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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Karen and Jordan visit Galena IL, Chicago and west suburbs couples and wedding photography

Oh these kids! I call them kids because this is my sister and their partner. Karen is the COMPLETE opposite of me they are 8 years younger and at some level we joke that my parenting started w them. We have spend our whole lives at odds. I’ve always been all about swallowing the heck out of your feelings. Not letting people in, vulnerabiity F that. Who needs that. While Karen, I believe has led most of their life feeling a ton. Expressing a ton and being painfully aware. I have seen them go through the motions of life and I am so proud of them. They are at this new stage in their life. I hope that they know how much I love them and how I would go to war for them. I am so grateful to have such an incredible support system that will absolutely celebrate me in my triumphs and be there for me in my failures and set backs. I hope they understand that from me as well.

If you haven’t visited Galena please find yourself there. My favorite part of visiting is the drive. I love listening to music while I hit the road. I’ve driven there and the drive is incredibly peaceful . I am a full album type of girl, and I connect songs to feelings and drives lol. I know it’s weird. I love replaying albums and being transported to those specific moments. The town is cute too! Full of history and quirkiness. We created this impromptu shoot just for fun! They are in the early stages of their relationship and I wish them nothing but the best.

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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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The Santiago family is growing, Orland Park IL maternity photographer

I had the absolute pleasure to get to capture the joy of this beautiful family. They are expecting their second child and can you see the look on big sister’s face? She was such a wonderful kiddo. She’s awaiting the arrival of her brother. From our session together I learned about her favorite snacks and although it’s been a while, turns out I’m still fluent in toddler lol. Jasmine is due any day now and I get to meet that sweet little boy. Oh did I meantion it’s a boy.

I met Jasmine online sometime ago. She is a fellow photographer and I am so honored to be the one who captures this new stage in her life. Their session although a tiny bit cold due to March in Chicago’s unpredictability, however it was full of ever flowing love. You can tell that this baby will just be such an extension of their love.

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mom and daughter shoot

Camblin Family session in Elmhurst IL Wilder Mansion

Well this session was a big surprise. I do believe this was my first big family session without any babies. It also made me think about the direction of my work and how to incorporate my personal work as my kids get older. I do think it’s a thing of beauty to still want to be in images with your folks, as teenagers. The love and connection between this family was amazing. They all were so insanely lovely, even if a big session wasn’t their idea of a well spent Sunday evening, they were kind and patient. And the beauty my god, the women in this family. Just wow am I right? I mean the boys aren’t far behind. But this stunning bunch of women just blew me away. Lori had this incredible energy that you saw reflected in her children.

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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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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

The Anderson Family | a beautiful cloudy morning at Busse Woods In Elk Grove Village

So we managed to see a few beautiful elk cows in the grass on this lovely morning. I love when I meet new families especially close to the holiday season. I learned that Mama is a native to Minnesota and Dad is originally from Wisconin so naturally baby was not even going to be remotely bothered by the slight chill in the air. We had originally planned for a sunset session but you know how weather is and we landed on this lovely cloudy morning. It honestly worked out perfectly. The rich beautiful colors in this gorgeous backdrop have to be a new favorite. & can we just talk about the adorable pup. Oh my goodness. I hope I get more and more clients with their dogs. I couldn’t be more of a dog person if I tried.

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Charlie is four, mom and daughter session in Downtown Chicago | Adri De La Cruz photographer

I cannot belive this little beauty is four already. We were there to welcome her, the weekend after her birth. She was so insanely beautiful and tiny with the darkestlittle curls all around her head. I have a photograph of my baby zo holding her and its one of my favorite photos of the two. They’re so close and inseparable. I love that they have each other and I bet that they become the best of friends. I got to photograph Charlie with her beautiful mama by the river a few weeks ago, and the weather couldn’t be more perfect. It was sunny and warm kinda like this duo. You can see just how much they adore each other. This location was bustling with life. We are still so careful to watch out for covid. But it was fun to see people on the river and enjoying the lovely fall weather. We had a blast during this session mainly because Chalie is such a little ball of energy and loves to dance.

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