Pawinski Photography

Photography seduced me in college. While leafing through a Daily Northwestern during a particularly tedious organic chemistry lecture, I spotted an ad calling for photographers. Why not? I thought. This was just the creative outlet I needed to counterbalance studying carboxylic acids and alkyl halides. The whim soon became a way of life. Within two weeks, I had dropped the class and dedicated my time fully to visual journalism. And I have not looked back.

Since then, photography has been my passport to the weird and wonderful. Immediately after graduating, I moved to Hungary to become chief photographer for the Budapest Business Journal, an English-language business weekly. After two years, I left the paper to pursue a freelance career. My assignments have ranged from the serious–riding along with anti-carjacking police in South Africa and documenting the shrinking Jewish population in Bukhara, Uzbekistan–to the silly–racing hearses in England and playing stockcar soccer in Ohio. In my spare time, I played keyboards, recorded, and toured Europe with a Hungarian rock band.

In 2003, I returned to Chicago with wedding photography on my mind. Why? Because weddings contain all the elements of photojournalism that make it exciting: emotion, history, and moments, moments, moments! It is truly an honor for me to know that my pictures will become a part of family history, and I treat my role as visual historian very seriously. I have since photographed over 250 weddings, and I treat every one of them as the unique event that it is.

My work has been recently featured in Bride Box's Top 20 Wedding Photographers in Chicago, Delicious Preset's 180+ Remarkable Wedding Photographers, and Wedzilla's 50 Top US Wedding Photographers. My work earned distinction from the Wedding Photojournalism Association (WPJA) in 2007, placing second overall for the year in Illinois and 20th internationally, out of over one thousand member photographers. I am also an award-winning member of Fearless Photographers and the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers (ISPWP). My work has been pulished in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, USA Today, Business Week, Car and Driver, BBC Top Gear Magazine, and Stuff, among others. When I'm not working, I could usually be found cooking, running, or playing a game of cribbage or backgammon.

My goal with weddings, as with any other documentary project, is to tell a story through the capture of moments, emotions, color, light, and shadow. I try to remain as unobtrusive and low-key as possible, letting those moments come naturally. I only step into the role of director during the formal photography portion of our day.

As every bride and wedding party is different, I fine-tune my coverage to fit the personality of the group. Some have fun with extended portraiture; others want minimal, quick, hassle-free formal coverage. The focus is to keep the photography as relaxed and enjoyable as possible, while still capturing those key moments for your story. After all, this is your wedding day, not a day-long photo shoot, and the more fun you have with it, the better the pictures will be. I do my best to capture as many beautiful and honest pictures as possible without it feeling like work for you.

But let the photos speak for themselves. In addition to a selection of my favorite wedding and engagement photos of the past six years, I have also included galleries of couples. These were all taken from weddings in the last year or two and represent the typical coverage and variety of photos you can expect from your wedding day. If you need to see more, email or call me, and I will be more than happy to provide you with more examples of my work.

2018 Pricing starts at $2500 for 8 hours coverage, online slideshow, online image hosting, and full resolution edited images with reproduction rights.

I offer flush-mount albums by Graphistudio. Please enquire for prices, which vary based on type of album, number of pages, and size.

I can be reached by phone at 312.451.5654 or by email at