Ajani, Hyde Park newborn session | Adri De La Cruz Photographer

Ajani, Hyde Park newborn session | Adri De La Cruz Photographer

Strong like thunder he came.

While I wasn’t able to be present during his birth, I heard all about her birth plan for him. His mom had all the confidence it took to educate herself and have the birth she always wanted. At home surrounded by light and love. She is definitely full of tenacity.

I should also point out that they were in a midst of a move and we chose a sweet spot to do this session at. Two walls and a window, so if you’re thinking an at home session isn’t for you because of your clutter and space, well I’m here to prove to you that it is possible to create beautiful images with very little.

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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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Almost the same birthday | Oak Park, IL birth photography

Almost the same birthday | Oak Park, IL birth photography

“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.” 
― Napoleon Bonaparte

I am in awe of this incredible mama. The grace and strength she showed during her incredible birth story was so powerful. This sweet baby decided to start making her appearance while I was away in Denver. On my last day of vacation, mama text’d me that her water had broke. It was 10 pm and I was to fly back to Chicago at 5 am. I was so excited for her , but nervous that I would not make it, and my back up would absolutely have to step in and photograph it. Things slowed down and I made it home. I had woken up at 3 am to make my flight and with all the chaos of getting home I didn’t sleep. At around 7 pm I was called to head over to join the birth team. I watched as she worked through her surges.

During the night her amazing team noticed something seemed different. The head midwife joined the birth and she accessed the situation. They determined that the baby was facing the incorrect way. If you’re reading this I completely act like a fly on the wall, I don’t ask questions, so the details are fussy and I’m just typing what I remember. I heard the words “face presentation” among other things. After trying so hard to change the presentation manually, and with a bunch of other incredible ways via her Doula. The call was made to head to the hospital for a C-section. You could feel the amount disappointment and sadness was so real for this mama. She had worked so incredibly hard, and now the reality was things had changed. This was my first C-section experience, and while I wish I had been able to capture the babies arrival, I still was able to see those first moments as she became the mama she was meant to be for a second time.

What an honor to be a part of this story. This is why I photograph births. It is all magical. C section mama’s your story matters. Your birth is just as beautiful.

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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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A bright sunny morning in West Town with the Amador family | Adri De La Cruz Chicago family photography

A bright sunny morning in West Town with the Amador family | Adri De La Cruz Chicago family photography

Oh my heart. This sweet baby girl is basically the poster child for a happy baby. If I had a penny for every smile and coo she blessed me with during our session together I would be very a wealthy woman. She is just to loved. I could see that with every look from her adoring parents.

We headed to west town for a little urban session, which was a very fun experience. Plus I got to indulge and shop around this amazing Chicago area. I am a big fan of all types of art, the fact that we got to incorporate this incredible mural was exciting for me. The colors and textures were stunning. This family in front was just the cherry on top.

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Photo session with summer clouds in Itasca IL | Adri De La Cruz Chicago family photographer

Photo session with summer clouds in Itasca IL | Adri De La Cruz Chicago family photographer

Don’t you love when things come full circle. I took this sweet boy’s newborn photos and I recently got a chance to see him again and now he’s sporting some quite peculiar and most beautiful red gorgeous locks of hair. I honestly couldn’t believe it. But coming from a family that has a little bit of everything I was just in awe of it.

Did I mention that they are the sweetest little family. Click here to see their newborn session ! I hope I get a chance to capture this little one again and be able to see the progression of him and not going to lie, check in on that beautiful hair.

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Winter Magic at home Orland Park, IL | Adri De La Cruz chicago family photographer

Winter Magic at home Orland Park, IL | Adri De La Cruz chicago family photographer

Oh my heart!

It is such a joy to do this job. It’s crazy to think that I captured that sweet child’s newborn photos. Now she’s this rambunctious big kid who just made every image glow with her sweet soul. I was beyond thrilled when Angelina reached out to capture them in their new home for the holidays. I am now getting around to sharing these. Let me tell you a little about how much love I feel when I am in their presence. Nothing but happy kids and inviting personalities. I always leave their session so full of content.

I won’t lie, I am full on wandering what this beautiful estate looks like in the summer. I hope you love these lovely images.

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Kid in some golden light at her orland park illinois home
kid in the snow smiling
big kid smiling
sisters enjoying the snow
sisters smiling and happy
sisters hugguging
sisters in the snow

A little time in the sun, commercial shoot| River Forest IL, family photography, Adri De La Cruz

A little time in the sun, commercial shoot| River Forest IL, family photography, Adri De La Cruz

An amazing company reached out for this shoot! So I headed out to these beautiful woods in River Forest IL. It’s such an amazing town. Pay’s family was just so stunning. This little baby was so chill and easy going, she really made my job so easy. Every time she had a moment, dad would put on baby shark and she was all smiles.

One of the most important aspects of my job is making sure I capture families in their truth. & Have their love be reflected 100%. So it was so much fun to capture their love. Also I was so grateful for the cooler sun shine day. In Illinois we really have to be mindful of ticks and other bugs.

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Like lightning, quick home-birth in Arlington Heights | Adri De La Cruz Chicago and West suburbs birth photographer

Like lightning, quick home-birth in Arlington Heights | Adri De La Cruz Chicago and West suburbs birth photographer

WOA BABY!

Back in April I had the freaking experience of a lifetime. I watched a beautiful mama catch her sweet baby boy. This birth is actually in two parts, we had two nights. I was called over and sent home the first day, even though no baby came that day. I got to know her incredible birth team. By the way she had never had anyone present for her two prior births. When she stalled out, at 4 cm, she decided to not intervene with her process and allowed that baby to stay put for as long as he needed to. Remember patience is a virtue. The second night we were called over I opted to take the highway since I wasn’t sure how quick it would be, and man am I gald I took the faster route. That sweet boy was extremely quick. I got there and withing 15 minutes, in a blink of an eye he was here. She is a badasss and i am so lucky to have captured this incredible moment.

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DAY TWO

Half a year old | Adri De La Cruz Batavia IL, family photographer

Half a year old | Adri De La Cruz Batavia IL, family photographer

6 months have gone by since her newborn shoot. Its crazy to see how fast time flies. What a concept. These little babies wear the time stamp so very pronounced. Their cheeks and chubby thighs, balance and hair growth shot it. Every day is a new change. So don’t blink and capture all of their babyhood.

This sweet little lady was mostly all smiles. She’s learning to balance when she seats, and is so aware of her brother’s presence . Looking over at him every time she could. I’m looking forward to seeing her one last time this summer.

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