Happy 2015! I absolutely cannot believe how quickly the last year flew by. I am working on my favorite post of every year, a year in review, with photos from all the celebrations I photographed this year. While putting that together, I came across a set of some of my travel and film photography and wanted to do a post with a few of those favorites as well. As many know, traveling is my biggest passion, and if I’m not shooting a wedding, chances are I’m on a plane. This year, I went to Austin, Seattle, SF, Big Sur, Portland, Park City, Paris, Amsterdam, Miami, Central Mexico, and Vail, and I could not be more excited for this year with big bucket list trips to Japan and Italy, as well as a wedding in Jamaica! I am endlessly inspired while I travel, and I love seeing the different colors, light and energies of different places in the world. I almost always shoot film while traveling as it gives the timeless, dreamy and artistic quality that I love. Here are a few, mostly from this year, along with a one from Cambodia and even glamorous Milwaukee.
Jenny and Mike were the kindest couple I have ever worked with. What sweethearts. They held a mini destination wedding at the Chicago Botanic Garden, a nature-filled venue that reminded them of their home in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Nearly all of their friends and family traveled from the UP to celebrate with them on a Friday evening in August. They treated everyone — including all of the vendors — with such warmth, grace and kindness. All of the toasts from their friends and family echoed the warmth that you instantly feel when you are with Jenny and Mike. I loved photographing this day and it was such a privilege to be involved in this day with many of my favorite vendors.
Venue: Chicago Botanic Garden | DJ: Toast & Jam | Coordinator: Clementine Custom Events | Floral: Stems | Makeup & Hair: Sonia Roselli
I had only spoken with Angela on the phone before our session, so I was so excited to meet her and Billy and see how sweet they were together in person. Angela and Billy met and live in Virginia and she wanted an extremely naturey session that looked more like where they live versus anything too Chicago. Montrose Harbor was a great fit, as this is my favorite place to shoot sessions in the summer and fall as it looks like the most beautiful, romantic and peaceful setting in photographs. I loved working with these two and can’t wait for their wedding next year at the beautiful Armour House.
While it may seem a little incongruous to post a wintery wedding on one of the hottest weeks of the year, I’m deep in winter wedding booking season and was sharing these photos with another couple recently when I thought it was such a shame I never posted them! This couple, Lauren & Jeff, became one of the couples I grew most close to in my entire career! After our first meeting, I immediately thought i wanted them not only as clients, but as friends, and I later found out Lauren told Jeff after our consult that we would end up being friends. Jeff thought she was nuts, but almost two years later my boyfriend and I have become good friends with Lauren and Jeff, celebrating at parties, sharing dinners in Paris, and eating too much cheese at our home. I am so grateful I was able to photograph their day (and several other shoots) as weddings like these remind me of why I love my job as much as I do! They both have such wonderful, positive, joyful energy that is so fun to capture. Their wedding fell in January, always an iffy time in Chicago, sometimes totally freezing and gray and other times beautiful and romantic. Lauren and Jeff totally lucked out, with the first day of the “snowpocalypse” starting the day of their wedding. While the next few days were a pain, their day was glorious, with nice chilly but pleasant temperatures outside and beautiful snowfall starting the minute they walked out of the church. It was so romantic and from inside the cozy and warm setting of Greenhouse Loft made for a stunning sight as we watched the snow fall down beyond all the candlelight in the room. A perfect day for a perfect couple!
Photography: Olivia Leigh Photographie (Olivia & Jacqueline) | Florist: Asrai Garden | Day of Coordinator: Estera Events | Dress: Sarah Seven | Church: St. Hedwig | Reception Venue: Greenhouse Loft | Cake: Bittersweet | DJ: Toast & Jam | Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss | Invitations and Printed Pieces: DIY
If all couples could be as down to earth as Jenny and Mike, I think the term “bridezilla” would be eradicated from the dictionary! They met growing up in the U.P. of Michigan, and I’ve found that all my clients from this area are just the kindest and most easygoing people (so if you are from the U.P., please hire me! :). Jenny was so sweet and excited about her shoot, really leaving locations up to me. We had a big downtown shoot planned, and on the morning of their sunrise shoot, I woke up and literally gasped as I look outside of my window. Typically we can see tons of views of the city, but that morning looked like it was snowing as the fog was so thick that I could barely see five feet in front of me. Jenny and Mike were so flexible and waited for an hour as the fog rolled out a little bit, and they were so accommodating when I suggested an alternative location that I knew would look so beautiful, even with more overcast skies, and create a romantic and dreamy feel. I was so elated with our little pivot to this location and am just so excited to work with them on their wedding in just over a week at the beautiful Chicago Botanic Garden.