Your wedding experience with Friends First Photo.

All our couples get a hand made-in-Italy custom designed album. Why are we so print focused? There is an unfortunate trend in the wedding industry to go with just digitals. As artists we feel your memories are too important to be swiped. And besides, there's nothing quite like seeing a just married couple view and handle their beautiful family heirloom wedding album for the first time!

Click on the short video below to see a sample album and then scroll down to read more about your wedding experience with us.

About the Experience

As a full-service studio our goal is to give you a photography experience that feels personal and true to who you truly are. Our goal is to capture your wedding with all the emotion, laughter, and happy tears so you can share it with generations to come. To find out more and check our availability for your wedding call 312-927-5253 or inquire here.

Consultation & Booking

When we meet we will discuss the details of your big day and get to know one another. Consultations usually take about an hour. If our personalities and expectations seem like a good fit we will recommend a collection that’s the right size for you. Many of our couples have told us they booked us on a feeling and we think that sounds perfectly right. So if the stars align you should secure your wedding date with a contract (that we will go over together), and a non-refundable retainer fee.

Engagement Sessions

We recommend engagement photo shoots to all our couples. The session can range from a few studio portraits to a day wandering Montrose Harbor, Fulton Market, Wicker Park or another location that is meaningful to you. This is a great opportunity to learn how to work together long before the wedding, but more than that it’s a chance to express (via the lens) who you are as individuals and to one another. If you guys love your fur baby let’s include him. Are you hardcore Cubs fans? Let’s do a game together! Love sailing on Lake Michigan? Ok Jake has a sailboat! Let’s have a little adventure together.

After the shoot we usually break for a meal, discuss how your experience was and we will suggest a few print design ideas. A week or two later we’ll invite you to our studio for a reveal and ordering session. Couples love our albums, guest sign-in books and wall frames.

We also like to blog engagements for social media. We’ll send you some questions we can use to write an article that is meaningful and interesting to your friends and family.

One Month Before

If we haven’t worked at your venue previously (and it’s within an hour of Chicago) we will do a venue walk-through. This is for us to figure out lighting and scout spots for your creative portraits and family photos. Meeting us there is not required, but if you’d like to we’d love that : )

We also need to meet with both of you in-person one month prior to the wedding either at our Studio, or for dinner to discuss and finalize your timeline and reconnect as a team. If you have a planner or coordinator they are encouraged to attend this meeting as well.

Wedding Day!

Our crew will be well dressed for the occasion, properly caffeinated and ready to create with you at our agreed upon start time. Please encourage your guests to go unplugged as much as possible during the day. Couples should have a list of family portraits they want printed ahead of time and a designated coordinator who knows who everyone is.

Our mission is to photograph your day naturally, as it unfolds and to add to the energy of your wedding. Sometimes this means being quiet and letting you have a moment. Sometimes this means offering direction. Knowing the difference comes from experience as photographers and human beings.

You’ll probably feel a range of emotions during your wedding from laughter to tears and they’re all ok. There will be relatives there that are meeting for the first time and some will be meeting for the last time. We are witnessing the birth of a new family so it’s natural for us to want to capture as many relationships as possible. You can help us by grabbing everyone you love and pulling them in front of our lens. Hugging and kissing grandma is just as (or more important) than gorgeous fairy tale photographs. Well ok they’re both important so let’s plan time for each!

When we are nearing the end of our time together on your wedding day we will let you know. If you feel that you need us to stay longer, you are more than welcome to make this request. We will explain more about overtime during our consultation.

Post Wedding

While you are waiting for us to design your album you can request up to 3 photos for social media and one for your thank you cards and we will send them to you. We love for personalized, hand written cards and Friends First couples get 20% off!

Within 45 days of your wedding your album design will be ready for viewing and ordering. At this appointment you can make all the retouching, move and swap requests you like. We will finalize using our with other studio samples we have here, material swatches, and a 3D configurator.

12 weeks later your albums will be ready for pickup.

Ultimately, we want you to love your photographs and to feel the excitement and emotion from your wedding each time you view your album.

See You Later, and Not Goodbye

We view ourselves as family photographers and want to be part of our couple’s lives as they grow older and their families grow larger. One hope for the future is to plan portrait parties for our couples once a year so we can feed and photograph everyone who wants to come to our little art gallery. We also love photographing elders so if you have ‘em let’s make a plan.