Pete Miller's Wedding

Jennifer & Mike


“Thanks to sophisticated cameras and the powers of post-processing, good wedding photographers are a dime a dozen these days. But great ones, those whose images are like a Narnian door into an emotionally evocative, magical world of remembrance? Well now, those are a bit more difficult to find. If you are searching for the latter in the Chicagoland area, Ernst Jacobsen is one of the names to know.

Having worked with a wide array of photographers when planning events, I am used to seeing the standard catalog of lovely images post-fête. Weddings are, at first glance, not the most challenging of subjects- everyone is happy, all are dressed to the nines and, thanks to the cocktails, entertaining poses abound. What makes a photographer great, in my opinion, is his or her ability to capture the moments of authenticity- the fleeting glances, the subtle graceful gestures, the raw exchanges. A great photographer’s images take you by the eye and lead you back into the scene. They make you feel.

Such is the photographer I found Ernst Jacobsen to be as I scrolled through the images he took of a wedding I recently attended. The venue was intimate, a steakhouse bathed in moody hues with 120 people meandering about the bar and front room. An unassuming man in person, Ernst’s presence was hard to detect. While a few sightings of a man with a camera let me know that there was, in fact, a photog present, I can’t seem to recall ever seeing him front and center in the ‘big ticket’ moments of the day.

Thus I was stunned to see the result of his work- the photographs are testament to the fact that he was everywhere all at once, shooting every detail. In one, he is behind me as I toast the newlyweds, their faces beaming from across the room. In the next, he is behind them, capturing my fellow toaster from across the stage. Should I run into Ernst again, I will check his shoes for pointy ends with little bells that signify some sort of magical transport ability. I simply don’t know how he did it.

Scroll down a bit and you will find my favorite- the bride glancing back at her mother holding her infant daughter during the vows, with the baby looking directly at the camera. Powerful, touching and poignant. Realize, as you glance at the series showing the ceremony, how many angles are captured- and that one man did all of that alone. It is extraordinary.”  FIONA

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