the team!

Hi, we're the EMP team! On your wedding day, we're not just your photographers – we're also here to carry your train, pin your boutonniere, hype you up, cheer you on, and break it down on the dance floor. Oh, and don't forget that we'll be there to chase down Bubbe Sarah and get Uncle Jason to smile for family formals.

Your wedding day photos are the vehicle to transport your precious memories into eternal gifts for generations to come. We believe in capturing the authentic, joyous representation of your day. We work with a combination of poses and prompts to make sure you're looking and feeling your best all day long. We've photographed all ages — from 0 to 105! On your wedding day, we're here to support and celebrate YOU. Let's get this party started!

We are Eliana Melmed Photography.

Photography has been my passion ever since I took an online class in high school and stole my mom's camera. I used it so much that I wore the buttons off of it! My mom was so impressed that she bought me a new one. It was a simple point-and-shoot, but with my own camera in my hands, I felt unstoppable! I now have over 14 years of experience capturing love stories, and I really love what I do! I've captured more than 150 weddings and have been flown internationally to help couples celebrate their love.  My work has been published in Chicago Style Weddings, Brides, and Inspired Living.

Being a wedding photographer is about more than just taking pictures. It's about being able to capture that special moment when you bring out the best in your couples! I love to facilitate and capture those special moments that show genuine love and happiness. It brings me so much joy to make people feel cared for and tended to while they're in front of my camera, and to share in their happiness when they receive their final galleries! 

Hi, I'm Esther!

fun facts about Esther

Making sure my clients feel cared for when they're in front of my camera!


I taught myself how to play ukelele in 2020, and also play piano & guitar

proudest accomplishment

Being a mom to my three rambunctious little ones!

Fave Photo Spot

The West Loop is home to some of my favorite hidden gem locations!


Exploring nature, long drives, going down Wikipedia rabbit holes 


Listening to The Shins on repeat!

part of our family

Esther photographed our wedding 7 years ago and she’s been a part of our family ever since - from engagement, wedding, maternity, & family sessions. She’s super responsive, a true professional, and puts her heart & soul into her gift of photography. Esther is so helpful with outfit suggestions and making sure we nail the perfect pose, without it looking staged. Our pictures always turn out so beautiful & we receive so many compliments on them. I can’t imagine anyone else documenting our family and I’m so glad I found Esther!

- Taylor & Mike

Our pictures are stunning!

Esther shot our wedding in 2020. She is truly the best person to be around. She was so easy and fun to work with!  She made the entire bridal party feel comfortable, captured them perfectly and always had her next picture idea ready to go. Our pictures turned our stunning because of how hard she works and her vision on our day. We've worked with her ever since on every special occasion!

- Emily & matt

She eased my nerves!

Esther photographed our wedding and was an absolute delight to work with. On the day of our wedding, I was super anxious. I was so nervous about being in front of the camera, but Esther felt like an old friend, made me laugh, gave us tips for getting our photos just right, and helped ease my nerves. The photos she took were beautiful— telling the story of our wedding day, and capturing moments we otherwise didn’t notice or see. She was so creative in finding just the right spots and angles. We will forever cherish the photos Esther took for us, and are so grateful to have had her as our photographer!

-Kerstin and Kyle

client love for Esther

As a child, I was always fascinated by cameras. I remember grabbing every chance I could to play with film and polaroid cameras, even pretending to take shots when there was nothing loaded inside (film is expensive, after all!). It wasn't until a family trip to Las Vegas that I realized my passion for photography. I saw my camera as more than just an accessory - it was a tool to create art. Since then, I've been investing in my education and equipment to develop my unique style, which is always evolving.

Today, I'm a wedding and editorial photographer with a passion for fashion-inspired flair. I love nothing more than creating eye-catching poses and over-the-top looks! At the same time, I'm also a big fan of candid shots and capturing real-life moments that you'll treasure forever. I've been a professional photographer for eight years, and during that time, I've attended countless workshops and experimented with different techniques to hone my skills. I can't wait to work with you!

Hi, I'm Justin!

fun facts about justin.

Helping you feel like your best self in front of the camera!

Favorite season

Spring in Chicago is so bright and beautiful, especially after our long winter

proudest accomplishment

Living out my childhood dream of becoming a wedding photographer!

Fave Photo Spot

I absolutely love sessions at the Financial Plaza


There's nothing better than putting on some anime after a long day!


Pineapple coconut ice cream, my new summer fave

Simply Put: the best

When we hired Justin, we knew we were getting an amazing photographer but we had no idea we would be getting such an amazing person and friend out of it too! Justin is the absolute sweetest person we have had the honor of meeting and he has such a great eye to make our vision come to life! Our guests could not stop raving about how much they loved him! He gives clear direction on how to pose, what to do with your hands, how to fix your face, and knows how to use lighting. He stuck to the game plan and made sure none of those important shots are missed while also being flexible. I can honestly sit here and say that thanks to Justin, our big day was absolutely perfect. We're ready for him to get ready for our maternity photos, gender reveal, baby shower, and family portraits. I will forever recommend him to EVERYONE.

- Aby a.

You've found your photographer!

Justin is amazing to work with. It felt like we were talking to an old friend. He really tried to figure out who we are as a couple. I received nothing but glowing feedback from our wedding party and guests. We are thrilled with the final photos and love the online album that made it easy to share with family. You won't be disappointed to choose Justin to capture your joy.

- Alexandra R

Engaging & hardworking

If you're looking for someone that's going to capture your day with an amazing and engaging attitude, is incredibly dependable and super hard working, look no further! Justin was fantastic with us from the very first meeting with him. The finished product is amazing- –I'm obsessed with my wedding pictures. Whatever the event, Justin is sure to capture and captivate everyone with his pictures. If I ever have another picture-worthy event, I want Justin there!

- Daisy T

client love for Justin

How do I book with esther & justin?

Hit the "inquire' button at the top of the page to get the discussion started!

Absolutely! Esther, Justin, and the rest of my associates are highly qualified and will give you a top-notch experience. Plus, I (Eliana) will personally handle all logistics, coordination, and editing!

When working with an associate, will i get the full eliana melmed photography experience?
Will photos with an associate match the rest of the photos on your website?

Absolutely! All Eliana Melmed Photography associates are thoroughly trained in the EMP philosophy and style. You can be sure that the styles of photographs delivered from the Associate Experience will match the rest of the EMP portfolio!

All images are edited lightly for color and consistency (but body shapes are never altered!). We do not provide raw images. 

Do you deliver unedited images?

have more questions?
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Frequently asked questions