Seasons are changing, Self Portraits with my children in Jackson Park Chicago IL

Well hello there.

I dragged my kids out for some self portraits and a new adventure. You want to know something.. it felt amazing. I’ve missed getting behind the lens, I used to do it so damn much before. It always felt like it pushed my growth. I think I’m currently stifling my creativity. So tragic right? I’m not sure why I’m holding my self back. When I know I can do anything and everything.

I always get super thrilled when I picture my kids in the future showing these to their kids or their partners and going on and on about all of the adventures I took them on. Making me the best mom ever lol. But little do they know how much of this is for me. It’s healing. Connecting to nature is my jam. I want to point out all of the beauty to them, and also the grandness of them in this beauty. It’s spring time and I’m sure I’ll never stop being in awe of how year after year things just come back. No matter what, trees and flowers bloom. You blink and there are little sprouts everywhere not announcing their arrival, just being. Currently I’m working incessantly to stay present. Everyday is a new way to show up. But I’m super fucking impatient. I desperately want something to tell me “Adri you are healed” Here’s your sign. I guess there will never come a sign, just like the little sprouts, I just have to be. Day in and day out continue to attempt at this (insert your best fucking adjective) life, until I’m no longer trying to heal all of my wounds. Maybe I’m being silly and that’s the point I’m missing. You’re just never finished. I guess time will tell. Time always does. As I look back on my life, Motherhood was a huge catalyst toward healing, or at least the beginning of feeling. I know i need to stay present. stay in the beauty of spring. Let it teach me. Take in all of the beauty and just await the new season of life.

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

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Welcome baby Reese | Chicago IL newborn photographer

I am happy to say that I both a baby person and a dog person. & sessions with both are some of my favorites. I have to say that Big brother pup Norbert (so in love with his name) and adorable baby Reese did not dissapoint. Newborn sessions can be so comical because of their unpredictability. Babies do what babies do, and we just roll with the punches. Also new parents are constantly apolopizing for their tiredness. It’s such a new world, navigating through all of this. I just show up to capture the beauty. Sara + Matt have created such a beautiful space for their growing family. I learned that little miss Reese was beautifully named after her maternal grandma. We chatted about zoom baby showers and how lovely it truly is to not have a whole crowd in the delivery suite. Sometimes there is a silver line to everything.

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From homebirth to a full home, Edgewater Chicago IL newborn and family photographer

One of my favorite things about this job is the storytelling. With some families I have the joy and honor to capture full stories. I meet them right when they find out their life will change in the near future and I get a chance to see them at the different points in the road to that change. For Hannah + Eric I know it looked different. Being pregnant during a pandemic I’m sure was en experience on it’s own. Still we managed to capture all of the beauty of this incredible journey they were on. Take a peek at their Maternity session and their Home birth .

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Hannah and Eric welcome their sweet baby girl at home | Chicago IL birth photographer, Edgewater neighborhood

Each birth I attend is this beautiful unfolding story. My clients are all different, lighting can be diffent. Comfort levels too, Dynamics etc. First time parents however seem to all be the same. They are all at the precipice of a life changing moment, unlike anything before. I can sense the nervousness and the hesitation. When I arrived Hannah spent quite a bit of time in the bathroom challengely lit by one candle. In moments like this, where my lens struggles to find the subject… I freelens. Because I trust that slice of focus. It reminded me of stories I read before, of women birthing in caves all that time ago. She craved the coziness of the bathroom. It almost seemed to sooth her. Of course I would never put any words in my clients mouths but I can only speak to what I was and what my camera captured.

I also saw this beautiful togetherness. They both moved with synchronicity, the pair of fresh to be parents. It was a mighty thing to witness. Eric was a phenomenal birth partner in my opinion. But Hannah’s vigor and courage are the stars of the show. She moved that baby down by trusting her body and she allowed herself to be so vulnerable. Perhaps there’s nothing but vulnerability allowed at home births. Perhaps that’s the beauty of them.

My job is to capture these moments, but with every birth, I leave with such a sense of purpose. The uniqueness in which a mother labors and moves through these moments leave me breathless. A rush of love for life fills me to the brim. I am so grateful I get to be a part of this.

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Baby Diego’s arrival | Bolingbrook newborn and family photographer

hello 2021

I can’t believe it’s a whole new year already. While yes, things are still dicey when it comes to photo sessions and more at home- work, I finally got to photograph my first at home newborn session since the pandemic started. I am the opposite of a homebody, so I’m so grateful for hikes and outdoor activities because I’m trying to stay home as much as possible to keep the health of my little clients safe. I was so excited that baby Diego finally made his appearance! I got to capture his parents this fall in a beautiful maternity session by the South shore in Chicago near Hyde Park. Now look at that beautiful boy that joined this little family. I’m sure it will take some time to get to meet extended family members for him but Im so happy he’s here and healthy as can be. I saw a couple so devoted to this little boy. Slightly exhausted but so excited to start their new life as a family of 3 + the beautiful furry siblings.

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My loves | Adri De La Cruz Chicago family photographer

I cant believe we’re here, so close to December. Just about to celebrate Thanksgiving. As I mentioned in on my previous post things are looking different in the future for us. Perhaps this is too heavy and personal for my photography page or perhaps it’s just what my clients need from me. To see me, to go a little deeper into who I am and to see who the person is behind the lens. I capture the beauty of family because it is my passion. My family is also my passion. and If I am to live my one and wild precious life the way I want, then I guess I’ll have to be judged. I am so grateful for my soon to be ex-husband who agreed to do this for me. In actuality I know he knows it’s for them. We may not have always modeled this great incredible marriage for them, but we will make sure that they now see unconditional love and friendship moving forward. I started the decade of my twenties by having a baby boy, launching my business, absorbing everything I could. In the last decade I’ve also launched photographer communities and workshops all across the United States. I taught others to find their voice and maybe even dabbled in having my own magazine. But all of that would mean nothing without them. I was 21 when my son was born, shy of 22 by mere days. What an incredible journey it’s been. I’m 31 now. The best part of getting old is that you realize that you absolutely know nothing. Such a humbling thing to acknowledge. & in this nothingness I will begin my next decade, and I hope I can sit here at 41 still just admiring all of the greatness that has come, and not focus on the “what -could -have -been”. I hope I am forever a glass half full kinda girl. No matter what comes.

As I climbed out of the tub and shook my hair dry, I told myself: Maybe in a different life.

Isn’t that interesting?

As if I had more than one.

-Untamed

About this session. I will forever love our chalk wall. I probably can’t do that in my new rental but we’ve drawned and played a multitude of fun games on it. I’ve been surprised by love notes from my children written on it. Also have seen some incredible freaking art skills displayed on here. I don’t want to take credit lol but maybe thats a little of me rubbing off on them. In reality we know all children are great artists, I’m only happy mine constantly choose to share their work with me often. I wanted to use this as a backdrop for a few portraits then head out to Oak Park and just do something different. I have driven pass that green wall always hopeful to have a session there at some point. I think a lot of people struggle to see beauty in a ugly green wall, but then that’s why there’s people like me. I understand that the point of a session is not the background but the love and fun represented in front of it. From a chalk wall to a green wall. I love how these came out, I mister helped me take the group ones. I didn’t trust a tripod in the middle of a street with winds and cars flowing by. I hope we can make this happen every year until my kiddos say no lol.

I hope you all have an amazing bunch of Holidays.

Love the De La Cruz family.

The Dryfhout Family session | Homer Glen IL photographer

The absolute most kind of people also happen to be the most beautiful. We did the math during their session and I have been photographing their beautiful family since before little miss E was even alive. How insanely special is that. I’ve seen two of their stunning homes and have seen the kids go through various changes. Now they’ve added an adorable pup. I always say that Matt won the wife lottery (mainly to myself) but you can see from these images that theyre all so beyond lucky to have each other. I cannot stress enough how welcoming and lovely they are. Getting to catch up and see the brand new adventures they’ve made is so much fun. Miss Z + E make me jealous, for my own little Zoe, I know she wishes she had a sister. I myself had 2 but they came almost a decade after me. It’s also crazy to see just how tall Mr. A got, close to being over six feet. He will absolutely surpass his dad. He’s just as handsome as ever and so clever. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s no such thing as a bad location. We shot these in their front yard, around their house and in the back. There is always some kind of magic everywhere.

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SISTERS READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Lupe and Jordan get married, Chicago and west suburbs elopment photographer

I took on this beautiful elopment of sorts a few months back. Jordan and Lupe were, like most couples just trying to wed in this weird situation of a year. Sorrounded by their extended family and friends and practicing safety protocols they wed in a beautiful ceremony. Lupe looked insanely beautiful, I mean look at that dress! We then headed to this lovely park near for some more portraits. Thankfully it was near, since I guess with all of the nuptial chaos the groom forgot to add gas to his car. We walked over to this hill and I got to experience all of the love and admiration they share for one another. I hope their life is amazing together and that they get to see those images and remeber how not even 2020 could stop them for moving their lives and love forward.

Bob and Brooke’s Mini weekend wedding | Adri De La Cruz Chicago Photographer

Oh how this year will live in infamy for all of the plans it’s destroyed and the amount of plans that have changed because of it. But in the midst of all of that is a ton of opportunities to see and live life a little differently. I have seen numerous Covid weddings and they’ve been nothing but amazing. I got a chance to shoot one for Bob and Brooke. Together with their small family of 12 tied the knot in a simple and lovely ceremony. You could feel how effortless their love is. I got a chance to really get to chat and know their families because the group was so small. Can I also mention how much I loved this space, it was full of Brooke’s family memories. She even has a tattoo to represent this area. I can’t wait til next year and hopefully it all looks much different and they are able to get to celebrate in a big way.

Commercial work for Dockatot | Chicago family photography

I’m always so damn grateful for all of the opportunities this life has given me and continues to give me. I think that being in the industry that I am the comparison joy creeps in often. I have to constantly remind myself that my voice is what sets me apart. Last year I was awarded the opportunity to work on several campains for Dockatot. I learned so much from those experiences. Self sabotage and the feeling that I wasn’t good enough creep in often as well. I think it does for most of my sessions . But you know what, the voice that tells me that I CAN DO THIS is louder. It is the driving force behind owning my ability and power. I can absolutely fail, and will probably will fail more than win at this point. But I have learned that the losses give me more than my wins. I have no idea what any of that has to do with the images of this adorable baby and these cute products but I guess I just want anyone who might be reading this that no matter what hardship, you can do this. Fail, but with grace, knowing you will recover. The way up is hard but so rewarding.