How to plan a Hawaii wedding and bring your own photographer


Last summer I was contacted by a couple who was planning their wedding reception at the Morton arboretum at the same time that they were planning a more private wedding ceremony in the beautiful island of Kauai. Initially they wanted me to photograph their event at the Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. However, after further consultation they realized that there were a lot of advantages  having me as their photographer for their Kauai ceremony.

Long story short, I was able to shoot both of their events, provide them with two albums fully customized; one of  the ceremony in Kauai and the other of the reception at the Morton Arboretum.

Did they have to pay a fortune flying their photographer to Kauai? Not really. Their only additional cost was an extra album they purchased to preserve their Kauai memories.

In return, they were always talking directly with their photographer, to whom they knew personally prior to the wedding. Any question or suggestion they needed I was always just around the corner from them. Remember, when the wedding and the party is over, you will not see any of the vendors you hired again except for your photographer. Therefore, you want someone reliable; someone you can trust and reach out to without playing phone tag or going through mediators, contractors, etc. I was honored to be that reliable person to whom they trusted a great responsibility to, their wedding day.

The island of Kauai is one of the most chilled and relaxed places I have ever been too. Very picturesque for sure, from the minute you get off the gate of your airplane in Lihue and encounter all the roosters and chickens frolicking around, to the exotic beaches surrounded by jagged cliffs and lush vegetation that make everything resemble some sort of paradise, as it is Hanaley Bay.

My bride and groom were staying at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. This is a gorgeous hotel with beautiful grounds in walking distance to Shipwreck Beach.

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Our ceremony destination took us on a conventional road for the most part, However, to complete the full Hawaiian experience we need to go on a short 0ff-road ride.

After few minutes we arrived to our own waterfall where the ceremony took place. Nothing short from Fantasy Island, with the exception of Tattoo and Mr. Roarke!
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hawaii_kauai_wedding-8Right after we took the time to visit some other locations, such as the Kilahuea Lighthouse.Wedding pictures at the Kilahuea Lighthouse

At the end of our day  we stopped at different locations that I had previously scouted to produce some more images for their album.
hawaii_kauai_wedding-11In conclusion, Kauai is just an outstanding destination for any couple looking for a getaway to get married or renew their vows. Is it worth it hiring a photographer from your area and bringing him or her along? I would say absolutely. You have total control of any details and more importantly fully customized service that for sure will give you the kind of heirloom album anybody would want to have. And if the service is reasonably priced, why not?

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How to get a great family picture?

Large family group photographed by Chicago photographer Miguel Castillo Photography
Everybody is familiar with that moment when you are at a family reunion, hanging out with siblings, their children, grandpa, grandma, folks from out of town and what could be better than a family picture. Uncle Steve with a camera is ready to get the shot, the kids are all over the place screaming, jumping, grandma and grandpa are trying to get the little ones to laugh, therefore not looking at the camera and FLASH! There is the picture: Some people are not looking at the camera, some are hidden behind other’s heads, 4 people are blinking and it’s just one hot mess.

How about if instead you can hire a photographer that can create not just a picture, but a beautiful image where absolutely every single person looks their best; children included. How about about if on top of that the background of this already perfect image can be customized with another memorable image to honor grandpa and grandma or to simply celebrate this very special moment in life.

These are the kind of services that I am able to offer to my clients.

The image below is a family image created with 32 people. Not only every family received a family portrait but as you can see every single person in that image is looking in the right direction, including kids, and everything was done in a very relaxed and uneventful manner. No kids were crying or squirming around and to enhance the overall image I customized the background with a very unique portrait of grandma and grandpa to celebrate their 60th anniversary.

This image was printed in several canvas wraps in a 20×60 size, and hangs over the mantels of different family members. Do you think that people ask about this image when they see it? You bet! It’s a traffic stopper and topic of conversation.

Next time you have your family in town celebrating a special occasion make that special moment last. Hire Miguel Castillo Photography and let him create artwork for your walls.


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Downtown Chicago Wedding Engagement Session with Ana & Anthony

I am stoked about this session. Years ago I did Ana’s senior year pictures and now we are doing an engagement session for her wedding  in  2017.  Not only she will be a beautiful bride but she is also marrying a great guy!

We headed downtown for their  engagement session looking for a little bit of everything; some nature, some beautiful shots with that distinctive Chicago skyline, some candid, etc, and we ended with even more.downtown-chicago-1The weather has been fairly warm for autumn in Chicago, bu that actually played in our advantage although we started with a little cold and windy.

Despite the overcast skies we were able to aid our images with some lighting to recreate the so called “golden hour.”downtown-chicago-3

miguel_castillo_lincoln_park_zoo_photography-6 miguel_castillo_lincoln_park_zoo_photography-10 miguel_castillo_lincoln_park_zoo_photography-13 miguel_castillo_lincoln_park_zoo_photography-19 miguel_castillo_lincoln_park_zoo_photography-31 miguel_castillo_lincoln_park_zoo_photography-35 One of my favorite shots with the Chicago Skyline.miguel_castillo_lincoln_park_zoo_photography-46

So much emotion and connection through this image. I could see this image printed on a 30×40 metal print!miguel_castillo_lincoln_park_zoo_photography-49 miguel_castillo_lincoln_park_zoo_photography-53 miguel_castillo_lincoln_park_zoo_photography-58 miguel_castillo_lincoln_park_zoo_photography-63 miguel_castillo_lincoln_park_zoo_photography-66 miguel_castillo_lincoln_park_zoo_photography-68 miguel_castillo_lincoln_park_zoo_photography-84 I love this shot. Not only it showcases that gorgeous ring but also the connection between these two .miguel_castillo_lincoln_park_zoo_photography-98

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