Posts Tagged ‘Creative’
Chicago Wedding Photo & video fusion (hybrid) and why do I want it for my wedding photography & videography
What is wedding Photo & video fusion (hybrid) and why do I want it for my wedding day?
Wedding Photo & video Fusion is a very new buzzword in the area of wedding services. photo & video fusion is when one person shoots BOTH wedding photos and wedding videos, using the SAME multi-media camera to shoot BOTH types of media. New HD DSLR technology is what enables one person and one camera to capture BOTH still wedding photos and moving videos BOTH at full resolution without any degradation of either format. If done right, the customer receives great full resolution wedding photos, and a short form wedding video with a 1080P High Definition video highlight edited to music. The picture quality of today’s HD DSLR’s (short for high definition, digital single lens reflex camera) that shoot video, is far superior to the quality of conventional video camcorders even more expensive High definition camcorders. There are some high end wedding videographers who use these high tech cameras just for video. Milestone also uses them for BOTH photo and video on the same wedding by the same “fusion artist” !
Advantages and disadvantages of photo & video fusion (hybrid)
There are a quite few advantages for the wedding couple when they get photo & video fusion (done by an experienced Fusion artist), They include:
- Wedding couples pay less than getting photo and video services from a separate photographer and videographer (with a similar price range for other services)
- It is less obtrusive to have only one person doing both services.
- The new HD DSLR technology gives a better picture quality than a conventional video camera, because of the huge image sensor on today’s DSLR photography and videography cameras. DSLR cameras have image sensors that are between 10 and 15 times larger surface area than conventional video cameras.
- HD DSLR cameras can use a variety of cool photographic lenses to give a different “look” to the video, this advantage was only available to photographers before HD DSLRs could record incredible 1080P high definition video.
- Since HD DSLR cameras have the ability to get a “shallow depth of field look”, so that the wedded couple could be in sharp focus and have everything in the background out of focus. This yields a great “cinematic look” to the video.
- Since HD DSLRs get better low light performance than conventional video cameras, the “fusion artist” will either not need a video light, or a use a video light that is of a lower wattage than would be used for a conventional videography
- Since the “fusion artist” is shooting photos and videos at different times, the flash that the photographer uses wont be used (during video recording) and there will be no annoying flash during the wedding video. (except when a guest takes a photo with flash)
- Since there is only one person recording media, there is no problem with another media person (photographer or videographer) getting in the other person’s way.
- Only one person to feed at the reception and one person who takes up less space at a small reception or in a small limousine.
Some of today’s latest technology Digital single lens reflex cameras (HD DSLRs) include the Canon 5Dmark II, Canon 7D, Nikon D7000 and Nikon D5100. These hybrid cameras look exactly like regular professional photography cameras, These Photo cameras can shoot incredible High definition 1080P video at better quality than any portable video camera available today.
The drawback to using an DSLR versus a regular video professional camcorder is the DSLR can have limits to the record time (of individual clips). The Canon 5Dmark II can only shoot for 10 minutes at a time per clip. The Nikon D5100 and D7000 has a limit of 20 minutes per clip. Once the 20 minute clip is shot, the camera’s recording must be stopped in order to record more 10 or 20 minute (or shorter length) clips. With conventional video cameras, most cameras can record as many (longer than 20 minutes) clips until the tape or other media is filled. This means that shooting video fusion means shooting shorter clips and not shooting an entire ceremony, just the important parts that a wedding couple would want. However if there is also an unmanned professional High definition camera used that camera will record the whole ceremony. Milestone Photo and Video uses a separate HD camcorder for longer record times.
Another small disadvantage of shooting HD video with a DSLR is that they get lower sound quality than conventional video camcorders. Also since the “fusion artist” is also shooting photos and is rotating the camera to shoot verticals and horizontals makes it difficult to hook up wireless microphones to the HD SLR for better sound.
Milestone understands both the pervious disadvantages and they can be eliminated by using a separate unmanned High definition conventional video camera that records continuously. These cameras use better audio circuitry to record the sound for the wedding video. By using a separate conventional camcorder to record the sound and using it to get the longer (longer than 10 to 20 minutes) record time, the customer gets the best of both worlds. They record longer footage than HD DSLR’s alone, and they get better sound recording quality on a camcorder made for that purpose. Milestone Photo and video uses this technique to make a video with the picture quality of a HD DSLR and better record time and sound quality of a conventional HD professional video camcorder.
What to look for in a company offering photo & video fusion.
Milestone Photo & Video is one of the first companies in the USA to offer Photo & Video fusion. We did our first photo & video fusion wedding video in December of 2008 upon the introduction of the first DSLR camera that also shoot video, the Nikon D90. The quality of the video that DSLRs shoot has come a long way since the D90 and Milestone has grown with the technology and has purchased the best in fusion HD DSLR equipment. We now use an unmanned professional High Definition camera on a tripod and wire the groom for sound feeding that camera. We can also use additional high definition mini camera mounted in strategic locations to get other angles of the ceremony on occasion. The customer receives all the photos taken on DVD, a video DVD of the wedding video. This consists of a short tightly edited wedding video edited to the couples chosen song. They also receive all of the footage that the “fusion artist” shot edited in order with chapters on the DVD. The customer also gets a photo montage of the best wedding photos. Also they also get an outdoor engagement photo session, 13″x19″ print and leather 60 image album.
All of Milestone’s “fusion artists” have successfully shot many, many, wedding videography and photography jobs. We are not just a photographer who shoots a little video from time to time. Or a videographer who shoots a few stills. We pay attention to both medias and shoot video candid events and switch between photo and video constantly. We have the capability to shoot 16 megapixels of great photo detail and flip a switch and shoot great 1080P video in incredible quality. While shooting photos the fusion artist must me thinking “what video shots am I missing by shooting photos. While shooting video the fusion artist must also be thinking “what photos am I missing?” The work of a fusion artist is never done, Both photo and video can not be done at the same time but can be switched in a split second. Some still photos are also incorporated into the wedding video. We do shoot full resolution still photos of all posed shots. The number of photos shot by our “fusion artists” is similar to the number you would get with a conventional wedding photographer. The length of the total video footage ranges from 25 minutes to 75 minutes depending on the length of the ceremony and number of events in the day.
Previous wedding videographers shooting fusion?
There are some companies who previously shot wedding video only, who have purchased a DSLR (for video purposes) and want to offer photo & video fusion as well because their camera can shoot photos too. I have seen their work, and I was disappointed with the still photos they shoot. These companies do not know how to pose the bride and groom like a still wedding photographer, and they usually make the still photos from moving video. These generated stills are only 2.5 to 3 mega pixels and can not be blown to 4″x6″ without degradation. These videographers do not understand how to use flash, shutter speed and great photo lenses (or how to correct all the photos in photoshop) as well as a certified Milestone fusion artist. Only a professional Milestone photographer and videographer who has shot many photo AND video jobs can properly shoot a photo and video fusion wedding.
Previous wedding photographers shooting fusion?
There also are some companies who previously shot photography only and now have a DSLR that also shoot High definition video and they think they can do photo video fusion as well. I have also seen their work. Although their photos look great because they are a wedding photographer, and know how to pose. In this case the video is lacking, these previous photographers forget to get the great candid moments on video and shoot more photos instead. They do not have a second unmanned camera with high end wireless mics to get great sound. Additionally they do not have the video editing experience (or equipment) to do an incredible job on editing a great video highlight. Milestone has edited over 1000 wedding highlights over the years, and we know how to evoke emotion with our creative editing style.
Only Milestone photo & video’s “fusion artists” know how to properly balance shooting photography and videography keeping in mind the advantages as well as limitations of this new HD DSLR technology. We know how to get great still photos and video without sacrificing anything. Milestone’s photo & video fusion customers get the “best of both worlds” with our fusion package. This package is $1899 and is quite a deal when you consider all you get. It is only $500 more than just getting wedding photography from Milestone photo and video.
Cafe La Cave Banquet hall.
Milestone Photo and video has done many wedding at the Cafe La Cave Banquet hall. Randy Sutter has been instrumental in making his couple’s dreams come true. We at milestone Photo and video share that vision in satisfying our customers. We received the wedding wire brides choice award for 2011 based on being in the upper 5% in customer satisfaction. We are highly experienced Chicago wedding photographer and videographer.
One of the most popular and celebrated wedding locations in all of Chicagoland, La Cave banquets truly provides a beautiful and sophisticated setting for your once-in-a-lifetime event.
With a stylistic decor and setting of unmatched beauty, La Cave banquets is the ideal place for your enchanted wedding reception and intimate dream ceremony. With the unique attention to detail La Cave banquets can customize your wedding in many different ways.
Come experience our exquisite hospitality.
We promise to make your wedding unforgettable.
As a family owned business we would like to extend our most gracious welcome to the La Cave Banquets, located in the Chicago land area. Here you will take a magical journey into a fairy tale era of utter opulence.
La Cave Banquets has stood for the very best in cuisine, service and the attention to every detail for a successful celebration. Our guests have come to appreciate and expect the personalized attention, cordial service and quality of food La Cave is well known for.
You will experience the glamour from the moment your guests make their entrance into a soaring gilded lobby that recalls all the splendor of Versailles. Feast, dance and romance among ballrooms resplendent with our sparkling chandeliers and exquisite detailing.
Let us make your dreams come true.
- Gus Sutter
- Randy Sutter
- Kimberly Sutte
The following wedding video highlight has the reception at the Cafe La Cave.The package at Milestone photo and video that give you a highlight is $1399 Check out our prices for video at: Milestone
The Following wedding highlights are “Fusion” highlights. This means the Milestone photographer actually shoots video at the same time as photos and he can make a wedding video highlight while the same photographer is also shooting video as well. We charge $1899 for shooting unlimited photography and you also receive a highlight wedding video as well as the rest of the footage with chapter points and menus, Check out prices here.
Questions for engaged couples to ask a Chicago wedding Photographer.
- Does your wedding photographer allow you to keep and own (on DVD) all the photos he shoots? Milestone does with every package (even short day). Some wedding photography companies have hidden charges or have minimum orders (some as high as $3000) for the couple to own the photos on DVD.
- Does your wedding photographer correct in Photoshop all the photos he takes? Many times the photo a bride likes best is considered a reject by the photographer. Milestone does not assume what you will like and they correct AND provide all the photos that the Chicago wedding photographer takes.
- Does your wedding photographer create Jpeg files in 2 RESOLUTIONS? Having your photos in 2 resolutions has the best of both worlds. Use the large files for making prints that are over 8″x10″. Use the smaller files for quick viewing, archiving, emailing, slow computers, situations where hard drive space is at a premium. Milestone gives you photos in 2 resolutions, no one I know of else does.
- Does you wedding photographer make you order all the wedding photos off their website? (TRICK QUESTION) When you order from THEIR website the wedding photo company can charge any price they want for reprints. Check their price range per photo (8×10′s for $8-$12) and compare with the completive prices at Wal-mart (8×10′s for $2) and Shutterfly. Milestone Photo and video allows the bridal couple to post the photos anywhere they want for the most completive prices for reorders. We require that you list Milestone as the photographer on your shutterfly page to give us photo credit.
- Does your photographer include a video photo montage on DVD of the best 150 to 300 photos set to music? Milestone includes a wedding DVD of the best photos that the photographer took during your wedding day set to music with chapters and menus.
- Is your Photographer experienced with taking wedding photos at your particular church or reception hall? Check out our photo gallery, it is arranged alphabetically by reception hall.
- Is you wedding photographer capable of shooting different styles of photography? IE: Traditional posed, Avant-garde posed, corny/cheezy posed, semi-posed, still life, Dramatic/deep focus, photojournalist.
- Does your wedding photographer charge extra for stops along the way between the ceremony and the reception? Milestone will go to up to 7 locations through out the day.
- Does your photographer experiment with all types of lighting techniques? Many other photographers use just one lighting technique for all situations. Basic flash for all photos makes for boring and flat looking photos. Or I have seen some who shoot with existing light for all photos, which looks cool and natural sometimes, but at other times can be grainy and unflattering on older people. Milestone uses many types of lighting techniques, IE: on camera flash (with diffuser), bounce flash, existing light, existing light with fill flash and Flash backlighting which has a halo of light surrounding the bride and groom.
- Does your photographer allow your guests to shoot their own photos during a wedding photo session? Many of the largest companies in Chicagoland (that charge extra for wedding photographs) do not allow guests to shoot over the photographer’s shoulder. Milestone will allow other photographers to shoot the same poses.
- Does your photographer do research on the internet to find out what are the newest, cutest and most innovative poses out there? Milestone does this research and we bring examples with us printed up to show the bridal party how to pose on some of the more innovative and complicated poses that we do.
- Does your photographer use flash diffusers to mellow the harsh flash and make wrinkles, pimples and lines look less noticeable? Milestone uses the Gary Fong Lighsphere light diffuser and the Lumiquest 80/20 diffuser.
- Can your photographer take extra shots of young children while they are behaving, and photoshop those children’s photos into group shots for posed shots that the child was not present for? (or was misbehaving during a photo session) Milestone does this often and this can be seen on our website galleries
- Does your photographer have a super-wide fisheye lens that can take ultra-wide 180 degree photographs or entire rooms? Milestone is equipped with several of these lenses that can distort reality, let leave people looking normal and not fat. We have a gallery dedicated to this type of extreme creative wide angle shot.
- Does your photographer have the ability to bring different height stools to layer people for photographs of large groups. This is important at reception halls that have no stairs. Milestone has these stools. Just let us know if there is no stair case.
- Does your Photographer know the area with (26 years wedding experience) of your wedding or reception an will he be able to suggest a cool outdoor photo location between the ceremony and reception?
- Does your wedding photographer shoot the posed altar photos in “Camera RAW” for better quality? This enables his pictures to have more dynamic range, ability to blow up and crop, and the ability to change exposure by a full 3 f-stops. Milestone uses camera RAW for posed altar photos.
- Does your Chicago wedding photographer give a large discount when you also book videography from the same company? Milestone discounts combining photo and video by $100 off the top. Then Milestone video will include a free unmanned second video camera a $150 value!
- Does your wedding photographer shoot a free OUTDOOR engagement photo session? an outdoor engagement photo session will look more natural and modern than an old fashioned portrait in front of a background in a studio. We shoot these at Lilacia park in Lombard or Churchill woods forest preserve.
- What is the size of the provided print of the engagement photo that the wedding photographer makes. The bigger the photo the better. Milestone prints the largest engagement picture and mat for signing at the reception . Our print is 19″x 13″ and the black sign able mat is 20″x30″.
- Is your Photographer equipped with plenty of back-up camera bodies, lenses and flashes?
Copyright 2011 By Robert M. Busch and Milestone Photo & Video All rights reserved. No Part of this article my be used without written permission from Robert M. Busch.
Tips on how to plan a time efficient and cost cutting wedding to get the most our of your time and money.
- Make an itinerary on what is happening on your wedding day, make this schedule realistic and make sure there is enough time to do all the things on the list. This schedule should be given to all your vendors. If you can’t keep to the schedule don’t fret it is just a guideline to know what activities are important to you.
- Find a reception hall that is somewhat close to your church and possibly also near an outdoor photography location too (see our other blogs). This way all the locations will be quick to get to and a lot of time is not wasted on traveling from one place to another. This will same on some gas and limo service as well.
- Don’t cut corners with your only two records from this most important wedding day. Wedding Photography and wedding videography are your only record of the day.
- Do a (practice) drive from one location to another on the same day of the week as your wedding day. This will give you a guideline for how long it takes to get from one location to another. Use this information in your itinerary and invitation.
- Consider hiring wedding vendors that offer multiple services. Many companies offer big discounts on booking multiple wedding services on the same day at the same location. Milestone offers $250 in savings a for couples who book BOTH wedding photography and wedding videography on the same date.
- Shop for your reception hall on a Saturday during the normal wedding season. Dress properly for a wedding and you can check out these halls like a guest. Take a look in the rooms and see how they are decorated and how the food is served.
- Have a tasting at the hall on an actual wedding day to see how the actual food will taste. Bring others to have then give their opinion on the taste of the food.
- Consider writing and printing your own invitations. You must use expensive paper or parchment to give an expensive look.
- Wedding consultants and planners are great for organizing your wedding day, however they can be expensive. Some consultants require a “kick-back” from the vendors that they recommend. These “kick-back” consultants should be avoided because they should recommend vendors based solely on the vendors service quality not a “kick-back”. Consider hiring a less expensive “day of” wedding consultant. They will help with making an itinerary and getting things to run smoothly on your important wedding day. Another idea is have a friend who previously had a well-run and memorable wedding be your guide. She will make YOUR wedding day just a well-run and memorable. Friends have some great suggestions.
- Make a note of what romantic songs are important to you. That way you can make good suggestions to your DJ, band or videographer on what music to use on your most important wedding day. DJs play an average of 45 songs during an average wedding reception, so choose wisely.
- Make sure your wedding photographer allows you to keep and own your wedding photographs on DVD. Some wedding photography companies require that the couple order a certain amount of photographs (sometimes $3,000 worth) for the couple to have full rights and a DVD of the corrected wedding photographs.
- Consider having your wedding on a Sunday or Friday instead of a Saturday which is more popular. Also consider having your wedding in a slow month between November and April. Having your wedding on these less demanding times will earn you 10% discount for an off season or Sunday/Friday wedding. To save even more have your wedding on a weekday. This can save you up to 40% as well. Also your guests will have less conflicts when your wedding is the only one on a certain day. Milestone Photo and Video has offered may discounts for this in the past.
- If you are having trouble affording Limousines, consider hiring the limo starting AFTER the ceremony and having them just drive you to the reception and the service would finish at the beginning of the reception. Limiting the amount of time of the limo service (and the mileage) will lower the price of the service. The photographer will still have to limo for photos after the ceremony and at the reception.
- For a great way to entertain your guests at the reception consider showing a photo montage of old photos of the bride and groom growing up over the years at the wedding reception. This can be presented on a monitor during the cocktail hour or projected on a big screen during dinner. Milestone can do a montage and show it during the reception
- Send a “save the date” pre-invite card out before the actual invitation. This will make sure that your guests will reserve your wedding date BEFORE they receive your formal invitation. These “save the date” cards consist of a 4″x6″ photo usually an engagement photo of the couple and the date of the future wedding they should be sent about 9 months before the wedding date. Milestone Photo and video has made some great “save the date” cards in the past for a nominal charge.
- Consider picking out bridesmaids dresses that don’t look like obvious bridesmaids dresses. That way your bridesmaids will feel more comfortable and they can wear their investment on another occasion saving your bridesmaids money on clothing.
- Don’t plan your wedding on Super bowl Sunday or other day that may distract your guests or cause them not to show because of a date conflict.
- Instead of an expensive photo booth, have your photographer bring a separate photographer who only shoots portraits and group shots all over the reception and prints the photos at the reception just like a photo booth. Milestone can provide this service as well.
- Portillo’s makes great chocolate Chicago wedding cake. This cake is much less expensive than other wedding cake alternatives. You will need several Portillo’s chocolate bunt cakes depending on the number of guests at your wedding.
- You do not need to pay (directly) for a meal for your wedding vendors (photographer, videographer, DJ). You need to tell you hall that you have 2 or 3 vendors that need to eat but don’t include them in your guest count. On the wedding date these vendors will take the meals or places of your no-shows. In the event of all people showing the hall should still be aware that these vendors need to eat and they should be able to accommodate these vendors.
- A lot of time is wasted getting guests from ceremony to the reception. Consider moving the wedding ceremony to the reception site. This is especially good for couples who do not regularly attend church or are not very religious or are short on time for their wedding. Rev. Phil Landers, of I do weddings a professional wedding reverend, can be a perform a scripted and personalized wedding ceremony that the guests will remember.
- For your honeymoon trip, book an all inclusive package so there are to surprise charges for room and food.
- DJs charge much less than Bands, and do a better job of keeping the wedding well structured. Bands offer a more personalized service, but choose one that gets things done according to your itinerary.
- If the couple likes the look of chair covers that cost as much as $6 per chair. Try to find a reception hall that will throw it in as a bonus.
- To save money on a sign in book; hire a photographer who provides a free sign in Engagement photo that the guests sign around the edge of the engagement photo. Milestone makes an 19″x13″ engagement photo mounted on a 20″x30″ black matt that guests sign with gold and silver pens.
Copyright 2011 By Robert M. Busch and Milestone Photo & Video All rights reserved. No Part of this article my be used without written permission from Robert M. Busch.
How to look your best in your wedding day photographs.
- Have the photographer shoot posed photos in the shade because the direct sun can give extra wrinkles. On a sunny day shoot wedding posed shots with the sun behind you or in the shade. “Milestone Photo” photographers always look for shade or create it with a fold up diffuser.
- Don’t have a friend do photography or videography at your wedding. You want them to enjoy themselves and they will be distracted by all of their friends at your wedding. If they do not do a good job, it may also get in the way of your friendship. Always trust a professional who does not know people there and won’t be distracted by your guests.
- Have the photographer shoot the posed photos in “Camera RAW” (instead of using Jpeg for posed photos) which enables the photographer to have better dynamic range and exposure. Milestone photo and video shoots posed photos in camera RAW whenever possible for the best quality wedding photographs possible.
- Do not chew gum in photos. You will look like you are chewing gum in photos.
- Do not over tan yourself for your wedding. You still want to look like YOU.
- Find out the rules of the church before you book them for a wedding. Churches that do not allow flash to be used during the wedding, or restrict the amount of time for photographs after the wedding, should be avoided.
- Look through bridal magazines and websites and determine what types of wedding photos you like most. If you like corny-cheesy posed shots or modern avant-garde shots or traditional old fashioned posed photos, (or just candid) tell (and show) the photographer what types of shots you like best. Photographers don’t always know what you like till you tell them.
- Have a professional makeup artist and Hair stylist for your wedding day for the bride, bridesmaids, mother of bride and others who would benefit. Give extra time for this because stylists can be late. They will give you a more dramatic look than the everyday look you get when doing your own makeup. Covering tattoos and zits is a specialty of many makeup artists.
- Have a bridesmaid armed with matching makeup to do touch ups through out the day.
- Do not have too large of bangs that hang down on your face. This is because this can cause shadows on your face that are not seen when you look in the mirror. Check your hairstyle and makeup in all types of lighting.
- Hire a wedding photographer who a variety lighting techniques. You don’t want all your photos to look the same. Get a photographer who does bounce flash, existing lighting, flash assisted existing light, direct flash, flash backlighting. If all the photographers photographs look flat and don’t have a natural look, he is using direct flash only. There are some photographers who shoot without a flash at all (existing light only). This is not a good idea because while some existing light photos look great. However taking only existing light photographs can be grainy and can be unflattering in harsh light. You want a variety of lighting techniques like Milestone Photo and video. We use many different flash techniques all day long.
- Do your makeup under the same light as you will be seen. I.E. If it is a daytime wedding with a lot of natural light at the reception, you would apply makeup under similar lighting. Having a night time wedding you would apply makeup under indoor looking lighting.
- Do a practice of how to bustle the wedding dress before the wedding day. I have seen dozens of brides who did not know how to bustle the dress until the wedding day and it wasted an hour of the wedding figuring it out . If the bride and friends cant figure it out the bride will have to carry the train around the whole reception.
- Have a sewing kit with scissors/needles/safety pins on hand with both Black and white thread (and bridesmaid’s color too) to fix last minute wardrobe malfunctions in your wedding photos.
- Carry “Tide” or “shout” stain wipes or even baby wipes to get any stains out of dresses and tuxedos. Be careful getting in and out of the limo watch for door grease.
- If pictures are shot at the bride’s house before the wedding, make sure the flowers are delivered to the brides house (not the church) so the photographer can use the flowers for the bride’s photos at the house.
- The tradition of the groom not seeing the bride before the wedding is outdated and is an Arabic tradition. Shooting photos of the bride and groom together before the wedding, gets things out of the way and makes more time for enjoying the celebration of the party after the wedding. There is a lot of things that can get done sooner when this old and foreign tradition is ignored.
- Get a dress that matches and flatters your figure type. Consider buying a custom dress made just for you by a quality company like Priscilla of Boston in Oak Brook Terrace IL. (On 22nd street 2 blocks west of Oak Brook Mall)
- Pick a bridesmaid dress color that is flattering to a majority of the bridesmaids. If some don’t look good in that color, consider multi color brides maid dresses.
- Do not concern yourself with things you can’t change like the weather or who shows up. Just relax and enjoy the day. When you are happy, you will look happy in the wedding photographs.
- Don’t get distracted during photos sessions. If you try to micromanage during the photo session, you might be looking elsewhere instead of looking at the wedding photographers lens.
- Consider a reception hall that has stairs to layer people for large group photographs. Stairs can layer up to 100 people in one great photograph.
- Hire a photographer who shoots engagement photos. You need to practice the various poses for your wedding day. Your photographer will instruct you on the poses during your engagement shots. After looking at the engagement shots you will know which poses look best for you and your future spouse. Milestone photo and video shoots engagement photos with all full day packages.
- Hire a photographer who corrects and provides ALL the photos he takes. You may prefer one of the photographers rejects. Milestone corrects and provides all photos. Couples get to keep all photos with all packages with Milestone!
- If there is time and weather permitting, consider going to an outdoor location that is designed for wedding photography. See our other blogs to find a suitable outdoor or indoor wedding photo location.
- Consider a reception hall that has a gazebo or small picturesque outdoor area so you won’t have to go elsewhere for cool outdoor photographs during the reception.
- DO not schedule your wedding on super bowl Sunday, or other date when your guests may be distracted by the game.
Copyright 2011 By Robert M. Busch and Milestone Photo & Video All rights reserved. No Part of this article my be used without written permission from Robert M. Busch.
Worth Metro Water Reclamation District.
Worth Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, Worth IL. It is located at 115th & Harlem just of the bridge on the east side. This place is awesome, it is free to use for wedding photographers in Chicago, you just need to call 312-751-5600 and get permission to shoot there. There are several bridges, several layers of water falls, and many weeping willow trees. There is also a building that has posts and a cool vanishing point in the shade. PROS: Free use, waterfalls, not used as much as other places, it ahs many places to shoot with waterfalls, lakes, trees and bridges as scenery. This is a great place for a Chicago wedding photographer to shoot wedding photos in the sounth Chicago suburbs. Cons: none Check out: http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Georgios_Orthodox/ and http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Garden_Chalet/
Oak Lawn City Hall Gazebo
Oak Lawn City Hall (Gazebo), Oak Lawn IL. Oak lawn city hall is located just north of 95th street at 9446 South Raymond avenue, Oak Lawn IL. The actual Gazebo is right behind the City Hall. Please call 708-636-4400 for info on permission to shoot here. I love this place, though it is not very popular so you won’t have to fight the crowds to shoot here. I took this picture around Christmas and it looked awesome. There is a large field lined with bushes and at one end, a huge gazebo, decorated with Christmas lights! PROS: Gazebo is great for shade, Located right by 95th street, Christmas lights lend a mood for night shots. I do not think there is a fee to shoot there. CONS: Not alot of shade aside from the gazebo: check out the photos athttp://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/
Lake Katherine Palos Heights IL, It is located off Route 83 at:7402 Lake Katherine Drive Palos Heights, IL For permission to shoot there call (708) 361-1873 there is a $75 fee to shoot there. Lake Katherine is a great place to shoot Chicago wedding photography in the south Chicago suburbs. It features Gardens, a great multi-stage waterfall, wooded areas. a bridge and some nice shady areas. PROS: Shady, waterfall, beautiful flowers, grassy areas. CONS: It costs $75 to shoot there. Chcek out Milestone photo and video’s photos there http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g114/
Fabyan Forest Preserve Geneva:1925 S. Batavia Ave. (RTE 25) Geneva IL. Fabian Forrest preserve is on the eastern banks of the scenic Fox River in Geneva. This pretty yet Unknown park features Scenic views of the Fox River and mini lighthouse, trees, shade, huge lawns, a bridge over the river and a beautiful restored Windmill built in 1875 and (featured on a famous stamp) that really works and you can even explore its workings. Pros: Shade, River views, Beautiful Lawns, Windmill is one of the nicest in Chicagoland, Undiscovered site has very few others taking pictures (no waiting) Cons: Long walk to picture area.
Philips Park Aurora
Philips Park is located at 901 ray moses drive Aurora IL. Philips park is a multi use park that has a zoo, golf course and sunken gardens.Thease sunken gardens are beautiful and are quite famous. However there is no shade there, so shooting on a sunny day can be tough to put people in the shade. This park can be better on a cloudy day. Pros: Cool location for photos with great flowers. Cons: no shade, possible fee for shooting.
Boy Scout Island, Saint Charles IL. It is located on the east side of route 31, about a half-mile north of North Avenue in Saint Charles IL. Boy scout Island is a peninsula that is used to launch boats on the Fox River in Saint Charles IL. This peninsula juts into the water to enable some great River views with the pretty and scenic views of the town of Saint Charles in the background of the river. This spot is beautiful at dusk as the lights of downtown Saint Charles glimmer and dance in the reflection on the water. Hotel Baker a beautiful hotel just south of the peninsula, it has similar views with a tiny Gazebo right on the edge of the water. Pros: Great river and city views, no fees, Cons: Small parking lot, not a lot of versatility with just the river view.
Island Park, Geneva Park District. Is located at Routes 25 & 38 in Geneva IL. Island Park is a peninsula that extends south of Roosevelt road and is between two tributaries of the Fox River. This park has many trees, flowers, ducks and beautiful river views. And there is a view of the Roosevelt avenue waterfall north of the bridge. Pros: Versatile place with many views of river, flowers, trees,; Lots of shade. Cons: park on Roosevelt and walk quite a ways to the pretty places for photos.
The most important decision that someone can make when purchasing a digital Camcorder is. What digital format should I get? Mini DV? HD SLR? DVD-R? Hard Drive? Flash Media? HDV? ACVHD? Which is best for a Chicago wedding videographer? I will help to explain which format is best for different uses. What would be best for one user is not best for all. Please read below to compare recording formats.
MINI DV camcorders:
The earliest digital recording medium. 6MM matchbook size tape cost $3 for a one hour tape. Record time 60 minutes Standard SP speed 90 minutes LP speed. Camera cost range: $250-$3000. Designed for someone who wants to shoot video to be edited later (Maybe months or years later) on a non-linear editing system IE: Imovie, windows movie maker & Adobe Premiere. The footage is digitized into Imovie by hooking the camera up to the IEEE 1394 “Firewire” connector on a computer and digitized onto a hard drive on the computer in real time.
Advantages: Oldest Digital recording format yields the most compatible equipment and software for editing. Highest quality picture and sound (in standard resolution) least compression than the other recording formats. There is not signal loss when digitizing mini DV footage. Lower battery drain because the tape drive uses less power than DVD-R and Hard Drive units. Easy and inexpensive archival of footage IE: The tapes are inexpensive and they do not need to be re-used for another shoot. With other formats (like Hard Drive recording) the media in the camera is reused and the footage must be archived before editing (or re-shooting on the reusable media) can commence.
Disadvantages: The tape must be played on the camera itself to watch the footage, unlike DVD-R cameras. The tape has to be digitized in real time IE: 1 hour of footage takes 1 hour to digitize into the hard drive of the computer. You have to pay $3 for camera tapes; record time is either 1-hour in Standard Play or 90 minutes on Long Play. The picture quality is the same for both record lengths, but Long Play gets a glitch during edits done in camera.
Bottom Line: Mini DV is great for someone who is going to edit their work and they do not have to archive the footage elsewhere if editing is not going to commence soon. People who do video for a living or can’t edit stuff right away and work on more than one project at a time will like mini DV. Most Professional videograohers who shoot wedding videography use Mini DV or the next category HDV Mini DV. This is the norm in Chicago, New York, L.A. and most of Illinois and the Midwest.
HDV Mini DV Camcorders:
HDV is a high definition version of mini DV. The cameras range from $950 to $9,000 for a high end pro model. HDV cameras can shoot on standard mini DV or HDV High Definition using a more expensive special Mini DV tape that costs $13 to $20 as opposed to the $3 tape that mini DV uses. The Camera shoots a special version of high definition that is compressed using “MPEG2” compression that allows 4 times the resolution of a high Definition signal to use the same 25 megabytes per second data rate that standard mini DV uses. There are several Professional camcorders from Sony, Cannon and JVC that shoot HDV on a mini DV tape they range in price from $2600 to $9000
Advantages: Same as mentioned for Mini DV, The picture is quality is better and is more compatible with editing systems than “ACVHD” (a different version of compressed High Definition). HDV footage can be converted to standard resolution for viewing or standard editing. HDV footage can be converted to either HDcam, HD DVD or Blu-Ray DVD so it is the most compatible or the High Definition formats and editing systems.
Disadvantages: Uses more expensive tape than Mini DV. The cameras are more expensive than “ACVHD” high definition camcorders. Battery drain is more than mini DV but is still less than Hard Drive and DVD-R cameras. All high definition cameras (HDV included) are worse in low light than standard definition cameras because they have more pixels (4 times more) sharing the same amount of light coming through the lens. Editing HDV footage puts more strain on the computer, so there are more technical problems on computers that edit HDV footage, many times computes must be upgraded to edit HDV footage. In order to enjoy the footage in full high definition you must burn either a Blu-ray or HD DVD Disc and both the burners and the blank discs are pretty pricey.
The Bottom Line: HDV Cameras are for the professional or serious video consumer who wants to “future proof” his camera purchase and be compatible with high definition technology. The purchaser should bring extra lights for High Definition shoots because the camera needs more light. Milestone Photo and video an expert wedding videographer in Chicago uses HDV.
Hard Drive Camcorders (HDD)
Hard Drive Cameras are a newer technology than Mini DV. They range from $400 to $1500. The Hard Drive camera replaces the tape drive of the Mini DV with an 8 Gigabyte to 80 Gigabyte non-removable hard drive for recording. These cameras don’t require media because you reuse a built in hard drive every time you shoot video. When you want to edit a your footage, you hook a USB2 cable to the camera from your editing computer and transfer the footage into the computer’s hard drive at 4 times “real time” or you can edit using the built in hard drive on the camera. These camcorders can shoot at different quality levels. On a 30-gigabyte camcorder, you can shoot 7 hours of High quality footage, 15 hours at standard quality & 37 hours at economy quality. Some hard drive cameras can also shoot on High Definition as well. These cameras are knows as “AVCHD” which is yet another compressed version of High Definition that uses “MPEG 4” which is a lower quality type of compression than the previously mentioned “HDV”. More about “AVCHD” later.
Advantages: variable quality levels variable record times. Some of these cameras can do simple editing without a computer connected. The record time without changing tapes is the longest. You can shoot a 12-hour concert without changing tapes or missing a beat. No discs or tapes to buy for a shoot. Footage is transferred to an editing non-linear computer editor at four times “real time” or better (on lower quality settings).
Disadvantages: Since you are re-using the record media for every shoot, once you have used up the camera’s internal hard drive, you cannot record any more footage until the internal camera hard drive is transferred to another hard drive for archiving. If the editing session is delayed for months the footage must take up valuable space on the hard drive of the editors computer. There is no non-volatile archive of the footage like tape based shooting (mini DV) If the camera is bumped while recording, the hard drive can “crash” which may ruin all the footage that is recorded on the internal hard drive on the camera. The battery drain is worse than Mini DV, Mini DV HDV & flash memory but is better than DVD-R
Bottom Line: Consumer or hobbyists who want to record long programs without interruption, and are only working on one project at a time will like Hard Drive Camcorders. It would be nice if the hard drive on these cameras was switchable by the camcorder’s user to make it easier to archive footage since hard drives are getting cheaper and cheaper. Alas these camcorders require a technician to replace a hard drive. There are some external professional hard drive units that can attach to mini DV camera’s “firewire” connector to make a camera be both a Mini DV camera and hard drive camera that gives those cameras the best of both worlds.
Flash Memory Camcorders: SD, Compact Flash, Memory Stick, P2 cards
These are the, smallest, newest and most robust technology for camcorders available. Although HD SLRs use flash memory too, I treat them separate below because they are quite a different animal. They range from $60 all the way up to $12000 for the newest High Definition Flash memory pro camera from Sony and Panasonic and RED. The recording device of these camcorders is flash memory, identical to the memory used in consumer digital camcorders. This solid-state chip records footage digitally similar to (previously mentioned) hard drive. This chip has no moving parts and the data is not lost when the re-usable media is removed from the camera and replaced with a fresh card. Secure Digital (SD Card), compact Flash or Memory Stick are the most popular types of cards used. Since flash cards (at the time of this article) can be up to 32 gigabytes (cost of an 8 gig card $85) the record time is less than with hard drive cameras (also they usually compress the video more to fit more data). They are loaded into a computer for editing much like a digital camera loads photos. Once the footage is in the non-linear editing computer the card may be erased and reused to shoot something else. The media is reused similar to a Hard drive Camera except the media can be switched with a blank memory card when blank media runs out. Some flash memory cameras can also shoot on High Definition as well. These cameras are knows as “AVCHD” which is yet another compressed version of High Definition that uses “MPEG 4” which is a lower quality type of compression than the previously mentioned “HDV”. More about “AVCHD” later.
Advantages: This technology makes it possible to make the smallest and most robust camcorders possible. Similar to hard drive cameras these cameras have variable quality levels variable record times. The advantage over hard drive camcorders is that flash Media camcorder’s record media is user replaceable, so multiple SD cards can be used to archive footage, with hard drive camcorders you can’t switch hard drives. Also you can either transfer footage into a computer using the camera and a USB 2 cable or you can put the actual secure digital card into a fast card reader for lightning fast transfer into a computer. Since the chip has no moving parts it has the least battery drain of all camcorders; sharply hitting the camera while recording cannot cause the flash memory chip to “crash” like on a hard drive. This is the most robust of all recording media but the cost per gigabyte (or minute) is the highest. Some of these flash memory units can also do some simple editing without a computer. Some expensive plasma TVs have a slot for flash media, some units can play video directly from the flash memory onto the plasma screen. The price of flash memory is dropping faster than the cost of hard drive memory, so media will cost much less in a year or so.
Disadvantages: These cameras use expensive reusable memory that must be purchased before using the camera; unlike hard drive camcorders that come with the hard drive media included. The price of an 8-gigabyte memory card is $84 and it will record at the highest quality for about 3 hours and the lowest quality for 15 hours. Because the reusable media must be archived on the editors computer; that means the if editing session is delayed for months, the footage must take up valuable space on the hard drive of the editors computer. Because flash memory is more expensive than hard drive camcorders, most users shoot at lower quality levels than users who use hard drive camcorders. If you want to shoot a lot of hours without downloading to a computer in between shots, be prepared to spend a lot of money for memory. This may be a moot point because the prices of flash memory are falling very fast.
Bottom Line: Flash media is the future of digital video and music; just look what it did to digital cameras and MP3 players. Consumers and hobbyists who don’t need a lot of record time, want a small camera that is robust and inexpensive, and can archive their footage on an external hard drive, will love flash media camcorders for their speed, simplicity any small size. One note: When flash memory drops to the point of being less expensive than a hard drive memory, hard drive camcorders will be obsolete. In the future all camcorders will use this technology for recording.
HD SLR Still Cameras that also shoot super high quality HD Videos (Newest addition!)
HD DSLRs have been around since January 2008 and are the latest technology for the Wedding videographer, photographer or filmmaker working in Chicago New York or LA. DSLR’s This type of Camera shoots Photos and high quality HD video using the same camera and the same flash based recording media. DSLR’s have a HUGE image sensor that is 20 times the size of many professional 3-chip digital video camcorders. The difference is the DSLR has only ONE CHIP, a really BIG chip that enables the use of higher optical quality glass lenses that are used in SLR digital photography. The advantage is that since the image sensor is larger, the video created has better resolution, better dynamic range and less lens distortion than smaller chipped 3-chip camcorders. Since the Photo/Video cameras can take all Canon Or Nikon photo lenses (depending on camera model), many different photo” looks” (using photography lenses) can be applied to wedding videography. One of the best uses of these dual use cameras is to shoot using a wide open F-stop that yields a shallow depth of field. This feature makes the wedding videographer capable of having a bride and groom be in focus in the foreground and have the background be very out of focus. This out of focus area is called Bokeh. The wedding videographer can also rack-focus from a close foreground object to a distant giving a cool cinematic look that is difficult with a standard 3 chip video camcorder. Most of these dual use cameras record onto SD or Compact flash using the AVCHD format (see AVCHD below) which is a version of MPEG 4 and H264. These cameras do not record very good sound quality (some cheaper units have no external mic input) and most wedding videographers use a separate audio recording device and sync the sound latter. The Canon 5D mark II is the highest quality HDSLR from Canon it is the only HD SLR that uses a full size image sensor. The Canon 7D and the Nikon D3100, D5100, D7000 all shoot HD video but have a smaller image sensor with a 28.8 mm diagonal image sensor. The Canon 5D mark II has a 33 mm diagonal image sensor.
Advantages: HD SLRs get better raw picture quality than any other type of video camera. The ability to change lenses and use incredible capable photo lenses makes these cameras only as good as the lenses you are using. The ability to control focus and aperture is better than most video cameras. The ability to switch between shooting photography and videography with the very same camera makes a wedding photographer able to shoot photos and video with the same camera and same expensive lenses. This shooting photo and video with the same camera is called “photo and video fusion”. Milestone photo and video is one of the fist companies to shoot both photo and video fusion with the same camera!
Disadvantages: HD SLRs us a photo CMOS sensor. These sensors can get hot from extended video shots causing the sensor to overheat for longer shots. The first generation HD SLRs could only record for up to 5 minutes per shot, like the Nilon D90. The newer HD SLRs can shoot up to 20 minutes, this is a problem for shooting longer programs. Also some of the AVCHD files these cameras create, can be difficult for some non-linear editors to handle. Other things that may pose a challenge for a videographer are: the cameras do not record very good sound, so most wedding videographers opt to record the sound on a separate camcorder or sound system. Also, since still camera zoom don’t have a power zoom, you can’t smoothly zoom into our out of an object. Zooming should be done between shots. The autofocus system on the Nikon HD SLRs have autofocus that is not as well adapted for video than a real video camera. All the Canon HD SLRs can’t use the autofocus on the camera or lens at all. This makes the wedding videographer/cinematographer have to focus constantly to keep the objects he is shooting in focus. These cameras work best when used with other conventional camcorders. Also the form factor is not made for shooting video. The ergonomics of these cameras are not made for shooting video. You must get a LCD magnifier (hoodman or Zacuto) or hood for shooting outside and to see if you are in focus.
Bottom Line: These cameras get better picture quality than anything else out there. The ability to use (and change) photo lenses gives these cameras great optical powers. There is a trade-off with the disadvantage of recording on separate audio equipment, not being able to zoom smoothly and the limited recording time. These cameras are best used in conjunction with other types of camcorders on this list.
AVCHD Compression used in flash, HDD and DVD-R camcorders:
advanced video codec high definition. This is a high definition compression format that compresses the high definition video so it can be recorded (for presentation) to an inexpensive DVD-R media instead of the much more expensive Blu-Ray media. This is the only way to record a video for presentation, without using a pricey blu-ray burner, which costs $800. Also the blu-ray media itself costs $20 for a 25-gigabyte disc. This less expensive type of high definition video uses inexpensive .40-cent discs but they can be played on expensive ($400) Blu-Ray high definition disc players at a lower quality than HDV footage converted to Blu-ray disc. These AVCHD recordings are intended to be played on a Blu-ray payer or on a computer equipped with special software. This compression technology is incorporated into some of the more expensive hard drive, flash media and DVD-R camcorders so you can burn a direct output of your unedited footage directly onto a standard inexpensive DVD-R burner at high definition quality.
ADVANTAGES: AVCHD enables the cost conscious consumer to shoot and present unedited high definition video without needing expensive blu-ray media ($20 per disc) or an expensive blu-ray burner (burner cost $800) Because the data rate is low, an inexpensive AVCHD flash media camcorder can shoot 43 minutes of high definition on an inexpensive 4 gigabyte secure digital card.
Disadvantages: AVCHD signals are not intended to be edited later although imovie intends on adding AVCHD support to their next upgrade. AVCHD is much lower quality than HDV compression for high definition discussed earlier. ACVHD has a data rate of 15 megabytes per second and HDV has a data rate of 25 megabytes per second. ACVHD is not compatible with blu-ray competitor, HD-DVD. However HDV high definition MPEG 2 compression is compatible with BOTH blu-ray AN HD DVD. Like all High definition camcorders, you need extra light to get an acceptable picture from these camcorders.
The Bottom Line: Although AVCHD is a cost cutting way of presenting high definition videos without the cost of Blu-ray media, when blu-ray becomes more popular and cheaper. I think that AVCHD may fall by they wayside except with small flash media camcorders that need a lot of compression to record to a small flash memory card.
Mini DVD-R, Mini Blu-Ray optical drives:
These camcorders are meant to shoot a finished product that is ready to play on a standard home DVD or Blu-Ray player. MINI DVD-R camcorders use media that not meant to be edited later. They use a mini 1.4-gigabyte mini version of a full size 4.7 gigabyte DVD. They range in price from $250 for a basic DVD-R model to $1400 for a Blu-Ray high definition model. If you are the kind of person who just wants to shoot video and enjoy it right away without doing any editing, this is the camera recording format for you. The record media is reasonably inexpensive for the Mini DVD-R about $2.50 for a disc that will record for 30 minutes the cost is $5 per hour (media cost) compared to $3 per hour cost of mini DV. The media for Blu-Ray discs is not readily available but when available it will be quite expensive. All Blu-Ray disc camcorders can also burn Mini DVD-R discs.
Advantages: These camcorders can play on any home or computer based DVD player the mini DVD-R sits in the inner ring of any DVD player. These DVDs can be copied and archived to any other DVD media in minutes including less expensive full size DVD-R media. These camcorders have a similar purpose to full size VHS camcorders of the 90s whose convenience is popular because homeVHS and DVD units are ready to watch the footage almost instantly.
Disadvantages: These Camcorders are not for shooting programs that will be edited later. It is a pain in the neck to try to digitize DVD footage and some non-linear systems force you to hook up a DVD player’s analog output to the analog input of the non-linear computer for editing purposes. If you will edit do not get DVD-R or Blu-Ray . DVD-R camcorders have the worst battery drain because the constantly spinning DVD uses the most power than any other camcorder format including hard drive camcorders.
Bottom Line: Although DVD-R camcorders are among the best selling in the consumer market, many people get them because they are impatient and want to see the footage on a home DVD player instantly, for these people DVD-R is great. Some of these impatient people may later realize that they want to edit their footage with imovie or some other non-linear system. It is then; that these people who choose DVD-R realize that one of the other recording formats would have been a better choice.
Multiple Format Camcorders:
After all this information is thrown at you, you might be thinking: I am confused, do I want flash media or DVD-R? Do I want DVD-R or hard drive? Some companies answer this question with versatile multiple format camcorders. Hitachi makes camcorders that record on both DVD-R AND Flash media; they also make a model that records on both DVD-R and Hard Drive. Sony makes several camcorders that record on BOTH a hard drive and flash media when the hard drive is full. Panasonic has a flash media camcorder that has an external 40 gigabyte hard drive that runs on batteries and it can back up the footage from a smaller flash media card in the field. Sony makes a battery operated external portable DVD-R recorder that can be hooked up to any mini DV camcorder so you can record on DV or DVD-R or both. For professionals, Panasonic makes a $6000 camcorder that shoots on mini DV tapes for standard resolution. If you want high definition you can shoot on “P2” 32-gigabyte flash cards at various high definition resolutions.
The Bottom line: Before everyone switches to the latest technology: Flash media, many people will be buying digital video cameras that give the amateur or professional a choice in recording formats. This feature will make the choice of which camcorder to buy easier for the wary consumer.
8 Millimeter and Digital 8 camcorders:
8MM is the last analog format to die a slow death at the stiff competition from the many digital video formats listed above. 8MM camcorders are similar to mini DV camcorders but the quality is much worse because they are analog. The cost savings over mini DV camcorders is only $30 so I would not recommend 8 Millimeter cameras or their bastard brother “Digital 8”, which uses analog 8 MM tapes and records them digitally using mini DV’s type compression. The problem with Digital 8 camcorders is very few people have digital 8 so if you break the camcorder, you have to find someone that has this unusual camcorder to do anything with the footage. People who have alot of old 8mm tapes may like this type of camera because it can play their old tapes, but the lack of compatibility may spell the end of digital 8.
Hopefully I haven’t confused people who are trying to decide which camcorder to get.
Copyright 20011by Robert Busch no copying or reprint without my written permission.
Grau Mill is located in fullersberg woods forest preserve at 3800 York road in Oak Brook IL at the intersection of York and Spring roads. Grau Mill is on the Salt creek and is a working 150-year-old grist mill and museum. It features an easy to photograph bridge, beautiful working waterwheel, old time wheelhouse, and beautifully shaded views of wooded salt creek nature area. This location is popular because of its easy to get to location and it does not require a permit. It is one of the very few surviving buildings that was used by the “underground railroad” for abolitionists to hide runaway slaves. This gives this great location increased interest for couples of African American decent. This beautiful location has a lot of shade making it great for a sunny day; it is a favorite of mine and many Chicago wedding photographers .Pros: versatile place with millhouse, waterwheel, greenery, bridge, river views; lots of shade; easy to find and get to. Cons: Popular place, you might have to wait to take your turn in front of the waterwheel. Dave & Bob’s Favorite. Please click here and here to see more photos of this great location. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Renaissance_Oak_Brook/ andhttp://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g59/
Indian Lakes Hilton Resort Lobby is located at: 250 West Schick Road Bloomingdale IL. Indian Lakes Hilton resort qualifies as a Location for Chicago Wedding Photos because they allow people to shoot their wedding photos there even if their wedding is not located at Indian Lakes resort. This is the place to go in DuPage county to do Chicagoland wedding photography on a rainy day or other inclement weather. Indian lakes Lobby (hotel entrance on right) is designed for photos because they have skylights on the ceiling for natural light. There is a 2 sided wedding photography area both have a cool rock wall with a waterfall. In the foreground is a small pond and pond plants and trees. Pros: Indoor but looks like outdoor with skylights and pond, 2 sides so if the other side is being used you can use the other side and not interfere with the other wedding. Great waterfall, pond trees. Cons: You have to get permission to shoot there. Bridal party from another hall may feel uncomfortable. To see Chicago wedding photos from this location check these galleries: http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g127/ http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g90/ http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Indian_Lakes/ http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g92/
Cantigny of Wheaton: is located at 1 South 151 Winfield Road Wheaton IL.Cantigny is a memorial army museum and botanical garden located in Winfield IL road just south of Roosevelt road (RT38). It has 2 areas that are very different making this one of the most versatile places to shoot wedding photos. To the south we have the “masculine” area that features about 20 army tanks that are restored in a shady, wooded setting complete with bridges and benches. The groomsmen love to pose on the tanks and the bridesmaids pose in front of the tanks, this makes for some great images. On the Northern “feminine” side of Cantigny there are many flowers, ponds, a gazebo, stairs for group shots and a 30-foot diameter spray fountain that is shaded and is great for shots of the bridal party. I love this place because of its versatility and it has a lot of shade making it a great place for shooting on a sunny day. You do not have to have a Permit to shoot photos here. However they charge $5 per car and $40 per Limo (or bus) if the limo holds over 18 people. If a bus holds 35 or more people it will cost $70 instead Chicagoland wedding photo buffs will a lot of patriotism will love it here Pros: Versatile place with many different areas for different shots, Great spray fountain, lots of shade, army tanks for cool groomsman photos. Cons: Small entrance fee required. Dave & Bob’s Favorite. Click here to see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Prairie-Landing/
Morton Arboretum Lisle: Is Located at 4100 Illinois Route 53 Lisle IL.Morton Arboretum is huge, taking up hundreds of acres in Lisle IL. It is similar to Cantigny in that is features every type of tree in North America. It has open prairies, thick woods, bridges and river views of the DuPage River. There are some very hilly spots there. It is also pretty shady so it is good on a sunny day. There are also 2 reception halls on site that regularly feature weddings. It is very close to the huge Abbington reception hall of Glen Ellen. They do require a Permit of $125 to shoot there for photos. Pros: Versatile place with many areas for good and different shots, not crowed, lots of shade. Cons: Permit and pay required. Please click hereto see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Morton_Arboretum/
Itasca Gazebo in Usher Park: The Itasca Gazebo is located on Irving park and Walnut roads in Itasca IL. This Gazebo is one of Chicagoland’s Prettiest Gazebos being white and is much larger than most Gazebos. There is not much shade there from trees, but the gazebo is great for shooting a bridal party. There is also a small bridge there for great bridal party shots. I don’t think you need a permit to shoot there. Pros: great gazebo looks great in photos, bridge makes this location more versatile. Cons: not much shade aside from the gazebo. Please click here to see more photos http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Holiday_Inn_Itasca/
Bartlett Gazebo: The Bartlett Gazebo is located on 101 North Avenue in Bartlett IL. This Gazebo is very large 32’ by 32’ and the park has a lot of trees so it is above average for shade. A permit costs $30 for 3 hours (suggested but not required) but is not required to shoot photos there. There is also a real log cabin there if you are doing a rustic wedding. Pros: Great looking gazebo is one of the largest, above average shade, easy parking. Cons: Place is not very versatile the gazebo is the only thing there (besides the log cabin) for photos. Pease click here to see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Stonegate/
Wilder Park Elmhurst
Wilder Park Elmhurst IL is located on Prospect and church streets in elmhurst IL. Wilder park has a very pertty garden of flowers and bushes and a beautiful place for ceremonies (near Wilder Mansion, which was the original Elmhurst library years ago). It also has a small green house conservatory that can be used for wedding photos during inclement weather, (as long as you are only photographing 2 people at a time.) There is not much shade there so this is a great place for a cloudy day wedding. Pros: Great plants and plant archways for photos. Inside conservatory for indoor nature shots. Cons: Not much shade, conservatory is small inside and only be used for photos of 2-4 people at a time. Check out our wedding at the Wilder park adjoining Wilder park: http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g97/
Lilacia Park Lombard. Is located at 150 South Park ave. in Lombard IL. Lilacia Park is world famousfor its lilac festival in mid may. The flowers in spring are second to none in Chicago. It features a wood deck overlooking a reflecting pond, rows of beautiful trees, flowers of many types, shady areas, statues & benches. Lilacia Has 1,200 lilac bushes and 25,000 tulips. This is very popular place for photos. There is a fee of $75 for 1 hour for photos or wedding ceremony. Chicago wedding photography is great here Pros: Great flowers, reflecting pond, lawns, benches and great shade. Cons: Fee of $75 required (only on Saturday) Milestone Digital uses this great location for engagement photos during the week. Please click hereand here to see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g62/and http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Arrowhead_Country_Club/
Lake Ellen Glen Ellen
Lake Ellen, Glen Ellen IL. Is located at 645 Lenox road Glen Ellen IL. Lake Ellen has beautiful huge Maple trees, Lake views, boathouse & a wood deck that overlooks the water & a veteran’s memorial. This park is small, but has great shade trees, and great lake views. Pros: Lake views, great trees, not popular for shooting. Cons: little shade near the lake. Please click here to see more photos.http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Indian_Lakes/
Churchill Woods Forest Preserve Glen Ellen. Is located along the south side of Saint Charles road in Glen Ellen between I355 and Riford Road. You can also enter from the other side of the river on Crescent road just west of I 355 bridge in Glen Ellen. Churchill woods has incredible woodsy views, Dupage river views, beautiful lawns, Limestone banks, walk a 100-foot long bridge to an island that is surrounded 360 degrees by water. This preserve is just plain beautiful, it features a huge accesable island in the middle of the Du page river system of Lagoons. Pros: great woodsy and river views, lots of shade, washrooms, picnic shelter, lots of parking, easy to find, Cons: Long walk from car if you enter on Saint Charles road, Lots of mosquitoes in the woods. Milestone Digital uses this location for engagement photos.\
McDonald’s corporate campus Oak Brook. Is located at 2111 McDonald’s dive Oak Brook IL. McDonald’s corporate headquarters is a beautiful place that has a banquet hall and they cater their own weddings there. If you don’t have a wedding there you can still take pictures at this Great site. One place to shoot is by the salt creek river view. The best other place is overlooking the lagoon from the west side of the lagoon by the north-south drive.Pros: Shade, flowers Riverview, Cons: Interference from other wedding occurring there, hard to find. Please click here to see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Empress/
Adams Park Wheaton IL. Adams park is located on the corner of seminary and Main street in downtown Wheaton IL. Adams park has a fountain, gazebo, flowers and benches in a beautiful shady setting right by the Wheaton Library. This park has a lot of trees so it is great to use on a sunny day. Pros: Shady area works great in pictures, has gazebo, flowers and fountain. Cons: Parking is harder in downtown Wheaton.
Ross Ferraro Park Carol Stream IL. Is located on Lies and Gary roads in Carol Stream IL.This Park has the 3 best things that a park needs for great photos (bridge, Fountain, Gazebo) but they did a bad job on the design so this park is not the picture place it that the designers had planned. First of all the fountain is internal, so you have to get in the center of the concrete fountain to actually see the pretty water spraying. You have to take pictures inside of a 15 or so foot circle to take photos with the water in the background. This means unless you are taking pictures of a few people at a time, you can’t zoom out enough to get a great shot of a full bridal party, unless you are using a fisheye lens (and fisheye lenses are not used all the time). Although the fountain is great for individual shots of the bride and groom. This park also has a bridge (to nowhere), which usually would be great for an awesome bridal party shot. However the bridge has a metal support bar on the sides that is exactly the height of bridal party member’s faces. Unless every member of the bridal party is a 7’ 6” NBA player, this bridge is completely useless for photos. There is a Gazebo that looks Pretty good and some flowers in several areas so this place is not bad especially if you are shooting a few people at a time in front of the pretty, internally curverd fountain. There is a fee to shoot there and if you are caught shooting without a permit, the fine is over $150. Pros: versatile place with both a Gazebo and Fountain, easy to find, easy to park. Public washroom Cons: Bridge is useless for photos; Fountain is hard to get wide enough for a shot of full bridal party, almost no shade at all. You must pay a fee (I think it is $75) or you can be fined for taking pictures without a permit.
Riverwalk Naperville: Located near Jackson and Webster streets in downtown Naperville IL. The riverwalk features an old time wooden covered bridge, beautiful trees, a fountain and it is on the banks of the beautiful DuPage River. The riverwalk also features some flowers and benches. Pros: great shade from the bridge, a place to shoot in a small drizzle because of the covered bridge. Cons: This is a popular place to shoot, be prepared to wait your turn. Check out a wedding shot at the Millennium carillon on the riverwalk.http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g11
Copyright 2011 Robert M. Busch and Milestone Photo and Video. No part of this article may be used without written permission from Robert M. Busch
Monument Park Rosemont
Monument Park waterfalls Rosemont Park District:Monument Park is on the NE corner of river road and Higgins road (Route 72) are the most popular suburban location. This artificial waterfall is made for the specific purpose of supplying a beautiful waterfall backdrop for the many wedding reception halls that surround O’Hare airport such a café ‘La Cave, Fountain Blue, and Rosewood banquets. These waterfalls even have the water colored blue the give a great looking photo that looks great in Chicago wedding pictures. There are several areas behind the waterfalls that feature some beautiful evergreen trees. This location requires a permit from the village of Rosemont it is $50 per half hour. There is a police officer there to make sure that you have a permit, they hopefully make sure there are not bystanders or crowds in your way when taking wedding pictures.Pros: Great looking waterfall photographs well, easy to get to. Located near O’Hare airport. Police make sure crowds don’t get in picture. Cons: Permit required and payment required, not as versatile as Community Park.
Community Park waterfall
Community Park Is on Glen Lake & willow creek roads in Rosemont IL. (Behind the westin hotel) which is about 1/3 of a mile south west of the previously mentioned waterfalls on river road. This great location is more versatile than the other Rosemont location because it has a waterfall, a gazebo, pond with spray fountain and swans, a bridge, and it has beautiful flowers on a shady hill. It has plenty of shade, flowers, and a public washroom. Because of all these great things, it is one of my FAVORITE locations for Chicago wedding photos. The cost to shoot here is $50 per half hour. This location is not as often patrolled for people paying deposits as the one on Higgins. This is a place for Chicago wedding pictures! Pros: Versatile spot has trees, flowers, pond, swans, gazebo, waterfall and lots of shade. Cons: Permit required $50 fee. Click here to see more photos.http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g66/
Schaumburg city hall is located at 101 Schaumburg Il. It is near the corner of summit and east Schaumburg road in Schaumburg. This is one of chicagoland’s best and most versatile locations fpr wedding photo and videos. This free location features 2 bridges, Spray pond with swans, gazebo, sculptures and plenty of shade from beautiful weeping willow trees. This area west of woodfield mall is awesome to visit. Pros: Shade, many locations with 2 great bridges, Free, weeping willows are great for poses. Cons: None except, since it is also a police station location, I would assume no alcohol would be advised for this great location. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g95/
The Botanical Gardens are located at 1000 Lake Cook road in Glencoe IL. These gardens have it all, flowers, trees, scenic bridges, oriental gardens (a favorite), stairs for group shots, ponds and the beautiful Chicago river. Because there are both indoor and outdoor areas this place can be used rain or shine. One high note there is a beautiful evergreen hedge with marble sculptures that shows great depth. I have seen hundreds of wedding photos that use these beautiful 30 foot tall hedges. You need a permit to shoot here, it cost $125 for unlimited time and you can come on the day of the event. Pros: extremely versatile oriental gardens, shade, hedges, flowers and bridges make for a great variety of shots. Cons: permit required, EXPENSIVE! Click here and here to see more photos http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g67/ andhttp://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Botanical_Gardens_Romanian_Cultural_Center/
Wheeling fountain on Dundee
The Wheeling fountain/Gazebo is located on the NE corner of Dundee (RTE 68) and Milwaukee (RTE 45) in wheeling IL. It has a cool looking limestone fountain, gazebo and flowers in a small area. This location has some shade under the gazebo, and it is easy to get to and it requires no permit. It is a great northwest Chicago wedding photo spots Pros: Great looking fountain requires no permit, easy to get to. Cons: no shade, buildings in background require careful composition to avoid getting in photos. Click here to see more photoshttp://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g63/
Bahi’ Temple is located at 100 Linden ave. Wilmette IL. The Bahi’ temple is a beautiful building that has many pretty architecture innovations. It is the world’s largest poured concrete building. It makes for breathtaking backgrounds behind a bridal party. There are also a lot of flowers decorating the outside of the building. It is average for shade and a permit is not required. Pros: Beautiful backdrop, no permit required, pretty area near lake Michigan. Cons: not very versatile only a few shots you can do there, not much shade. Click here to see more photos.http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Phoenix_Resturaunt/
North School Park fountain
North School Park is located on Eastman and Arlington Heights roads, in downtown Arlington Heights. It Features a 30-foot diameter fountain, fancy brickwork with flowers and gardens and a Veterans memorial. I don’t think you need a permit to shoot at this awesome park that is handicap accessible. Pros: Pretty fountain has a brick step for layering bridal party, Decent shade, handicap accessible, Pretty flowers. Cons: Fountain is quite small. Sometimes the fountain is turned off for no reason. Click here to see more photos http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Rosewood/
Friendship Park Conservatory Des Plaines park district: Is Located at 395 Algonquin Road Des Plains IL. It features indoor and outdoor botanical gardens. It is like a tiny version of the Chicago botanical gardens. It is great because it can be used rain or shine because there are beautiful plants both inside and outside. There is even a little gazebo inside just for wedding photos this is great when it is raining, but you still want photos with plant life. Wedding photos come out great here. Pros: Rain or shine use, beautiful flowers and plants, gazebo for wedding use. Cons: I think permit is required. Check out some wedding photos here: http://www.milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g107/
Veterans Memorial Fountain Niles,is located on Milwaukee and Touhy on the NE corner in Niles. It is kitty corner from the Niles police station. This fountain features a beautiful white water fountain that is about 30 feet wide and there is a sidewalk in front that has plenty of room to pose people. The fountain is made out of limestone and is a great place for photos. Pros: Fountain is pretty and wide for great shots for big groups. Cons: Little or no shade.
Copyright 2011 Robert M. Busch and Milestone Photo and Video. No part of this article may be used without written permission from Robert M. Busch.
Adler planetarium/ Shedd Aquarium is one of the most popular locations for doing scenic backgrounds for Chicago wedding Photography. It is located along Solidarity Drive (westbound) on Northerly Island adjacent to the Shedd aquarium on the lakefront. This location has in incredible scenic overlook of the Chicago skyline on the lakefront from the grassy northern facing shores. Because this island has water between the island and the skyline, it appears as if you are on a boat on the lake. There are trees on the northern shore of this island, to give shade for the Chicago Bridal Party, Bride and Groom for photos. Unfortunately the Chicago police don’t allow you to park for more than 5 minutes there, and they regularly tow vehicles that are left unattended for over 5-10 minutes. This are is very congested during a Chicago bears or sox games. Pros: Great skyline shots, some shade if you find a tree to shoot under. Cons: Parking headaches. Click these links to see wedding s a this location http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Pazzos/and http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Hyatt_of_Naperville/
The Wrigley building is located on Michigan Avenue just north of the Chicago River drawbridge at 410 North Michigan Ave. Just south of the “Magnificent mile” It is one of Chicago’s most beautiful buildings and is lit incredibly well so day or night it is a real Chicago landmark. At this location you can take photos in from of the beautiful marble building, do shots by the Chicago River, which runs past this great landmark. Also there is a huge median that can be great for a bridal party shot amongst all the beautiful buildings on the “mag mile”. Sometimes on Saturdays there are fireworks are shot off the Michigan avenue drawbridge. This location has a large curved driveway that is easy to double park on. You can leave your car there about 10 minutes without problems. This is one of the best places for parking of the downtown locations. This is a real downtown Chicago wedding photo location! Pros: different shots by river, Michigan ave; building lit at night, shade, cool architecture. Cons: Parking limited to 10 minutes. Dave & Bob’s Favorite.Click here to see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g60/
The Bean is one of Chicago’s newest attractions and is one if it’s most popular for wedding photos. Located on Michigan & Randolph Downtown, It is a shiny aluminum modern sculpture that is basically a distorted curved mirror that can reflect the Chicago skyline (distorted) behind a Bridal couple or bridal party. One problem here is there is no shade, so the bridal party might squint if it is a sunny day. Because of this, “The bean” is better on cloudy days. You would double park on Randolph just east of Michigan avenue for a short time without being towed. (you can only double park for 5-10 minutes) There are other places for photos in Millennium Park such as the gardens behind the bean. Aside from the parking limitations and lack of shade, large crowds are a problem, because you can’t control who will be in the photos. This is a favorite of Chicago wedding photographers! Pros: cool reflected skyline shots, great gardens for photos. Cons: Difficult to park, crowd problems, little shade. Please click hereto see more photos. http://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/Hyatt_of_Naperville/
North Avenue Beach
North Avenue Beach
North Avenue Beach is located where north ave. (RT 64) (also known as La Salle) ends at the lakefront. It features a similar beautiful skyline shot similar to Adler, but there is no lake in the foreground of the skyline. Also there are some trees amongst the sand so you can shade the bridal party pretty easily. It also had great views of lake Michigan. Because it is not in the loop, parking is a lot easier than other downtown locations. However you should avoid this location during a Cubs games. Pros: great skyline shots, easier to park than other locations, versatile shooting areas. Cons: you need to walk a ways to get to the areas for photos, sand and cameras don’t mix. Dave’s Favorite. Click here to see more photoshttp://milestonedigital.com/photogalleries/g60/
Lincoln Park Conservatory: Is located at 2391 North Stockton Drive Chicago IL. This conservatory can be used rain or shine because it is both indoor and outdoor. It has most every kind of pretty flower or plant. There are some beautiful rose gardens just north of the building. There is a bridge south of the gardens that goes into the Lincoln Park zoo. This bridge yields an incredible view of the Chicago skyline. Just below the bridge there is a scenic spot where there is a scenic lagoon where there are paddleboats and swans.Parking is tough to find on Cannon drive. If you pay you can find a spot in the lot dedicated to the conservatory. Pros: Rain or shine use, great skyline shots, and beautiful flowers (best in Chicago). Cons: Little shade, parking headaches, Possible fees for indoor use.
Garfield Park Conservatory: Is located at 300 North Central Park Ave. Chicago IL. Similar to the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Conservatory is a great place to take indoor photos rain or shine because most of the plant life is indoors in the huge greenhouse. Some of the tropical plants there can not normally grow in Illinois. There is much less outdoor plants life, unlike the Lincoln Park Conservatory. Pros: Rain or shine use, Beautiful flowers and plants. Cons: Not much outdoor plants, High humidity may cause camera lenses to fog up.
Buckingham Fountain: Buckingham fountain is a very popular attraction for wedding photos and is probably the most popular over the years. It is located where congress avenue (RT 290) ends at Columbus drive Park at Grant Park. It is the world’s largest fountain of its type. Buckingham is HUGE so a small bridal party will be dwarfed by it’s huge size. One way to cut the size difference is the have the bridal party be about 50-75 feet in front of the fountain and have the fountain in the background so it is smaller in the frame than it would usually be. There are beautiful rose gardens that flank the fountain and are even prettier than the fountain itself, for a very pretty background. One problem with this location is there is no shade around the fountain so the bridal party will probably squint a lot if it is a sunny day. It is preferable to put the bridal party on the east side of the fountain so the skyline (and the sun) will be behind the bridal party. This location is very congested, like the bean you can’t control how many strangers can get into your wedding photos. Pros: A classic Chicago landmark, great rose gardens, Cons: Crowds, no shade, no direct parking, use Grant Park garage, wind shifts can spray bridal party with water, fountain is not always running.
Copyright 2011 Robert M. Busch and Milestone Photo and Video. No part of this article may be used without written permission from Robert M. Busch.