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Crystal Garden Navy Pier wedding : Nikki & Matt

As the wedding season is now in full swing, it is always such an odd feeling to reconnect with brides who you have not seen in so long. Sure, we chat via email, Facebook and on the phone throughout the duration. But considering I have shot at most of the venues in the city, it is rare I do a final walk-through anymore.

So really, it isn't only the bride who is excited on the day of her wedding, I am a little excited as well to reconnect.

bride and groom at wrigley building in chicago wedding kevin weinstein photography

I find myself focusing on the challenges I face while shooting. Am I the only one? Some might think it is negative and counterproductive to creating great art, but I feel differently. The challenges are what make me a professional. Obstacles are at every shoot (weddings, corporate, editorial, journalism) and when I acknowledge those as well as hit them head on, I get better and better each time.

While I have never shot a wedding at Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier, I have shot in that space before. It can be a photographer's dream venue as well as one of the most challenging in the city.

Dream: If you are shooting the reception in the late spring, summer or very early fall, the entire space (walls and ceiling) is encased in glass. That means filtered light and no need for flash until the sun sets. Think massive skylight. Think heaven.

Challenge: Because the celling is a million feet high, and is made out of glass, there is no way to bounce the flash off the celling. The flash pops, sends light upward, and the Gods take and run with every ounce of light I just let out. I have spent many years obsessed with artificial lighting. Ok, a few decades. Artificial light can look so awful, and ruin the best moments captured. To me, light (ambient or artificial) is just as important as composition.

So yet again, I had my share of challenges when the sun set. I tinkered with things a bit, played a little and found a sweet spot using bare bulb flash. I still had to adjust accordingly throughout the night as my approach was not fool proof. Really, I enjoy these types of challenges. Well, now I do. If I were new to photography and only knew one way of lighting, I think I would have panicked.

Sometimes my approach becomes so routine that I can go a little too much on auto pilot. Mixing in a challenge like this forced me to truly be present with each image taken and in sync with exactly what the bride and groom, families and wedding guests were doing at every moment and where they stood in relation to each other.

The best part about this situation? I have more arsenal to put in my insurance bank. I love adding to it. And even better, I love drawing upon it, and modifying and growing the insurance bank for future clients.

Thanks Nikki & Matt for a splendid day, and evening, and for teaching me new things!

Enjoy.

Nikki & Matt

May 21, 2011
Ceremony: Holy Name Cathedral
Reception: Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier

bride at palmer house in chicago getting her hair done before her wedding kevin weinstein photography

bride putting her dress on at the palmer house wedding kevin weinstein photography

bride putting veil on at the wedding palmer house in chicago kevin weinstein photography

detail of bride's shoes at the palmer house wedding kevin weinstein

bride putting shoe on palmer house wedding kevin weinstein

bridal bouquet at palmer house wedding kevin weinstein

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bride at holy name cathedral waiting for ceremony kevin weinstein

flower girl walking down aisle at holy name cathedral kevin weinstein

bride at holy name cathedral listening to sermon kevin weinstein

bride groom walking out of holy name cathedral kevin weinstein

detail of wedding ring crystal garden navy pier kevin weinstein

bride groom toasting navy pier crystal garden chicago kevin weinstein

bridal bouquet crystal garden navy pier kevin weinstein

father of bride toast crystal garden navy pier wedding kevin weinstein

bride crying toast wedding navy pier crystal garden chicago kevin weinstein

detail of brie's shoe crystal garden navy pier wedding kevin weinstein

toast at crystal garden navy pier kevin weinstein

bride groom first dance crystal garden navy pier kevin weinstein

wedding dancing crystal garden navy pier kevin weinstein

wedding guests dancing navy pier crystal garden kevin weinstein

Ceremony: Holy Name Cathedral
Reception: Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier
Caterer: Phil Stefani's
Wedding Cake: Luscious Layers Bakery
DJ: DJ Speed
Florist: Ashii Stevens
Makeup: Sonia Roselli
Video: Orange Video Productions
Invitations: Erickson Design
Transportation: Emperor Limo
Host Hotel: Palmer House
Wedding Dress: European Bridal
Wedding Rings: New York Jewelers
Bride's shoes: Aruna Seth
Groom's shoes: Gucci
Groom's suit: Hugo Boss
Groom's shirt and tie: Hugo Boss

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What they Said... [ 6 ]

LOVE THEM!!!

Jun 08, 2011  /  Nikki

Your work is truly artful and masterful! Stunning!

Jun 08, 2011  /  sonia

Thank you for your gracious manner for taking photos of our son’s wedding to such a special lady, our new daughter Niikki.  We really enjoyed the sneak preview, and cannot wait for more.  You are a true artist behind the lens.  Fond memories, Pat and Joanie Liddy

Jun 08, 2011  /  Patrick Liddy

Pat & Joanie.  Thank you for the kind kind words!  It was a pleasure working with you and all families involved.  Stay tuned for the rest of the images!  We hope to have those ready by the end of the month or mid-July at the latest!

Jun 09, 2011  /  Kevin Weinstein

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Best wishes for happiness in your marriage!

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