Wedding Photo Blog for Kim + Mike's Springtime Wedding in Downtown Crown Point, IN // Chicago Wedding Photographer // east coast adventure photography
Congratulations to the happy couple Kimberly and Michael Volek! Their ceremony took place at historic St. Mary's church in downtown Crown Point, IN and followed with reception at Villa Cesare. Steve Vansak of Region Weddings along with Chris of Christopher Casson Photography joined me to photograph their wedding day.
It was a cool, sunny spring morning in Crown Point, IN as I arrived at the hotel to meet Kim, the Bride-to-be. Adjusting my tie in the reflection of the elevator, I took a deep breath and calmed my nerves, preparing mentally for the wedding day ahead.
Mike, the groom, happens to be the brother of one of my good friends and fellow artists, Chris Volek. When the news broke that Mike proposed to Kim and were engaged, they entrusted me almost immediately with the job. I'm always overwhelmed with gratitude when a friend refers my business, and knew the wedding would be a great event. Exhaling the thought of any pressure, I knocked on the door and greeted Kim with a big smile and hug.
As the hotel door swung open, I was greeted by the bubbly, beaming faces of several bridesmaids as they walked between rooms getting ready for the day. Joshua, Kim's wedding hairstylist, was busy teasing and brushing Kim's hair as I told her good morning and ran her through the events of the day. The general mood of the morning was very relaxed and calm; quite the opposite of the normal Bridal suite scene that I'm used to. I started making friends with the bride's family and bridesmaids as I unpacked my camera bag and began to assemble my lenses and memory cards, and started to capture the scene around me.
For those who have never seen the interior of St. Mary's church in Crown Point, IN, it truly is beautiful. What a civilian calls "beautiful" a photographer may call "tricky", and so I took a few minutes to survey what kind of lighting situation we would be working with during the ceremony. After all, photographers are absolutely not allowed to use flash during the ceremony, in addition to having to adhere strictly to where we can stand, walk, make noise, etc.
This proved to be an effective lesson for my assistant photographer, Chris as we quickly coordinated our Color Temperatures and White Balance in camera to account for both ambient lighting and the church's stained glass windows, which were casting a bluish glow in every shadow and crease in the building.
The organ started playing as we took our positions in the church. I grabbed my 70-200mm and focused on Mike, the groom, as he anxiously waited to glimpse his bride coming down the aisle. With Chris positioned in the balcony above, and other associate photographer Steve positioned behind me, we were ready to rock and roll all the emotional angles about to take place.
After finishing up family formals at the church, our big wedding group headed outside and opted for photos taken around downtown Crown Point, affectionately referred to by the locals as The Square. The sun started to set westwards, dropping below the towering, patterned red and white ramparts and clock tower of the historic old Lake County courthouse. I framed the wedding party on the green as they posed for a few more photos with my team and I.
After sharing a few more laughs during photos, I dismissed the wedding party to the circling limousine and escorted Kim + Mike to several preselected locations we had in mind. One key I make a priority on the wedding day is to capture as much variety and variation as possible. Greenery, texture, industrial, woods, meadows, urban - they are all ingredients in the mix for a successful collection of completed wedding photographs. Looking for locations are so important when determining the look and feel of the photos.
A nearby alleyway provided subtle leading lines along the exposed brick as well as the welcomed open shade, which provided flattering soft light and glowing skin tones for portraits. Another short walk along Main Street landed us in a well-manicured green space amongst the otherwise concrete-urban downtown. The sun smiled on a small courtyard in back of the businesses and restaurants lining the avenue, and it was as simple as that to settle on our next location for candid portraits with bride and groom.
The wedding reception took place at Villa Cesare in Schererville, and was a night of dinner and dancing as both families joined to celebrate Kim and Mike's marriage to one another. Their cake was easily one of the coolest wedding cakes I've come across and photographed in my career, expressing their love for family through using LEGO figures, lol! DJ and Photobooth services provided by Royal Entertainment kept the party rocking and the energy level raised all night long. I had a great time with everyone and couldn't sing higher praises!
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