Engagement Session in Highland Park

On a perfect sumer evening, I drove down a willow tree lined driveway to meet Laura and Danny for their engagement session. After parking,  I grabbed my cameras, then hopped out of my car to take in the property.  In one direction, ducks paddled slowly across a pond and in another, chickens pecked away in their coop. I was blown away–Laura and Danny picked out this beautiful, country estate, a place Danny visited with his family growing up.  Shortly after I arrived, the two walked out from a nearby barn, “Hi guys!  Wow, this place is AMAZING!  Great choice.”

The setting was perfect for a laid back couple, who love the outdoors.  It even came with a friendly pooch who couldn’t resist popping into a few pictures, making the scene all the more charming.

Laura and Danny were great–comfortable with each other and casual throughout the session.  They laughed when the horse on the property sauntered over and nuzzled them up from their blanket and eagerly climbed the fence for a picture against the vivid sunset.

A Prairie Productions Wedding – Engy and Jason’s nuptials

Amongst bright pops of orange and green, draping fabric, and smiling faces, Engy and Jason shared their vows in a short, but heart felt ceremony at Prairie Production in Chicago, Il.  Afterward, Jason wiped away a few stray tears from Engy’s cheeks. Later, in the night, Engy would say to me how overwhelming and emotional those thirty minutes were.

The glass brick walls and white walls of the space illuminated  guest’s eyes, creating a twinkle in their jovial expressions. During the speeches, Engy’s maid of honor sang her message a capella to the rhythm of Train’s–Soul Sister. Her two step routine and bended-knee finale delighted the audience, ALMOST as much as the frozen yougart brought in shortly after.

Then to the trolly, where the wedding party lip synched to Kesha, Bieber, and Gaga. In between versus, they jumped off the trolly, making pit stops  at Bansky’s falling carriage, the Chicago Board of Trade, and North Avenue Beach before ending the night at Sushi Samba.  What a blast!  My second, Tom Root, and I had so much fun with this crew! Thanks Engy and Jason! You two are great. All the best to you both!

Jason’s mom and sister check out the wedding dress.

Engy’s Mom greets her for the first time on their wedding day. First look time.
The String Quartet played Little Mermaid.Jason’s Mom lit a candle in memory of his Father.

Frozen yougart bar!  So good!

Lindsey and Jon are married!

Lindsey and Jon’s wedding brought their closest family and friend’s together in celebration of their love. It was Jon’s grandfather, a retired pastor, who married the two. He spoke to the couple of the joy, beauty, and commitment of love. Friends and classmates at Garrett Evangelical Theology Seminary ushered guests to their seats, and one performed a song of worship that brought tears in the chapel.

From here, Lindsey and Jon will say goodbye to the Evanston campus and continue their journey in Michigan, where Lindsey will start her new pastoral position. Good luck to you both and warmest wishes to your lives together!

Lots of gratitude goes to my second, Michael Boyd. Thanks Michael!

Big Thanks to these vendors:

Florist: Flowers Flowers (Evanston, IL)

Cake: Rose’s Bakery and Oak Mill Bakery

Caterer: Hilton Garden Inn

Wedding Service: Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Chapel of
the Unnamed Faithful

DJ: Enchanted Evening

Dress: Tara Keeley

Tux: Men’s Wearhouse

Agustina and Johann’s Day After Portrait Session in Uyuni, Bolivia

A few days after Agustina and Johann’s wedding, we jumped in a pickup truck with our guides, Joaquin and Dani, gas tank loaded on the back of the bed, and headed North.  After two days of driving, we arrived in Uyuni, Bolivia. Llama farms dotted the countryside and locals sold hand woven fabrics along the road. After having a quick bite of local fare, we headed outside of town to the salt flats. This celestial terrain stretches for miles as far as the eye can see.  The expanse of salt is remnants left over from what once was an ocean or sea.

On the dry cracked land, dressed in their wedding attire, I snapped pictures of the newlyweds. It was a beautiful setting for a couple that radiates. Thank you for having me along to document your wedding and experience Bolivia and Argentina!

A few Outtakes:Our guide Dani strikes a pose.  He wanted to be a part of the portrait session. Dani and Joaquin smile for a photo.

Dani uses a stick and plastic tube to siphon gas into the tank. This was a first for me!

Ami and Amar’s Engagement Party

Ami and Amar’s engagement session was featured earlier this year on my site.  A month or so after that shoot, the couple reached out to me regarding their engagement party. I’m so thrilled I was able to wok with them again. They’re such a fun-loving couple with great families. I had a great time getting to know their parents and siblings a little more.

For those who aren’t familiar with Indian engagement ceremonies, the event can be just as large as most weddings. The program involves a beautiful ring ceremony where the two families agree to become one and the groom presents the bride with ‘the ring.’ Though Ami already received the ring earlier this year in a gesture of clever wit and thoughtfullness (Amar had it hidden inside the diamond exhibit at the Field Museum), the ceremony signifies that she an her family officially accept the proposal.

Following this, a friend of theirs sang a beautiful rendition of their favorite Indian song.  Next,  Amar’s brother Amit lead a Bollywood dance routine–it was so good, they could have been on the stage of America’s Got Talent.

It was a wonderful night, full of meaningful moments and lots of fun. I can only imagine how incredible the wedding will be!

Erica and Matt’s Iowa Wedding

I have a very special connection to this next wedding.  The groom is my first cousin, whom I spent many summers with growing up.  He met his now wife Erica at a friend’s wedding six years ago.  In the first few weeks of knowing each other, Matt, a huge football fan, made a bet with Erica–if Colorado won against Nebraska, she would come visit him in Denver. If they lost, he’d be the one booking the flight.

Well Matt, being my cousin, you should know to put your money on Nebraska.

A few days after losing to Erica, Matt booked a flight to Des Moines.  Even though he lost the bet and had a confirmed ticket, they were so excited to see each other, she ended up booking a ticket for the next weekend to visit him.  Thus began their 2 1/2 year,  long-distance relationship while Erica finished graduate school.

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Erica over the years.  She’s kind, patient, fun, and a perfect match for Matt.  It was so special for me to photograph their wedding.  They’re truly in love and it was wonderful to see them both so happy.  There were plenty of tender moments and even more times of laughter.

Thank you for having me and congratulations!  Can’t wait to see you soon. Oh and Matt, GO BIG RED!

Shout Outs
Cupcakes- Scratch Cupcakery
Dj-Ultimate Entertainment
Ceremony Venue-UNI Maucker Union
Reception Venue-Sunnyside Country Club