“A Very Fine Wine…”
I was lucky to spend a Saturday morning in February with Morgan and Dan – we were all lucky that it was a beautiful and unseasonably warm day!
It’s so sweet when there’s a little something personal behind the locations my couples and I choose for their engagement and pre-wedding photos! For Morgan and Dan, City Winery and Chicago’s Riverwalk mark a very special milestone in their relationship.
“Love is Love is Love is Love is…”
Every year, for more years than I can count (or remember…), I venture out to Las Vegas for an annual photography conference called WPPI – Wedding and Portrait Photographers International. It draws 10,000+ photographers, filmmakers and photography-related businesses and vendors from all over the globe. It’s overwhelming. It’s fun. It’s educational. It’s intense. It’s…Vegas! (and, I confess…I do love Vegas. Craps, anyone?!)
Set against the backdrop of a city with no sense of night and day, it tends to be a week-long bombardment of all things photography, all day, all night…all the time. It’s a time for me to geek out without alienating my family and friends. It’s a time to work on my craft and my business, learn something new, see things from different perspectives, get out of my own head.
But, just as importantly for me, it’s a time to connect in real life with photographers and vendors, both new and old, in a way that we cannot when we work together. Or in a way we cannot because we are scattered around the world and busy in our own lives. It’s these human connections that inspire me, push me…allow me to have those geeky conversations about light and gear and techniques and business over a cocktail in the middle of the night. To spend the better part of an hour playing with reflections, twinkling Vegas lights and silhouettes to find that perfect, fun portrait (again, without alienating family and friends! Check out the result…).
“Chicago Style Engagement”
A quick peek at Jenny and Greg’s Chicago engagement photos. The city provided a beautiful backdrop for a beautiful couple!
From Greg’s surprise proposal in the presence of both of their families to the joy and obvious love they showed for each other during our session, I can only imagine the happiness their wedding day will bring. I can’t wait to capture their celebration!
“Memorial Day Wedding”
It was the most lovely August day for Nicole and David’s Memorial Day wedding weekend! Much warmer than anyone anticipated, but that didn’t stop them from the fun, celebrating their big day with family and friends.
Starting the night before with the rehearsal, the celebration traversed the city, from Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, to downtown, to Lincoln Park and finally to the Gold Coast for their reception at the historic Germania Place, a Chicago landmark.
They say that Dad is a son’s first hero and a daughter’s first love. In my case, that’s certainly true.
This is one of my favorite photos of me and my Pops. It’s showing it’s age – puffy sleeves and all! – but I cherish it, as it’s one of the few good, professional photos I have with my Father.
“A Celebration of Motherhood”
There are so many mom-centric moments in our lives – I’m very lucky to be part of so many of the happy ones, including my own!
Other than a few selfies, I don’t have photos that I’ve taken with me and my Mom together. But, this series of me and each of my brothers with my Mom, taken for her 70th birthday celebration by good friend Nick Wrzesinski, is really special to me. I’m so glad that I hired fellow photographer friends to capture the family – it made things so much more enjoyable and I got to be in the photographs, too! When was the last time you, as an adult, had professional photographs taken with your parents, kids, grandchildren, family? Do it now! You won’t regret it!
“Not just what you look like, but who you are…”
That’s my goal, every time I photograph someone, an event, food…whatever it is. I want the viewer to understand a bit about who or what the subject is about, their personality.
Outside of my wedding and family work, my favorite “people” photography revolves around small businesses. I really like getting to know other small business owners and their businesses, what makes them unique, and how they want to be seen by the public.
“It’s a (my) family affair”
Full disclosure: I know the groom-to-be here very well. In fact, I’ve known him his whole life…he’s my youngest brother. And he’s getting married!!! I promised myself I wasn’t going to cry, but I’m tearing up just typing those words. I am so full of love and happiness and excitement for Jason and his fiancée Shelley that I could just BUST!
We were lucky enough to sneak in a mini engagement session a few weeks ago, on a blustery, miserable, rainy Sunday afternoon – perfect! An engagement session was something I really wanted to do with them, have a little fun, make some photos of them that, hopefully, they will enjoy for years to come (as I’m writing this, they haven’t seen the images yet, so I’m crossing my fingers that they find something in here they like…!). It’s a gift that, as a photographer, I never, ever get tired of giving. And it’s even more special when it’s for family.
A few warm days and I feel like summer is just around the corner! And it’s a great time to start thinking about engagement sessions!
Hanny and Nick had a very good idea about the kind of engagement session they wanted – it had to include their dogs and they wanted to be outside in the lovely Chicago weather.