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We serve brides who desire a stress-free, streamlined & joyful engagement & wedding by providing an experience that allows our couples to fully enjoy this special season & receive jaw-dropping, joy-filled photos they'll pass down for generations to come. Welcome!

Hey, friend! We are Caitlin and Luke.

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We're wedding photographers in Bloomington, IL serving joyful, classic Caitlin and Luke Brides, parents to our son Grayson & our doodle Oliver, and followers of Jesus!

What Being a Bride Taught Me as a Photographer: Part 1

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August 26, 2016

This topic has literally been bouncing around in my mind ever since we got married in June… and I believe it is SO important for photographers!

In case you somehow missed it, Luke and I JUST got married in June! ???? It was THE best day ever, for so many reasons. If I’m being honest, though, it was SO weird to be on the “bride” side instead of the “photographer” side of planning and experiencing a wedding! We had an incredibly sweet + talented photographer who made the process a piece of cake for us, which I’m so thankful for!! And as I’ve looked back on our 10 months of being engaged and planning for 06.18.16, I’ve realized something: There are a LOT of things I can take away from my experience as a bride as I continue to run our business. I’m a huge fan of reflecting and learning from life, and this was so helpful to do in this situation!

Here are the biggest things I learned from being a BRIDE that I’m confident will help me become a better wedding photographer moving forward!

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Picking your photographer is emotional
I realized this for the first time as a bride for SURE… searching for a photographer was a little stressful and very emotional! I may have felt this even more deeply because of our job, since we know all that goes into capturing a wedding and how important this particular vendor is. But I did not feel peace about any photographer whose website I looked at until I found the website of our future photographer- and I just KNEW! I couldn’t fill out that contact form quick enough… I’d found OUR photographer, the one who fit us best, and it was so exciting! It also brought a lot of peace to know so fully that we’d found the right fit for us and for our day!

My bridal guide was the perfect welcome
Hello, off-season project! ???? Once we booked our photographer, I received the sweetest welcome package in the mail, and right then and there I decided this was something that we needed to add to our bridal experience! It was the kindest touch, made me feel like a BRIDE, fit her brand perfectly, and it made my whole day to receive on my doorstep. We’re excited to brainstorm a unique way to welcome our brides to the C&L brand next year!

Email speed is vital
One thing that I knew as a photographer but realized much more deeply as a bride is how CRUCIAL it is to respond to our brides quickly on email! Our photographer was always awesome at this; we never had to wait long for a response from her, and that eased my mind so much! No matter if I had a quick question, needed a timeline change, or we were scheduling time to talk, our photographer was quick to respond and always excited to be talking with me! We work hard to respond to our brides super fast, but this was truly motivation to continue in that.

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Engagement sessions are necessary
We believe SO much in having an engagement session before the wedding! It has so many benefits: the couple gets to meet their photographer for often the first time, the couple becomes comfortable with how the photographer shoots and the poses, and engagement sessions create a foundation for the relationship that is necessary once the wedding day arrives. Plus, we were SO excited for our session, had an amazing time during it (we even made it a date night afterwards!) and we shared the heck out of our photos. I was counting down the days until our session and planned every little detail… I had no idea how nervous + excited our brides might be for their sessions, and this perspective was so helpful.

Receiving your photos is SO exciting
The moment you receive an email that your photos are done is THE best! When we received our engagement gallery, we literally poured over it forever… we even brought my iPad to our parents’ houses and showed them all the photos on their tv’s! ???? I know, we’re weirdos… but we were SO excited. We did the same thing when we received our wedding gallery… and I was even more excited and emotional to see and share those! How excited we were to see our photos was an amazing reminder of how excited each of our brides is to receive that little email from us. It was so eye opening to me! It was also a great reminder of how sharable and gorgeous our gallery system PASS is to work with, both as a photographer and a client!

Delivering photos early has impact
You’ve probably heard the saying “undersell and over-deliver” a million times by now, but it’s such truth… telling your brides that you’ll be delivering their photos by a certain time, and surprising them with photos WAY earlier is such an amazing way to serve them and love them well! We were so excited to receive our photos before we expected to, and it was a great reminder how excited OUR brides are to receive their photos early, too. Any way you can “surprise and delight” your brides is so vital!

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To be continued… part two of this series is coming next week! 

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Cue the confetti! We've officially received your wedding inquiry, and we couldn't be more excited to start this journey with you.

We check email once daily during our wedding season office hours: M-TH, 9-4 CST. We promise to respond as soon as we are able! ♡

Messages received after 4:00 pm Thursday → Sunday evening will be responded to when we're back in the office on Monday. Friday-Sunday is devoted to traveling to/shooting weddings + spending time as a family!

In the meantime, please enjoy resources we've just created for you on our blog by clicking right here. 

We cannot wait to start this journey with you soon!!

Get in Touch

Bride & groom's full names*

Email address*

Phone NUmber*

Your wedding date*

message to caitlin & luke*

SEND

Cue the confetti! We've officially received your wedding inquiry, and we couldn't be more excited to start this journey with you.

We check email once daily during our wedding season office hours: M-TH, 9-4 CST.

We promise to respond as soon as we are able! ♡

Messages received after 4:00 pm Thursday → Sunday evening will be responded to when we're back in the office on Monday. Friday-Sunday is devoted to traveling to/shooting weddings + spending time as a family!

Chat soon!