Welcome to my stories/galleries!

On this page you will be able to browse through other brides stories and see a portion of their galleries! I also will write FAQs, quick tips, and other informative posts that may help you plan photography for your wedding or family photo shoot! Make sure to check back often and sign up for my mailing list to be alerted of new stories or tips!

 

Tips for a great Engagement Session!

We talked a little bit earlier about why you should get an Engagement Session, so now lets talk about how to prepare for it! Check out a few of my top tips down below on how to be best prepared and get the most out of your photos!

I hope that this advice helps you plan your engagement session and as always please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have!

 
 
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Pick a meaningful location

Instead of heading to a random park in your neighborhood, give a bit of though to where you want your photos taken. Some popular and meaningful spots could include: where you had your first date, where he proposed, where you first met, or even where you just like to spend private time together.


Wear Comfortable Clothes

On an engagement shoot you will be walking around, sitting, and generally being active for most of the shoot. It is important for you to wear clothes that will allow you to move freely and not stress about picking at your shirt or trying to cover up.

If you choose to wear something new you might be uncomfortable or worried about how you look in it, and that will come across in the photos. I recommend that you wear clothes that are ironed, comfortable, and make you feel like a million bucks! For the ladies I recommend wearing something that can flow nicely as you move, especially if you are doing your photos outdoors.

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Give yourself time for the shoot

I understand that life gets busy and schedules can get very tight. But you absolutely want to set aside plenty of time not only for the photos but also to get ready. Think of the engagement shoot as a trial run for how you may want your hair and makeup.

You also don’t want to feel rushed or that you have to get done by a certain time. In order to get the most natural photos you need to be relaxed and as stress free as possible.

I normally advise people to allocate about an hour to an hour and half for the photo session, so make sure that you set aside plenty of time to get ready beforehand!


Use the photos!

Engagement photos can be used for a number of things such as save the date cards or as photos to put on your wedding website. You can even blow up a few of your favorite photos and use them as decoration behind your head-table!

Engagement photos are also a time for you to share your vision with me and help me understand what poses or styles you prefer and which you don’t care for as much. This feedback is incredibly important in giving you the best possible experience possible when it comes to your wedding day!

 Click to see more of their gallery

Click to see more of their gallery

Lesia and PJ: A Wedding in Joliet

I really wish that each and every person reading this post could meet Lesia and PJ. They are an absolute joy to be around and such a happy and loving couple. You could tell right away that they have senses of humor that fit together better than puzzle pieces.

Everything from the ceremony, to the toasts that didn’t leave a dry eye in the room, all the way to the awesome dance moves at the end of the night was perfect.

After shooting their wedding I truly felt like one of the family, and understand completely why so many friends and family attended their special day! I invite you to check out some pictures from their wedding, I hope that they help you feel the energy that they have together!

 Click to see more of their gallery

Click to see more of their gallery

Tyler and Chelsey: A Wedding in Crete

Tyler and Chelsey have been two of my best friends for years, and so when they asked me to photograph their wedding I couldn’t possibly say no. They then told me they were getting married after doing a “mud run”! How exciting is that?

They ran together through 5km of mud, obstacles, and fire! Waiting for them at the finish line was a group of their friends and family to watch their ceremony.

It was an amazing and a very unique experience for everyone involved. Check out their gallery and definitely look out their before and after pictures!

 Click to see more of their galley

Click to see more of their galley

Sara and Dan: A Wedding in Carbondale

I have to start this post by saying that this is probably the most beautiful spot that I could think of to have a wedding in Carbondale. The Touch of Nature is an absolutely gorgeous piece of land that is home to several different camps. Sara has a very close relationship with this camp, and spends a lot of her time and energy in making sure that the kids who come and stay there have safe educational fun!

Sara and Dan seem to go together perfectly, from the moment that I saw them both together I could tell that this was literally a match made in heaven. They play off of each others sense of humor and compliment each others strengths.

We had such an amazing time at their wedding and I wanted to share their special day, so please click their photo to see their gallery!

 Click to see more of their gallery

Click to see more of their gallery

Caleb and Zenna: A Wedding in Sullivan

Caleb has been a close friend of mine for several years, and so when he told me he was getting married to the girl of his dreams I couldn’t help but grab my camera! I definitely wanted to enjoy my friends special day as a guest, but I also wanted to snag a few photos of them whenever I could… luckily Caleb and Zenna didn’t mind!

Attending this wedding as a guest/photographer really helped to cement in my mind that wedding photography is something that I absolutely love to do. I was excited to pick up my camera and help Caleb and Zenna document the happiest day of their lives, I can’t think of any other job where I’ve been so happy to “work” on an off day! So I want to say “Thank You!” to Caleb and Zenna for sharing these special moments with me.

Why should I get engagement photos?

People tend to have mixed feelings on whether or not engagement photos are necessary to your wedding experience and you can read endless articles about why you should or why you shouldn't book an engagement session. I wanted to write up a short post about some of the reasons why I would recommend an engagement shoot, so scroll down to read more!

 
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you get a chance to meet your photographer

Establishing a relationship with your photographer before the wedding gives you a chance to talk to them about what to expect, how to pose, and this allows you to look more natural in your photos. This also allows me to get to know you both as a couple and how we can work together. It lets us get a chance to understand each other and helps to prepare for how you will interact on the day of your wedding!

You will get to see professional photos of yourselves before the wedding

Being able to see photos of yourselves before the wedding allows you to work with me and tell me which poses or angles do or do not work for you. After all, communication is key and really makes a difference in your final photos! You can also schedule your hair and make up trial at this time so you can see if any changes need to be made before it is too late.

 
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You will have nice pre-wedding photos to use

Once you have your engagement photos you will have several different things you can do with them. You can personalize your save the date cards, send a copy as a gift to family members who may not be able to make the wedding, or even mail a copy to the newspaper to add to your wedding announcement. Be sure to ask about other usage ideas!

You will have a chance to reconnect 

Engagement photos are a great opportunity to revisit locations that you and your spouse have fond memories or even where your first date was. Going to a location with history will be a much more meaningful experience for you both rather than just going to a random park and taking photos. You will also be more relaxed and comfortable in a place you know, and trust me, the photos will look better!

 
 Click to see more of their gallery

Click to see more of their gallery

Emma and Jake: A Wedding in Hudson

Where should I start with Emma and Jake... I really wish that I had awards to give out to my couples, because they would definitely win! 

I arrived at the family farm house in Hudson, IL and was immediately greeted by a smiling Jacob and his awesome groomsmen. While Emma was getting ready we went out and got some awesome shots of these guys. 

When we got back Emma was all ready to be zipped up into her amazing dress and have her bridesmaids help us get some awesome photos of them by some beautiful trees on the property! But first we did a "first look" with her Dad, he was so happy to see his daughter in her dress!

We all find our places for the ceremony to start and have a wonderful time listening to Emma and Jake promise to love each other for the rest of their lives, it truly was an amazing ceremony! 

The couples send off was really awesome with everyone getting a streamer to wave around as they walked down the drive to their car, a wonderful ending for a perfect day! Make sure to scroll to the bottom to see the awesome silhouette photo we took!

I hope you enjoy seeing some photos from their special day and wish them all the luck in world with their marriage... I know I do!

 

 Click to see more of their gallery

Click to see more of their gallery

Kaleb and Ashley: A Wedding in Bloomington

I had an amazing time helping my videographer friend Amy Rankin of Rack Focused Productions at this beautiful wedding. We started out at St. John’s Lutheran Church in the early morning to get ready and set up for the amazing ceremony. 

You could really feel the amazing energy between Kaleb and Ashley, when they laughed and you could truly feel the love that they have for each other. I appreciate being a part of this wedding and know that they are going to treasure these memories for the rest of their lives! 

I've got a snapshot of their wedding down below with some of my favorite images from the day, I hope that you all enjoy the quick peek into the story of Kaleb and Ashley!

 

 Click to see more of their gallery

Click to see more of their gallery

Kate and Rudy: A Wedding in Chicago

Oh boy where should I begin with this wedding? After a nice long drive up to Chicago on Saturday the 14th of July Amy Rankin of Rack Focused Productions and I arrived at a beautiful church which was just getting geared up for Kate and Rudy to get married!

After a beautiful ceremony we all headed over to the Brookfield Zoo for an unforgettable reception dinner and portraits!

 Click to see more of their gallery

Click to see more of their gallery

Shauntez and Corrie: A beautiful birthday

I have always loved giving a photoshoot as a gift and Shauntez showed us all how great of an idea that it truly is! His beautiful wife Corrie had no idea that I was waiting for them in the Central Park of Decatur, IL to treat them both to a shoot.

After she arrived we took some time to loosen up and got some absolutely amazing photos of them both! I really like Shauntez's style, he definitely knows how to rock those suspenders! Check out some of the photos from the day down below and reach out if you want to schedule a portrait session for your own special someone!