After a week of some of the craziest rain Chicago has seen in years—floods forced businesses, roads, expressways shut down—Megan and Kirk got married J
Whenever I second shoot with JordanQuinn, I know it’s going to be a beautifully thought out day. Her brides pay attention to the little details, leave ample time for photography, and are pretty much just stunning—very similar to my brides. Apparently, beautiful light was the theme of the day… as the bridal prep house, church, trolley, downtown Naperville, Morton Arboretum, and even the reception in the Gingko Room was beaming with natural light ooey-gooey-goodness.
I love second shooting with other photographers because it is a great time to further master my craft—I can try out new photo tricks, work different angles that I may not get to shoot when shooting lead because I don’t want to miss a moment with the bride/groom, and even practice with different lenses that are in my arsenal but aren’t necessarily my go-to choices (not because they’re not awesome, but because I’m most comfortable with certain lenses). The 50mm 1.2 (my absolute go-to lens)—my favorite pair of jeans that I’ve had for years and have perfectly formed to my body. The 85mm 1.2—my new lavish scarf that doesn’t go with everything, but when it does, it MAKES the outfit. Which brings me to my 35mm 1.4—that dress in the back of the closet that you always forget about, but when you find it, you fall in love with it all over again. That’s how this wedding made me feel about my 35.
Looking through the photos during post, it was refreshing to see photos shot at a wider angle—since a large portion of my photos are shot fairly tight with my 50 and 85. I’m not saying I’m going to start shooting primarily with the 35, but this wedding definitely reignited my love affair with the 35, and I’m so excited to start shooting with it more this coming month for my own brides. So, Jordan—thanks for having me assist you… it’s always a blasty blast. Can’t wait to have you with me on Friday. And to Megan and Kirk… CONGRATULATIONS on a brilliant wedding and marvelous life spent together.
Enough nerd talk… on to the photos…
Lead Photographer /// JordanQuinn Photography
Venue /// Morton Arboretum
Since I met Elyce and Dan back in December for their engagement session I have been counting down the days to shoot this adorable couple again. And all that excitement and anticipation – yeah, it was definitely worth the wait.
First of all, whenever I have one of my favorite second shooters by my side, Brittany Bekas, I know it’s going to be a great day. Top that off with arriving at the bride’s mother’s house and everyone is pretty much on-time and nearly ready – PERFECTION.
It wasn’t long until I was introduced to all of the day’s meaningful components…the vantiy Elyce’s grandmother gave her that she got ready at, the handmade bouquets full of vintage broaches and ornaments, the rosary given to her and blessed by the Pope, her grandmother’s pearl necklace, the wicker decoration her aunt made – all tiny little details that made Elyce + Dan’s day personal and unique.
But what was probably my most favorite part of the day, was seeing how panicked and nervous Elyce was in the morning about all the attention being on her (sorry, babe!) and watching that anxiety melt away the moment she saw Dan. She was never nervous about marrying him, that she was sure of.
Thank you Elyce + Dan for trusting me to document your wedding day and help you remember it forever. Elyce, like we had talked about on the phone a few days prior to the wedding – I’m sure the day just FLEW by for you both. I’m so honored to have been able to help you look back on the day and remember everything just as it was.
Or watch the slideshow set to Mindy Gledhill’s “All About Your Heart”
Venue /// Ridge Country Club
Assistant Photographer /// Brittany Bekas Photography
Cake Artist & Sweets Table /// Cozzie’s Creations
Florist /// Blossom Boys
Hair Stylist /// One11 Salon
Make-Up Artist /// Gina McIver
Late Night Snacks /// Fat Tommy’s
I love fun dates. I search Groupon and LivingSocial on a daily basis to find anything and everything that sounds like a unique experience. I love to enjoy and explore with my boyfriend (who has become much more open to trying new things lately—another reason why I’m pretty much obsessed with him). A lot of my Saturdays, Sundays, (and let’s be honest, weekdays and weeknights) are consumed by all things photography—photo taking, photo editing, blogging, marketing, website upkeep, wedding preparation, location scouting, equipment research… the list could go on forever. Point being, when I have an off day, I like to take advantage of it. And this past Sunday afternoon was a perfect example (and I only say afternoon because immediately following the pizza class I met with potential clients down the street, I know… I’m a bit of a work-a-holic) .
Danny and I made our way into Lincoln Square’s delicious Trattoria Trullo for a pizza making class. November wedding clients of mine—Bree + Trey—also wanted to master their pie tossing skills and I was ecstatic to see open chairs at their table when we walked in a few minutes late.
We had wine, broke bread, drank beer, pounded pizza dough, ate pizza samples, shared a few laughs, and learned a new recipe (which I shared below for all of you—it’s simple and delicious). I wish I could share some of the tips the instructor told us, but to be honest I was busy taking pictures and Danny did most of the pizza making. Luckily, he was nice enough to jot down some notes to include with the recipe (thanks, babe!) But overall, it was such a memorable day and I’m so thankful I have someone to share these special moments with (I promise I put down the camera eventually and just enjoyed myself) 🙂
Our pizza before and after: cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, and fresh basil. YUM.
Here’s the recipe in case you want to try this at home:
Ingredients: Makes 12 pizza balls, 8 oz. each
– 36 gallons of water
– 2 oz. of sea salt
– 3.75 lbs. of flour “00”
– 1 oz. of yeast
In a bowl, dissolve the yeast and sea salt in warm water and let stand for a few minutes. Place this flour in the mixing bowl and mix for 3 minutes. Add the yeast mixture and the cool water to the flour and mix all ingredients until the dough is no longer sticky. Let the dough rise until double in size (should take about 1 hour). Make 12 balls of dough and allow the dough to rest for a few minutes before rolling out. Use your favorite pizza toppings.
Pizza Sauce Recipe:
– 14 oz. can of plum tomato
– 1 small pinch of sea salt
– 1 small pinch of pepper
– 6 basil leaves
– 1 table spoon of extra virgin olive oil
– 1 small pinch of oregano
Blend all ingredients together or squeeze with your hands.
Danny’s Tips from Our Instructor:
– Pound out the dough until it is almost thin enough to see the marble countertop through it (if you can clearly see the countertop, it’s too thin)
– To get the size/shape desired, let a side of the dough droop over the counter and press out more while spinning like a disc
– Add sauce, grated paremsand cheese (to absorb moisture) fresh mozzerella, favorite toppings (not too many since it’s thin) and olive oil
I am so excited to introduce my new line of prints, canvases, and even gallery frames! All 2013+ clients will now be able to view their photo shoot in a private gallery where they can view, download (if you purchase the digital downloads), canvas print, and even choose a custom frame to display their photographic art. In the past, I simply would sell the USB Drive to the client, and they then could print wherever they chose. But don’t worry, you can still do that 🙂
However, it came to my attention that clients were often taking the USB drive to Walgreens, Target, Staples, etc. While these places produce a decent quality photograph; the clarity, color, and resolution of the photographs were not being showcased to their full potential. And it made no sense to me as to why I wasn’t offering my clients (who pay a lot of money to get professional photos taken) an option to print these photos at the HIGHEST QUALITY POSSIBLE – otherwise, why bother getting professional photos taken at all?
The whole process is simple. Once I’ve uploaded the photos onto the gallery, I’ll send you a link. When you click on the link it will take you to a gallery that will look like this (obviously with your pictures on it!) Click “Show All” at the bottom of the page and it will expand the gallery:
Once you look through the photos and finally decide on one (or two, or three, or twenty…), you can click on it to enlarge. You’ll also see smaller thumbnails of the rest of the gallery on the right side of the page. When you have the picture you want to print highlighted/enlarged, click the “Buy” tab on top of the large photograph so you can choose which product you’d like.
When you click, “Choose Product” you will be prompted to either “Prints” or “Showcase” (which includes the popular canvas prints, metal prints, and much more. For the purpose of this blog (and so I can show you my favorite product), I chose prints. It will then take you to a screen with all the different sizes… anything from wallet size to 30″ x 40″. I chose 16″ x 24″.
After choosing the size, it will take you to the screen shown below on the left… from here you can either check out, choose other products/prints to buy, or preview and configure the print – which is what I would recommend doing for all prints, just to make sure the crop is right – ANDDDD this is the step where you can choose a frame (my favorite!).
As you can see your photo will show, with the orange lines showing the crop mark (these will vary with the size print you chose). Above the photo you can choose to center the photo in the crop line (you can also drag the photo to be cropped where you want it), choose to fit it to the crop lines, then choose color, black and white, or sepia. Did something you don’t like? That’s ok, you can always hit Reset. On the righthand side of the screen you’ll see Mount and Frame. THIS is where you choose the style of frame you want. Choose from Silver Metallic, Beaded Black, Mahogany… there’s so many choices it’s easy to find one that matches your home!
After you choose the frame, you can also add a mat (which I just adore). Best part is… there’s a preview of all of the choices on the left so you can see what your photograph will look like framed before you even buy it.
Easy isn’t it? And that’s just ONE of the many new products being offered. It’s all easy to navigate, but if you have questions on how to purchase any other products feel free to shoot an email to email@example.com.
Shout out to my photog bud, Ryan Moore Photography for helping me out with this one 🙂
If I could sum up Elyce + Dan’s wedding reception at Ridge Country Club with one photo – it would be with this one. The dancing was original, spontaneous, and entertaining to say the least. And this is coming from someone who goes to A LOT of receptions and sees a lot of good (and some bad) dancing. Did I mention there was karaoke, a cotton candy AND popcorn machine, sweets table, and a hot dog cart?? This reception… one of the best. This shot off the dance floor just about says it all 🙂
About three months ago, I randomly stopped at my parents’ house to pick up a few things. Being that it was in the middle of the day and both my parents work, no one was home – and that was no surprise. What was a surprise was, as I was gathering my things getting ready to leave, I saw my dad’s car pull into the driveway with my mom in the passenger seat. I ran to the door to greet them with a surprise, HELLO!, only to find my mom in tears and learn that the reason they were home was because she had just been laid off from her job. My heart dropped into my stomach. To see your strong-willed, near the age of retirement mother in such a vulnerable state is something you never want to see. I truly believe God sent me home that day to be there for her. So I could hug her, talk it over with her, and listen to her tell me how she feels. I was even running later than I had planned, and if I had been on time – which I am 98% of the time – I would have just missed them. everything happens for a reason #1.
Fast-forward three months and my mom was collecting unemployment and looking for a new job. I would often stop by at lunch and see her at the computer – which I assumed she was Facebooking – but she assured me she was searching for a job. A woman just a few years away from retirement – refusing to quit. I often told her, “Just retire… relax… collect unemployment until social security kicks in… just enjoy it.” Yet she wouldn’t listen. She kept looking, kept applying, kept praying…
And today, her hard work and prayers were answered. She was offered a Senior position at a well known bank – and I could not be happier for her. It’s a higher position, with a better boss, at a bigger company, in a department that she is more interested in, at a branch that’s closer to home. win. win. win. win. win. all across the board. You see, even though she was unhappy at her prior position – she would have never left that job. She had loyalty to that company. She would have stayed there forever. It took her getting laid off for her to be exposed to this better opportunity, and I could not be happier with the way everything worked out for her. everything happens for a reason #2.
To my hard-working, determined mother: CONGRATULATIONS. You deserve every bit of happiness in this new position. I am so proud of you for not giving up, for proving that at 60+ you can still compete with the best of them. I told you to take the easy way out – retire, relax, stop looking for a job. But you persisted. You were stubborn (and you wonder where I get it from??). I am SO INCREDIBLY proud to call you my mother and I hope I have some of that determination in me 🙂
(this picture is a reminder to me to get OUT from BEHIND the camera more often! I barely had any pictures of myself from family parties!!)
On a day where I just can’t get anything right, am feeling frustration coming at me from every angle, just can’t find the motivation to do what I need to do, and feel like I’ve been on the verge of overwhelming tears all day long… I find this article. Thanks, Kelly Powers, for sharing these motivational tips. Read the entire article here, or I’ve highlighted my favorite parts below.
Eight Leadership Lessons From the World’s Most Powerful Women
- Stay Determined: The world’s most successful women really want it–and remain determined even in the face of obstacles. They have the skills, and they put the time in. But more importantly, they have the desire to do something great.
- Be Courageous: Women at the top aren’t fearless. They move toward their fear to continually challenge themselves.
- Think Bigger: “Let’s think of how big this can be.”
- Take Calculated Risks: To move the needle, you have to make a big bets—but never rash—always based on a careful study of the outcomes. You have to know what you have to gain, and if you can afford to take the hit if it doesn’t go your way.
- Remain Disciplined: It takes discipline to achieve and maintain success. You simply can’t do everything, and the world’s most powerful women stay focused on the areas that will have the biggest impact.
- Hire Smart: Surround yourself with people of different backgrounds—including gender, race, geography, socio-economic and personality types—will help round out your conclusions.
- Manage Your Career: Look at your career as: Where have I been? Where am I now? Where am I going, and what are the right assignments to get there?
- Delegate At Work And At Home: The most successful women have learned that they have to have help, and they have to have faith in the people around them—at work and at home.
Shooting with the fabulous JordanQuinn Photography has given me the opportunity to meet some amazing people. Back in September of 2012, I second shot for JordanQuinn at Jesse + Ben’s Wedding. Both Jesse and Ben were incredibly gracious, fun-loving, adoringly sweet, and oh-so-gorgeous. Dream clients, right? Well it gets even better.
A month or so ago, Jesse reached out and told me about a project that she and her colleague from Teach for America, Kelly, are taking on. That’s right—Jesse and Kelly already work at Teach for America, but are taking on another philanthropic endeavor to help other people—how admirable is that?!
Jesse and Kelly needed head shots to accompany their bios, press releases, website, etc. Being the lucky photographer that I am, I got to spend one of the first warm(ish) spring afternoons with these two lovely ladies at Lakeshore East Park.
Jesse and Kelly are trying to open an early care and education center in a low-income Chicago community–VOCEL (Viewing Our Children as Emerging Leaders). Their mission is to empower all children to attend VOCEL to enter formal schooling with the language, literacy, and social-emotional foundations to be successful in the short-term and compete for opportunities in their futures.
Beautiful weather, beautiful women, and most of all, a beautiful cause—what more could I ask for?
To learn more about Jesse and Kelly’s education center, watch their presentation here.
I think all this cold weather and snow in March has made me forget that it is spring! With getting super sick, going to WPPI, then moving out of my apartment this month – March was over before I knew it. I’m welcoming April with open arms, hoping for some sunshine (because being in Vegas for 3 days of sunny, 80 degree weather, then coming back to gloomy 20 degree weather is NOT fun), and getting geared up for more photo shoots and another wedding.
As always, I like to set goals for myself each month and recap at the end. If I’m being honest I did not feel like setting any goals for April. Maybe it’s because I’m writing this blog super early in the AM and I’m still asleep. Or maybe it’s because I’m just being lazy. But I’m making myself do it because writing them down and posting them on my blog helps me make sure I used this month to help me better my business and my life.
First, a recap:
1. Keep a more detailed record of how long the wedding/editing process takes for my March 2nd wedding.
- I definitely thought about doing this before/during/after the wedding, but I ran out of time. Next month?
2. At WPPI in Las Vegas, make at least ONE new photog friend from the Chicagoland area and make plans to meet up for drinks/coffee back home.
- I made TWO new friends at WPPI (and reunited with a favorite), and we’ve formed a Facebook group to keep in touch and help each other with any questions we have.
3. Order branded stationary, USB drives, USB boxes, and go to Hobby Lobby to get embellishments for client USB drives.
- All paper goods designed, ordered, and in-hand. Still need to go to Hobby Lobby, though.
4. Design and order branded greeting cards for clients.
5. Aside from basketball on Tuesday nights, run/workout at least two other nights a week – NO using business “busy-ness” as an excuse. Even when I’m swamped, just going for a 20 minute run is better than nothing.
- Ummm… no comment.
1. Use a more efficient method to track wedding expenses.
2. Workout twice a week outside of basketball nights.
3. Master my external flash.
4. Finish all May wedding timelines.
5. Set up my new proofing interface for clients.