Southern wisconsin barn wedding photography

Southern wisconsin barn wedding photography

Southern wisconsin wedding photographers

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You know that feeling when you meet someone and instantly feel a connection? There’s that something that tells you they are “your people”? I don’t know if it’s Nora and Arthur’s down-to-earth, free-spirited personality, or their international experience (they lived in China for a few years) but the affinity was clearly present from the start. I felt honored to be let into their lives on their wedding day.

 

Their Southern Wisconsin barn wedding took place among the open fields on what was undoubtedly the hottest day of the summer. The extreme temperatures didn’t stop the couple from having the most intentional and thoughtful wedding I’ve ever photographed. The farm where Nora and Arthur were married was the same place where Arthur’s parents married in the early 80’s. The flowers on the tables were freshly cut that morning from the farm’s flower garden. The Chinese lanterns that concluded the ceremony came in the suitcases of Nora and Arthur’s many friends who came in from China. Even the floor on which Nora and Arthur had their first dance was made by Arthur and his friends just days before the wedding. Nothing about the celebrations felt fabricated or pretentious.

 

I hope you can feel the affectionate nature of Nora and Arthur, the dedication of their friends and family, as well as the warmth of the sun, smell of wildflowers and humming of bees and mosquitos when you look at the photographs.

 

Outdoor fall engagement. Cat + Mike

Outdoor fall engagement. Cat + Mike

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It was a chilly but sweet outdoor Fall engagement. Cat is a free spirited yoga instructor. Mike is a dog lover and a biker. Together they are the sweetest and funniest couple! (not to mention also good looking and stylish!). This outdoor loving couple brought their bikes and we took photos amongst the yellow, red and green colors of the trees. We walked, talked, and took photos before getting to Lake Michigan just after sunset. I wasn’t completely surprised when they ended the session with a jump into freezing Lake Michigan!  (I got into the water too! …just not as deep;))

Goodbye Summer

Goodbye Summer

 

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As I was saying goodbye to summer I pulled out some photos from our July vacation in Northern California. I’m already nostalgic for this past summer and then I realized that it was the last summer of not being a parent! Yes, we are expecting a baby boy this fall :)  We’re thrilled that our little family is expanding! Our 10 day vacation was just what future mama & growing baby needed. I follow the advice of yoga and meditation masters who believe that connecting with Mother Earth is crucial to our emotional and physical health. We did a lot of connecting with Mother Earth in Northern Cali. I noticed that walking (or napping!) on a beach, hiking in a forest, or biking in the country boosts my energy and creativity (and I’m sure the baby appreciated the time off too!) It’ll be great to show those photos to our son one day and tell him “Hey look! Your travels started early on.” :)

Andersonville Engagement

Andersonville Engagement

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Lindsay and Nikki’s Andersonville engagement session was one of the most laid-back and inspiring shoots. The girls suggested the location and the relaxed flow of the session. We started with the summer’s weekly Andersonville Farmers Market and continued on the streets of the neighborhood. As you can tell by looking at the photos, we laughed a lot! During the session Lindsay and Nikki filled me up on the details of their one-of-the kind wedding (it’s going to include a bonfire!) that I’m excited to photograph in October. Stay tuned for photos from their stylish wedding!

Montrose Beach Chicago Engagement Photography. Willow + Dave.

Montrose Beach Chicago Engagement Photography. Willow + Dave.

I love when the engagement photography session turns into a hang out time. That was the case with Willow and Dave.  We met late Friday afternoon and spent 2 hours walking around Montrose beach in Chicago. I didn’t realize how beautiful that location was until that afternoon. There’s a large reservoir that’s home for rare birds, and prairie that you can’t imagine being in the city! I was surrounded by the beauty of nature and gentle touches between the two sweethearts. Perfect afternoon!

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Chicago Headshot photographer

Chicago Headshot photographer

I’m Chicago headshot photographer but I’ve never posted a headshot session for actors here on the blog. I’m thinking about building a separate website for my headshot work as it varies from my wedding and portrait work that’s mostly here. The photos below represent a final selection (from about 200 photos) that my client, Dagoberto chose to send to his agent. A typical headshot session lasts about 2.5 hour and I coach and direct my clients throughout the whole process.  It was really cool working with Dagoberto. You can see some tough face expressions in the photos but he’s a big sweetheart. We talked about the new opportunities for Chicago actors (TV series like Chicago Fire, Chicago PD and Crisis) but his favorite subject for a conversation was his wife and kids.

 

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Kitchen Chicago wedding

Kitchen Chicago wedding

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I looked forward to this Kitchen Chicago wedding for a couple reasons. First off, I love Chelcie and Matt! I photographed their engagement session last summer (link to their session here) and I had a blast working with them. Reason #2 is that it was my 1st wedding since having the baby and I felt ready to get back to work. Still, I was lucky it was a chill and intimate wedding as my postpartum body was still aching a bit. It was so sweet of Chelcie and Matt to make sure I stayed hydrated and well fed :) (I swear I have the best clients!!!). It was a cold winter day and so Chelcie, Matt,  and I stepped out to take portraits for only 5 minutes. By staying outside any longer we risked getting frost bite!  Thank god the surroundings of Kitchen Chicago offered some good photo spots nearby. After we took a few chilly shots we quickly ran back indoors! The cozy and warm atmosphere of the venue was a welcome contrast to the outside cold. Its tall ceiling, brick walls, and large windows offered a great opportunity for the couple to express their creativity with a beautifully designed altar and flower/plant arrangements (made by Art Farm)

 

Ceremony: Kitchen Chicago / Flowers: Art Farm / Catering: hue•gah / Shoes: Anthropology
DJ: Toast & Jam

 

Lifestyle portraits

Lifestyle portraits

Winters are long in Chicago and so there is not much desire to photograph outdoor. Unless you’re stubborn and know tough girls to help you organize a winter lifestyle shoot! We shot it in McHenry IL in a quiet farmland where the make-up artist’s dad lives. We had not only a successful photoshoot but also a great time post-shoot with a champagne and pizza!

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Styling: www.elsahiltner.com
Make-Up/Hair: www.salonsnob.com
Models: Willow Faygenholtz and Katie McGinnis

 

Megan + Matthias. Millenium park engagement.

Megan + Matthias. Millenium park engagement.

The three of us walked around Chicago’s lakefront for over 2 hours. At the end of the walk I was sure I didn’t need to go to the gym for the next week! Since the couple and I are from the same part of the world, they are German and I’m Polish, we talked about our home countries and our life in the US. We agreed each country has its advantages and disadvantage and the most important element of good life are friends and family. Those two will officially become a family in the summer of 2014.

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