Josie! The smiliest of babies I have ever had the pleasure to photograph! Perhaps it is the warmth and comfort of her mommy and daddy nearby, OR the jazz music playing in the background that soothes her instantly. Well we can't blame her for loving good music! With daddy being a music teacher + opera singer, she has it in her blood. We can't wait to see what incredible talents you will share with us, Josie!
Congratulations Tony + Allie on your beautiful baby girl, Josephine Fernanda! Your loving Italian family has been blessed and I wish you many more joys to come!
We called her Smalls. The popular multi-sport athlete who joined the bowling team and kicked everyone’s butt! And I’m so glad I had met her then. She was good! Like state finals good! And I always admired her robo arm.
Now Smalls has a Smalls of her own! Just 10 days old and cute as a button. I will have to give this little guy mad props for being so cooperative the entire time! He made this so easy for me. Heather (she does have a real first name) and Chad have been immensely blessed with this little boy. Congratulations!
This spunky, shoe-loving adorable little ONE year old is Hannah! Her bright yellow dress and headband were the perfect color for this little ray of sunshine! LOVE HER!
March can have pleasant, cool weather or it can make the lion-esque entrance that it did in the Midwest. The wind and cold kept us mostly indoors, but it didn't keep us from having fun. Hannah + big sister Paige made the lobby of the Hotel Indigo their own! And guests and staff loved it!
Happy Birthday Hannah!
Once again it didn't feel like a Midwest winter where we were this weekend! The Wilder Conservatory provided the perfect indoor backdrop for a beautiful Spring day that this 6-month cutie could enjoy! He was dressed appropriately for a garden party and he brought his infectious smile to melt my heart.
Though he can't talk quite yet, be sure that this fella will be trilingual almost as soon as he can put together his first sentence. Whether it will be "Kocham cię mamo" or "Σ' αγαπώ μπαμπά" Athan will make his mommy + daddy very proud! Congratulations Wioleta + George! Athan is such a blessing!
After our polar vortex I think everyone is in need of a little bit of sunshine and warm weather. Stella and her mom had plenty of sunshine, and some tropical temperatures here in Illinois! Well, okay it was inside a greenhouse, but we got to "get away" for an hour and pretend.
It feels like just yesterday when I was taking baby Stella's newborn photos, and now she has surpassed the half year mark! We say this all the time, but it's true: time really does fly! There were tons of kisses, cuddles and even some dancing as we explored the greenhouse. Baby Stella was happiest when mommy held her tight and danced around singing and cuddling her baby girl. It was the sweetest thing ever! It will be such a blessing watching you grow, Stella! All your cousins are thrilled to have added another cousin to their Cousin Crew!
Deer Grove Forest Preserve | Palatine, Illinois | Winter Maternity Shootout | Jaclyn | January 27, 2019
What do photographers do in the winter during our slow season? Well naturally we get bored and coordinate our own photoshoot or as we call them, a shootout! So why not plan one for a balmy 7-deg day? Outdoors. Great idea!
Our model and fellow photographer, Jaclyn, braved the bone chilling temps and gave us the most gorgeous maternity session we could have hoped for.
Though the temperature was definitely not ideal, the landscape and light was beautiful. Shimmering untouched snow, glistening around our model was quite the sight! The colors of both of Jaclyn’s gowns looked amazing against the crisp white snow.
Thank you to all the photographers that made it out! Special thank you to Jaclyn who volunteered to potentially become a human popsicle (though she rocked it like it was 70-deg outdoors!). Another thank you goes out to my good friend and fellow photographer, Sheena, who helped dig my car out of the snow when I got stuck and the stranger who helped push me out! Never a dull moment!
Now enjoy this beautifulness below!
I just want to be clear that this session took place on December 15, 2018. DECEMBER!!! For those who are not from the Midwest, the middle of December could literally be a tundra. Not this time. We reached 50s that day. Temperatures that are more representative of the late autumn days. We had to reschedule this session initially due to rain and I'm so happy we did! Weather aside, look at this adorable face!
Oliver turned 6-months earlier this month. Not sure if you recall his newborn photos and his adorable crocheted Captain America outfit? This blue-eyed blondie will break a lot of hearts. Just look at that smile! I couldn't help but smile myself editing these photos every time this little fella popped up smiling ear to ear!
We were all waiting for the arrival of this Thanksgiving baby! But just like in most cases, baby has plans of his own. Though he missed his first Thanksgiving Day feast, there was so much to be thankful for just a few days later. So calm and so adorable! Even big brother, Rupert couldn't get enough of him throughout the session. He is already so protective, but yet so gentle with this little guy. I'm so thrilled that your family is growing and can't wait for your new adventures with baby Theo. Congratulations!
Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary | Schaumburg, Illinois | Maternity | Erin + Family | November 24, 2018
Erin + Matt will be expecting their little girl on Christmas Eve and we wanted to make sure that we were able to capture some last photos of them as a family of 3 (minus the doggies of course) before the weather turned. You wouldn't have even thought that a winter storm was approaching with the warmer November we had yesterday. Relatively speaking, the 40s felt really nice.
We are now a few weeks beyond the fall peak and I was surprised to see some color remaining. Though it may have been a sea of yellow leaves on the grounds of the Nature Sanctuary, it made for some nice photographs. We had a great time taking a stroll through the sanctuary and making our way to the Heritage Farm on the other end. I think Brinen really enjoyed the animals there, especially the horses that were extremely friendly. Almost too friendly? Perhaps for my comfort level, but this little boy was braver than I was! You will be an awesome big brother, Brinen!
Congratulations you guys! Can't wait for baby girl to arrive!
Salvatore's | North Pond | Lincoln Park |Chicago, Illinois | Wedding Photography | Hoxie | November 17, 2018
They say that rain on your wedding day is good luck.
What about snow? Both? Well if precipitation is good luck then Anthony and Kathleen hit the jackpot! The day started with flurries, progressed to big wet beautiful flakes of snow and ended with a wintry mix, all before stopping at reception time. If you think you won't be seeing any outdoor formals in this blog you would be mistaken. I just happened to have the best bridal party ever! Let's start at the beginning.
Kathleen + Anthony appeared on my blog last month for their engagement session. Don't remember? Here's a clue: QUACK! (or just click this link). We will revisit Kathleen's love for these cute little creatures throughout their wedding day. Two instances of ducks in this blog entry! Can you spot the duck!? Feel free to contact me with the answers, this can be fun!
Kathleen and her bridesmaids started the day at her apartment where they prepared for the couple's special day. St. Clement was a short distance away where Anthony was awaiting his beautiful wife. The church was simply breathtaking, and the ceremony just the same. As the snow continued outside, Kathleen and Anthony, in front of friends, family + God, committed to each other and became husband and wife.
It wasn't very long after that the temperature rose just high enough to change that snow over to some sleet and rain. Poof, no more white stuff. The bride is the only one allowed to wear white, right?
Umbrellas in hand we headed over to North Pond where the happy couple and their bridal party took some of their formal photos. No coats ladies?! What troopers! I personally wouldn't go without my winter coat, boots and hat! But for photo's sake they braved the cold and the elements! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
With formals completed and still plenty of time before the cocktail hour, the bridal party had their own pre-cocktail cocktail hour (I just made that up, perhaps it will trend on twitter? #precocktailcocktailhour) at Niche 905 rooftop. Views for days! And the best part, we had the place all to ourselves!
Arriving at the reception, I entered into a cute little ristorante, Salvatore's. The intimate space had the ambiance every wedding reception deserves. Warm and inviting! The speeches were heartfelt and the first dances full of joy. Kathleen + Anthony danced to a song that I have loved for years, but they surprised us with a remix. Anthony swept Kathleen off her feet and when they looked in one another's eye, we all saw it. They found their one and only.
Congratulations Kathleen + Anthony!
Hair: Robert Jeffrey - Lakeview East Studio
MUA: Vanessa Rose Makeup
Bride's Dress: Country Bride + Gent
Bride's shoes (formal): Nina
Bride's shoes: Keds for Kate Spade
Suits: Men's Wearhouse
Florals: Bunches Chicago
Cake: Molly's Cupcakes
Cake Topper: Swarovski
Ceremony: St. Clement
Photographers: Monika Thorpe Photography (main)
Sheena Anne Photography (second)
Caleb! The youngest of 3, a Plainfield East Bengal and baseball player just like his brothers, And yes, I did all of their senior photos! Congratulations Caleb! Good luck in college and wherever your road may take you!
Not only are these beautiful people my awesome clients, they are my friends. From bowling together in high school, to capturing their engagement photos, wedding photos (and many in between) to this gorgeous maternity session! Ashley + Dan will have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving as their little one is due just in time for the Holiday. Oh and it's a boy!
Ashley is definitely showing off that maternity glow! Can't imagine a more beautiful mommy-to-be! Daddy-to-be is already prepping to teach his son all there is to know about life...or perhaps just all the things daddy likes. You don't know it yet little one, but you will like bowling, Adidas, Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon just to name a few!
Can't wait to meet you baby boy! You're so lucky to have such great parents!
***Dan won't probably let me live this down, but I have to tell you how awesome these two are. Side story: when Dan + Ashley arrived for their session I was in a panic. My battery charger had failed and the batteries I had that I assumed were fully charged were dead! I still had enough battery power for a few photos, but surely not enough for a full session. Realizing my panic Dan (calm, cool and collected as he is) helped me locate an outdoor outlet and provided the necessary tools to unscrew the outlet cover so my charger would fit properly...and charge! Needless to say, I pitched the defective charger. And I'm so grateful that they arrived in time to rescue me! Though I know Dan will forever remind me..."Hey remember that time...?"
Thank you both so much! See you in December!
What a gorgeous fall day at Riverview Farmstead. It was nice to see sunshine for the first time in a few weekends. Though our real ray of sunshine was little Alaina, well I guess she's not so little anymore! Perhaps she's more of a firecracker! Oh, the energy!
It is always so nice to see my client families coming back year after year for photos; to be part of their family milestones and watch these children grow-up in front of me is such a cool experience. I keep mentioning Alaina because the last time we met up for photos she was a girl on the run! On the run away from me that is. Definitely got my workout in that time. This year it was different....a lot different! Alaina was the first one in front of the lens, doing her signature pose. Just scroll down, you'll figure out what that pose is!
Ava is 10! We're into double digits y'all! Such a pretty girl! And Bobby is becoming quite the handsome little boy, I have to stop using the world little! It's only a matter of time and I'll be taking their senior photos! (Don't tear up!!!)
Ava, Bobby and Lainey were headed to a Halloween bash at their school right after our photo session. Khalil Mack, Black Kitty and a 50s teeny bopper had a blast! Thank you so much for coming back year after year, to spend that hour together, catch up and capture some more beautiful moments of you and your family. Hope you guys have a wonderful holiday season!
I've been following Hailey Raine Boutique on social media for over a year now. They are a local online boutique selling super trendy and cute clothes! I was lucky enough to collaborate with Hailey Raine Boutique and photograph a few of their cute summer and fall pieces.
Thank you Lauren + Ashley for letting me photograph your cute clothes and support your small business. Thank you Brittany for such a fantastic job modeling the outfits of the day! Even though it was chilly and rainy, you totally rocked it!
"Life may not be perfect, but your outfit can be" with Hailey Raine Boutique! Check them out today!
Model: Brittany Bryla
HMUA: Victoria Piecyk
Dress: Picnic in the Park
Sweater: Pink Marble
Jeans: Distressed Black Ankle Length Denim
Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary | Schaumburg, Illinois | Engagement Photography | Anthony + Kathleen | October 6, 2018
It really is true. Love can be found at the bowling alley! As was true for these two beautiful people! Anthony + Kathleen are getting married this November and I should expect ducks! Yes, ducks! A Swarovski crystal duck will sit upon their cake. Kathleen has a slight obsession. So much so that Anthony used a plush duck as a part of his proposal. That duck will forever be a part of their love story. I'm not sure where else I will find ducks, but I forsee some surprises on their wedding day!
I've known Anthony for a few years when we worked together in the aviation industry. He couldn't have found a better girl! One of the first things I said after meeting Kathleen for the first time at their wedding consultation was, "Hey when can we go out and grab some drinks?" She's so much fun, easy to talk to and just perfect for Anthony! I can't wait to be there for your special day. Many happy years! No matter where life takes you, remember that together is the most beautiful place to be.