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2012 – Year End Review: Favorite Images Part Five - Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photography

This Is It!

Here is the final post in our "Year End Review" series.  To close things out I wanted to return to my favorite genre of photography that we do at Jordan Imhoff Photography, weddings! 

Sky Blue Sky

This wedding portrait of Bethany is one of my favorites for a few reasons.  One of those reasons is the details of this shot, and the fact that those details don't distract from Bethany.  I love the contrasting elements.  Bethany's elegance against the backdrop of the beautifully textured wooden pier, the pops of blue and turquoise found in the middle of clean whites, and the leading lines of the pier bringing the viewers eye right to Bethany's wonderful smile!  I feel like this wedding portrait is a frame that truly has not "wasted" or "overlooked" any elements.  Another reason I love this portrait, is that it speaks of Bethany.  Bethany carries with her a peaceful calm.  I like to think this photograph is evidence of that.

For  this portrait we were racing the sun.  It was just above the horizon so we had some beautiful ambient light to start with.  To give Bethany some separation from the background (as well as a little pop of brightness and contrast) we set up a 32 x 24 inch softbox to upper camera right.  This was taken with a 50mm at f/1.8, ISO 200, and 1/60th of a sec.

Mark It!

Ok, this portrait may just be my favorite wedding portrait I've taken so far.  In fact, if I had to lay claim to a "trade mark" image, this would be it.  Two words popped into my mind when I was evaluating this photo for the "Year End Review", captivating and impact.  Of all the images I have taken this year, I think this one make me (and from what I have heard, others) stop and look.  Joni's gaze, and the gesture of her hand, speak tenderness while Jesiah's expression compliments those elements.  You know you have chosen the right "pose" for a couple when it has a sense of transparency to it.  When I look at this photograph I don't have to wonder what Jesiah and Joni are thinking, their expressions let me know.  Simply, they are each others beloved.  If I had to choose one photograph to sum up 2012 for me, I think this would be it.

This portrait was lit with natural light being diffused from overheard by the one stop diffusion panel of my 5 in 1 reflector.  I used a 50mm lens set to f/1.8, ISO 100, and a 1/400 a sec shutter speed.

Thank You!

I hope you've enjoyed this series of images as we have taken a look back at 2012.  We are very excited with the start of 2013, and are thankful to all that have supported us in our "official" star-up year!  Things are already gearing up for 2013 and should be in full swing in no time!  Here's to a bigger and brighter New Year filled with many timeless moment!

- Cheers, Jordan

2012 – Year End Review: Favorite Images Part Four - Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photography

For part four of our "Year End Review" we are going to look at some couple portraits (non-wedding day) that were done in 2012!  These types of sessions (often engagement or anniversary) always offer the perfect mix of excitement and anticipation.  I particularly love an engagement session because it gives a great opportunity to truly get to know our soon to be Bride and Groom.  The amount of excitement the couple brings to the shoot as they draw nearer to their wedding day gives the session a unique feeling that other types of portraiture just don't have.

For Starters

This engagement photograph really speaks of the power of capturing a "moment" to me.  While there is an certainly an art to posing (especially if done with subtlety), there is just something about capturing an image that is purely a moment contrived and shared by the couple you are shooting.  In the overall sequence of this session I have another photo directly after this one that shows the couple kissing.  While there is something nice about a photographed kiss, I tend to gravitate to the "just before" moments.  I find the moment just before a kiss to often be my favorite from a session.  I love the expressions, the anticipation, the gesture of love between the couple, and it doesn't hurt that you can wholly see both their profiles!  For these reasons this image is one of my favorites of 2012.

Being a beautiful overcast Autumn day, this photo was shot with purely natural light.  The overcast clouds acted as a giant diffused light source, and I didn't want to ruin the moment by intruding with a reflector.  The camera was set at 200mm, f/2.8, ISO 200, and a 1/400 a sec shutter speed. 

Next Up

Here we have a portrait that I shot earlier in the year, yet it has remained one of my personal favorites, as well as one of my most remarked upon photos.Again, I just have to say that sometimes you just need to give your couple some space to interact within.The sun was just about completely gone so I asked Jared and Kim to walk to the end of the pier.  The most challenging part of this photo was getting the right perspective so I didn't lose Jared and Kim's silhouette into the Naval Ship out on the horizon.  Now, if you know me, you might notice that I am not the tallest of people (5 ft 9 in when I stand up really straight).  This shot need to be from a higher vantage point.  So, I hopped on the step ladder we always bring with us and I held the camera above my head while doing my best to find focus using the "live view" mode most Canon camera have.  When it's dark, this can be even more of a challenge.  First because it is harder to see, and second because I had to drop the shutter to 1/30th of a sec.  Not getting camera shake was challenge.  In the end, tired arms were well worth it!

This was made with only the available ambient light using the reflective water to carve out the silhouettes.  It was shot with a 50mm lens set to f/2.8, ISO 400, and a 1/30th a sec shutter speed.

- Jordan

2012 - Year End Review: Favorite Images Part Two - Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photography

Take Two

Ok, for part two of our "Year End Review" we are going to take a look back at two of my favorite Family Portraits.  Family Portraits are always rewarding, partly because of how challenging they can be.  I remember shooting my first Family portrait session and not really knowing what to expect.  This is common with family portraits because, as we know, all families are unique.  Some times it can be a family portrait of a couple with one child, other times it can be an extended family portrait of 22 plus dogs, and other times it can be a couple and their four kids, all of whom think they are super heroes taking on hundreds of bad guys!  Sometimes it's relaxed and laid-back, other times it's an adrenaline rush.  Either way, it is always a great experience, and a chance to speak uniquely about that family.

High Noon

This photo comes from a session I did with the Carter Family.  This was one of the more relaxed Family Portraits sessions I did this year.  This was largely due to the fact that The Carter's son is probably one of the happiest toddlers I have ever met, let alone photographed!  For this session we decided to venture into the woods of Veterans Acres Park in Crystal Lake.  On this day, the most challenging aspect of the shoot wasn't trying to get the attention of a toddler, but instead the fact that we were shooting in harsh noon sun.  The myriad of trees can both help and hurt at this time of day by either providing nice shade or dappled light.  Luckily we were blessed with two things for this photograph, a nice chuck of shade, and a big heartfelt laugh!

To capture this frame we used a 24-70mm lens set to  50mm, F/2.8, ISO 200 and 1/160 sec.  To fight off some of the highlights in the scene we set up a pop-up 24 x 24 soft box with an inner baffle of diffusion just above and to the right of the frame.

When Things Fall Into Place

This Family Portrait was done during a session where I also took a large family portrait of 22 People and two dogs!  It was a beautiful Fall day with slightly overcast skies, so the quality of light was really nice.  Now, this the first time I have ever taken a family portrait that included animals, and I was happy that both dogs were really well behaved.

We took this portrait during the Fall and used the sun to back light the family.  We then used a 32 x 24 inch soft box to light them from the front.  It was taken with a 24-70mm lens set to 70mm, f/2.8, ISO 2oo, and 1/200 sec shutter speed.

Honorable Mentions

For fun, here are two more frames that get honorable mentions.  I love these two because of the expressions.  In one you have the whole family looking out over the pond with only the baby looking at the camera (if that isn't irony, I don't know what is!) and in the other you have one of the most genuine expressions of joy and love that I have scene on a couples face.

- Jordan

2012 - Year End Review: Favorite Images - Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photography

Auld Lang Syne

Alright, so we are attempting to go through all of the images from this past year and select our 10 favorites.  This is the first time we have decided to do this, and going through all the photographs I have made this past year has really been a great experience.  It really puts in perspective how much has happened in one year!  For those of you who don't know, Meg and I have done a lot in 2012!  It's been a year full of new experiences, new places, and new family members!  We successfully graduated from college, moved to a new state, experienced the joy of the birth of our first child, and hit the "restart button" on our photography business due to our move.  Through all of this we have been incredibly blessed by the support of our family and friends, and are amazed that we get to make a living doing what we love (telling the unique stories of individuals by speaking the language of memories through the art of photography)!  We hope you enjoy this year end review of some of our favorite images!

- Jordan

First Up

Now, these images are in no particular order, but in choosing them we tried to keep the two images for each day in the same genre.  To start off we decided to go with our favorite genre, Wedding Portraits!  The Bride and Groom wedding portrait time of the day is one of my favorite parts of shooting a wedding.  It is the one moment during the festivities that the Bride and Groom get some time to themselves and have a chance to slow down and take in the fact that they are now husband and wife!  It really is a great moment to witness, and I am so honored that I get to be apart.

Sometimes You Just Know

There are some shots that you take and just know (without even looking at the back of the camera) that you absolutely got the shot you envisioned in your mind.  For me, this is one of those shots.  If fact, while location scouting for this wedding, I took a photo with my iphone of the exact window at almost the exact same time of day that this photo would eventually be made to make sure I returned to the exact same location.  I was very excited about it!  There is a level of joy and intimacy during this portion of the day that is unique only to these moments.  When I look at this portrait I feel that those emotions come through.  It never fails to make me stop and smile as I look at it.

For those who are curious, the way I made this portrait is the way I wish I could make every portrait, with big beautiful window light.  The window was used as a back light and we then used a silver reflector to bounce light back on Dan + Jess.  It was shot with a focal length of 110mm at  f/2.8 with ISO 400 and 1/125 sec shutter speed.

Give It Another Go

Here is another one of my favorite wedding portraits.  I always feel that if I had a "magazine shot" I would choose this one, haha.  We made this portrait in the Norfolk Botanical Gardens in Virginia before Meg and I made our "big move" to Chicagoland.   It was a beautiful day, and this Chuppah provided just the right amount of shade for Jesiah + Joni to stand in.   The brightness and color of this image is a great reflection of the bright and colorful personalities Jesiah + Joni possess.  

We made this image by placing Jesiah + Joni in a shaded spot under the Chuppah and then adding a little light back onto the couple with a handheld reflector (Meg is hiding behind the right hand column and bush!).  We shot with a 50mm lens at f/1.8 with ISO 100 and a 1/1600 sec shutter speed.

Hope you enjoyed this look back on the year, check in tomorrow to see the next two images!

Senior Portraits | Sharry - Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photography

Downtown

Last week I was lucky enough to shoot senior portraits of Sharry.  To say she is natural and easy going would be an understatement.  Meg and I had an absolute blast trekking around Downtown Crystal Lake, Il (softbox in tow!) capturing Sharry's unique personality and natural beauty. 

 Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photography by Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photographer, Jordan Imhoff  Jordan Imhoff Photography isn't your classic studio photographer. With a background in cinematography and filmmaking, we don't just take picture, we create works of art through the use of light, shadow, and once in a lifetime moments.  Chicago Fine Art wedding photography has never been done in this way before.  Bright. Cinematic. Contemporary. These words are often used to describe this Chicago Fine Art wedding photographer.  With each client we work with, we set out to create a unique experience not seen in previous Chicago Fine Art wedding photography.  Providing them with piece of art that will last be handed down and seen by multiple generations.  Serving Chicago, the Chicago Area, and Beyond  Click the link to learn more about our Chicago Fine Art Photography services.
 Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photography by Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photographer, Jordan Imhoff  Jordan Imhoff Photography isn't your classic studio photographer. With a background in cinematography and filmmaking, we don't just take picture, we create works of art through the use of light, shadow, and once in a lifetime moments.  Chicago Fine Art wedding photography has never been done in this way before.  Bright. Cinematic. Contemporary. These words are often used to describe this Chicago Fine Art wedding photographer.  With each client we work with, we set out to create a unique experience not seen in previous Chicago Fine Art wedding photography.  Providing them with piece of art that will last be handed down and seen by multiple generations.  Serving Chicago, the Chicago Area, and Beyond  Click the link to learn more about our Chicago Fine Art Photography services.
 Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photography by Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photographer, Jordan Imhoff  Jordan Imhoff Photography isn't your classic studio photographer. With a background in cinematography and filmmaking, we don't just take picture, we create works of art through the use of light, shadow, and once in a lifetime moments.  Chicago Fine Art wedding photography has never been done in this way before.  Bright. Cinematic. Contemporary. These words are often used to describe this Chicago Fine Art wedding photographer.  With each client we work with, we set out to create a unique experience not seen in previous Chicago Fine Art wedding photography.  Providing them with piece of art that will last be handed down and seen by multiple generations.  Serving Chicago, the Chicago Area, and Beyond  Click the link to learn more about our Chicago Fine Art Photography services.

Toes In The San

After hitting a couple places downtown, we decided to head over to Crystal Lake (the actual lake for which the city is named) and shot a little on the beach area before the sun finished setting.  One of the reasons I love what I do is the freedom it presents.  While I don't mind dressing up or wearing formal attire when the occasion calls for it (and it often does in photography!), I personally just love to be comfortable.  There are not that many jobs which allow you and your client to collaborate with your shoes off and toes in the sand!  Not a bad day at the office!

 Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photography by Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photographer, Jordan Imhoff  Jordan Imhoff Photography isn't your classic studio photographer. With a background in cinematography and filmmaking, we don't just take picture, we create works of art through the use of light, shadow, and once in a lifetime moments.  Chicago Fine Art wedding photography has never been done in this way before.  Bright. Cinematic. Contemporary. These words are often used to describe this Chicago Fine Art wedding photographer.  With each client we work with, we set out to create a unique experience not seen in previous Chicago Fine Art wedding photography.  Providing them with piece of art that will last be handed down and seen by multiple generations.  Serving Chicago, the Chicago Area, and Beyond  Click the link to learn more about our Chicago Fine Art Photography services.
 Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photography by Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photographer, Jordan Imhoff  Jordan Imhoff Photography isn't your classic studio photographer. With a background in cinematography and filmmaking, we don't just take picture, we create works of art through the use of light, shadow, and once in a lifetime moments.  Chicago Fine Art wedding photography has never been done in this way before.  Bright. Cinematic. Contemporary. These words are often used to describe this Chicago Fine Art wedding photographer.  With each client we work with, we set out to create a unique experience not seen in previous Chicago Fine Art wedding photography.  Providing them with piece of art that will last be handed down and seen by multiple generations.  Serving Chicago, the Chicago Area, and Beyond  Click the link to learn more about our Chicago Fine Art Photography services.
 Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photography by Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photographer, Jordan Imhoff  Jordan Imhoff Photography isn't your classic studio photographer. With a background in cinematography and filmmaking, we don't just take picture, we create works of art through the use of light, shadow, and once in a lifetime moments.  Chicago Fine Art wedding photography has never been done in this way before.  Bright. Cinematic. Contemporary. These words are often used to describe this Chicago Fine Art wedding photographer.  With each client we work with, we set out to create a unique experience not seen in previous Chicago Fine Art wedding photography.  Providing them with piece of art that will last be handed down and seen by multiple generations.  Serving Chicago, the Chicago Area, and Beyond  Click the link to learn more about our Chicago Fine Art Photography services.
 Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photography by Chicago Fine Art Wedding Photographer, Jordan Imhoff  Jordan Imhoff Photography isn't your classic studio photographer. With a background in cinematography and filmmaking, we don't just take picture, we create works of art through the use of light, shadow, and once in a lifetime moments.  Chicago Fine Art wedding photography has never been done in this way before.  Bright. Cinematic. Contemporary. These words are often used to describe this Chicago Fine Art wedding photographer.  With each client we work with, we set out to create a unique experience not seen in previous Chicago Fine Art wedding photography.  Providing them with piece of art that will last be handed down and seen by multiple generations.  Serving Chicago, the Chicago Area, and Beyond  Click the link to learn more about our Chicago Fine Art Photography services.

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Before You Go

Before you go, I just wanted to says a few things about the tech side of these shots for those who are interested (but not too much, because I want you to stay awake!)

  • Focal length: I shot everything at one or two focal lengths.  50mm and 85mm.  However, take into account that I shot on a Canon with an APS-C crop sensor.  So...even though I shot with a 50mm and an 85mm, my focal length was more in the range of 80mm and 136mm.
  • Aperture: For most shots I shot at an f/2.8 and went as closed as f/3.5 and as open as f/1.4)
  • Lightshapers and Flash:  For lighting I primarily used a 24x36 inch softbox with a manually controlled Vivitar 285 speedlite inside.  Additionally, I used a 5-1 reflector for light cutting and fill light.

That's it! Look for more posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!

- Jordan