2018 provided so many incredible opportunities to photograph so many wonderful clients. I traveled to 5 states this year photographing 20 Weddings, 9 Special Events, 7 Engagement Sessions, 5 Family Portrait Sessions, 4 Elected Officials, 3 Proposals and 1 amazing Holiday Party!
Along the way I photographed an NFL Superbowl champion New England Patriot, a legendary artist best known for their work with musicians such as the Grateful Dead, politicians such as Illinois State Representative Mark Walker, Illinois Senator Ann Gillespie, United States Senator Dick Durbin and Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel in addition to special events featuring the CFO of U.S. Bank and Ford Motor Company’s Director of Government Affairs.
There were dogs in tuxedos, photobombing turkeys, head-banging mothers and even an eccentric 80’s Christmas card photo shoot.
Without further ado, I proudly present this year’s incredible collection featuring the Best Chicago Wedding Photography, Engagement Sessions, Surprise Proposals, Family Portraits and Special Events of 2018!
Blair & Dan – January 6, 2018 – The Rookery
Newlyweds practicing their First Dance
Wedding photo at night in front of the Board Of Trade on LaSalle Street in Chicago
(above/Below) The grand opening of Roka Akor | Japanese Steakhouse, Sushi & Seafood Restaurant in Oak Brook, Illinois
Brooch bouquets were very popular in 2018
Rachel looked absolutely stunning during her winter wedding at Hotel Arista
Ted followed in his family footsteps becoming the 3rd generation Karras drafted by the NFL to play for the New England Patriots
Wedding Ceremony at Hotel Arista in Naperville, Illinois
Team Chaplain for the Chicago Bears and six season cornerback Ray McElroy was Rachel & Teddy’s wedding officiant
Wedding Reception at Hotel Arista in Naperville, Illinois
This dip was nothing for this pilates master. Rachel is capable of unimaginable flexibility.
Tom proposed near the steps of the Adler Planetarium overlooking Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline
Kissing atop of the State Street bridge with Marina Towers in the background
Champagne in robes at the Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa
Gina had the most perfect skin and incredibly captivating eyes
Gina walked down the aisle with a warm breeze and the sounds of waves lapping the shore from the Atlantic Ocean
Gina & Mike – April 16, 2018 – Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa – Vero Beach, Florida
I love the way the setting sunlight kisses the couple through palm trees
The feelings that surrounded Gina & Mike could be felt radiating electric energy from family and friends
Gina & Mike shared a last dance alone at Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel & Spa
Lighting it up with a sparkler send off
Cocktails & canapés inside Chicago’s historic Rookery Building
(above | below) Delicious hors d’oeuvres were provided by Jewell Events Catering, Paramout Events & Catered By Design
(above | below) Julie & Ra met at a concert for the British singer-songwriter, Seal
This awesome invitation was created by my talented wedding client from 2017, Christopher Okenka
(above | below) The Women’s Club of Evanston has been officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Bryan couldn’t wait to marry Brittany and was ready to rawk!
Bryan headbanged with his mom for their Mother/Son dance to Rob Zombie’s “Dragula”
Mary Kate looking ravishing between the tall pines of the Morton Arboretum
Danish artist Thomas Dambo transformed the Morton Arboretum with his “Troll Hunt” installation made from reclaimed wood
Mary Kate & Dennis – June 16, 2018 – Morton Arboretum – Lisle, Illinois
The “Tie Limbo” could possibly be the greatest invention I’ve ever witnessed at a wedding reception
Mary Kate & Dennis – June 16, 2018 – The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center – Lombard, Illinois
(above | below) Jim Mellenthin is an instructor from Universal Technical Institute (© Shell Lubricants; licensed with permission)
Large prints were created throughout the Universal Technical Institute campus in Lisle, Illinois
Lauren & Derek overlooking the Chicago skyline from Olive Park – June 23, 2018
I photographed Sam & Alishya’s wedding in May of 2011 and love continuing to capture their family seven years later
Aria & Anais are the cutest!
Perri & Sam listening to Phish bassist Mike Gordon perform at the Live in Lincoln Park Festival
Sam & Perri were up for a sunrise stroll in the city with their dog, Tucker
Tucker was sporting a Phish handkerchief during the couple’s Chicago engagement session
Sam & Perri love the jamband, Phish. Sam works with the band’s non-profit organization, The Waterwheel Foundation.
I began photographing this classic 1940s Packard at weddings beginning in 2008 …
… 10 years later in 2018 the owners asked me to photograph it again – this time so they could list it for sale
Lauren’s couture Mira Zwillinger wedding dress was jaw-dropping!
(above | below) Yanni Design Studio‘s breathtaking Jewish wedding ceremony décor
(above | below) Yanni Design Studio‘s awe-inspiring reception décor
Surrounded by the love of family and friends from their First Dance…
… until their Last Dance
I’m always so honored when my former wedding clients trust me to capture their children’s baptism
Wendy’s hand-off at the altar from her father to her husband Armon was truly touching
The roots of the honey unity ceremony are based in Persia symbolizing how sweet you vow to be every day of your marriage
Wendy & Armon – July 27, 2018 – Rookery Building – Chicago, Illinois
Perfect summer session at a local Farmers’ Market with my former wedding client, Katie (August 2014) and her son
Mixologist whips up craft cocktails for a private party at The Herbarium – August 15, 2018
Product Craft Conference by Pendo. The tech company raised $56 million in venture capital for its Product Engagement Software
Founded in 2013, North Carolina based tech pioneer Pendo helps companies create product experiences that customers love
Susie holds Miss Mili with Athena (Saint Bernard) at her feet while Stephanie has the leash of Izzie (Boxer) and the heart of Susie.
Though Stephanie & Susie were hitched in January 2018, they hosted a backyard bash for family & friends in August at their home
Stunning silhouette of Allie & Andrew’s First Look on their wedding day at the Kimpton Gray Hotel Chicago
Vol. 39 is an elegant cocktail lounge named for its vintage set of encyclopedias found during the hotel’s renovation
Stretching a 19 person wedding party across a busy downtown street isn’t easy but I’ll do anything for an amazing wedding photo
This year’s award for best reception entrance is a tie. Here’s contestant #1. Keep watching for Contestant #2 further down below.
Guests danced on The Kimpton Gray’s top floor Argentine-inspired Boleo Restaurant which offers a retractable glass roof
Grace & Santos have known each other since middle school so their First Look on their wedding day was a long time coming
Grace & Santos – September 1, 2018 – Saint James Cathedral – Chicago, Illinois
(above | below) I followed Grace & Santos out of church to capture this creative angle of their exit…
… while my associate second photographer Alex was ready on the street to photograph this emotional wedding photo.
Grace & Santos held their reception in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood which features colorful graffiti & street art murals
(above | below) Madison & Adam’s Engagement Session at Cantigny Park was photobombed by a flock of roving turkeys
Madison & Adam – September 7, 2018 – Cantigny Park – Wheaton, Illinois
Keely & Kevin’s Sunrise Engagement Session at Fan Pier Park in Boston, Massachusetts
Sunrise is the only time Acorn Street in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhod isn’t overrun with tourists
(above | below) Since Kevin & Keely live in Boston but are hosting their wedding in Chicago …
… it seemed only fitting to capture engagement photos of our iconic skyline too.
Artists AJ Masthay & Kait Lennon -September 18, 2018 – Masthay Studios – West Hartford, Connecticut
AJ Masthay is best known for his linoleum block concert posters for the Grateful Dead
(above | below) Andrea & Paul – September 22, 2018 – Union League Club – Chicago, IL
You have to get up really, really early and say a special prayer to the weather gods for a spectacular sunrise just like this
Betsy & Trevor – September 28, 2018 – Milton Lee Olive Park – Chicago, Illinois
Eleanor & Nathan honeymooned on safari in South Africa then kicked it on the island of Mauritius off the coast of the continent
A little bit of natural window light can create gorgeous bridal portraits
The couple’s family dog, Bailey, came dressed in a tux and ready for photos
The Alice Millar Chapel in Evanston is perhaps my favorite church to photograph a wedding in Illinois
The French Gothic arches outside the Alice Millar Chapel on the campus of Northwestern University are incredible
Contestant #2 tied for 1st Place in the Best Wedding Reception Entrance category of 2018
I photographed Brandon & Jennifer’s wedding in July of 2013 and remain friends and their trusted family photographer
I love this silly expression on Violet during their Fall Family Portrait Session at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, Illinois
KC, Will & West – I learned what buffalo check flannel was during their session!
(clockwise) Kristin, Jarrod, Aidan & Maxwell
Kristin & Jarrod – October 13, 2018 – Cantigny Park – Wheaton, Illlinois
I photographed Trish’s wedding in 2014 and am honored to photograph her family along with her sister Betsy’s wedding this Fall
I photographed Fall Family Portraits of Lorena, Rick, their puppy, Lulu, and her son Manny (pictured) at the Lincoln Park South Pond
Kiren & Faiz – October 16, 2018 – Lincoln Park Zoo South Pond Nature Boardwalk Bridge – Chicago, Illinois
(above | below) I can’t wait to capture Faiz & Kiren’s multi-day Indian Wedding in April 2019
Newly appointed Democratic Illinois State Representative Mark Walker at his victory party in Arlington Heights, Illinois
Newly elected Democratic Illinois Senator, Ann Gillespie hugs her children after receiving news she has just won the election
Supporters celebrate at the news their candidates have won the 2018 Midterm election
Emotions hit hard when the news begins to sink in that months of hard work and a passion for change has finally paid off
Illinois Senator, Ann Gillespie & Illinois State Representative, Mark Walker
Fall Family Sunset Session – October 18, 2018 – Busse Woods – Elk Grove Village, Illinois
The most gorgeous bridal preparation portrait I’ve ever captured
Perri & Sam’s incredible First Look at the Chicago Athletic Association
Saturated sunset and sweeping views of Millennium Park from Cindy’s Rooftop at The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
Nothing ever mattered more than not doubting that tonight the streets are ours
The perfect black and white First Dance photo
Perri had to have a photo in front of the Chicago Athletic Association with her husband Sam and their dog, Tucker in his bow tie
The elegantly restored 1893 Venetian Gothic White City Ballroom – truly breathtaking Old Chicago glamour and grandeur
Humanscale Chicago crushed the 2018 company-wide Holiday Card competition with their 80’s inspired Season’s Greeting
The $20 million, 135,000 square, climate-controlled sports complex opened November 8, 2018 in the Pullman / Roseland communities
The grand opening of the Pullman Community Center with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Tony Beale, Terry Dolan U.S. Bank CFO & more
Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Galena, Illinois offers stunning scenery for every season including winter weddings
Adam used his expertise to accent uplighting and spotlight a monogram gobo projecting the couple’s name on the dance floor
(above | below) The Village of Mount Prospect commissioned me to capture their annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
The Mayor of Mount Prospect, Arlene Juracek, is surrounded by carolers while preparing to light the Holiday Tree
Tony and Michelle were visting Chicago from South Florida when he popped the question at North Avenue Beach
Tony commissioned me to capture video and photos of his proposal along with portraits afterwards throughout Chicago
Ben & Jen – December 1, 2018 – Elements at Hotel Indigo – Naperville, Illinois
(above | below) Jen had one wish on her wedding day: Outdoor photos with Holidays Lights and Snow. Check!
Winter Wedding with snow falling outside the Hotel Indigo on Water Street in Naperville, Illinois
Cheers to an amazing wedding
Riley contacted me at Midnight – only hours before needing a photographer at sunrise to photograph his proposal in Chicago.
Of course Molly said Yes… would you look at that gorgeous wedding ring!
Riley & Molly – December 22, 2018 – Chicago Theater – Chicago, Illinois
(above | below) I love the alley across from the Chicago Theater for portraits
Write a holiday phrase using only your noes on your fiancée’s cheek and she has to guess the words. Go!
(above | below) Millennium Park in Winter can actually be quite magical for family portraits and engagement sessions
The elves at ‘Weddings and Events By Kristin’ prepare for the IHMA annual Holiday Party
(above | below} International Health Management Associates has a personal phone line to Saint Nicholas …
… Father Christmas bring toys for all the boys and girls every year at the annual IHMA Holiday Party
Rocking the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel in Schaumburg, Illinois
It’s always fun to go out on the year with a blast – of confetti that is
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