J Wiley Photography In Chicago

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!

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  • Yay!! :D :D

  • Joanne

    I heard about Jennifer through APW last fall and met with her shortly thereafter. It was clear right away that she would be the perfect photographer for our wedding. Since then I’ve been following her blog and continue to be impressed with the quality and emotion of her photographs. I can’t wait for her to shoot our wedding this November and will definitely report back with photos!

  • Sauming

    Cheers to Jennifer!!! And omg, my wedding pics are on APW – surreal!!! I also first heard about Jennifer through APW and was simply amazed by her work online before I worked up the nerve to contact her. She is every bit as genuine, effortless, and inspirational as her pictures, and it was an absolute honor to meet and work with her. Even the best man was completely moved by her work!! It is absolutely coming from my heart when I say that I could not fathom having anyone else for my big day, and I am overwhelmingly thankful that I walked away with both kick-ass pictures and a new friend!

  • Audra

    I have to add to the Jen W. Love!!!

    I’m the fifth bride down– the one bent over, laughing. I had no idea that Jen captured that moment, and I’m so thankful she did! It was right before Paul and I were going to be announced, and we were alone for a moment, and he said something that cracked me up… It’s wonderful that she was able to capture that moment, while preserving a brief second that Paul and I had together…

    Jen has this amazing, calming presence about her– when I got down to our limo, I realized that I forgot some jewelry in the hotel room… I started to get panicky that we were leaving late, and Jen looked at me with confidence and told me that I was the bride– nothing was starting without me. Her steadfast ability to stay calm and be in the moment centered me and helped me through an important day.

    Not only do we have amazing photos from both the wedding and the engagement, we have wonderful memories of Jen being a supportive role the entire day. THANK YOU!!! :)

  • Ever since Jennifer photographed our wedding (http://apracticalwedding.com/2010/02/wedding-graduate-rebecca-of-princess/), I cannot recommend her to enough people. I am definitely hoping that it will fit her schedule to come photograph the bris of our baby who is due any day now (if it turns out to be a boy) and to bring her to all of our family events. She captures the actual experience and not just the aesthetics of events so very well.