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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Luis and Ale celebrating their love in the early morning at the Imperial Dunes in California | Chicago couples photographer

When you have both a dope sister photographer you have to fly her out immediately obviously! . I won’t lie and say there wasn’t awkwardness. I mean a couples session is meant to me intimate and full of connection, trust, love, hands on each other etc… and with your sister there, I’m sure it felt like blah for him haha. But we managed along with a ton of laughs because I’m me and I make a fool out of myself everywhere I go. Do you know how hard it is to walk all of this sand. Plus shooting with Primes means running back and forth like a lunatic for just the right angle and shot. Let’s just say I got a killer work out. Im so incredibly happy with these, It’s a bit like jotting a shoot off my photographer bucket list. Sand dunes are a gorgeous backdrop and these did not dissapoint.

While Luis and Ale are officially married, I can’t wait to see my little brother walking down the isle though. I’ll also see both my mom and dad in tears because I’m sure he’s the favorite above me. He’s 5 years younger, when he was born I remember being annoyed. I didn’t get the point of adding another after 5 years of solitude. Growing up he was always far more responsible than me, opening doors at 4 in the morning as I was getting home from a night of partying. Getting up early to get ready for school, as I just rolled out of bed and headed over. He chose to leave for California for the love of his life, doing the nessesary changes for his happiness. Living in his truth. I’m so proud of him. Ale is such a sweetheart that doesn’t take any shit, perfect for him. We’re tough people to love because we don’t let others do it lol. She’s managed to turn my brother into someone open to love, perhaps turn is a bad word. But she’s made it safe for him to let him be loved and I can see that. So happy to welcome her into my family. I look forward to many trips to capture the upcoming milestones and years as well as babies. ( like for real make me an aunt asap) No pressure though.

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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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My loves | Adri De La Cruz Chicago family photographer

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.

-Untamed

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.

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

McCallum extended family session, Long Grove Illinois photographer

This past weekend was just incredible weather for sessions and exploring. I had a chance to catch up with the lovely McCallum family and they brought along her sister and family. Karissa is such a kind and wonderful soul, she is just one of those inviting people that I think everyone should have in their lives. All of her warmth transends onto her children. Her and Patrick are just doing an amazing job raising those three. I look forward to many years of checking in and seeeing them grow and expand into their beauty.

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Lupe and Jordan get married, Chicago and west suburbs elopment photographer

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.