Welcome to the all-new Olivia Leigh Photographie blog! Here you can find photos from recent shoots from our homes in Chicago + the West Coast (Seattle + SF), as well as our destination events. If you’re looking for a particular wedding, just search below. Use the navigation at the top to see the best work in the portfolio, learn more about services, or send an email to learn more about working together.
I’ve talked before about how much I love working with high school sweethearts, and Erin and Eric continued to prove that these couples really make for some of the best weddings! I don’t know quite what it is, but I think being together for so long breeds such a relaxed and intimate feel to the celebration, even if it’s a more formal affair. I’m very lucky to work with very laid-back couples but Erin and Eric really topped the list! They simply wanted a beautiful, fun and relaxed day, and their amazing team delivered a perfectly beautiful but stress-free day. I also had the opportunity to photograph their rehearsal dinner, where I first met all of their lovely family members. Both Erin and Eric come from such special and tight knit families, and it was really a treat to photograph the special relationships they share with their parents, siblings and aunts. Erin’s father especially was such a delight—I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dad cry so much at a wedding, and it was so sweet to see how overcome with emotion he was throughout the weekend.
I’d also be remiss not to thank the wonderful team! It was a treat to be part of this wedding with my friend Jesse Deckard from Bliss Weddings & Events for his first full-service wedding. For years Jesse had been known as one of the most talented designers in Chicago, and I’m so happy he’s now working at one of my favorite coordinating firms and I was so honored to be a part of his first full wedding. It went off without a hitch and the decor by Jesse and HMR was just gorgeous. Many thanks too to Allison Williams for her beautiful second shooting, I Do Films for lovely video, and the always amazing staff of the wonderful Chicago Botanic Gardens, one of my favorite spots to shoot! It’s so rare to have outdoor weddings in Chicago, and I think it’s easy to see why I love shooting at this beautiful space. It’s so nice to be able to have the freedom of movement, color and light that shooting outdoors provides us. It’s very inspiring for me and by far my favorite way to shoot. I’m trying to book a couple more outdoor events (in Chicago, west coast or elsewhere!) for next year if you are marrying!
We did Mandy and Tim’s engagement session last fall, on the day when Hurricane Sandy was making landfall in New York. Despite being all the way in Chicago, the effects stretched here, creating one of the most blustery shoots I’ve ever done! While we still got great photos, I knew Mandy—a lover of bold color just like me!—was really hoping for clear weather and gorgeous colors for her wedding. Up to the day of the event, I kept telling her that for whatever reason—when the weather is dreadful for the shoot it results in the most gorgeous weather for the wedding. I kept crossing my fingers my unscientific assessments would be true, and indeed, they were, with Mandy and Tim getting one of the most gorgeous days of the year. I was so happy the weather was so lovely as it really mimicked the bright and fun feel of their entire celebration. What a party! Goodness. This was a crowd that loved to get down, and indeed they did! After their lovely ceremony at my favorite church (St. Clement), we strolled the streets of Old Town and Lincoln Park, running into congratulatory guests along the way, all so excited to celebrate with the couple. At the Chicago History Museum the party continued, with great toasts and one of the most fun dance parties I’ve photographed. Mandy and Tim chose a non-traditional band, South of 80, who were so much fun. I just loved this wedding and loved how fun it still seems in the photos! :) Enjoy!
Thanks, too, to their awesome team (tons of my favorites!) | Florist: Hello Darling | Dress: Vera Wang | Caterer: Jewell Events | Coordinator: Clementine Custom Events | Band: South of 80 | Second Photographer: Jaclyn Simpson | Church: Saint Clement | Reception: Chicago History Museum
I was exceptionally lucky to be able to go to France this summer. Summer trips are always a bit stressful in the height of the season, and I almost decided not to go. I was so happy I did, though, as the trip was just what I needed—a chance to get inspired again before the fall rush. I’m certainly not the first person to wax poetically about France, but there really is just something so special about it. I love the way I feel in France, I love all the sights and sounds, the food and the energy of the city. France is like a dream, that is somehow real, it is boggles my mind every time I go. I was particularly inspired on this trip by many color patterns I found repeating throughout Paris and Provence—greens and golds almost everywhere I looked, from green algae in the dimly lit catacombs to streelights shining on papered-up shop windows to the iconic pastels of the shutters in little towns in the south. It was very inspiring and I’m hoping to return for some more extended time next year, hopefully to do some painting this time. (PS - Interested in hiring me for a session in Paris, like this one I did last year? Please get in touch as there is really no where better in the world to shoot! :))
Below is a little snippet of some photos I took on my trip. I try not to take too too many when traveling, instead prefering to just experience. I love to shoot my personal photos on film as it feels so much more like pleasure than work, a little Christmas present when I get the scans back and see what I shot. And, of course, there is nothing that can really capture the colors of France like the watercolory tones of film!
Personal work from Paris, Provence—Avignon, Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, Chateauneuf du Pape - and Nice. Shot on a Contax 645 and a Lomo LC-A. September 2013
This fall has been full of sunrise shoots for me, with almost no evening shoots in sight. Certainly a different change for me, but one I’m so happy my couples have been opting for. Sunrise sessions are so beautiful and really make the early wake-up worth it, as the early hour tends to make the city feel like a private playground for photos, the light is so stunning (and very different than in the evening), and we’re able to do the shoot before any snafus in the day can affect anyone’s mood. :) Lauren, Jeff and I all met up in downtown Chicago for their shoot on a recent fall morning. We went to several locations I’ve shot at before, but shooting in the morning allowed me to see many of my favorite spots in, literally, a different light! I just adore this couple—they are both so kind and sweet, with the most positive, warm and kind energy. I love how visibly they love each other; what a treat to shoot! I am so happy we were able to do this beautiful shoot for them with the greens and golds to serve as a perfect balance to their winter wedding in just a few months! Crossing my fingers and toes for snow! :)
From my first conversation with Jessie, Garrett and Jessie’s mother, I was so looking forward to their day. We had such a nice conversation about them and their plans, and it was very obvious they would plan a day full of thoughtful details and moments. Together, they planned a lovely ceremony that beautifully woven together their different faith backgrounds as well as their egalitarian values, with them choosing to circle one another at their chuppah as opposed to just the woman circling the man as is most common in a Jewish ceremony. These sorts of touches that reflected their understanding and affection for one other were woven throughout the day, from sentimental touches such as beautiful letters and gifts in the morning to fun surprises like a sno-cone cart (Garrett’s favorite) in the reception. Overall, it was such an amazing wedding, from the gorgeous garden inspired decor through the emotional content of the day to the incredibly fun reception full of spontaneous performances from family members and the picture-perfect sparkler sendoff.
Many thanks to the lovely Meghan Andalman of Lovebird Events for her wonderful planning skills, as well as Jacqueline Barkley for her great shots including the second sparkler shot which was just so amazing I had to include it! :) Other great vendors from the day: Decor: HMR | Dress: Amsale from Belle Vie | Suit: Vera Wang Black | Caterer: Blue Plate | Cake: Toni Patisserie | Small gluten free cake: Sweet Ali’s | Music: Dan Hayes Orchestra | Hair: Renee Feldman | Video: XO Pictures