I love Star Wars! I enjoy the movies, yes. But it's really just a total eye candy experience for me. So just imagine my excitement when I found out that Star Wars Day was happening in downtown Joliet - my very own town!!! I literally walk to this event every year. This was the second year in a row where I was the "official" photographer and was allowed to take the LARGE group photo of all of the dressed participants. What a total blast this year was for me as the energy was high and the costumes were simply amazing. Check them out and see you all next year for Star Wars Day 2019!
Liz and Jake are a super fun-loving couple, the kind I just want to hang out with (and photograph) all day. Just look at their smiles and you'll immediately know what I'm talking about. Being a really good looking couple helps in wanting to photograph them :)
Their engagement session took place in the majestic Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL. We visited a few places I had never been to, so exploring and hanging out with them was super cool. We kept shooting well into the late Fall evening and came up with some good photographs. I look forward to seeing them again really soon for their wedding. Thanks guys!
Fall has to be my favorite time of the year, and I made sure to capture that with the Fus Family. I wanted to make sure that I captured them with Fall's full set of amazing colors. I had the honor of photographing Rachel Fus' wedding earlier in the year (post coming soon), so seeing her and her family again was a joy for me. I loved photographing them at the beautiful Lake Katherine Nature Center in Palos Park, IL. Thanks!
Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the amazingly vivid colors on the trees and the cool sweater weather makes me want to be outside and enjoying a cup of coffee. It's just the best.
Another reason I love the fall: family portrait season! I'm holding two Fall Mini Sessions this year over at the beautiful Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens in Palos Heights. Thanks!
Being out and about during a family photo shoot is very freeing for me. I love being outdoors when the weather is right (call me crazy, right?). So when I get the honor of photographing a family I immediately suggest doing the shoot outdoors. Being outside gives us the ability to move around and get several looks in a small space.
Here's a family portrait session I did here in Joliet and the weather was just perfect - hot out in the sun and percent in the shade. So of course all of the photos are in the shade :)
My many thanks to the Tomasik family for inviting me over and allowing me to spend some time with them this beautiful afternoon. Thanks guys!
It's been a really hot and muggy summer in Chicago, but nothing was going to stop the Kanner family from taking their family portraits over at the beautiful Lincoln Park Zoo. You see, they are visiting family here in Chicago ALL the way from Berlin, Germany, where they currently live. I had the absolute pleasure and honor of photographing Kersty and Brian's wedding almost 2 years ago, so this was a very rewarding family shoot for me. I love being able to photograph the wedding of a couple and then continue to document their lives once they start a family - it's really the coolest thing for me to see that family grow!
Here are a handful of my favorite photos from their Lincoln Park Zoo family photos. I love the little ones eyes, they're so intense and so "German" as Brian would say. Thanks!
I've known Alison and her family since high school, so this was a very fun and rewarding engagement session for me. She moved all the way to Australia for work about 4 years ago and we haven't been able to connect as much as I'd like, though keeping up via Facebook helps a ton. She met Steve in Australia and had only seen photos of them together and I could tell she was super excited. Seeing them together last week was great, and listening to Steve speak with that Aussie accent was super cool. You see, I love British and Australian accents and always practice them while alone in my car.
Here are a handful of our engagement session at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, as well as a few from North Ave Beach. It was a super hot July morning, but it's hard to tell since Alison and Steve were totally into the shoot. I can't thank them enough and I'm looking forward to their wedding next year in April. Thanks guys and what an honor for me to photograph your engagement.
It's officially summer time and we're finally able to go out and enjoy the outdoors. I especially enjoy shooting outdoor family portraits because the backgrounds are always colorful and vibrant. And being outside allows the kiddos to run around for a bit before and after the family photo session is done. This particular family photo was done pretty quickly - the frame was set up and the family started having a fun time. It was a little on the chilly side this particular day, but we were able to get some really fun photos.
It was a balmy Christmas Eve this year in Joliet, which is a little odd. We're used to snow on the ground and frigid temperatures about this time of year. I'm not a huge fan of snow, but I'll admit that having the fluffy white stuff on the ground around Christmas time is pretty cool. I hope that you and your family have a great and memory filled Christmas this year. Here's my families Christmas Card for 2014.
Meghan and Josh are troopers. You see this was our 3rd attempt at this engagement shoot, we kept getting rained out! But we finally got a break in the weather and were finally able to get together. Honestly, I'm glad that we had to wait because it allowed nature to bloom and look all pretty. If we would've done the engagement shoot a few weeks back most of the trees would have looked a bit on the spooky side. So we were forced to wait and it paid off.
Dominican University has a really beautiful campus. It's just full of little nooks and crannies that I love as a photographer. There's the perfectly mowed lawn, the vines on the east side of the building, the arches, the steps, and the cool silver-art-thing (see below). That entire area of River Forest is amazing & made to be photographed. Meghan told me that it was her mothers idea to take the pictures at Dominican because that's where she was married - how freakin' cool is that?!
Here are a few of my favorite photos from Meghan & Joshes engagement session. Thanks guys and I can't wait to see you again in August!
I always get excited around Mother's Day because it means one thing in my mind - family portraits! I get to set-up my light modifiers and strobes and take get all photo-geeked out. I hope that my family has as much fun as I do. This was the 2nd year I've had the opportunity to work with the Vineyard Church of DuPage and take family portraits for members of their church. We had a perfect day this year and were allowed to shoot outdoors. Below are just a few from that day. My many thanks to Stephanie and the rest of the families for having me. Thanks!
It's finally starting to feel like summer around here & I couldn't be happier. That means I finally get to play outside with my daughters, run & exercise outside & just be outside enjoying the weather. It also means that I get to take family portraits outside of a studio setting! I love being & working outside, especially when photographing little kids. Being outside allows the kiddos to play and have fun in-between taking pictures.
That's how I was able to get the fun family pictures of the beautiful Delaney family. We met a park near their house in Shorewood & hung out for about 45 minutes in the summer-like weather. The girls played, I chatted with mom & dad then we took a few more photos & called it a day - short & sweet. My many thanks to the Delaney family for spending some time with me. I hope you guys had fun!
Ana and RJ are really down to earth and are both a ton of fun to be around. The engagement session was enough to prep me for their wedding at the the Concorde-Centre in Woodstock - the prep, ceremony and reception all took place there. It's always a bit more relaxing to not travel to a handful of locations throughout the day. So everyone was pretty relaxed and ready for the day by the time I arrived. Ana had on a beautiful vintage dress that day and RJ a traditional shirt that all worked together really well. The ceremony official is a close friend of RJ's, so needless to say it was great. Afterwards we walked around the beautiful grounds of the Concorde-Centre and found it to be an amazing place for the bridal party portraits. It seemed like everywhere we went it was a perfect location for portraits.
Thank you again Ana and RJ for allowing me to be a part of your families history. I hope you guys loved the albums!
Here are a few of my favorite images from Ana and RJ's Woodstock wedding. I took a bit of a different approach and designed most of the blog photos like a wedding album - I hope you like them:
I was really looking forward to the wedding after Lucy and Ted's engagement session earlier in the year. I knew that it would be detailed, heartfelt, and fun - and boy was I right! I could go on and on about Lucy's energy and excitement (she rocked!) and about how relaxed Ted was (he looked great in his tux). But I do believe that photographs are worth 1,000 words, so I'll let them tell the story (mostly).
The wedding and preparation photos were taken at the beautiful Union Church of Hinsdale. The rain was on and off that day, but we lucked out and the rain was held back just enough to visit the Katherine Legge Memorial Park and Lodge for a brief bridal portrait session. We were only able to take a handful of portraits at the Katherine Legge Memorial Park since the rain peaked for about 10 minutes. But Lucy and Ted were so cool that they didn't care that it was raining! We got some great shots there and moved on to the beautiful La Grange Country Club where we met up with the rest of the bridal party.
I'll just say that the bridal party was one of THE most amazing parties I have ever met. They were a blast from beginning to end, making my job so much fun. They were, how should I say it... crazy! They were being themselves and allowed the bride and groom to be themselves as well. Just look at the photos on the golf course - so much energy and fun. Thanks to Lucy,Ted and their families - I appreciate your willingness to be silly and to go along with my ideas. I hope you had as much fun as I did (I'm sure you did), and I hope that the west coast is treating you both well.
My wife and I met Ana through a friend of ours. I was pretty pumped to hear that she had gotten engaged and was hopeful that she would have me photograph her wedding. So I was giddy when I received her email requesting my photography information, and we shortly set-up a meeting over at her place. It was cool seeing Ana again and meeting RJ for the first time. He's a good mix of serious and funny (as you'll see in the photos below) and complimented Ana very well. We chatted about their wedding plans and I had a good feeling about the flow of their wedding plans. The next step was to schedule the engagement session. We stayed near their place in University Village and started the shoot at Holy Family Church and St. Ignatius College Prep. The entrance to St. Ignatius is a location I had been wanting to do an engagement session at and was really pumped to see what we shot there. We then stopped by the Showplace Icon Theater, which is their favorite theater in the city. The photos with the green and purple looking light sabers were taken near the theater. We were stopped by security at least twice before we moved along and ended the shoot over at Ping Tom Memorial park in China Town.
Here are a few of my favorite images from the Ana and RJ's engagement photo session:
Well that's it for now guys! Their wedding photos will be up on the blog soon enough! More to come.
Can I just say that Nathan rocked! There, done. End of post. Okay, just kidding. This little guy came in ready to be photographed. He smiled and played the entire time he was over. I believe he screeched a couple of times as well. Having Jocelyn (my 2 year old daughter) helped as well as she shared her toys and played with him the entire time.
Toddler photo shoots can go in so many directions. The little one could be cranky due to no nap or hunger. They could come in being really clingy to mom, etc. But this was one of those shoots were it was just a blast to shoot. All of the pieces came together and out came some amazing portraits of this little handsome dude. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the session:
Nikon D700 - shooting in RAW
Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 (studio shots)
Nikon 50mm f/1.4 (natural light shots)
Alien Bee strobe with medium softbox
Pocket Wizards (2)
36" silver reflector for natural light portraits
Adobe Lightroom 2 for editing
My many thanks to Angie for bringing Nathan over and for being such an AMAZING help! Angie, you made sure that your little guy smiled no matter what. Your energy was awesome. Thanks!
By The Way: I have been mixing up my portrait shoots lately. The 1st half is all studio strobe lighting. The 2nd half is all natural light. This way I get to give my clients a more varied session.
Connections are made in the funniest of ways. I met Kim and Ed through Jennifer, whom I had met years ago at a Collages.net gathering for photographer. Fast forward a handful of years and I get an email from Jennifer saying that her step-mother was getting married, get this, at the VERY SAME hotel that she and I had met. Kind of odd, I know, but also very cool. Seeing Kim's excitement for her wedding was amazing. She's a little older than my typical bride, but her sprit was just as pumped to be getting married. Seeing Ed I knew why - he's kind of a stud. We met up at a Starbucks in Orland Park and talked about their wedding day plans and had a great time. There are some couples that I just love right away and Kim and Ed were one of them. Just look at the photos of them together and you can see that they really admire and care for each other. It's easy taking photos of such a couple - they kind of make it easy. Thank you Jennifer for introducing me to this amazing couple!
I met Yezenia through my Facebook page. We met at a Starbucks near Hinsdale and hit it off. I was finally able to meet Vic a few moths after that at yet another Starbucks, this one near Lamont - thanks Starbucks! I knew this would be a chilled out wedding because both Yezenia and Vic are both down-to-earth and easy to be around. The ceremony took place at the beautiful St Agnes of Bohemia church on Chicago's south side. The Catholic ceremony included some Hispanic traditional moments like the tying of the Rosary around the couple by a beloved family member. Yezenia and I had previously decided to visit the IIT campus for the bridal portraits. We were on a tight deadline, so things had to move quickly. The extreme heat also made things move quickly! I had done a little IIT campus reconnaissance in the morning, so a couple of places had been designated to shoot the bridal portraits.
Kelli and Shaun are crazy in love - the post-ceremony photo below of them walking up the aisle says it all. I love it when my bride and groom are crazy in love with each other. It fires me up to be their wedding photographer and gives me all sorts of energy the day of their wedding. Their hands are pumped-up and their smile expresses pure jubilation - I love that about them. Shaun was so in the moment that he just could't stop from dancing, high-fiving, moving and smiling. He basically hammed it up all day long and was brilliant! Kelli looked so beautiful and was excited herself, but next to Shaun seemed really chilled and relaxed. Having a jubilant couple and a fantastic bridal party takes me to my happy place :)
Star Wars and an epic battle scene. I must admit that these two ideas/visuals never come to mind when I think about photographing a wedding. But lo and behold, Kelly and Corey's wedding provided both, and a ton of laughter and warmth to boot. Just look below to see what I'm talking about. I can easily say that this was one of the most enjoyable weddings I photographed this year. Kelly was such a beautiful and cool bride that being around her was great. I could't take a bad photo of her. There was so much energy and buzz that from the moment I arrived I knew it was going to be a fun wedding. Kelly was surrounded by her fun loving/energetic/emotional sisters and her cousin, and they were something else all on their own.
After the ceremony we drove to a family friends house where we were able to settle for a second (literally) and set-up for the epic battle scene. Yes, the men had axes while the women had flowers - not a very fair fight. I was cracking up amidst the crazy heat and intense sun right in my lens - good times indeed. I seriously couldn't believe that they guys had axes! We get to the reception and here is Darth Vader walking towards Kelly and Corey... umm, that was a little weird. Kelly and Corey weren't expecting this Sith Lord as a guest, so I hadn't heard of this until I saw him in fornt of us. We were all a bit surprised and weirded out. Darth Vader was very welcoming and disappeared as quickly as he arrived. Their wedding cake had a Han Solo and Princess Leia topper, which tied the Star Wars theme together nicely.