Playtime with the Browns

I met the Brown’s last year when Rachel asked me to photograph the family for the first time.  I was delighted when she emailed to schedule another session this year.  We met at the Sheridan Shore Yacht Club on a perfect late summer day.

Rachel has amazing taste and had Oliver and Julianne perfectly and appropriately styled with boat shoes, cream sweaters, and the most adorable haircuts.

It was so much fun to see and hang with the family again.  We explored the area, looked for spiders, jumped from trees, and literally ran in circles.









Fun Family Photos

Sometimes you have to let boys be boys.  With three in the Trowbridge family, Christine and Zach opted to let theirs run loose, encouraging their playful, rambunctious behavior. I love shooting fun family photos for the chance to channel my inner kid. We jumped, we rolled, we tossed leaves, we spun, we collapsed.  It was the best!  











My kind of family photo shoot

When the Dvoraks said they wanted pictures of the kids playing rather than traditional posed portraits, they were speaking my language!  I love candid family photography–capturing those real smiles that come from amusement and joy rather than me telling them to say “cheese.”

We had a ball hanging out in their front yard for an hour, letting the kids play tag and enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.  It was a perfect, relaxing Sunday morning shoot for us all.









Malee and Dane’s Intimate Backyard Wedding

I met Dane about eight years ago while waiting for the Red Hot Chili Peppers to come on stage at Lollapalooza.   He was in the handicap section, sitting in a wheel chair after having surgery just before the festival and I was pressed against the fence separating him from the crowd. The wait for the rock band dragged on for hours, so eventually we struck up a conversation.  After the show, we kept in touch via Facebook, using the site for years like modern day penpals.  As happens in life, we eventually fell out of touch.

Our friendship started with social media, and it was social media that reconnected us.  When I joined Instagram a few years back I got to catch up on Dane’s life through pictures.  Most of his photos at that time were of his very handsome dog with a charming personality. After a while, a beautiful girl with a striking smile became peppered into the mix. That was Malee–the person who became his wife this past September.  From posts of her, I could see she was a kind and unique spirit. She complimented Dane’s energy…even enhancing it, like salt in a recipe.

When Dane called to ask me to photograph their wedding, I was completely surprised and touched.  It’d been years, but I still had a great fondness for my friend and was thrilled at the prospect to capture this special day for him.

The wedding was an intimate affair, taking place on their property along the river in Elkhart, IN. The guest list was small–close friends and family, the details handmade, and the vows written be the couple.

Malee was even sweeter in person than I imagined. Dane was full of tears throughout the day, so happy and overwhelmed by it all.

Dane’s Dad, his best man, gave a great speech, reminiscing about the first time he met Malee. He described it like a movie scene in which she speeds toward their dock on a wave runner,  backlit, with cottonwood seeds waft through the air behind her.

The first dances were touching for all.  Malee’s Dad made it through the whole song, before getting choked up at the very end. Dane’s mom danced like no one was watching, embracing her son with the love of a mother.

As though specially designed for the couple, the day was capped off with a breathtaking sunset-a perfect storybook ending.

Dane’s works on his vows only hours before the ceremony.



















































A timeless Engagement Session in Downtown Chicago

I can’t say this about many people, but I’ve known Holly since the first grade.   We went to the same school together all the way through 12th grade, before heading to different states for college.   When Holly sent out a facebook message last year announcing she was moving to Chicago with her fiance Rob to work at Lurie’s Children Hospital as a nurse practitioner, I was thrilled.  Holly’s always stood out to me as someone incredibly down-to-earth, genuine, kind, and joyful.

This past year, I’ve gotten to know Rob as her perfect match.  He’s laid back with a great smile and a touch of quirkiness. It’s not uncommon to catch them from the corner of my eye making each other laugh at an inside joke or affectionately holding hands.  I’m so happy to see my long-time friend paired with such a great guy.