Today we get to chat about J Wiley Photography in Chicago, also serving the upper Midwest (and everywhere else… she travels!). Jennifer, the powerhouse behind the lens, describes herself as, “Your typical nerd-academic-sociologist-turned-wedding-photographer. Well, maybe that’s not so typical.” Which means, of course, J Wiley Photography has been a perfect fit with the super smart, super educated Team Practical since she came on last year. She is, after all, more or less typical around here. Jennifer has shot a ton of your weddings and loved every minute of them. She’s also a So You’re EnGayed approved vendor (as all photographers should be) so you know her values are right on point!
Her work is this delightful blend of quirky and artsy, mixed with traditional. You’ll love her photos, your mom will love her photos (and get the beautiful formal shots she wants), and every single picture will be crisp, beautiful, and timeless. You could not ask for a more perfect blend.
J Wiley’s wedding photography packages start at $3100, and she’s offering Team Practical this discount: “For APWers, couples can pick either a 2nd photographer for no extra cost in my 6 hour coverage option, or $200 off any package. Also, since I know a lot of APWers have artistic sensibilities, if any couple requests a roll or two of film shot on a Holga at their wedding or engagement, I’ll totally hook them up for free!” So run with that, ladies and gents.
I asked Jennifer to describe why she likes working with APW couples, and what she wrote me was more of a love note to Team Practical than anything else. It’s not just that she likes working with APWers, it’s that she has this profound gratitude for how lucky she is to work with you guys. That blows me away, because it’s just so magic:
In the last year I’ve been so incredibly fortunate to meet the couples I’ve worked with. I can’t even express how happy it makes me to be part of their wedding day. My partner and I (and I mean personal partner-in-love, not just sometimes-photography-partner) photographed a same-sex wedding IN a hot air balloon. It was just myself, the balloon operator, the couple, and the officiant. There were exactly 3 people who witnessed their vows, and I was one of them. And after the ceremony the officiant needed the signature of two witnesses, so mine and my partner’s signatures are now on their marriage license forever and ever. So wonderfully surreal.
I think the most important thing I’ve learned about why I love what I do isn’t because of the venues (though I do love gorgeous urban & rustic spaces) or the clothes (though I adore colorful high heels & custom Converse), it’s the emotion. My goal is always to capture the emotion of the day first. The connection that couples have, and especially the way they look at each other is what really makes a wedding unique. I also find that some of the most beautiful moments of a wedding day are those “in between” moments that often happen when the couple is alone, when no one else is looking, and when nothing particularly memorable is happening. Couples have a chance to just breathe, and just look at each other and just be together. That’s what I really want to capture in a photo. (And since I tend to be unobtrusive and very sneaky, I catch a lot of these moments.)
So Chicago ladies and gents, not to mention all those of you in the upper midwest, check out J Wiley Photography. And after you’ve had piles of fun with Jennifer, send me the beautiful pictures, yes? Pretty please, and thank you!
Photos: All photos are from APW reader weddings!