Chicago Indian Wedding where East meets West

The very first wedding I ever photographed- all be it completely unplanned and possibly unwarranted - was in India when I spent a semester studying the continent’s myriad of culture and colors. I was attending that wedding as a guest and when my trusted host literally pushed me into the mix and shouted to me ‘start shooting!’, I did just that. Of course, I now know it’s really not a pro move to step in the way of the photographer actually hired to capture the full storyline. Nonetheless, I was immediately swallowed by the colors, patterns and amazing tempo that South Asian weddings exude. As a forever student of photography, even then I had a camera on hand: a 35mm film, a small tank of a Nikon. Needless to say, I’ve not stopped capturing the colorful world around me since being pushed into that wheel of excitement so many years ago.

At the risk of having this ‘Dear Diary’ entry run on and on, I am excited to share this highlight reel featuring each chapter of P + D ’s wedding weekend. The plentitude of rich color, delicious texture, perfect patterns and above all else, love, makes choosing faves for this teaser set extra challenging and so much fun! As we enter into the American holidays of bounty and brightness on this side of the pond, I want to take a minute and think on why I love doing what I do and just how it fills me with so much light and love to share this work with the world.

My team and I are like a small band of sociologists with cameras. With one look at our captures below, you’ll see all things merry and bright; from the mehndi through the pithi and onto the sangeet, and certainly through the wedding day, the deeply saturated colors and emotion of everyone involved are palpable. This, in fact, is one of the first memories I still carry with me from that inaugural Indian wedding I captured on film during my undergrad studies. In fact, this wedding weekend also coincided with the Indian holiday of Diwali, which literally translates into the festival of light, perfect timing as our days grow shorter and darker into the winter season in Chicago and the around the world.

Both our bride and groom’s family was above and beyond involved in keeping the energy level high and the spirits bright all wedding weekend. From the start of high tea, through the many dance performances of Friday night’s program at Theater on The Lake , all the way to the last dance at Rockwell on the River, our father of the bride was alive with so much synergy and excitement for his daughter’s wedding that we couldn’t help being carried away with his exuberant laughter and dancing! I love how the parades within parades carry the emotionality of these two individuals coming together in front of their entire circles of friends and families. Our groom’s grand entrance on a white motorcycle was a super cool spin on the traditional baraat entrance and our bride designed her second look for the evening: a classic silk pantsuit, complete with a detachable skirt from one of our very favorite bridal houses in Chicago, Mira Couture. At every turn of this weekend’s celebrations, the style, elegance, and glam sparkled perfectly. Then again, anytime we have the occasion to work with the brilliant team at Events by Nisar + Yanni Designs, we can’t keep our shutters still because gorgeous wedding photo ops are everywhere! Exhibit A: THE 5 TIERED CAKE by Cake is pretty much a show stopper on its own accord!

Simply put, the energy of long wedding weekends like this one is just magnetic and it truly keeps our entire team a buzz for days after the celebration has been tied up with a great bow! I am so very grateful and thankful for the brilliant vendors that help us create such beautiful captures of culture, color, movement, and momentum. Truly, without them, our work couldn’t shine as bright!

I was trying to keep this post a-political but with an undergrad in Political Science, I usually can’t avoid the subject altogether, especially lately. So please pardon me briefly as I step onto my small soapbox. I see it as my job to use my resources in the world to lead with love and share on the platforms I have access to; to use the tools of my trade in the best way I know how and lead my team with careful kindness on all of our projects. I’ve had the opportunity to travel and see outside of the confines of my own experience so that I can better understand the world around me. Compassion and love know no skin color, no state, no religion, and no gender. Our lenses get to serve as a mirror to our vibrant and incredible world full of love and light so that the reflection we create can outshine anyone who tries to lead our world into darkness. In working in the world of weddings where the talk is all about love, sparkly details, perfect uplighting and who has designed what, I think it’s really important for my team to keep our eyes on the prize: the focus is really on connectivity and care. After all, isn’t that why people get married?

I am forever grateful for my skills as a wedding photographer, for my team that listens aptly to my crazy, creative ideas and executes them and, of course, for our dear couples that entrust their love story with us.

P + D, a million thanks to you, your beautiful families and all the incredible love you shared with us last weekend. Your killer dance moves, indelible style, layers of generation standing in support of your love story are all the making of our photographic daydreams. We love your love and couldn’t do what we do without it! Thank you.


Rose + Co

Brigitte Bardot+ her beaux in Chicago

Who doesn’t need a pair of knee high go go boots and fur coat on Michigan Avenue this weekend?? Personally, I think it should be required attire or, at the very least, a fall fashion essential to have, at minimum, one fur to the knees look with seemingly nothing underneath for a walk down the Mag Mile before it snows!! Add a hot date and a seriously teased, very, very long shag and you’ve got yourself a pair of lookers on Michigan Avenue sexy enough to stop traffic dead in it’s grid.

Legs for days and a total sweetheart of a babe, our bride- to- be featured in this smoking hot RP Custom Engagement Shoot steals the show for the first half of this blog post - spoiler alert if you skip through to the imagery, her other half is pretty easy on the eyes, too! I like to shoot portrait photography like every image we capture would grace the cover of a magazine. With that in mind, I obsess and I mean obsess over lighting details, style and mood of every shoot. No matter what we are commissioned to photograph, these are my team’s directives: who is our subject, what is important to them and where are they going after our shoot? I get on their level and try to see them how they see themselves. In this case, our Brigitte is a witty, glam sexy, West coast gal getting hitched to a solid, business savvy beaux that gets his kicks driving fast cars, jumping from airlines and playing in traffic…well, at least in our photoshoot he did!

We camped out in the couple’s suite at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel complete with vintage decor and mood lighting to boot. I write about this historic spot in Chicago a lot because my team and I work there…a lot! When the spot first reopened a few years ago, I laid my eyes on the White City Ballroom and pretty much promptly declared ‘We were moving in!’ And so, a handful of years later, we work there at least once a month. Humble brag, I know, but we work hard and love every minute of it! In doing so, we’ve gotten to know the ins and outs of the sweet gem of old school, Chicago architecture like the back of our hand. The Cherry Circle Room is a fave spot to photograph though it’s self named, dark wood and select details are a great lighting challenge to keep moody and bright all at the same time.

A+ E your style is the stuff my photo dreams are made of. I’m just as obsessed with the outcome of this shoot as was in creating it. We cannot wait for your wedding imagery because we both know your West Coast style paired with a classic Chicago style martini is on point. My crew loves your crew and we cannot wait for more reasons to work together. Bring on the fast cars and furs!


Rose + Co

Getting weird in Asheville: Fall Wedding @ Horseshoe Farm

Given the opportunity to get weird on our photo tour of wedding day, we say YES to the dress (shot) ! This recent wedding hosted just outside Asheville, North Carolina on a fully operational horse farm had the most gorgeous floral details, perfect photo ops and all the equestrian day dreams you could (weird) dream of. But before we got weird, our bride looked like she stepped our of a fairy tale book with hand sewn, seasonal flowers in her hair, a gorgeous, princess style, wedding gown and a calmness so sweet that even a ladybug landed on the lace detailed train just as first look was taking place!! True story!! Later, when our photo crew found a few interesting art pieces around the venue’s grounds, we figured we’d have to include them in our photos somehow! A rose quartz + a blue turquoise covered skull made their way into our bridal portraits only after we asked our handsome couple, ‘are you ok with getting a little weird?’ They quickly said yes and well…keep reading or just skip ahead to see more ‘photo gems’ with these two love birds !!

The property at Horse Shoe Farm is also right out of a picture book. Without a doubt, fall in this region is crazy beautiful but the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains in the back ground of many of our shots just gives us another reason to swoon over this wedding’s highlight reel. A few #bts shots of hair goddesses at Lola Salon actually hand sewing all the floral into our bride’s flowing locks and super beautiful big, romantic braid are faves amongst details of floral + fauna. The decor was organized, installed, and planned by the team at Shay Brown Events whom produced a top notch, dream wedding. Hands down, pairing art and culture is a combination that the sweet mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina is keen on in more ways than one. Having opened our second studio location here last year, we are head over heels with all of the amazing wedding venues, beautiful backdrops and texture with so many more beautiful places to pull inspiration.

Our gorgeous couple kept their guest list tight and didn’t miss a detail in making sure all those whom where invited felt very special being in attendance. Each lady was given a small fur wrap to keep her warm on the brisk fall afternoon and a equally sweet touch of small, flower crowns for all the princesses. One of the VIP guests in attendance was our bride’s grandmother. The two shared a sweet toast at the start of the night and then later opened the dance floor like it was their job, hand in hand , generation in generation. These are the sweetest moments we always keep an eye out for happening in real time, no shot list needed. That’s why we do what we do!

K + T, we are basically obsessed with your hugs, can’t get enough of your fairy inspired, dreamy looks of love and next party you invite grandma to, please be sure we are there because we love her as much as we love your love story!


Rose + Co

Waldorf Wedding full of Chicago Glamour

They say ‘when you know, you know.’They also say ‘when you least expect it, love will find you.’ I’m not entirely sure who ‘they’ are but they must be right because the love we had the honor to captured recently is a testament to these promising prose. In a world of online dating, blind dates and other seemingly less than assured ways to meet ‘the one’, these two first laid eyes on each other with no internet connection, having been ‘set up’ or even a matchmaker in site. It was a chance crossing of paths that lead them to one another and seeing them together can inspire hope in even the biggest skeptics of love. These two may not have expected to meet one another but by the looks of it, it’s certainly a great thing that they have!

When we first met H + S, it was so apparent how much care and thought went into their partnership. And not just the typical stuff like holding doors and sweet words of praise…yes that ,too! And also how both of them together treat the people around them; she gracefully kind and he considerately tenderhearted, they really are match made in heaven. Our RP engagement shoot was designed around their sophisticated style and daily habits, their favorite environments -their living room with family and nearby neighborhoods -Chicago’s gorgeous lakefront and museum campus.  One remarkable consistency in both our first photo shoot and their wedding day imagery is how endearingly he looks at her…ALL. THE TIME! 

Fast forward the tape a handful of months later and we get the chance to see our sweet love birds again, this time even more elated to be in each other’s company and with line up of A++ wedding professionals from the city they both love so much to make their big day sparkle. The Rose Photo Team found ourselves at the always stunning and classic Waldorf Astoria in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. The attention to detail in the evening’s planning was just as considerate as our groom and as glamorous as our bride.  Marquette Avenue Events pulled out all the stops to organize the stunning details perfectly placed by Fragrant Design and coordinate the sweet beats of Okyne Media Lab as guests enjoyed an authentic hookah experience from Hookah Chi. Our gorgeous bride and her sweet family where made to look wedding day ready by the artistic graces of Hair by Jaun Jose and make up by Julia Simone . With love so big and gorgeous style abound, it’s no wonder that both H+S both wore smiles from ear to ear all night long! Oh and don’t forget the quick stop before ceremony at Hermes , our bride’s fave stop on Oak Street!!

To the ‘they sayers’ everywhere, thanks for guiding H + S to our team so we could perfectly capture their very graceful and oh so glam love story. We love a good reason to get dressed up and the style these two bring to the table of love is really quite inspiring. As true believers in real love and good fashion, there is hope for us all!


Rose + Co

Special Delivery: Your Photos

We photograph story for a living. What we love about our work is the connection we have with our clients. It’s exciting to grow relationships and often remain dear friends over the years of working together. A lessoned learned early in life: 'Always add a personal touch. Everyone loves to get a letter'. We like to include a written note with all our deliverables and even take it a step further to share in this blog a little about each story we have the privilege to tell. You know all our snail mail packages include a super cute card, sent with extra love, too! 

When it comes to file storage, there are as many options available as we have photographs to keep organized for our wonderful client base. Print deadlines for our editorial and commercial projects are fast and weddings happen pretty much weekly for our bustling photo studio. It’s an absolute must to be equipped with pro-tools at our finger tips that function at the speed of light and are ready to move around the studio from desktop to laptop and eventually to our clients in a seamless and user friendly way. The speed of processing and quantity of imagery that can be stored are the go to qualifiers for choosing which type of external or cloud storage we will purchase.

The best tool we have found for moving files, be it around the studio or in a hand crafted, Etsy inspired package, mailed directly to our clients door for their personal storage, is by using a trusted and speedy zip drive. Our favorite company to order this travel savvy drive is USB Direct. We were even able to customize our order with the Rose Photo logo on the sleek and compact drive case. It's very helpful to have a high speed drive that not only looks good but that can also store loads of high resolution files and be quickly stashed in your laptop case or packaged nicely with a hand written note to send for special delivery! 

Whilst we love to move files around the world at lightening speed, we also love an archival print. Digital is great but hard copies are real things you can hold. Our go to, online tool we use for all our client proofing and archival printing is CloudSpot. We absolutely love the format, it's incredibly user friendly and our clients love it, too! The cloud back up can be easily accessed by anyone from anywhere. The gallery share can go directly to client or on social media. The best part of it all is that the private client gallery is connected to our favorite print lab, White House Custom Colour. It's so easy to view photos online from desktop or smartphone and order archival prints directly to your doorstep! On top of that, we have a super secure, online back up of our professionally edited photo catalogues; all the birds, one stone.

Regardless of how many photos you need to store or how you choose to interact with your imagery - digitally or in print - it is imperative to have a solid way to move your photos, store them safely and access them quickly. We cannot stress enough the good practice of backing everything up a few times. Whilst our fave USB company makes a very trustworthy device and a reliable, cloud supported platform also backs up our own back up, you can never be too safe. Our clients trust our professional process, from capture through post production and onto file and print delivery.

We hope this ‘info-taiment' was helpful and that you go back up your files right away :)


Rose + Co