Enchanting Heritage Prairie Farm Wedding

“When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. 

When it is over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument. 

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.” 
- Mary Oliver

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This year, June 25th at Heritage Prairie Farm was a beautifully breezy Saturday for a wedding. Kelsey and Kris stood together under an old oak, made their vows in the open air and the sunshine and celebrated with their family and friends under a lofty five-peak tent hung with flowers and sparkling with candlelight. It was the kind of wedding day that Marilynne Robinson would write about.

This couple and their wedding day is near and dear to my heart. I met Kelsey last spring at her sister's wedding (April 17), which I was photographing and certain couldn't be equaled in measures of joy, happiness and inspiration. I was thrilled when Kelsey and Kris emailed to ask if I was available for their own landmark day. (!!!) This wedding photo gallery is full of intentional details, thoughtful consideration of family heirlooms, new treasures, a spirited bridal party and a loveliness in every detail, including terrific blooms and floral installations by Eva's Floral Wonders in Geneva.

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Lifestyle Edit: Wheaton, IL

I've known Kara for the past year and a handful of months. She's a graphic designer with a sharp eye for style in any medium, and someone I've come to trust when seeking input about art, design and personal philosophies of visual communication. Whether it's wedding photography or mixed media design, Kara is a spirit level.

Last month I had an engagement session reschedule because of impending rain, but had rolls of Portra from the previous night's session that had to be shipped that afternoon to photovision for processing. This series of events left me with half of roll of Portra 400 unexposed. 18 frames of film is far too valuable to not use. Enter Kara.

Turns out these are some of my personal favorites of the fine art film portraits I've created this summer, even if they were shot within two minutes outside a Starbucks.

Modern Fine Art Studio Loft Boudoir

I love meeting other people who believe photography is/can be/should be a fine art. Who doesn't enjoy connecting with like-minded people? It's one of life's joys to find another person who loves what you love. It's a connection that promotes mutual growth, understanding of self and others and the world around us. It's empowering, it's a joy, it's a challenge- because once that spark of collaborative creativity ignites, we have the responsibility (or I believe we do) to fan those little sparks into flames that bring light and beauty to the world around us. 

(I do see the symbolic irony of this thought pattern while introducing a boudoir session.)

Anyways, it was a true delight to work with this client to create meaningful, lovely photographs to not only celebrate her body for herself but also as a future gift for her spouse. These photographs are a reflection of a great deal of communication, trust, collaboration and mutual love of being women. 

I'm full of gratitude to this woman for loving her gorgeous figure and allowing me to share these beautiful, beautiful photographs. As I'm sure many fine art photographers can attest, some of our most lovely, emotive, elevated, inspired work stems from boudoir sessions- never to be shown. Thank you, thank you!

To create the perfect looks for these fine art boudoir photographs, makeup artist Carly Pribich of @carlydoesmakeup was present with us for the first hour of the boudoir session. Lingerie was provided from the client's own personal collection (#goals) and the entirety of the shoot took place at Loft505, one of my favorites in the Chicago area. I shot the entire boudoir session on a Canon EOS 1-V on Kodak Portra 400 35mm film exclusively (no digital) and sent the rolls for processing to my one and only, tried and true, ride or die PhotoVision film lab in Salem, Oregon. (Believe me, I tried half a dozen labs before finding this gem.