Chicago Wedding Photographer

A Beautiful Blend of Traditional, Contemporary, Photojournalistic & Artistic Photography...


Archive for January, 2009

Helpful Wedding Tips

Posted in Blog, General Wedding Tips

Although we are first and foremost a wedding photography studio, we get asked for our opinion and advice on a lot of other areas because; well…we’ve seen it all! We are not just one aspect of the day, dropping of the flowers, selling you a wedding dress, baking your wedding cake.  We are there all day long. From the time you get ready to the end of the evening. We see every detail (because we must photograph it for you!) We notice from experience what works and what doesn’t. We know what photographs well, what is overlooked, and what doesn’t really matter that much. If you have questions, even if it’s not related to photography, you can and should ask us! We are so happy to share our expertise with you.

So at the risk of giving you unsolicited advice, we figured you may enjoy and benefit from a few of our top wedding tips (photography related and not):

1. Don’t wear glitter. I love glitter and it looks great in person, but in photographs it looks like little black and white dots, like pepper. It ends up all over the tuxes and looks like dandruff. Glitter does not photograph well.

2. Enlist the help of a bridesmaid (or any reliable person eager to help) and designate them to be the “make sure I get some of that” person.  The number one complaint we hear from brides and grooms is that they didn’t get to eat their cake, taste the appetizers, or take advantage of the full bar. This person should be on a quiet and easy mission to make sure that they get some of everything for you. They should make sure you get one of each appetizer (if the banquet hall fails to do so) and they should make sure that there is some cake and treats from the dessert table in a to-go box for you to enjoy later or the next day. Most importantly, they should make sure you always have a full drink nearby. So you don’t waste a single moment at the bar.

3. Be very particular with your roses. Roses are very beautiful and common but they wilt very quickly. We have seen countless pictures just after the ceremony where the rose boutonniere is hanging its head or has even completely fallen off! If you’re going to get roses (especially in the warmer weather) make it absolutely clear that you want them as fresh as possible and secured firmly on the bouquet and boutonnieres.

4. Make a list of important groups to be photographed and give a copy to the photographer and a reliable eager helper. Their job will to make sure the people listed don’t wander off near photography time. We like to take these ‘formal’ pictures as quickly as possible so you can get on with your day! But when Aunt Sarah is in the bathroom and Uncle Joe is taking a smoke break outside, the whole process is not only held up but they could even be missing from your pictures all together! Have your helper keep everyone around until after the formal group shots are completed. This is a very important job, so make sure you give it to someone outspoken and reliable!

5. Don’t tan too much before the wedding, the orange bride thing does not work well! Neither do tan lines, so keep that in mind when you’re out and about for the few months before your wedding. Also, if your groom is planning a last minute hair cut, beware of the “haircut tan line”.  This is the awkward white strip along the forehead and sometimes on the sideburns left behind when the overlaying shag is clipped.

More helpful tips to come! But until then, if you have any other questions give us a call or drop us an e-mail!

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Why Digital Wedding Photography Should Save You Money.

Posted in General Wedding Tips, Our Wedding Photography

If you are looking for a wedding photographer to shoot your wedding and are wondering if prices directly correlate to the quality of the photographs you are going to get then you need to read this.

Wedding photography has traditionally always been a large chunk of the bride & grooms wedding budget. But why did wedding photography prices start off so high? The answer is simple. It was because of overhead costs. Before digital wedding photography, the photographer would have to take their negatives to a professional lab. Any photographer that brought their work to a drug store to be processed was not considered professional. After all, one mistake by a drug store technician on a mini-lab and all of the precious wedding images would be gone. An experienced, professional lab was very necessary to trust that the super sensitive negatives would be processed correctly. Then after that, the negatives needed to be color corrected individually by lab technicians to insure accurate color, printed on archival professional grade photographic paper and often scanned into digital format if needed. This would normally cost the photographers hundreds of dollars in lab fees. The professional film alone cost $8.00 – $10.00 per roll. Therefore, these prices were worked into their package prices and these prices have been rising ever since. Well digital photography has almost completely taken over the wedding photography industry (not to mention almost entirely over all other kinds of photography.)

So the question remains; why are wedding photography prices rising? After all the savings of film and lab fees should be passed to the customer. Well in all fairness, most photographers still have lab fees but in actuality, the lab fees have gone down! There isn’t any film to buy, there are no negative developing fees, digital printing is easier, lower grade photography paper became better and software makes color correction fast and affordable. Therefore professional labs found themselves competing with the constantly lowering drug store prices. There is no good reason that wedding photography prices should be raising when they should be lower. When you pay for a photographer, you should mainly be paying for a service. Somewhere down the timeline, photographers did not even think about ever lowering their prices. After all, why should they when the high prices are already set and expected? Well in today’s competitive market, some photographers have actually realized that they can still get their photography service fees while lowering their wedding package prices. When you see a photographer that has beautiful work but charges only a fraction of what other photography studios are charging, then the obvious reason is that they are passing the cut overhead fees to their customers. It does not at all mean that their work is not as good as the photographer charging so much more. When choosing your wedding photographer, view samples of their work, their testimonials, make sure they are reliable and most important; do not assume because you are paying less that you are getting less!

We at Jolie Images are one of the studios that saw the value in lowering our prices to provide brides and grooms with beautiful, professional event photography. Overhead costs are tremendously cut and we pass that savings onto you, charging you only for the actual service that we are giving you. No longer do you have to pay for high lab fees that just aren’t there anymore. Check out our prices and see for yourself!

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Remembering Our Mission

Posted in Announcements, Blog, Our Wedding Photography

We just today got an email from a bride-to-be who once again reminded us that we are fulfilling our mission; To provide beautiful, high-quality, professional photography to everyone. There is no reason for outlandish, sky high  photography prices that we often see here in the Chicagoland area. We can offer the same or better photography for only a fraction of the cost. Below is a copy of the email.

Hi Jolie Images,

My name is Jenna , and I put my information into your website to check avaliablity, and it showed me a reply that you are avaliable for that date!! (September 18th, 2009) I’ve looked at all of your photos and your examples of the albums and I am amazed at how beautiful they all are, especially for the price, it’s almost as it’s too good to be true! My fiance and I are paying for our own wedding and all the prices that we’ve come by are way too expensive, and you guys offer the same services, for the perfect pricing!I’ve read all of your testimonials, and they are nothing but good things about your photography.  I’m so glad that I found you guys and I cannot wait to hear back from you!

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What is selective color photography?

Posted in Our Wedding Photography, Wedding Photo Albums, Wedding Photography Tips

answered by Chicagoland’s top album design artist & Jolie Images artist
– Vanessa Ferrera.

Selective color (also known as Colorization) can have a very dramatic effect when used properly. It basically starts with a regular photograph in color. The image is then converted into a black and white tone, while certain areas of the photo are brought back to color. This process is as simple or complex as the object being kept in color. For example, a simple rose or easily outlined object would be relatively simple to colorize. On the other hand, a group of people or complex bouquets may take hours! This also depends on the artist and how meticulously they chose to work. I personally take a lot of pride in my work and spend a ridiculous amount of time on detail. I have seen selective color images where obviously the designer was in a rush and it basically looks as if they ‘colored over the lines’, just as we learned not to do as children when coloring an image in a coloring book. In fact, that is exactly what they are doing. Even as a child this was not acceptable to me. Today, I make sure to zoom into the image, magnifying it 100% to make sure it is done as neatly and precisely as possible, regardless of how long it takes me. These selective color images can cost anywhere from $30 to $50. Anything more is really uncalled for unless it was a very big and detailed object. Jolie Images albums include 2 selective color images in their albums. This is perfect. Anything more can risk looking over done and take away from the impact it is supposed to have.

I usually choose the selective color image for the customer. However, if you are feeling artistic and would like to suggest one yourself, here are some helpful tips:

1. Do not choose a very colorful picture to convert to black and white. It is such a waste of so many beautiful colors. Fox example, we had a photographer capture some images of this bride and groom in the Botanic Gardens (a beautiful spot for photography if you happen to be looking for a spot in the northwest suburbs!) The image was full of greenery and flowers with them kissing in the center. They requested I convert it to black and white (such a shame) while keeping the brides bouquet in color. Her bouquet was white by the way! This image would have been much better in color.

2. After realizing their mistake, the bride and groom suggested that the beautiful background stay in color…and they would be in black and white. This is also not a good idea. While the backgrounds and foreground was stunning… they looked…well…slightly dead and ghostly with their skin in black and white! It was rather creepy looking, which they realized right away and told me to chose whatever I wanted at that point!

3. DO choose a mildly bland image where this is only one point of major color anyway. Like a rainy day with a colorful umbrella (handy thing to keep in mind ladies! Buy yourself a pretty colorful umbrella in case of rain on your wedding day. This makes a BEAUTIFUL image out of an otherwise gloomy looking day!) You could also use a champagne toast with only the champagne in color, the dance floor with only the bride and groom in color, or any shot with the bouquet where there is either very little background, or a very uninteresting background.

Again, this is for the people who are feeling artistic.

Most of the time, it is left for me to choose and I haven’t had a complaint yet!

So if you want one less thing to worry about,

just leave it to me!

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