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.

Quantifiable beauty, self portraits| Adri De La Cruz, Wood Dale IL family photographer

I heard something recently. It said ” dreaming is a form of planning”. It resonated wildly with my soul. Everything I’ve ever wanted started as a dream. Me with my wild expectations. Most of the time when I would voice my dreams to others it would sound like I lost my damn mind. It always made me feel slightly crazy. But the thing that I have learned is that people lack imagination. Most are living and acting from a place of fear. Without intention. I have always felt this nagging voice for more. Not more in a form of quantifiable things, but more beauty, more aliveness more feelings. It’s probably why I felt pulled towards this medium. I want to record and preserve as many feelings as I can. I guess I’m a junky for that.

I took these self portraits right before heading out and capturing my loves. But I felt the need to make a separate post because I want to encourage others to dream. I never grew up being asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, so perhaps thats how I’ve allowed myself to be whatever the (insert bad word) I want. I am a bunch of things. I’ve dreamt about most. Being a mother was a big one. I dreamt of building up little babies to be the best versions of themselves. I dreamt of a marriage, and even though it wasn’t what I expected I am also not too proud to say perhaps that dream can look different now. What ever you want your life to be in the future, you first have to dream it. You have to stop fitting into the mold of what people expect of you. I hope my children read my words someday and look over what they’ve achieved and know full well that they made that happen. Not for others but for themselves. I’ve had some wild dreams lately. Most of them are absolutely within reach currently they just take some work. Others are timely, others I will have to give up. But I’m excited for it all.

“The surest way to make your dreams come true is to live them.”

― Roy T. Bennett

I’ve been thinking of starting a personal blog to write more about those dreams, I’m still debating. We’ll see what happens and the direction I go in .

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Life is amazing, a little personal – Itasca IL family photographer

Last time at this year I dragged my little family out to a beautiful field for some photographs. I didn’t get to book a photographer early enough and therefore I took these myself with the use of a tripod and self timer. Would absolutely not reccomend it’s so tedious. Oh did I mention coyotes came out of nowhere and scared the crap out of us. But nonetheless we did the best we could with that we had. This year things are different. No I still did not book someone early enough, and I will have to ultimately figure it out somehow. But life is looking differently for other reasons. Life is changing. In many ways it’s staying the same because even though love evolves it persists if its real. Our family moving forward will look different. I don’t mean to vaguely brush over the changes happening but I feel like I’m still working to accept my new normal even though I am the one leading the charge for change. A change that comes with so much love & respect to the life we’ve built and saying goodbye to. 10 years of a relationship that made me grow tremendously.

2020 has both simultaneously been the worst and the best experience. It has propelled me begrudgingly forward. I’ve always loved staying and living in my positivity and I know that the grass is greener where ever I stand. We will be ok, we’ll support each other through the changes. Currently my heart is with my kids, I know that grown up situtations can be so hard on little ones. In my life I have know hardship and have always worked to overcome it, it hasn’t made me tough or think less of the world, if anything it’s made me much more grateful. I love my softness, I think it opens others to think that not everything has to be hard. Changes are scary but well take it day by day.

“This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.”
― Glennon Doyle

“A broken family is a family in which any member must break herself into pieces to fit in. A whole family is one in which each member can bring her full self to the table knowing that she will always be both held and free.”

― Glennon Doyle

Standing in the light | Chicago and west suburbs photographer

This post is a little departure from what I usually blog, beautiful families with tiny humans who bring so much joy. But I think throwing something different at you is something you can handle. May even be necessary. I’ve been exploring what my womanhood means to me. & I probably shoud have shared self portraits along with my words, but sharing women who inspire me seemed more fitting. I would say that unless I found myself on the path that I am on I would have never even questioned what I thought about womanhood. These images are from Austin, the last location for the last workshop I hosted. I had a conversation with my friend B via Facetime recently, in which we agreed that for both of us so much perspective and change came about leaving our nests for these workshops. I can’t speak for everyone who has ever ventured out of their comfort zones but for me, I can’t live without the challenge. If I get too comfortable it becomes this nagging feeling that I need to push myself. That’s what these workshops meant. Pushing myself and in the process discovering more about what it means to fail and to get comfortable with the unknown. Im evolving my thinking and have so much to uncover but for now I’ll leave it at this new discovery is beautiful. This new questioning is amazing. Womanhood is dope as hell. I’m so excited to grow more into myself.

Can I also say how important it is to sorround yourself with inspiring women who are living their life in their own way unapologetically. Both Britt and Angela have in so many silent ways encouraged me to live authentically. This ish is hard, I won’t lie. I remember when I first became aquainted with these two women. Their existence and the way they moved through the world made me so uncomfortable. I think it was because to me, they were living true to themselves and I didn’t know at the time how desperately I wanted that to be me. These days I am living and standing in my truth. I know without a shadow of a doubt what I want and I am persuing that passionately. I hope this post encourages you to do the same.

“This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.”

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WALK ALONG THE RIVER CHICAGO FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER

WALK ALONG THE RIVER CHICAGO FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER

Much of our adventures go undocumented nowadays since Im so busy with work and life, I have to make it a point to come back to this. My big boy will be 9 already at the end of the month. How on earth is that possible. It feels like just yesterday I was bringing him home. If you’re a new parent and or a new parent to be know that all the parent cliches are one thousand percent true! Every single one of them. I know I have a special chance to document their childhood and I should take more advantage of that. I can’t wait to have more freesom and explore the city of Chicago with these two more if we can’t venture out further. Life is changing but, it is also coming together at the same time.

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For Grandma | Oak Brook, IL extended family session

For Grandma | Oak Brook, IL extended family session

Sometimes lovely sessions happen in the bitter cold. I had the honor to photograph this beautiful extended family, and while I wish it was 5 degrees warmer I think we can all agree that their love comes through so clearly in these images.

I hope you enjoy this gallery.

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couple in naperville

What a year ! Chicago family photographer

What a year ! Chicago family photographer

This year, no scratch that. This decade has been full of amazing surprises. 2019 was such a revelation. It was a huge year for growth and understanding personally, but also a tremendous year for my business. I want to thank all of my incredible clients that took a chance on me this year. I met some of the loveliest humans, but I also had so many families returning with their own crazy changes and growth. Photography can enable us to capture much more than an image. And I am so lucky to be able to do this. Here is a quick blog of my very own little bunch. We thrive on sponteneity and imprefection.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TRUST! HAPPY NEW YEAR HOPE THIS FINDS YOU WELL!


McCallum Family, six months later | Itasca IL family photographer

McCallum Family, six months later | Itasca IL family photographer

I am so damn honored to have seen this family twice this year. I cant believe how gorgeous and big baby L has gotten. I met this family back early this year as I was a backup for their home birth. They blew me away with their kindness and just how excited they were to wecome the surprise baby. I eneded up capturing his incredible arrival.

Also can I say just how beautiful this sunset was, we were lucky with such a warm October day. The kids had a blast exploring and you can see just how much they all love each other.

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Dandelion field at the end of spring | Adri De La Cruz Schaumburg and Chicagoland area family photographer

Dandelion field at the end of spring | Adri De La Cruz Schaumburg and Chicagoland area family photographer

It’s been a tough spring. So many feelings and a ton of movement in my head. Lately I have settled that I am way too comfortable where I am. Growth is like that shitty but lovely plant that just won’t budge unless you significant things to help it along. I’ve been stagnant for a while. Yet feeling a bunch of anxiety over nothing. Life is just funny that way.

I needed to capture that incredible end of spring day and I ran to a creek near a park with my kids. Turns out a filed full of nats is just what the doctor ordered. I hope you’re having an amazing start to your summer.

mom in a field of sunflowers in the suburbs of chicago
kid in golden light in a dandelion field
collage of a kid in a red dress in a chicago field
family in a dandelion field
self portrait with a mirror in the woods

North Carolina alley | Adri de La Cruz Chicago + West Suburbs family photographer

North Carolina alley | Adri de La Cruz Chicago + West Suburbs family photographer

The journey to strong self-love is hard. It reminds me if that shitty Chicago street, you know which one I’m referring to. The one that you brace yourself for. The one that is riddled in potholes and you have to maneuver like MacGyver to safety.

SELF LOVE, I mean. It seems to be a selling point for a ton of products these days. If you love yourself then buy this or that. One thing that no one says out loud is that you can’t fake self-love. It’s apparent in every action we make, in the way we speak of ourselves. I hope that you can see my self love in these images. While I still hold on to a ton of self-preservation, I am also not afraid to share my thoughts and love for me with the world. Does it make me selfish, maybe?. Nearing 30 you just care less and less about what others might think.

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