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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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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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!


Movement in Self-portraits, it just takes a little bit of patience | Adri De La Cruz chicago photographer

Movement in Self-portraits, it just takes a little bit of patience | Adri De La Cruz chicago photographer

Hey guys, today I am sharing some images from this spring. I took a little bit of time to photograph myself and my kiddos just enjoying one of our favorite things at our house, our little outdoor swing. My son suggested the swing and since then I’ve added a reboso swing as well. What I wanted to achieve in these images was a little bit of movement. Something that doesn’t always come natural in self portraits because you’re setting up the shot. Being intentional with movement can sometimes seem forced because you’re anticipating it. So I knew I would have to encourage the fun, because with out it we would have been so incredibly stiff. If you are wanting more movement and fluidity in your self portraits here are three tips for that.

-Pick and easy + fun activity to do with kids. Jump in there. If you use a timer, which I do. I have 10 seconds to set up my shot. I know a remote would be easier, but I keep loosing them. Do the movement once or twice before you press the shutter.

-Say no to shallow F/stop depth of field. With movement, focus is easier at f/5 and even f/11 Can you believe it (sarcasm) . Seriously try it. Capture you and your environment completely.

-Let go of perfection. This would have to be the number one tip but I put it at the end so it can be the last thing you read. When your learning what is important is what you learn from your failures. If that pushes you to create more than it means that being in your photographs is important to you. So go create.

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Goodbye summer | Adri De La Cruz- Chicago + West suburbs family photographer

Goodbye summer | Adri De La Cruz- Chicago + West suburbs family photographer

Yesterday it felt like a sweet goodbye to summer. Yes, while I know the weather is so unpredictable I felt this overwhelming need to capture these very last moments of summer for my kids. I turned on the sprinkler for about 15 minutes and captured their joy. but let’s be honest there were also moments of them fighting for the best spot near the water. After this summer I no longer have a kid at home to keep me busy. There is so much change ahead for us. Schedules are getting full, and so are backpacks.

Next week is the first day of school for my littlest, she’s starting prek. I know she’s going to love it, she is one of the most extroverted kids I know. I look forward to hearing all of the stories. Change is never easy. Nonetheless, we just have to keep moving forward.

 

 

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Sometimes a little throwback is needed | Chicago and sorrounding area family photographer

Sometimes a little throwback is needed | Chicago and sorrounding area family photographer

We are so over winter.

I know, I know how so very whinny of me. So with that, I am torturing myself sharing old images of warmth and sunshine. Plus I really really miss that cute little dress, it seems that we wore that every day of summer two years ago. I am currently in the midst of some inner feeling dealings, I’m not even sure what it is about the in-between time of winter-spring that I find so hard to deal with. Yet I am always so grateful for these two, they keep me grounded. Even though this motherhood gig just somehow keeps getting tougher, it also keeps getting more and more beautiful.

See I kept it short and sweet! I am so looking forward to warmth, Spring hurry up will ya.

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Moments with them, spring beach day | Adri De La Cruz Photographer, Chicago and west suburbs family photographer

Moments with them, spring beach day | Adri De La Cruz Photographer, Chicago and west suburbs family photographer

I hate that it took me almost a year to blog these. This was actually last spring, in April. We had such a warm start to our Spring so I loaded my kids and headed towards Indiana. Just a spur of the moment.

Since last year I bet you can guess how much they’ve changed, They are both so much taller but also a lot less patient with me and my camera tendencies. If you’re a mom and are wanting genuine moments with your kids I would say to stop worrying about the smiles and posed images.

I can remember my mom describing my wild antics but only wished there was a photograph to see them, because I know I was wild. I just don’t have the proof of how much :P. I cannot stress enough how important it is to document your kids as they are.  The way their silly girn was full of tiny teeth or the untamed baby hair or in our case the gallos, a Mexican word for hairs that stand straight up and cannot tame no matter what you try. Below you can see all of that in my kids.  Also my daughter in the way she removed her shirt to match her brothers.

 

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Adri de la Cruz | Chicago + West suburbs lifestyle photographer | beauty of womanhood

Adri de la Cruz | Chicago + West suburbs lifestyle photographer | beauty of womanhood

“The best I can say, it’s like this. A man’s in his skin, see, like a nut in its shell … It’s hard and strong, that shell, and it’s all full of him. Full of grand man-meat, man-self. And that’s all. That’s all there is.

A woman’s a different thing entirely. Who knows where a woman begins and ends? Listen, mistress, I have roots, I have roots deeper than this island. Deeper than the sea, older than the raising of the lands. I go back into the dark … I go back into the dark! Before the moon I am, what a woman is, a woman of power, a woman’s power, deeper than the roots of trees, deeper than the roots of islands, older than the Making, older than the moon. Who dares ask questions of the dark? Who’ll ask the dark its name?”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, Tehanu

The beautiful Jess never disappoints.

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TIME is | Chicago and suburbs family photography

TIME is | Chicago and suburbs family photography

Time is

Too Slow for those who Wait,
Too Swift for those who Fear,
Too Long for those who Grieve,
Too Short for those who Rejoice;
But for those who Love,
Time is not.

Henry Van Dyke 

______________________

 

It’s hard to find the words. Having seen my mom cry many times after phone calls wishing she could see her mother. It’s been 15+ years. From the moment she told me she’d be able to see her mom soon, it was surreal. You get used to the reality that you may never see that person again when you chose to immigrate to the USA. This is the story of my family. One that is the story of many.

This topic is not black and white.

On this day we arrived far too early. 3 hrs to be precise. We kept waiting anxiously for a familiar face. We even brought balloons, ones that my little 2yr. old released onto the ceiling of the airport shy of the meet and greet. We stat there, staring at strangers reuniting with their loved ones, passengers glad to be back home and kids excited to run the halls of the airport.

When we finally saw her, rushing through just as I remember her. It was a quick moment of disbelief. Her features much more pronounced, time showing heavy on her skin. Her eyes much more beautiful than I remembered, just as kind as always. The hugs were deep, and the tears flowed. Only broken by a moment of laughter as my Aunt emerged from the bathroom upset that she had missed her first sighting. We hope to have her visit us much more often. We hope we can also travel out to her as well. I am so happy to have captured these special images for them.

 

 

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Frog drop off – Chicago and West suburbs family photographer

Frog drop off – Chicago and West suburbs family photographer

 

I truly believe that there is an opportunity to teach your child some kindness in every day.

It may not always be obvious. It can be as simple as sparing the life of tiny bug that crawled it’s way onto your home. Or as heart wrenching as making them realize that some animals just don’t belong as pets.

My sweet Lucas begged to keep these sweet frogs in our home as pets. Fortunately we were able to convince him otherwise, but not without some tears. Convincing him that it was kinder for them to be in a welcoming freeing environment than a warm box in our house was hard. Rationalizing with a five year old is well, not the easiest thing. Specially when they want something so bad. He is a big animal lover so he understood.  We do have some future plans to get a dog soon. For now we pretend that out stuffed animals are alive.

I had promised to take some photos of the frogs for him. I already love his nostalgic heart. As I was taking photos of the tiny frogs in his hands, my littlest jumped fearlessly into the pond. Then the rest just evolved from there. If you know my kids or myself, you know that we love to get messy. It is also why we don’t have nice things. Thankfully nice things are not something we are interested in. The love and adventures is what counts the most. & I am so happy to have these images of my children wild & free.

 

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