When Sara asked me to shoot her wedding in Chicago about a year ago she told me to take total creative control and do my own thing. There would be no shot list, no wedding party, no grand entrance, no cake cutting.
I was excited because this was the first time I had ever gotten a request like this. When Sara and Fred's wedding day came and I arrived at their venue I quickly realized that Sara was right. I didn't need a shot list. Carnivale, which takes up most of a city block in Chicago's West Loop, can best be described as a prohibition era, Latin American circus with a rock n' roll edge. If there is such a thing. Sara was wearing a a gorgeous unlined Vera Wang gown with black lingerie underneath. Needless to say, there was no shortage of photo ops and they all occurred pretty naturally.
It also became clear to me throughout the day why there was an absence of the usual wedding formalities. Friends and family who hadn't seen each other in a long time had traveled from all over the country to celebrate and that was everyone's main priority, including Sara and Fred. Before the wedding, I asked Sara if she'd be ok with taking a half hour away from the reception so I could take some portraits of she and Fred she said, "No. We don't need to do that. We'll be glued to each other all night."
I appreciated this sentiment, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly uneasy about relying 100% on candids in order to capture the bride and groom. But Sara was right again. She and Fred really were glued to each other all night and their love was relaxed, easy, fun, and blatantly obvious. There was no interference needed on my part in order to make the photos happen. Everything about the day and the photos came together in a really organic way because Sara and Fred designed a wedding that was true to who they are, even if it meant breaking some of the rules. Here are some of my favorite shots from the day: