Chicago

Lauren + Nick | City View Loft Wedding

It was an incredibly beautiful and snowy day in Chicago for Lauren and Nick's stunning Chicago wedding. From the weather to their endless smiles, I couldn't get over how much joy there was! I think smiles are incredibly underrated. I love when a couple can't have serious faces because they are just so filled with laughter and joy from looking at each other! It's just so beautiful to see.

It's so refreshing to second shoot in between my own clients' weddings. (And not just because it's super fun and enjoyable to work with friends!) When you second shoot, you get to spend more time with the groom, usually, and I always gain so much appreciation for them. Some grooms party beforehand, some need their alone time, some are pumped for the day, and others are incredibly emotional or solemn. I really love being able to document the groom's side. Now I make it a point, even in my own weddings, to document the bride and groom equally, because it's just as special a day for him as it is for her. 

I captured this wedding day alongside my sweet and talented friend Alisha, from ATS Photography, and we couldn't have enjoyed ourselves (or danced) more!  

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Working with Alisha + Eric was so much fun!

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Venue City View Loft // Getting Ready Location VRBO // Video Eric Floberg // Hair Emily Grisso // Dress Sarah Seven // Suit Sarar 

Amanda + David Wed | Chicago , IL

I started the day shooting David getting ready at their Wicker Park flat (which is the best neighborhood, and I'm not just biased because it's my neighborhood too! Well, maybe I am.) Their vibrant personalities were scattered all over their two-story loft. Then I captured their first look alongside my friend and lead photographer Kat, from DeependImagery.

We wandered around some industrial areas of Chicago before heading to the venue, which is a renovated warehouse itself. Prairie Productions was the perfect blank slate wedding venue for these two lovely individuals! It's now a stunning, naturally lit space that just makes you want to shoot there over and over again. It's probably one of my favorite venues in Chicago. 

Needless to say, Amanda and David's night ended with the most lively dancing and tons of joy! That is always one of my favorite ways to end a wedding day. Celebrating love with those that you love! Cheers to another beautiful wedding in my lovely city!

And more Chicago wedding blog posts coming soon!!

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Michaela + Harris | Chicago, IL

These two are little bubbles of joy!

Separately, and even more so together! I was introduced to Harris, by my cousin, at a local favorite IPSENTO 606, where he works and makes sure the best coffee is being served daily! And it definitely is! And his beautiful wife Michaela, is a talented photographer as well at michaelaquan.com and has the best style in these parts! 

It was so much fun wandering around their neighborhood, which is just a few blocks from me, and finding the cutest walls, streets and alleyways! I love the way they interact and just being around them put a smile on my face! 

(Also, the belt Harris is wearing is a vintage FENDI belt from Michaela's dad! How cool?)

If anyone else wants to book a mini shoot for next week, I am running a special deal and you will have your images turned around in two days for those super last minute gifts! And Also starting off my year with a mini session special for the whole month of January! You can inquire via the contact button below! Either way, enjoy these fun images of these two precious individuals!! 

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Karla + Gabe | Chicago, IL

Karla and Gabe are one adventurous gem of a couple. I consider them Mrs. + Mr. Chicago. I enjoy hanging out with them weekly, but had such a fun time on my rooftop with the Chicago skyline in the background and capturing their personalities! They are mix a quirky and silly, total babes and are some of the most genuine and kind hearted individuals I've ever met. And I also have the pleasure of calling them family! Gabe...forever and ever, and Karla, just this past summer when they got married! 

Also, can we talk about how cool Gabe's tattoos are, incorporating a mix of Chicago pride, meaningful moments and hand drawn illustrations by his son.

Go check out more about what they are up to on Instagram. Both are the epitome of a Chicago creative and how to be musicians + entrepreneurs in a big city! Enjoy!

KARLA // @itsme_karla     GABE // @g_a_b_e__

To inquire about a portrait, engagement or family session contact me below to chat! 

Coffee + Love | Chicago Wedding

I love when a bride feels good about herself and you can see the excitement and joy overflowing in all of her motions. Twirling in her dress, making sweet eye contact with her love and nonstop smiling from ear to ear. Sometimes my cheeks even hurt after a wedding day from smiling so much. I also love that her tattoo says "Where there's a will, there's a way!"

This wedding shoot at Chicago Workshop is a perfect way to show you that you can have an intimate wedding (which I LOVE) and still have all of your favorite wedding vendors, minus the huge gathering. 

And what could be better than a couple getting married in a creative studio enjoying their favorite coffee and donut filled dessert bar? 

Cheers to couples in love! 

check out the wedding vendors listed below the images.

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photo: @melodyjoyco / planning: @graceniudesign & @alldeievents / styling: @alldeievents / venue: @workshopchicago / paper goods & calligraphy: @graceniudesign / desserts: @lovesugarandgrace / florals: @splendor_of_eden / rings: @ladyfayejewelry / hair & makeup: @trannguyen19 / coffee: @goodmanner_

My Favorite Office Space | Chicago, IL

I like to start my days working out of my bedroom. It's my favorite office space. Not only do I get to stay in my pj's for a bit longer, but it gives me to time to enjoy my favorite home brewed coffees in one of my favorite spaces. My bedroom is completely me. It's minimal in items and in color palette. I've also learned week by week as I get older that I am more like Monica from "Friends" than I realized. Coasters are key, always, and everything has it's particular spot at all times. 

In order to make my room more cozy I wanted to fill it with brands and companies that I love!

First, there is the Color Cord Company. Their simple brass cord and new "T-hook" that is coming out soon with some other new products, hangs so elegantly and beautifully from my high ceilings. It's simple design was inspired from the scandinavian culture and now are hand built here in America. I was so ecstatic when I learned that their offices were in Denver, Colorado. I was visiting one of my childhood best friends last week and knew I had to visit their warehouse as soon as I put two and two together. The owner is so passionate about his work and detail of design is everything with this company. If you're a small business(or large business) or just looking for an adorable light to complete your space, seriously, check out their website. They have so many colors and metals of every kind! It's an interior designer's dream, because they even do custom work. 

Next, there is this beautiful modern end table from Overstock. When I was searching for modern end tables I kept seeing ones that were super chunky or too thin or just overly designed. I like that this one was still simple enough, but had two drawers for storage for the important things(like notebooks, The Bible, my latest Archie Comic, Sudoku book, and Crossword book) but not big enough to cram a lot of junk in them and have things get lost in them (like my last nightstand). I also love this nightstand because it seems like all of my furniture from all of the different companies all had the same wood shade and that can be difficult to do. And it all matches my original hardwood floors as well. I like in a historic building and I have to say, I really do appreciate the details of this home...but more about the other rooms for a different post. 

Lastly, There is my "Bind my Wandering Heart to Thee" flag above my bed. It's always a beautiful and blunt reminder daily. I always find myself humming this hymn now more often than not while in my bedroom. Everyone needs one, and you can them at Charlotte's beautiful Etsy Shop, Wild Flower Eyes Co!

Some other little details of my room are this simple designed Modernica planter that I believe really "makes" the whole room with it's ceramic cylinder shape and perfectly matching wooden stand. I am also very impressed with myself for not killing this banana plant thus far, as I so easily do. Working on my nurturing side, in all aspects of life. 

And the rug that is the center of my room is from Rugs USA. It's fuzzy, white and feels amazing when I am barefooted in my room. So yes, I would say it's perfect and everyone needs one. The real inspiration was my niece Ella, who also has a similar white rug, and playing with her quite often I knew I needed one for myself. Inspiration can come from the most adorable places. 

I'm also going to be incorporating more of my lifestyle collaborations for interior design, coffee and fashion onto my blog as well as my usual wedding posts! So you all can see a little bit more about my editing process and life in between shooting the most beautiful weddings of the sweetest couples! 

So cheers to more blogging! x

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P.S. I've never owned a window AC unit before, but I have to say...this Frigidaire unit from Amazon is absolutely amazing! It's made working in my room an ice box dream. I love being cold!

My Coffee Corner | Wicker Park

My coffee corner is a place where I make my daily cups of joy.

My love for Chicago...

This Wild Standard flag I thought would be the perfect addition to my new home, elegantly placed above my beloved coffee corner. A little bit about my thoughts on Chicago. Even though Chicago was the first place I lived as a child, my whole family was born and raised here, and I moved away at a very young age. All of the years growing up, the only teams my family rooted for were teams from Chicago. Mainly the Cubs, Bulls and Bears. We had Sammy Sosa, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippin and Dennis Rodman on large posters in our game room. So many childhood holidays were spent visiting family in Chicago, and I always remember vividly my grandpa and his Dunkin Donuts and being silly with my cousins. So, for this next season of my life, I chose to live in the city that is home to the majority of my family members (over 40 in one place) and the history of where my family came from. Living life with my cousins and going to church with family has been so lovely. It's been a beautiful thing exploring this city and I couldn't be more excited about living in the heart of the creative community here as well. I also love run-on sentences.

Now onto the coffee...

I love starting my day with a good cup of coffee alongside my devos, before I get ready to encounter people (which usually just entails doing something with my crazy morning hair and throwing on something monochromatic). Depending on how ready I am to go to one of my many "coffee shop offices" where I live in Wicker Park, if I am needing to quickly run off to a meeting or a photoshoot, or if I am simply wanting a down day to edit and design from home, I have a brewing method that can fit my time restraint.

My Nespresso machine is the quickest way to have a wake-up jolt in the morning. I love the latest Cuban blend and my old faithful "Arpeggio", which is pretty strong and packs a punch. If I have more time to brew coffee and enjoy it at home from my beautiful vintage chair (that one of my sweet roommates, Xochitl, let me keep in the room) I brew via Chemex. After Chemex, there would be my Aeropress (which isn't seen, but stored away because I take it with me places when I travel). After my Aeropress, the brewing options would be Single Cup V60 pour-over, French Press or Moka pot. I have a cowboy kettle that I've tried out indoors, but it's main purpose is for camping. Maybe if I do a road trip where I car can carry it to the campsite, I'll actually make some turkish coffee with it in the wilderness.  

Currently I am enjoying a summer filled with Intelligentsia, and their coffee subscriptions are the bomb. More to come from coffee will be about Good Manner and Le Labo's Brooklyn Coffee Shop, so stay tuned via my Instagram!

All of these methods fit perfectly on and inside my beautiful Walnut Astro Buffet from Overstock. If you haven't checked out their furniture selections, you should. They have a piece for almost every corner of my room. I'll show you more from them later on too. And this Letterfolk board has been making my mornings brighter as well! I love switching up the text by putting scriptures, quotes and some of my favorite music lyrics on there. I recently watched a documentary on the Beatles. I have always loved them from the first time I heard their music when I was younger, so currently the lyrics "All you need is Love" are gracing my board's presence.

Okay, onto the photos...  

Heritage Bikes + Coffee | Chicago, IL

Coffee shops are my daily workspace, my second home, my place of rest and my 'living room' to dream and talk about life with friends. Thankfully, in my new home base of Chicago, there are so many beautiful work spaces (aka coffee shops). I like to mix up my surroundings from time to time to get fresh perspectives, but overall I have a few personal favorite shops that I frequent regularly. Heritage Bicycles is one of them. This is Heritage. They not only serve excellent coffee, but they sell and fix custom bikes. The interior design is right up my alley as well. The muted color palette, the original, fading wood floors with the stark contrast of the bold white walls with high ceilings just makes me so happy.

Since I am always commuting to different coffee shops around the cities I travel to, and now live in, I love to have a comfortable backpack to carry my laptop and camera gear in. I finally found a beautiful one for the city. The Kamrette Lyra Backpack. It has a separate zip sleeve in the back that is big enough for my 15 inch macbook pro, and I don't have to unzip the whole front camera gear section to get to it. It's a win-win kind of bag because it is not only beautifully designed but a 'pocket-lovers dream'. 

Enjoy this little peak into my day to day life. The only part I didn't include is my lunch breaks to Mcdonalds, my endless emails and my rough hair that is probably hidden under a hat. 

Coffee Shop Heritage Bicycles // Location Lincoln Park, Chicago // Camera Bag Kamrette Lyra Backpack // Eye Glasses TIJN Eyewear