I had the opportunity to work with Ben and Nikki in Beautiful Pere Marquette State Park along the Illinois side of the Great River Road. They’re a great couple to work with and kept high spirits despite the muggy weather.
The ceremony was in the main hall in front of the fireplace while the reception was held in one of the ball rooms. I really like when there is no drive between the ceremony and reception. I’m always faced with limited time for formals, so cutting out the drive really makes for a more relaxed, enjoyable experience for the bride and groom. Frankly, I like to keep the time spent on formals to an absolute minimum. They’re important photos but they tend to be the bottle neck of the day, and my style is better realized in the candid images.
Pere Marquette posed some real challenges for photography. I almost never use a flash during the ceremony, so the inability to bounce the flash off the deep brown, three-story high vaulted ceiling wasn’t a problem. However a wall of windows along the side of the ceremony meant I had to be particularly creative with my camera angles to avoid flare and keep from making silhouettes of the happy couple. On the plus side, the same wall of windows was an absolutely perfect spot when it came time for the couple portraits.