WedAwards Collection 21

Comment

WedAwards Collection 21

I'm so excited to announce that two more of my couples' images have been selected as winners for WedAward's 21st Collection!

Huge, huge congrats to Leanne + Bill and Hillary + Mark!!!

Leanne + Bill just before our sun set on a GORGEOUS day (after the weather had been calling for nothing but storms even that morning)

Leanne + Bill just before our sun set on a GORGEOUS day (after the weather had been calling for nothing but storms even that morning)

A fun little double-exposure with Hillary and Mark

A fun little double-exposure with Hillary and Mark

As always, thank you, thank you to WedAward!

Illinois Award-Winning Photographer Christi Chambers

Comment

S Family : In-home Family Session

Comment

S Family : In-home Family Session

I'm a sucker for the authentic moments, and nothing gets more authentic than just being able to capture a family doing what they do... those little routines that are so easy to forget but that are actually some of the most precious times you get with your little one(s).

There's so much depth in the day-to-day, and when Jenny got hold of me and said she just wanted to remember what life feels like for them right now, I knew we were in for a good one.

All that to say... I. love. in-home family sessions. full stop.

Ok, enough jabbering. Let's get to the smiley baby and naps so good they leave a handprint:

066.jpg

Comment

WedAwards Collection 20

Comment

WedAwards Collection 20

It's always a happy-dance kinda day when you open your inbox to this:

"We're pleased to inform you..."

Wedding photography is such a subjective pursuit. What you love and think is interesting and beautiful may not be exactly what the next person thinks is interesting and beautiful, so when a wedding photographer gets concrete evidence that credible people in the industry think your work is great, you walk around with a huge grin on your face for three straight days.

All that to say, I'm on day three of smiling over here because three images from my portfolio were recently selected and named winners in the Twentieth Collection of the WedAwards, and I'm over the moon!

What I think is cool is that all three of these images included, at some point, me saying to my couples something to the effect of trust me! Whether it's scrambling over rocks or getting sprinkled on or hopping in the golf cart to shoot at a location several minutes from the reception, my couples are just always game for my suggestions.

Y'all are seriously the best. Thank you!!!!!

Award winning photographer
CHRISTI CHAMBERS 2.jpg

Comment

Ireland and Northern Ireland!

Comment

Ireland and Northern Ireland!

I am so, so excited to announce that I'll be in Ireland and Northern Ireland this August for a couple of shoots!

(*and pints of Guinness)

If you're planning an elopement or will be over there during the beginning of August, get hold of me, and let's put together something downright magical ;)

Places we'll be:

• Dublin
• Belfast
• Killarney/Co. Kerry

Ireland Elopement Photographer

Comment

Alexis + Jay : Engaged

Comment

Alexis + Jay : Engaged

"How'd your shoots in Atlanta go?"
"Oh ya know, alright. Just maybe some of my favorites ever."

I got to visit my old stomping grounds (Atlanta) this past weekend to shoot Alexis and Jay's engagement session, and these three ('63 Cadillacs are people too) knocked it out of the park.

I'd say Alexis and Jay are kinda fond of each other.

Thanks definitely goes out to Jeanette Denham (a former bride of mine and one of Alexis's bridesmaids) for art-directing this incredible shoot, Gennie Stephens (also a former bride of mine and one of Alexis's bridesmaids), and Angie Mitchell (one of my dear second shooters) for assisting with gear and lighting and always knowing where my keys are when I don't. Love all you guys so much!

Holy hell, I can't wait for this wedding in Naples, FL next January. Fun fact: Alexis grew up in the US Virgin Islands, and I've been told there are going to be steel drums.

Steel drums, you guys.

Anyway, enjoy this Madmen-inspired engagement session with Alexis and Jay! I sure did.

0088.jpg
0090.jpg
0091.jpg
0096.jpg

Comment

Meg, Gigi, and Oskee

Comment

Meg, Gigi, and Oskee

Meg got hold of me recently and explained that she'd taken in a sweet 12-year-old foster dog just a few months ago, one that she knew had cancer. Gigi, her foster, doesn't have much time left, so she knew she wanted to document their relationship. We compared schedules and got something booked as quickly as possible. After a quick chat over the phone about the images that were most important to Meg, we headed out one gorgeous morning to hang out and capture Gigi, Meg, and her 5-year-old lab Oskee together.

And oh boy, it was such a sweet session.

Meg had mentioned a group called Live Like Roo that sends care packages to anyone with a dog who has cancer. In some cases, they even provide financial assistance to help deal with the costs of oncology surgery, chemo, or radiation.

In the care packages they send, one of the items is a gift card for an ice cream cone... because every dog with cancer deserves to enjoy an ice cream cone, and Gigi is no exception.

Got your tissues? Ok good. Here's our session:

Newman Nation Senior Pets
Gigi
Funny dogs
University of Illinois Arboretum
Live Like Roo
Senior Dog
045.jpg
048.jpg
058.jpg
062.jpg
064.jpg
068.jpg
070.jpg
074.jpg
076.jpg
078.jpg
080.jpg
084.jpg
088.jpg
090.jpg
092.jpg
093.jpg
098.jpg
100.jpg
106.jpg
110.jpg
118.jpg
124.jpg
126.jpg
133.jpg
156.jpg
158.jpg
Live Like Roo
Live Like Roo Care Package
Live Like Roo Ice Cream Cone
140.jpg

Meg shared the rescue she's working with for Gigi's care as well. Newman Nation: Senior Pets United's mission is to rescue unwanted/abandoned senior pets across the United States either for placement as a forever foster or to be adopted out.

If you'd like to donate or get involved with either Live Like Roo or Newman Nation, both have several ways you can help!

Meg, this was such a touching, if bittersweet, session, and sessions like these are why I love photography. I love the meaningful and deep parts of life, and I know that you have made an entire world of difference for Gigi for the last, and maybe even most important months, of her life. I know, and I'm positive she knows, how much you love her.

Thank you for sharing your little family!!

Christi

Comment

Caitlin + Benjamin : Engaged

Comment

Caitlin + Benjamin : Engaged

Wedding day rain

It's funny how things work out. Springfield, MO isn't huge, but it certainly isn't tiny either...

It wasn't until after we were talking wedding photography (which was a completely chance meeting all its own) that Caitlin and I discovered that I not only knew her older brother from college, but that I actually knew her fiancé and his family because we'd carpooled for years in elementary school.

Just makes me wonder what it would be like to go back to our carpool days and say to Benjamin, "Someday, when you fall in love with a girl and get married," (EWWWWW) "this kid next to you in a plaid dress and non-ironic pigtails is going to take pictures of the whole thing."

Life is weird, and I like it.

Nothing makes me more excited for a wedding than a couple that adores each other, and this one fits the bill. I'm so excited for this November 2017 wedding in Springfield, MO!

Sequiota Park Springfield, MO
Springfield, MO engagement photos
Candid photography
b060.jpg
Sequiota Bike Shop
All Saints Anglican Church
All Saints Anglican Church
Wedding photographer Springfield, MO
Allerton Mansion Wedding

View more of their session here:

Caitlin and Benjamin's wedding planner is Mary Douglas of Bringing It Together. I've literally known Mary my entire life, and she works some serious magic at weddings. Can't wait to see what she puts together for these two at First and Calvary and The Old Glass Place!!

Comment

Ordering Prints

Comment

Ordering Prints

Hey All! This is just a quick tutorial on how to purchase prints through your galleries.

Gallery Sets

Sets are just folders within the gallery to help organize the images. Your gallery may or may not have multiple sets included.

You can switch between them using the menu just above the first image in the gallery, left side of the screen. (This will be directly below the cover image at the very top of the page.)

In this case, Leanne and Bill's gallery is divided into
     • Leanne + Bill (this is the entire set of images we captured on their wedding day)
     • Family + Friends (these are portraits, not candids, of the guests)
     • Highlights (this is typically a set of 200-250 of the best images in general)

Wedding Photographer Champaign, IL

Adding a Print to Your Cart

You can either:

A) Hover over the image you'd like to purchase a print of, and three little icons will appear in the upper righthand corner of the print. Click on the Cart button (middle).

Engagement Session
Wedding Pics

or B) Click on the image itself, and you'll be able to see Buy Photo above the enlarged image.

Wedding Bouquets

Either of those options will bring up this following window where you will need to choose how many of which size you'd like to order.

Then you can choose to Keep Shopping or View Cart:

Wedding Photography Studio

Once you're finished choosing your prints and have clicked on View Cart, this following window will appear.

If you've got any coupons to apply (such as SHIP35 for free shipping on orders over $35), enter them on this screen.

Then simply follow the prompts and check out like any other online order!

If you have any questions at all about the ordering process, please get in touch!

Call, text, or email me here:

Christi Chambers
hello@christichambers.com
678-702-3845

**Note, if you call and I don't pick up, please leave a voicemail. I get a TON of spam calls, but I do listen to my voicemail and will give you a call back as soon as possible!

Comment

Kelly + Justin's Engagement Session Sneak Peek!

Comment

Kelly + Justin's Engagement Session Sneak Peek!

With Kelly's and my session-date-picking powers combined, we managed to choose one of the coldest days in a recent string of unseasonably warm weather! We're pros, I tell ya.

No, but really... you wouldn't have even known it was chilly with these guys. Kelly and Justin, you guys were great! You have so much fun together, which means I have so much fun with you. And I think Grady is a total little gentleman, at least when treats are concerned. But that counts!

Loved this cool (literally and figuratively) session at Meadowbrook Park in Urbana.

Can't wait to shoot this Urbana Country Club wedding in September!!

Engagement Session with Chocolate Lab
Gorgeous chocolate lab
Meadowbrook Park Windsor Rd. Urbana, IL
Illinois engagement photographer
Meadow brook park engagement session

Comment

Comment

You guys, I Won A Fearless Award!

Well, it's not every day that you find out that you won a truly competitive international award, but today? I DID.

(Fun fact: I actually won it several years ago and somehow missed the congratulations.)

Fearless Photographers is, in their words, "a unique directory of the world's best wedding photographers who are not afraid to push the limits of professional wedding photography to surprise you with extraordinary wedding photos of your wedding day."

But I've had the utmost respect for Fearless Photographers for years and been endlessly inspired by the creative work of the other Fearless photographers. I've learned so much about making striking photographs and moving wedding photojournalism simply from being a part of the community, and to have my image included alongside this genuinely humbling, talented collection of international photographers puts such a huge smile on my face, and probably will for the next month.

I don't know who to say "Thank You" to, but I want to say it to somebody, and such a huge part of it goes to all of the clients over the years who have trusted me to document one of the biggest days of theirs lives. But I also can't leave out my husband, Steve, who has unfailingly pushed and encouraged me, even when I wanted to quit wedding photography for good.

Geez, this is starting to sound like I think I won an Academy Award or something. Moving on.

Wedding photojournalism has certainly become a bit of a buzzword in the industry, but the candid side of wedding photography is my first love when it comes to this job. The juxtaposition of beautiful settings with quirky moments and the mix of a highly choreographed day with spontaneity and the unexpected have always delighted me. I love how photography takes those tiny, unplanned moments and makes them into entire stories, about how we care for and interact with the people we love... like sisters who will clean lipstick off your teeth.

Award Winning Wedding Photography Illinois

I love what I do. I really, really, really love it.

Comment

Mallory + Brian: Engagement Session

Comment

Mallory + Brian: Engagement Session

So, as soon as I looked out the window this morning, I knew I was going to text Mallory. At our initial wedding consultation a few weeks back, Mallory and Brian said they hadn't thought much about an engagement session. Then Mallory goes, "But something like fog would be so cool!"

Which is why she got a text at 6:30 this morning basically saying, "YOU GUYS IN?"

Fast-forward about an hour, and my kiddo's been whisked off to her daycare a bit early, Brian's fighting very little sleep, and Mallory's boss has been cool enough to let her come in a bit late, all so we can make a little magic happen. Mission accomplished, I'd say.

Holy crap, guys, I can't wait for this wedding. Thank you for being such amazing sports, and thank you, Mallory's boss, for making my week!!

Champaign IL engagement photographer
UIUC golf course
Wedding Photographer near me
Engagement photographer near me

 

 

Comment

Abalone Cove Post-Wedding Session

Comment

Abalone Cove Post-Wedding Session

My husband, daughter, and I have been out in LA for a bit while my husband works. It has been g.o.r.g.e.o.u.s. and I never ever want to go back to Illinois, except that that's where our house is, and our dog, and our friends, and our jobs, and it takes 15 minutes to get anywhere you want to go. BUT OTHER THAN THAT.

Anyway, while we were out here, the stars aligned (and an old friend said he knew a couple who'd be interested in a shoot), and voila. Last night, Paige, Jon, and I ventured out to Abalone Cove Shoreline Park, and it was just magic. I had suggested the location, but 30 minutes before we were done shooting, Jon pointed out to the horizon (Catalina Island) and said, "That's actually where we got engaged. Right there in that little dip on the island."

But nothing makes a great shoot like great people... great people who are all for climbing over rocks to get the perfect shot. (People who have bouncy houses at their wedding don't tend to be pearl-clutchy about such things.)

All in all, it was an absolutely beautiful evening, and the very last frame of the shoot is one of my favorite images I've ever had the privilege of creating. Can't beat that.

Paige and Jon, thank you for such a wonderful evening. (And you'll be happy to know that my devious parking job saved me from a parking ticket!)

DQ1A1168.jpg
Abalone Cove Wedding Photography
Wayfarers Chapel Wedding Photographer
Abalone Cove Shoreline Park Los Angeles
BHLDN Dress Wedding Photography
Champaign IL Wedding Photographer
Allerton Park Wedding Photographer
Ireland Destination Wedding Photographer
Ireland Wedding Photographer
Bloomington Illinois Wedding Photographer
Ireland Destination Wedding Photographer

Location: Abalone Cove Shoreline Park, Palos Verdes (Los Angeles)
Dress: BHLDN
Veil: Etsy

Comment

Wedding Planning: Do I Need a Second Photographer?

1 Comment

Wedding Planning: Do I Need a Second Photographer?

Destination Wedding Photographer Illinois

This is one of the most common questions I get asked by my couples. While 75-80% choose to have me bring a second (or even third) photographer, they're not essential, and there are definitely some situations in which it's much more important than others to have multiple photographers present. So! Here we go:

When You Don't Need a Second Photographer

Second photographers aren't free, and they're not an expense that everyone needs to worry about. If all three of the following things line up with your plans, I can comfortably cover the whole thing by myself:

• Small guest list, i.e. fewer than 50-60 guests.
• Laid-back timeline with plenty of padding (so that I'm not trying to cover two very important moments that are scheduled minutes apart). This is especially true if you don't see each other before the ceremony.
• Single-location event (not switching venues between ceremony and reception). This isn't as big of a deal, but it definitely helps. Private venues (weddings at homes) help as well since the grounds tend to be much smaller than commercial properties.

Now, no matter what, I can always shoot a wedding on my own. I can cover things from my perspective, and I will still give you a beautiful, creatively told story of your wedding day. However, every couple should know what a second photographer could add to the experience.

Outdoor Wedding Illinois
Destination Wedding Photographer St Louis Chicago Indianapolis Illinois

Why You Should Consider a Second Photographer

Weddings are always at least a little crazy, and second photographers help take the crazy and make it fun-crazy since you can just enjoy the happy chaos of getting married (rather than worrying about timeline and whether or not an important moment is being missed). Why second photographers are awesome:

Second photographers provide an additional storyline of the big day. Just as the laws of physics dictate that you will only experience your wedding day from one point of view, I can only cover the day from my point of view. One of the biggest things I hear from couples when they see their finished images is, "There are so many moments in here I never even knew happened!" Just the richness of story added by a second photographer is worth it, as far as I'm concerned.
• Second photographers provide variety of perspective and artistic vision. When my second photographer and I are shooting in separate locations, the point is, naturally, to tell two different stories. But when we're shooting in the same place, the point is to tell the same story in two different ways. My second photographers keep an eye on what lens I'm shooting with and know to use one that's either much wider or much closer than what I'm currently using. They will also never be "shooting over my shoulder" as this just doubles up on an image I'm already capturing. They'll be shooting at least 90 degrees off of what I am to make sure we're covering things fully and from unique perspectives.

The following is a typical example of a wedding day "micro-story." Since Caroline and her father are very close, I stayed back with them to catch the sweet moment before he walked her down the aisle. This allowed me to capture Josh's expression with Caroline and Dad in the foreground (my favorite angle), and it also allowed me to get a shot of the back of her dress as she walked down the aisle. BUT, my amazing second photographer Angie (hey Ang!) caught the indispensable final shot in this four-image story that is just packed with emotion: Dad's nerves and tenderness (notice his hand brushing his daughters?) and Caroline's excitement and joy.

Modern Wedding Venue St Louis Chicago Indianapolis
Groom


• Second photographers make a tightly scheduled day more laid-back. They relieve a lot of the pressure on me to be running between important events during a finely choreographed schedule. (The less running I do, the more shooting I can do.) Especially if you're not seeing each other before the ceremony, we have a lot to accomplish in that time between the ceremony and the reception. A second photographer allows me to relax and focus on giving you a big, beautiful portrait to hang over your fireplace while they take individual shots of the wedding party.
Second photographers are the next best thing to me being able to clone myself. There are times of the day where important things happen in completely different places. Unlike your ceremony where everyone's in the same place at the same time, couples usually spend the first 2-3 hours of the shooting day nowhere near each other. Additionally, once the ceremony is over, the wedding party and family hang out with me and take pictures while your guests part ways with us and head for cocktail hour. This is a perfect time for the second photographer to capture them catching up with each other and grabbing the first drink of the night.
Second photographers are insurance for those all-important (but often very quick) moments: the groom's face the second after he sees his bride, dad giving away his daughter, grandmother blessing the rings, the first kiss, the first dance, mom tearing up during her toast. While I take every precaution to make sure those shots are captured (and I'll have my eye on that guest that's most likely to hop into the aisle in front of me to get an iPhone snap of your first kiss), a second photographer is another layer of security to make sure we'll have beautiful images of those moments to include in your album.
Second photographers allow me to be more creative. Best to use an example: because I know that we'll have the shot straight down the aisle of your first kiss, I can take a chance and run around behind you two and catch the shot with all of your guests in the background. Boom. Can't beat it.

Train Station Wedding Illinois St Louis

Conclusion

I don't ever want a couple to feel as though they're being pressured into a choice. Wedding planning, even with everything that goes along with it, should be fun and as stress free as possible, so I'll reiterate: you don't need a second photographer. No one needs one. If the cost of hiring a second photographer is a significant portion of your entire wedding budget, then you might want to save the money for something else. But if it's in your budget to do so, they can be a huge asset and provide a beautiful, valuable addition to your wedding day story.

FAQs About Second Photographers

Do you know who my second photographer will be?
Not right when you book. While I mark your wedding day off my calendar 12, 18, 24 months before the big day, I won't ask for a firm commitment from them until probably 2-3 months before the wedding.

Do I have to decide if I want a second photographer when I sign the contract?
Nope! About 75% of my couples will choose whether or not they want one in the initial package, but it's definitely not necessary. If you've sat down for a consultation with me, you'll know that the only decision you have to make to sign the contract is whether or not you want me to be your wedding photographer. Everything else can be decided on later.

How much experience do your second photographers have?
Lots. For the most part, my second shooters have their own businesses and book their own weddings. They know what's up. Whether or not they book their own weddings, though, I get a good feel for their style and experience long before they shoot a wedding with me, and by the time your wedding rolls around, they'll know exactly what I need from them day-of. A good second shooter can be a life (and sanity) saver, and I've been lucky to always be able to find and work with great ones so far.

 

1 Comment

2017 Wedding Albums! (And our dog)

Comment

2017 Wedding Albums! (And our dog)

I've recently fallen in love and left my committed relationship...

with my old album companies.

They were wonderful, and I'm still so proud of every album I designed and ordered from them, but I wanted a fresher (but still world class) album company to offer my clients.

And boy howdy, I found 'em.

It's a hard decision to move to a new company when new sample albums run you several hundred bucks just to start, but my sample finally landed on my doorstep yesterday, and it was so. worth it.

For all weddings moving forward, I'll be offering RedTree Albums to my clients, and I truly believe it's an invaluable addition to their wedding experience.

12x12 album in Deep Sea luxe linen with gold debossing

12x12 album in Deep Sea luxe linen with gold debossing

I went back an forth on whether or not to offer all of the cover options because I think decision fatigue is such a huge (and underrated) factor for brides that can negatively color the experience of wedding planning.

But I decided to order the entire color palette for every cover option (leathers, linens, fabrics), because I believe that after spending a year getting to know my couples' personalities, the feel of their wedding aesthetic, their budget, and probably even a few questions about their home decor, I'll be able to confidently recommend what I believe would be the top three cover options for them.

075.jpg

One of the big reasons I went with RedTree was their great options for cover debossing. They have several foil color options, font options, and they even do a super-modern blind debossing (the text imprint without any foil in it). I swoon over swoon-worthy album debossing. It's my thing, man.

DQ1A9219.jpg

What's that you ask? You want to see pictures of Stella? Right this way.

DQ1A9176.jpg
DQ1A9181.jpg

I completely monopolized her squirrel-watching perch while shooting my samples, and do you know how many squirrels got away with eating birdseed because of it? So many.

DQ1A9189.jpg
DQ1A9191-2.jpg

But, anyway... sexy, sexy wedding albums. Coming to a lucky newlywed couple near you.

DQ1A9225.jpg

Comment

Dalton Family

2 Comments

Dalton Family

Last Weekend:

Very cold: check.
First snowfall of the year: check.
Family session scheduled: check.
Crazy morning that almost got family session cancelled: check.
Super game family that braved it all happily: check.
My favorite winter pictures ever: check.

Shot in downtown Champaign.

006.jpg
009.jpg
018.jpg
025.jpg
028.jpg
030.jpg
038.jpg
043.jpg
056.jpg
061.jpg
074.jpg

2 Comments