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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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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WALK ALONG THE RIVER CHICAGO FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER

WALK ALONG THE RIVER CHICAGO FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER

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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Villagomez Family, Schaumburg family and newborn photography

Villagomez Family, Schaumburg family and newborn photography

With tiny little Valentina the Villagomez family expanded their hearts to become a family of four. She has been the tiniest baby I have photographed. My favorite part about newborns is their super curly qualities and the tiny little fists they can’t help but form. The way they wrap their tiny hands around their loved ones. Did I mentione that her big sister is one! Still just a baby herself and already feeling so proud. This family is incredibly beautiful and Im so happy I had a chance to photograph them in this new chapter in their life.

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Esmael Family | field and summer session in Hanover Park IL

Esmael Family | field and summer session in Hanover Park IL

I’ve know the Esmaels for quite sometime. I’ve followed the on Social Media and I have loved seeing their family adventures and also just watching them become the beautiful family that they are. So when Courtney reached out for family photographs I was ecstatic.

We had a blast playing and shooting in the tall fields. These kiddos were so sweet and they were like little bug encyclopedias. I most of all fell in love with the bond of sisterhood that is already so strong. This whole family is just so effortlessly beautiful. It was an honor to capture a little slice of that.

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The Beck family | Lincoln Park IL, family photographer

The Beck family | Lincoln Park IL, family photographer

What an absolute joy was this family. They had the sweetest back story, and one of the amazing and most funniest things is that they both have the same name. They were a part of a Dockatot campain to celebrate all kinds of different families.

Baby O was so calm and beautiful. You could see that she knew just how loved she was. I hope you enjoy these images.

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The Corrigan Family | Lincoln Park’s best lifestyle newborn photography

The Corrigan Family | Lincoln Park’s  best lifestyle newborn photography

I can’t believe we are nearing the middle of September. Back in July I took part in this incredible shoot for Dockatot. I only wish I still had little babies to put them in the cute products they have. The Corrigan Family was a part of Day one, I’ll be blogging all of the incredible families here for you all to see. They have two little ones, with the most gorgeous red hair, and beautiful personalities to match. I hope you enjoy their galleries.

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parents holding theier baby in Lincoln park
dad holding his newborn baby girl
big brother giggling and running
sibling and mom loving on their new baby
the cutest red head
beautiful red head boy details of his face
dad and baby boy having fun
newborn being held by his mom
mom swaddling baby girl
dad and baby girl

Fall morning in St. Charles IL |Adri De La Cruz Chicago family photography

Fall morning in St. Charles IL |Adri De La Cruz Chicago family photography

Catching up on my blogging, and this family has been a part of my photography journey since the beginning. They have grown into this beautiful little foursome. My husband and Ian, the dad have been friends since high school. That’s a long history and seeing each other’s kids grow up. Our daughters are even a few days away with birthdays. And actually I was at her first birthday pregnant and uncomfortable, then gave birth like a day or two later. How crazy is that.

For this session we got lucky with the perfect early morning calm skies and wind day. Actually I think we all worked up a sweat. It’s always an honor to capture their love.

family in illionois at a farm shoot
siblings embracing each other
family at a shoot in Illinois

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