What Equipment do we bring to a wedding?

•November 1, 2015 • Leave a Comment

IMG_8258Many photographers photograph weddings and each has their unique style.  Over the years we all develop our favorite go-to equipment and work flow.  Just about the time we get it all figured out we spot a new, better piece of equipment and often incorporate it into the mix.  Here are a few pictures of what we typically bring and why.

3 Cameras.  One for each photographer (we always shoot with 2 because it is always better) and a spare.

Large powerful monolight strobe lights.  We use Photogenics.  Why bother?  They are 10 to 20 times more powerful than the on-camera speed lights.  When you need to light a large room well, you need power.  We typically bring 2 or 3 of these.

Camera tripod.  Why, we like our pictures to be sharp and in focus.  Placing the camera on a tripod allows us to interact better with large groups and not worry about framing and focusing the camera. We also bring radio remote shutter releases so we can trigger the cameras remotely while interacting with our clients.

Small rolling step ladder.  We like to shoot large groups and some altar shots from an elevated position.


Lots of small organized things. Extra batteries, Extra flash cords, Extra memory cards, rain covers for cameras.

Light meter.  If you want your studio strobe exposure set correctly, it is fast and easy to use your light meter.

Extra specialty lens.  We will bring some wide angel and telephoto lenses in case we feel the need to shoot some specialty shots.

5 in 1 reflector disk.  This versatile device allows us to block the bright direct sun from a bride or bounce some extra light into the face for great catch lights.

Small strobes (speedlites).  We love to shoot the Canon Speedlites with radio triggers remotes.  We shoot them bare for a hard edgy light or put a shoot through umbrella on them for a  soft diffused light.  We typically bring 4 or 5 of them.

So next time your neighbor or uncle Bob says he can photograph your wedding with his new camera and save you a few bucks, think long and hard about what you are getting. When you look at these pictures it may be hard to actually find the camera, that’s because the camera is but one of the tools a professional photographer uses.


Ashley and David Lord Wedding

•October 25, 2015 • Leave a Comment
The day began with some picture of David

The day began with some picture of David

When Ashley arrive they had a fun first look

When Ashley arrive they had a fun first look

The look on David's Face was priceless

The look on David’s Face was priceless

We wandered down the beautiful path in a relaxed photo session.

We wandered down the beautiful path in a relaxed photo session.

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The beautiful property at Coffee Creek offered loads of beautiful settings

The beautiful property at Coffee Creek offered loads of beautiful settings

Ashley and David had a chance to chat as we wandered the beautiful property

Ashley and David had a chance to chat as we wandered the beautiful property

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Picture time is can be a fun time.

Picture time is can be a fun time.

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A romantic break under this beautiful tree

A romantic break under this beautiful tree

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A great setting for some fun wedding party photos.

A great setting for some fun wedding party photos.

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Ashley makes her grand entrance.

Ashley makes her grand entrance.

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A beautiful backdrop for a weddng.

A beautiful backdrop for a weddng.

Vows are exchanged.

Vows are exchanged.

The first kiss.

The first kiss.

some "formal" family pictures.

some “formal” family pictures.

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Toasts are made.

Toasts are made.

A beautiful bride and a piano.  How can you go wrong.

A beautiful bride and a piano. How can you go wrong.

A special moment during the first dance.

A special moment during the first dance.

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Dancing the night away.

Dancing the night away.

Amanda and Kristoffer’s Chicago adventure

•October 18, 2015 • Leave a Comment

We had a fun time Saturday morning getting to know Amanda and Kristoffer.  We are photographing their wedding this summer and spent the morning on the lake front taking pictures.  We started off near the planetarium and museum campus.  It was quite cold and very windy but they cast their coats aside long enough for some fun shots with the Chicago skyline in the background.

We knew we had made some new friends when they wanted to stop at Garrett’s for some popcorn.

Now that you know the story, you can enjoy a nice large view of the pictures by simply clicking on one of them.  Then you can scroll through them in a larger size.

Keri and Kyle Vester Wedding

•October 13, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Keri and Kyle’s wedding took place at Centennial Park in Munster Indiana.


While Keri was putting on the finishing touches we had some time with Kyle on the beautiful property.


IMG_8914Once Keri was ready the couple had a fun first look as the day began.

IMG_8936      We spent some fun time taking pictures of the bride and groom and then moved on to the bridal party and family.IMG_8969IMG_8957Weddings are such an important time for family.  It is always great to get the whole group together for a photo.  Laura did a great job of posing family groups and adding the kids at the last minute.IMG_9069IMG_8956  IMG_9061IMG_9091IMG_8985IMG_9105IMG_9088IMG_9127IMG_9057IMG_9058IMG_9060IMG_9031IMG_9030IMG_9026IMG_8999IMG_9039    IMG_9046     IMG_9021 IMG_9018IMG_9007IMG_9002.



IMG_8880Guests were guided to the festivities by this thoughtful signIMG_9016

With flowers in hand and rings safely in the best man’s pocket the wedding began.

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Lots of personal touches including name tags.IMG_0152IMG_0155Beautiful flowers were provided by Kathy’s Florist IMG_8865      IMG_9262  IMG_9194  IMG_9331IMG_0321IMG_9218

Reverend Doug Klukken is a photographer’s dream officiant

•April 11, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Reverend Doug Klukken is a photographer’s dream officiant

By: Paul Grolla of Grolla’s Photography

Photography is a big part of every wedding ceremony.  Reverend Doug Klukken realizes this and works in very subtle ways to move around the wedding venue to allow both your friends and family as well as your photographer great opportunities to see various parts of the ceremony.  Many wedding officiants take center stage directly behind the wedding couple and rarely move.  This places them in the center of every altar picture.  It often places the wedding couple with their sides or worse, their backs, toward the people in attendance including the photographer.

Throughout various portions of the ceremony Reverend Doug Klukken walks out down the center aisle and addresses the couple.  This give everyone in attendance a great view and affords your photographer an opportunity to get some great altar shots during the ceremony of just the bridal couple.

We have photographed a lot of weddings and have always found his attire, movement and reverence for the marriage ceremony to be extremely professional.


As the bride walks down the aisle we like to capture the look on the grooms face as he anticipates her arrival.  This is a time when your officiant needs to look professional and unobtrusive.  This is the bride’s time.


As the bride is given away Reverend Doug is genuinely engaged in the question as to “who gives this bride” and is positioned in a manner that allows us to capture the expression of both the bride and groom.


This is a very common wedding altar picture.  The bride and groom are front and center and the officiant is rear and center.  It’s nice but after 20 or 30 minutes and 100 pictures later it gets old.  With some officiants this is all you will get.  They are simply in every picture.


Look at the great difference it makes as Reverend Doug Klukken moves out up the center aisle.  The wedding party turns nicely toward him and the couple looks great on the altar all alone.


The fact that the officiant has moved allows great shots like this.


Right to the end Reverend Doug has perfect position and he gives this couple a final blessing.  He is not in focus because he is standing a few feet back from the couple and by shooting a fast lens wide open a professional photography can shoot with  a narrow depth of field and blur him just right.  This puts the emphasis on the newlyweds and not him.  If he was standing too close to the newlyweds this shot would have been impossible.

So remember as you look for your wedding officiant how they sound and what they say is only half the story.  Where they stand at various times is also very important.  This is something you should discuss beforehand with them and your photographer.


Paul Grolla

Grolla’s Photography

Please enjoy our video slideshow to see a nice sample of our work.

•February 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Click here to start video Grolla’s Photography.

July wedding in Valparaiso at Ogden Garden Park By Grolla’s Photography

•February 1, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Laura and I had an opportunity to photograph a small wedding in Valparaiso this past summer.  They were an out of town military couple planning a small ceremony at the Ogden Gardens Park.  We had not photographed an event here so we scouted the location the weekend before the event.  It is a beautiful park with lots of great locations for pictures.  It is a very affordable venue also.  If you are looking for a great affordable location, keep this in mind.  Give us a call , we would love to photograph another wedding here.  As they were both military, we gave them a huge discount.

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