07
Sep
11

Guest Star: Jason Kaczorowski Photography

One of the Chicago area’s most unique wedding photographers, Jason Kaczorowski shares a lot in common with Stitely Entertainment: incredible attention to detail, unmatched customer service, and an unwavering “client first” attitude. We got to chat with Jason about his start in the photography business and, among other things, some of the more memorable ceremonies he’s photographed.

Stitely: How did you get started in the photography business? What about photography makes you want to do it for a living?

JK: In 1999, I met my wife and soon we became engaged and began planning our wedding. Originally we had intended on holding our wedding here in Chicago but we decided to buck tradition and have an intimate wedding on the beach at sunset in Jamaica. Before landing on the idea of having a destination wedding, I was drawn to the artistry exhibited by the professional photographers we explored. Jamaica doesn’t offer its share of award-winning wedding photographers, so you’re stuck with the resort photographer who takes the same traditional poses 6 times a day at every wedding. We decided to have our wedding broadcast online instead of investing in photography so our friends and family could dress up in front of their computers and watch our nuptials live on the web. By not getting a professional photographer, we missed out on the opportunity to freeze those moments in time. After our wedding, I immersed myself in the world of wedding photography and started assisting professionals I admired before starting my own company in 2005.

Stitely: What part of your job do you find the most satisfying?

JK: The most satisfying aspect of my job is that my clients pay me to do what I love doing. How many people can point to their job and say they love what they do? I wake up every day eager to work with my clients because they’re all my friends. I help plan their schedule, I capture their engagement session, I photograph their wedding and then I invite them to my studio for a proofing party in my projection theater to preview their photos and relive their wedding day.

Stitely: What part of your job do you find the most challenging?

JK: The most challenging part of my job is enduring the “Cha-Cha Slide” twice a week. I kid. It’s honestly that 99% of clients can only meet on weekday evenings and weekends. Naturally, that happens to be the only time I have an opportunity to spend time with my family and friends and it unfortunately forces me to neglect those people far too often. Another major challenge is wearing many different hats being a self-employed businessperson. I am an artist, entrepreneur, advertising representative, graphic designer, bookkeeper, marketing guru, interior (studio) designer, janitor/light bulb changer, event scheduler, salesperson, receptionist, order fulfillment specialist, human resources manager and boss to my assistant photographers plus, most importantly, a dedicated 24/7 customer service representative. After all that, I’m confident I deserve a raise. I’ll have to talk to the boss about that… oh, wait… that’s me.

Stitely: How does your company separate itself from competitors?

JM: I separate my company from other photographers by offering clients a total customer service-oriented experience, from initial consultation to digital file delivery. Some photographers meet clients in coffee shops or only discuss details by phone. I knew when I started my business that I wouldn’t subject my clients to talking about their wedding dreams, personal finances, and artistic sensibilities in a public location or over a cold phone call…..Jason Kaczorowski Photography also became the first studio in Illinois to receive certification from Greener Photography. I’m one of only 15 photographers in the US and Canada named to the Leadership Circle of Greener Photography, and my commitment to sustainability inspires other photographers.

Stitely: What’s the key to a successful event for you?

JK: Ammunition. No, not that kind! Ammunition in the form of my “Update Questionnaire.” This survey is emailed to couples 30 days before their wedding, and is filled with useful tips and tricks to make the most of the wedding day. It also serves as my go-to reference for bridal party members and parents’ names, so I can refer to friends and family personally. I include useful questions I’ll need to know on the wedding day like “Are there any special people to focus on?” (i.e. out of state family, sorority/fraternity, an elder who may not be with us long, etc.) and even questions like “Are there any special people we shouldn’t put together in photos?” (You never realize how divorced parents or feuding family don’t like being pitted together until you attempt to make them smile during formal photos for a few minutes.)

Stitely: What is the craziest event story you can share?

JK: Weddings are usually crazy – it’s just a matter of they’re crazy-fun or crazy-crazy. There’s always laughter, tears, joy, love and, most of the time, it ends in some sort of drunken depravity. Before I opened the doors to Jason Kaczorowski Photography I worked for several local and national photography studios as an independent contractor. There’s nothing like shooting a wedding where you don’t get to talk to the bride until the day before her wedding when I go over the details with her on the phone. Talk about being thrown into the fire! I’ve seen it all working for these budget wedding photography studios: from the police being called for assault and battery between the groom and his groomsmen to a reception venue that caught fire. I’ve photographed in a monsoon, buried myself in snowdrifts to capture photos, and nearly passed out from heat exhaustion. I’ve photographed weddings with both eyes nearly swollen shut due to an eye infection and have been rushed to the hospital hours after finishing another due to a severe case of pancreatitis (though, after 350 weddings, I have never missed a single one!)

Jason Kaczorowski Photography is located in Chicago at 4636 N. Ravenswood. Contact him at weddings@jasonkaczorowski.com or by phone at 312.671.7678.

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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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