A full service wedding photography experience from start-to-finish.

You deserve a smooth professional experience from your wedding photographer. There's nothing wrong with warm and fuzzies, but I'm talking about service and value. Clear easy to understand prices by the hour are listed at the bottom of this page.

Daniel and Jason gettin their VJ Day Times Square Kiss updated for Chicago 2017 at Union Station!
Danada House Wedding
Jessie & Phil have a moments rest on the lawn at Danada House before going into their reception.

#1. We take the time to get to know you so that your photos feels personal and real.

When you take the large studio/chain route, you typically don't get to meet your photographer before your wedding day and that’s a big mistake. You want a photographer who will take the time to get to know you and your family beforehand. This will help them to create wedding photographs that feel real and personal.

#2. All our couples get a complimentary engagement photo session.

Reconnect with family, bring your precious furbaby, or even do a couples boudoir photoshoot. We are only Chicagoland’s only wedding photographer with a real brick & mortar studio so it doesn’t matter if it’s cold, raining, or snowy. We are cozy and warm and the lighting here is always drop-dead beautiful! ((a $195 value)

Chicago Family Photographer in Logan Square
Isabel and Judy reconnect at our studio after months of busy wedding planning.
Patrick Haley Mansion Wedding
Christa and Vinnie being a bit silly right after their ceremony at the Patrick Hailey Mansion.

#3. You also get an in-person wedding timeline review, and a venue walk-through so your big day goes super smooth.

What kinds of moments do you want captured and where? Let's get all that figured out beforehand so you get maximum time with your family and friends. Don't like to plan? That's ok too let's go for a dinner anyway and have a little fun together. I called my studio Friends First because that's really how I feel about all relationships including us. Let's be friends by the time it's your big day!

#4. Next we'll use our Album Design Tool to help you visualize your day, and plan your album exactly the way you want it.

Unless you want to swipe your wedding left we recommend getting an album. A well made album is part of your home and serves to remind you what you love and value about one another. I've designed over 100 albums and have a proven system for making the experience fun and easy for you. I also have plenty of samples to show you in person.

Chicago Family and Wedding Photographer
Chris and Missy sexy up in front of the Iconic Chicago Stock Exchange
Danada House Wedding
Phil wants to help Jessie down the steps into their reception.

#5.  Let's talk about style for a sec.

My mentor loved to say "Who we are as photographers is a function of who we are as human beings" and I could not agree more. It took me years in relationships to be sensitive and calibrated enough to know when to shut up and shoot, and then cajoling enough to coax relaxed smiles when needed. I always want to be a calming positive force. I've learned to ask lots of questions and I know how to listen.

#6. Good creative needs a plan.

A smart plan doesn't guarantee good creative but it will set us up for success by targeting a location or two ahead of time and knowing how much time we'll need. We don't want to take you away from the party for very long!

If you want Chicago architecture or Millenium Park photos great! Let's plan a route that's effortless. Michigan Ave., Kinzie Bridge, LaSalle St. The Palmer House are all good but let's do it in a way that's uniquely you.

One of my favorite ways to photograph a couple is paparazzi style with my long lens just strolling around the Loop being themselves and taking it all in. This is the opposite of posed!

Keri and Don do their daddy-daughter dance at County Line Orchards
Daniel and Jason have a blue hour snuggle in front of the Chicago Theatre.

#7. After your wedding you're treated to a wide screen cinematic premiere of your wedding, curated and designed into a complete ready-to-order album!

Other photographers will send you a link to a bajillion photos and let you figure it out. We think this is unfair and lazy of them. A photographer should edit their own work dammit!

This is where our full service thing really shines. We only choose the most beautiful, genuine and happiest photos and create a complete ready to order design for you to review at your premiere.

Most couples have only a few or often zero change requests. If you're wondering how we get it right you already know the answer. Remember that wedding day timeline planner? That thing works!

#8.  We do all the work so all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the premeire!

Afterwards you can request layout changes, retouching and finalize the order. Our goal is to make your album design experience fun and easy while delivering something into your hands that brings you joy every time you open it up.

Allie and Mike have moment on deck right after their first dance.
Kenny is a Chicago cop. So this was gonna happen. At the Starline Lofts.

#9.  Your album arrives from Italy about 12 weeks after ordering.

In-person pickup is preferred so we can celebrate the close the project, but I can arrange for direct drop ship to your home or office from the bookmaker in Italy for no extra charge if you let us know ahead of time.

#10. Next you will get a download link to your digitals

These are all your digitals retouched and watermark-free. Just promise to tag and mention #friendsfirstphoto on social media! You'll get two sets of digitals. One for social and the other will be print back up files. Makes sure to save these to at least three different locations like the cloud, a memory stick in a safety deposit box and on your computer for example.

Julia and Steve stop time at the top of Michigan Avenue.
Mark and Brittany and their crazy posse whoopin' it up on the Cassidy Tire loading dock.

#11. It's not goodbye, just so long for now. We'll see you again!

We want to be your photographer as your family grows.

Easy Pricing

Wedding photography is $300 per hour which includes watermark-free digitals and a copyright release for sharing and printing. This means you can book me for just a few hours and adjust as your plans evolve. Most weddings end up in the four, eight or ten hour range so that means even at a full day I’m very competitive.

I’m also an album design specialist. Italy lay-flat albums that I curate and design for you start at just $1,500 as shown in the post on the bottom of this page.

I am also pleased to offer a special discount for Teachers, Servicemembers, Veterans and First Responders. We are very much Rainbow-friendly.

Because of the level of personal attention we give our couples we can only accept 12 weddings per season. Call Jake at 312-927-5253 or say hello@friendsfirstphoto.com to check our availability as soon as you know your date.