You are planning to get married in Chicago and find out who is the best photographer or start-up in wedding photography and wish to learn from the top-rated photographer?
Welcome! In this article, we have invited Steve Koo, a top-rated photographer based in Chicago, to share his photographer’s life, useful tips regarding wedding photography, and gears.
Why Should You Trust Us?
The editing team of MirrorlessHow is formed by a group of photographers who love sharing our passions and favorite works with our readers.
To find the best photographer in Chicago, we have collected opinions from three renowned wedding planners and around 20 locals. (Thanks GOD we have several close friends who are now staying in Chicago)
Then we voted and picked our most favorite photographers. Results are honest and fair.
Best Wedding Photographer in Chicago – Steve Koo: Why We Pick Him?
Steve Koo is a Chicago-based wedding photographer, and he has been listed as one of the top 100 wedding photographers in the world by WPJA.
Steve is an award-winning member of the Wedding Photojournalist Association and the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers.
His work has been featured in many media, including the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, The Knot, Grace Ormonde, and many other publications.
We love his work because you do not just see a scene when you look at his photos. Instead, you will feel like you are watching a story. You get to experience all the emotions, love, and energy behind the people.
Interview Steve Koo, The Best Wedding Photographer in Chicago
The Best Wedding Photographer in Chicago – Steve Koo’s Photography
Q: You are a top-rated wedding photographer in Chicago. How did you start all these? What makes your work so unique and popular?
I have been photographing weddings for over a decade. My work is a mix of documentary and fine-art portraiture because I started with studying fine-art images.
One of the reasons making my wedding photography so unique is because I try to get to know my clients and build a relationship with them to become more comfortable in front of the camera.
Q: What is your photography philosophy?
I’m all about the story. Wedding days can be a whirlwind of emotion, laughter, and a little bit of chaos. I document all of these moments because I think it’s what makes every wedding day unique.
Q: Can you describe some of the most memorable weddings you’ve photographed? Why?
Every wedding is full of great memories, big and small – I don’t think I have a favorite because they’re all my favorites.
I want my clients to feel like they’re reliving the day when they look through their photos. I want them to see and feel moments the way that they remembered them on their wedding day.
Q: What do you like the most about wedding photography?
I love the spontaneity and unpredictability of wedding days!
I try to go into a wedding day without any preconceived notions about what will happen. (This is different from preparing for the day – I chat through the timeline and all the details with my clients beforehand, but I’m also ready for days when the schedule gets turned upside down!)
Q: What are the biggest challenges of being a wedding photographer? Especially in Chicago? What would be your wedding photographer’s nightmare?
The lifestyle of a wedding photographer has unique advantages and some significant disadvantages too.
I have flexibility during the week because I can always stay up late to work, but most of my weekends are spent photographing. It’s crucial to find some balance between your family, personal time, and your work.
The Best Wedding Photographer in Chicago – Steve Koo’s Tips
Q: Can you give some tips for the new Mr and Mrs so they can get the perfect set of wedding/pre-wedding photos?
I think it’s essential to find a photographer whose work you love and that you have a good connection with.
Aside from your significant other, you will spend more time with your photographer than anyone else. Even a quick phone call is sometimes enough to see if you’ll be a good fit for each other.
Q: Can you give some tips for a beginner wedding photographer who is just starting up?
Photograph everything, and try to work with multiple photographers whose work you love. You can learn something new from everybody and begin to hone your style as you figure out how you want to shoot.
My nightmare would be showing up to the wrong hotel at the beginning of the day – for example. There are multiple Hyatt Hotels in Chicago. I always make sure to get addresses for all the locations I need to be at.
Q: You have a fantastic engagement photography portfolio, too; can you advise the difference between engagement and wedding photography? Can you give us some engagement photography tips too?
Engagement sessions are very different from wedding days, which often feel like whirlwinds of activity with tons of moving pieces.
I am incredibly awkward in front of a camera, so I can relate to couples who might feel the same way. I try to build a trusting relationship with my clients to help them feel at ease in front of the camera.
Steve Koo, The Best Wedding Photographer in Chicago – Cameras and Gears
Q: What camera and lens are you using now? Why do you like them? What gears will you bring for shooting a wedding?
I photograph with dual Canon R6 bodies – I just switched from my 5D’s.
I photograph almost exclusively using 35mm and 85mm prime lenses. I like my primes because they’re small, fast, and I can focus on my composition rather than worrying about changing a focal length.
Q: Do you think a mirrorless camera will be good enough to shoot weddings? If not, what sorts of improvement should they make?
Yes! Mirrorless cameras have come a long way. The dual card slots, improved autofocus, and improved sensors on the R5 and R6 convinced me to switch over from my beloved 5D’s.
Q: Do you owe or use a mirrorless camera? Why you pick it? People suggested mirrorless would be the future of camera development; what do you think?
Yes – I like my Canon R6’s. The improved autofocus is stellar, and the smaller, lighter bodies are excellent for long wedding days. I love the technological innovations that the photography world has seen in the past few years, and I’m excited to see what the next generation of mirrorless cameras brings.
Q: Can you suggest some great photo spots in Chicago? For both travelers and couple photography.
Some of my clients love historical spots that can be found throughout downtown Chicago and the loop, but many of them have a fondness for specific neighborhoods that they met in, live in, or spend time in. I like making portraits in an area that has meaning for my clients.
Steve Koo, The Best Wedding Photographer in Chicago – About Chicago
Q: What do you like about living in Chicago? Can you give us some traveling photography tips for Chicago? As well as some must-do things for one visiting for the first time?
Chicago is a city of neighborhoods. Yes, the downtown loop area has fantastic museums, theaters, and attractions, but you can find excellent restaurants, bars, walking trails, and green space when you venture into the neighborhoods.
You can immerse yourself in the vast cultural diversity that the city offers by going outside the beaten path.
Steve Koo, The Best Wedding Photographer in Chicago – Final Words
I love talking to Steven Koo, he is a talented, artistic, detailed photographer, and knows what he is doing. I also love that he suggests communication and trust make up a big part of wedding photography.
I hope you enjoy this interview like we do, if you are interested in checking out more about Steve’s work, here are the details:
Facebook: Steve Koo Photography