Danielle & Chris

Danielle & Chris

"Ernst is not only incredibly talented and professional, but also warm and genuine. And the resulting photos – WOW."


1.) Where do you live

We live Normal, Illinois and travel far and wide to photograph unique wedding day stories.

Very briefly, I was born in Hong Kong (long story) and either lived or traveled for work throughout Asia, Europe and North America.  I met and married my wife, Barbara, in Washington, D.C. where we lived for a few years. 

Eventually, with a baby on the way, we moved to Illinois to be closer to her parents.

Wedding photographer in bloomington il

 With my wife, Barbara, and our two children Isabelle and Annalise

2.) What’s your photography background

I was developing film in a darkroom at 13 so my passion goes quite a ways back.  Later, I photographed products for our business in a studio setting.  It wasn’t until I discovered a U.K. photographer whose documentary, photojournalistic approach really resonated with me that I considered photographing weddings.  I started assisting/second shooting in 2008 before I began photographing my own weddings in 2010.
– Barbara in action at Kannika and Han’s wedding –
3.) What’s your approach the day of
This is your story.  A story about you. Your family. And your friends. Everyone coming together to celebrate your love and commitment to each other. 
Although the “details” are important, I know this day provides a rare opportunity to capture the once-in-a-lifetime moments that happen between the people who mean the most to you, and who love you the most.  Twenty years from now, it will be these moments and the people shown in the photograph that will mean the most to you.
For most of the day I am intuitively capturing these natural moments that document your day;  images that are uncontrived, natural and truthful.  I combine these genuine moments with creative composition and lighting to create a beautifully authentic re-telling of your wedding day story.
4.) How do you approach the family photos

While most of the day is natural, creative documentary, we typically set aside a small portion of the day where I am a bit more hands on.  I’ll call up family members and gently guide folks where to stand. I’ll do this elegantly and we’ll make this time as lighthearted as possible.

In dimly or unevenly lit venues, I will use off-camera lighting with lightstands and umbrellas for soft, elegant lighting.  

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5.) How do you approach photos of the two of us

Usually 20-30 minutes of you together either during a “first look” prior to the ceremony or shortly afterwards. These are more about setting the scene than stiff posing.  The idea is that you have a few quiet moments together where you simply enjoy each other’s company.  I will provide a few gentle tips along the way so that you both look and feel as relaxed and natural as possible..

llinois Wesleyan Bloomington IL Wedding


6.) Have you seen our venue before?

I travel far and wide and very often photograph at venues I have never seen before.

So I always make scouting trip to get the lay of the land before coverage starts – either a week or two before the wedding day if it’s a nearby venue, or the day before if you will be having a ceremony rehearsal.  

I can do this on my own or we can schedule a time to meet at the venue, if you prefer.

7.) Will I receive the high resolution images?

Yes. You will be provided with the beautifully edited photos and a print release so that you can print to your hearts content, either at home or via a vendor of your choosing.  

The photos will be available via a beautiful online gallery that you can share with family and friends.  One can order reasonably priced, professional quality prints or download any photo.  

You will also receive your own custom designed wood USB drive featuring an image from your wedding, a few complimentary 8×10 prints and a presentation keepsake box.

Holly and Andrew’s Custom-designed Wood USB drive

The USB drive is inserted into the Keepsake Box (below) along with a few complimentary prints


8.) How many photos will we receive?

You will typically between 900-1200 photos (approximately 100-150 per hour of coverage). If you like, you can view a FULL GALLERY on the website to obtain a better feel for what a days coverage typically looks like.

9.) When will we see our photos?

You will be able to download the high resolution, edited images within 4 weeks, sometimes sooner.

– Where you’ll probably find me at some point on your wedding day –


10.) Can you hold a date for us or let us know if someone else inquires about the same date?

The dates are booked on a first come, first serve basis.  

A date might be available when you inquire or the day we meet but anyone can book the date at anytime.  Due to the amount of inquiries I receive, I cannot hold a date or let you know if someone else inquires about the same date.


How do we reserve the date?

To book the date, a small, non-refundable retainer and an agreement signed by the both of us reserves the date. This can all be done online – it’s simple and only takes a few minutes.

Once the date is booked, I will provide you with a “things to think about” questionnaire and sample timelines to get the ball rolling planning wise.