The technology available to wedding photographers is developing rapidly, with many new cameras esoteric features available at the high end of the market and with pro-sumer level cameras increasing in capabilities at low price points. A variety of factors may matter most to a particular wedding photographer. Is it most important to have the most pixels possible (most photographers say “no”)? Does it matter more to have dual card slots, creating a simultaneous backup of each image while photographing a wedding? Does the quality and variety of glass available in a particular lineup trump all? Each photographer must decide the priorities for his or herself.

Many wedding photographers agree, however, that lighter is better. Wedding photographers spend long days on their feet – often 8 or 12 hours at a time – and the heavier the gear, the worse the back problems. All those many camera bodies, lenses, flashes, stands, etc. add up in weight! That is why I believe that mirrors cameras are the future.

There are a number of good mirrorless camera systems out there. The Sony A7 has been very popular as a full-frame, light weight option. Personally, my favorite is the cropped sensor Fuji X mirrorless system.

Let’s start with the lenses. Fuji’s X-mount lenses are works of art in and of themselves. Think perfect glass with beautiful bokeh, quick focusing, and 1/3 of the weight of your Canon or Nikon professional lens. I am especially attached to my 56mm f1.2 (an 85mm equivalent), the best portrait lens that I’ve ever used. Fuji’s prime lens lineup is especially strong, but they are working on their zooms. Especially noteworthy is the recent 80-200mm 35mm equivalent lens they’ve released with a 2.8 aperture.

Professional wedding photographers do sometimes have a fixed-lens 100s in their kit, but if you are thinking of a full switch to Fuji, you will want to look at the Fuji X-T1, their most professional camera body released to date. The X-T1 is powerful, featuring a back-to-the-days-of-film feeling interface but with all the power of a modern DSLR. It’s not the perfect camera yet – in particular, wedding photographers should be aware that they are sacrificing the ability to write to two cards. But if that’s not a deal-breaker, the X-T1 may just save you from breaking your back with all that DSLR weight you’ve been lugging around. You can read a full review and comparison of the X-T1 here(

Many professionals are switching these days. James Day, a photographer in Australia(, is now a 100% Fuji shooter. Andrew Hellmich, another Australian photographer and host of the popular PhotobizX Podcast (, recently announced his switch. Others, like Seattle wedding photographer Liz Lui (, shoot primarily with a Canon or Nikon system but augment their setup with a Fuji X-series set of backup gear.

Whether or not you are ready to make the jump now, it is becoming increasingly clear that mirrorless cameras are the future. There is still a lot of work to be done for Sony and Fuji to catch these cameras up to the full capabilities of their DSLR big brothers, but it’s only so long before they will be the new standard.


‘A whimsical take on everyday wear.Creating fresh and sophisticated garments, WOODLEIGH combines special features and details to create beautiful pieces that adhere to the woman who seeks authenticity and individuality in the everyday.’



Their words, not mine. I was contracted to shoot for a clothing store and they really wanted to capture the essence of their products. I’d worked with them previously on some of their other brands (DL1961 and TBags Los Angeles) and I think they were happy with my work to ask me back for a second shoot. As a photographer, I can never really tell when I client is happy or not unless they explicitly tell me so. It’s kind of like dating in that sense, if you don’t get a second date then the first one probably wasn’t that great. I wasn’t really familiar with them so I had to browse their respective sites and see how they conveyed their own brand. The first brand was a women’s clothing brand called Woodleigh. The first paragraph above was from their site. For that brand, I positioned the clothing in a more natural setting outside having fun. I was going for a Sunday brunch type of feel.

Then the next one was a more shirts and pants edgy kind of brand, Generation Love. Definitely more urban than Woodleigh. I was excited to shoot this one as I can use a different lens and play with the street lights after dusk.

In the end, I was happy with both in the post edit. The two brands are very different and I think it shows the diversity of the store well. I hope I can work with them again in the future on different brands. I have a couple of ideas in mind ;)



Who shoots the wedding photographer’s wedding?

More specifically, what happens when one of the top wedding photographers in Chicago gets married in Istanbul and needs a photographer?


She hires one of the Benj Haisch from Seattle, Washington.

Benj is regarded as one of the best known photogs in the world. He not only shoots weddings but also the Seattle Seahawks. He has almost 10,000 likes on facebook and has been represented on all relevant photography magazines. His style is definitely more photojournalistic but in this case since it was a very small elopement, the pictures seem to just follow the couple around Istanbul. That pictures are just amazing. It seemed to be a beautiful day there and Benj just follows them on their journey throughout the city. What I love most about how he works is that he just lets the location, the couple, and the light do all the talking.

The result is STUNNING.

Just take a look their pictures and look how beautiful they are. It makes me want to go to Turkey so bad! That’s definitely next on my travel list.

Now, going back to the original question. Choosing a photographer is not an easy task and the kind of work they post on their site is usually the best in their portfolio. It’s how they want to be presented. It doesn’t mean, you’ll be getting the same pictures though. I think it’s important to contact the photographer and do a sort of interview either face to face or skype or facetime etc etc. Because then you can use your human spidey senses so to speak to really gauge who they are as a person and photographer. Remember, it’s not only about the photographer but how you AND the photographer will work TOGETHER. You can never really know unless you get to know them a little bit better.

Getting someone to shoot for you is not cheap so it’s best to do your due diligence as you’re going to be spending hours with them on your most important day.



Let’s face it: DSLRs are heavy.

Not in the way of, ‘pick it up at a store’ heavy but the deadweight around my neck when I’m out for the day taking a hike or working with clients. It just wears on and on about you. So, what’s the solution? Maybe something more like Fuji’s new X-T1. It’s a new mirrorless camera that’s much smaller than the DSLR’s but if I’m not shooting professionally, but still want gorgeous pictures. I’m taking this baby with me instead.

From the outside, the design is definitely more industrial looking than some of the others in the X line. The hardware is magnesium alloy which makes it all weather proof from the natural elements. The LCD is tiltable while the buttons seem large and ergonomical. The real new sexy feature is the hybrid optical and electronic viewfinder with an OLED screen with hardly any lag. It’s a class above the competition and makes a huge difference in its usability. The image processor and sensor is the one from the X-E2.

It’s retail price is around $1200 from what I’ve seen. That’s quite a steep purchase for me, perhaps I’ll look to some of the older fuji’s on sale because the ‘new kid on the block’ is out.

Final Conclusion: I WANT IT.


Throughout the country, various states have begun to recognize marriage and civil unions between couples of the same sex to the point where it’s much less controversial. Same sex marriage is now legal in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Nation wide, the citizens have begun to favor same sex marriages as does President Barack Obama. He’s the first person to do so publicly as a sitting President.

With the recognition of same sex marriage, more LGBT couples are having weddings to celebrate than ever. How the civil union or commitment ceremony is done is of course, is decided by the couple and the need for photography specifically catered to them. There are many same sex and LGBT wedding photographers in Chicago and elsewhere that specialize in this area of expertise. The main thing to look for when hiring one is enthusiasm for for your ceremony. They shouldn’t try to fit you into a preconceived mold. The photographer shouldn’t want to shoot you just to ‘take a gig’ so to speak but they should be really excited to get you awesome shots! One way to find the best wedding photographer for you is by word of mouth. Maybe you have some friends in Chicago that just got married. Recommendations and references go a really long way! Interview and talk to a couple and pick the one that you and your partner are most comfortable with and fit your budget.

There ‘flow’ and schedule of the day is however you like, but the schedules are generally pretty familiar. There’s the getting ready shots, first look, ceremony, traditional shots with the wedding party, and of course the reception afterwards! The quality of the photos are going to be as unique as you are.

Your wedding is truly going to be a special event for you, your partner, and your friends and family. Be sure to be open and communicate your special ideas to your wedding photographer and wedding planner. If you want shots that are more traditional than say so, but if you want something different than that’s ok too! The imagery of two men in tuxedos or two women together in wedding dresses is truly unique.

The world is changing and the photos will be there to capture it all.

Also, check out and for more ideas and vendors.



I just came back from the most wonderful vacation from the Pacific Northwest. It’s this place that’s kinda off the radar called Orcas Island. It’s so indescribable how beautiful nature is in the area. The trees, the water, the temperature, the people are so nice as well! It’s pretty small in area and much of is hills, lakes, and forests. We took a drive through the curvy roads of Moran State Park to go hiking through the trails up to Mt Constitution. Up at the top is a fantastic view of the entire area. So breathtaking! I think I can even see Mount Baker once the fog and clouds parted a bit. The fresh air is so refreshing compared to the city. It’s funny how we get used to city air that we don’t even remember what real fresh air is like.

We flew into Seattle and rented a car, then we drove towards the ferrys immediately as the times of the ferry can take awhile. The ferry ride is so relaxing and the ride is so beautiful that it’s an even by itself. It took about 40 minutes to get to Orcas where we drove to our place. We stayed at a wonderful Orcas Island hotel called Bayside Cottages where the owners Jim and Betsy have a wonderful property of various cottages/vacation rentals. We were BLOWN AWAY by how great everything was. We stayed at the newer Peapods and the view of Mount Baker in the morning….wow.

The weather was a little chilly but we started the morning by eating a nice breakfast in Eastsound and then we took a guided kayak tour and even saw a couple of eagles which was really exciting for me. I’ve never seen one before and it’s as regal as I thought it’d be. Next time I’d like to do some horseback riding too. The highlight of the trip was really the whale watching tour on the boat. It was so exciting seeing the orcas go in and out of the water and learning about the different pods. You really can’t do that anywhere else.

Orcas Island Wedding

This is really a once in a lifetime trip for us and we can’t wait to go back!


If you’ve ever bought a condo, then you know there’s that awkward time with your real estate lawyer which you just fill dead time with talk of the weather and bad jokes. I asked my lawyer why he chose to become a real estate lawyer as opposed to another kind such as corporate, trial, divorce, or patent. He said simply,

“When people buy a house, they’re happy”

For that reason, wedding photography are my favorite kind of photography.As opposed to other types of photography such as business head shots, everyone is (usually) happy as it’s a once in a lifetime event for the couple where their friends and family are there. There’s a central focus to the event. Happy people make happy photos.

To be able to document that is an honor for any photographer, the photographer’s work will be looked upon with fond memories by the couple forever. A photo can convey the person and event’s mood with emotion while sprinkling Ideas and messages across in a way that no amount of words can. Good photographers, like good authors, take pictures with purpose. A style perhaps or tone. A past that introduces a relationship. A present that is in the moment telling the story of the wedding, and a future that leaves everyone wanting more. 

A good structure can make a story relevant to the audience. How a couple met. Or even look into the future of where they’re going. Using themes can bind the story together. Some types of themes include visual (colors, shapes), style, and location.

Personally, I’m a big fan of a different type of wedding photography called wedding photojournalism. Unlike traditional wedding photography, there’s much less posing for the camera, both as individuals or in groups. There’s less of a set list that must be shot. The photographer tries to be more of a fly on the wall as opposed to a director. It’s much more natural than portraits but can be just as beautiful.

This does not mean that the bride and groom won’t get the more ‘traditional’ shots though. 

A good place to find wedding photojournalist is at You can browse by location depending on where you get married. I’m personally a fan of Chicago wedding photojournalist, Liz Lui.

Liz Lui Chicago Wedding Photography

I think the world is ready for something different and not as cookie cutter. What do you think?