Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Only if you watch ANTM would you know what Smize is. Shoot (horrible photography pun intended)  that'd be the only way you'd even know what ANTM even stands for. 
Well todays couple had me at Tyra...They had fierceness right off the bat! 

Turns out I even worked a wedding with em in the past. Same favorite tv show and same gig? The similarities are eerie. And cue horrible Halloween reference. (: Actually, upon re-reading this "bat" coulda worked too. Bam, double Halloween reference. 
Happy day for me to work with couples like this and happy day for you to secretly hoard excessive amounts of candy to yourself.  I eat a 10 pack of Reeses for a snack people I'm in no place to judge. And that officially is my last reference to antm. Done and done. 

For real though guys, so fun working with you!  (: 

Old Friends New Mini...

As fun as it is to meet new couples & families it's always great to get together with long time friends. Derek & Tatum have been been friends of ours well... Before there was a Derek & a Tatum! Played soccer with Derek in college, shot their wedding a few years back, many parties at each others house's later and even with the busyness of photo season and them chasin' around their two cuties Bradon & Ava I'm glad we still get to see each other once in awhile.
I can't believe how big the kids are getting! 
Thanks for joining us guys. (: 

Next $50 mini-session's comin' up. This Saturday in Wheaton. 
Contact us if you want in. 
Potential mini for Dec. 2nd may be added in so keep in touch. ( :

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mini-Session Models...

3 years and two kids later we re-visited the exact location of where Mike & Jill got married to take some pics of their ridiculously gorgeous family at our first official mini-session. I seriously said "your kids could be models" an embarrassing amount of times but it's true; they're absolutely stunning! 

Besides making me feel old I love when I get to be a part of a families journey. Often times I meet the couple before they're even married, get to celebrate with them in the exciting engagement stage, gush over all the beautiful details of their wedding day, and get so stoked when I get the call that their havin' bambinos! So today was all the more fun to shoot this family this spot has even more meaning for them now that they have kids. 

Wanting family pics? We have another $50 mini session coming up in Wheaton IL. on Saturday Nov. 3rd. And if we get enough interest we may be adding another one in on Sunday Dec. 3rd.
If you're interested or want more info you can contact us at:

McGowan Family Mini-Session

A couple weeks ago I posted about a bride I have who I've deemed my "Ralph Lauren" bride cuz she's like a living catalogue of beauty. Well... This is her family. Minus her. 
Thought it was funny for the family to do "family" pics without their daughter Mallory but I got over that pretty quick cuz these people are crazy photogenic. Plus, the mom, Monica, her mannerisms remind me so much of her daughter that it was kinda like she was there. Plus her sister looks just like Mallory. Loved getting to meet the rest of the fam before Mallory's wedding later next year. 

These pics came from a $50 mini-session we did. If you're wanting pics we have another coming up in Wheaton IL. on Nov. 3rd and potentially will be adding one in (if there's enough interest) for Dec. 2nd. 
Want more info? 
Contact us at:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Love Birds.

I love that one of our Facebook followers (Shout out to Lori!) said this photo is "Almost like two lovebirds in a birdcage"  because well... for one that's just a super cute & creative title but it also makes it seem effortless which is awesome because my feet that were sore for 4 days and the huffin' and puffin' this photog was causin' after literally running to get to my spot was proof that wasn't. (: 

Had the idea for this photo in my head for about 10 hours hoping that when all was said and done the bride & groom would give me another few minutes to see if this experiment would work. 
"Experiment? That sounds iffy...." Well... It was! I'm 4 floors above them shooting from another wing of the building through a glass window. Shoot, I didn't even know if I could get to the wing let along silently communicate with them what I had in mind. I truly had no idea if it was even feasible but I knew it could be sick if we pulled it off. Same with the photo below. I took those photos several hours apart knowing in the end what I wanted to do with it. So mentally trying to recall how I did it before, lining up where I thought I put the other before,  all the while adjusting to a whole different time of day with  lighting again is quite a bit trickier than it may look. 

But isn't that true of marriage? Often times people have no clue whether or not they can pull it off, they're scared if taking the risk will be worth it, but in the end taking that chance ends up making something more beautiful than originally hoped. 
These two love birds made it look easy. (: 

Congrats to Peter & Emily! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ralph Lauren Bride...

There's the punk-rocker I used to have purple hair in high school bride. There's the I just stepped out of a Disney movie and permanently have Bambi eyes bride. There's the Martha-Stewart I'm gonna be a crafting maniac up to the minute of "I Do" bride. 
So Mallory is my Ralph Lauren bride. The gorgeous girl at a polo match that everyone is just infatuated with. Common now... Are they not a walking advertisement for Ralph Lauren? Yes, I totally make up scenarios in my head but generally there's a bit of truth to it and it helps with the pics. (: 

 I've always been obsessed with photos/ads and growing up I had pages from magazines literally surrounding the entire top border of my room. One of my favorite was this gorgeous black and white ad of a girl with long blonde hair, hand in hand with her groom. The first time I met Mallory that RL Weddings ad is what I thought of. I found her first Ralph. (: 
Actually... No. Joe did! Lucky man!
Our last photo of the day was while they were kissing on a Chicago street while a huge double decker tour bus came right behind them with a massive sign that read: "The Next Big Thing Is Here!" 
They just may be that! They are so easy to photography its unreal. Even if they don't grace the billboards on Michigan Ave. the next big thing for them is here (Well, almost...) Their wedding! 
Cannot wait to shoot my own Ralph Lauren Bride. (: 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Destination? Country.

This kinda was like a destination wedding in the fact that we'd look around and be like "Where are we!?" This place was absolutely gorgeous but not gonna lie we were in the boonies! Which last time I blogged that I was in no-man's land I got a reader's comment claiming they too lived there and it's "not in the country." Sorry "Y'all" but when a gas station is hard to find and the next driveway to make a u-turn is measured not in blocks but barns we're in the country! (: 
And we loved every second of it!
For real, I could live there. No exaggeration or sarcastic eye roll, I really could. The landscape is freak-out worthy (believe you me, Nicee and I almost to an excessive point would look at each other and be like "Are you seein' this!?" and the people especially someone named Jason and a beautiful girl named Kate are so down to earth and genuinely great people you wish you were neighbors. 
There's a serenity to it. Unlike my house right now. It's crack-of dawn early, (for real, check the time at the bottom of this) and every leaf-blower, and lawnmower in the state (okay nooooow I'm exaggerating) is doing our lawns. It is border-line crack of dawn early though for which I shall make myself a giant mug of coffee and go to my "happy place" aka these pictures and all will be right with the world again. 
In all seriousness, we loved being a part of this wedding! 
Jason & Kate... Congratulations!!! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Worth It!!!

Phenomenal! Sweet! AMAZING! Ridiculously Cool! Sick! Spectacular! Astounding! Great! BREATHTAKING! Extraordinary! Fabulous! Remarkable! Wonderful! STUNNING! 

I'd say these are the words I was shouting in my head while taking photos of potentially the most beautiful bride that ever existed but in reality as cheesy as it is, there were no words. You can't really describe days like these; other than to simply say that this is why I LOVE what I do! 

We debated whether to just stay at the hotel for pics outside. There was a nice little gazebo, the classic bridge shot, a pond, very nice options. But no one for their wedding day wants an internal "Oh...well, this is nice" moment. They want a HOLY COW! THIS IS RIDICULOUS moment! So we hopped in grooms car, GPS-ed (Can you even make GPS past-tense?) a location we'd never even been too and comin' around the corner and seeing these spots with the most photogenic couple of all time!? We not only had our holy cow this is ridiculous moment, I had the phenomenal! Sweet! Amazing! Breathtaking! Extraordinary!.... You get the point moment! 

Which totally random side-note... Did you notice the font is bigger today? For some reason I found the regular one to be freakishly little all of a sudden. Maybe I've been starin' at my computer too long? Okay, that one's not a maybe that's a for sure. Or maybe I'm goin' blind? Even if that were true, I'm pretty sure even then it'd be equally obvious how ridiculously gorgeous Brittney & Steven are. 
From engagement photos during Illinois first hurricane (self-weather diagnosis but I assure you it was nuts) and rocking out epic photo after epic while lighting was threatening we may not even live to the wedding to wonderful days like these where it's a gutsy move to make a last minute call on switching locations. But man oh man was it worth it!   And I hope that's what Brit & Steven are saying now. There were some wedding planning bumps in the road for them, some hardships that they didn't see soming, but I hope as they curl up on the couch and flip through these photos together they'll see that riding through the storms of life, and taking chances, were and are two indicators that great great things are to come. And when that's too hard to bank on pull out the novel, I mean letter that Steven wrote before the wedding. If there's ever a need for a reminder that it's all worth it, that's it.  
So happy for you guys congratulations!