February 3, 2017   |   baby, children, engagement, family, wedding

Since it is already FEBRUARY (what?! how?!), I thought I should probably get around to rounding up some of my favorite images from the past year.

It’s hard to believe that my business is nearly 12 years old, now. Lots of things have changed in those 12 years. At one point, I was shooting 20-30 weddings a year. Now, I shoot fewer than 10. It was a conscious decision to cut back–to allow photography to be the creative muscle that I stretch because I want to, not because I need to. To be something that I enjoy. To work with clients that inspire me. I haven’t regretted that decision. It means that I do work that is meaningful to me.

This year was evidence of all of that. I worked with many new clients, but I also continued work with couples and families that I’ve known now, in some cases, for years. I pushed myself creatively, and I worked, as always, to give my clients photos that they love.

As I look forward to another year of capturing moments, here are some from last year that are particularly special.

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September 30, 2016   |   wedding

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Caitlin is best friends with Summer, who I’ve photographed quite a few times. (I’m photographing her maternity session, later this year!) Summer’s wedding, even though it was several years ago, is still one of my favorites. It was a semi-casual brunch affair, and I remember being there, thinking “this is the most I’ve ever seen people enjoy a wedding.” In fact, it was so awesome, that I stole her idea and was married in the same venue a couple of years later!

So, when Caitlin contacted me, saying she was having a low-key brunch wedding, I knew I was in for a treat! Caitlin is the anti-Bridezilla. She’s so impossibly laid-back about everything, and her and Jesse’s wedding, which was at Farmhouse in Evanston, really evoked that kind of relaxed atmosphere.

There wasn’t really any dancing or fuss or elaborate timeline or grand affair–but there were waffles! And mimosas and an open bar and plenty of fun to go around.

When it was time for the ceremony, everyone just walked up to the front; it was like a pop-up wedding in the midst of a really lively party.

Here are some photos from a wedding that centered around the important stuff: family, friends, love–and bloody marys!

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I loved Caitlin’s dress, which had a total vintage vibe.

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How cute was the tie that Caitlin’s dad wore?

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Ceremony time! Summer officiated.

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Jesse’s dad was adorable, taking photos the whole time.

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I love this photo of Caitlin’s family.

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Married!

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A few informal toasts followed…

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And then it was time to eat!

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May 8, 2016   |   wedding

JenWedblog9

Gooooooing to the chapel, and I’m gooooooing to get marrrrrried… Okay, I couldn’t resist.

Jennifer and James were married this past Saturday at Chapel in the Pines, which is an adorably quaint little chapel in Sycamore, IL. It was the perfect setting for their romantic “love birds”-themed wedding.

All brides look forward to their wedding photos, but Jennifer had an eye on photography before a date was even set! She’s a wedding photo fan-girl–and the sweetest one you’ll ever meet. Since photos are so important to her, we were both a little panicked when rain was forecasted for their big day. However, the rain storms ended and the clouds dissipated just in time for the wedding festivities to begin. We ended up with perfect light.

And, as a bridesmaid pointed out, since their wedding color was purple and they released doves after the ceremony, they basically threw a Prince-themed wedding–whether or not those were their intentions. ;)

Here are some photos from our time together.

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Jennifer surprised James with a customized “love book.” Her dad started reading a few pages… and then quickly realized that he shouldn’t! :)

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James’s groomsmen tried helping him get dressed. There may or may not have been a button torn off in the process.

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I was IN LOVE with Jennifer’s vintage-inspired gown.

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These two. SO sweet.

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The bridal party deserves some love, too.

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I loved the bridesmaids dresses, too!

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Ceremony time! The chapel is TINY, but that made the ceremony very intimate.

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James nervously fumbled his vows a bit. The officiant finally reassured him by saying, “Good enough.”

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Married!

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Jennifer and James arranged to release doves. Like, REAL LIVE DOVES, after the ceremony. This was a first, for me, and I was so totally stoked. Do you know that these doves actually fly home, once released? I mean, C’MON.

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James’s face KILLS me, here.

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A little cake action.

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And an adorable moment from the first dance, to end.

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