David and Liana Engagement Dinner

One thing is for sure…there was not a shortage of toasts given at this dinner. It almost seemed like just about every single person who attended the dinner gave a toast, which was quite impressive! David and Liana haven’t done a lot of posing before so we would have a 30 second mini posing lesson before doing each shot. But they were great to work with. The one thing that I had to do was quickly set each shot up so that the lights were in place so that we could get the image and then get them back to their dinner and guests. Overall it was a great time with fantastic food too!

Click ***HERE*** for David and Liana’s full gallery!

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Mark and Mila Engagement

The one nice thing about being out in the suburbs of Chicago is the large selection of locations to shoot…be it a prairie, marsh, forest preserve, or the city itself. You get a nice variety at the Chicago Botanical Gardens where I met up with Mark and Mila. It’s always great working with people who feel comfortable in front of the camera and bring a sort of “natural moment” feel to the images. We used just about every minute of the sun that was available and even a few minutes after it had already disappeared.

**Full Gallery HERE**

Slide Show: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxksrJxynVI&fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0]

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**Full Gallery HERE**


Katie V – Happy Feet

Katie came by and brought some of her dance gear with her. While she dances many different styles, we decided to incorporate her ballet shoes into the photos. Katie had never posed for any kind of studio sessions before so we went over a bit of posing and lighting techniques to get her familiar with how it all goes down. After spending a bit of time indoors in front of a backdrop we headed outside to catch the last bits of daylight to wrap up the day.

***Katie’s Gallery HERE***

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SazFYPZhfAA&fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0]

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Casey and Joe – New Orleans in Chicago

Started off my day by heading out to the Pheasant Run resort and I met with Casey and her bridesmaids in their room as they were getting ready. It was a windy and semi-rainy day with a lot of rain the day before, so the ceremony ended up being moved indoors unfortunately, but everything still went smoothly. Never knew this, but the Pheasant Run has a New Orleans themed area to walk around in and made a great setting for their reception. Getting Casey outside for a few shots was not easy with all the wind, but we worked as fast as possible to get her back in to the reception and she was absolutely fantastic to work with. Her and Joe had a great vibe which made the shoot even more fun!

Casey and Joe’s gallery HERE!

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Katia S – They’re Not Done Yet

Katia showed up and asked for a lot of portrait shots with a tighter crop. Granted she phrased it differently, but I got the direction of what she was looking to do. Typically I like to be a bit more adventuresome and scope out more dramatic poses or scenes, but she really just wanted a few nice and simple shots, so we kept it toned down. The title of this blog entry refers to the fact that just about every day for the two weeks that it took me to process the photos, Katia would check in to see if they were done. So finally the answer is YES! 🙂

Overall she was very eager to get her shots done and arrived with most of her wardrobe in hand. It did take about a minute or so for me to get her to not change poses before I even hit the shutter button as she was ready to go! 🙂 Just wait until you see all the strobes fire before you change poses…otherwise sometimes I’m still framing the image in the viewfinder and she was on her third variation of the pose. On to the photos!!! Assuming anyone reads the text I write, image #5 below may be more on the PG-13 side.

Slide Show:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBxBD6qEyys]

*****Full gallery HERE!*****

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As always, comments, questions, and feedback is welcome…either leave a comment below or email:
mike@novophotography.com
http://novophotography.com


Kranti & Sunavo Engagement Ceremony!

Since this was my first Indian wedding/engagement I decided to do a bit more research to get a better understanding of the different events to look for throughout the day. It began with my second shooter and I arriving at their home for their engagement ceremony. They are planning on having their ceremony in California and then in October, having their wedding reception again in Chicago. So you could consider this a sort of part 1 of 2…the warmup. At their home I got a chance to first meet Sunavo. He was dressed and ready to go, so we started with a few shots before Kranti arrived.

The ceremony itself lasted for quite a while which gave us plenty of time to make our way around the crowd and capture shots from all different angles. In between the ceremony and the dinner we somehow managed to break away from the friends and family and capture a few images of the two of them alone. Every few minutes or so, someone would make their way outside and try chatting with the happy couple and they understandably did their best to accommodate them and still pose for photos.

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Ruth Garcia Gonzalez – Can I Get You Anything?

In just about every shoot I try to do something new. I’m a big believer in trying new ideas constantly and adding them to your knowledge base. It’s easy to go with the same ideas and shots from before that have worked, after all that’s what gets clients in the door, but keeping your signature and doing something new is a risk I like to take. So Ruth and I decided to get up at 4am and head off to the beach to catch the sunrise for some photos. This idea sounds really good when you’re planning it out, but doesn’t sound as appealing when you’re trying to drag yourself out of bed the day of the shoot. Fortunately we managed to get rolling and made it to catch the sun as it came up. Unfortunately this didn’t last too long as a nice storm rolled in.

As I’ve learned in doing wedding photography, you have to adapt to your environment whenever you’re shooting outdoors. So we made use of the rain and Ruth was up for trying just about anything. I had her repeatedly walking in the rain barefoot as you’ll see in one of the images below while I stayed nice and dry underneath a nearby structure and used my telephoto lens 🙂 Once we had a few nice rain shots, we move inside the structure and I set up my strobes to get some more shots. Finally we finished up later indoors with a few portraits. Overall she was great to work with, was up for trying any pose or idea I could toss at her and handled the entire shoot very well for this being her first ever model experience.

Click **HERE** for Ruth’s full gallery!!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yU_7bLLyWHY&hl=en_US&fs=1]

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Click **HERE** for Ruth’s full gallery!!


Molly Pierce – Bring it on…

Every so often you get someone in front of the camera who knows how to work the lens and command their own look. Working with Molly was great…I had an idea, I would explain it, and she would strike the pose without fail. One other thing she’s able to do that many aren’t is to pull different emotions and look good displaying each of them. Some people are better when they smile, others when they have a mean look, and others might do a fantastic sad expression. From what I saw she was able to deliver the different emotions and also switch them at the drop of a hat. Overall great photo experience for me as the photographer and a few new ideas (to me) that I decided to try since we were on a roll. And just in case you’re wondering, yes she really was playing the guitar and singing. But enough chatter. On to the images!

Click HERE for the FULL ALBUM!

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Click HERE for the FULL ALBUM!


Laura Anne Martucci – My First Time

Laura was a bit shy when initially getting in front of the camera and had zero modeling or posing experience. On top of the regular time limits, we were also very limited on wardrobe, with just one of two tops to choose from. Combine that lack of experience, lack of comfort being in front of the lens, and no wardrobe…and you’re in for an interesting challenge 🙂 With Laura I stuck to the basics. I tried to go for more basic poses and expressions and use those to get her more comfortable being in front of the lens for some later shots. So many of the earlier shots have a bit more of the “high school senior photo shoot” feel. If this was a multi day shoot or I had more than a few hours, then we could have gotten more creative, but instead there was a lot of teaching from my end. I’ve picked up from models and other photographers different tactics and techniques that they use to strike a pose or make the shot. I felt that without us practicing the basics, it would have been a lot of confused posing. Another thing I did more than normal was to show Laura the shots as I was taking them. Your average model may fully understand what a reflector is, how the hair light is hitting her, etc…but for someone who has never sat under studio lights this can be a bit overwhelming. Surrounding Laura for most of the indoor shots are 5 lightstands holding lights, reflectors, backdrops, umbrellas, and so on. And to top it off, they are fairly close to her. Explaining what everything is on a basic level and how it works was key for us to break through the ‘newbie’ plateau.

Click HERE for more of Laura’s photos!

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Dlhy/Robinson Wedding…Here’s to you Mrs. Robinson

Now as a second shooter for this wedding, my shooting didn’t start until the ceremony and continued for 6 hours per what the studio contracts me out for. This was my first shoot as a freelance photog for a wedding so I was looking forward to giving it a whirl. I arrived at the church in Clarendon Hills without even another car in the lot. This gave me ample time to snap some shots of the church, setting, background, etc…And shortly after I wrapped up shooting the decor, the limo arrived with all of the groomsmen. Let me just lay out my duties as a second shooter first. I work with the groom’n guys before the ceremony and the first shooter works with the bride and bridesmaids. Then comes the ceremony where we both shoot as many angles as we can. Once the ceremony is complete, I pack up and head to the reception where I take the shots of the table, cake, decor, and then begin setting up my backdrop and lights for the guests to pose for some formal portraits during the cocktail hour. During this time, the first shooter remains with the bridal party for the formals. After dinner the first shooter takes the dance floor and the second shooter gets shots of the tables. That’s the basic layout. So as you go through the photos they may seem to lack certain types of shots since I was not available for them such as the formals and the pre-ceremony bridal shots.

Overall great wedding, the groom, Jim, was great to work with and I tried to make his photo experience as quick and painless as possible before the ceremony since the nerves were there. Once the ceremony was done, the mood seemed to relax a lot and everyone was a lot more relaxed. Great atmosphere and everyone was friendly and happy to pose for photos. Speaking of which…

Click HERE for full gallery!

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