Mayslake Peabody Estate | Oak Brook, Illinois | Styled Shootout | Bridal | Maternity | Couture | February 16, 2020
Mayslake Peabody Estate is a Tudor-Revival-style mansion from the early 1900s located in Oak Brook, Illinois. Francis Stuyvesant Peabody commissioned renowned Chicago architect Benjamin Marshall to design what is known today as Mayslake Hall. It resembles the timber-frame buildings which were popular in England at the time. Sections of the estate have been sold over time, and the last 89 acres, including the Portiuncula Chapel, was sold to the Forest Preserve District back in 1993.
I, along with several other photographers, was given the opportunity to use the venue as the backdrop for a styled shoot-out. For those who do not know, a shoot-out is an organized event where models and spaces are styled to be photographed by several photographers. This collaboration with vendors and the educational aspect of such an event is super beneficial to all parties. With that being said, I’d like to thank all of the vendors that participated and the main bodies that made this possible (listed down below!)
Mayslake Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is currently being used as an event venue, including art exhibits, performances and architectural tours. On a beautiful day in February, it was our gorgeous space to photograph a group of fabulous models and very talented vendors. Each room of the estate had a story. Original elements of the mansion gave it its character, but the declining conditions of its walls were just as beautiful. If only those walls could talk!
It took me a minute to take in all of this historic elegance when I set foot into the main library. The grand fireplace with its surrounding woodwork was extraordinary. I was instantly transformed into the world of Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Though I wasn't in France, the Tudor-style was reminiscent of those seen across Western Europe. Carefully selecting a leather-bound book from the mile-high book cases, I was ready to sit down by the fire to enjoy a peaceful read. Surely, no fire was lit, but a girl can daydream!
Thank you for having me! Can't wait to do this again!
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!
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!
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!
Hero Coffee | Chicago Art Institute Gardens | Chicago, Illinois | Maternity Photography | Colleen & Ryan | July 1, 2018
It was almost as if this place only existed on Instagram. The cutest little coffee shop, tucked away between two very tall buildings in downtown Chicago. Such a gem of a find! Well it does exist! And I gotta tell ya, the coffee is super good! While waiting for this beautiful momma-to-be (and her beau) I noticed that almost every passerby stopped to check out this place. Just to snap a photo, and presumably post it on Instagram. So if you find the back of my head in any Hero Coffee hash-tagged photos, it would make perfect sense.
Now back to my sister-in-law. Yup she's family and she's gorgeous. So jealous of her hair (did I say that out loud?). With her hubby being such a handsome guy, this baby should be looking for modelling contacts now! Gerber, GAP, please take note!
Colleen and Ryan can't take a bad photo. Honestly, so adorable shot after shot. Even the couple rain showers and off and on drizzle didn't deter us from capturing these great photos! We even headed over to the Art Institute gardens for some change in scenery. Once again, shot after shot was perfection. Love these two!
Congratulations Colleen and Ryan. Can't wait to meet Baby G next month!
Colleen checking for rain?
It’s been a fun ride being pregnant alongside a good friend of mine. We have someone to complain to after a sleepless night full of tossing and turning and acid reflux and someone who understands why lunchtime is promptly at 11 a.m. in order to fulfill the hunger we have had since 15 minutes after eating breakfast. Can’t wait until this winter when we can share the joys of postpartum!
When Cassy told me the vision for her maternity photos, I immediately got super excited. The beach, floral crown, custom gown….yes, yes and yes! And to top it off, let’s meet at 6:30 in the morning to capture the sunrise! The drive to Evanston’s Lighthouse Beach is not a short one for either of us, but totally worth it. Watching the sun break through the horizon and rise over Lake Michigan was breathtaking! It made me realize how much I miss living near the Lake. Many others had come to enjoy the sunrise and even a quick swim that morning. And what a warm morning it was! As I type this, I am wondering if today will be the 7th consecutive day of record breaking temperatures. Low to mid 90s for our area is very unseasonable. Perhaps it was a good idea to meet this early in the morning to avoid the record breaking heat that arrived quickly after our departure.
To fit with the light and airy beach theme, Cassy chose a soft blue custom gown from Sew Trendy Accessories and a floral crown created by her florist mom, Mary. It was perfection! Chris sported the white shirt and khakis to compliment the theme and his beautiful wife.
I spent most of my time capturing images of Cassy as the sun quickly rose higher in the sky. It was challenging to keep the sun behind her and occasionally have it peek-a-boo into sight. When the sun was too high in the sky, we switched gears and headed towards the Harley Clarke Mansion and Grosse Point Lighthouse. The surroundings changed from a light-filled sandy beach, to a shaded stone facade. The vines and foliage on the property gave it a very mysterious and intriguing feel. The lighthouse itself stood so tall we could not find the top of it through the trees. Both the beach and the lighthouse/mansion properties were a hit and I hope Cassy enjoys her photographs as much as I enjoyed taking them!
Model: Cassy Beary + Chris
Dress: Sew Trendy Accessories (Emerlie Gown -Blue Rain)
Crown: Mary Peterson Rehak
HMUA: Cassy Beary
Location: Grosse Point Lighthouse/Beach, Evanston, Illinois
Yes, we are back at Cantigny! This time for a gorgeous momma who is expecting her second daughter very soon! I've know this gal since 5th grade! And now I can say we are pregnant together like we talked about back in junior high school, planning our future like we knew everything about life and being an adult. Haha! Oh what fun it was to be 13 with no worries or cares in the world!
Helen just looked radiant that afternoon! Pregnancy sure looks good on her. Big sister Madison is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her baby sister. I think we all are! Can't wait to meet her at the end of this month! Congrats Will family!
Emily + Nate are expecting their first bundle of joy due to arrive on the Fourth of July! What a celebration that will be! Thankfully the rain stayed away and we were able to capture some photos at their home, both inside and outdoors. Big sister Zola (a gorgeous Rhodesian Ridgeback) is excited to meet the little princess as she waits and rests patiently by her crib. Her room is an ocean of pink, just how mommy-to-be always envisioned. Every little girl's dream!
Can't wait for everyone to meet her very soon! Congratulations Emily + Nate!
Yay for temperatures in the 40s in January! However, those snowflakes that could have been, did not rain on our parade. I don't think anyone could even notice the drizzling rain in these photos and I'm thankful for these two being troopers through it all! We met up at Blackwell Forest Preserve where ice fishing was still in full swing; at the same time large patches of green grass peeked through the rapidly melting snow. Texans at heart, Danielle + John have settled in the Land of Lincoln and have started their little family. Baby Logan is due in early March! A big congratulations to Danielle + John! Can't wait for you to meet your little guy.
Prairie Center for the Arts | Schaumburg, Illinois | Maternity Photography | Ashley + Matt | August 9, 2015
Wow, 2 more weeks! Yes, two more weeks until we get to meet Ashley + Matt's little dude! Although dad will raise him to be a Packer's fan (boooooo), I will love him just the same. Go Bears! Ashley already had a mini session right before her shower at Veteran Acres Park in Crystal Lake, Illinois. This time we included the hubby and went a bit more casual. Always a fun time with these two!
Isn't she the most beautiful glowing mommy-to-be? Ashley + I have been good friends since college and our inside jokes are endless. I think I can write a whole blog entry just about them! I'm so excited for the arrival of her little boy in August, and I hope her little guy and my son will have the same type of relationship; goofy and fun! That's how we roll!
We met at Veteran Acres Park before her baby shower to snap a few photos of her growing belly. Unbeknownst to me, this location is a hot spot for photographers. I totally understand why. Beautiful lookouts, lush vegetation, foot bridges! Gorgeous!
Congratulations Ashley + Matt. Can't wait to meet your dude!
So no surprise, I hate being in front of the lens. Regardless, many insisted I must have maternity photos of my own. While in Michigan this weekend to shoot my last wedding, my husband and I stopped at Tunnel Beach to enjoy an hour of beach and sun. With some direction and patience, I let him shoot my "maternity session" while enjoying the beautiful landscape. I set up the camera with a portrait lens, and proper settings and my husband did the rest. May I add that he did a wonderful job and his patience was amazing. Thank you so much! We will have our couple maternity session in September (I'll be huge!) . Can't wait to meet this little guy (KONRAD, hence the "K") this Fall.
So many babies, so many mommas-to-be! These two are waiting for their precious bundle of joy to arrive next month! I can't wait to find out if it will be a little girl or boy! Congrats!
Love this family of three, soon to be four! Twins Brandon and Alex are just a joy! Can't wait to see this family grow when baby #3 arrives in October! Congrats you guys!
This beautiful family is growing and I couldn't be happier to capture these moments for them! Can't wait until June to meet Ava's little brother or sister!