Wedding :: Caroline + Adam [The Dawson, Chicago]

Wedding :: Caroline + Adam [The Dawson, Chicago]

This was my last wedding of 2016 and it surely was a perfect one to wrap up  the season! The Cubs were in the world series, it was sunny, and the considerably balmy for early November. Writing this blog reminded me that I'm so behind in blogging and I never posted their engagement session from earlier this year!

Caroline met Adam at the gym where Caroline was teaching various fitness classes, including a boxing class. Adam struck a deal that if he took Caroline's boxing class, she would go to drinks with him. I believe a high five sealed the deal and here we are today! 

I see more and more couples opting for more intimate weddings are some of Chicago's coolest restaurants. Caroline and Adam took over The Dawson for both the ceremony and reception with family and close friends. The vibe and aesthetic of The Dawson was perfect for these two awesomely cool people.

I caught up with Caroline and got her to spill the beans on advice for newly engage couples, as well as, her perspective of the day.

Wedding :: Shannon + Joel [Wicker Park Home; The Bedford, Chicago]

Wedding :: Shannon + Joel [Wicker Park Home; The Bedford, Chicago]

I love any marriage ceremony that means something special to the bride and groom. Whether that is a larger affair or one that is downright intimate. This backyard ceremony was all things special. With just immediate family and closest of friends, Shannon and Joel said 'I Do' in the backyard of their Wicker Park home. 

After the heartfelt ceremony [with participation from their daughter and pup], the celebration of unity continued at The Bedford in Wicker Park.

Portraits :: Family Mini Sessions [Mililani, HI]

Portraits :: Family Mini Sessions [Mililani, HI]

I found the endless summer, and it is in Mililani, Hawaii. It's November and typically fall family portraits sessions don't look like this back at home. Warm summer light still eases into the late afternoon. I could get used to this in no time. I probably already am . . .

Newborn :: Averly Mini Session [Honolulu, HI]

Newborn :: Averly Mini Session [Honolulu, HI]

I am a strong supporter of lifestyle documentary photos for newborns. Keep it simple. Natural light. Quiet moments. Focused on the new family life and welcoming a new babe into the world. While in Hawaii, I had the opportunity to meet Averly, just a couple weeks new. She did great in this newborn mini session in town.

Married :: Adrienne + Danny [Wilder Mansion, Elmhurst, IL]

Married :: Adrienne + Danny [Wilder Mansion, Elmhurst, IL]

Low key, laid back, cool. That's Adrienne and Danny. And that pretty much was reflected in their wedding at Wilder Mansion. One of the things I love most about wedding photography is being able to capture what you're feeling, versus what I'm seeing. It's about creating an image that elicits strong emotion

Throughout the day, Adrienne and Danny radiated that newly minted Mr. and Mrs. giddy love. Feel their love and happiness.

Travel :: Magnolia Markets [Waco, Texas]

Travel :: Magnolia Markets [Waco, Texas]

For those of you who are just as obsessed with HGTV's Fixer Upper, this post is for you. I slowly, but not so slowly, became enamoured with the show and Chip and Joanna Gaines. To start, yes I understand this is a reality show, but I just LOVE THEM. Are they not the couple you just want to be friends with? Chip's jokes. Joanna's easy going but totally cool demeanour [and strong baking and design skills don't hurt].

Anyway. What better thing to do than to take a short 36 hours down to Waco, Texas to Magnolia Markets? Waco is a short 90-minute drive from Dallas, which was the easiest to fly into. This Disneyland for HGTV obsessed lovers is awesome. Something like 30,000 visitors come through Waco to Magnolia Markets A WEEK. A WEEK. 

Photo Tips :: Take Better Photos in a Few Easy Steps

Photo Tips :: Take Better Photos in a Few Easy Steps

I'm getting ready to do my first digital photography tutorial for a group of super cool neighborhood moms who want to learn how to take better photos with their DSLRs and iPhones. It's a fantastic group of people, there will be wine, plus my colleague and friend, Tracy Peterson, will be co-hosting this with me! Trifecta of a good night, right?

As a result, I prepared a short 2-page quick start to help you all start taking better pictures straight off your DSLR [iPhone tips coming soon]. From a high level, I cover shutter speed, aperture, ISO, gear and how I got specific shots.

Download the digital photography quick start >>

My top tips on digital photography:

  1. Practice, practice practice. Take a photo, look at it, try the exact same shot but at different settings. Observe what differences you see if you modify any of those settings.
  2. Never shoot in program mode [see the guide for why not!]
  3. Don't get bogged down by equipment and megapixels. You don't really need 30 megapixels unless you want to put your photo on a billboard. If you still want them, awesome, but don't let anyone sway your purchase based on this alone. 
  4. Back up your files and print those images! 
  5. Have fun! It's one of the best hobbies to pick up and learn at your own pace.

Humans of Chicago

I've recently started taking the Metra and I was at the FFC at Union Station and cut my workout short to catch an earlier train. Except I had the direction wrong and my train was still an hour away. So I sat in the food court just wasting time and this elderly woman came and sat down at the table I was sitting at. She was accompanied by a Metra worker and she was trying to get situated and look for her ticket. 

Married :: Nicole + Randy [The Silver Fox, Streator, IL]

Married :: Nicole + Randy [The Silver Fox, Streator, IL]

I met Nicole and Randy through one of my colleagues, Tim Hara [he does great work too!] and met another Illinois State University alum! The teacher and graphic designer tied the knot at Streator's AMAZING The Silver Fox venue. It was a hot, HOT summer day and thankfully The Silver Fox is such an amazing space that we could do all the photos indoors and not melt outside.

Congrats Nicole and Randy! Thanks for being so awesome and having me capture this best day ever.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE WEDDING DAY?

Randy: Relaxing during the reception!

Nicole: Turning and seeing everyone we loved surrounding us during our ceremony. :)

YOUR WEDDING DETAILING WAS AWESOME! WHAT INSPIRED THE GATSBY-ESQUE LOOK? 

Our venue! The venue was already so beautiful and unique, and we didn't want to take away from that. 

WOULD YOU HAVE DONE ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY?

Maybe brought an extra fan. ;)

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEWLY ENGAGED COUPLES ABOUT CHOOSING A PHOTOGRAPHER?

Find someone who fits the "look" of your wedding. We loved your indoor shots, and really felt that you could capture the beauty of our venue. Also finding someone who you can really trust, and is willing to take the time to get to know you as a couple.