Life, Love & Travel
I met my wonderful husband, Kevin, through my best friend who is also his cousin. He had been living in Houston and just moved back to Chicago. My friend slyly planned a meet and greet at her upcoming birthday party. I had seen some pictures of him and was really excited to meet him. But when Kevin showed up to the party he brought with him….a date! I was crushed! Several months later he reached out to my friend asking about me. Because of last minute plans, we met for a group dinner with five of my friends and him. He was a good sport about being surrounded by five ladies. It was pretty much an instant connection from that point on. I waited a long time to find an amazing man and I think you appreciate something more when you’ve waited for it.
My husband and I LOVE to travel. Two months after we started dating, we had already traveled to Turks & Caicos and what would become an annual New Year trip to Europe. We’ve visited Paris, Dublin, Prague, Munich, London and Edinburgh to name a few. We took a train to the highest point in Europe – Jungfrau in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. We’ve traveled to almost every city in Italy, including my absolute favorite romantic spot, Positano.
Because my husband is an amazing planner, I think he is a travel agent at heart. He plans the most amazing things to do to experience the culture and learn about the history of each country we visit. We’ve eaten raw herring in Amsterdam, wine tasting in Tuscany, napped through Mozart at the Vienna Opera House (champagne, a long day of walking around and a dark theater is a nap in the making!), saw the famous Neuschwanstein Castle in Munich and jumped off a 40 foot cliff at Rick’s Cafe in Negril, Jamaica (ouch!).
Why I Love Weddings
“I feel like I was there” is the comment I hear the most from people about my wedding photography. I love hearing that because I know I have captured the real love story of the wedding day.
Every couple I’ve photographed has a special place in my heart. Although we’ve met only a handful of times, by the end of a wedding I feel like part of your family. One of the reasons I like to spend several hours capturing the getting ready part of the day is because it gives me instant insight into your family. I like to see how you interact with each other. I’ve seen brides with her close raucus sisters who love teasing their mom and laughing out loud. And sentimental families who are quietly taking in every moment of the day. I tune into the mood of your family because this gives me a direction of how I should shoot your day. If your bridesmaids are fun & crazy, when we’re taking photos I’m going to instigate them to let loose! If you are more low key, I’m going to tailor my direction to capture your personality.
How did I start photographing weddings?
My own wedding photographs and video are priceless to me. These are photographs of the most meaningful moments and people in my life and I will treasure them forever. I want to do the same for other couples and document their love stories.
My husband and I got married on a beach in Captiva Island, Florida. We decided not to see each other until I was walking down the aisle with my Dad. As I stepped onto the beach to start the ceremony, I wondered what my husband-to-be was thinking at that same moment. It wasn’t until we saw our wedding photos that I could see the tears in his eyes when he saw me for the first time. The image of him wiping away tears as I walked down the aisle is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
That’s my big fur baby, Kaiser. I have always had little dogs and I was kind of grossed out by the big slobbery drooling dogs. My husband had his heart set on a Bernese Mountain dog, but I didn’t know much about the dogs except that they were big. Before we took Kaiser home, Kevin set up the cage, which was bigger than our dining room table! OMG what are we bringing home?? In a million years I never thought I would be so in love with this huge dog. He is the sweetest dog in the world. He’s just a love. He had me at first snuggle. Even the drool I find endearing.
Before wedding photography, my eat sleep work life was graphic design. I owned a boutique design studio specializing in art direction, motion graphics and website design for about 14 years. Working and designing with photographs, I became very interested in photography. While I will always have a passion for design, my heart was pulling me more and more towards photography I slowly developed my photography style over years of walking around the city looking for interesting people and moments to capture. When I decided to become a full time photographer, I wanted to have good foundation and really understand art and photography. I went back to school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for photography and worked with National Geographic.
My design company has created projects for some of the biggest brands in the world, including Maserati, Anheuser-Busch and Santa Margarita Wine. The best project I worked on was for the movie White House Down. I spent a few months working in Montreal, which was amazing. Unfortunately, I never met Channing Tatum, but it was so cool to see my work on the big screen!