Buena Vista Farms planning for great wedding season, rebuilding and expanding despite fire

Teri & Nestor Gutierrez, owners of Buena Vista FarmsBuena Vista Resort in rural Jacksonville (Chapin) Illinois, have been growing their business for years. On Wednesday night they had a fire in the banquet hall (their secondary wedding venue). They are working with their insurance company to rebuild, and have been making contingency plans for events that were booked for the barn.

In a letter to brides-to-be, Teri said “Buena Vista Farms is the brainchild of creative thinkers and hard workers. I am full of hope, faith, perseverance and determination to provide for each of you just like I would for my own children. There is great joy in accomplishment and I believe that we can accomplish together, with prayer, a day that is even better than you have imagined.” See full letter.

Their tent wedding venue was not effected by the fire, and weddings and receptions may be relocated there. They are also working on other plans. Follow Buena Vista Farms on their Facebook Page for updates. See story on WLDS radio (fire) (rebuilding) and the Jacksonville Journal-Courier. We have provided wedding photography for Beuna Vista couples and for the Gutierrez family, and here are some of our favorite photos which also tell the story of Buena Vista . . .

Kassie & Matt with an iconic folk ark flag at Buena Vista Farms.
Kassie & Matt with an iconic folk ark flag at Buena Vista Farms.
Stephanie & James were married in the banquet hall at Buena Vista. She saw flames while driving past on US 67, and reported the fire.
Stephanie & James were married in the banquet hall at Buena Vista. She saw flames while driving past on US 67, and reported the fire.
Kassie & Matt had their wedding ceremony inside the banquet hall at Buena Vista Farms.
Kassie & Matt had their wedding ceremony inside the banquet hall at Buena Vista Farms.
Kassie & Matt flipped the room, and also inside the banquet hall at Buena Vista Farms.
Kassie & Matt flipped the room, and also inside the banquet hall at Buena Vista Farms.
Matt with his groomsmen at Buena Vista Farms.
Matt with his groomsmen at Buena Vista Farms.
Kassie & Matt surrounded by family for the last dance of the night at Buena Vista Farms.
Kassie & Matt surrounded by family for the last dance of the night at Buena Vista Farms.

Kassie & MattAbsolutely loved all the pictures from our wedding. We have gotten so many compliments on our wedding books and photos. You captured our wedding so well that I can look back at the pictures and remember everything SO very well. Thank you so much for your amazing work!!

Ashlee & Justin's wedding at Buena Vista Farms. The outdoor wedding venue is unaffected by the fire.
Ashlee & Justin’s wedding at Buena Vista Farms. The outdoor wedding venue is unaffected by the fire. The building gives a place for the wedding party to get ready before the ceremony.
Ashlee & Justin's wedding at Buena Vista Farms.
Ashlee & Justin’s wedding at Buena Vista Farms.
The large tent is a great place for weddings, and attracts couples from throughout the region to Buena Vista Farms.
The large tent is a great place for weddings, and attracts couples from throughout the region to Buena Vista Farms.
A small hall besides the wedding tent gives a place for folks to come inside and use the restroom during receptions (no porta potties needed!)
A small hall besides the wedding tent gives a place for folks to come inside and use the restroom during receptions (no porta potties needed!)
Wedding tent lit up at dusk for Ashlee & Justin's wedding.
Wedding tent lit up at dusk for Ashlee & Justin’s wedding.
Exterior of wedding tent venue, Ashlee & Justin's wedding 2012.
Exterior of wedding tent venue, Ashlee & Justin’s wedding 2012.
One of the ponds at Buena Vista Farms at sunset.
One of the ponds at Buena Vista Farms at sunset.
Buena Vista Resort, part of Buena Vista Farms, offers full-service cabins on site.
Buena Vista Resort, part of Buena Vista Farms, offers full-service cabins on site.
With the cabins, brides and grooms can even stay at the resort on their wedding night, or hold bachelor/bachelorette parties, or rehearsal parties.
With the cabins, brides and grooms can even stay at the resort on their wedding night, or hold bachelor/bachelorette parties, or rehearsal parties, or get ready in spa facilities.

Posted by Steve. Springfield Illinois area wedding photography by Warmowski Photography, husband-wife photojournalist team want to tell the story of your wedding day in pictures. Follow us on FacebookStudio located at 301 E Court St. Suite B, Jacksonville, IL 62650, open by appointment only. Be sure to check out our neighbors Girls in White Satin for formal wear for the occasion.

Event photography at Doll-i-Day fundraiser

Warmowski Photography will be running a photo booth for all the little girls and their dolls at Doll-i-Day next month at Hamilton’s 110 North East in Jacksonville.

The event will be Sunday February 17th from 1-4pm. Tickets are $20 (advance tickets only, no tickets at door) at The Source, County Market or Midwest Youth Services. All proceeds benefit Midwest Youth Services — a non-profit, United Way agency dedicated to serving at-risk, runaway, and homeless youth.

Besides our photography, there will be . . .

  • bingo
  • doll medical center
  • hair & nail station
  • face painting
  • cookie decorating
  • coloring
  • variety show
  • princess walk
  • candy bar
  • cupcakes & drinks
  • and a chance to win an American Girl doll.

Thanks to all the volunteers who make this event such a great hit.

Posted by Steve. Springfield Illinois area wedding photography by Warmowski Photography, husband-wife photojournalist team want to tell the story of your wedding day in pictures. Follow us on FacebookStudio located at 301 E Court St. Suite B, Jacksonville, IL 62650, open by appointment only. Be sure to check out our neighbors Girls in White Satin for formal wear for the occasion.

Jacksonville Kiwanis Pancake & Sausage Day

Steve is a Kiwanian, and invites everyone to buy tickets for the Kiwanis Club of Jacksonville’s Pancake & Sausage Day fundraiser.

Pancake & Sausage Day will be 6am-8pm Monday March 11th at MacMurray College’s McClelland Dining Hall. All you can eat! Express Drive Thru Service 3:30-7pm at the west side of Routt gym. Carry-Out available all day. Tickets $6 in advance or $7 at the door (children 5 and under free with paying adult).

Tickets available at County Market, Farmers State Bank & Trust, Franklin Bank, Premier Bank, Jacksonville Savings Bank, Chamber of Commerce, The Source or from any Kiwanis Member.

Thanks for supporting Kiwanis as they raise more than $30,000 each year. All going to fund programs for children and the Jacksonville community.

Steve (with help from Tiffany) will once again be the “Loss Prevention, Recycling and Donation” chairman. A self-created position, towards the end of the day we collect all the left-over food and other supplies for pickup by the Salvation Army and the Spirit of Faith Soup Kitchen, and other organizations.

2013p&s_colorflyer

Thanks to Steven Varble for designing the promotional spot for the event. He’s always a great fella to work with, photography and design.

Posted by Steve. Springfield Illinois area wedding photography by Warmowski Photography, husband-wife photojournalist team want to tell the story of your wedding day in pictures. Follow us on FacebookStudio located at 301 E Court St. Suite B, Jacksonville, IL 62650, open by appointment only. Be sure to check out our neighbors Girls in White Satin for formal wear for the occasion.

Valentine’s Day dinner dance

Tiffany is a Rotarian, and would like to invite you to join her at the Jacksonville Rotary Club’s 11th Annual Valentine’s Dinner/Dance Friday, February 8th at Hamilton’s 110 N. East in Jacksonville, Illinois.

The evening features The Big Shake Daddies 10-piece/4-horn ensemble. $30 per person. Register at the Rotary club web site.

Tiffany volunteers to run the high school exchange program for Rotary, and has represented the club on an exchange to Argentina. Steve also went on a Group Study Exchange to Sweden.

Posted by Steve. Quincy Illinois area wedding photography by Warmowski Photography, husband-wife photojournalist team want to tell the story of your wedding day in pictures. Follow us on FacebookStudio located at 301 E Court St. Suite B, Jacksonville, IL 62650, open by appointment only. Be sure to check out our neighbors Girls in White Satin for formal wear for the occasion.

Something for high schoolers interested in a career in photojournalism

Some information from the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign (Steve’s alma mater) in case you or a high schooler you know is interested in a career in photography, reporting, design or advertising . . .

An exciting new opportunity is being offered by the College of Media at the University of Illinois. Media University – a two-week overnight summer camp (June 17 – 28, 2013) – will kick off for the first time this summer.

MediaUHeader

Media University will introduce high school students to the many facets of advertising, journalism, and media/cinema studies as viable college major and career choices through hands-on learning activities. It will allow students the opportunity to work on a real project; interact with University of Illinois faculty, ad agency and client personnel, journalists, and media personnel; and learn from current University of Illinois students.

But don’t think Media University students will spend all day in the classroom. They will explore all that the Urbana – Champaign campus has to offer, visit some of the top companies in the industry in Chicago, Indianapolis or St. Louis, and most importantly, learn all about the media industry. Whether students decide to pursue an education in advertising, journalism or media studies, workshops in leadership, diversity, ethics, and teambuilding will prepare Media University graduates for any professional situation. In addition, Media University will allow participants to meet other area students with similar interests who may become future classmates and colleagues!

Do you have or know a high school student that should apply? We hope that you’ll encourage them to explore the Media University website for details, application, scholarship and tuition information and more. Space is limited and applications will be reviewed beginning March 15, 2013. Diversity scholarships are available.

Posted by Steve, who can wear orange all he wants because he’s a UofI alumnus. Springfield Illinois area wedding photography by Warmowski Photography, husband-wife photojournalist team available to tell the story of your wedding day. Studio 301 E. Court Street Suite B, Jacksonville, Illinois 62650, hours by appointment, first floor of Hamilton Catering’s 110 North East.

Steve Warmowski one the world’s leading photographers to work on big data book project

Robert E. Holmes with his first telescope and his latest telescopes he uses to track objects for NASA at Astronomical Research Observatory.
Robert E. Holmes with his first telescope and his latest telescopes he uses to track objects for NASA at Astronomical Research Observatory.

Springfield area wedding and freelance photographer Steve Warmowski was one of “approximately 100 of the world’s leading photographers in over 30 countries” to take part in the recently-released book The Human Face of Big Data. We recently received a couple copies of the book, which include a two-page spread of his images of Robert E. Holmes of the Astronomical Research Observatory.

The observatory is located at Robert’s home in rural Ashmore, Illinois. A self-taught astronomer, he uses telescopes of his own making to track for NASA a list of objects that might one day hit the earth. He takes multiple pictures of each questionable object, and then a computer crunches the numbers to give location, speed and trajectory data. In 2011 he tracked 14,900 objects — accounting for 36 percent of the total number tracked.

Robert actually is a former magazine photographer, and especially liked the photo Steve took of his cat napping while he worked.

Robert E. Holmes works as his cat naps.
Robert E. Holmes works as his cat naps.

This is the third time Steve was selected by Against All Odds Productions to work on a book project. Steve was the Illinois coordinator for the America 24/7 project, which was featured on the Oprah Winfrey show and was New York Times Best Seller, and also a photographer for America at Home

Check out The Human Face of Big Data on the web, and they also have a cool iPhone app.

Photo Credit: © Michael Tompert 2012 / from The Human Face of Big Data
Photo Credit: © Michael Tompert 2012 / from The Human Face of Big Data

Steve also photographed for the book University of Illinois: Past & Present. He had an extensive newspaper career, including positions at Illinois papers in Jacksonville, Decatur, Freeport & LaSalle; and internships at Michigan papers in Muskegon and Saginaw; freelanced for papers such as The New York Times and Chicago Tribune. He has a journalism degree from the University of Illinois-Urbana. And he has won awards for his photography from the Illinois Press Photographers Association, National Press Photographers Association, Illinois Press Association, Illinois Associated Press and the Wedding Photojournalist Association; and recognized for editing by University of Missouri/Pictures of the Year.

Posted by Tiffany. Warmowski Photography, husband-wife photojournalist team want to tell the story of your wedding day. Follow us on Facebook. Offering wedding photography in the Chicago area, downstate Illinois (Springfield, Quincy, Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington-Normal, Jacksonville), as well as St. Louis and beyond. Images © 2012 Warmowski Photography.

Green weddings the topic at Springfield Local Favorites

The topic at this month’s Springfield Local Wedding Favorites meeting was green weddings and how brides incorporate environmental sensibilities into their wedding day. We haven’t really been asked by our clients about steps for greening our business, but figure this would be a good chance to overview some of the things we do.

  • Digital photography — probably the most green aspect is digital workflow. We don’t use all the film and chemistry of traditional photography. Plus, we offer our clients high resolution digital files of their wedding images to reduce the amount of prints and materials used.
  • Recycling — we recycle paper, cardboard and other materials at our office. Some waste paper with client info even gets shredded and added to our compost pile. Electronic waste gets donated to Pathway Services Unlimited, which as a bonus brings in money for their programs.
  • Rechargeable batteries — we mostly use NiMH rechargeable batteries, not only are they reusable and reduce waste, but they give better performance on wedding days. When they die they can go to Radio Shack for recycling. Disposable batteries (when required) are recycled during our pilgrimages to Ikea. (Note a Maha recharger is a good investment, for its slow setting keeps batteries cooler so they can survive more charging cycles.)
  • Reduce, reuse — Keeping in line with the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra, we also reduce the amount of paper we use by using emails, calls or texts to communicate with brides instead of printing and mailing. For quick things we have to print we reuse paper, using the back side of paper (even paper scavenged from meetings and other organizations we volunteer with). We also close the loop by purchasing paper and other materials with recycled content from local suppliers.
  • Energy efficiency — Always a major consideration in our purchasing decisions. We use CFL/florescent lighting (and recycle old bulbs), LED bulbs and efficient halogen bulbs.
  • Electricity — At our home office we get our electricity through Power Smart Pricing, so the cost of electricity changes by the hour with higher prices during peak times, and lower prices during low demand hours. On a hot summer day when there’s a high use alert, we’ll even turn off all our computers and take a break. It’s a way to reduce the need for new power stations, reducing environmental impact and overall price of the electricity system.
  • Cleaning — We use green cleaners for office cleaning.
  • Transportation — We have high-milage cars, with the goal of a hybrid or even electric car when we replace our current vehicle. Steve is also on his bike (or scooter if pressed for time) for runs to the post office or other short trips.
  • Community — We’re involved with the Town Brook project, pushing to create a park along the creek through Jacksonville. A place to encourage healthy walking and bicycling incorporating native plants and other habitat for wildlife in town.

One thing to say is green is at our core, it’s not just something we are doing for marketing. From growing up with my dad flipping off lights and teaching a conservation ethic, to getting involved with environmental stewardship through Scouting and college volunteer organizations, to our trips to the farmer’s market and concern about health and the environment a part of our every day lives — this isn’t greenwashing or green marketing. This is an ethic and a consideration in al the things we do.

If you’re planning to use green wedding vendors for your special day, be sure to check us out and ask how we line up with your goals. Here’s an article from this month’s Audubon magazine with more ideas on the topic.

Posted by Steve. Warmowski Photography, husband-wife photojournalist team available to tell the story of your wedding day. Follow us on Facebook. Wedding photography for Springfield, Quincy and all of Central Illinois. Member of Springfield Local Favorites, a group of the top wedding vendors in Central Illinois (on Facebook). Meetings hosted at Northfield Inn & Suites. Studio located at 301 E Court St. Suite B, Jacksonville, IL 62650 in the Hamilton’s 110 North East building.

Tiffany chosen Volunteer of the Month by the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce

The Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce board chose Tiffany as their Volunteer of the Month for January 2012! She received the award at their board meeting today.

Ginny Fanning, president of the Chamber, said that Tiffany was chosen because she is a founding member of the Young Professionals Network, she regularly attends Business After Hours and Warmowski Photography participates in the Chamber Checks program.

We photographed Ginny’s daughter’s wedding in June 2010. Here is a blog post we did on Audra’s wedding theme and also one on her brother serving as her Man of Honor.

Congratulations, Tiffany!

Tiffany & Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce president Ginny Fanning.
Chamber board chairperson Sara Gresham, presents the volunteer certificate.

 

Posted by Steve. Warmowski Photography, photojournalists who love to be involved in their local community!