June 29, 2013   |   engagement

Mollyblog2 Molly and Ryan met me for their engagement session about… 2 hours ago. Yep, I got these sneak peeks up quickly (I knew they’d be good)!

If you live in Chicago, you know that we’ve had a couple weeks of seemingly non-stop rain, and we were worried that we’d have to cancel today shoot. Luckily, though, the rain held off, the sun came out, and we had great light!

Molly and Ryan wanted to shoot around the neighborhood where their love developed–Old Town. I love these kinds of casual, neighborhood sessions, as they allow me to really focus on the couple and not a landmark (like a fountain or a bridge).

Here are some sneak peeks of these two cuties. Can’t wait until their wedding later this year!

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We had some great light!

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After strolling around the neighborhood for a bit, we decided to hit up one of their favorite bakeries. Love these shots!

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What a ring!

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June 24, 2013   |   wedding

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Diane and Mark were married this past weekend. They had their ceremony at the gorgeous St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, and their reception was at Spiaggia in downtown Chicago. I’ve shot at Spiaggia several times in the past couple of years, and I’m always happy to shoot there again, as they have a beautiful space and an excellent staff.

I was also happy to shoot with Diane and Mark again, as their engagement session was packed full of smiles, giggles, and sweet kisses, and I knew their wedding day would be much the same. They are such a fun-loving couple and so full of joy.

Though the weather forecast promised rain, we lucked out and had clear skies for the whole day! Diane and Mark wanted to shoot at Olive Park (hey–when you find a good location, everyone wants to shoot there!), and I’m so glad the weather held out for them. In fact, I joked with them that they must have someone working in their favor upstairs; we’ve had great light every single time we’ve shot together.

With the help of the fabulous Frank of Frank Event Design, the wedding day was a huge success. Here are some photos to prove it!

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Diane’s good friend was such a gentleman–happy to hold the dress for Diane while she got ready without sneaking a peek.

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Some great moments from the ceremony.

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And a wide shot of the full church–so lovely!

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Married!

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I love working with small wedding parties (especially when they’re this good-lookin’)!

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The happy couple!

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Diane looked STUNNING!

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With much thanks to Frank, the reception decor was unbelievable!

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Some laughs during the toasts.

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And one of my favorite cake cutting shots of all-time (I may have insisted we cut the cake right when the light was perfect).

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Diane’s father surprised her by serenading her after their dance. I love both of their faces in this shot.

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And Mark surprised her by busting out some new moves on the dance floor!

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June 19, 2013   |   baby, children, family

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Yesterday, I shot family portraits with Jane and her beautiful family for the second time. I first met this family several months ago when there were just three of them. Now, with the recent addition of baby Dylan, they are a lovely family of four, and I was so happy to shoot with them again!

Often, past clients contact me about shooting newborn portraits, and I explain to them that there are really two “schools” of newborn photos. First, there are the staged studio portraits, often complete with lots of props like milk crates, fuzzy hats, and baby hammocks. I love those photos, and they are adorable! However, those aren’t my specialty; I’m more of a lifestyle photographer. So, I shoot more candid and low-key baby portraits, usually at the home of the families I work with. My aim through these kinds of sessions is to capture life with a newborn–a day in the life of the family. And, we can usually get a few cute portraits in there, too!

Jane was on board with this kind of shoot, and I really, really love the results. I can’t create these kinds of photos without parents that are willing to let go, let the babies determine the direction of the session, and–most importantly–be open to whatever may come!

We kept rescheduling this particular session because the weather wasn’t cooperating and, since we knew we couldn’t control 1-month old Dylan or nearly 2-year old Connor, we thought we best try to control the most important factor: light! But we finally got a sunny day, and I think these photos were worth the wait.

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A newborn shoot is hard enough, but these parents were patient enough to tough out a shoot with a toddler AND a newborn! And Connor was (mostly) happy to cooperate. 🙂

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Can you believe that hair?!

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Happy parents!

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LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these shots.

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Just a quick after-snack burp. I DIE!

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