Anniversary Shoot- Anna and Mike

After seven years of marriage, Anna got the itch and decided to commemorate their relationship and time in Chicago with a photo shoot. They married shortly after college in St. Louis, Missouri, and have lived in Chicago since. Having fallen in love with the city, Anna and Mike had me capture them enjoying a few of the iconic spots in the city  in celebration of their seven years together. Congratulations you two!

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:// Email:

Make-Up and Hair: Bela Shah Email: (no site)

Venue: Waterford Banquets site:

Caterer: India House

DJ: DJ Raja. Site: Email:

Photo booth: MJ Photo Booth. Site: Email:

How Facebook Brought Them Together…

We’ve all done it…you know, facebook stalking 🙂 Well in this case, it worked out well for Engy and Jason.  She spotted his image on a friend’s facebook page.  He was part of an accounting group at their alma mater, U of I.  He caught her eye, so that when she met him the first time while out, she made sure to introduce herself.

They went from facebook stalking, to facebook poking, to being  facebook “official,” and next summer, they’ll once more update their status to “married.”

Congrats to you both!  Looking forward to the wedding this summer.

Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (1)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (6)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (4)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (9)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (8)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (2)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (3)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (5)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (10)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (11)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (7)Engy and Jason's urban engagement session, Chicago, Photography by Maggie Rife (12)

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!

The Ponce Brothers for WLS 890 am

Dan and Anthony Ponce are well known local reporters for news stations WGN 9 and NBC 5, respectively. Now they’re being recognized for additional coverage on a different kind of medium, airwave-radio. Tune into or a.m. 890 on Sundays from 1:00-3:00 p.m. to hear The Ponce Brothers discuss national and local topics from the week.

I refer to Ponce brother Anthony, as fiance, and Dan as my soon-to-be brother-in-law. Obviously, I know them well. So, I wasn’t surprised when they spent the entire shoot rifling off nonstop movie quotes, and cracking each other up. I’m glad they have each other, so someone thinks they’re funny. Just kidding guys, you’re great comedians, but please keep it on the radio and out of my photo shoot.

Dan and Anthony learned from their father, Phil Ponce, longtime host of Chicago Tonight. Phil will be a frequent guest on the The Ponce Brothers show, and even fill in on occasion.

Keep up the good work guys.


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.

Caterer: Maison

Florist: Flowers-Flowers.

Venue: Prairie Avenue Gallery – Keith House

Black Hearts Hair House- 773.525.4344

Makeup Artist: Esther

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!

Sweet Baby Reed

My sister is the proud mother of her first child, Reed Curtis Thompson, my darling nephew.  My trip back to Nebraska couldn’t come soon enough after the little guy was born.  I’m so glad I could hop on a flight and get some real quality time with Katie, Ty, and Reed before heading to South America (pictures to come in the next few days) a few short days later. Love you guys!

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!