Sydney + Ryan met me at the Lincoln Park Zoo Nature Boardwalk to get some photos along the South Pond area. Tree lined walkways and tall grass pastures fill the park this time of year, and Sydney + Ryan didn’t hesitate a moment before stepping right into the heart of things. Ryan, who dabbles in photography himself, appreciated being intertwined with nature instead of just standing in front of it all – and Sydney was loving all the kissing and cuddling they were getting to do in front of my camera. I can’t wait for the wedding next year at the Chicago Cultural Center! Sydney + Ryan, you were so easy to work with – and I had so much fun talking nerdy photography talk with you, Ryan! I hope to hear about more travels and see some of your photographs at the wedding!
Kelly and Chris met a few years ago playing flag football. After the game, Chris walked Kelly home through the Lincoln Park Zoo South Pond – which he later revealed was actually in the opposite direction of where he lived…. smooth moves, Chris. After a few group dates, and an embarrassing misunderstanding where Chris mistook Kelly’s dad for her boyfriend – Kelly and Chris finally had their first official date at P.J. Clarke’s. Kelly ordered a Guinness – and Chris fell in love.
As we relived these locations during the engagement session, I got to witness firsthand just how perfect Kelly and Chris are for each other. They share the same passion for sports, the same sense of humor, and even the same quirky preppy style. I had so much fun getting to know them a little better and I can’t wait for the wedding next year!
This past May, Jay surprised Steph with a weekend trip to Redondo Beach, CA. Steph would make plans with friends for the weekend (not knowing Jay was going to steal her away), and Jay would have to call Steph’s friends and cancel in secret. When he finally did tell her what was going on – she had about 20 minutes to pack before heading off to the West Coast. Once they got there, he proposed at sunset… asking an innocent bystander to “take a picture” of them – when really he had set it to video so they could capture the whole thing 🙂
I met Steph + Jay in the South Loop – where most of their relationship has taken place over the past few years. The soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. met in their junior year at UIC through mutual friends and have been together ever since. Steph is a teacher at a nearby school, and Jay is an auditor who travels for work all the time… always bringing back Steph a Starbucks mug from whatever city he was in. But, despite their cabinet full of coffee mugs from cities all over the country, Chicago is their home – and we definitely wanted to capture it during their session.
We played along the lake for some skyline shots, joking about Jay’s dance moves and threatening to throw Steph in – before heading over to their apartment to get some gorgeous views from their balcony and meet their sweet rescue dog, Monte. I had so much fun meeting all three of you! Congratulations on the engagement and here’s to a stress-free year of planning ahead of you!
I met Kailey + Rob at one of my favorite locations to shoot in the city – the Lincoln Park Zoo South Pond Nature Boardwalk. Kailey expressed to me that she wanted engagement photos with some pretty trees, and some shots on the beach cuddling near the lake. As a lot of couples are, Kailey + Rob were a little nervous about getting in front of my camera, but within minutes of working with each other we were all laughing and joking around like old friends.
Kailey + Rob were naturals in front of my camera, Rob pulling out his blue steel and Kailey her smize 🙂 It was a perfect fall day with the most beautiful autumn colors and leaves. I love this time of year – not only because the fall trees are beautiful, but because it’s that time of year where I get to know my clients for 2015. I’m working with them for the first time, getting to know their relationship, and putting faces and personalities to the names of my 2015 couples. Kailey + Rob – I can’t wait to work with you guys again! Thanks for being so awesome 🙂 Hopefully I run into you in the city before the big wedding day…. maybe Gaslight? 😉
Jenny + Kevin are one of the sweetest couples I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, and Jenny’s dad painted the perfect picture of just how sweet Jenny has been all her life. When Jenny was in the third grade, the teacher had the kids write down what they wanted to be when they grew up. Typical answers were doctors, astronauts, teachers, etc. But three kids… not just 1 or 2, but THREE – kids in the class wrote down that they wanted to be like Jenny Sanders. How adorable is that?!
Fast forward 20 years later, and Jenny’s beautiful soul captured Kevin’s heart as they celebrated their wedding day together just last Saturday. The past few years of their relationship have been filled with love, laughter, and they have shared in their love of traveling. Kevin’s heartfelt speech during the reception was a testament to how much he loves Jenny and how excited he is to spend the rest of his life with her… continuing on their travels, and continuing to be the best people they can be together. Jenny + Kevin – thank you for choosing me to be there to capture your special moments. Working with you over the past year has been nothing but a pleasure, and I’m so happy to have been there to celebrate with you in this special time in your lives. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you the best of everything, and I hope our paths cross again!
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: The Enchanted Bride // Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Reddington Bridal // Tuxedo Designer: Black Tie Formalwear // Florist: Becca Blue Flowers // Cake Artist: Take the Cake // DJ: Style Matters // Paper Goods Designer: Black Tie Formalwear // Ceremony Venue: St. Martha’s Church // Reception Venue: Loews Hotel // Wedding Coordinator: Brianne Sander
Courtney and Zach’s engagement session was one of my favorites of this year. They are both pretty much drop dead gorgeous, and we got to spend some time in Grant Park by the fountain, on the lake, and soaking up the beautiful Chicago skyline. So ever since then, I’ve been pretty darn excited for their wedding day.
A few years ago, Courtney + Zach met in Naperville… at Bar Louie where Courtney used to bartend. Surrounded by their friends, their relationship grew into what it is today – and it’s clear that Zach feels like the luckiest guy in the world to have Courtney. It was such a fun wedding day – one of those days that i have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. One of those days that reminds me how much and why I LOVE my job. Congratulations to the newlyweds!!
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Illiana Lopez, Kleinfeld Bridal // Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Shannon, Jasmine Bridal // Hair Stylist: Sammie Sabatino // Videographer: ojo Creative // DJ: Frank Novak // Paper Goods Designer: Dan Fyock, Thia & Co. // Reception Venue: White Eagle Golf Course
Jess and Joe have known each other since gradeschool. They were always friends, and Joe may or may not have been secretly in love with Jess the whole time… but it wasn’t until the end of college where Jess realized that Joe could be the love of her life. Maybe it was the random “I love you” texts messages from Joe that finally got her, but now they’re planning their lives together.
I spent the early evening with Jess + Joe along the Naperville Riverwalk… getting to know each other a little more – talking about life, witnessing Jess’s robot arm, and learning about Joe’s secret video game life that he could only hide from Jessica until they moved in together. I had so much fun getting to know them both (I had only met Jess during the consult, and had never met Joe until the session), and know we’re going to have a blast on the wedding day come October. Aside from the fact that it felt like we were old friends, Jess + Joe are gorgeous and made my job super easy. I can’t wait to work with you guys again next fall!
I met Lauren + Lee earlier this year out in Scottsdale, AZ. Lauren and I can’t even remember how she stumbled across my website… but I’m glad that she did because I got to know such a wonderful and kind couple. Like any wedding, the day was hectic, full of unexpected situations, and crunched for time. But nothing – and I mean nothing (even the elevators shutting down at the hotel for the arrival of the Green Bay Packers) was going to ruin Lauren or Lee’s demeanor. They put their complete trust in me to get what they wanted, and with the help of their family, friends, and beautiful Chicago weather (for once) – it was a special day.
I shot Lauren + Lee’s Chicago Wedding a week ago. I’m still working on the thousands of beautiful pictures from their special day – but let’s face it… I couldn’t wait to share just a little sneak peek into some of my favorite moments from the day. From the bridal prep at the Westin Hotel on Michigan Ave., to the breathtaking views at Olive Park for the Portrait Session… to the fun and dancing during the reception – there were too many special moments to share. I just had to do it now. Lauren + Lee, congratulations on a beautiful wedding and a beautiful life together. I wish I could say I was 100% happy for you – but there is a teeeeeeeeny part of me that is jealous that you live in Scottsdale, and that jealousy may or may not grow depending on this coming weather 😉 But in all honesty, you both deserve the happiest life together!
Ryan and Jennie’s Itasca Country Club wedding location was extra special because it’s basically how they met. Ryan was a caddy there, and Jennie’s dad is a member. And even though he tried to set them up early in life, it wasn’t until Ryan saw Jennie in the newspaper a few years ago that the stars finally aligned. According to Jennie, Ryan texted/called her out of the blue and asked her to go to lunch. From there followed many dates of Ryan trying to impress Jennie, and eventually a date night of ice skating at Wrigley Field where the two finally said, “I love you,” for the first time.
Ryan and Jennie’s love has proven strong over the past year, while Ryan has been in the Air Force base in California. The miles between them have been powerless to their dedication to each other, and the look on their faces throughout the entire day show how excited they were to be marrying each other. Jennie + Ryan, first of all – thank you for your sacrifices in serving this country. I am truly blessed to work with couples like you. I am so happy that I could be there to capture the love and affection you both show for each other, and I wish you the best of luck in your new California life. You are both wonderful, genuine people – and you deserve a world of happiness together 🙂
VENDOR CREDITS // Wedding Dress Designer: Paloma Blanca | Bridesmaid Dresses Designer: Alfred Sung | Groomsmen Tuxedo Designer: Black Tie Formalwear | Hair Stylist: Julie Petty, Pure Salon and Spa | Make-up Artist: Shannon O’Brien | Wedding Coordinator: Lindsay Green Weddings and Events | Videographer: Lexoria Wedding Films | Florist: Addison Floral | Cake Artist: Cutting Costco | Band: Dan Hayes Orchestra | Paper Goods Designer: Lindsay Green Weddings and Events | Ceremony Vvenue: St. Paul of the Cross | Reception Venue: Itasca Country Club | Trolley: Second City Trolley