Kate and Pat’s nuptials at Loyola University


Kate and Pat had not one, but two missed connections.  In college, they lived on the same dormitory, but never met each other. They also studied abroad in Rome the same semester without knowing it. It wasn’t until at a friend’s party, during a game of euchre, that they finally made eye contact.

They were married on the same campus they played euchre. In the Madonna Della Strada Chapel at Loyola University they exchanged their vows, drawing tears from Pat’s sister and cheers from the guests after they sealed the deal with a kiss.

The two are self-professed Chicago lovers. Their dream was to be married in the city, so during their portrait session, we made sure to visit some of the most iconic spots in the city at  museum campus, the terraces behind the Planetarium, and the Chicago River bridges. During the reception, we had the most beautiful sunset, which made a stunning backdrop for pictures on the lake.  Then, to top it all off, we snuck off to the library for some fun pictures in the stacks. So much fun!

Big thanks to these vendors who helped make Kate and Pat’s wedding so special!

Cake by Bittersweet , Flowers by A Stem Above  , Loyola University Chicago , Catering by Loyola , Make-up Artist: Tracee Badway, Hair Stylist: Dottie Salamone , Toast and Jam DJ’s


Married! Katie + Joels’s nuptials

During Katie and Joel’s ceremony, the priest who married them mentioned, in prepping for their wedding, he took the opportunity to visit their facebook pages.  What he found were dozen of images of the two together enjoying life by dressing up in various costumes; in one photo they wore feathered boas, another head-to-grow green; there were santa outfits, oversized sombreros, and hats made out of balloons.  These two really love to have fun. In each other they found life long best friends and a partner ready and willing to go all out on any occasion.

When it came to their wedding day, I expected nothing less than that same 100% commitment to details. Katie looked divine, like a catalog bride. Joel was dapper in black. The bridesmaids were elegant in the color of summer 2013–coral. It was a beautiful affair with their closest friends and family members celebrating the union of two beloved people.  Congrats Katie and Joel! Cheers to #Machoran!



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

Purvi and Mohit’s Traditional Hindu Wedding

Last December, I had the chance to get to know Purvi and Mohit a little during their engagement session downtown on the Magnificent Mile.  During the shoot, I discovered Purvi’s genuine sweetness and Mohit’s shy smile.

Their wedding was a beautiful event–full of color, music, spicy food, dancing, and tradition.  The event featured ancient ceremonies from the Hindu religion, including the Baraat–a procession where Mohit rode into the venue on a white horse to the rhythm of drum beats behind the crowd of dancing guest. Following the Baraat, the bride’s mom welcomed Mohit at the doors, preparing him with blessings, then lassoing him with a scarf and leading him to the alter (have to make sure he won’t get away!)  From there, Mohit was shielded behind a beautiful, shear red fabric, shielding him as Purvi was lead into the room by her uncles.

When the scarf dropped, the two first exchanged smiles, then vows.  The ceremony included various traditions, incorporating fire, seeds, string, jewelry, leaves, and even money.  It was incredible to witness. If you haven’t had the chance to be a guest, or are unfamiliar with the ceremony, I definitely encourage reading up on this rich experience.

The reception a blast. Once the dancing started, it didn’t stop. Hands decorated with henna motioned in the air, and bangles chimed along to the music.  I’m so happy I was able to share in Purvi and Mohit’s celebration.  Big congrats to you both!

Also, big thanks to my second photographer, Michael Boyd!  You were a big help and did awesome!

Shout-Out to these vendors who helped make Puriv and Mohit’s wedding a smash!

Decorator (includes flowers, lighting, everything): Ravi’s Mandaps Site: http://
www.ravismandaps.com/mandaps.html Email: ravismandaps@gmail.com

Make-Up and Hair: Bela Shah Email: bushah60@gmail.com (no site)

Venue: Waterford Banquets site: http://www.waterfordbanquet.com/

Caterer: India House http://www.indiahousechicago.com/

DJ: DJ Raja. Site: djrajaonline.com Email: djraja@gmail.com

Photo booth: MJ Photo Booth. Site: http://www.mjphotobooth.com/ Email:

Sarah and Stewart’s Wedding at Primitive Gallery

Family and friends crowded into the Buddha room at Chicago’s Primitive museum and store, where Sarah and Stewart signed their Kuttubah, taking the first step in their wedding. In between the shadows and faces of the crowd, bronze and marble statues of SE Asian Gods were spotlighted. Their praying figures seated in lotus position, were like ancient onlookers in support of the union.

After the Kuttubah signing, the group moved out of the room, past the wishing lingam and into a larger space. Along the way, guests were able to take in the artifacts within the four floor gallery space. In one such artifact–an ornamental bridal bedroom, the couple exchanged their vows.

Sarah and Stewart met years ago when she was a clerk for Stuart, who was then an attorney.  Sarah has since become an attorney as well and said about their common career path, “We laugh about the times we have had to work into the early morning hours or all night–anything is better with you best friend.”

Their friendship was infectious. They have so much fun together and in turn, create a great atmosphere around them.

I’m so happy for you both and wish you all the best!

Also, big thanks to Stephanie Kitts for shooting with me!

Thank you to all the vendors who worked hard at this wedding!
Venue: Primitive

Caterer – Michael’s

Florist – Green

Dress – Nicole Miller

Make-up – Rosie/Salon Duo

Hair – Emilio/Salon Duo

DJ – Stuart is creating a mix of music

Cake – Cupcakes for Courage

Ashley + Rex’s Winter Engagment Session at Millenium Park and North Ave. Beach

For weeks Rex told Ashley he wouldn’t make it to Christmas in Cincinnati with her family. The two hadbeen dating long distance since Ashely moved back to her home town to work as a pediatric physical therapist.  Because of the distance, Ashely was really hoping to see her far away love.

Two days before Christmas, her mother asked Ashley to make a last minute gift run.  The shopping route took them past Ashley and Rex’s Freshman dorms (where they met nine years ago). There, waiting on the same steps they climbed together on a daily basis, was Rex. Ashely’s mom pushed her out of the car, (she at least stopped first) leaving the two alone.  As she approached, Rex bent to one knee and amongst hundreds of glowing candles, asked Ashely to be his wife.  She happily accepted!

Sunday shoot day with second photographer Tom Root

One of my second photographers,Tom Root and I went out shooting on Sunday to stir the creative juices and talk about the upcoming session.  We’re both closet hipsters, or wait no, were real artist, or does calling ourselves artist therefore make us hipsters?  Either way, we love urban settings, graffiti, chain link fences, cool texture, and exploring-so, I guess according to that description, we might have hipster tendencies 🙂 No matter–if in fact we are, than I’m embracing it!

Chicago Ave. was our location of choice for this adventure.  If you follow the train tracks beneath the overpass, you find a walls of graffiti and remnants of vagabonds. The light poured in like one big, oversized soft box, creating a perfect source for going over different descriptions.  I made Tom turn this way, that way, then all the way back around again while I showed him hatchet, Rembrandt, and back, rim, and beauty light.

We had a blast shooting-(though our next workshop we’re happily accepting volunteer models).  We channeled scenes from Stand By Me-balancing on the rails like gymnast on a beam.  We took the tracks one direction, than back the other. After about an hour or so, our fingers were numb from the cold and it was time to go back.  I’m already looking forward to our next workshop adventure!

Patti and Alfred’s Winter Wedding at Old St. Mary’s

“We have been a couple since before either of us was of a legal drinking age.  We met at the recreation center of our college.”

Eleven years later, the couple, who scored higher than anyone EVER for knowing the other best in their marriage preparation class, sealed the deal.  This self-described quiet, introverted couple, said their vows in an intimate winter ceremony  in front of their immediate family and very close friends.

In an e-mail to me before their wedding, Patti wrote, “we really just enjoy each other’s company.” I could see this from our first meeting.  They laugh easy, and seem utterly comfortable with each other. It was a joy to see them marry and celebrate at their reception afterwards.

I have to give the couple props (especially Patti-you’ll see why in the pictures) for bearing the cold during their portrait session.  They were troopers!  Thankfully, their reception was quite cozy at the Keith House also known as the Prairie Avenue Gallery.  In this beautiful building in one of Chicago’s historical districts, they shared in laughs, cheers, dancing, and even a little karaoke!  Congrats Patti and Alfred.  All the best to you both!

I’d like to give a big shout out to the following vendors:
Cake: Amy Beck’s Cake Designs.  cakes@amybeckcakedesign.com

Caterer: Maison dbarranco22@yahoo.com

Florist: Flowers-Flowers. www.flowers-flowers.com joanne@flowers-flowers.com

Venue: Prairie Avenue Gallery – Keith House events@prairieavenuegallery.com

Black Hearts Hair House- 773.525.4344

Makeup Artist: Esther Soto-esther.soto@yahoo.com

Bride’s Dresses:

Ceremony Dress – Allure Bridal

Reception Dress – David’s Bridal

Bride’s Maids Dresses-David’s Bridal

Tuxes: Formally Modern Tuxedo

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!