Carly & Kelli Celebrate love in September

I have known Carly since I was 16 years old, and the opportunity to celebrate this day has been a long time coming. Carly and I were never too hung up on our "dream weddings", but rather our "dream people". She found hers in Kelli, and along with Kelli comes Adellyn (score!). These three ladies embody kindness, generosity, spunk and love in so many ways. I am thankful for their friendship and their love. I am also thankful for confetti. 

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Stay Golden

A day of total babes working their magic to make this thing happen. One of my favorite shoots of the year with crazy talented friends. Stay golden, party people. 

Flowers: Youth & Yarrow 

HMU: Brandi Koerten 

Clothing: Birdseye Rule 

Hannah + Aaren Summer Wedding in Chicago at The Joinery

Hannah and Aaren were dancing machines in celebration of their stunning day. Family and friends joined them for an intimate ceremony in the beautiful Joinery building, followed by sweet words and donuts. The light of this day was the kind that you dream for on your wedding day-- full and strong and warm. Hannah and Aaren, I wish for this light all of the days of your marriage! 

 

xoxo

Venue: The Joinery  Flowers: Youth & Yarrow Dress: BHLDN 

Matt + Jill at Lemmings on Damen

Matt and Jill are two of the rawest humans I know. They are fierce, and blunt. They are courageous and bold. Jill has been talking about taking photos at their neighborhood bar for months, and today was finally the day we made it happen. These babes are heading to Cambodia for six weeks at the end of the month to complete an internship, and we wanted to document this season leading up to their departure. I adore these two, and their willingness to let me into their truth, and their marriage and the reality of their lives. 

If you want to support Matt and Jill on their next adventure, click here

Cassie + Brian Warm September Wedding in the city

I remember this day being abnormally hot- I think we may have hit 80 degrees at the end of September! This wedding made me warm in all the ways it could have. Cassie and Brian are the quirkiest, most lovable people and the details of their day were simple and relaxing in the most inviting way, giving their guests the best Sunday they could have asked for.  What I love about Cassie is that she tells it like it is, she is 100% girl power and loves so fiercely. Brian is so fun, willing to go with the flow and loves his family well. This wedding encapsulated their personalities and taste so beautifully, from the food, to the venue, to the dessert and the flowers! 

 

I think I say this a lot, but I'll say it again, this job is such a gift. 

Laura + Clint at Art Institute of Chicago

Laura is an amazing photographer and business owner that I have been able to learn so much from over the past year. She's real- in every sense of the word. She will tell me how it is, not afraid to push and shove and guide me in the way that will lead towards growth both personally and professionally. She is so so good at what she does, and I cannot tell you what an honor it is when talented photographers choose me to take their photo! Of all the gifted people in this city, it's such a compliment to be asked to capture these milestones of marriage and life. Laura and Clint are celebrating their three-year elopement anniversary. So pumped for them! 

NS + Ashley in the Stellenbosch Vineyards

South Africa is my favorite place on earth, for about a million reasons, one specifically being the breathtaking landscapes which absolutely include the vineyards of Stellenbosch. I do not particularly enjoy alcohol, and would much rather take photos in the vineyards than actually drink any wine, but hey, that's just me. I spent the past week visiting some friends and reminiscing on some of the best months of my life and grabbed these cute people to take some photos. Ash and NS are straight up goofy which made this hour super hilarious. So thankful for this place, and this beauty. 

Emma + Michael at The Wrigley Building

I have known Emma & Michael since I was in high school! It is so fun to photograph long-time friends. Their sweet love is so beautiful, and I was honored when they asked me to take some photos of them as they celebrated a year (and a bit more) of marriage. Here is to so many more years! 

Baby Kendrick, An Open Adoption Story in Chicago

I have been curious and fascinated and passionate about adoption since I was about eleven (when I signed myself up with my first email address to receive frequent messages about the Dave Thomas Foundation because I spent too much time at Wendy's and Dave Thomas, the man who founded Wendy's, was adopted himself!).  Adoption has been woven into my personal story in a few different ways, and one day my family will be made of up all different kinds of kids from all over and just the thought of it brings so much joy to me. 

Pauline & TJ recently welcomed baby Kenny into their family through open adoption with a brave and beautiful woman, Mary Ellen. In Pauline's words, "not only will Mary Ellen be there to cheer for kendrick through all his milestones and life events, we get to do the same for her". I mean, come on. The most amazing thing, right? This session was so unique, and to photograph the love that Kenny gets from all three of his parents is something I won't ever forget! These are the sessions that bridge the gap between my business and my personal life, and it is such an honor to spend time with families like this one. Congratulations to Pauline, TJ, and Mary Ellen! So much love for you three. 

 

Becca + Thomas Intimate Chicago Rooftop Wedding

As I've been growing my business, trying to nail down a marketing plan, perfect my website and write about myself in an interesting and clear way that defines my passion and love for being a photographer (and like ten other things), I have gotten a little sidetracked from acknowledging my favorite part of this job. But this wedding-- this beautiful, intimate, humble and honest wedding-- this one will stay with me forever as a reminder that this job is such a gift and such an honor. 

Becca and Thomas were joined on a rooftop in downtown Chicago with 60 of their closest people. The admiration for these two was piercingly clear in the way each and every guest looked at them. Their love and giddiness came through during every moment of the night as they laughed and cried their way through the ceremony and danced hard to the best wedding playlist I've ever heard. My favorite moment of the night was during a speech when the MOH, Sydney, said to Becca, "you invite us in and you never let us leave". I could not come up with a more perfect phrase that reflects how I believe Becca and Thomas care about their people, and their wedding celebration was a clear example of that. 

Congratulations to Becca and Thomas, may your marriage be filled with everlasting giddiness and grace for each other. 

 

 

 

Handmade Details : Brides sister, Amber

Dress: Alice In Ivory Bridal

Cape: BHLDN

Venue Location : Chicago Party Animals

Coordination : Chicago Vintage Wedding

Food: Pleasant House Pub

Pie: Bang Bang Pie

Chrissie + Steyn + Baby Girl - The Miracle Maternity Session

Chrissie and Steyn have been some of the most influential people in my life. They have brought me to (literally, physically) one of the greatest places I know, spoken truth into my life in some of the grandest and messy ways, and have encouraged my passions and curiosity since I was sixteen years old. Their love story is one of a kind, like most are, and they have experienced and invited me into their worst and their best days . I have been photographing parts of their story for a few years, but this hour together brought so much redemption and joy to me. They welcome their first child in two weeks and there are hundreds of us who will be singing praises of thankfulness to the Lord for this miracle girl. Come on, baby Steyn, we are waiting for you! 

Jamie + David Engagement at Cuba Marsh

I have the unique opportunity to photograph a few big milestones in Jamie and David's journey to the big day. David asked me to photograph his beautiful proposal a few months ago, and this past weekend I shot their engagment photos (with the new pup!) at Cuba Marsh. Later this year, I will also be photographing their wedding day, and I am so thankful to be a part of each event. More photos of these two to come, soon! 

 

Preston + Chesney's Intimate Ceremony at Baker Memorial

Weeks before the day of Preston and Chesney's wedding, Brad and I listened to their love story over a large bowl of pasta and several glasses of red wine. There is no better way to talk wedding photography logistics than to hear the love story first, and the way they shared their love with us was so honest and youthful. I am so thankful for Preston and Chesney, the ways in which they value their friendship, cheer each other on, and so happily love one another. 

 

 

 

P&C were married at the stunning venue of Baker Memorial, and concluded their day with an early dinner at the Acquaviva Winery. Flowers by Wild Orchid Custom Floral. 

South African Wedding Under a Fig Tree

I had the privilege of working for one of the top production companies in South Africa, under the brilliant direction of my friends at Mighty Fine. They specialize in wedding photography and videography, but do amazing work for corporate companies and nonprofit organizations around the world. I love their work and passion so much that I flew them all the way from SA to shoot my own wedding. So much of what I know, care about, and pay attention to now within my own work came from their guidance and love for me! 

Photographing the wedding of Jean-Mari and Theo while I was in SA was kind of like photographing family. I felt as if I was part of them, and felt so cared for by their friends and family. They were married on Jean-Mari's family farm, under the largest tree I had ever seen. It is abundantly clear that Jean-Mari and Theo are the best of friends, and their emotional greeting at the alter was evidence of that. I am thrilled to show you some highlights of this wedding- they were truly stunning! 

Jean-Mari was interviewed for a South African blog a few months ago, if you speak Afrikaans, or are in the mood to use Google Translate, here is the link!

 

https://edenleathercoblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/24/kom-ons-trou-theodore-en-jean-mari-se-plaasfees/

 

xoxo

Detroit Anniversary Trip

Brad and I were married 1 year ago! We wanted to do some midwest exploring and had heard mixed reviews about Detroit. While it may be an old, under populated city, it has such history woven into its streets. The food is fantastic, the art scene is obvious and present, and the people are kind. 

Here are our Detroit recommendations!

This Airbnb was stunning, comfortable, and in a great location. Record player included.

You must check out the Eastern Market - a year round farmers market. Are you listening, Chicago?

If you're feeling fancy, and rich, get a drink on the third floor of The Whitney, and then head downstairs to the dessert parlor. Yikes. 

I ate the best burger of my life, topped with aged cheddar + arugula, at Townhouse. The service was fantastic! 

The Detroit Institute of Arts, MOCA Detroit, and The Heidelberg Project are must sees. And if you're looking for an artists studio to visit, Salt and Cedar is running something amazing! This is the place we bought our artwork for our growing collection. 

 

Derrick & Natasha Evanston Wedding

Derrick and Natasha were married at the stunning venue that is The Women's Club of Evanston. We were able to capture their first look on Northwestern's campus, overlooking the lake. Natasha was glowing the entire day, and I could not get enough of her sequined gown! Derrick's love and admiration for Natasha is so clear, and it was a gift to be a part of their day. Wishing years of peace and joy to the Knoff's! 

Katie and David Downtown Engagement

I have known Katie since high school, and have been following along with her updates on California living and David dating for a few years. During their trip home to Chicago for the holidays, they requested some engagment photos and it was one of the most relaxed and enjoyable sessions of 2016. Katie and David are so madly in love, and it was captured with ease and beauty!