What it’s Like to Work With Me | Chicago Wedding Photographer

Photographer poses next to wall mural

Choosing a wedding photographer for your day is a BIG deal.  You’re relying on your photographer to preserve the memories from one of the most important days of your life. Along with that, you’re also choosing someone to have right by your side for your entire wedding day.  You only get one wedding day, so it’s important to know a couple of things before investing in a photographer. Take some time to get to know the person who’s taking your photos. What they like, what you have in common, and how you can rely on them throughout your day are important questions to ask. You also need to know what the experience will be like working with them leading up to your day. My name is Shree, and I am an intimate wedding and elopement photographer based in Chicago. 

There is a chance that this is your first wedding, which can be pretty nerve-wracking.  This being your first wedding, which is AMAZING! Congratulations! This might also be the first time you’ve worked with a photographer which honestly can be even more nerve-wracking.  You want to know exactly what you’re getting into, you want to know what to expect. You want to know how you’re going to feel on your wedding day, and how you’re going to feel leading up to it. This is why I want to give you the layout of what it’s like to have me as your wedding photographer.

A Little Background on Me

I’m originally from a small town in India and my love for storytelling started early in my childhood. There’s something so special about the love between two people, all the memories they share and the emotions that they go through on such a special day like their wedding. These moments are what I LIVE for when documenting, and why I started taking photos in the first place.

Prior to starting my business I worked a 9-5 job that wasn’t a good fit for me.  Constantly craving creativity and interacting with people I began to explore the film industry and eventually landed on becoming a wedding photographer.  With some of my background based in film, I have been able to develop an experience based process that results in candid, and cinematic feeling photos.

I love documenting emotion, not the fake forced smiles and intimacy, but real emotion, so I work hard to help my couples feel these emotions and be present throughout their time with me to create authentic photos they love.

“Her personality is amazing, so we instantly felt comfortable being ourselves and posing as a couple in front of her. “ -Katie

Couple smiles and sit on a bench together in a park

Getting to Know You

In order to make you feel comfortable from the start of the session, it is a priority of mine to get to know you and your story prior to us working together.  I know your love story is one of a kind.  I know that there are so many things that got you two to where you are right now in this relationship, which is why I take the time to get to know you before you even show up to your session or wedding day. As your wedding photographer, I know how important it is to get to know you before documenting your story.

With these details, I’ll be able to work with you to create a session that you two feel comfortable and natural in.  Whether it’s the way I have you sit on a park bench, the questions or prompts I give you, or even where we have our session, every detail will be crafted to better tell the story of your relationship and your love.

During your session, I will continue to get to know the two of you. I will ask questions about your love story, such as who went in for a kiss first, or can you describe the first time you said I love you?  These questions will help you to focus on one another and bring out some feelings and memories that will translate into photos. Capturing that genuine emotion and being able to share it with you is one of my favorite parts of my job.

“We wanted stolen pictures with true emotions during our wedding, and she captured it perfectly.”  -Francine

Couple posing together under string lights

Documenting Who You Are Right Now

In every relationship, there are different chapters.  You and your partner go through so many different phases of life together which is why photography is SO important in preserving your memories.

As your wedding photographer, your experience with me is more than just photos.  When putting together your session or wedding day, I want you to have an experience that you’ll remember. We won’t just be checking boxes on a list of photos. You and your partner will have fun and feel the emotions we want to document during your session.  We will choose a space for your session that represents you.  Whether it’s walking around the streets of Chicago you fell in love with all those years ago, or exploring one of your bucket list locations, we will craft your session to represent you.

Throughout your sessions or portraits we will incorporate things that you and your partner do in your relationship.  Things as simple as walking down the street talking about your future together bring out so much natural emotion and help me to document your love in a way that is authentic to you. Looking back at your photos from this time in your life, whether it be your engagement, anniversary, wedding or elopement I want you to feel the emotions you felt that day and what your love was like during this time.

I will guide you through every step of the session. You will never feel lost or wonder what to do with your hands.  I want you to feel confident throughout your session so you look confident in the photos we take. I will be there prompting you with what to do and what to focus on every step of the way.

“Not every photo tells a story but trust me the pictures that Shree clicks will take you back to memory lane.” -Venkata

Bride and groom dance in front of snow covered Hindu temple

The Rundown from Inquiry to Delivery

Your Wedding Photography Inquiry

The first step of our journey together will be to set up a call. I opt for a call over an inquiry form because it streamlines the booking process. A call allows us to get to know each other and finalize details all within 15-20 minutes. Photography is a super intimate experience. This is why it’s important that we get to know each other before we take any steps towards booking. 

On our call, we will go over the packages that are listed on my website. After that, we will talk about what your expectations are for your session and get to know one another. You can schedule a time for our 30 minute discovery call here. From there we will decide whether or not we want to move forward. After our call if we seem like a good fit for one another I’ll send over your contract and we can work on the next steps.

The Contract

After your call we will decide on a date and time for your session. Shortly after I will send over a proposal that will include your contract and invoice.  Contracts are necessary for protecting both you the client and I the photographer.  It ensures that you receive the services you are paying for, and it keeps both parties accountable.  When I send over the contract and invoice you will have a couple of days to fill it out and get it back to me.  Please look over your entire contract and also save a copy of your contract for your records.

After your contract is signed and your non-refundable retainer is paid your date will officially be reserved. From there we can begin planning and getting excited about our session!  The remainder of your payment will be due on an agreed-upon date prior to your session or wedding day.

Leading up to Your Session

After your date is reserved we will get to planning.  Together we will decide on a time and place for your session or elopement. Along with the time and place, we will talk about any expectations or must-have photos you and your partner want.  From there I will research the location(s), and begin putting together a plan.  As your session gets closer we will touch bases on things such as outfits (for engagement sessions), a finalized timeline, the weather, and what to expect when you get to your session.

Couple poses sitting on steps and in front of the Chicago theatre

Your Session

When you arrive at your session we will take some time to get to know each other in person. We will take our time and break the ice so you two feel comfortable throughout the session.  A general rule I have is that the first 15 minutes of the session are ALL about getting you comfortable.  So no pressure, just getting you loose and moving so that you can just get comfortable interacting with one another while a camera is on the two of you.

After you two are loose and we are having fun I will guide you through your session.  Between prompts that bring out emotion between the two of you, fun activities to get you moving in front of the camera and just exploring the spaces around us, our time together will FLY by.  We will have so much fun!

After the Session or Wedding

After your session, you and your partner will receive an email from me a couple of days later! In that email will be a timeline of when you will receive your full album, along with some sneak peeks!  I LOVE sending over sneak peeks right after your session because your memory of the day is still so fresh.  After that, you will receive your photos within 3 weeks of your session and within 6 weeks of your elopement or wedding day. 

Ordering Prints

I firmly believe that photos should live outside of our phones and computers. You will receive your photos through my online gallery delivery system linked with my website. There you will be able to download your photos, order prints or albums, and share them with your loved ones. I HIGHLY suggest printing out your images to have around your home and share with your loved ones. Photos are taken to be shared and displayed so you can tell your story.

That covers what it’s like to work with me as your Chicago wedding photographer! Like I said I love photographing people and their love stories. Whether it be your wedding, engagement or couples session I’m so excited to be a part of it. I would love the opportunity to be a tiny part of your story and capture some magical moments for you to cherish forever

Photographer sitting on grass wearing a hoodie

March 10, 2022

Sreeja Ankam

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