and light within her dress and the detail within the door behind the dress. Those things really pull you in and make you pause as your eye wanders through the frame.



Tonya and Keon

Ah Keon, yeah I had to put you and your tears in, you know I had to. This moment is one that means a lot to me for so many reasons. Through a bunch of crazy circumstances, Keon has very few photographs of him growing up. So for the year before their wedding, Tonya reach out to his family members and asked for them to dig up what few photographs they have. She then trusted them with them to create an album for Keon. We made it all the way to the wedding day without Keon having any idea what his gift was going to be. Tonya then trusted me to get his reaction to the album. This photograph of that moment is what made both Tonya and I’s work so rewarding. As he flipped through the pages and the emotions came out, I could not help be moved as well.



Christine and Shaun

These two… No really, THESE two, they had no clue how you were supposed to have a wedding. Christine failed dramatically at following the Pinterest playbook on how to have a wedding. They did not even have a formal entrance into their reception. You know that moment when the reception door open and you greet the newlywed couple and the DJ is whooping everything up and their friends and family are cheering? Nope. Nothing. They were there for their cocktail hour and when it was time to start the reception, they had everyone, including them, just take their seats. When I asked why they were doing it that way, they asked me why they should not. I really did not have an answer other than, well, because. That is when I realized what they were about. They did not have a lot of flash or sizzle, in fact (sorry Christine) I see Christine’s facebook page littered with posts about reading books. BORING, to me at least. That is why I love them as a couple to photograph. They knew who they were and trusted me to take photographs of them just as they were. So this photograph does not have all kinds of flash and sizzle. It is an amazing photograph with them and a sunset. Nothing more.


Well that wraps this post up! Thank you for taking a walk with me through the past year of wedding photographs. In case you missed them, check some of my other post with my favorite photographs. Now get ready, the most ridiculous photographs you probably have not seen are coming up next and yeah…… I can tell you this. They.Are.Ridiculous!


My Favorite Engagement Session Photographs of 2015

My Favorite Event and Commercial Photographs of 2015



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