Cody + Abby at Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle

I met Cody in college. The last time I took photos of him he was riding his bike over a piece of paper and calling it fine art. I was into it.

He lives in Seattle now, closer to his sweet girl Abby. She is a dream and helps foster kids and families learn to navigate this strange world in the most loving way possible. They took me to the Olympic Sculpture Park, and dang, it was absolutely stunning.

This little photo session took way longer than normal because we just kept stopping to chat about life, and how to keep kids safe in a world like this, and what it’s like to be a vegan, and life post-college, and wanting to go back to college (sometimes). This day was a gift.

Reilly + Chris santa barbara winter wedding

Thiiiiis day! It’s what I needed in this season. Fresh colors, the ocean, my real life friends on the dance floor, a solo airplane ride out west in the dead of winter. These two are lovely, and fun and fresh and vivid. I am forever grateful for this work.

Highlights of the day:

Proteas in the bouquet

Purple velvet

Chris busting his (many, actually really really good) moves on the dance floor

The light and love

2018 - The Personal year in review

I forget all that happens in a year. I’m thankful for photos, what always proves to be a helpful and reflective resource. These photos feel like comfort. They show people and places that carried me through this year. Grateful.

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Twenty four hours in New York City. Central park, the Met and dogs on the steps.

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Vlottenburg, South Africa. The farm babes. They’ve grown, both physically and emotionally. Our relationship feels different, fitting for what’s gone on in life for all of us, but nonetheless different. Love them like always.

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Babylonstoren, also referred to as heaven on earth. Don’t really know how this place is real life, but it is, and if you’re ever in the neighborhood (as in on the continent of Africa) its worth the pit stop.

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The burbs of Cape Town with friends who are like family. The smiley two got married in December.

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D.C with mom, who will go to any and every art museum that I ask for.

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Amsterdam. Successfully walked the streets without getting hit by a bike. Many museums and capuccions. A healthy amount of boredom after 3 days of walking around aimlessly, which was quickly made up for by taking a letterpress workshop from Thomas. Was hosted by the best people.

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Big Bear, California for Thanksgiving. We’ve never really had traditions, but going west in November is starting to become one. Seeing bubba, watching the beach balls float.

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Made a home for myself and the people I love, which is ever changing and growing. My disco ball is and will forever be my favorite object I own. It reminds me to dance and enjoy the space. I wake up every morning more grateful than the day before for this home. With all its rooms for little people, and grandpas power tools, and pots and pans and dog toys and more beds than I know what to do with. This year was made possible by forgiveness, therapy, cookie dough, really freaking good friends, jobs(s) I love, a new neighborhood and some space. I couldn’t have made this post at the end of last year, and I’m thankful life feels good today.

Art Institute Anniversary

I got some serious Queen B and Jay Z vibes from these two. Sometimes, a rainy day makes for some stunning alternatives. I’ll photograph at the Art Institute any day. Here’s a few of my fav black and white images from our session (which ended in me inviting myself over to their house for dinner- hi yes, I’m sorry, I can’t help but invite myself to hang out with cool people).

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!