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.

Epic Greek Orthodox Chicago Wedding

May 27, 2017 has been marked with a big red heart on my calendar for over a year. Carly and Chris planned a wedding day packed full of celebratory details, surprises and special moments. Kicking off the day with a wedding gift of Christian Louboutin pumps and a mother-daughter whiskey toast, this couple honored family tradition and faith with a Greek Orthodox ceremony at St. John the Baptist in Des Plaines. Following a rose petal-showered church exit, the party bus stopped by Catherine Chevalier Woods for photos of the wedding party and Chris and Carly. Wedding guests enjoyed cocktail hour at The Empress in Addison until the bridal party welcomed the bride and groom with a stunning sparkler entrance to the ballroom. 

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A terrific team of vendors included Gaby Raguso of GLAMD, Flowers for Dreams, I Do Video by Leo, Mario Tricoci: Oak Brook all coordinated by Ashley Nicole Events.

Rustic Dahlia Chicago Riverfront Wedding

When I first spoke with Amy, she talked about the life and love that she, Matthew and her daughter Jillian share in Tucson, Arizona. She described her vision for their destination wedding here in the Chicago Loop as an intimate celebration with their nearest and dearest family and friends. Matt's family is well-connected with Chicago and he himself is a die-hard Cubs fan (is there really any other kind? #flytheW!). 

Amy's parents and bridesmaids were on hand for pre-ceremony preparations at ALoft Chicago City Center Hotel, with the ceremony and reception hosted at Rivers Restaurant. Taylor Dahlstrom of Amelia Cole Events curated a dream team of vendors and brought together Amy's vision of a truly lovely wedding atmosphere with blush and gold accents, succulents, cafe au lait dahlias, and strings of cafe lights on the riverfront in downtown Chicago. 

For Amy & Matt's wedding day, our light-washed documentary fine art photography style was designed to complement the warmth and affection of this wedding on such a perfectly crips fall October day in Chicago. Marla Kopkie, Amy's maid of honor and Tucson hair salon owner, styled the bride's and maids' hair. Many thanks to Ashbark Florals, A Posh Production, Chicago Farm Tables, and also Sugar Fixe for an especially lovely wedding cake. 

LBD + Denim Botanic Garden Engagement

When Amy, Sean and I were developing the concept for their engagement session, the word "natural" was used often. This couple has an easygoing chemistry and warmth of friendship that can only come from knowing one another well for a good deal of time. Both Amy and Sean love the outdoors, so when they chose the Chicago Botanic Garden for their late summer, early fall engagement session, I wasn't surprised.

I love the opportunity to spend time with a couple at an engagement shoot before the wedding, especially when I've not met both partners. When Amy & I first met, Sean was on the road for work and she was careful to include him in the photography decision process. I enjoyed our meeting, and everything really clicked when I met these two together. Sean makes Amy laugh in a way that shows how much history and trust they share. I couldn't be more excited for their wedding next spring!