Gainesville, FL Family Photographer | The Hand Family

I don't even know where to begin on this one, folks. I feel like I could ramble about this fam for days. Jay, Rachelle, and their family are one of those rare ones that you meet and you think to yourself, "They get it. They have got this whole family thing down." We've known Jay and Rachelle for quite some time now (my husband and Jay go way back), and the love, grace, and compassion they have for everyone is something I always take note on. Rachelle is a super-mom that loves her children with a fierce amount of grace and joy. For example, two of the girls could be screaming hysterically and the other two pushing the youngest in a baby doll stroller (it's really quite adorable), and she remains calm as a cucumber and all order is restored. And not to mention, she is an incredible cook. I always leave her home inspired to work harder for my family. Andy and Jay are definitely brothers from another mother, and I love seeing them play off one another. It typically results in several instruments being played at top volume, beautifully, of course, and a sing-along ensues. Like I said, I could go on and on about these folks. So many people are so quick to point out the negatives in people these days, and I find it important to highlight the people that are working hard and loving their family an incredible way. So, keep going guys. You're doing an insanely beautiful job.

Evanston, IL Headshot Photographer | Tari

Tari contacted me back  in July inquiring about some new headshots. Tari is a clinical psychologist, a writer (you can check out her blog here), and an absolutely delightful person. We spent the session discussing her incredible career and aspirations, and our silly kiddos. I mean, I can't ever not talk about my kids, let's be honest. I had a blast meeting her, and am excited to share some of her session with you!

Evanston, IL Family Photography | The Lopez Family

I met Claudia and Lenin a year or two ago for a family session at Lighthouse Beach. They had just moved to Evanston from California, and I was eager to talk about all of the new delicious restaurants to try and locations to see. Several weeks ago, we met for our last family session right before they were moving back to California. And this time, I was making a case for them to try Edzo's before they left. (best burgers in Evanston, and shakes, and well, everything...) Our session was filled with beautiful flowers, lots of giggles from the kiddos, and just chatting the evening way. The biggest thing about my job is the people. The way they interact with one another and me is what makes my photographs and my job special. I am so glad I had the opportunity to have met these folks, and share in the joy they bring to each other. Here is a preview of our session:

Evanston, IL Surprise Proposal & Engagement | Krysta and Garrett

A few weeks ago, Garrett proposed to Krysta by the lake on Northwestern University's Campus and it was insanely wonderful. I was ecstatic to be able to help in Garrett's surprise because Krysta is such a sweet friend of ours. As we did our walkthrough, Garrett was explaining to me why he chose that particular location and what it meant to them. When the date finally arrived, Garrett had come over earlier in the day to deliver the picnic items and the ring. (Guys, I don't know how you hold on to those things so long and not panic 24/7.) Because Krysta had gotten off work early, we had a goal of making it a seamless transition for them to arrive and everything already be set up. So as I set the picnic up, I asked passers-by to stand in the spot so I could test my lighting (a lot). Surprisingly, folks were pretty gracious in helping me out. It was such a beautiful moment, and I was so honored to be a small part of it. Thank you Krysta and Garrett for allowing me to celebrate with you!

I asked them if they'd like to share a story about how they met, and they each wrote it up from their perspective. 

Although we usually tell people that we met in Northern Ireland, Garrett and I technically met in a church in Chicago where I thought his name was Dylan for the first 24 hours of knowing him and got to know each other at Training Camp in Pardeeville, Wisconsin. We were in the same obstacle course group and I would always fix it so that he had to pick me up to lift me over the “electric fence” obstacle. (My flirting didn’t work though because he doesn’t remember this.) As we spent more time together and I watched his kind heart serve our teammates and take bold steps for Christ, my little crush turned into writing “I can see myself marrying him” in my journal not long into the trip. Now I get to! It’s amazing to see how a trip that I had zero intention of going on until 12 days beforehand led me to a more intimate walk with Christ and to my husband! Falling in love in Ireland was pretty sweet too. - Krysta

I met Krysta while on a mission trip in Ireland. We technically first met at a church in a small suburb of Chicago before getting on a bus to rural Wisconsin, but that doesn’t sound as special. One of my first thoughts shortly after meeting Krysta was “I would really like to be friends with this person.” However, a couple days down the road that thought changed into a different one: “I could see myself marrying this girl.” Almost two years and many other thoughts later, that vision is finally a reality. On June 2nd, 2017, I asked Krysta to marry me. I have fallen in love with her kind and caring heart, her internal and external beauty, and her intense love for Christ and all of his people. Now I get to look forward to a future of falling deeper in love with her every day. -Garrett

Chicago, IL Surprise Proposal & Engagement | Scott and Blair

Scott had e-mailed me inquiring about the possibility of photographing a proposal he was planning back in May. I was thrilled, because how often do you get to be involved in such a special and joyous occasion?! After speaking and messaging back a few times, we went over the game-day-plan and scouted the location. In addition to planning the proposal aspect, Scott flew in Blair's best friend Taylor to join in on the celebration as a surprise. We celebrated by capturing some engagement photos afterwords on the State St. Bridge, and eventually back to the spot of their first date. Guys, it was kind of (read as really) awesome. Best wishes to Scott and Blair on their future together!

(A little note from Scott on how they met)

"After meeting at a mutual friend's birthday party, Scott and Blair set up a first date at City Winery on the Riverwalk in the summer of 2015. Blair walked alone on the State St. Bridge to their first date, and scouted the location from above to see if he beat her there. Over the past two years, they have walked on the west side of that bridge almost every week, each time peering down to see if the table where they had their first date was set up yet. While they were on their way to meet some friends on the first truly summery day of 2017, Scott and Blair stopped to remember how their life changed after their first trip to City Winery together. As they stared at the crowd below, Scott got down on one knee and another new phase in their lives began."

Evanston, IL Engagement Session | Tiffany and Brian

A little while ago Tiffany and Brian asked me to capture some engagement photos for them. I was excited because not only are these two near and dear to my family's heart, but they wanted to do it surrounding something they enjoy doing together: cooking! I loved the idea because it was something different to get my creative juices flowing, and they make delicious food. I strongly feel that these two are going to be that married couple that folks strive to emulate. I simply cannot wait to celebrate this joyous day with them!