Best Chicagoland Wedding Photographers

The Best Chicagoland Wedding Photographers and Why We Love Them!

Choosing the right photographer for your wedding day is one of the most important decisions you will make when selecting the vendors for your special day.

Our award winning team of bridal hair and makeup artists have the unique privilege of being able to experience a high volume of wedding photographers each year and all that they have to offer.

There are several “factory-like” hair and makeup agencies who make package deals and offer volume discounts by sending in mass quantities of inexperienced artists just looking to make a quick buck.

Unfortunately, the same is true when it comes to wedding photography.

Experience Counts. Passion Matters.

The saying “You get what you pay for” has never been more true when it comes to your hair and makeup team, as well as the person lucky enough to be chosen to capture your forever photos on the most special day of your life.

The difference is in the details when it comes to wedding photographers and the things that make them great.

Here are our 10 “Must Haves” when selecting your wedding photographer. We hope you’ll find this list helpful as you begin your search!

1. They must have passion.

How will you know? Social media. Do they have a social media presence and post updates on a regular basis? A passionate photographer is eager to share their work, their vision and their experiences. Mass quantity is not what motivates them. Their relationships with the brides, their appreciation for being chosen and their dedication to following through with each wedding to completion is what makes them special. Our team has worked on weddings that have not produced a single photo in nearly a year. There is no excuse for that. If there is no time for editing and follow through, then it’s time to reevaluate your business. A fantastic photographer is also an efficient business owner, which means delivering sneak peeks for the bride and her loved ones to enjoy while the entire gallery is being edited. If there is nearly a year long backlog of editing to do, then it’s time to say no to additional jobs in order to follow through on the commitments made to previous brides. Be sure to ask how long it will take to receive your photos and get it in writing. Every vendor who has a business should have a professional contract so that you know what to expect when working with them.

2. They must know how to listen.

We worked with a sweet bride this year who told us about her engagement photoshoot and what a disappointment it was. Her agreement with her photographer was that he would do the engagement photos and the wedding day photos as well. The only spot the bride cared about shooting at was a meaningful location that she shared with her Grandmother who had passed away. As their time was running out, she reminded the photographer about the special spot and he became frustrated and said that he was running late for something and would need to get going. Needless to say, she fired him and found someone wonderful who possesses our next must have.

3. They must be kind.

Kindness seems like a no-brainer for someone in the business of capturing love on film, but sadly, it’s something you can’t teach. You want someone who understands what an honor it is to be part of your special day and demonstrates kindness in their dealings with you and your loved ones.

4. They must have experience.

Everyone starts somewhere. We all start out having zero experience and praying that someone will see something in us and give us a shot to prove ourselves. Even an up and coming photographer should be able to demonstrate follow through, passion, business savvy, integrity and have examples of their work.

5. They must be generous.

Unfortunately, there are some real divas out there who think it’s all about them and the shots they can’t wait to submit to blogs and other publications for their own gain. The florist who put love into the bouquet they created for the bride would love to see photos of the final product. The pastry chef who put their heart into their creations and just started a new business would appreciate having photos to help promote their business as well. As hair and makeup artists, never seeing a photo of our work is like it never happened at all. It’s like finishing a painting and before you have a chance to take one last look or ever see it in a frame, it’s snatched away never to be seen again. All vendors look forward to seeing their work and appreciate having examples for their portfolios as well.

6. They must have work that makes you smile.

Our favorite photographers produce work that makes it clear they’ve taken the time to get to know the love story behind each couple. The photos become a story and a celebration. This is what we feel takes a talented photographer to another level that is undeniable. These are the ones who make our hearts smile and keep us coming back for more.

7. They must love what they do.

A great photographer walks into the room with purpose and a plan. They know what to do and are anticipating the day before it begins. They are thoughtful in remembering the little details and getting those shots while you are getting ready. They have researched the area and are knowledgeable about those special locations unique to each city. They are not afraid to take risks to get that perfect shot and go the extra mile to make it happen. They can’t wait to take your photos and can’t wait to share the gallery with you in a timely manner. The ones who come in bringing the love of their craft inspire us all with their enthusiasm, preparation and thoughtful attention to detail.

8. They must love people more than money.

There are some things you just can’t teach. The wedding business is about loving people. Maya Angelou once said “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time”. Trust your gut. If you get a sense that your questions are a bother or that you’re just a number in a long line of gigs, take your business elsewhere. There are too many great photographers who understand the privilege it is to work with you, so don’t settle for someone who may take a great photo, but doesn’t love people

9. They must know how to manage their business.

Creativity and talent are great. There are lots of amazing photographers I’ve encountered who don’t respond to emails or promise things and never deliver. There are countless genius photographers who dazzle with their instagram posts but keep the brides waiting a year or more for their photos. A great wedding photographer with integrity invests time into learning how to manage their business more efficiently. They are always learning and growing in order to better serve their clients. They are less concerned with self promotion and more concerned with follow through. Anyone who expects a bride to wait a ridiculous amount of time to see her photos and ignores vendors’ requests for status updates because of how busy and sought after they are, is just plain arrogant and disrespectful.

10. They must be someone you want around on your wedding day.

Your photographer will be with you the entire day, so make sure it’s someone you enjoy being around. So often we work with photographers who just do their thing and have no idea how much we as artists listen to how they treat the bridal party and observe the way they move about the room. I recently left a wedding that moved me to tears. I tried to hold it together until I left, but shed a tear or two once I got to my car. The bride had shared with me various difficulties she’d experienced in previous months and how she had really come through an emotionally tough time, making the wedding day that much more special. She just really deserved the perfect day and I prayed that every detail would be everything she had hoped it would be. The photographer came in with joy in his heart and took such care with each family member, which is exactly what the bride needed that day. The whole family needed it. I’m sure he had no idea how much he meant to everyone that day, but I made sure to call the company from the car to sing his praises.

With that said… Our Top 10 Favorites The Best Chicagoland Wedding Photographers For 2020!

Each one is unique and special in their own way and inspire us with their dedication to excellence.

Christy Tyler Photography
Ed & Aileen Photography
Joy Lyn Photography
Louie Abellera Photography
Jordan Imhoff Photography
Tim Tab Studios
Rachel Osborn Photography
Tiffaney Childs Photography
Caitlin Lisa Photography
One July Photography