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Cara Garbarino


Cara Garbarino is the Owner & Photographer of The Atelier, a bespoke boudoir studio.
Known for her unmistakable fashion editorial aesthetic and her passion for connection, laughter and storytelling- Cara Garbarino has been empowering everyday women to look and feel more confident in their own skin for over 13 years. 
A photographer with two decades of professional experience, she has had the honor of photographing numerous celebrities and public figures including former President Barack Obama, Paul McCartney, Chelsea Handler, Michael Jordan, Lebron James, former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, the Chicago Cubs, Gavin Rossdale, Cindy Lauper, Courtney Love and many more.
One of the midwest’s first boudoir studios, Cara opened The Atelier in 2009 after retiring from a decade long career as one of Chicago’s most sought after luxury wedding photographers. Her vision built a unique celebratory portrait experience that honors everyday women with timeless and elegant portraits.
Check out more from Cara Garbarino
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Featured Question

Q: Is there really a wedding mark up?

Do you feel like the industry charges more “because it’s a wedding” and they know it’s an emotional purchase?

Do companies think that they can charge more for weddings since the bride and groom may be willing to spend more on their dream wedding?

Hey wedding pros – is this higher price tag justified? Why? Do you charge more for your service if it is a wedding?

This is a taboo topic, whispered but not discussed… until now.

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    Robin Sloan, The Uncorked ProjectVerifiedRobin Sloan, The Uncorked Project

    I have been asked this so many times... does the wedding industry inflate prices when they hear it's a wedding?

    Here is my honest answer (as a former wedding photographer)... NO. Did I charge more for a wedding than a 50th birthday party or a family portrait session? Yes, absolutely. I charged A LOT more for a wedding.

    Was I taking advantage of the emotional sell? Absolutely not.

    The main reasons I charged more for a wedding were: the unseen amount of work involved in the 12+ months leading up to the wedding, the skill level needed on the day, the INTENSE pressure to create perfect "portfolio level work" no matter what the reality of the situation- but mostly it is to compensate for the time AFTER the wedding in post production.

    Little known fact about wedding photography - the real job is sitting at a computer editing photos. Photographers spend many hours behind the computer carefully selecting and editing photos. They make adjustments, crop, and adjust colors to ensure each image it's best. Don't forget the time it takes for batching, renaming, importing, exporting and uploading the photos and preparing them for delivery.

    Do you think this justifies why photographers charge more for weddings than for other types of shoots?

    AvatarCody Pettengill

    Couldn’t agree more! And on the videography side its an absolute ton of data + editing discipline.

    Its a double sided coin- weddings are extremely high pressure but also high reward when we nail it.

    Our products (photo video) in particular are the only thing that genuinely will last forever . Having fun and ALSO nailing the product is worth the price of entry and frankly more.

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