Chicago Lifestyle Family PhotographerGolden hour family photos

Thank you for looking through my Chicago Lifestyle Family photographer post! I shared it mainly to show my potential clients how golden hour family photos look like. Recently, I received a family session inquiry where a mom was suggesting to take photos mid-day. I had to convince her that taking photos around so called golden hour (close to sunset) makes the photos soooo much better! The light in the late afternoon is the most flattering and soft, the air has a warm tone to it and I’m able to capture the sun flares that make the photos look so magical! 

Another ingredient to getting good family photos is not to talk my subjects into anything, but to love them exactly who they are. In the case of this family session, the two years old Simon (whom I adore and had a chance to photograph before – you can see the session here), was the perfect toddler. Energetic and little mischievous! He was running, playing and you couldn’t get him to pause for a second. And that was perfect! We created authentic and fun photographs that this wonderful family will cherish forever.

I hope you enjoyed this Chicago lifestyle family photographer post!

Chicago Newborn Family PhotographerLifestyle Family session

Welcome to my Chicago newborn family photographer post where I share images from the session of my former wedding clients. I adore seeing my clients again for such a grand reason like having a baby. As a mother myself I feel particularly connected to the relationship between moms and babies. Not that dads aren’t important it’s just my eye goes to moms.

In the sweet book that my husband gave me when I had my 1st son – “Mother to Son. Shared Wisdom from the heart” by Melissa Harrison and Harry H. Harrison Jr.– I read something that I hope you see in the photographs I took of Ernie and his mom Ellie. The book talks about new moms and their sons : “you will want to just watch him – his eyes, his hands, his movements – for hours”. During this session I was very drawn to the lovingly stares with with Ellie was looking at Ernie and the way she was holding him. So beautiful… 

Thank you for looking into this post, 

Your Chicago Newborn Family Photographer 
Anna


P.S All the photos were taken in Humboldt Park and the clients home. I really adore this area and I think it’s really great for family and couple’s sessions. There’s another session on my blog that I photographed in Humboldt Park check it out here.

West Town Family sessionAt home photography session

 

I wanted to share this West Town Family Session as the Solomons are one of my dearest clients. I photograph them at least once a year in or near their stylish home in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago. One of the many things I love about this family is that they embrace chaos of parenthood so well! Yes, their home is always sparkling clean and so well designed yet they’re so wonderful at letting their toddler Simon be awesome himself! There was a lot of movement, excitement, joy, play and chasing after Simon while his newborn sister Annie slept through is all!

 

I love photographing families throughout all stages of their life but the most precious is the time parents bring their newborn home. I remember bringing my son home from hospital but when we were about to go through a threshold my husband stopped us. He came in 1st, walked to our iPad and played a playlist of music he prepared weeks earlier. It was to set the mood and welcome our baby boy (I can’t believe it’s been 4.5 years ago already). Here’s the 1st song my son heard upon entering our home:

 

“Here Comes the Sun” by George Harrison

 

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo)

Here comes the sun, and I say

It’s all right

 

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right
It’s all right”

Your Chicago Family Photographer

Engagement session in a parkChicago engagement session

 

What can I say about this engagement session? First off, I feel blessed I get to photograph people, especially such lovely humans like Lydia and Patrick, and get paid for it. Second, we had the most perfect golden hour! Finding the best spots with glorious light wasn’t difficult. Lydia, Patrick and I spent a relaxed hour walking around a Winnemac Park in Chicago and taking photos in moments that felt right and locations with the best natural light.

 

I’m honored I’ll photograph Lydia and Patrick’s wedding this June!

Jewish Wedding Photography ChicagoBlack and white photography

 

Tamar and Zach’s wedding was only the second Jewish wedding I’ve ever photographed. And it’s also one of my favorites that I’ve ever photographed!

 

What did I like about this wedding? First off, Tamar and Zach have this young, passionate love that’s super inspiring. They were both so excited to get married and weren’t shy to show the emotions. Tamar freely expressed her admiration for Zach and you can see  Zach’s more subdued but equally powerful passion and love for Tamar. They reminded me of modern day versions of Patricia and Michel from Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless”. Once I started taking portraits of Tamar and Zach the movie kept popping in my head and influenced me to edit most of the images in black and white. See the movie and you’ll know what I’m talking about!

 

What I also loved about this wedding was the multitude of Jewish rituals present throughout the day. Signing of the Ketubah, seven blessings, breaking of the glass, blessing of the challah, and hora dancing all evoke many emotions of joy, anticipation, sadness, reflection, and love that were so wonderful to photograph. It was a busy day for me trying to capture all those emotions but a day I’ll always remember.

 

Now Tamar and Zach happily live in Tel Aviv where Zach writes his novel that will be published soon. Ah! aren’t they romantic???

 

Tamar and Zach, wishing you a lifetime of happiness…..

 

 

 

 

 

Same sex Chicago elopement photographyCaldwell Lily Pond elopement

 

 

Matt and Kevin reached out to me for elopement photography at the beginning of summer 2017. They came from L.A. to Chicago (Matt’s hometown) in mid August to have the families witness their exchange of vows.

We met in downtown Chicago to capture the feel of the city in the photographs. I was glad we met early morning as the summer heat was climbing by the minute. By the time a cab took us to the Caldwell Lily pond ceremony location it was already 11:00am and very hot. One of my favorite photos from this wedding isn’t a posed photo with a grand location on the background, but rather an image of a small gesture between Kevin and his dad that speak volumes of the father-son relationship.  It was the moment right after the ceremony when Kevin’s dad pulled out his handkerchief so that Kevin could wipe the heat from his face. Moments like this make my work so much more meaningful.

Photographing this Chicago elopement left me more compassionate and understanding that Love is Love and hopeful that people around the world will soon be able to marry who they love. I hope you feel the many emotions of the day in the photographs.

Many years of happiness to you, Kevin and Matt!

 

 

Chicago Cultural Center ElopementChicago Civil Ceremony photography

 

 

This Chicago Cultural Center Elopement happened at the end of April 2018. Jarrad, Polly, and I hoped for a warm day with blooming leaves on the trees. Spring didn’t come early enough for the trees to bloom yet we were all grateful because it was one of the first warm days of the season. The elopemenet was super sweet and I’m happy to share the photos with the world.

 

I’m always thrilled when kids are part of the wedding! Having Jarrad’s 8 year old son present during the civil ceremony made the couple quite emotional. When editing the civil ceremony photos I teared up a bit at the images of Polly hugging Jarrad’s son and at the thought of how wonderful it’s to be a step parent.

 

Polly, Jarrad, and I walked around the Chicago Cultural Center to take some portraits but my favorite photos are the ones of emotions that happen during the ceremony.

 

Congratulations Polly and Jarrad!

Modern Chicago Engagement

 

 

 

It always starts with a good conversation. I met with Jessica and Andreas over coffee to talk about their wedding. I instantly knew I wanted to work with them. The result of one of our collaborations (the other being their wedding that’ll appear on my blog soon) is this modern Chicago engagement session.

Andreas manages The Wormhole Coffee and yes, he makes incredible coffee! Jessica is an editor at a publishing company and just recently wrote and published her 1st book “Craft Coffee”. If you appreciate good coffee and want to make a better one at home I highly recommend you get your copy here. As you’ve probably already figured out, Jessica and Andreas are pretty serious about their coffee and each other.

We spent some time at their home and around their neighborhood in Ravenswood, Chicago. Hope you enjoy this modern Chicago engagement session.

 

 

Chicago loop wedding

Chrissy and Trey met in Chicago, then lived in NYC for a few years. In NYC they rented a very small apartment. I’m mentioning it cause I also used to live, with my now husband, in a tiny loft and have a theory about couples living in really small spaces. My believe is that if you still want to marry a person you spent years with living in a very small space you’re meant to be successful as a married couple!  When Chrissy and Trey came back to Chicago they were ready to marry. Almost right away they started planning their Chicago loop wedding. When looking for vendors for their wedding Chrissy remembered me from a wedding she stood for a couple years back and got in touch with me.

 

We met in a Logan Square bar to talk about their Chicago Loop wedding. Soon after we sat down, Chrissy announced that they hated being photographed, and they loved to dance (I think they wanted to know if I’m up for the challenge). Luckily I’m a dancing queen who also doesn’t like to be photographed! Right then and there, I knew we would be be a great team!

 

Just like Chrissy and Trey eagerly shared with me during our meeting, the portrait part of the wedding was sweet and short. The dancing part of the wedding, however, was full of surprises and expressive moves! As their requested, I took lots of action shots from the dance floor.  Thanks to Chrissy and Trey’s naturality and openness we created some beautiful photojournalistic shots that will last for generations. Check it out yourself!

 

Bridgeport Art Center WeddingRustic wedding venue chicago

Bridgeport Art Center wedding.

Alanna and Zach wanted a rustic chicago wedding and found a dream spot at Bridgeport Art Center. It’s a unique urban warehouse venue perfect for a wedding ceremony with a timber loft indoor space and outdoor Sculpture Garden located in one of Chicago’s burgeoning art scenes. Once they chose the venue, Alanna’s mom and Maria of Ivy & Plum Events took care of the rest. Every detail of this Bridgeport Art Center wedding was well planned and meticulously executed. One of my favorite elements was the french silk ribbon wedding favors. The ribbons (as explained on little notes placed at each table setting) originated in the 17th century and symbolize love, health, and happiness for the newlyweds. Many guests wore them as brooches. You can see them in some of my late night dance photos. Those brooches are my favorite wedding favors ever!

During my walk-through with Alanna and her mother Laura a few weeks before the wedding we were having a candid conversation and Alanna mentioned that she disliked high-heals and wanted to wear flats on her wedding day. She also said she planned on keeping her hair long and natural because Zach liked it this way (Ah! how cute is that?!). Laura, who I came to know a bit and really like throughout the process, didn’t object but delicately suggested otherwise. On the wedding day Alanna ended up wearing mid-height heels and kept her hair long but pulled back a bit. I think she looked stunning!

So yay, cheers to Moms and their valuable suggestions! Personal note: I don’t usually enjoy unsolicited advice from my mom but she is often right! (Man, she’ll love hearing that I finally admitted it and put it in writing. haha)

Venue: Bridgeport Art Center/Event Planner: Plum & Ivy Events/Dress: Reddington/Caterer: Calihan/ Flowers: Fab Flora

 

 

Artistic wedding. Laura + Joel

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Oh Boy, I don’t know where to start when describing Laura and Joel’s wedding. From the ride to the ceremony  during which I learned Laura and her maid of honor knew Beyonce’s songs by heart and were not shy to entertain us by singing the entire ride, to the ceremony that could have been a theatre piece by itself with chorus, live music, and storytelling, and finally to the late night salsa dancing performed by Laura and her Cuban born grandmother, the entire day was magic.

So this is Laura and Joel. Entertaining, artsy, boisterous, and bold.