Laura + Anthony // Chicago

I had the pleasure of shooting the wedding of Laura and Anthony earlier this month. It’s the last wedding I’m shooting this year before I give birth to my daughter in December. I have shot a couple weddings seven months pregnant with my first, and being that I’ve been active this whole pregnancy, I wasn’t too worried. However, being pregnant with all your gear, running around, bending down to get the right angle and being on your feet all day isn’t an easy task. I prefaced the wedding day that I may need to sit down occasionally and of course, they were completely understanding. I was taught that you do not sit down during weddings, unless you’re eating, so normally, I don’t. I felt completely un-judged by anyone when I had to rest for a minute, I guess the large belly helped that!

The day was overcast, 60 degrees and a slight drizzle in the morning, which was fine with me, I love the moodiness of these photos because of it. The rain would have been ok if it started, Laura and Anthony bought $100 of umbrellas just in case and of course, it never did. :) I met them near the lake on the Loyola campus, at the peak of the city limits. The energy was light and casual as everyone was buzzing around getting ready. Laura was getting her hair and makeup done with her girls in one flat and Anthony was having a beers with his buddies upstairs in another. 

It was soon time to head over to the Loyola Chapel for the ceremony. I had never been to this chapel before but the location was amazing. The archways in front of the lake were beautiful and the chapel was bright. This was especially helpful since they didn’t allow flash. The ceremony was lovely and there were lots of very sweet moments with the two of them. One of my favorite shots was after they exchanged the rings and kissed, they were sitting next to each other and giggling with happiness. We took some family photos in the church and then outside to get the bridal party. I had to get a few more shots of just Anthony and Laura. I’ve found that posing has been one of my biggest challenges coming into myself as a photographer. Practice has helped but also talking to fellow photographers and just feeling the energy of the couple. These two were so flexible, all I had to say was “get close” sometimes and they their unfolded in front of the lens. I had her lean against the archway and then I told Anthony, “Approach her” and their chemistry took the shot for me! 😍

We had quite a good time on the trolley too, I got to sit down for a minute and Anthony serenaded Laura to Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” everyone was beaming, especially Laura. I had suggested Montrose Beach as one of our stops for photos since it was close by and you get the lake and the iconic skyline in the back, these are some of my favorite shots of the day too. I just love the dark blue clouds on the horizon that day.

The reception was held at Ravenswood Event Center and was gorgeous. They did a perfect job putting everything together. The dinner space was rustic, the cocktail and dancing space was industrial and it all had beautiful details that all tied in together. The food was incredible and the staff was gracious. So glad I got to work with all these people that day. As the night continued there were lots of laughs and plenty of singalongs. In the last photo, where everyone is obiviously belting out a song, they’re singing “Take on Me” by A-Ha. Everyone loves a good throwback! Grateful I got to spend this day with all of these lovely people, it was such a beautiful wedding for a beautiful couple. Wedding days are so special and I’m so lucky to get a front row seat to all of these moments. Congratulations Anthony and Laura!

J


Baby Luisa

Baby Luisa was just ten days old when I came to visit Lauren and Margo. Their little bundle of joy was so alert when I arrived, laying on the fuzzy pink blanket just ready for her photo shoot! Newborns are unpredictable, as many of you know, so we just have to go with the flow with how they’ll be that day. Luisa was a dream. She even fell asleep when we set her down. My baby never did that! You may recognize Lauren and Margo from our recent maternity shoot where Lauren got into the lake waist deep, and I of course fell and bludgeoned my elbow. Yeah, that one. So glad I was able to come see the end result of this pregnancy! She was gorgeous, her eye contact with the camera was awesome. She was curious, sweet and calm. She was the ideal newborn baby, we all got lucky that day. I hope you enjoy these sweet moments I captured.

J

Corner-Miller Family // Chicago

This family holds a special place in my heart but this little girl is very special. Mari June was born about a year ago, these photos were taken to mark her first year of life. She was born extremely early and the NICU was a place of home for her in her first months of life. There were pulmonary hemorrhages, oxygen tubes, waiting, unknowing, doctors, blood transfusions, PICC lines, brain bleeds, brain surgeries, scans, ventilators, blood clots, and ultimately a diagnosis of Hydrocephalus - a buildup of fluid in the cavities (ventricles) deep within the brain. Luckily, Mari will be ok and her life will be fulfilled to the max, plus she has this great family so we all know that smile of hers is a miracle. 

I met Candace, Mari and Henry’s mom at my first day as a Sr. Graphic Designer at ULTA Beauty Corporate in the burbs of Chicago. It was her orientation too, where she was the social media manager. I liked her from the get go. She was confident, smiley and had a cool sense about her that I gravitated to. Maybe it was that she was the young one amongst some IT folks in orientation or maybe it was because we both shared the love of our nose studs. We became friends over time and even managed to get into our own version of a supper club together. Supper club sounds dated but it was really a girl’s date night, where a few of ULTA girls who lived in the city and had to commute to Bolingbrook, bitched about the traffic and laughed about “those” co-workers. 

I met Candace and Johnny at Montrose Beach one August morning and the light was beautiful, perfect in my opinion. The sky was slightly overcast but rays of light peaked through various holes in the clouds. Both kids were smiley and hilarious, and I even got a rendition of Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” by Henry and Candace. He knew every word! For a three-year-old, I am impressed! These photos are soft and gentle, and I think their outfits are just the cutest, not surprised by the woman who puts all us moms to shame when it comes to Halloween! 

They love these images and I hope they’re cherished for years to come. Thanks Candace and Johnny for allowing me to capture these special moments.

XO

J

Torres Maternity // Chicago

These two were a dream to photograph. Not only were they dressed impeccably, they were down for whatever, even my idea of getting into the water. :) It was a beautiful Sunday night and because I just figured that since it was a Sunday night in the summer at 7pm, that the swimmers wouldn’t be around. I showed up about 20 minutes before the shoot was supposed to start and oh boy, it was PACKED.  They wanted beach photos and with how crowded the small beach was, I needed to think fast. Luckily the man-made concrete peninsula wasn’t crowded. So, when they got there, off we went. The only tricky part about shooting on the concrete that has waves constantly coming in and out is the algae. Me, being the photographer I am, I like to get down low, climb high up, just to get the right angles for the shot, and I biffed so hard. My camera slammed into the concrete, got wet, I bounced off my elbow before my hip hit down and there I was, pregnant little me all wet and laughing. This would of course happen to me. I mostly felt bad because of the looks on their faces. I shook it off and we kept going, these things happen, right? ☺We circled back onto the beach and by this time the sun was just a sliver before setting and we grabbed a few shots (which are my favorite) of Lauren bathing in the water with her dress on. I actually did this for my first maternity shoot with my daughter Penelope and loved it. Just glad she was such a trooper! Hope you enjoy these, they were definitely worth the bruises!

Xo

Davis Family // Humboldt Park // Chicago

The landscape might fool you because we were neither lakeside nor in the suburbs, just a quick hop, skip and a jump to Humboldt Park in Chicago and you get everything - beach, pond, prairie and open field. Katie and her family were so great to work with. They found me through a past client and we met up on a beautiful summer evening. I was forewarned that their daughter, Hannah was 1) sick and 2) the shoot was close to her bedtime. Ha! I know what that means! Luckily, she was an angel, even smiley. I just love the warm light in these photos and you can really feel the love between them. I especially loved when Hannah kept kissing her mama, full chin suck and all. Enjoy these sweet moments with the Davis Family. <3

xo

J

Wroblewski Family // Promontory Point Chicago

It wasn't too long ago that I had shot Brody's newborn photos, but now a year later, here we are celebrating his walking and big boy smile. I'm always amazed at kids who are just so good and smiley, he was it! It's like he's taken modeling classes before?! Promontory Point is one of my favorite places to shoot in the city, you get the green and the blue from the lake with the faded Chicago skyline in the back. Hope you love these photos with one of the best families! Happy Birthday Brody!

Liz + Mickey // Chicago

I got to meet Liz and Mickey over a Skype call last fall as they were interested in meeting me but were living in Minneapolis. We got along right away and I loved their energy. I was actually a referral from Jackie, my fall bride and event coordinator at their reception and wedding space, shout out to Homestead on the Roof! Another amazing thing about this wedding location is that it’s hop, skip and a jump from my house. Three blocks to be exact! It was a mild winter day, it hadn't snowed much so nothing on the ground but we were all hoping for a bit of  real life snow globe for photos.

We met at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel and walked over to Millennium Park for some shots in the garden before heading back to the hotel room for a quick champagne toast with close family. From there, we headed to West Town so they could sign their Ketubah, created by artist friends. From their reaction, you can notice how much they loved it (tears!). 

The ceremony was done in the main area of Homestead on the Roof and everyone just turned their chairs around from the dimming tables to watch in the marriage ceremony. They created a chuppah out of birch trees and an heirloom fabric. Liz’s family is from the former Soviet Union and they had lots of amazing traditions and everything was full of laughter. Her sisters wouldn't let Liz forget how lucky she was that she never had to attend kindergarten there. Their Russian was a bit rusty but they came through giving Mickey and Liz their wedding blessings. The food was incredible, the dancing was epic and then SNOW! I hope you love these as much as me, and congratulations to Liz and Mickey! I loved your wedding!

 

XO

 

J

 

The Bernardos // Chicago

Can't you just hear the laughter and feel the love in these? These types of shoots, at home, no agenda, just hanging out  are some of my favorites. 1) it totally takes the pressure off of getting a perfect shot and allows things to happen more naturally and 2) they are hilarious! Three kids six and under love giggling and egging each other on. I fit right in. Hope you love these as much as I do!

Kansas City

When I became a mom, I lost myself in being a mom for awhile. The first time I left her for more than an hour was when I went to The Metro for an Other Lives concert, she was almost six months old. Slowly but surely I came out of that "only a mom" stage and I started to do things for me again, I even went back to work full-time. One thing that I make sure I do for myself is travel and to be with my girlfriends (solo!). This Kansas City trip was just that. Being with my best friends and hanging out at home, ordering pizza, watching Netflix, seeing a concert, going out to eat... it was perfect. Plus, I got to see a new town, Kansas City, which I had never been to. Sarah moved there over a year ago and I hadn't had the chance to visit until this October. Arcade Fire was playing there on a Friday night, so I called her up and told her we were going. Andrea was just the icing on top of the cake because she decided she could drive down and make it. 

Sarah's house is filled with amazing thrifting finds and antiques. She and her boyfriend are incredible artists who tattoo for a living. It was so great to see their spot (and their shop)! If you're in need of a tattoo in the midwest, head to Old Souls in Kansas City, Sarah and Travis will hook you up. 

Andrea brought her pom pom making kit and we drank cafe mentes (my new favorite) and wine and laughed a lot. I didn't bring my camera to the Arcade Fire show, so I don't have any photos via my Canon but if you check out my Instagram: @feathersandnoise - you can check a few out there. I'm so grateful for my time with them there this weekend but my heart was aching to get back to my Penelope. Walking in that door after being gone, and having her run to me so excitedly, is the best feeling as a mom. I'm already planning our next adventure... stay tuned!

XO

J

Kat + Colin // Chicago

I first met Kat and Colin at a restaurant in our neighborhood, sipping on cocktails, getting to know each other and going over their vision. They were so sweet and so in love, I was very happy they decided to book me for their 2017 fall wedding. The day came and it was one of the rainiest days of the year with intermittent downpours that would flood the streets. I arrived at The Aloft Hotel in River North, first meting with Colin and then separately, Kat. There was lots of laughter and a carefree attitude about the rain, they were just excited to get started. I took photos of the getting ready and like city brides do, she jumped in a cab and headed over to The Roof Crop. The first look was epic, Colin’s reaction to Kat coming off the elevator was priceless, jaw dropped, hands on face and then they both burst into tears. I love being able to witness these moments! After the ceremony Kat and Colin surprised their guests with a marching band complete with drums and brass, and Chicago flag painted tuba. We walked approximately four blocks over puddles and past honking cars. These are some of my favorite photos of the day and I just want to say that clear umbrellas are adorable and I kind of want them as a prop in my future wedding photos (noted future brides!)  

The reception was held at Low Res Studio which is an agency during the week and a rad event space by the weekend. 

CJ + Jacklyn // Apple River, IL

The big day had arrived and I was looking forward to this day. I left from Chicago and drove to Apple River, IL. It was the most beautiful fall day, absolute perfection, I stopped for a couple personal photos on the way. The GPS took me down a narrow country road surrounded atop with touching trees and ponds. It was so adorable, I couldn’t wait to get started. I arrived about an hour early, and no one was there yet so I made myself useful and walked the property to take photos and scout for some spots later on. There were so many options I almost got overwhelmed. As I was shooting the rows of tall oak trees, I noticed a little animal at the end in front of the barn. I walked to get a closer look, a little mini donkey who wasn’t afraid of me at all. I probably took too many photos of him but he was asking for it!

Jacklyn arrived and started to hang the Blackhawk jerseys on the clothes line. Embroidered on the back was “Marry Me,” the jersey CJ gave to her in Nashville where he proposed before the Blackhawks game there. The bridesmaids arrived shortly after and then the guys. The ladies were all getting ready in the lofted barn and then we decided to do the first look on the dock of the pond, because where else would we do it!? CJ’s breath was taken away when he saw her. First look moments are so intimate between a bride and a groom, I feel so lucky to witness those emotional moments between those two people. 

We met up with the rest of the bridal party and then we got ready for the ceremony. They decided to do that ceremony beneath the big oak trees where I found my soulmate donkey. I loved the italian patio lights they had strung up between them and the dry pines that lined the ground with oranges and ambers. The ceremony was short and sweet with many laughs and after the deed was done, the owner of Oak Hill Weddings picked them up in the Model A car they have and I jumped in the front seat. We took off for a short drive and then I got a few snaps of them dancing in the middle of the road and then driving up back to the reception. The food was incredible, (thank you Fried Green Tomatoes), the guests were lovely and the music great (Thank you Folk Yeah!). They sipped on wine and cocktails, feasted on crab legs and steak and danced all night to a fantastic band. It was hands down one of my favorite weddings. 

J

Emily + Evan // Chicago

Emily found me through Yelp (awesome!) and decided to reach out. She was only looking for a small wedding package so we went with an elopement, which includes three hours of photography. She just wanted a little bit of coverage to cover the big parts of the day and I have to be honest, it really worked. There are no photos of speeches or dancing but what she wanted was the memory of her ceremony and photos of her and Evan, and with their families.

They met at The University of Chicago so that’s where we first started, in the Quad. We even stopped for a kiss on the bridge where the myth is, that if you kiss there, you’re destined for each other. We already knew that so we had them kiss anyway. Then we headed to the ceremony destination, also in Hyde Park, Promontory Point. I have been there a few times for other shoots, I just love being next to Lake Michigan. The waves were so big that day, they were crashing into the rocks so I suggested they go down by them and I’ll get a long shot from far away with my telephoto. I took a few dozen photos of them quietly from afar. The waves were a great backdrop of sound that allowed for them to be alone for ten minutes before their ceremony which later, Emily told me was her favorite. both of their families were so excited to be there and for them. I was excited to get them these photos before they took off on their honeymoon to Peru. Enjoy!

J

Annie + Daniel Engagement // Chicago

So the first time I ever met either of these two was the day we took engagement photos. Annie found some of my photos through another client of mine and asked for my information (love when that happens!). Annie and Daniel met me at Olive Park in August, but because we forgot to check, the park was closed due to the air and water show (doh!). So we improvised and we walked down to Oak Street beach and got some shots with the Hancock building behind them (it’s where Daniel proposed).   We then got out of there because so many people were lingering around after the event that day and we headed up to Diversey Harbor. These two were so camera shy in the beginning and by the end of the shoot, they were totally comfortable. They were such gigglers, I loved it. Giggles make happy photos so I’m all about it. 

J