GLASS & GRAIN PHOTOGRAPHY is a brother-sister documentary-style photography team serving Chicago, the Midwest, and beyond.
Tell us about you and your story.What is your background and how did you find your way to the wedding industry?
Our lives changed forever when we lost our mom in July of 2016. Ian spent almost two years in New Orleans focusing on photojournalism and I (Elise) took a leap of faith by parting ways with my corporate auditing career in order to find a more fulfilling adventure. Ian relocated to Chicagoland right around the time of my career change, which put me in the unique position to help him get up and running with a new photography business, before I started the hunt for a new job. Flash forward one year and Glass & Grain turned out to be the job I was searching for. We are so lucky that with the support of our new community, we get to do what we love everyday. And it doesn't hurt to know our mom would be so proud.
Share a little bit about Glass & Grain Photography's history.When did Glass & Grain Photography launch? What are you known for?
Though Ian spent the last 10+ years shooting weddings in California and New Orleans, Glass & Grain Photography officially launched in March of 2018. We shoot primarily weddings and engagement sessions, but also do lifestyle family sessions. Celebrating diversity, demonstrating professionalism, and providing pricing transparency rise to the top of our core values. Ian and I were born in San Francisco and were raised on the principles of open-mindedness and inclusion. In turn, we love celebrating love, no matter what the form. Professionalism, is a no brainer to us; we promise to respond quickly, arrive early, and take our shoots very seriously (but also make them fun!). And last but not least, we provide our clients with all pricing information needed to create a wedding package that works for them. Our clients have the ability to add on or take off services / hours of coverage from our standard packages to create a custom package that fits their needs and budget.
What sets you and Glass & Grain Photography apart?What's your secret sauce? What makes you different from everyone else?
We are the yin and yang of photography teams and I think that truly separates us from the pack. Ian is the definition of right-brain; he's very creative, artistic, and intuitive. All of these characteristics ensure that he captures beautiful, authentic moments during a shoot. I (Elise), on the other hand, wear my Type A, control freak badge proudly. I communicate timely and thoroughly, help direct our clients during shooting to ensure they look amazing, and keep us on-time. Not to toot my own horn, but I think that our couples really appreciate this detail-oriented approach. As noted in the section above, transparency and flexibility in regards to pricing are also aspects of our brand that separate us from the many other amazingly talented wedding photographers in the area. We truly believe everyone deserves to receive beautifully curated wedding images, no matter what their budget may be. Though we do have standard packages, couples can also use our "A La Carte" menu to add or remove services / hours of coverage from any package to fit their needs and budget. We don't want anyone to have to pay for coverage or services they don't need, weddings are expensive enough! In addition, all of our packages come with a full print release so you are not required to purchase prints or albums through us.
Tell us about your ideal couple.Tell us about the type of couple that really clicks with you and your company.
We tend to connect best with more off-beat or non-traditional couples, who want really beautiful and affordable, fine-art wedding photos. We also jive well with those couples who want to be present on their wedding day; we ensure this by knocking out formal photos before the ceremony and switching gears to primarily candids thereafter. After our couples put so much time, money, and effort into their wedding day, we feel that they should be able to fully enjoy it!
What is the best advice you have for couples currently planning their weddings?You've seen so many couples go through the planning process. Share your best pearl of wisdom for those just starting out with their planning.
This sounds obvious, but I always advise our couples to make sure that they really like their wedding day vendors. And by this, I don't just mean that they like their work, but that they also like them as people. This is especially important when selecting your wedding photography team, as we will be spending A LOT of time with our couples on one of the biggest days of their lives! In turn, couples should make sure they choose vendors that they get along with and feel comfortable around!
What's the ONE thing that couples shouldn't forget to ask potential wedding vendors?Spill! What's the single most important question that couples should ask before booking a vendor for their wedding?
I'd say to make sure they are clear on pricing, especially the fine print (e.g. print or album requirements, additional fees for travel, reception dinners, admission, parking etc) before booking. We hear a lot of horror stories from couples that find us after realizing what they thought was a great deal from another photography studio, ended up doubling with print / album requirements that they only found when reading the fine print of their contracts!
Thanks for stopping by Lakeshore in Love, Elise + Ian!