I could never want for anything more in this life than to take photos of people who are open enough to let me into their world. This is how we make natural, authentic photography– together. I have my little tips + tricks about getting you to that place, but I get the true pleasure of having you guide me through your emotions.
When you choose me as your wedding photographer, you're trusting me to tell your story. I want to know what your person says to calm you down, or every weird quirk they have that makes you laugh. Tell me how you first knew they were your forever.
I capture these moments through my photojournalistic approach and being able to connect with you and your partner.
You want a wedding photographer who sees you as a person, not a client. It's almost odd that I get to call this a business because none of my photography ever feels a job. I love the work that I get to do. It's fun, vulnerable and and unique to everyone I photograph. I make sure all of my couples feel at ease the entire time. By the end of the day with me, you'll feel more comfortable in front of the camera than you ever thought was possible.
I'm naturally a big goofball, telling dad jokes and squealing when I see that *extra amazing* photo in my camera (it's true, I make a lot of weird noises). Nothing makes me happier than doing things differently and thinking outside the box, it makes everything more personal. I love finding ways to make the traditional into the unconventional, making sure these photos should represent you in every single way.
Fun fact about me: I'm a weirdo who LOVES to edit. It's a process that brings me so much closer to what lies at the heart of what I do best, which is to create fine-art photography. I'm always eager to start on the edits from the moment I get home and this excitement continues until I export the final images. For smaller sessions, the edits take about 1 - 2 weeks and larger weddings take 3 - 4 weeks. If there is any reason that I would not meet this deadline (because of an emergency or other obligations), then I will 100% communicate that to you and make sure you're filled in on everything that's going on.
LET ME TELL YOU that when someone tries to take MY photo I often freeze up. My hands? My face? My body? Suddenly I don't know what to do with any of them! Whenever I'm working with couples I always aim to capture them in a natural, organic way. Every relationship is different physically + emotionally. I work to find what makes you guys feel the most like yourselves. There are small tricks I have up my sleeve to aid this process, but no two couples are the same. It's so much easier to think about your partner and the ways you love them rather than where to put your arms or how to position your legs. We will work together to tell your story in these photos.
Unfortunately, I can't clone myself to be in two rooms at the same time (wouldn't that be cool?). This is where the role of the Second Shooter can really come in handy! I almost always recommend a Second Shooter for large events in order to make sure every last detail is captured and from every angle. If you and your partner are getting ready in separate locations, having another photographer there allows each of you to be documented before the ceremony. If I'm photographing someone giving a speech, my other photographer can take photos of your reactions. These are only a couple of the many ways a Second Shooter can be utilized. If my partner Nate (my usual creative partner in crime) is unavailable to join me, I have a list of other skilled and personable photographers who can accompany me on your wedding day.
This is definitely the question I get asked the most! One of the best ways to figure this out is to hop on a phone or Zoom call to discuss your big day. We'll go over how long everything will take, including getting ready, travel time, and even when speeches should be planned. My goal isn't to get you to book my largest package or sell you hours you don't need– it's to find the right timeline that works best for you. We'll finalize everything before your wedding so that when when the day comes, we'll have a solid schedule in place and y'all don't have to worry about a thing!
Oh heck yes! I offer fine art albums and prints along with ALL of my packages. The standard album size is 10x8 with a 10 page spread. We will collaborate together to pick which photos work best and where they live in the album. Using the company Vision Art means there are no templates and no rules when it comes to the design. The gallery you receive online also serves as a print store, making ordering any additional prints as easy as pie. Blueberry pie, in fact (my FAVE). Want to see what your album can look like? Fill out my Inquiry Form to get ahold of my Investment Guide!
Absolutely. Any couple who wants to book me for their wedding with coverage of 8+ hours will receive a complementary engagement session! I love doing this because it encourages us to get to know each other and form a trust that will only make the images that much more magical.
Every single photo you receive from me will have been color corrected and edited by my own hands. My edits are what make my craft so unique, and it's for this reason that I don't send off my work to be edited by someone else or give out RAW, unedited photos.
My wedding packages usually yield 75-100 images per shooting hour depending on what's happening and how many people are being photographed. I take fewer photos while people are eating (trust me, the average person does not look cute while taking a big bite of chicken) and more during the important moments. An engagement session will often result in 100-150 images.
I promise we can always find beauty in whatever Mother Nature throws at us and we will make it work. Sometimes a little extra rain, snow, or wind can add some incredible, unexpected texture that makes the photos even more beautiful. If an engagement or family session date needs to be rearranged because of dangerous conditions, I'm more than happy to take that on a case-by-case basis.
I do not think that a person's body should be edited to look a certain way. I take pride in being a body-positive photographer that looks at the organic love happening between people. We all have skin, fat, folds, and other beautiful curves. I embrace it all. The only retouching I do is for acne, scarring, blemishes, or bruising. I never look at someone I've photographed and seek out to erase their "imperfections." I only see love, which is honestly what you'll remember most about the day when you look back on these images. The best photos won't be about how your body looks. It'll be about the connection you share with the ones you cherish the most.
I always ask for a deposit of 20% with the contract. This payment ensures my time and that I don't accept another booking for that day. Because that date is being held just for you, it is non-refundable and acts as a retainer. The remainder of the balance is due a week before the wedding/session, but I am happy to set up a plan that spreads out for smaller payments over time before the big day.
If you are rescheduling a wedding, the paid deposit will go toward your new date and I will not add any additional fees. A new contract will be written for the new date agreed upon by both you and me. If a wedding is rescheduled for a second time, I require a 15% non-refundable payment for the new date. If a wedding needs to be moved to a new date due to government shutdowns or mandates preventing any kind of gathering from happening, I will not charge any additional fees for rescheduling.
Of course! I will meet you wherever you are– I'm definitely not limited to the Midwest. All additional travel expenses will be discussed and added to the final contract, so you won't need to worry about flights/gas/hotels.
Being a concert photographer in addition to photographing weddings means I've practiced being able to capture important moments in less than ideal lighting situations. Often times during a live music event, the artist is dancing and singing without a direct light source. Although these situations are tricky to photograph, I have a trained eye and I know how to best utilize my equipment in order to document the event and provide amazing photos. The same goes with any wedding, no matter where it's taking place or what time of day it occurs.
Honestly, I'd be mad if you didn't. If you have any furry friends at home, I want to know every nickname you call them, how floofy they are and why you can't live without them.
"From the beginning of the shoot, Madi had us laughing and being silly to the point where we felt no discomfort in front of the camera. She made us feel at ease and was therefore able to capture us 100% authentically. She is incredibly generous with her time and creative energy- we've had so much fun showing off the photos to our friends and family. We had a blast working with her and are looking forward to her taking our wedding photos as well. 10/10 would hire again!"
"She showed up with both natural warmth and excitement and a professional perspective on helping us get shots we loved. Madi excels at both naturally being a part of a moment while helping you tilt your head or move your arm to get a great shot. There was no pressure to be anything other than how we felt (which was ecstatic!) The result was a wedding album that TRULY told the whole journey of our day! Madi has a true talent and is a joy to work with. For smaller or larger events, she has a ton of experience and heart and will give you beautiful photos!"
"Madi was so great! Easy to work with, organized, engaging, friendly, interactive, and one of the most creative photographers. She really captured what we were looking for. Even the guests complimented on her professionalism and friendly nature. And her work is amazing! Highly recommend Madi and will use her again!!! Her passion for her craft shows in everything she does. She did an amazing job and the results... fantastic! Thanks Madi!!!"
"Madi brings a great sense of professionalism to her practice, is quick to respond to requests, good-humored, and ensures the comfort of her clients. She was an incredible asset when it came to documenting our wedding reception. From planning a few weeks out with email lists of photographs and opportunities we did not want to miss to the day-of. She captured details we never expected: high school friend reunion dances, handkerchief folding tutorials, hidden whispers between my wife and me, snarky smirks of our parents, and so many details we easily could have missed. Madi captures characters, emotional exchanges, and most of all, memories."
"Madi scouted out spots downtown prior to the day, which was a thoughtful step that made it feel personalized and special. She did a wonderful job taking photographs after our City Hall wedding! Madi was very responsive to our needs and made coordination of meeting up easy. She also was very respectful of safety measures such as wearing a mask and social distancing. Madi was also able to edit and share the link to our photos after only a few days, so we were able to share them with family and friends quickly. I would highly recommend Madi Ellis Photography!"
"Madi was communicative, highly organized and amazing throughout the entire process all the way through the big day. She was incredible from day one of setting our wedding date. We are amazed at how well our wedding photos turned out and have received so many compliments from our family and friends. Planning a wedding can be stressful, but working with Madi was so easy and one of the most enjoyable parts of the entire process. I would recommend her in a heartbeat to anyone looking for a hard-working and professional Chicago photographer.
"She was a joy to work with! Her work is beautiful and modern, yet timeless and enduring. It’s one thing to be a great photographer, which Madi is- it’s something else entirely to be able to illicit real emotion like Madi can. Her “bedside manner” is incredible. She made us feel so at ease and able to be ourselves. Her direction guided us to some truly great shots that we will treasure forever. Madi’s work and talents are unique. Her technical skills are inarguably immaculate, but her personality and ability to guide her subjects are just as valuable."
"Madi is INCREDIBLE. She brings impeccable professionalism along with positive energy, great communication, and flexibility. Our day went sideways with east-coast-style rain for our Colorado mountain wedding and Madi ran with it. She came prepared with ponchos and umbrellas and an amazing attitude. It helped save the day even as we all got soaked. Plus, rain pictures are actually gorgeous, so it ended up being a great day! Thanks Madi!!!"
"Our big day could not have gone better and it was truly because of Madi. She is truly a rockstar. She was extremely communicative leading up to the big day and was so organized. She was thoughtful in choosing the best space for our first look and coordinating different spots throughout the city for portraits. She was patient and kind towards our families and made family portraits move so fast. She captured every detail of the day and went above and beyond her duty as our photographer. The candid photos she captured were better than we ever could have imagined. She captured the love, joy, and true emotion of the day."