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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Jessica and Alex, Maternity session in Hyde Park- Chicago IL

Im completely in love with this location. Let me just start by saying that. Sometimes you get little victories and surprises by taking the time to venture out some way out of your comfort. So much of what makes a good photographer is their ability to connect their clients to the enviroment. Love was certainly ever flowing during this session. First time parents are so beyond special. There is something about the unkown that is so scary and at the same time thrilling. A new baby that just creates a brand new dynamic. If you don’t know, i am completely obsessed (understatement) with clouds so this beautiful weather was just pure perfection. I had such a blast getting to know these two. I also love how important it was for Jessica to include parts of their culture into our session together.

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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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Commercial work for Dockatot | Chicago family photography

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.

Standing in the light | Chicago and west suburbs photographer

This post is a little departure from what I usually blog, beautiful families with tiny humans who bring so much joy. But I think throwing something different at you is something you can handle. May even be necessary. I’ve been exploring what my womanhood means to me. & I probably shoud have shared self portraits along with my words, but sharing women who inspire me seemed more fitting. I would say that unless I found myself on the path that I am on I would have never even questioned what I thought about womanhood. These images are from Austin, the last location for the last workshop I hosted. I had a conversation with my friend B via Facetime recently, in which we agreed that for both of us so much perspective and change came about leaving our nests for these workshops. I can’t speak for everyone who has ever ventured out of their comfort zones but for me, I can’t live without the challenge. If I get too comfortable it becomes this nagging feeling that I need to push myself. That’s what these workshops meant. Pushing myself and in the process discovering more about what it means to fail and to get comfortable with the unknown. Im evolving my thinking and have so much to uncover but for now I’ll leave it at this new discovery is beautiful. This new questioning is amazing. Womanhood is dope as hell. I’m so excited to grow more into myself.

Can I also say how important it is to sorround yourself with inspiring women who are living their life in their own way unapologetically. Both Britt and Angela have in so many silent ways encouraged me to live authentically. This ish is hard, I won’t lie. I remember when I first became aquainted with these two women. Their existence and the way they moved through the world made me so uncomfortable. I think it was because to me, they were living true to themselves and I didn’t know at the time how desperately I wanted that to be me. These days I am living and standing in my truth. I know without a shadow of a doubt what I want and I am persuing that passionately. I hope this post encourages you to do the same.

“This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.”

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Once upon a time in Austin TX | Chicago birth and family photographer

Once upon a time in Austin TX | Chicago birth and family photographer

These images were taken in September of last year in the beautiful Austin, Texas! it was a session led by the incredible Stormy Solis. Being in charge of a big event like this means I don’t really shoot a whole lot. But this light and beautiful family couldn’t be ignored, plus it was the last session of the day. It is always so much fun to see how other artists interpret the same subjects. I hope to go back to Austin someday and get to explore a bit more of that incredible city.

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Brannigan Family |Oak Park IL

Brannigan Family |Oak Park IL

Meeting new clients is always so exciting. For this lovely session we were all so grateful at the way the weather gave us a huge break, you just never know what you’ll get in November/December in Chicago. If you’re a Local photographers you know how repetitive locations can feel. My client lives in the area so it was an easy decision to go with something more simple. River Forest and Oak Park have a ton of history and strong elemenets to use. In 2020 I want to add more local photoshoots to my portfolio. There’s something about the way your enviroment changes and the images you can capture there.

Have I mentioned what a sweetheart this little baby was? What a beauty. Honestly the Three of them were just so fun to work with.

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Lunde’s Wheaton IL tree farm adventure | Adri De La Cruz chicago family photographer

Lunde’s Wheaton IL tree farm adventure | Adri De La Cruz chicago family photographer

It seems like just yesterday I was over capturing baby B’s arrival. Time is not our friend sometimes, babies grow up righ before our eyes. I know Christmas and everything related to this beautiful holiday is so very important to this family. From the small ways in which they gather together to the important way they lead their lives. I see all of the beauty represented for them.

Their story began in a a tiny apartment not far from this Wheaton IL tree farm nursery. Also can we give a shout out to the owners of this place, we are so grateful for their inviting ways. It was fitting that we had a session here. They picked a tree then headed for some indoor warmth, a cup of joe, and hot chocolate for the kids. So many snuggles and memories in between. To say that they are some of my most favorite humans would be an understatement. I look forward to seeing this family expand and grow throught the years.

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Kerlyn Van Gelder’s magic | a little bit of life, Chicago maternity photographer

Kerlyn Van Gelder’s magic | a little bit of life, Chicago maternity photographer

This new decade has already proven that I am going to be completely challenged and pulled in all kinds of crazy directions. So to take a break from that I am going through old images and publishing, erasing, and moving forward. My amazing friend @KerlynVanGelder taught this amazing session for me in Portland and I can’t belive I haven’t shared what I was able to capture through my lens. I hope you enjoy these images. I want to start adding more of raw motherhood images to my work.