Midwest Wedding Photographer

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


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

 

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

Lefevour Family // Oakbrook

It had been almost 4 years since the last time I photographed this family. Mikey was barely crawling and Mae was still so little. They’re both so tall now and hilarious. I love their brotherly- sister love. He always wanted to do what she was doing. I love when little boys look up to their sisters, that’s my feminist bone coming out. JWe met on a warm summer night in Oakbrook, I had never been to the Graue Mill, a water-powered gristmill and it sits on the Dupage Country Forest Preserve. It had water, trees, paths, and gorgeous summer light. I just wish it was closer to the city so I could shoot here all the time! So much personality in this family, we even had a to take a few photos with thumbs up to appease Mikey, the youngest. Haha! I hope you enjoy!

J

Maureen + Clayton // Chicago

So this post is WAYYYY overdue. I apologize. I started a new full time gig and with a baby… well, nothing goes as planned. Never the less, I am SO excited to share this post with you. I not only shot this wedding (totally pressure and care free), but was the graphic designer, the matron of honor, the speech giver and best friend extraordinaire! Maureen just wanted me to take some photos of Clayton and her before the wedding, the two of them and a couple snapshots of their family. Since the pressure was off, I just carried my camera around the whole night. My husband took some shots when I couldn’t and I gave her brother a 10 second tutorial on how to shoot (all settings set) so he could take some photos of the ceremony. It was hilarious and it was fun! After all, your photographer is with you more than your fiance/husband, she just wanted her best friend too and it just so happens I am a photographer.

The wedding took place at Prairie Productions in the West Loop in Chicago. The ceremony was in the courtyard, exposed brick, Italian patio lights and the sweetest words to each other. The event took place on a Friday in September, and it was a beautiful! A warm day with a crisp chill to the breeze, perfect for an autumn wedding!

All taken with my Mark III and a 50 1.2. No double cameras, no switching out lenses, it was quite liberating! I hope you enjoy these photos, it’s not everyday you get to attend your best friend’s wedding and shoot it at the same time.

J