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.

The Dryfhout Family session | Homer Glen IL photographer

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.

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SISTERS READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS

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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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.

The Anderson Family | a beautiful cloudy morning at Busse Woods In Elk Grove Village

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.

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Charlie is four, mom and daughter session in Downtown Chicago | Adri De La Cruz photographer

I cannot belive this little beauty is four already. We were there to welcome her, the weekend after her birth. She was so insanely beautiful and tiny with the darkestlittle curls all around her head. I have a photograph of my baby zo holding her and its one of my favorite photos of the two. They’re so close and inseparable. I love that they have each other and I bet that they become the best of friends. I got to photograph Charlie with her beautiful mama by the river a few weeks ago, and the weather couldn’t be more perfect. It was sunny and warm kinda like this duo. You can see just how much they adore each other. This location was bustling with life. We are still so careful to watch out for covid. But it was fun to see people on the river and enjoying the lovely fall weather. We had a blast during this session mainly because Chalie is such a little ball of energy and loves to dance.

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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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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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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.