Hannah and Eric, Lincoln Park maternity session

Sweet December is here, and the time to meet this sweet little baby is nearing. Time has absolutely flown by. I’ve been pregnant a number of times and have given birth just twice. Both times it was a defferent experience. I brought those babies home and I was a different person. After my son I was a mother for the first time, he was big and beautiful and full of wonder. My daughter surprised me with difficultness. I thought I was a pro by then and she swiftly humbled me with her big big cries. I’ve said it before that being a photographer means you’re often meeting people at the highlights in their life. Hannah and Eric are about to be first time parent’s and it is my honor to capture and witness it. Being a part of someone’s birth team is the biggest deal of my life and I cherish it so. I’m so happy we were able to find a moment in the current world chaos to capture their happiness emerging. You can feel the love, you can see the devotion. Little do they know that the way they will parent is apparent in the way they see each other, in the way they hold each other.

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

BY E. E. CUMMINGS

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

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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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Jessica and Alex, Maternity session in Hyde Park- Chicago IL

Im completely in love with this location. Let me just start by saying that. Sometimes you get little victories and surprises by taking the time to venture out some way out of your comfort. So much of what makes a good photographer is their ability to connect their clients to the enviroment. Love was certainly ever flowing during this session. First time parents are so beyond special. There is something about the unkown that is so scary and at the same time thrilling. A new baby that just creates a brand new dynamic. If you don’t know, i am completely obsessed (understatement) with clouds so this beautiful weather was just pure perfection. I had such a blast getting to know these two. I also love how important it was for Jessica to include parts of their culture into our session together.

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A freelensing session in Austin | Chicago and west suburbs photographer

This week I am highly reminiscing about my session in Austin. I taught a bunch of incredible women how to shoot more abstract and diffrent by using a little bit of freelensing. For those that don’t know about freelensing, Freelens means being intentional with bokeh and blur. It takes a little bit of patience and practice but combined with lovely colors and light it can absolutely be magical. Moments can be highlighted in such a different way. I am a huge addict of freelensing and sometimes trust it more than my regular focus. I hope you enjoy these photographs. Also austin is beautiful this was just a random house on the block. I need to go back as soon as possible.

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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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