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.
On Saturday, January 14, 2017, Caitlin & Brian married at St. Raymond de Penafort in Mount Prospect and celebrated with friends and family at the Metropolis Ballroom in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
As a wedding photographer, I have the privilege to witness emotional moments and remarkable relationships. I often tear up like the rest of you (especially when reliving moments while editing a wedding)- but it was definitely a first when I teared up at Caitlin and Brian's wedding consult. These meetings are one of my favorite parts of my work- it's a time for a couple to share their story and talk about their vision for their wedding and for me to share a little about myself and photography philosophy. Brian and Caitlin asked such thoughtful, considerate questions about my work and wedding photography that I found myself sharing more of my own personal reflection on weddings & love than usual. As I discovered throughout the next seven months of planning for their day, these two possess a warmth and charm together that can only arise from a open-hearted commitment to friends and family and a strength found in a shared love and trust.
As anyone who celebrated their wedding at the Metropolis Ballroom would tell you, this wedding was inspiring, infectiously joyful and full of beautiful light, delightful details and fabulous food.
Every season, there's always that one wedding that seems to come out of nowhere and blow me away.
When I first met Avery & Clay this spring, we had a delightful and relatively short, to-the-point first meeting. Their preferences for their wedding photography were remarkably in line with the True Grace style: an intentional blend of fine art and documentary approaches. Both the bride and the groom are active people with their friends, family, church and work- so I didn't hear much over the summer. When we had our final meeting, the two sketched out their vision for their first look on the steps of Chicago's Adler Planetarium and ceremony and reception hosted by one of my favorites- the Herrington Inn & Spa in Geneva, Illinois. Avery & Clay were dream clients, giving me creative freedom to follow meaningful moments and capture their big day in its best light(s).
Some of the highlights from this beautiful wedding day on August 27 are the flowers (the bride's mother created all of the bouquets and centerpieces!), Avery's lovely BHLDN wedding gown, the couple's incredibly awesome bridal party and the gorgeous new cocktail hour patio at the Herrington Inn. Check it all out below in this preview!
These sweethearts wanted something off the beaten path for their engagement session here in Chicago. When Lauren and Danny and I began to plan their dream fine art engagement session, we wanted to find a blend of natural, beach, summer skyline and open water. We met at Montrose Beach & Harbor an hour before sunset one Sunday evening in September and were rewarded with the prettiest light off filtering through the city to Lake Michigan. These two have a close friendship and obviously adore one another, making these photographs truly glow. Golden hour has never looked so good! I'm already looking forward to photographing their Oak Park wedding in November next year!
I was thrilled to be able to incorporate movement and different types of light in this session, playing with the concept of exposing for the shadow and hovering around f/2 and 100 film speed to to capture the emotion and atmosphere of this beautiful evening. I used three dreamboat lenses from my kit: 35mm, 50mm and 85mm. All Canon, of course. (Wink)
As always, I hope you enjoy these photographs as much as I enjoyed creating them! Happy wedding Wednesday!
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!
On July 3, 2016, Cara and Aaron married at Christ Church of Oak Brook and celebrated with family and friends at Hinsdale Golf Club! This sneak peek is only a glimpse into their wedding day, which was full of many truly meaningful and beautiful moments. These two met in middle school through their church's youth group, and over the years their close friendship grew into a remarkable relationship. According to the couple, she loves his sense of humor- and he loves her drive and passion.
When I first met Aaron and Cara, I was struck by the harmony and partnership they sharedin discussing personal priorities and mutual goals- but also how their relationship with one another is marked by so many smiles and laughter. Wedding planning can be stressful, but these two obviously were enjoying the process of designing a day to celebrate not only the love for one another, but also their families and faith. Their joy is infectious. I'm smiling even as I write this.
As a photographer, it was difficult to be selective with the highlights from this day because there are so, so, so many moments and therefore so many gems of memories and moments captured. I hope you enjoy these photographs as much as I enjoyed putting this sneak peek together!