Archive for May, 2013

I’ve had quite a few brides asking me if I have any videographers that I recommend latey. Yes, I think photography is an absolute must-have­ ­on your wedding day. That’s why I do what I do. But I do also recommend having a videographer as well – especially if your budget allows it. While photography freezes that special moment in time, videography has the ability to cinematize your wedding day with the right music paired with fluid  motion—an entirely different yet equally important experience than photography.

Over the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to have been in the company of some truly talented vendors. I always love following up to see what the wedding day looks like captured through their lens. And over time, after viewing many wedding videos, I’ve sort of developed a “favorites” list of videographers who I can’t wait to see what they do next (and ones that I especially enjoy working with). I want to share that list here for any brides looking for a videographer. Hope this helps!

Media Parable

I met Charlie last September second-shooting Jesse + Ben’s Wedding. He is a genuinely nice person, that was so, so easy to work along aside with the entire day. The video from that day is spectacular, and you can see it here. But, I just had to share this one because I am absolutely, utterly, insanely obsessed with the opening scene. Ladies, it’s one of those things that you wish you would have thought of doing years ago. The groom’s reaction is priceless. I even showed this video to my boyfriend, Danny, and he literally said outloud, “Wow.”

Daniel Sather:

I worked with Daniel Sather last year while I was second-shooting Jenny + Nate’s Wedding. Both shooters were friendly, excited about capturing the day together, and we helped each other create some beautiful images/video for the client. Anyway, here is one of my favorite videos from Leap.

ojo Creative

I’ve known Joe since high school, but we just recently connected since we’re both in the wedding industry. Brides, if you’re looking for a fun, hard-working, and talented videographer, Joe’s your guy. Last month I had a blast shooting Jackie + Mark’s Wedding with Joe. We shared stories, shots, and even lenses, and I’m thrilled with what he did with the wedding video.

Hopefully this post gives you all a better idea of the quality of work a videographer can bring to your wedding day. I’d love to hear who your favorite wedding videographers are… leave them in a comment! Or feel free to shoot over any questions J Happy wedding planning!

I met Stephanie on a snowy winter morning at Starbucks. We hit it off immediately and she was soon talking about hooking me up with one of her friends, to which I immediately told her I had a boyfriend, but it was sweet nonetheless. We chatted about her kids, the wedding, her brother, my brother, and we hugged before we left. And I kind of just knew she was going to book with me – when you hit it off, you hit it off 🙂

Even though I was only with Stephanie + Dan for a few hours on their wedding day, that couple hours was filled with sweet moments and family love. It was the type of laid-back wedding that puts everyone at ease, and makes it easy to forget about all the hustle and bustle of the average wedding. It was a day that focused purely on their love for each other, which was clearly shown by Dan’s hand that never left the small of Stephanie’s back the. entire. ceremony. (except to hold her hand, gah!).

Stephanie + Dan, thank you so much for letting me take a glimpse into your wedding day. You braved the cold for the photos and I hope it was worth it 🙂 Here’s a look at a few of my favorites from the day.

Jill Tiongco Photography | Naperville Wedding Photos | Bolingbrook Golf Club WeddingJill Tiongco Photography | Naperville Wedding Photos | Bolingbrook Golf Club Wedding
Wedding Dress Designer /// Mori Lee
Bridesmaids Dress Designer /// Bri’Zan Couture
Tuxedo Designer /// Jim’s Tuxedos
Florist /// Winfield Flowers
Paper Goods Designer /// Exclusively Weddings
Ceremony Venue /// First Congregational United Church of Christ
Reception Venue /// Bolingbrook Golf Club 

May has been one heck of a month. I’ve been incredibly busy – which is a good GREAT thing for my business, but if I’m being completely honest with all of you – it’s a lot to handle sometimes, especially when I was thrown curveball after curveball in my personal life, too. May’s calendar had 3 out of the 4 weekends booked with weddings, plus a few shoots during the week (did I mention I still work full-time Monday through Friday as a Web Designer?). I knew coming into this month that making the transition from the slower off-season into the craziness of wedding season was going to be tough… on my mind, body, but mostly my soul. I had nearly a week straight of mental breakdowns, mini-anxiety attacks, and second-guessing thoughts of myself in every way possible. Do I really want to do this the rest of my life? I need to remember to email this client. Can I handle it? Why are my photos so awful? I need to follow-up with that vendor. Why aren’t my photos as good as photographer X? I need to get through 6000 photos in the next 4 hours.

I had a very vivid dream the other night. I got into an elevator, pressed every single button to go to every single floor, and as each button lit up one by one illuminating the dim, quiet space, the elevator stood achingly still. Until it suddenly went wildly and uncontrollably crashing down. No matter how many buttons I pressed and no matter what I did to try and make it stop, the elevator kept plummeting faster, and faster, and faster until it inevitably hit bottom.

Then something amazing happened. I emerged from the destroyed elevator unscathed, unphased, and unaffected—like nothing ever happened. I pushed my way through the collapsed elevator walls, manually pried open the double doors with my bare hands, and stepped out of the broken down elevator one step at a time, one foot in front of the other amidst all the dust and debris. What was most memorable about the dream was my mindset after the huge crash. I merely shrugged it off and kept moving forward. The timing of this dream, the meaning of it, the ending of it… it couldn’t have been a more clear sign that maybe I take on too much sometimes or try to do too many things at once, which inevitably causes me a great deal of stress (which I’m sure everyone can relate to at one point or another), but in the end, everything is alright, I can push through anything, and I always survive.

So instead of focusing on the stressful things in life that bring me down, I’m choosing to focus on everything that is good, positive, and healthy.

1. My family. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful, supportive, and loving family that is always there for me. I think I’ve taken it for granted in the past and thought everyone had family like this – but I’m starting to realize as I get older that I am truly blessed in this department.

2. My boyfriend. My rock. My even-keel, steady, dependable rock. He keeps me sane, he keeps me laughing, and he keeps me standing when everything else is trying to knocking me down.

3. My friends. Although all of our hectic schedules and current living situations might not allow us to see each other as much as we’d like, no matter how much time passes between visits, when we do get together it’s like we never missed a beat.

4. My thriving business. If you would have told me my business would be where it is now just 1 year ago, I would have never believed you. I’m connecting with new clients, vendors, and industry peers every single day; I met and exceeded my goal of booking 10+ weddings this  year, and I’m so excited this is the direction my life is heading.

5. My health. While I may not get the opportunity to work out as much as I’d like or eat as healthy as I should, I’m alive, I’m active, and I’m well. And as one of my clients told me the other day, “life is a gift.”

Jill Tiongco Photography | chicago wedding photographer



…so I can take pictures like this and he can analyze his golf swing. Glad I can be of use to you 🙂


Jill Tiongco Photography | TopGolf photos

Since Jackie + Mark’s adorable engagement session last fall, (which was also featured on Style Me Pretty Illinois), I have been closely following (ok, more like stalking) Jackie’s wedding Pinterest board, Facebook uploads, and Instagram posts on all her wedding crafting. And with each personalized detail shared one by one/day by day, my anticipation grew as I counted down the days until 5.3.13.

But more importantly, I went into this wedding knowing how much love Jackie + Mark shared with each other. I was lucky enough to witness this during their engagement session (just another reason why I LOVE shooting e-sessions and can’t stress their importance enough).Well was that love there on the wedding day after all the stresses of wedding planning? You better believe it was magnified. It was a day filled with meaningful details, tears of joy, sisterly bonding & bickering, and sheer beauty. Jackie, you were an absolutely STUNNING bride. Classic, beautiful, and timeless. And Mark, you could see your excitement for miles. You looked handsome, genuine, and it was so stinkin’ adorable to hear how curious you were as to when Jackie was putting on the dress.

I cannot thank both of you enough for allowing me to be a part of your spectacular day. I had an amazing time with you, your family and your friends. Like I mentioned in my goals blog post a few days ago, there were so many guests that came up to me just to say how much they loved my work, which NEVER gets old and gives me the biggest sense of accomplishment and pride. It was truly a day of love and it was so easy to see how happy everyone was to be there celebrating your marriage. The tiny details you took the time to incorporate into your wedding made it such a unique day and I hope these photos will help you remember everything about 5.3.13.

Jill Tiongco Photography | Elmhurst Wedding Photos | Wilder Mansion Wedding



Or watch the slideshow below:



Church /// First United Methodist Church of Elmhurst

Bridal Prep/Reception /// Westin Chicago NW

Portraits /// Wilder Mansion

Assistant Photographer /// JordanQuinn Photography

Videographer /// OJO Creative

Cake Artist /// Lovin’ Oven Cakery

Florist /// Andrew’s Garden


Wedding Dress /// Bella Bianca Couture – Rivini (sash from Nordstrom)

Bridesmaid Dresses /// Nordstrom

Men’s Tuxedos /// Cosmo’s in Villa Park

Vocalist /// Jack Miuccio



She literally took his breathe away. Brother of the bride (left) sees his sister for the first time the morning of her wedding. This one brings a tear to my eye.

Jill Tiongco Photography | Westin Chicago NW Wedding | PhotographerMore from this INCREDIBLE wedding coming soon. Definitely a JT favorite, one for the books. Check back soon!



1. Use a more efficient method to track financials/wedding expenses.

  • CHECK. I have every expense listed out in a spreadsheet ready to incorporate into my new business plan AND bring to my accountant.

2. Workout twice a week outside of basketball nights.

  • CHECK. Whether it be the running at the gym (yawn), playing basketball outside, playing softball, or going on walks… I’ve definitely been more active this month. It helps with the nicer weather (finally) getting here. Hopefully this month I can get back into the gym studio for classes. My knees have been killing me lately, so I’m thinking of getting into spinning. Any other suggestions? Would LOVE to hear some ideas in a comment 🙂

3. Master my external flash.

  • HALF CHECK. I’m getting there. Definitely improved from where I was last month.

4. Finish all May wedding timelines.

  • HALF CHECK. Just have 1 left. Everything has been so hectic that I haven’t gotten around to my last one yet, but it WILL get done this week.

5. Set up my new proofing interface for clients.

  • CHECK. Now using Zenfolio to post proofs and sell prints. Learn more about printing your photos with me on the blog.


1. Revise business plan.

2. Meet with accountant.

3. Finish editing 2 out of 3 May weddings and submit for publication.

4. Take at least 4 gym classes this month, in addition to playing rec sports (basketball, volleyball, and softball).

5. Make a smoothie/juice for breakfast twice a week.

Special side-note: I shot a wedding this past Friday where SO MANY guests, whom I had no idea had even seen my work, had the nicest things to say about my photos. I just wanted to say I truly, truly appreciate all the kind words and it makes me feel so incredibly proud, appreciated, flattered, giddy, and blessed to be doing what I’m doing and that people are actually seeing my work (and liking it). I definitely wouldn’t be able to put in all the hours if it weren’t for people taking the quick few seconds to say they love my photography. So, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart 🙂 Shout out to Mal Purdom for admittedly reading my blogs every week too! Love ya!

And in case you missed it, here’s a little sneak peak from that wedding on Friday… obsessed.

Jill Tiongco Photography | Elmhurst Wedding Photos | Wilder Mansion Wedding