Molly and John chose the Chicago Rookery for their wedding, and what a beautiful statement it is!  Located in the heart of downtown Chicago’s financial district, The Rookery was filled with sunlight, gorgeous staircases, and this happy couple in love!
I asked Molly and John for some details of their story!
How we met:  We met totally randomly at a bar.  A bouncer sat Molly and her friend next to John and his friend at the bar.  We’re both lawyers, and in casual conversation Molly used a word that only lawyers use, which opened a door to conversation, which has just kept opening ever since.
Why we got married in Chicago:  Foremost, we currently live here (we met here and have lived here during the entirely of our relationship).  John’s family is from the East Coast and all still pretty much live on the East Coast.  We wanted to show off this phenomenal city that has been our home for the past decade.
Why we chose to have our reception at the Rookery:  As noted above, we’re from Chicago, but many of the guests are not from/have never been to Chicago before.  We wanted to give them a true, authentic, downtown Chicago experience.  A Frank Lloyd Wright building, in the Loop, fit the bill.  And, it’s a gorgeous space to boot.  After looking at a handful of venues downtown–including event spaces and hotels–it was the first choice on both of our lists.
The biggest memory we have of our day:  I think we each have a ton of little memories.
Some of John’s little memories:  hanging out with my family before the wedding; I got to welcome guests coming into the Church, so it was great to see people one by one as they came in; before the reception Molly and I had a back room with some horsdeouvres and drinks, and we went back there for a few minutes–basically our only alone time for the day, and it was great just to be together in our own space while everything else was happening a few feet away
Some of Molly’s little memories:  getting ready with my mom, sister, and a close friend early in the morning (an awesome group to channel the excitement), waiting in the basement of the church with my parents and sister the 40 minutes before the ceremony as all the guests were filtering into the church above us; watching John as I walked down the aisle and whispering to him when I got to him at the end of the aisle; having a few private moments with John right after the ceremony in a room off to the side of the church, the three tremendous speeches–my Dad’s, my sister’s, and John’s brother’s; dancing with my Dad to then have all the guests flood the dance floor; all of the love surrounding us that day.”
Thank you so much, Molly and John!  Best wishes on your continued happiness, and thank you for including us to document your day!  Check out your wedding photographs published on Borrowed & Blue!
Wedding Consultant:  Melissa Samek, Clementine Custom Events 
Associate Photographer: Thomas Pham
Floral:  A Stem Above

PHOTOGRAPHERS: My next Moment-Driven Photojournalism Workshop is October 27-29.  Interested?

moment-driven workshop

Schedule a FREE Strategy Session with me!

I’m so honored to be featured on the incredibly informative podcast for photographers, the Sprouting Photographer.  The Sprouting Photographer podcast is a weekly podcast interviewing industry experts and business specialists who share high-value, no-fluff, concrete business ideas for professional photographers, and it was named the Best of iTunes, so being a part of it is so rewarding!  After teaching photojournalism for over a decade, I can talk about photography all day, so with host, Bryan Caporicci, we truly had a great discussion on how photographers can stand out in their field and market themselves to their perfect clients.  Here is some of what we talked about!

Sprouting Photographer Podcast Discussion with Candice C. Cusic:

  • Focus on capturing moments instead of obsessively posing your clients like you may see in popular blogs
  • Remember that your responsibility it to photograph real people in big moments of their lives while still making it a fun process for you
  • Make yourself stand out among the sea of photographers and differentiate your work.
  • Delegate the key shots to someone you trust so you can get more creative in the field.
  • Be wary of “creative suicide” and get inspired by your unique surroundings whenever possible.
  • Utilize your best and favorite work on your website so you attract the ideal clients.
  • Educate your clients prior to their big event so they know they don’t have to smile to the camera all the time.
  • Create experiences that will produce the best shots for your clients.
  • Making your clients comfortable so they are able to let you be a fly on the wall.
  • The best way to make money quickly is to produce standout photography.

306: Candice Cusic – How to educate your clients so you can focus on capturing amazing moments

Click the box above to listen or check out all of the great podcasts on the Sprouting Photographer Itunes Page!


PHOTOGRAPHERS: My next Moment-Driven Photojournalism Workshop is October 27-29.  Interested?

Schedule a FREE Strategy Session with me!

Moment-Driven Photojournalism Workshop by Candice C. Cusic


Jenny and Al only had one request for their Chicago courthouse wedding photography: document them riding the El, taking photos along with way with disposable cameras!  My response?  Absolutely!

We met at Chicago City Hall for a quick wedding ceremony, and Al brought diamond ring balloons for Jenny’s son, which he accidentally dropped, resulting in one of my favorite photographs  🙂  We then ventured to Cindy’s Rooftop Bar at the Chicago Athletic Association for some hot chocolate and a few portraits, then on to the Chicago EL!

Thank you so much, Jenny and Al!  Wishing you nothing but the best!


I couldn’t be more excited to announce my Moment-Driven Workshop WEEKEND this October 27-29!  !  This THREE-DAY shooting workshop is designed to help you step outside your comfort zone. You will photograph strangers, learn how to capture moments without posing, and work on what is holding you back as a photographer.  You CAN capture authentic, emotionally storytelling images without posing or direction, and no longer fear getting the camera where it needs to be.  Book before July 31 for a $100 discount!

Tired of posing your couples?  You don’t have to!  Here’s what’s involved in the Moment-Driven Workshop.


how to make stronger images, how to capture moments during a portrait session, and how to overcome any anxiety you may experience in documenting and interacting with strangers


an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone, learn how to document moments during portrait sessions and join a private Facebook group of moment-driven alumni for future support!


in shooting assignments in downtown Chicago documenting strangers. This is not a “stand around, watching Candice photograph models” session. This is a hands-on workshop – the best way to learn something is to do it yourself!

Questions?  Receive a free Strategy Session with me!


I love working as a Chicago courthouse wedding photographer because it is such a different challenge from your standard wedding day.   If you choose to get married at the Chicago City Hall, it’s a great way to avoid a lavish wedding with 300 guests.  This windowless basement also includes some amazing people watching, and a long line with lots of smiles.  Some of the most honest and intimate moments I’ve photographed have been at courthouse weddings, and I feel so lucky to be a courthouse wedding photographer and often, one of just a few close friends and relatives in the room!

Samantha and John got ready at the JW Marriott Chicago and walked to the courthouse together.  It was such a beautiful morning, it’s even better when you get to document a lovely bride and groom!  After a quick ceremony with a kind and funny judge, we we went to the rooftop of the Prudential Building for portraits.  Thank you so much, Samantha and John… enjoy your photography!


Kerry and Evan‘s Nico Osteria wedding photography explained one fantastic thing they have in common.  These two are in love, and they also love to laugh… something I am a big fan of, so I fell in love with them immediately.  Kerry also asked me to photograph her wedding day yoga class for her bridesmaids, which I also loved!  Their beautiful wedding had some very unique touches that said a lot about them as a couple in love.

I asked Kerry for some words about her wedding:

“Evan and I met on eHarmony under the unlikeliest of circumstances. I had just joined at the urging of a friend who worried that I’d never find my match if I didn’t break my long hiatus from dating. Evan had been dating on eHarmony for some time but had become discouraged and cancelled his account. As Evan waited out the last few days until his profile was deactivated and I entered the dating world again after almost three years away, we were matched.

I instantly fell in love with Evan’s sense of humor; the thing I remember most about our first date is how much I laughed. Evan immediately fell for my love of food, cooking and all things culinary. Having grown up in his mother’s bakery, Evan loved a good meal…and any woman who would order chicken liver mousse on a first date. As we got to know each other, though, we discovered in each other a partnership we couldn’t have imagined. We are an incredible team.
Evan and I both live in Chicago near our families, so having the wedding here was an easy choice. We selected Nico Osteria as our venue after meeting with the incredible events teams of several One Off Hospitality restaurants. Our first date was at the Publican and we’ve spent quite a bit of time touring the OOH restaurants throughout our relationship, so it seemed fitting to indulge our foodie tendencies at one of their properties for the biggest dinner party we’ll ever throw. We cannot recommend Nico, its event planner, Ann Beteta, and the entire staff enough. Our wedding was everything we wanted it to be and we could not have pulled it off without them.
One of the best decisions I made in planning the wedding was setting up a private yoga class for myself and my girlfriends the morning of. I’ve been practicing yoga for 15 years and having an entire hour to center myself, reflect on the gravity of the commitment I was about to make, and enjoy some space before all of the festivities began. Our first look was also a moment that stood out to me because it was a bit of quiet time for Evan and I to connect by ourselves before the ceremony. I also loved having an open mic during our (very lengthy, four-course) dinner. It kept our guests entertained without delaying meal time and allowed many more guests than we might normally have chosen to get up and say a few words.
We were delighted with the photos of our wedding; they really captured the emotion and excitement of the day. We look back on them often!”
Thank you so much, Kerry and Evan!  Enjoy your wedding blog post!

Wedding Consultant: Lisa Wandel, Liven It Up Events

Ceremony and Reception: Nico Osteria

Hotel: Thompson Hotel Chicago

Associate Photographer: Thomas Pham

Florals: Alice Hanson Design


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