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Meet Joe Tighe of Couple of Dudes in Logan Square

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joe Tighe.

Joe, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Couple of Dudes started in 2009 when a dear friend and I photographed a friend’s wedding. We had never shot a wedding before and I had never shot anything professionally before that day. All day at the wedding, guests kept coming up to us and commenting on how professional we were, how excited to see the photos they were, and wanting to know how long we had been doing this! Our answer kept changing each hour as we gained another hour of experience–we were also nervous about all the expectations, so we would answer all day, “We’re just a couple of dudes with cameras, we hope the photos turn out great too!”

Now as we come into the 2018 wedding season, I’ve grown the business to include three other amazing photographers in Chicago and the Hudson Valley, we have a super-talented studio manager who handles all our clients’ questions and concerns, and our focus is on providing a great, genuinely personal experience and beautiful documentary-style photos for our clients.

Has it been a smooth road?
Growing Couple of Dudes has been a lot like a beautiful mountain road in Montana. There have been a number of bumps and ruts and washed out sections, but the scenery and view from the end has made it all worth it.

As a first-time business owner, there are certain lessons that I’ve just had to learn for myself along the way. Most of these have to do with boring business-y things like tax classifications, LLC elections, payroll costs, finding the best supplementary service providers for website hosting, image archiving, etc.

I think the most challenging obstacle for us was the business divorce I went through last year with my former partner. We both grew an awful lot in the 6.5 years we were partners. We both moved, I got married, he started a family. Photographing weddings is physically, mentally, and temporally challenging. After he brought his son into the world, traveling for weddings just wasn’t a good option for him any longer. We split amicably and I own and operate the company from Chicago.

The irony in the whole thing is that the name is still “Couple of Dudes” even though there is only one dude at the helm now! It’s funny, we get questions all the time when Emily or one of our other female photographers shows up–“Hey, I thought it was ‘Couple of Dudes,’ not a dude and a chick!” Our response is always that being a dude isn’t about one’s anatomy, but rather about whether or not you’ve got the “Dude-i-tude,” which is all about staying relaxed under pressure, helping other people to feel calm and comfortable, and all the while making amazing memories and photos!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Couple of Dudes – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are an authentic, down-to-earth, documentary photography company, specializing in weddings, family, and lifestyle shoots.

We are known for our laid-back, stress-free, super-helpful attitude and for being so good at being relaxed that most of our clients and their guests think of us as their friends by the end of the night.

I’m most proud of the way Couple of Dudes has been able to grow as a company and stay relevant in an always evolving field. I think it’s a testament to our approach of putting customer service first and really treating our clients as our friends!

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love Chicago. I grew up in Chicago and remember setting off fireworks when the Bulls completed their second three-peat. I love the people here. I especially love the architecture of our city.

There are photo opportunities everywhere in this city and it allows us as photographers to know that no matter what kind of activity our clients want us to documents, we will always be able to make iconically Chicago photos. This opens up a ton of doors for us to get our clients authentic photos that mean a lot to them.

The only struggle that my wife and I have with Chicago is how isolated from nature and topography it is. Before becoming a wedding photographer, I ran an environmental education center and Kasey worked as a wildlife biologist outside of Yellowstone. We both love mountains, forests, trail-running, and hiking and living in Chicago means those activities are almost exclusively all-day excursions.

Pricing:

  • 10-hour wedding coverage starts at $3850
  • 1-hour Lifestyle shoots start at $350
  • Photobooth party rentals start at $500

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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