Spring in Chicago. Well, this weekend alone we are having Summer, Spring and Fall weather. So when we did MerryBeth's (MB) maternity session, we lucked out with perfect Spring weather. I've been photographing MB & her family for years, and watching her family grow is simply amazing. Cannot wait to meet & photograph this family of three, Davis John who was just born this week.
Mike & MB are pure naturals in front of the camera. MB is a maternity fashionista. From a perfect fitting dress to show off her adorable baby bump, to the fashionable black hat. Mike, in the creative industry himself, suggested the Hubbard Street Mural Project in the photos. Needless to say we found a perfect Chicago Skyline, adorable animals, that could even be used in the nursery. Making our way back to their home, we stopped at this brick wall, where an amazing reflection from the stop sign, gave me an idea.... I wanted to create a shadow of MB's baby bump. After we got that WOW shot, we made our way back to their home & did a more relax setting of photos. Being pregnant it's wonderful to get all dressed up, since some days it feels like nothing fits anymore as your in your last trimester, but there is also something about when you get home, and put on your comfy clothes. I had asked MB & Mike, what is something you both do when you are home, together? This last image says it all, Mike rubs MB's feet in this position on the couch, daily. THIS! These are the moments you want to cherish & remember.
2019 is the year of babies. First up in January, meet Blake Elizabeth. There is something extra special about Blake's Mom, Katie. We've been friends for over 25 years, since the first grade. So needless to say, photographing your best friend becoming a mom, well tears appeared in my eyes. And then Kevin, whom I've known since high school, was a pure natural with his daughter. And the way Blake just looked at her Daddy, melts your heart. Katie & Kevin were high school sweethearts, so watching your dear friends through life's major milestones and then becoming parents is amazing. Take a peak at Blake's newborn session, she smiled, slept and had such an amazing session.
Meet Andrew, a personal trainer in Chicago with Element 80 Fitness. When he first reached out to me, he had a vision of what he wanted for his head shots. After a call, and a few emails, we were all set. Now, photo day, all visions changes. We met, clicked instantly and between our personalities, visions, we collaborated so well and created magic. Everything we originally were going to do completely changed. Andrew let me take my vision to the next level and test different lighting, ideas, and well just about anything. Thank you Andrew for allowing me to be inspired by you, your work, logo, and letting me just do my thing. Wishing you the best in your new adventures and can't wait to see you in your environment soon!
Follow Andrew on Social Media and book your next personal training appointment!Instagram: Element80Fitness
As busy season was coming to an end, one of my last sessions of 2018, was meeting sweet baby Giuliano. His mom owned one of my favorite gyms ever, MB Fitness & since has become a friend, not just a trainer. Watching you become a mother though, my favorite.
Newborn sessions, can go in so many directions. I always like to let the baby & family lead the way. Have all the different props I want to use, and also have all the personalized props out as well. From there, I let the session unfold.
December babies, Christmas decor is usually incorporated. This time, instead of incorporating a Christmas Tree, or Christmas lights, Mom & Dad had already made a personalized stocking and plaid pajamas. Which couldn't have been more perfect. Dogs are also apart of families, so big brother Gus was also included in photos, and gave kisses to his little brother.
Chris & Heather's wedding day was nothing short of pure happiness, and their very own fairytale.
How did Chris Propose? "He took me to lunch and Christmas shopping in the city followed by a carriage ride at night and we stopped at a gazebo at the Drake Hotelwhere we got out to take pictures, then he got on one knee and proposed"
With Heather's smile and Chris's charm these two show their love for one another through their wedding photos. Their wedding was even filmed by a local news station, vows had the room in tears and their first dance song was, "Hero" by Mariah Carey surrounded by friends and family. They even had their doctors at their wedding and personally thank them in front of all their guests'. You may have seen them on the Steve Harvey's Show telling their inspirational love story, and they were even featured in the UK Magazine, Real People (Article & Photos at the bottom).
If you are a Hallmark Channel fan like myself (Ask me how many I've watched during busy season, and countless hours at my computer editing), I cannot wait to watch a beautiful couple I've known for a few years, have their incredible story shown for all to watch. With out giving too much away, this is one movie you will cry, laugh and truly be inspired. This beautiful couple even make a cameo in the movie as well. Tune in tonight for Once Upon a Christmas Miracle as Orland Park's very own Heather & Chris Dempsey's real life fairytale unfold for all to watch and be inspired about love & living donation this holiday season.
Photographer: Erin Stefanik Photography
2nd Photographer: Katie Hall Photography
Florist: Hillside Florist
DJ: Brian Dempsey
Church: Trinity Lutheran Church
Minister: Pastor Strand
Reception: Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace IL