3 reasons to not be traditional on your wedding day!

[cs_content][cs_section parallax="false" style="margin: 0px;padding: 0px;"][cs_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" style="margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;"][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px;"][cs_text class="cs-ta-left"]Traditionally, the bride and groom would not see each other before walking the brides entrance from down the aisle. This practice started many generations ago and, it was common that bride's and groom's actually met for the first time at their own wedding.[/cs_text][x_blockquote cite="Christopher Paul" type="center"]Are today's generation of millennials concerned about age old traditions at all?[/x_blockquote][cs_text]We would never advocate against a client wanting to uphold the tradition and wait for that moment. There is something special about that moment. My stance on what I prefer is very different. I think, if wedding day photography is important to you, a first look is the way to go! Here are three reasons you may want to consider breaking the tradition of waiting until the ceremony to see each other.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax="false" class="cs-ta-center" style="margin: 0px;padding: 0px;"][cs_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" style="margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;"][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px;"][x_image type="thumbnail" src="http://christopherpaulphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/PM_firstlook.jpg" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax="false" style="margin: 0px;padding: 0px;"][cs_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" style="margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;"][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/1" class="cs-ta-center" style="padding: 0px;"][cs_text class="cs-ta-left"]1. The Cocktail Hour....! What does that mean? If you wait until the ceremony to see each other, the family images come right after and then, you head out for your creatives and wedding party images. Often times, when choosing to wait, you'll wind up missing most or all of your Cocktail Hour (a very expensive portion of your reception). We have found that today's couples are less concerned about old traditions and more concerned about how their money is spent. This is something they have planned and in most cases paid for themselves![/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax="false" class="cs-ta-center" style="margin: 0px;padding: 0px;"][cs_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" style="margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;"][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px;"][x_image type="thumbnail" src="http://christopherpaulphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/DK_firstlook.jpg" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax="false" style="margin: 0px;padding: 0px;"][cs_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" style="margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;"][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px;"][cs_text class="cs-ta-left"]2. Privacy! Of course, seeing each other at the ceremony , down the aisle from each other, is special. Everyone in attendance gets to witness your reaction and emotions of the moment. Wouldn't it be nice not to have to share that moment with anyone except your soon to be spouse...and, of course, your photographer? Seeing each other privately is also special! Our clients really get the feeling they are alone for this. We photograph the first look from a distance (out of listening range). We do this on purpose so the couple can share their thoughts and emotions without interference from us.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax="false" class="cs-ta-center" style="margin: 0px;padding: 0px;"][cs_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" style="margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;"][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px;"][x_image type="thumbnail" src="http://christopherpaulphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/AE_firstlook.jpg" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax="false" style="margin: 0px;padding: 0px;"][cs_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" style="margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;"][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px;"][cs_text]3. Enjoy The Party! As I mentioned in #1, a lot of couples miss out on the cocktail hour and some parts of the reception off getting pictures taken. Doing a first look can completely overhaul your timeline so you are present for the entirety of your reception. The bulk of your photos are complete before you ever walk down the aisle. This frees you up to party like rock stars at your reception because you no longer have to worry about hair being out-of-place or if your make-up still looks good.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax="false" style="margin: 0px;padding: 0px;"][cs_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" style="margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;"][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px;"][cs_text]The images above show three weddings where the couples decided to do a first look. As you can see in the images, these couples really enjoyed this special time with each other. They got amazing images they otherwise would not have gotten and, each of them said... doing a first look eased their nerves for the rest of the day and really allowed them to enjoy the days events even more than they anticipated.

I guess that could be reason #4 to consider breaking tradition![/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]

Engagement Photos: picking a location

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How do you know where to go? 1

[/cs_text][x_image type="thumbnail" src="http://christopherpaulphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Chicago-Wedding-Photographer-ChristopherPaul-Alyson-and-Elliot-45.jpg" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][x_image type="thumbnail" src="http://christopherpaulphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Chicago_Engagement_Photography_Christopher_Paul-1.jpg" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][/cs_column][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/3" style="padding: 0px;"][x_image type="thumbnail" src="http://christopherpaulphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Chicago-Wedding-Photographer-ChristopherPaul-Alyson-and-Elliot-14.jpg" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][cs_text]

Chicago Engagement Phography

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What kind of places should we consider?

[/cs_text][x_image type="thumbnail" src="http://christopherpaulphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Chicago-Wedding-Photographer-ChristopherPaul-Alyson-and-Elliot-107.jpg" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][x_image type="none" src="http://christopherpaulphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Chicago-Wedding-Photographer-ChristopherPaul-Alyson-and-Elliot-167.jpg" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][/cs_column][/cs_row][cs_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" style="margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;"][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px;"][cs_text class="cs-ta-center"]Seems like a lot of decisions to make. In actuality, it's really not hard to make these kind of decisions! At Christopher Paul Photography, we assist our clients to make these decisions so easy. First we get to know our clients and find out what is important to them. If you have a favorite spot that you frequent together, that should be a no-brainer. Did you get engaged in a location that is now on your favorite places to visit? Where did you go on your first date? Where did you kiss or say I love you for the first time? Did y meet in college or in your neighborhood?

These are all things that should be factored in your engagement photo locations. Of course, your photographer should help you make these decisions and give input as to the feasibility of any location you come up with. We always ask for our clients input and customize places that mean something more to our couples than the over-done and obvious locations everyone else goes to. This couple pictured above, Alyson & Elliot wanted some images where they had their first date...(Nookies on Wells St.), some with greenery and, some industrial Chicago images (without being too iconic).

Since they live near Lincoln Park, we decided to start at Nookies in Old Town. Then, we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo area for the greenery and Goose Island, Chicago for the industrial shots. The results were awesome and they absolutely LOVED their engagement imagery! All in all we spent a little more than 2 hours with them and they changes outfits halfway through the session. As usual, I scouted each location before the shoot and everything went perfect that day.

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Finding the right wedding photographer

[cs_content][cs_section parallax="false" style="margin: 0px;padding: 0px;"][cs_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" style="margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;"][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px;"][x_feature_headline level="h3" looks_like="h4" icon="camera-retro"]What makes them stand out from the crowd?[/x_feature_headline][x_image type="thumbnail" src="http://christopherpaulphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/AlysonElliot_W-223.jpg" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax="false" style="margin: 0px;padding: 0px;"][cs_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" style="margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;"][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px;"][cs_text]Their work should speak for itself. Ask to see their portfolio and albums. Albums can tell you a lot about photographers. Does the album tell a story?Do the photos all look cohesive? What kind of quality is it? Make sure they have a professional website. Professionals will have a website with images of their work all over it. Those, who are working exclusively from Facebook, Google+ or a web gallery page, are probably not really qualified to photograph YOUR wedding.[/cs_text][x_image type="thumbnail" src="http://christopherpaulphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/CP1_5586.jpg" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][cs_text]Think of your photographer as your artistic director of your wedding. A professional should be able to direct/ lead when needed. That day is a blur for you. You want someone who’s used to knowing creating images and not just snapping off a few pictures as everything happens around them. We all prioritize what we want to invest in on our wedding day. For some, the venue is priority. For others it might be the band, flowers, food, or cake. Only you can prioritize what’s truly important. Just don’t be one of the couples we often hear say, “We should have hired a professional photographer. We hate our photos!”. No matter your priority, investing in a professional photographer should be at or near the top of your list! It's important to hire a photographer that will show off your personality! When all your children and grandchildren look at your album, the will see the amazing and unique people that you are. No matter what, you will want to walk away with from your wedding is amazing imagery in an album. That is the only thing that will last a lifetime. [/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]

Why should you do an Engagement session?

[cs_content][cs_section parallax="false" style="margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;"][cs_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" style="margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;"][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px;"][x_feature_headline level="h1" looks_like="h2" icon="" class="cs-ta-left"]Why should do an Engagement Session?[/x_feature_headline][cs_text][x_custom_headline type="left" level="h3" looks_like="h3"]Meet Nicole & Bill[/x_custom_headline][/cs_text][x_image type="thumbnail" src="http://christopherpaulphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/NicoleBill_E-49-1.jpg" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][cs_text]Their wedding is this week and we couldn’t be more excited for them. This couple came to visit with us almost a year ago. We found out that their wedding date was incredibly special to them. Not only was it the anniversary of their first date, but Bill also proposed on the same day a year later. As we began to plan their engagement photos, we realized that they were not exactly thrilled due to nervousness surrounding being photographed. After explaining our process, their nerves began to settle.

During our consultation, we learned that Bill is a little bit Country and Nicole is a little Rock & Roll. Finding an ideal location for this couple’s engagement session was important to bring out their amazing personalities.

Engagement sessions are a great way to know your photographer and see how we work. Like Nicole & Bill, Christopher Paul Photography enjoys getting to know you as our client and learning about your personalities. We feel that our clients have a more personal relationship with us which we love. [/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax="false" style="margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;"][cs_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" style="margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;"][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/2" style="padding: 0px;"][x_image type="none" src="http://christopherpaulphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/NicoleBill_E-21.jpg" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][/cs_column][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/2" style="padding: 0px;"][x_image type="none" src="http://christopherpaulphotography.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/NicoleBill_E-44-2.jpg" alt="" link="false" href="#" title="" target="" info="none" info_place="top" info_trigger="hover" info_content=""][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]

5 reasons to hire a professional wedding photographer

5 reasons to hire a professional wedding photographer:

  1. When you hire a professional wedding photographer, you're getting someone who can create images that will meet or beat your expectations. Amateurs wind up just letting the events of the day unfold and stand back to take pictures. Anyone can do that from their cell phone these days. Is that what you want?...cell phone pictures of your wedding day?  Professionals know how to steer the events of the day for better images that tell your love story and belong in your album.
  2. Direction, Creativity & Experience: A professional will lead or direct the wedding day. You have enough to worry about that day. You shouldn't have to worry about specific photos or what's going to look best. We will do that for you. We will also have a creative vision for the day and the surroundings. I personally scout every venue so I can create special imagery and have no surprises on the wedding day. An experienced professional will know how much time it takes to get through every aspect of your day. They will help you [lan the day accordingly. Professionals would know that going from the Chicago's North Shore to Millennium Park and back for the reception if you only have 2 hours between the wedding and reception absolutely wouldn't work because you'd wind up being 2 hours late to your own reception.
  3. Most professionals, if not all, have multiple photographers covering your day! Today's world is such that any real pro will have a team covering every wedding. Every wedding photographer we know, including myself, has at an assistant to carry gear, help set up and take pictures when needed.
  4. Professional cameras & lighting: Don't think that stuff is important? Those who claim to be pros and only charge $500 to shoot a wedding are not editing those photos and are more than likely using a camera that you can buy yourself for $250-$300 and let a friend shoot your wedding for you. The average professional brings anywhere from $5000-$10,000 worth of equipment to photograph a wedding.
  5. Finished product: The end result will be night and day different. An amateur is not doing any editing and likely shooting the entire wedding in AUTO mode. This means the camera is making all the decisions. That is fine if you are just taking pictures for fun or a hobby. A professional wants the control over the camera and knows how to maximise the camera's potential. The editing afterward is where the pros really stand out. The general public today doesn't see or understand the importance of post processing...or editing. The editing process is not as easy as you think. Professional software and computers are essential. When you get your images they should be perfect in composition, lighting and color. Anything less is amateur. You have to decide...if you want something better, the only choice is to hire a professional wedding photographer.photocrati gallery

Lauren & Tom's Chicago Wedding at South Branch

Check out some of our favorite images from Lauren & Tom's Chicago wedding...with special guest appearance by Nicco (one of the cutest dogs ever!) Even though it rained, we were able to get some artistic & creative photos outside. What a great couple! We wish them nothing but the best!

Video created by Christopher Paul Photography

What questions should you ask a wedding photographer? (part 2)

What questions should you ask a wedding photographer? (part 2)

Continued from previous post: http://christopherpaulphotography.com/what-questions-should-you-ask-a-wedding-photographer-part-1/

6. How can I make sure I look good in my photos? -Don't want to hate your wedding photos? Here are a few things you need to know... The truth is, sometimes people do wind up hating their wedding photos. While there's nothing you can do about it after the job is done, during the moment you should RELAX and trust your wedding photographer. Of course you will have some anxiety about the wedding day but, if you're relaxed, it will come through in your photos. Your photographer should also have some tips for you to look your best with easy posing techniques. Leave some breathing room in your schedule so you don't feel rushed. I recommend a minimum 30-60 minutes for family and wedding party photos, and a minimum of an hour for the creative couple portraits. Eat something the morning of the wedding to give you enough energy for the day ahead. Oh, and get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water the night before. Take it easy at the rehearsal dinner. Wedding-day hangovers are not fun or conducive for great photographs of you.

We like to have 2 hours with you and your wedding party for creative photos to create artwork for our clients. Artistic photography does not happen on the run. The entire scene needs to be set up by the photographer to ensure the image looks amazing. We actually scout the exact location for your creative photos so we are not surprised by anything on the big day...and, speeds up the process on the wedding day.

7. Should we do a "first look"? And, um, what exactly is a "first look"? -The first look is a chance for wedding couples to see each other privately before the ceremony. This is usually set up by your photographer and is completely hidden from any attendees. There are two schools of thought about this. 1. This allows the couple to share this private moment and not have to share it with anyone. It also allows the couple to get most of the photography done before the wedding so they can enjoy the cocktail hour and reception with their guests and not with the photographer. 2. The more traditional way is to see each other at the ceremony for the first time. That is fine. However, you may be rushed for time after the ceremony for photography...especially if the wedding and reception are close together in time or at the same venue.

Two-thirds of our clients currently opt to do a first look. It's a great chance for us to create something special for you and, a way to get the wedding jitters out. I find that first look photos tend to be some of my favorites. It's a real moment with real emotions. Honestly, it's also a great way to avoid undo stress on your wedding day. After a first look, 99% of our couples are virtually stress free when the ceremony begins.

The First Look

8. Do I really need a second photographer? -Truthfully, no. However, a second photographer can help provide you with more images and another perspective. Wedding photography should tell a story. The more images/perspectives you have, the easier the story is to tell. As the bride is walking down the aisle, Christopher can capture the emotion on the her face while his associate photographer is capturing her groom smiling ear to ear at the exact same moment. We can’t be in all places at once so a second photographer makes us more saturated at your event. Many of the top photographers only work with assistants who carry gear and help with professional lighting. The best thing is to ask your wedding photographer to see how they prefer to work.

9. How far in advance should I book you...(the wedding photographer)? -If you find someone you love, don't wait! Book them then. Many in-demand wedding photographers book weddings a year to two away. As it gets closer to your wedding date, it will be harder to book your first-choice photographer. If your favorite photographer is unavailable on your date, don't panic. Ask them for recommendations — they may know someone with a similar style and a lighter schedule.

We tend to book most of our wedding well over a year in advance.

10. You can Photoshop that, right? -It depends. As a photographer, we want to get everything as perfect as possible in camera. Posing, location scouting, and camera settings can "fix" most things before we even click the shutter. If your uncle photobombs you, I'm going to retake the photo — it's much easier to get the photo right than to fix it with Photoshop. Many people assume every little thing can be removed or added simply by running photos through photoshop. The term "photoshop" has become a generic term for photo editing. There are multiple photo editing programs to choose from. Not every photographer uses photoshop. The truth is, you almost need a masters degree to use photoshop to it's fullest capabilities. Another truth is, photo editing in photoshop is primarily for advanced photographers. Beginners and amateurs are easily scared away from using this program.

We do use photoshop on select images. Anything that goes in your album or prints you buy will be fully edited in photoshop to look amazing!

Signature Edit

 

 

11. How many hours of photography do we need? -Tough question to answer. Every wedding is different. Generally speaking, a full days wedding coverage will be about 8 hours. Some really large weddings may need more time and smaller ones might need less. A good photographer will help you decide what is right for you.

We have packages with 8 or 10 hours. We also educate our clients about things like... you don't need a photographer first thing in the morning or until the end of the reception. Typically, we find that within an hour after open dance starts, the photography is done. After that, you will wind up with hundreds of dance photos of the 15-20 people who stay on the dance floor all night. However, if you have something huge planned for the end of the night, you may need us to stay.

12. I have my venue, my dress and now my photographer...Now what? -Now, you need to find the remaining vendors for your big day. There is no rhyme or reason as to what vendors come next. Whether it's flowers or a dj/band are next on your list, ask for recommendations from the vendors you do have.

We keep a list of preferred vendors that we have worked with in the past. These are vendors that we trust to take care of our clients and provide exceptional services. This list is something we are happy to give to all of our clients when they book us. The more continuity between all of you vendors makes for an extremely smooth flow leading up to the wedding and they day of the wedding.

These are some things we thought would be helpful when searching for wedding photography. I hope I cleared up some things for you and will help you make an educated decision. Remember, when all is said and done, photography is the only thing left to remember your amazing day forever.

 

What questions should you ask a wedding photographer? (part 1)

What questions should you ask a wedding photographer?

Many brides read wedding magazines and search social media to help plan their wedding and choose vendors. Choosing, the venue, dress and photographer are usually the highest priority on the list. Since we are wedding photographers, we wanted to give you a list of questions to ask your potential wedding photographer. You can ask them stuff like: "Can you describe your style?" or, "What equipment do you shoot with?” But let’s be real, do you really care what camera they are using? These questions really don’t help you pick an ideal photographer. Whether a photographer uses Canon, Nikon or Sony models should have no bearing on your decision. The real question is do they know how to use them. The proof is in the pudding...or this case the imagery. We decided to ask some brides and photography-friends for better questions and put together a list of all those questions you really want to ask, and all those things we really want you to know.

12 questions to ask a photographer

Before you can ask the questions, you have to do some homework. How do you pick a good photographer when there are hundreds to be found online? First, look for images and find out who shot them. A forum or blog that appeal to you will be ideal for finding other brides who have had good experiences. Ask family and friends who recently got married about their photographers and how well they like their service. Obviously photographers local to you will be easier to meet with and probably cheaper than hiring some big gun from out of town.

Once you've got a few photographers that peak your interest, start narrowing it down to a handful of favorites and set up a time to meet them. Make sure you're meeting with the person who will be wielding the camera at your wedding, not a sales consultant or studio owner. With Christopher Paul Photography, you meet both Christopher and Marcy. Christopher and his associate photographer are the ones who will be photographing your wedding, while Marcy runs the studio and is the point of contact throughout the planning process. We feel it is important that you meet with both of us to build the rapport with you and your fiance. 

1. What make you different than all the others? -Single hardest question you could ask any photographer that doesn't have a real vision or mission. You could receive a variety of answers to that question. If you get a cookie cutter answer like, ("I just love photography.") Really? Who doesn't? You'll undoubtedly get cookie cutter photos. If you get a overly cocky answer like, "Well, I am the best!", you'll get someone who is hard to work with and doesn't care about your vision.

At Christopher Paul Photography, our answer is simple. Our goal is to create art for your wedding day! We do this through building a relationship with our clients. You should like & trust your photographer. Not only should you like their images but, you should also like them as a person you can have fun with on the biggest day of your life! That way, you can leave the magic of artistic photo making in the photographer's hands. You will be spending many hours with your photographer during your wedding day, having a fun time is a must. Christopher is talented, artistic and sometimes funny (don't tell him I said so). You'll have a blast being entertained by Christopher all day.

2. How many photos do I get? -Typically your photographer will deliver 50-100 photos for every hour of coverage they provide. Four hundred photos may seem like a lot, but your photographer is preserving all those little details and the moments you missed while you were mingling. Those details are important. Christopher & his assistant go out of their way to capture each special moment and detail.

On average, our clients receive 1200-1500 images from an 8 hour wedding. Of course, we shoot with every wedding with multiple photographers.

3. I love those photos with the blurry backgrounds. Do you do photos like that? How do you get that look?  -You're talking about shallow depth of field. Photographers get that look by using professional lenses that are able to focus tightly on the subject.

Photographers with an eye for art will often use this technique when appropriate. You wouldn't want your entire day photographed in this manner. Sometimes it just puts the icing on the cake with truly special moments. Christopher will always include some of these with your wedding photography.

4. I found one photographer whose images look soft and pastel, one whose images look clean, and one whose images look like they were shot on old film. What's the deal? What style do you most often use? 

-This is all done after the fact in what we call, post production. Every photographer has a different way of editing their images using computer software (the high-tech version of a darkroom...ie Photoshop & Lightroom). Most photographers do some basic lighting and color adjustments, but you can also use editing software to create a unique look. Three popular styles right now are:

Clean: lightly processed to appear natural Matte: a low-contrast look with muted pastel colors, similar to vintage film High Contrast: a vibrant look with rich colors that pop You may see all three styles within our studio.  We also create at least one signature edit with every wedding and/or engagement session. A signature edit is another thing that separates us from the others. One of these can take several hours to complete. This was Christophers vision when setting up the shot that day. Here's an example below.

Chicago-Wedding_Photographer-Christopher-Paul-Chris&Kasha-1

5. My friend just bought a camera.. I can hire them to photograph my wedding to save money right?

-Wedding photography is easy money.. right? We work for one day and rake in the cash, right? We have heard the friend's camera thing time & time again. Honestly, if my friend has a kitchen, should she be your caterer or cake baker?

Most full-time wedding photographers I know, including us, have a working studio, carry over $20,000 worth of photography gear and often work 60-70 hour weeks. (Remember those 800 or the 1500 images from question #2? It takes several full days just to edit those.)

Photography is the only part of your day that lasts forever. Do you want to really trust that to an amateur just to save money? How long do the flowers last? How many times will you wear that dress or look at you invites? There is money you can budget for a professional photographer if you want the day to be remembered forever. You just have to decide what is really important to you over the long haul.

Here's an example of the above photo without any editing...this was straight out of camera. Anyone could have shot this, that is true. That is not art, that is just a photo. With special editing, this did become a piece of art. So, if you want to hire a friend, prepare to edit your own photos. Editing aside, do you think your friend who owns the camera would have the vision or even tried to direct you into getting this shot?

straight out of camera

follow this link to part 2: http://christopherpaulphotography.com/what-questions-should-you-ask-a-wedding-photographer-part-2/