Walker family | Lincoln Park IL family photography

Walker family | Lincoln Park IL family photography

Natasha and her sweet little handsome boy were the third family in the commercial shoot for Dockatot. They were absolutely a joy to work with. This baby was so calm and absolutely in love with his mama. He followed her with his gaze in such a loving way. The whole shoot he was the sweetest. I hope to get to work with them again in the future. She is a bad ass single mama just recently moved here from San Francisco. I hope they are enjoying this crazy time of transition.

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Baby with hands in mouth
sweet little baby toes in lincoln park IL
Mom nursing a baby boy at their lincoln park home
a sweet moment between mom and baby
sweeth toothed baby boy

Mayorca family at the South Shore beach | Adri De La Cruz, Hyde Park family photography

Mayorca family at the South Shore beach | Adri De La Cruz, Hyde Park family photography

Throughout our whole session I felt so connected to their family story. It was so heart breaking to hear the longing to be somewhere else, to go back to their home Venenzuela. But truly the way I saw them, it felt that even though circumstances (much like my own) have forced them to migrate to other places, they truly felt at home with each other. They radiated the word home and belonging. Their children just were so connected and beautiful.

We chatted about how we struggle to hold on to our native tongues for our kids, and how so many words online have hurt us deeply. Home is wherever you are, that may be true. But I hope that they get to return and feel that sense of belonging everyone deserves. For now I get to make new friendships in this beautiful city. One which I’ve adopted as my own. Its my home.

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hair in golden light
family in beautiful golden field

Goddess at the beach | Chicago maternity beach session, Adri De La Cruz

Goddess at the beach | Chicago maternity beach session, Adri De La Cruz

Flabbergasted by her beauty.

Sometimes in this line of work you get meet some truly calm and powerful souls. The way in which she told me her birth plan was amazing, full of hope and steadiness. Nothing could rock her.

For her session we headed to the beach, probably the only available location due to the high temperatures, the typical icy lake turned Luke warm. It was refreshing. To say that she made my job easy would be an understatement. It like she was made for basking in the sun.

To give you an update she had her birth, that same one she told me about, she brought to fruition. Just like I knew she would.

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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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Mama, you deserve to see yourself | P52radness highlights| Chicago + West suburbs Lifestyle Photographer

Mama, you deserve to see yourself | P52radness highlights| Chicago + West suburbs Lifestyle Photographer

So at the end of 2016, I was in one of the worst creative ruts of my career. I say career because I’ve finally owned up to the title of Artist. But, that’s a topic for another day. I looked at my work from the past two years and it was full of conforming images. Stuff I had taken to get up on the IG cycle. That is also a separate conversation, can you tell that I have a lot on my mind.

Anyway, it was a portfolio full of beautiful images that said absolutely nothing to me. Nothing at all, except that my kiddos were cute af, but nothing much.

So I decided that I needed something different, and as I shared my thoughts on my lack of inspiration but, more importantly, lack of seeing myself reflected in my work, I heard the echoes from most of my photographer friends. Who, they were too failing at getting themselves documented. So a simple FB post turned into one of my all-time favorite communities. It a safe space to create and collaborate. Its a place where I’ve felt heard, even as 2017 has been one of the hardest of my personal life + and I guess, work-life combined to some extent. I cannot even put into words how much each of these images means to me, and what they will mean to my children one day. I have always been guilty of so much self-awareness and it is both a curse and a blessing.  As I know and I am reminded every day with a tiny clock in my head that time is limited. As somber as that is, I am the happiest knowing that I am making the most of my time on earth living, and breathing, making mistakes, rectifying some and learning from most. These images are reminders too, to cherish my children and my youth.

So you see, you deserve to be seen, mama. Take time for yourself. If it’s not photography that moves you, paint, draw, shop, dance, read, whatever it is, do it for yourself today. I want to give a huge shoutout to all of those women who have inspired me in a hundred ways in these 52 weeks. Your stories mean so much.

I hope you enjoy some of my P52 highlights.

TO SEE MORE INCREDIBLE SELF PORTRAITS GO CHECK OUT ASHLEY ESSIG’S YEAR .

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Chicago + West suburbs Lifestyle PhotographerChicago + West suburbs Lifestyle PhotographerChicago + West suburbs Lifestyle PhotographerChicago + West suburbs Lifestyle Photographer

Chicago + West suburbs Lifestyle PhotographerChicago + West suburbs Lifestyle Photographer

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M+M Chicago winter engagement and love story

M+M Chicago winter engagement and love story

WHEN I LOOK AT YOU

I FIND IT HARD TO BELIEVE

THAT THE WHOLE UNIVERSE HAD NOT CONSPIRED

TO BRING YOU TO LIFE.

I CANNOT THINK OF A MORE BEAUTIFUL REASON

FOR IT ALL TO EXIST

THAN FOR YOU ON THIS DAY.

 

Shooting this engagement was perfect. The love they share and the moments between them just beamed out like lasers. They laughed the most and at times they forgot I was there. Before they became mr+ mrs , they sat in front of my lens and shared all of their love. I wish them all of the luck and love and happiness.

 

 

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