September 27, 2011   |   wedding

Erica and Josh were married this past weekend at the Bryn Mawr Country Club in Lincolnwood, IL. I’ve never shot there before, but it is a beautiful venue!

They had their ceremony and reception on Friday and, just like their engagement session the week before, they made sure that we got to shoot portraits right at golden hour. Swoon! They continued their celebration on Saturday evening with an after party at Hub51. They even brought actors in for a little mystery dinner theatre! A great time was had by all; there was tons of great food (they are foodies, like me) and tons of laughs.

Here are some photos from both nights!

This little guy hung out with the gals as they got ready.

Erica’s sister and niece helped her into her dress.

First, the ketubah signing.

Next, the ceremony. As with most Jewish weddings, they began the ceremony by walking circles around one another.


We had lots of time for portraits around the property.

Always love shooting near willow trees.

And a couple shots from the reception, including the beautiful table decor.

And a few from Saturday night.

He’s dead! Erica may have a second career in acting.

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September 21, 2011   |   engagement, tips

Last night, I shot Erica and Josh’s engagement session in downtown Chicago. Believe it or not, even though I live and work in the city, I very rarely get to shoot in downtown proper. So, I was happy when they wanted to shoot there.

Originally, Josh emailed me (yes–the guy is taking the charge on this one, folks) with the usual list of iconic Chicago locations: Michigan Ave., the Bean, Buckingham Fountain, etc. While I was happy that they wanted some city shots, I tried to encourage them to abandon the list. I told them, as I often tell couples when these conversations come up, that this is about them–Erica and Josh–it is not about the a building or a specific bridge or a fountain. They completely understood and, much to my delight, agreed to do what I love to do most: wander around a bit.

Wandering always, always yields the very best photographs. And that’s because the best kinds of photos–the photos that I love and my clients really love–aren’t planned. There’s a cheesy quote that goes something like, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” The same things goes for photography. The best photos are what happens when you’re planning the perfect photo. You find the places you didn’t know existed. The spots with light that you could never have planned for. And the kinds of glances and giggles that I can’t pose.

So, yes. We started at the Wrigley building and we wandered. And this is one of my favorite engagement sessions in a long while. These two are getting married this weekend. So, you’ll see more of them very soon. Until then, enjoy!

Love these gold doors. (If I made a list for my photographer, it would say something like, “Must visit gold doors!”)

I really, really love these two.

They don’t call it “golden hour” for nothing, folks. GORGEOUS (the light and the gal).

These two have such amazing chemistry. It makes my job easy!

September 18, 2011   |   engagement

Stacen and Joe’s engagement session taught me two things:

1. I should shoot more portrait sessions in the morning. I always tell clients that golden hour is, “one hour after sunrise or one hour before sunset.” And, 99% of the time, they opt to shoot in the evening. However, Stacen and Joe wanted to meet bright and early. Not only did we have the whole Loyola campus to ourselves (more on that later), but we also had the most AHMAZING light. Seriously. It was GORGEOUS.

2. Loyola’s campus doesn’t get enough credit. I’ve shot at a lot of college campuses, but–after living 10 minutes from it for 7 years–I’ve never even been on Loyola’s beautiful lakefront campus. Holy heck–why didn’t anyone tell me? Can we please shoot there again very, very soon?

Stacen actually went to graduate school at Loyola, so it was a personal place for them. I’m glad it was! We had a beautiful shoot during my favorite time of year; it wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too cold. It was a breathtaking morning, and I’m so glad that these two go to have that for their big photo day.

See what I mean about that light?

Then we found this door. Yeah–I about fell over with glee.

When things got a little cool, Stacen pulled out this blanket… that she knit herself!

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