St. Patrick's Day Beach Proposal

IT HAPPENED. MY SISTER IS FINALLY ENGAGED. Sarah and Nick are seriously the perfect match. They work hard at their relationship and love each other so well, and have for over five years. How did it happen?

I got the “We need to talk.” text a few weeks ago from Nick, followed by a phone call with lots of freaking out (mostly on my end). Nick would be coming to Florida with Sarah and I for the weekend. My parents would be there Friday, but were driving north to Sarasota to see friends for the remainder, and Kelly would be busy studying for grad school finals home in Chicago. It was the perfect set up.

The three of us headed to the beach with a bottle of wine for sunset and photos. The ring was in my camera bag and the cue would be for me to ask Nick to get me a different lens. Once at the beach, I got the text from my family, so we started taking pictures. I gave Nick the OK to grab my lens, when he handed it to me I told them I needed a minute to switch it out and walked away from them.

Through the lens of my camera I saw Nick drop to his knee, I watched my best friend, sister, and role model smile, cry and shout yes to the man of her dreams, all while my family was hiding behind a tree. Mom + Dad had driven back a night early and Kelly had flown in about an hour before. 

We popped champagne, stayed at the beach until dark, enjoyed a steak dinner, told stories, and celebrated this milestone and Sarah and Nick’s forever love. Nick has felt like part of the family for years, but now we get to make it official. Let the wedding planning begin!!!

Sarah + Nick’s story was published on My Engaged Life.

Small and Elegant Lincoln Park Wedding

Mary + Patrick’s small lil chapel wedding was an absolute DREAM. I took their engagement photos back in January in sunny Naples, Florida, and had the VERY BEST TIME witnessing their love!!! I barely even had to give these two direction or prompts because of how gosh dang in love they were. This playful duo danced until the sun went down at Seagate Beach in Naples, Florida.

Not much changed on their wedding day, other than their last name!! Their love has and always will be so strong. I met them at St. Alphonsus in Lincoln Park for their little ceremony, where their best man and maid of honor were, too! (Mary and Patrick were having a bigger celebration in Michigan later that weekend, but wanted to be married in a Chicago church, first). Mary was wearing a beautiful BHLDN dress - it was simple and elegant. They cried happy tears as they said their vows, and gave high-fives all around after their first kiss as husband + wife!! We did photos at the Lincoln Park Nature Boardwalk, Mary + Patrick literally danced away to their first dance song, “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)”, (please enjoy the ending sequence of them dancing away to it!!!), and they finished the evening with a custom dinner just for the 4 of them at RPM. CONGRATS TO MR. + MRS. CARBON - truly the most playful and happy in love couple ever!!!

Simple and Emotional Chicago Wedding

GAHHH where to start with Alexa + Collin’s wedding day? It was simple. It was sweet. It was silly, and emotional, and alllllll the things. Alexa + Collin kicked off wedding season, so Rachael and I showed up to Deer Path Inn in Lake Forest ready to go!!! It was the most beautiful day ever, and was the day right before it randomly snowed 5 inches in April!? We showed up just as the girls were getting ready and having finishing touches to hair and makeup done, so I got to work on details shots. Alexa had bright and colorful florals, a beautiful invitation suite, a dreamy boho BHLDN wedding dress, and even the cutest little makeup bags as gifts for her girls!

While the girls were all admiring Alexa’s BHLDN wedding dress, the boys were upstairs putting on their Star Wars cuff links and imitating the girls getting ready photos on the bed. Then it was on to the first look. Oh. My. Gosh. I walked with Collin while Rachael got Alexa. I stood and chatted with him for quite some time before Alexa got there. I always looove asking the groom questions that really help get him in the headspace for the beautiful insanity that is his wedding day. Questions like, “what’s been a highlight of your relationship”, or “what are you most looking forward to about married life”. Collin had the absolute sweetest things to say about Alexa. So she walked up. They read letters back to back. He turned around, and oh my. I will just let these photos tell the rest of that story. That was love. Real, raw, authentic, unwavering and unconditional love.

Their ceremony was filled with happy tears, their reception was filled with emotional speeches and the best dancing (I mean seriously… Africa by Toto came on and everyone was yelling “ALEXA, PLAY AFRICA BY TOTO”. It was freaking awesome), and then we whisked Alexa and Collin off to the water to catch the end of sunset into blue hour. I meaaaaaan how beautiful is this couple? SO much dang love for a bride who has a Tito’s and soda in one hand and a glass of wine in the other, and a groom ready to break it down on the dance floor. WHAT A DAY!!! Congratulations, Alexa + Collin!!! Your love is something so special and beautiful.

Lead Photographer - Grey Garden Creative

Videographer - DP Weddings

Venue - Deer Path Inn

Florist - Apple Creek Weddings

Baker - Lovin’ Oven Cakery

DJ - Admit One DJ’s

Makeup / Hair - Bridal Brigade

Invitation Suite - Minted

Bride’s Dress - BHLDN

Bride’s Shoes - Betsey Johnson

Bridesmaid Dresses - Lulu’s

Flagstaff AZ Elopement in Forest and Mountains

Where do I even start with these two!?? Paige and Mavryk were fun as fun gets!! Paige’s laugh echoed in the through the trees of the forest, and their happy selves even got to play in the sunshine as the sun set!!! Paige and Mavryk are high school sweethearts (okay, what!?? cutest ever!!), which allowed for the cutest prompts for these two to really just play in the trees and the mountains!!

Their day started adventuring through the most beautiful trees. Their love is bold and beautiful, and has stood tall for so so long, that these Flagstaff, Arizona trees made for the most beautiful views and quiet place to run around. I have never seen a wedding dress fit a bride as perfectly as it did on Paige!! Also - can we just take a moment for Mavryk’s tie!?? LITERALLY OBSESSED. The floral tie matched with Paige’s bright bouquet was the happiest thing ever (other than these two - because ohhhhh my gosh they just did not stop laughing!!)

After the prettiest light was coming through the trees, we knew we needed to run over to the most insane lookout point to see the mountains as the sun started to go down!

I was turned around, and next thing I knew, Paige and Mavryk were literally chasing each other around in the sunset just loving on each other!!! Mavryk ran after his girl so fast (never letting her go) that they fell to the grass and the rest was freaking history!! Absolutely adore a couple that can run around and roll around even on their wedding day!!! BEST DAY EVER.

I can’t wait until I get to see these two again and laugh loud all together!!

Boho Wedding Dress: Luv Bridal

Bright Bridal Bouquet Floral Arrangement: Mint Green Design

Starting Somewhere

Hi hi hi, friends!!

Welcome to my blog - a place for me to let you in on my client’s stories, and parts of my own. Let me just be real for a hotttt sec. I have just been staring at this screen not even sure where to start. I have had the intention of blogging for quite some time now as a way to share more of my work - start to finish. Sure, my Instagram shows the bride and groom out at golden hour, or the last photo from the engagement shoot right as the sun is setting - but moments matter. I want to tell that story. The photos of grandma’s face as you walk down the aisle are equally as a part of your story as your first kiss. The photos of your flower girls busting a move on the dance floor are equally as a part of your story as your golden hour photos. I’ve been wanting to share those stories for so long, but I never really knew where to begin! I’ve shot so many sessions of all different kinds, how would I ever catch up? Or, would I start blogging new sessions - but what about some of the sessions that were so deeply a part of my story - those ones matter too! Would I only blog photos, or would I offer up advice to brides-to-be, or other photographers and business owners?

I told myself the day I went full time with photography, I would start my blog. Well, here I am! A few weeks into being a wedding photographer full time, and still not quite sure how to get going with it.

But through all the chaos, transition, and uncertainty, here’s what I’m learning… You have to start somewhere.

If you want to be a marathon runner, you don’t wake up and go run 26.2 miles. You run 1… maybe 2. If you want to meet new people, you don’t wake up with 15 new best friends. You go to one new event… maybe 2.

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The reason I fell so deeply in love with photography is because of the stories that people let me in on, the real emotion that I get to see up close, and the freaking incredible people that I get to meet along the way. It’s so humbling to be let into people’s world to capture their big moments, strong relationships, and most important day of their life. The bottom line? These stories deserve to be remembered. They deserve to be shared in. They deserve to be told.

All of that being said? I’m not really sure what this blog will look like - I’d imagine it will be full of storytelling, plenty of exclamation points, and session on session on session… but I’m not quite sure. All that I know is that I don’t need to think about how this blog needs to look, or what I want it to be. I just have to write one post… maybe 2.

I just have to start somewhere.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who is on my team supporting me - family, friends, '“friendors”, and clients, alike. It’s because of you that my “1 photoshoot… maybe 2” has turned into a full time career. One that is full of storytelling, challenges, admitting I cannot do this alone, big dreams, adventure near and far… and starting somewhere.

Talk soon!

Kerri