Ok, so here’s proof that men do think about their wedding day. Maybe not to the same extent that women do, but we do put some thought into the day – sometimes even years prior to the actual wedding.
A few years ago while I was living at the University of Illinois doing some freelance photography and graphic design, I met JR. We were both playing basketball on our lunch breaks at the Men’s basketball facility and developed a friendship right there on the courts. One day while shooting some hoops, JR told me that if and when he got married, he was going to hire me to photograph the big day. I think at the time, he already had the girl in mind.
JR and Kristie met in college while working closely together in the athletics administration office. They were both athletes, although technically JR was Kristie’s boss (she was interning at the athletics office). They started out as friends, both having their own significant other at that time. Eventually those relationships ended and they began spending more and more time together. Sparks flew, friendship grew, well you know, the rest is history. Next thing I know, JR contacts me to inquire my wedding services and all of us sat down one night at Starbucks coffeeshop to talk about the wedding day. It’s been some time now since I first met JR but two weeks ago I had the tremendous honor of photographing JR with his adorable fiancé Kristie for a downtown Chicago engagement session.
We spent the afternoon weaving through the crowded downtown streets of Chicago, which is typically packed on a Saturday afternoon, but even more so because of the gorgeous weather and also with the filming of Transformers 3 going on. In the midst of it though, we managed to escape the crowds, get kicked out at couple of different places and capture a ton of great moments. Afterwards, the couple treated myself and my assistant of the day Ashley to a nice sushi dinner and got to know each other even more over tasty food!
JR & Kristie are two of the most generous and giving people, and I was deeply touched by a sweet note I received from Kristie after she saw the images from their engagement session. Part of her note was so great, I just had to share (with her permission):
“Kenny, the – pictures – are – AMAZING. Not sure if you ever watch Rachel Zoe, the celebrity stylist, but she has a tagline for when she loves something and it’s ‘I Die.’
So Kenny, ‘I Die‘. The photos are unreal. I had a hard time picking my favorites because they are all individually incredible. I am over the moon that we have such gorgeous memories of our engagement. You really captured such a natural and open side of our relationship… JR and I keep saying ‘that’s how we feel, it’s just now conveyed in a photo!’ “
In the beginning of our photo shoot, I yelled (to Kristi): “Strike a pose!” JR thought I was talking to him and followed my instruction as well. We had so many fun moments like this during our shoot. It was so much fun working with them.
Here is a fun/lesson photo: During my photoshoot, I help my clients with posing tips usually by showing them how to do it. This is when it goes too far and things get a bit awkward. I think I got Kristie a bit jealous here. I never ask my clients to do anything that I would not do myself – literally!
Thank you Kristie & J.R.! I can’t wait to spend the day with you guys back in the old stompin’ ground of U of I. We are going to have so much fun together with everyone!