Looks Like Film

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


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!

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!