All Posts By

Lakeshore Photography and Video

Top 7 Reasons Every Bride Needs to Take Bridal Portraits Before Her Big Day

By | Portraits

It seems obvious to say that you want your wedding photographer to capture every intimate moment. Whether it’s the look in your husband’s eye while you walk down the aisle or the tear streaming down your mother’s face when she sees you in that white dress, these special moments will forever be preserved not only in your fond memories, but also in the photographs your wedding photographer captures on your big day.

But what about before your special day? You’ve got your engagement photos, you’ve got your day-of wedding pictures, so what’s the point of taking pre-wedding bridal portraits?



Here are the top 7 reasons why all brides should have professional bridal portraits taken:

1. Bridal Photoshoots Can Serve as a Trial Run For Your Special Day

Bridal portraits are essentially a sneak peek into your wedding day. They are the perfect opportunity to see how well everything in the planning process is coming together. Most brides have scheduled appointments with professional stylists to get their hair and/or makeup done on their wedding day.

Bridal photoshoots can show you which, if any, alterations still need to be done on your dress, which hairstyles you like, which hairstyles you hate, and how you would like your makeup done for the main event. Most importantly, though, bridal portraits show you how you are going to look on camera and will give you the confidence to walk down the aisle knowing you are looking your absolute best.

2. Pre-Wedding Portraits Can Make You Less Stressed When You Tie the Knot

Your wedding day will, unfortunately, be gone in the blink of an eye. Knowing that your wedding photographer has already captured hundreds of stunning portraits of you can definitely relieve some stress on your actual wedding day. You will feel much more relaxed knowing there is no rush to squeeze some specific photos in on your big day.  

3. Bridal Portraits Allow For a Change of Scenery in Your Wedding Photos

Your photographer will be limited with locations to photograph you on your wedding day; they will want to hide you from guests to get some solo shots, which can take serious time. Rather than wasting even a minute of this incredible day that you’ve been planning for months, if you take bridal photos before your wedding, you will be able to have much more flexibility in where to have them taken, creating a diverse array of beautiful portraits.


4. Pre-Wedding Photos Ultimately Lead To More Creative Images

You can take more time with your wedding portraits if you take some beforehand. On your actual wedding day, your photographer will need to follow a strict schedule to make sure you make all of your appointments on time. That being said, there is a very small window of opportunity to take solo shots of you in your dress. Other than just changing location, there will be more time for you to think thoughtfully about the portraits you want taken—like if you wish to incorporate props, for example, or even take photos with your dog!  

5. You Can Even Display Your Bridal Photos at Your Reception

These bridal pics will serve as a great filler for those pesky areas at your reception hall that you’re just not sure of how to decorate. Other than serving as simple and affordable decor, displaying these images at your reception is also a great way to honor and celebrate your future.

6.  Taking Bridal Pictures Lets You Get to Know Your Photographer

Every photographer has his or her own style. Just as bridal photos function well as a test run for your hair, dress, and makeup, taking wedding pictures before your wedding day is a great way to learn more about your photographer’s technique and to discuss what things you like and what you might not. Communicating with your photographer will also make you feel more comfortable in front of the camera, which is always a plus.

7. Before-Wedding Photos Give You an Excuse to Rewear Your Dress

You spends hours searching and struggling to try on heavy, white, lace dresses, feeling sorry for yourself until you finally find that Goldilocks “just right” one. After dropping hundreds on what is most likely the most expensive item of clothing you’ll ever purchase, it makes sense to want to wear it more than once. Bridal portraits are the perfect opportunity to showcase the beautiful dress you spent so much time selecting!

So, before you get hitched, be sure to hire a professional wedding photographer to take funny, unique, and creative bridal portraits of you in your dress, with hair and makeup done so that you’re not overwhelmed on your special day.

Interested in pre-wedding bridal shots? Contact Us! We’ll work with you to ensure you have high-quality documentation of you for your big day that you and your family will be able to enjoy for generations.

The Benefits of Shooting Videography at Your Wedding

By | Wedding Videography

It’s been about two months since your wedding day and you’re already missing it. You’ve been flipping through your wedding photos every day and feel like you need something more to reminisce. You then happily realize that you also have a beautiful video that was carefully crafted by your videographer of that special day.

You now have yet another lovely way to remember such a wonderful experience. This is just one of the many reasons why videographers are crucial to your wedding experience. They add another significant and valuable element to such an important event.

Here are out top 5 benefits of shooting videography at your wedding:

1.     Is Another Way to Cherish Memories that Will Last a Lifetime

Weddings are events that are held dear to many people’s hearts, and videos are a way to help cherish them. A video can be easily transferred to many different devices and formats: whether it’s played from your computer, DVD and more.

This creates more of an opportunity for your wedding video to be easily accessible. The convenience of the bride and groom is extremely important to the videographer. They can construct and provide an experience that the wedding couple can reflect on and enjoy for years on end.

2.     Captures the True Feeling of Every Moment

Wedding cinematography encapsulates many moments in their genuity. Videography is able to fully capture the spirit of the couple, family and friends. A video is able to include smiles, tears, laughter and more all in one. With so many different things that happen at a wedding, it can be difficult for a photographer to catch everything that’s happening.

This is why videography is the best option for obtaining almost every moment of your wedding. From the ceremony, the limo and even to the dance floor! Videographers are able to apprehend and integrate all of these occurrences into one beautifully composed video.

3.     Takes One of the Many Tasks Off of the Wedding Couple’s Shoulders

Weddings can be an extremely stressful time and even put tension on couples, which is the last thing anyone wants. There are many different components that take place in a wedding: from picking out bridesmaid dresses to deciding on the venue. But hiring a wedding videographer can relieve a lot of this stress for the couple.

Leaving it to the professionals to capture your wedding experience is extremely beneficial in the long run. All you and your significant other have to do is enjoy yourselves and focus on being carefree on such a meaningful day.

Your wedding videography professional will understand all of the different components and elements to creating a stunning video that you can absolutely love!

4.     Provides a Greater Experience than Photography

Photographs are nice in themselves, but can you imagine how much better videos are? Videography obtains many more elements that help create an even more impactful experience. In a video, you are able to see what happens second by second or frame by frame. While in photos, that is as far as the image goes.

Photography only captures a specific moment, but with videos the entire event is able to be encompassed. This is why videography allows for you and your significant to truly relive your wedding experience. It even adds a more realistic sense, allowing you to feel as if you were actually there again. Videos also focus on the details of design.

Videographers can incorporate perfect positioning, lighting, and exhibit professionalism. They can also add a touch to the video that’s nicely planned and edited, producing an experience that’s pleasant to the eye. Moreover, all of these different components can truly do your wedding experience justice, which can ultimately bring an even brighter smile to your face.

5.      Add Your Own Personal Touch to the Video

Before your special day, make sure you sit down with your videographer and describe how you’d like the video to turn out so that there isn’t any confusion. With the collaboration of you and your videographer, being on the same page can produce a much more meaningful video that is now more personal to you.

You can possibly even ask if the videographers can include you and your significant other’s wedding song. With these important and personal touches of the video, it can a much more memorable production that you and your significant should never forget.


The Takeaway

Every wedding should most definitely have a professional videographer! It should be at the top of every wedding list, because without one you could be missing out on a great opportunity. This wonderful and personal moment can last for generations upon generations. You can one day show your kids, and they can show theirs.

A wedding is something that should never be forgotten, and videographers definitely help with that by enhancing the experience. This video can provide another, and more interactive, way to reflect on your wedding. Anyone should want to take the most advantage of a moment that is one of the most important in life, and shooting videography is one of the best ways to do so.

Have questions about professional wedding videography in Chicago?  We’d love to hear from you in the comments section or you may Contact Us Here.  You may also call Lake Shore Photography and Video at 847-687-2336.

How to Coordinate Wedding Photos

By | Wedding Photography

Your wedding day is the culmination of months of planning, preparation, and dreaming.  But it can also be very stressful, especially when it comes to coordinating wedding photos.

These photos are meant to be a collage of people you love and moments to remember, but the process of getting everybody situated and making sure the photographer is prepared can cause you headaches when all you should be doing is enjoying yourself.

Here are the steps you should take when coordinating your wedding photos to ensure that the day of your wedding is stress-free:

Find Your Location

The most important part of coordinating your wedding photos is finding out where you’re going to have them taken. This should be decided as soon as you finalize the date and the venue. Talk to your wedding planner or venue manager and ask them where it would be appropriate to have your photos taken.

There are two things you should factor into deciding the location for your photos: beauty and convenience. The backdrop for your formal wedding photos obviously has to be appealing, and it should serve to accentuate the outfits of your wedding party.

But if you and your wedding party have to trek to the other side of a resort complex to quickly take photos in between the ceremony and the reception, it may not be the best option for you. Your photographer may be able to provide tasteful backdrops for formal photos if you don’t have time to take them in another location.

Many couples decide to have their photos taken in locations completely separate from the venue, on a completely different day. If so, make sure the location is easily accessible for the photographer and your wedding party. You should also contact them individually to ensure that they are available the day of your photo shoot.

Decide What Kinds of Shots You Want

Before your photo shoot, you should work with the photographer to figure out what you want your photos to look like so you are not surprised when you get the final album. Do you have any poses in mind you think would be great additions to your wedding album? Tell the photographer.

Do you want to do a photo of just bridesmaids or just groomsmen? Let your photographer know so they can make sure to get those shots. In general, an experienced photographer will be aware of what shots to capture, but make sure you let them know if you want anything specific that they may not have thought of.

Are you a fan of themed wedding photos? Make sure you procure any props or special costumes beforehand. The best wedding photographers will be able to accommodate any of your requests within reason, as long as you can let them know beforehand.

Break Down The Day Into Segments

The easiest way to make sure that you don’t forget anyone in your wedding photo session is to set a schedule. This is especially beneficial if you have a large family. Work with the photographer to segment your photo shoot by party or family, and double-check the schedule to make sure everyone you want in your formal wedding photos is included.

Have the photographer work off this schedule. This way, they can let you know who is next on the list and help you stay within your time constraints.

Make Sure All Relevant Parties Are Aware of The Schedule

But it’s even more important to make sure that your family and friends are aware of the schedule to ensure that they are present when it’s their time to take photos with you.

Tell them exactly when they will be taking their photos so that there is no confusion. If everyone is responsible for being at your chosen location at a specific time, you can be more sure that they will present, rather than having to hastily wrangle everyone at the last minute.

If you are crunched for time, then you have to reiterate to your guests that if they do not make it in time for the photo shoot, they might miss out on a chance to be in the wedding album. Be sure to tell your hair and makeup team of the schedule as well.


Take Some Time To Relax!

However, it’s impossible to prepare for everything. As much planning as you do before your wedding, some issues may arise the day of your ceremony that you would not be able to predict. If something goes wrong, just remember to relax.

Coordinating wedding photos with your family and friends can test your patience, but when you look back at the photo album and see the smiling faces of your loved ones, you’ll remember how happy you were that they were there to celebrate your special day.

For more information on staying organized on the day of your wedding, visit the rest of our blog, and please contact us for the best wedding photography services in the Chicago area!

Our Best Tips to Help You Have a Seamless Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

By | Outdoor Weddings

Whether you are planning a whimsical backyard wedding or a glamorous destination wedding, here are a few universal tips to help you accomplish the least stressful outdoor wedding ceremony. Careful planning and patience throughout the process will pay off once you and your guests experience the day surrounded by natural beauty and conclude your celebration under the night sky!

All Seasons Are a Go!

You are not limited to a summer outdoor wedding. If you’re a fall fanatic or snow bunny at heart, consider pulling off a seasonally themed bash! Each season can provide a romantic backdrop for a beautiful ceremony, just remember to plan for the proper shelter and equipment to stay comfortable.

During the hot months of the year, be sure to provide protection from the sun and resist renting a clear top tent. Shade is critical to keeping cool, comfortable and relaxed. It’s also important to keep your guests hydrated for the duration of your outdoor ceremony, so make sure it’s clear where your guests can access cool water. If your dinner reception will also be held outside in the heat, be mindful of your menu. Do your best to avoid cheese/fruit platters and chilled desserts that require proper refrigeration and may also attract bugs.

During cool months, when weather is most unpredictable and there is a chance of wind, rain or snow, it’s critical not to go without an extremely sturdy tent and reliable tent service that can be on call for any weather emergency. In the spring and fall months, you are probably safe renting a tent that is not enclosed, but do find a “marketplace” style tent with side panels for those chilly winter months! Ask the rental company if they offer an extra tent layer, and a double-door entryway to keep the cold air out in those extra cold months. Bonus tip: To create a warm and cozy environment for everyone, rent one heat lamp for every ten of your guests.


Dance Under the Stars​

One of the best perks of holding an outdoor reception is the opportunity to dance under the night sky, here are a few things to consider to ensure a stress-free evening.

Dance Floor – Whether your reception will be held on pavement, grass or sand, you may need to rent floor panels to correct any uneven ground and create a designated dance space!

Bugs – If your wedding date is in the spring or summer – keep bugs away by using citronella candles throughout your space. This is a multi-functional solution as you can incorporate them into your centerpiece décor. There’s nothing more annoying than swatting bugs away all night – so take all preventive measures and even consider a hiring a professional exterminator a couple days beforehand.

Lighting – Set the mood and keep your guests safe by providing proper lighting solutions. Paper lanterns, chandeliers and tea lights in mason jars can all be part of your mood lighting and décor, but remember to light pathways and your dance floor well to make sure there are no accidents! Speak with the rental company you plan to work with and even an electrician to make sure you have adequate lighting throughout the night.

Important Necessities – If your ceremony and reception are not near an indoor location with a public restroom, do not forget to provide a portable one! There are plenty of options out there, so think luxury over construction site!

Have an Alternate Plan​

To keep your mind at ease, it will not hurt to have a back-up plan. It may feel like a lot to think about now, but you won’t have a worry on your big day if you plan ahead! The strongest of tents cannot uphold in the worst conditions, so think about where you can take the party indoors if you must. Recruit a few responsible friends to help you with a communication and action plan in the case of a weather emergency.


It is your big day, and there is no limit to what you can pull off for your outdoor wedding. We hope these universal tips help you in the process of your planning, and wish you the best in deciding the details! We trust that your ceremony will be as unique as you are!  

5 Reasons You Need Professional Video on Your Wedding Day

By | Wedding Videography

Many brides debate whether or not to include professional videography on their wedding day. At first, it seems like passing the iPhone to Aunt Linda to capture the day is enough, but here are five reasons you need a professional to capture your wedding day on video:

1. A Professional Videographer is 100% Focused on You and Your Special Day

Someone who takes professional wedding video will have a keen and constant eye out for moments to capture. A professional videographer won’t be distracted by your family and friends, won’t leave early, and won’t get drunk at cocktail hour. Getting a professional video of your wedding day ensures without a doubt that the most important moments of your day are captured—and at a high quality as well! (Plus, you won’t have to chase down your friends and family to get your wedding video after the fact.)


2. A Professional Video is a Time Capsule You Can Share with Others

One bride who used professional videography on her wedding day noted that her wedding day was the last time her entire family was together before her maternal grandparents died. The gift of being able to replay her grandmother’s laugh and her grandfather’s dancing brought her invaluable joy. A professional wedding video is a forever record of a moment in time, capturing you and your spouse of course, but also capturing the voices, movements, and ages of your friends and family. Months, years, and decades down the road, a professional wedding video is a phenomenal way to look back and savor a moment in time.

3. A Professional Video Captures the Things You Don’t See on Your Wedding Day

What did your ceremony space look like before you walked in? Did your ring bearing niece dance up the aisle? Did your dad really cry during your vows? Your wedding day goes by in a flash. A professional video is a phenomenal way to guarantee you see every facet of the day you spent months—maybe years—planning. You’ll get to see flowers, cocktail hours, and music you put heart into creating, and you’ll get to see the reactions—laughter, tears, and hugs—of the people who love you most.



4. A Professional Videographer Offers Quality and Add-Ons That You Can’t Get Anywhere Else

A professional videographer does so many things your friends and family can’t do on their phones. Things like post-production editing, setting your video to music, or offering day-of bonuses like drone filming are all part of a professional videographer’s package. Your wedding day is not their first rodeo, so they’ll know all the ins and outs when it comes to capturing sound, finding the best lighting for your group shot, and tweaking the final product before it reaches your hands.

5. A Professional Video Features Sound and Movement—Two Traits a Photo Can’t Replicate

There are just some things that can only be captured on video. Hearing the cheers from your guests during your first kiss as a married couple, seeing your brother reach for his index cards before your toast, capturing the gasp your spouse made when they saw your for the first time… these are all moments you can get a taste of with photos, but you get the whole experience watching back on a video. Professional video captures and memorializes the emotions of your wedding day in their full form—not just visual!

The Benefits of a Wedding Photo and Video Package

By | Photo and Video Packages

If you’re currently in the throes of the wedding planning process, you know how complicated and time-consuming it can be. Obviously, putting in the time to thoroughly plan every aspect of your wedding day is important, because you want to make sure everything goes off without any issues. But there’s no shame in making the road to your wedding day a little less stressful for you and your partner.

That’s where a wedding photo and video package comes in. The best photo and video packages make your life easier. With the right company, you can be assured that every special moment of your wedding is captured so that you and your family will be able to remember the day forever.


Better Organization

The greatest benefit of purchasing a wedding photo and video package is that you won’t have to hire two different companies. This cuts down on the amount of coordination you would have to do on the day of your wedding. Another benefit of opting for a package deal is that you are likely to get a team of professionals working to make sure not a single tear, toast, or smile is missed.

Hiring a videographer or photographer separately often means that a small team, sometimes just one person from each company, will capture your wedding. The problem with this is that the photographer or videographer is not always able to cover a lot of ground. In a large wedding, this can mean a lot of moments missed.

If a company is tasked with photography and video, it’s likely that they will have multiple people working your wedding day to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. More often than not, this results in a higher-quality product.



Easier Communication

As stated before, working with one company on the day of your wedding just makes things less complicated. From a logistical point of view, the more open your lines of communication are with the company you hire, the less confusion there will be. But liaising with just one company for all your photo and video needs also has immense benefits in the weeks leading up to your big day.

When hiring a photographer or videographer for your wedding, it’s important that you make your needs as clear as possible. What aspects of your wedding day do you want the crew to focus on? What style of photography or videography would suit your wedding the best? What do you want the final album or video to look like?

You don’t want to have to repeat yourself multiple times to get your vision to come across. If you’re working with one company who can take care of every aspect of capturing your wedding, it’s not going to take more than a few meetings or phone calls for them to grasp exactly what you’re looking for.

An Extremely Cost-Effective Option

But above all else, the best thing about purchasing a wedding photo and video package is the amount of money you will save. Most companies will cut you a deal if you opt for both photo and video because it allows them to combine resources. Part of the fee for hiring a professional photo and video service includes logistical costs. If you hire two different companies, you will have to pay for these costs twice, and you won’t have the benefit of any substantial discount.

Weddings are only getting more expensive. The bulk of your allotted funds for your wedding should be going toward securing the venue of your dreams and a high-quality catering service. There’s no reason why a wedding photo and video service can’t be affordable. You can even use your savings on a lavish honeymoon or as a nest egg for your future.

A Comprehensive Document of Your Wedding Festivities

You might be asking yourself, why do I need both photo and video? Both mediums have their benefits, and having both available on your wedding day is crucial to ensuring that you have full coverage of the event. Some moments are best captured candidly by a photo, while others are best captured on film. You want to be prepared for anything and everything.

After your wedding, you’ll be able to choose from a treasure trove of valuable moments to put together in a physical photo album or a digital album that combines the best photos with the most meaningful and entertaining video clips. All your hard work will have been worth it when you see your guests having a great time and you and your partner embarking on the greatest adventure of your lives.



For more information on how to purchase a wedding photo and video package with Lakeshore Photo and Video, please Contact Us! We’ll work with you to ensure that you have a high-quality document of your wedding that you and your family will be able to enjoy for generations.

How to Find the Right Chicago Wedding Photographer

By | Wedding Photography

As one of the most beautiful cities in the world to hold a wedding, it’s no surprise that there are hundreds of wedding photographers in Chicago eager for your business. But how do you narrow down which one is right for you?

Here are some things to remember when looking for photographers for your wedding in Chicago:

Ask Your Friends For Recommendations

No clue where to start? Ask your friends and family! There may be reliable photographers they have used in the past that would be perfect for your ceremony. Publish a post on Facebook that details your needs and watch as the responses roll in.

Yelp and other business-review sites are also great resources for recommendations. In general, it’s best to hire a wedding photographer with experience and credentials. Amateur photographers still have the potential to do a great job, but hiring them comes with the risk of your wedding photos looking like a beginner took them. The more positive reviews and years of experience a photography company has, the more confident you can be that you will treasure your wedding photos for years to come.

Communicate Your Needs

As the bride or groom, your needs are more important than anyone else’s. It’s essential that the photographer you hire is aware of exactly what you are looking for with your wedding photos.

Would you prefer your wedding album to be filled with candid shots of you and your guests enjoying yourselves? Make sure they know that and can show you examples of candid shots that they’ve done in the past. Would you rather have your family pose formally for photos before or after the ceremony? Communicate that clearly to your photographer and review some of their posed shots before making a decision.

Some soon-to-be newlyweds desire a theme for their wedding. Maybe you want your wedding photos to have a retro or old-timey feel? Hire a photographer that has experience with or is open to taking themed photos of you and your wedding party. Obviously, you want your wedding photographer to have the expertise to put together a great wedding album for you and your family. But they should also be open to receiving your suggestions. After all, it’s your wedding. Make sure they let you choose the final shots for the album. They should also be open to lighting and effect suggestions.


Discuss Logistics

One of the many benefits of hiring an established photography company in Chicago is that they will likely be more organized and poised. They have taken photos for weddings before, and they know how to remain calm amongst all the craziness.

It’s never a good idea to start your photographer search until you’ve booked the venue for your ceremony. Once you know where your wedding will be held, you can begin coordinating with your photographer on where posed photos will be taken, if you desire any.

But most importantly, once the venue is finalized, the date is set. The photographer you want has to be available that day, or it’s back to the drawing board. There is also a lot of planning that goes into a wedding photo-shoot, like securing the equipment and making sure assistants are available if necessary. The earlier you can let a photography company know the details of your wedding, the less confusion there will be on the day of your wedding (and the less stressed out you’ll be!)


Choose a Photographer You Get Along With

One thing that people don’t always consider when hiring a photographer is that the photographers you choose will essentially be guests at your wedding. They will mingle with your family and friends, be present for every perfect moment, and be a huge part of ensuring that your wedding goes off without any issues. Because of this, it’s very important that you have a good relationship with them.

As stated before, you should choose your photographer early on in the wedding planning process. Schedule an interview at your home or at their offices and get to know them as well as you can. Establishing a rapport will not only make communication easier, it will make you more comfortable with the photography company that you choose.

Make sure you choose photographers with amicable personalities. If they seem high-strung or stressed out, it might be difficult to coordinate anything with them on your wedding day. Your entire wedding party could be subject to unnecessary tension. It’s imperative that your photographer is reassuring and confident in the fact that they will be able to give you the best photos they can.



The Right Wedding Photographer Might Be Closer Than You Think!

Finding the right wedding photographer in your area doesn’t have to be difficult. There’s no need to look much further than Lakeshore Photography and Video to find a wedding photographer that will give you high-quality photos while being receptive to anything you might need on the most special day of your life. Please Contact Usfor more information on rates and packages!

Top 10 Chicago Wedding Venues

By | Chicago Specific Blogs

Chicago is such a wonderful place to have a wedding, and there are so many more places to list than we have room for in one blog post.  

After careful consideration, below are our Top 10 Chicago Wedding Venues:

1.  The Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel is an historical Chicago hotel located near Oak Street Beach and the John Hancock Building.  The hotel features magnificent views of the lake and the city, as is within walking distance from multiple great photo opportunities such as Water Tower Place, Michigan Avenue, and several beautiful churches.


2.  Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago is within walking distance of many downtown shopping, dining and entertainment venues.  The hotel offers many amenities, and contains a Grand Ballroom and the Lakeview Room, which allows striking views of Lake Michigan.  The Four Seasons features a breathtaking art collection with sculptures, photos and paintings by some of the world’s finest artists.  They have ample space to accommodate guests of up to 500-750 people.

3.  Waldorf Astoria Chicago

The Waldorf Astoria Chicago is located at 11 E. Walton Street very close to the Fourth Presbyterian Church, and also very close to Chicago’s famous Rush Street and Michigan Avenue.  The Waldorf is one of the finest hotels in the city, and has spectacular suites with fireplaces and terraces offering excellent views of the city.  Like the Four Seasons, the Waldorf Astoria Chicago offers multiple works of art throughout the hotel.  This venue provides seating for up to 200 guests, and is one of the most popular venues in Chicago for not only weddings but for many other events as well!

4.  Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago has multiple wedding venues over two campus locations.  The Lake Shore Campus offers breathtaking views of Lake Michigan that will impress your guests and ensure great photography.  Loyola has a very experienced staff and offers both indoor and outdoor wedding venues.  Their seating accommodates about 300 guests and approximately 500 guests for receptions.


5.  Navy Pier and Odyssey Cruises

Chicago’s Navy Pier is an excellent wedding venue.  There are amazing views of both the lake and the Chicago skyline, and Navy Pier has the capacity to hold the wedding and the reception.  Moreover, Odyssey Cruises at Navy Pier offers many different cruises around Lake Michigan, which also offer incredible views of the city.  Odyssey Cruises has many different packages to choose from, and even has wedding consultants to help you with the planning!

6.  InterContinental Chicago

The InterContinental Chicago is located at 505 N. Michigan Avenue, very close to the Chicago River and Tribune Tower.  This area of Chicago is perfect for photo opportunities, and the venue itself offers very affordable packages for weddings.  The InterContinental offers multi-course meals, butlers that help with the hors d’oeuvres throughout cocktail hour, and many complimentary services for the wedding couple and parents.  The InterContinental features several different ballrooms, each with it’s own floor.  The location, affordability, packages and services at this venue are hard to beat.

7.  Salvatore’s Ristorante

Salvatore’s Ristorante is a Chicago favorite in terms of wedding venues.  It’s located on a picturesque tree lined street in the heart of Lincoln Park.  Their event specialists are the best at what they do in creating wonderful events designed to your specifications. Salvatore’s Ristorante offers a host of different packages, and has several elegant rooms for cocktails and dancing, as well as a beautiful courtyard plush with trees and fountains.  They generally seat up to 200 people.


8.  Sheraton Grand Chicago

The Sheraton Grand Chicago is a large, dazzling hotel located right along the Chicago River and within walking distance to some of Chicago’s best attractions.  They have many large ballrooms, with one able to host over 3,000 people!  The hotel contains several large ballrooms, bars and wedding packages to choose from.  The Sheraton Grand Chicago wedding packages also include a personalized wedding website that allows guests to book their own rooms and allows for easy monitoring of the RSVPs.


9.  Park Hyatt Chicago

The Park Hyatt Chicago is one of Chicago’s finest hotels, located right across from the Chicago Water Tower at Rush Street and Chicago Avenue.  Their main ballroom is the Grand Salon Ballroom, which can accommodate events large and small.  There is elegant catering offered by MoMI Kitchen, and the NoMi Spa is also a great feature of this hotel.  The Park Hyatt Chicago can accommodate events with guests numbering 200-300 people.

10.  Millennium Park

Millennium Park is one of the most frequently visited attractions in Chicago. The park has multiple wedding venues, monuments and plenty of beautiful space. There are multiple opportunities for great photography, and the park is close to almost everything Chicago has to offer. There are plenty of gardens, fountains and excellent cityscape views, and the venues here can accommodate over 1,000 people. 

Have questions about Chicago wedding venues or wedding photography?  We’d love to hear from you in the comments section or you may Contact Us Here.  You may also call Lake Shore Photography and Video at 847-687-2336.

Best Places in Chicago to Shoot Pre-Wedding Photos

By | Chicago Specific Blogs

Chicago can be a wonderful place to have a wedding, unless you’re having it in January or February, that is.  All kidding aside, if you choose a great weekend and especially if great luck is bestowed on you to where the weather works out, Chicago has so many amazing places that make for wonderful pre-wedding photos.  

Below are a few of the best places in Chicago to take your pre-wedding photos:

1.  Navy Pier

Navy Pier is one of the best places in the city to take pre-wedding photos.  You have a background of the lake, a background of the city skyline, and even a ferris wheel!  There are some amazing wedding pictures to be taken at Navy Pier!  Navy Pier also has several reception venues such as Crystal Gardens, as well as boats such as Mystic Blue Cruises or Odyssey Cruises that can host your wedding, reception, or pre-wedding photography. 


2.  Millennium Park

Millennium Park is a large public park located in the east section of the loop, and was built to celebrate the 2nd Millennium.  This year (2017), Millennium Park became featured as the number one tourist destination in both Chicago and the midwest.  It has over 20 million yearly visitors and is in the top 10 most visited locations in the United States. Millennium Park features so many great photo opportunities, including fountains, squares, gardens, pedestrian bridges, and a very famous sculpture known as the Bean.  Millennium Park is definitely a must-visit for your pre-wedding photography.


3.  Chicago Water Tower

The Water Tower on Michigan Avenue also makes for great pre-wedding photography.  The Chicago Water Toweris a historical landmark located at 806 N. Michigan Avenue, right on the Chicago’s famous Magnificent Mile.  There is also an art gallery there called City Gallery that features the work of Chicago photographers.  Also nearby is the Fourth Presbyterian Church which is a beautiful church at 126 E. Chestnut Street, and also bordering Michigan Avenue.  The church features elegant ivy along its outer walls and is directly across from the John Hancock center, which also provides for some really creative photos!

4.  Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field is 4-5 miles outside of central downtown, but it well worth the trip.  Wrigley Field is an iconic ballpark and home to the Chicago Cubs, and is situated in the charming Lakeview neighborhood.  Wrigley Field and Lakeview in general are perfect places for capturing your special moment.  A few blocks from Wrigley Field is Lake Michigan as well, which features a historical clocktower that can also make for dazzling photography.

5.  Wacker Drive & Chicago River Walk

The river walk along Wacker Drive is also a very picturesque location to capture some great pre-wedding photos.  The riverwalk provides beautiful backdrops of the Chicago River and city.  Depending where you are on Wacker Drive or the upper or lower riverwalk, you can take multiple pictures with lots of different backgrounds in a very short amount of time.  The numerous bridges crossing the Chicago River also provide for some great shots from your professional wedding photographer with the river as a backdrop, and if you are on one of the bridges furthest to the east, you can capture both the river and the lake which makes for a perfect backdrop.

The Takeaway

If you are in the Chicago area and having your wedding here anyway, you can really add a lot of great photography by doing some pre or post-wedding photography using the beautiful backdrops Chicago has to offer.  The lake, city skyline, and numerous parks and attractions can make for some exceptional photography you surely don’t want to miss out on!

Have questions about wedding photography or pre-wedding photography?  Great!  Please don’t hesitate to Contact Us Here or give us a call at 847-687-2336.

25 Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer Before Your Wedding Day

By | Q&A

Planning a wedding can be a wonderful and exhilarating experience.  However, as with any important life event, preparing for your wedding day will have a lot of moving parts.  One of the most important choices you will make in the course of planning your special day will be which wedding photographer you choose to capture the day’s events.  

There are so many things to take into consideration when choosing a wedding photographer and preparing for your wedding day in general, so we will hopefully make the process a little easier for you by narrowing down the list of questions to ask your photography professional pre-wedding.


Below are the Best Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer Before Hiring Them:

1.  Is my wedding date available?

This is an obvious question to get out of the way, but also the most important one to ask.  Be sure to ask this question first to avoid wasting your time or the wedding photographer’s.

2.  How many weddings have you photographed before?

You’ll want to ask this question, as well as review the portfolio of your potential wedding photographer.  Also, be sure to look at their online reviews from prior clients.  Asking for references can’t hurt either.


3.  Will you be photographing our wedding by yourself or will you have a second photographer assisting?

This is good to know.  The wedding photographer will likely need more detail of what shots you want or if there is anything extraordinary before being able to judge if a second photographer will be needed.

4.  How much of a deposit is needed and when is the balance due?

This is important to know so everyone is on the same page as to what is due and when.

5.  Are wedding packages available?

Wedding photography packages can be a great way to save money, especially if you want professional photos of multiple events. You can get 8-10 hours of wedding day photography and combine it with options such as professional photography of the rehearsal dinner, bride and groom shots pre-wedding, etc.  You should also see if custom packages are available based on your specific needs for the events surrounding the wedding itself.


6.  What time will you arrive on the wedding day and how many hours will you shoot?

The more precise details you have on everything surrounding the wedding day, the better off you’ll be.  You definitely don’t want any surprises on your special day, so make sure you clarify all the details with the photographer so there are no misunderstandings or confusion.  Just make sure your wedding photographer will arrive on time and stay as long as you need them to.  If you think the wedding reception may go longer than expected, be sure to bring this up with your wedding photography professional and ask what the extra cost will be if it goes a bit longer than expected.

7.  After the wedding, what can I expect to receive based on the quoted price?

After the wedding, you want to ensure that you will receive what you expected to receive before the wedding.  So, clarify what hard copy photos you will receive post-wedding, what digital photo’s you will receive, etc.  Most photographers will have different packages available, or will provide a customized quote for your wedding based on your specific needs.

8.  How long after the wedding can I expect to receive my photos?

This is another area where you want to be as precise as possible.  Don’t accept “a few weeks” as an answer; a few weeks can easily turn into much longer.  Most photographers will give you a range, but at least get a range so you have a pretty good idea of when you expect your photos.

9.  Do you provide retouching services and are they included in the cost?

If you are wanting this service, it’s always good to ask if it’s something that’s included in the price.

10.  Do you have a policy on other guests taking photos?

Most wedding photographers won’t mind if other guests take shots of the big day.  It’s always good to ask though, since most people have cameras on their phone and will likely want to take a few pictures of their own to remember the special day.  Most importantly, if you notice family members or friends getting in the way of the photographer you may want to ask them to shoot their photos after or from behind the photographer.

11. Can we provide you with a list of specific photographs we would like taken on the big day?

This should not be an issue as your wedding photographers should want to work along with you to make sure they give you the exact shots that you expect.  Be sure to think of all the details you want to make sure are captured – flowers, toasts, and anything else you feel would be special to capture.


12.  How will you (and your assistants) be dressed?

Most likely this will not be something to worry about, but it doesn’t hurt to ask, especially if you want your photographer to really blend in with the guests.

13.  What type of paper do you use for the album?

Make sure your wedding photography paper is acid free and of archival quality to ensure your photographs last a long time.

14. Are there any restrictions for sharing photographs online or in a publication?

This is another area that shouldn’t be an issue, but you still want to ask to make sure.

15. Will you bring your own lighting?

The wedding venue may supply adequate lighting, or your photographer will bring adequate lighting, or both.  Just clarify who’s doing what in this regard; your photographer will likely ask about the venue in the course of doing their due diligence but make sure this area is covered.

16.  Can you do wedding videography?

Videography is another area that is becoming more and more popular.  If videography is something you’d like to be included, be sure and ask if this is a service your wedding photographers can perform.  As always, see what their experience is in this area as well.

17.  Can we have a few photos taken in black and white?

Are you going to want some black and white photos of the wedding?  Then be sure to consult your photographer about approximately how many you want, what you want them of, etc.

18.  Can you be available to shoot after-event photos if needed?

If you need any post-wedding photos, be sure and let your wedding photographer know so they can incorporate this into the cost.  Post wedding events such as “trash the dress” are gaining in popularity.  Sometimes there may be a post-wedding brunch the day after the wedding for immediate family members that you may want to have captured.  It’s something to think about and is better to bring this up before your photographer provides you with a quote rather than after.


19.  Do you offer a photo booth?

photo booth is a fun way to capture your loved ones at the wedding reception.  If this is something you may want, be sure to bring it up in your planning sessions with your wedding photographer.

20.  Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding?

You’ll want to clarify this beforehand.  If he or she will not be the actual photographer at your wedding, you should ask who will be, possible meet that person, and review their experience and qualifications.

21.  Have you shot a wedding before at my wedding and reception venues?

If not, this is ok, but you may follow up by asking if your photographer plans to visit the locations of the shoot before the day of the event.


22.  How would you describe your working style?

Does your photographer like to blend into the event background naturally, or is he or she more “take charge” in terms of having a more visible presence and choreographing the photos?

23.  Do you include engagement photos in your packages and can you create a slideshow of the engagement session that we can show during cocktail hour?

This is always something to think about if you want some high quality professional photography of the engagement session as well.  Many wedding photographers will also include engagement photos as part of your package.

24.  Do you have liability insurance?

It’s best to ensure that your wedding photographer has liability insurance just in case.

25.  Do you or my scheduled photographer have a backup plan in place in the unlikely event you are unable to shoot my wedding for some reason?

Just to be sure!

The Takeaway

The above questions are not by any means an all inclusive list of questions to ask your wedding photographer.  However, we hope they point you in the right direction of things to think about before the big day.  The takeaway is that you really want to put a lot of thought into what type of photographer and what types of photography you want for your wedding.  You also want to do your very best to “cover all the bases” so there are no surprises.  The more you think about this before even engaging wedding photographers, the more time you will save everyone involved and the better off you’ll be.

Have questions about your wedding photography or anything we can help with or provide advice on?  Please let us know in the comments section below; we would love to hear from you!  Please also free to Contact Us Here or at 847-687-2336!

error: Content is protected !!