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.
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.
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.
The absolute most kind of people also happen to be the most beautiful. We did the math during their session and I have been photographing their beautiful family since before little miss E was even alive. How insanely special is that. I’ve seen two of their stunning homes and have seen the kids go through various changes. Now they’ve added an adorable pup. I always say that Matt won the wife lottery (mainly to myself) but you can see from these images that theyre all so beyond lucky to have each other. I cannot stress enough how welcoming and lovely they are. Getting to catch up and see the brand new adventures they’ve made is so much fun. Miss Z + E make me jealous, for my own little Zoe, I know she wishes she had a sister. I myself had 2 but they came almost a decade after me. It’s also crazy to see just how tall Mr. A got, close to being over six feet. He will absolutely surpass his dad. He’s just as handsome as ever and so clever. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s no such thing as a bad location. We shot these in their front yard, around their house and in the back. There is always some kind of magic everywhere.
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 .
FOLLOW MY INSTAGRAM
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
I took on this beautiful elopment of sorts a few months back. Jordan and Lupe were, like most couples just trying to wed in this weird situation of a year. Sorrounded by their extended family and friends and practicing safety protocols they wed in a beautiful ceremony. Lupe looked insanely beautiful, I mean look at that dress! We then headed to this lovely park near for some more portraits. Thankfully it was near, since I guess with all of the nuptial chaos the groom forgot to add gas to his car. We walked over to this hill and I got to experience all of the love and admiration they share for one another. I hope their life is amazing together and that they get to see those images and remeber how not even 2020 could stop them for moving their lives and love forward.
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.
I’m always so damn grateful for all of the opportunities this life has given me and continues to give me. I think that being in the industry that I am the comparison joy creeps in often. I have to constantly remind myself that my voice is what sets me apart. Last year I was awarded the opportunity to work on several campains for Dockatot. I learned so much from those experiences. Self sabotage and the feeling that I wasn’t good enough creep in often as well. I think it does for most of my sessions . But you know what, the voice that tells me that I CAN DO THIS is louder. It is the driving force behind owning my ability and power. I can absolutely fail, and will probably will fail more than win at this point. But I have learned that the losses give me more than my wins. I have no idea what any of that has to do with the images of this adorable baby and these cute products but I guess I just want anyone who might be reading this that no matter what hardship, you can do this. Fail, but with grace, knowing you will recover. The way up is hard but so rewarding.
“I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.”
― Mitch Albom
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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