Renaissance Blackstone; Glessner House Museum, Chicago, Illinois

When a talented wedding photographer gets married, there’s a good chance there will be great light, great portrait locations, interesting venues and a few edgy details that make the wedding unique.

Elena and her fiancé David chose Mauricio for their downtown Chicago wedding, with our friend and former groom Kevin Weinstein as the second photographer. She admits that most of the planning came from her background as a photographer and what she has learned about weddings along the way. “Photography was a major player in the scheduling of events,” Elena said. “The flow of the day was largely dictated by things that are important to me when I’m shooting, like lighting conditions and extra time, because frankly I couldn’t help it! David and I did a “first look” so that we could spend as much time shooting with Mauricio and Kevin as possible before the ceremony.”

Elena wanted an outdoor ceremony so her ceremony photos would be in natural light. She chose the courtyard of the Glessner House Museum, where Mauricio was able to find some creative angles even Elena hadn’t foreseen. “We both love the unexpected shot of our ceremony from the view of the flower girl and ring bearer from inside the house,” Elena said. “That one blows my mind.  Mauricio running up into the house during the ceremony took guts, and his risks always paid off.”

The reception was at the grand Renaissance Blackstone Hotel, with tearful speeches and a fun dance party (the violin player and DJ are a groom and groomsman Elena shot in New Orleans a few years ago).

Elena said she learned a lot from being in the bride’s role. “Being in front of the lens put me in a vulnerable position that I wasn’t used to, on probably the most emotional day of my life,” she said. “And I realized how important it is to trust the people photographing you. During the course of our wedding day, I was nervous, and emotional, beyond words at times. Experiencing that vulnerability and having someone, essentially a perfect stranger, take care of me like a friend was extremely touching and, honestly, kind of life-changing for me. Mauricio went so above and beyond the duties of a ‘wedding photographer’ that it feels strange for me to label him that way. And he contributed more to our day than gorgeous photos. Which, when you see the photos you’re like,  ‘whoa, wait, he contributed more than THESE? Is that even possible?  Is he human?’ Yes, it is possible. And it means he’s truly special, and is very special to us.  We consider ourselves very lucky to have found him.”

Authored by: Photographed by: MauricioCategory:  WeddingsDestination:  Chicago, IllinoisVenue:  Renaissance Blackstone; Glessner House Museum