Ben Pancoast Photography » Wedding and Portrait photography by Ben Pancoast Photography

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Just a few of my favorites from an incredibly beautiful wedding we shot last fall in Chicago. Bridal party photos were done at North Avenue Beach and Union Station prior to the wedding ceremony at Saint Alphonsus Catholic Church. There’s so much I love from this wedding and I

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hope to post more some time soon! Many thanks to my friend and second photographer that day, Dan Terpstra for the good company and great pictures! And of course congrats to beautiful bride and her groom Beth & Arnie, thanks for including us in your day!

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Work should’t be this much fun… but it is! I had a chance to hang out with the Luther family last fall and we took some pictures pictures in the studio and then out in grand mere were the fall colors were still beautiful. We kept the pictures short and sweet in each location partly because it was cold out but also because lets face it kids don’t have much attention span and we we try to work WITH that as opposed to combatting it. All in all I think we got some great shots and Emily couldn’t possibly be any cuter!

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Just found these awesome silhouette engagement photos we did last year while digging through my computer for something else… I loved this engagement shoot! We were way out in the dunes in Grand Mere Michigan with all this camping gear and ended up shooting all sorts of stuff in the dark! We actually hiked out there just before the sun began to set and set up a whole bunch of different pictures but these are a few of my favorites! There’s just something fun about a beautiful silhouette! I wish I could take credit for the cool props but that was the brides idea… she’s another photographer (an awesome one) and she’s just really creative like that! It’s always great when a couple brings their own ideas to

Engagement Photos in the Dunes in Michigan
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Engagement Photos Camping in Michigan

a shoot and we can go to a location that other people have been to and still find a way to make the shot personal! It doesn’t always take a whole lot of thought or creativity either, just tie the locations to places that mean something to you, or incorporate an activity that you love, or come up with your own twist on a shot or location you love! The more fun you have with it the better the pictures will be! Oh but a word to the wise… if you’re going to bring a ton of camping gear out into the middle of the dunes and build a camp fire, and then hike back in total darkness… bring extra help, preferably someone really strong who doesn’t mind climbing giant sand hills blind while carrying rope, sleeping bags, lanterns, firewood, an axe, coffee mugs, and… I can’t remember all the other stuff we brought!! Thank goodness for Uncle Danny!

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One of the wedding trends we saw a lot more of this past year were Paper Lanterns being lit and set off after wedding receptions. While it’s obviously a breath taking thing to behold, especially if you’ve never witnessed dozens of paper lanterns drifting up the into the night there are a couple of very important things to keep in mind. First, these things are weather dependent!! They just won’t fill with hot air if there’s much more than a gentle breeze so be prepared to scratch the idea if the weather isn’t

Sky Lantern Wedding Photos
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Paper Lantern Wedding Reception
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Paper Sky lanterns

co-operating. Second they are a FIRE HAZARD!!! Check which way the wind is blowing and be considerate, no one wants a flaming lantern to land on a building or get caught in a tree like they did at this wedding reception! =) Also, be sure to check with the venue where you’re getting married if you want to set these things off, some venue’s will allow it while others do not or simply cannot due to certain town/county restrictions. Finally, remember these things end up in other peoples back yards, in farm fields, and in lakes, there are sky lanterns that are completely biodegradable and then there are those that aren’t if at all possible, try to find sky lanterns that won’t cause a problem down the road for someone else! Obviously if everything works out like it did at this Willow Harbor Wedding you’re going to have a great time and we’re going to capture some incredible pictures but you might want to come prepared with a back up plan like sparklers… Just in Case!! =)

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This is one of my favorite shots from Brent & Amanda’s winter engagement shoot which we shot in an apple orchard of all places! Talk about a beautiful location for some winter photos, we certainly got lucky having some of the apples and leaves still on the trees! I can’t wait to post more from this fun portrait session on the farm! A couple quick tips for those of you considering a winter engagement session: look for colorful locations, prioritize your favorite spots first, warm up frequently, and a cute coat goes a long way in making any winter session a success!

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  • March 18, 2014 - 4:15 am

    Winter Engagement Photos | Chicago IL - […] Winter engagement sessions can be a lot of fun, but when you have a winter as cold and brutal as the one we’ve had in Chicago this year it makes it a bit of a challenge to find that “perfect time” to take your engagement photos. Some times you just have to GO FOR IT, and thats exactly what Bryan & Stephani did, we braved the frigid temperatures and brutal lakefront wind chill, and ended up with some beautiful pictures… and ok maybe a little frost bite? But hey it was for a great cause and in the end it just makes it all that much more memorable! […]