Emily, Mats and their Sunday brunch wedding at the Bishops Bay Country club

 

+ Bishops Bay wedding in Middleton, WI

Normally, there’s numerous reasons why I am excited to photograph someone’s wedding.

And when Emily and Mats reached out to me, I got excited about their wedding because of two somewhat unusual ones. First of all, the wedding was going to be Sunday brunch wedding. Secondly, wedding was planned to happen in Bishop’s Bay Country club.

But this time, excitement was there because never photographed brunch wedding AND I’ve never photographed a wedding in Bishops Bay. Boom! I was ready to meet the team.

Since Emily’s has a somewhat challenging schedule (she works with foster care and adoption) and I was traveling at the time, it took a bit of planning on both ends in order to set-up an initial wedding consultation. Eventually, Emily her mom (bot traveled from Illinois) and I met for a coffee at Black Locust cafe. It’s always fun to see family coming together to help with a wedding planning.

Emily and Mats Bishops Bay wedding with amazing vies, good light and newly built seasonal reception tent.

On a wedding day, Emily’s and Mat’s Bishops bay wedding had it all: outdoors wedding overlooking lake Mendota, good wedding crowd, amazing Sunday brunch buffet, croquembouche (Gosh, I LOVE just how it sounds!) for dessert and a framed letter as a gift from Mats mom. It had the following words in it:

“Dear Emily and Mats,
Please accept our sincere congratulations to you both on this special day.
Your relationship has bridged the states of Wisconsin and Illinois, and we are pleased to join your loved ones in wishing you great joy as you begin this new chapter in your lives together.

United States Senator Tammy Baldwin
United States Senator Tammy Duckworth

Just like that! BOOM!

For their grand departure, Emily and Matt got into their speed boat, waved goodbye to the wedding guests on the shore, and took off fighting choppy waters of Lake Mendota.

That was on Sunday.

And on Monday, posts with pictures from Iceland started showing up on Emily’s Instagram account. That’s where couple went for their honeymoon. Now that’s what I call a starting your new week (and life together) with a bang!

To see more images from Emily’s and Matt’s Bishops Bay wedding, please see click >>HERE<<.

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lake view through the window in Bishop’s Bay Country club in Middleton, WI bridesmaids fixing little girl’s hair at Bishops Bay country club bride is sitting with her eyes closed in silence before her Bishops Bay wedding ceremony bride helping her grandmother with jewelry before Bishops Bay wedding ceremony in Middleton, Wisconsin groom and groomsmen are preparing for Sunday wedding ceremony in Bishop’s bay country club groom hugging and his dad during wedding ceremony on a shore of lake Mendota, Madison Wisconsin flower girls dropping flower petals during wedding ceremony at Bishops Bay country clubbride laughing after seeing the groom for the first time on her wedding day groom smile after seeing bride for the first time before the wedding ceremony in Middleton, Wisconsin bride and groom kissing during their wedding ceremony with the Bishops Bay in the backgroundbride kissing the groom during their Bishop’s Bay wedding ceremony little girl in the doorway during Bishop’s Bay Sunday brunch wedding reception in the tentbride and groom kissing before their grand entrance to the Bishop’s bay tent wedding reception parents of the groom are smiling while listening to wedding speeches groom and groom laughing during wedding speeches in Bishops bay country club outdoor tent bride and groom receive framed wedding greeting signed by two United States senatorsbride and groom dancing at their Bishops bay outdoor tent wedding reception in Middleton, Wisconsin bride with her father dancing at the Bishop's bay tent wedding reception wedding portrait of bride and groom outside of Bishop’s Bay country club bride and her mother dancing at the Bishops bay outdoor tent in Middleton, Wisconsinbride and groom walking down the dock for a boat departure at Bishop’s Bay wedding wedding guests watching departure of the newlyweds at the Bishop’s bay country club bride and groom preparing for grand departure on the speed boat bride and groom riding a speed boat in Lake Mendota, Middleton, Wisconsin afternoon Sun shining through the tree tops at the Bishop’s bay country club in Middleton, Wisconsin

 See full Emily and Mats Bishop’s Bay wedding gallery >>HERE<<.

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Planning your wedding in Bishop’s Bay Country Club? Looking for documentary wedding photographer that? Look no further! I’m an an award-winning wedding photographer from Madison, Wisconsin and I would love to be on board of your wedding team. Please visit my wedding photography FAQ page to get better idea what to expect on a wedding day. And give me a shout via my contact page!

 

BISHOP’S BAY WEDDING MIDDLETON, WI VENDORS:

Ceremony and Reception: Bishop’s Bay Country Club
Wedding Dress: Nordstrom
Boat rentals: Skipper Bud’s

James Madison Park wedding in Madison, WI | Cindy + Martin

bride and groom with sparklers standing on the dock at James Madison park wedding

 

+ James Madison park wedding in Madison, WI

Cindy and Martin have met at a spaghetti dinner the night before Martin ran the Tough Mudder (!!!) competition with a group of mutual friends. Cindy was only there for the spaghetti. In the end, guess she ended up getting a bit more.

Their first date took place at the Mediterranean Cafe on the State Street about week later. Couple got ice cream at the Memorial Union Terrace afterwards. And the rest is history (:

I’ve met Martin in their house on the Park street where I photographed him getting dressed. I witnessed him put to  and moved on to see what Cindy was up to.

I’ve met Cindy in The Madison Concourse hotel where she got ready surrounded by immediate family and bridesmaids. That part of the day was filled with laughter through tears (after opening Martin’s wedding gift), raw emotions and lots of hugs.

Wedding definitely doesn’t need to be this over-the-roof extravaganza to be special. In fact, spending big money for the wedding and expecting it to be amazing just because of that, couldn’t be further from the truth. And Cindy’s and Martin’s James Madison park celebration is a good proof of it. Their wedding was simple and modest, yet delightful and very much inspiring.

Lawn games, dancing in the tent filled with beautiful afternoon light, keg stand, sparklers, big bottle of bourbon passed around, mysterious smiley face on grass in front of the reception tent. All these elements happened to be in James Madison Park wedding that day. And it all made Cindy’s and Martin’s wedding special and unique.

And I’ve been there to witness it all.

I love my job!

 

To see a full gallery from Cindy’s and Martin’s James Madison park wedding, click >> HERE <<.

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groom is getting ready for his James Madison park wedding in Madison, Wisconsin groom is wrapping up a wedding gift to his wife to be Asian American bride is tearing during getting ready in Concourse Hotel, Madison WI bride and father of the bride are walking to the James Madison park wedding ceremony bride walks by wedding guests before James Madison park wedding ceremony James Madison park wedding ceremony with lake Mendota in the backgroundbride is hugging guests in James Madison park outdoor wedding bride hugging the groom during their first dance James Madison park outdoor wedding little girl on a dancefloor during wedding reception in James Madison park wide angle view of James Madison park with a wedding tent and lake Mendota in the background wedding guests are dancing in tent at the James Madison park wedding reception bride and groom are hugging during the first dance in James Madison park wedding a wedding portrait of bride and groom in James Madison park on a shore of lake Mendotabride and groom playing bean bag toss at their James Madison park wedding reception wedding witnesses are signing marriage license certificate groom is resting his head on brides shoulder during marriage license signing wedding guests are performing keg stand at the James Madison park wedding in Madison, WI wedding tent in James Madison park during the sunset James Madison park with wedding guests on the dock during the lake Mendota sunset bride and groom with sparklers standing on the dock in James Madison park

To see more photographs from Cindy’s and Martins’s outdoor wedding, click >> HERE <<.

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Planning your wedding in James Madison Park upcoming summer? Need local wedding photographer? Look no further! I’m an outdoors loving, laid-back wedding photographer from Madison, Wisconsin and would love to be on your outdoors wedding team. See my wedding photography FAQ page and give me a shout via my contact page!

JAMES MADISON PARK WEDDING MADISON, WI VENDORS:

Getting Ready location: The Madison Concourse Hotel
Ceremony and Reception:
James Madison Park
Floral: Lewiston Perennial Farm
Catering: Smokey Jon’s
Rentals: Mad Fox Party Rentals

How I use my wedding photography to help those in need

bonfire sparkles with silhouettes of palm trees in the background

 

// helping those in need with my wedding photography

Today is January 31st, 2018. And one of the first things I did in the morning was to send $85 donation to a family from Netherlands. I’ve never met them before and never will. What caught my eye was a post by Huy (the man behind Fearless photographers) in my Facebook feed, asking to help a family from Netherlands whose house burned down in recent fire.

I was in.

“Why would you do that?” someone might wonder. Well…

Even though, I might have agreed with them several years ago, I really wouldn’t today. I’m not the same human being and wedding photographer I was few years ago.

We live in the world that is getting wilder and crazier every day. Therefore, I think it’s more important than ever to suffocate that negativity and remain human being.

family is gathering at the bonfire in Little Gasparilla island, Florida

my family getting together at the bonfire

when and how it all started

When in end of 2016 I was working on my wedding photography business re-branding and was planning wedding photography business expenses for 2017, I was curious: what would happen if I wouldn’t spend any money on advertising?

With this in mind, I made a decision: I’ll give it a try. As a result, my relationship with Wedding Wire and Wedding Planner and Guide was over.

All of a sudden, I felt liberated. And I was ready to pass my all advertising expenses to those who really need it (and no Yelp, it’s not you silly).

Things were about to get exciting!

where did it take me?

2017 went by.

Throughout the year my family and I made several contributions for individual fundraisers, natural disaster reliefs funds, etc. And when wedding and portrait photography work started slowing down around Holiday season, I thought to myself: why stop here? Right?

See, donating money for the cause of my choice directly was one thing. Of course, it made an impact, but, I thought, wouldn’t it be amazing to have my friends, clients and social media followers join me for a good cause?

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in 2017, my family and I donated 5.8% of my wedding photography profits to help those in need. to some people it’s might seem not that much, but to me it’s helluva good start.

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With this in mind, I went ahead and did series of studio portraits for clients for free, as long as my clients provided me with a proof of donation of $150 or more. As soon as I posted proposals on Instagram and Facebook, people started to respond!

Suddenly, I wasn’t doing it alone anymore!

Consequently, I influenced around $1,000 donations to recent victims of hurricanes in US and Puerto Rico along with victims of wildfires in California.

And you know what’s the best part? Being wedding photographer that gives back to those who need it more than I do AND influencing people around me to join me felt amazing!

aerial image from above of wedding photographer that gives back with his son laying in the beach

Aerial shot of the beach in Little Gasparilla island

what’s next?

Those who know me, know that me would be me, if I would keep it all simple.

Here comes the magical question that has been asked before: Why stop here?

I’m talking to you, my friend.

I’m asking you to look around and realize how much you have already. As Gary would say, “you won the ultimate lottery” already when you was born. Not as a snail, not as some weird specimen on Mars, but as a human being. And that’s a good start.

At the same time, even if you think you’re poor, you most likely are not. In reality, you’re probably still in the richest 15% of the world’s population.

So I want to challenge you to find your cause. To find your battle. Roll up the sleeves, get to work and help your brothers and sisters who need little push. Give little love to mother nature. Donate to local pet rescue non-profit.

It is easier than you think an. And I promise- it’s a damn good and rewarding feeling!

Because your donation can change someone’s life.

And it will!

And one day, all the good you gave to others, will come back you.

In 2017, my family and I donated 5.8% of my wedding photography profits to help those in need. To some people it’s might seem not that much, but to me it’s helluva good start.

That was 2017.

In the meantime, we’re all are stoked about what we’ll do in 2018.

Thanks for reading!

Please share thoughts in comment section and help to spread the word by sharing this story!

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the list

In conclusion, I put a list of several recommended top charities where your donations would make biggest impact:

United States:

EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY
US HURRICANE RELIEF FUND
PLANNED PARENTHOOD
ANIMAL WELFARE INSTITUTE
BREAST CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION
PREVENT CHILD ABUSE AMERICA
NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE

International:

GIVE DIRECTLY
AGAINST MALARIA FOUNDATION
FOOD FORTIFICATION INITIATIVE

Local (Madison, Wisconsin):

WIL-MAR NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER
OPERATION FRESH START
W.O.R.T.
UNDERDOG PET RESCUE

If you don’t see preferred charity organization listed here, please click  >> HERE << and look for well rated non profits.

 

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wedding photographer and his family sitting on rental house stairs in Florida

my nut family and I on a rental house stairs in Florida. February, 2018

All images used in this blog post are from Little Gasparilla island, Florida, where I am currently vacationing with my wife and kids.

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How Jackie and James turned their dreams of rural Wisconsin family farm wedding into reality

a story about Jackie, James and their perfect rural Wisconsin family farm wedding

True story: I have a really bad memory. My wife says it’s not true, but it really is. Certain memories stay, but certain memories just go straight to the dark abyss.

That’s why when talking to wedding couples, I normally take notes. Lots of them. And later store it all in a secret file. So, when the wedding day comes, I can refresh my memory with all the details and small facts about the couple and their wedding day.

Here’s an original excerpt from my initial notes I took during Jackie and James Skype chat:

“Jackie and James wedding will happen in Jackie’s family farm. Land around the family farm has been sold out for developers. Family’s farm is the last man standing in the area. Family takes a pride in it. Jackie’s dad retired about one year ago and lives in that family farm. Farm is a big deal for him. He is fixing it all up. Growing produce. About 50 acres of land. Garden, corn fields, woods. Certain patches in those woods has no growth. Magic woods? (first look/ pre-ceremony pictures there?)”

There were more notes from our initial chat: about the brother who was going to officiate the wedding ceremony, about uncle who would roast the pig, about another uncle who would make booyah (stew). James’s dad was going to make beer, family friend was going to make wine, another family friend who would help with music, etc. And the list goes on.

I remember going thought my notes when it suddenly struck me: Wisconsin family farm wedding they were putting together was exactly how weddings would happen centuries ago. Two families would come together and people would contribute their knowledge, craftsmanship and skills to make one helluva wedding in one of the family’s backyard. It would be family team work and there rarely would be an outsider involved.
Isn’t it amazing?

And when I arrived Jackie’s and James wedding day, I saw it all come together just perfectly. Amazing couple with their families getting ready in their family house, 300 wedding guests, pig roast and stew preparation, coolers loaded with handmade beer and wine, and the sunset skies that you remember for a long time. Yet another example of how it’s not about how much you spend, but how you feel.

It was yet another perfect DIY family farm wedding!

Right before the sunset, by a special order, bypassing storm painted the sky and the clouds in truly most amazing colors. With some amazing lightnings in the distance. Boom! I was done. Everybody else was not. The party was just starting.

See full Jackie’s and James’s Wisconsin family farm wedding gallery on Paulius Musteikis Pixieset.

Bride and her bridesmaids getting ready in Wisconsin family farm mother of the bride sees her daughter in wedding dress for the first time groom is shaking hand with uncle at Wisconsin family farm wedding family dog during Wisconsin family farm wedding brother of the bride is preparing for Wisconsin family farm wedding mother of the groom is fixing grooms tie before Wisconsin family farm wedding ceremony groom hugging his father and smiling during Wisconsin family farm wedding ceremony flower girls walking down the isle at the Wisconsin family farm wedding ceremony bride and groom holding hands and smiling during wedding ceremony parents of the bride holding hands and laughing Wisconsin family farm wedding ceremony two ring bearers walking down the isle at the Wisconsin family farm wedding ceremony bride and groom kises after excaning rings and reading wows during Wisconsin family farm wedding ceremonybride and groom are walking away after Wisconsin family farm wedding ceremony bride and bridesmaids examining bride’s wedding ring bridesmaid and groomsman pouring shot glasses for a toast groomsman laughing after wedding ceremony bride and groom hugging in family farm cornfieldwedding guests are playing mini golf at the wedding reception in family farm bride and her grandfather are hugging during wedding reception at the family farm brother of the bride and family dog during the wedding reception three kids standing and laughing next to wedding ceremony decorations father of the bride and bride are hugging after the wedding speech friends of the groom presenting a gift during wedding reception bride is listening to the wedding speech during dinner in Wisconsin family farm wedding guests are applauding and laughing during wedding reception blue sky with fluffy white clouds and a tops of the treesall bridal party is laughing while family dog is passing in front of the wedding photographer candid conversation between the bride and couple of her bridesmaids two bridesmaids holding bride in their arms kids on the dance floor at the Wisconsin family farm wedding reception bride and groom are dancing their first dance groom and bride are embracing during their first dance bride with her father embracing during the father daughter dance bride embraces her father during the father-daughter dance groom embraces his mom during the mother-son dance wedding guests dancing and laughing on the dancefloor in the Wisconsin family farm wedding stormy evening summer sky with intense clouds and beautiful light near Green Bay, WI wedding guests dancing and laughing on the dancefloor in the Wisconsin family farm wedding wedding reception tent with stormy evening summer sky with intense clouds and beautiful light at the Wisconsin family farm wedding

 

WISCONSIN FAMILY FARM WEDDING VENDORS:

Wedding Date: July 22, 2017
Wedding Location: Family farm near Green Bay
Photography assistant: Lina Soblyte from SoBeIt Creations
Catering: Family members (Bernie, uncle Kevin, Grandma Oryall) and Spork Café and Catering

Wisconsin river wedding: an extraordinary adventure of Midwesterner and Southerner

bride and groom are walking barefoot in the woods near Wisconsin river

a story about two amazing souls and their extraordinary Wisconsin river wedding

“You were recommended to us and we were told that you’re wedding photographer who loves weird and not normal. I knew right away you were just the right wedding photographer for my husband and me.” This was a first sentence from Laura’s very personal initial wedding photography inquiry she sent me. I was 100% ready to photograph Laura’s and Adrian’s wedding day without even talking to them first. That was the the exciting beginning.

Then I got to meet them in person. Laura- Southerner, an award-winning storyteller, actor, writer, and speaker. Adrian- Midwesterner, entrepreneur, co-founder of Yum Butter. Two amazing souls, full of life and love, building their own house with their own hands (one of my dreams) in Salida, CO. Seriously my kind of wedding couple.

“You were recommended to us and we were told that you’re wedding photographer who loves weird and not normal. I knew right away you were just the right wedding photographer for my husband and me.”

Laura Thomas

And then the wedding day came it turned out Laura lied- there was nothing weird about their wedding day at all. Just a extraordinary day filled with down-to-earth people, singing into deodorant stick, lots of bare feet, meaningful hugs, river shore slip-n-slide, talent show for the brave, breath taking outdoors views, great food buffet and Xena the dog that interrupted wedding ceremony twice. As a result Laura’s and Adrien’s wedding day was real and simple, yet amazing in every aspect.

Just like centuries ago, the tribe (closest friends and immediate family) got together and helped to make it all happen: make up, decorations, music, officiating, etc.

Laura and Adrian showed us once again: it’s not about how much you spend, but how you feel about it.

See full Laura’s and Adrian’s Wisconsin river wedding gallery on Paulius Musteikis Pixieset.

exterior of the AirBNB house in Dekorra, WI that Laura and Adrien rented for their Wisconsin river wedding broom and grooms father are helping groom’s mother with the dress bride is laughing with her bridesmaids while getting ready for the wedding ceremony family dog is observing people getting ready for the Wisconsin river wedding bride and her bridesmaid are dancing and singing into deodorant stick while getting ready for Wisconsin river wedding ceremony girl is looking for shade during Wisconsin river wedding ceremony bride and groom are kissing during the Wisconsin river wedding ceremony bride and groom are making funny faces while walking away after the Wisconsin river wedding ceremony bride and groom are making funny faces while walking away after the Wisconsin river wedding ceremonybride and groom surrounded by friends and immediate family are sharing their life stories mother of the groom laughing during the gathering in living room area grooms friend is giving blessing to the newlyweds bride, groom and groom’s parents are doing a group hug after the wedding ceremony black and white portrait of bride and groom in the woods near Wisconsin river bride and groom are hugging and smiling in the woods near Wisconsin river bride and groom are walking barefoot in the woods near Wisconsin river bride and groom are hugging and smiling in the woods near Wisconsin river bride is chatting and laughing with wedding guests after the dinner beautiful sunset in Dekorra near Wisconsin river

WISCONSIN RIVER WEDDING VENDORS:

Wedding Date: June 3, 2017
Wedding Location: Rental House on the Wisconsin river via AirBNB
Catering: Underground Butcher

how to interview your wedding photographer: no BS advice by wedding industry insider

bride is approaching groom for the first look

how to interview your wedding photographer: no BS advice by wedding industry insider

True fact: there are few of you out there that know how to interview your wedding photographer properly. Sad but true.
This is how it usually goes: sheet of paper lands on the table, future husband or future wife looks at it and says the magic phrase: “We’ve printed a list of questions to ask your wedding photographer and would love if you could answer them”. And that’s where usually the problem lies.

Now don’t get me wrong- I don’t mind answering those questions, or any other questions for that matter. Questions usually excite me a lot! But if that question list they put together was picked up online at websites like Wedding Wire or The Knot, red glowing sign comes on in my mind and it reads: “Houston, we’ve got a problem!”.

Here’s why: people who put those articles and question lists together (often) have no idea or little how wedding photography works. Or at least that’s what I see when I read those tips. In fact, I often feel like things just get copy/pasted from one website to another sending same shitty message- ask lousy generic answers, get lousy generic answers and learn nothing about the person who you are going to big chunk of your exciting day. My math formula for it looks like this:

MEAH QUESTIONS = MEAH ANSWERS

So when it comes to the list of questions on how to interview your wedding photographer, here are few tips:

  • ditch cookie cutter questions and get personal
  • be present in conversation
  • go deeper down the rabbit hole
  • keep an eye open for the red flags

Follow the simple instructions above and you’ll get better understanding how wedding photographer works. You’ll also feel more confident and  trust your wedding photographer (that’s a big one) more. And that trust is crucial. As it will allow you to enjoy your wedding day at its fullest. It will make your pictures more relaxed and candid, it will make your wedding photographer’s work easier and as result it will help to yield better pictures. Seriously, who doesn’t want better wedding pictures without too much extra effort?

Cookie cutter questions are not for you: your wedding day is unique and so should be your questions.

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Below I put some examples of generic questions I found on online wedding planning networks, and added some replacement questions and reasoning behind them so you would get the most out of wedding photographer interview. Hope that helps!

How do you describe your photography style?

More personal question: Besides wedding pictures, what other pictures you like to take? What pictures you like to look at? What do you find interesting about them? What do you find interesting about wedding photography? What motivates you as a photographer/ wedding photographer? What do you like/ don’t like about weddings?

Reason: You will learn how your wedding photographer sees photography and life. You will also better understand what motivates her/him. And of course you will get better idea what’s her/his wedding philosophy and wedding photography style is.

woman sleeping on chairs in airport with funny sign above her

An image of a woman sleeping in airport is an example of street photography

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Do you have a portfolio I can review?

More personal question: What was your favorite wedding you ever shot? Why? How did the last wedding you shot looked like? Did you ever photographed a wedding that somewhat had a similar feel like my future wedding? Can I see examples?

Reason: If someone doesn’t have a portfolio, she/he is not a professional wedding photographer. If you see 20 best pictures from someone’s 10 years wedding photography portfolio, you really not seeing the real picture of what you will be getting. Listen to your wedding photographer, tell them about your wedding plans and see ask for wedding gallery examples with the same/similar wedding venue, amount of people, time of the year, etc.

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Have you ever shot at my wedding venue before?

More personal question: How do you approach photographing a wedding in the venue you’ve never been before? Do you research online? Do you look at Google Maps? Do you arrive earlier to check out wedding location in advance? Do you talk to venue staff about possible spots for shoot?

Reason: It honestly doesn’t matter if photographer shot at your wedding venue or if he went there to check in advance. If he’s a professional, going into unknown location and making things happen is his/her regularly conducted activity. Besides you rarely will find the same light conditions in the building- light in the same wedding venue could often look very differently depending on time of the day, season, weather conditions, etc.

best man is having a craft cocktail at the wedding venue during the golden hour beautiful sunsetBest man lit up by setting sun during golden hour at the wedding venue

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How many hours of coverage do we get?

More personal question: Can we go through our wedding day timeline and see what do you think? What time do you recommend to start the coverage? When do you recommend doing family portraits? Why? Does the timeline we have look feasible?

Reason: Let photographer help you figure out amount of coverage he/she recommends. I’ve often run into couples that think they need 10 hours of coverage when in reality 7 is what they need. I get asked for 5 hour coverage, when reality is at least 8 hours of continuous coverage. Talk to professional, hear their opinion and decide what will work for you afterwards.

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How many photographers will be on my wedding?

More personal question: Why do you think are pros and cons of having 2nd photographer? What do you recommend for my wedding day? Why?

Reason: Don’t get stuck with an idea that 2nd photographer will do miracles. Talk but be ready to listen. There are definitely scenarios where 2nd photographer is OK and certain situations where 2nd photographer is a MUST. Professional wedding photographer should have a good explanation of all pros and cons that apply for your wedding. There are weddings with 120 guests where 2nd photographer is a must and there are weddings with 300 wedding guests where one photographer is just enough.

Talk. Listen. Hear and be heard.

picture of wedding photographer and her assistant at the Masonic Center Madison WI wedding explaining on how to interview your wedding photographerwedding photographer Ilana Natasha and her assistant Mary on a wedding day
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Do you bring your own lighting?

More personal question: Have you ever photographed in the dim church? Have you done a photo shoot outdoors when it’s dark? Can I see examples?

Reason: Bringing the lights to the dark venue or ceremony to show off isn’t going to do much if the wedding photographer doesn’t know how to use them or venue (e.g church) wouldn’t allow to use them. There’s plenty of photographer’s that go through the day without an artificial light. All they have is available light and they kill it!

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What camera do you use?

More personal question: Have you ever photographed wedding in a rain? Snow? Dark church? What problems did you run into? What was your challenge? How did you solve it? Can I see an example gallery or two?

Reason: Remember- it’s not the $5,000 Santoku knife with ivory handle that makes a chef known nationwide. It’s the food the chef makes. Professional camera’s are relatively inexpensive these days and its way easier to own one than 15-20 years ago. But a lot of people forget that camera is just a tool. And the most important thing is how photographer puts that tool in use. That’s where the great skill is. And one sees and works with light. And how photographer communicates with the surroundings. And many other things. You get the idea.
If you really really want to know, I use pro level Fuji mirrorless cameras and lenses. But it really is not about the camera.

paper bag with Fuji photo equipment to exemplify how to interview your wedding photographer and to show that gear doesn’t matterContents of my “photo bag” AKA “too lazy to stuff my photo gear back to the photography case”
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Thanks for stopping by and reading! I hope you find tips and recommendations about how to interview your wedding photographer useful. If you have any questions or suggestions of your own, feel to reach out to me via contact page. Check out my FAQ page with common questions Madison Wisconsin wedding photographers get asked a lot!

same-sex Madison, Wisconsin wedding ceremony that almost happened in Minnesota

an example of wedding photography style: photojournalism. groom and groom having a private moment

Every time I see Tom’s and Brad’s wedding ceremony pictures, I remember the fact that their same-sex wedding ceremony almost didn’t happen.
For initial consultation I’ve met them at café Zoma in early 2015. We clicked. They liked my take on documentary wedding photography and I

Every time I see Tom’s and Brad’s wedding ceremony pictures, I remember the fact that their same-sex wedding ceremony almost didn’t happen.
For initial consultation I’ve met them at café Zoma in early 2015. We clicked. They liked my take on documentary wedding photography and I liked the couple. We talked life, we talked weddings, and we talked same-sex marriage injustice. Same-sex marriage was still illegal in most of the states across the US, including the State of Wisconsin.

But same-sex marriage was legal in neighbor State of Minnesota. So Tom and Brad initially had a plan to get married there one day earlier. And bring their friends and family together for a big same-sex wedding Madison WI celebration in Madison Children’s Museum afterwards. Their same-sex wedding plans had a lot of uncertainty.

And then June 26th, 2015 came. And super fucking awesome news came out of Supreme Court: same-sex marriage became legal in all 50 states in US.
Suddenly everything felt right and Tom’s and Brads wedding day future just became 100 times brighter.

While initially October 18th wedding ceremony was planned in Minnesota, after all it happened on Madison Children’s Museum rooftop. And it happened with the bang!

Surrounded by friends and family, hundreds of smiles, beautiful Madison’s Downtown rooftop views, and gorgeous sunset was everything this gay couple dreamed about.

And as wedding photographer Madison WI, I was very proud to witness this significant moment in United States LGBT history.
See more images from Tom’s and Brad’s same-sex wedding here.

 

Wisconsin State Capitol cupola roof is being lit by morning sun on early Saturday morning Gay couple chatting with farmers at Dane county Farmers Market on early Saturday morning groom is getting his flower boutonniere pined in gay couple talking to each other before their wedding ceremony on the Madison Children’s museum roofwedding guests are smiling during same-sex wedding ceremony in Madison Children’s museum groom and groom are getting emotional during their same-sex wedding ceremony on the Madison Children’s museum roof groom and groom are holding their hands during same-sex wedding Madison WI ceremony first kiss during LGBT wedding ceremony in Madison Wisconsin Downtownfriends and family are observing same-sex wedding ceremony in Madison Wisconsingay couple is departing their ceremony on the Madison Children’s museum roof wedding guests are joining groom and groom on the dance floor at the Madison Children’s museumgroom and groom are running inside giant hamster wheel during their LGBTQ wedding at the Madison Children’s museum in Wisconsin wedding guests are hugging and laughing at the Madison Children’s museum during LGBT wedding reception mother and father of the groom are cheering dancing newlyweds wedding guests are dancing outside view of the Madison Children’s museum building at night time

 See full gallery from Tom’s and Brad’s Childrens Museum LGBTQ wedding >>HERE<<.

 

Rehearsal Dinner: Cooper’s Tavern
Morning Photo Session:
Farmers Market
Ceremony:
Madison Children’s Museum
2nd Photographer: Lauren Justice
Floral: Daffodil Parker
Wedding Coordinator: Harmonious Union Events
Bar: The Roman Candle
Reception Music: Aca Music And Entertainment
Catering: Bluephies

 

Thanks a bunch for stopping by and reading Tom and Brad’s love story! Are you planning your LGBT wedding? Looking for honest, real and LGBT friendly documentary wedding photographer?  If so, shoot me a message! I would LOVE to be part your tribe!

 

 

Wisconsin Cultural Wedding in Wausau, Wisconsin | Coua and Dustin

Bride and groom embracing in Wausau, WI downtown

WISCONSIN CULTURAL WEDDING Coua and Dustin have met during their Freshman and Junior years of college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison while attending Hmong American Student Association annual social event. During the event, Dustin spoke as part of an informal panel about tips for success for the incoming freshman class and his voice caught Coua’s […]

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Hailey + Steven :: Francesca’s Al Lago Wedding

Bride and groom high-fiving each other at the wedding reception in Madison, WI

  FRANCESCA’S AL LAGO WEDDING by QUEENS AND HEARTS That Saturday I start my coverage in Steven’s room where he’s hanging out with his crew. Lauren Justice, my big help on the wedding day, is with Hailey and her bridesmaids. Right before the ceremony start, Steven with his groomsmen and parents gather in the big […]

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LAURIE + BRANDON | ALDO LEOPOLD NATURE CENTER WEDDING

bride and groom wedding portrait in Aldo Leopold Nature Center Monona WI

  ALDO LEOPOLD NATURE CENTER WEDDING by QUEENS AND HEARTS I get big fat smile on my face every time I look at this blog post’s cover photo with Laurie and Brandon in it. Yes it’s posed, yes I am biased as their wedding photographer, but what a cute and laid back couple those two […]

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