When you come from an Irish family babys first St.Patricks day is filled with giant green bows and Lucky Charms of course! I was loving all of the cute props I gathered for this Pattys day shoot! Being so close to Easter I couldent resist some cheesy bunny shots. What a cute bunny!
My first shoot of the new year! The Moon family added another addition to their family right before Christmas! BUT they weren’t going to waste their cute matching pajamas! Their family elf shots are too cute! My favorite are the black and whites. I love when little kids give the serious look.
Ever end up with a bunch of fruit or herbs that are about to go bad!? I do.. Chop it up and place it at the bottom of a dutch oven. Place a whole chicken on top of the citrus and let it roast for a moist bird.. This chicken is seasoned with a cajun spice and cooked in a Staub dutch oven with the lid on for about an hour. Take the lid off and continue to cook for a half hour for a crispier skin.
I LOVED this engagement shoot! I’ve been in Union Station a million times but have never taken photos there.. first of all Union has a very strict no photo policy so I just never considered it. Pat and April were given permission from Union to take their engagement pics there and they turned out BEAUTIFUL! I love the gold tones the station provides and the wrought iron outside is such a classic look. Pat and April will be married this summer.
This shoot was so much fun for me for multiple reasons! First, fall and the start of winter is my busiest time of the year. The majority of my shoots are focused on family shots for holiday cards,which I love doing. BUT, sometimes its nice to have a little variety! Which is why Alex’s smash cake shoot came at the perfect timing for me. Second, I photographed this family at my own house, which iv’e never done before! Usually all of my shoots our on location chosen by my client, but I really wanted to experiment with a brick wall backdrop in my kitchen so this was the perfect opportunity. Lastly, not only did we celebrate Alex’s first birthday but he has a baby brother on the way!
The first year of marriage all of the “first” are so special and fun, including the first Christmas card! These were the photos selected for this couples card in 2018.
When its just too cold out we move the shoot inside! The warm tones in the Sanchez family photos gave this shoot a nostalgic vibe. I love the touch of orange in each shot!
For me this winter has been the season of photoshoped snow! The thought of holiday photos in the falling snow sounds beautiful!! The truth is… everyone ends up very wet and cranky in about five minutes. BUT since its so beautiful, might as well add it in with some photoshop magic. I love the results!
Amy and Eddie are ready to send out their Christmas Cards! I cant get over the snow edits… These family photos were taken in Trout Valley a private community in Cary IL. The grounds have beautiful brick silos, fences for days, horses and colorful trees in the fall. Trout Valley is one of my favorite shooting locations!
Twins Molly and Sam were the cutest to photograph! Their mom really wanted a winter feel for their holiday photos but it wasn’t quite time for a snow day yet. With a little Photoshop magic I was able to easily fake a snowy look for their holiday photos!
The Ludwig family had a beautiful day for their family shoot! We visited their family friends horse barn in Woodstock Illinois for their outdoor location. The barn was beautiful and provided amazing backdrops including giant hay stacks and an old pickup miles of wooden fence and tons of horses!
A few years ago I decided to make my thanksgiving stuffing homemade and im NEVER going back to the box (yuck). I searched through what felt like a 100 recipes until I found one I liked (actually on buzz feed). Below I included a digital illustration of the ingredients as well as the recipe! Enjoy!
1 loaf crusty white bread (french bread, ciabatta, etc)
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. finely chopped sage
1 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
2 large eggs
2½ cups chicken broth
Tear the bread into large bite-sized pieces (crust and all) and place on a baking sheet. Let it sit out at least 6 hours, preferably overnight (if you don't have time for this, don't panic: just throw bread in a 325° oven, and toss occasionally until croutons feel pretty dry but are not toasted, about 30 minutes).
It's important that the bread is dry so that it will absorb the liquid without falling apart.
So, once your bread is ready:
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the celery, garlic, and onions. Season with salt and pepper and stir to coat. Cook, stirring pretty frequently until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sage and rosemary and cook another few minutes, until everything in the skillet gets to know each other.
Crack the eggs into a bowl and pour the stock into another bowl. Whisk a little bit of the broth into the eggs. Then pour the egg mixture into the bowl with the stock. Season with salt and pepper.
The fall colors in this photo shoot were perfectly gold. I love the candy apple green jacket that Megan wore to compliment the seasons colors! Brady just turned one and had fun running around the nature center. Can you believe we had our first snow about a half hour after this shoot ended!
Liz and Mike were excited for a fall backdrop for Trevor’s one year photos! This autumn family shoot was taken at the Heritage farm just in time to catch the golden colors of fall. We even snuck in Trevor’s Halloween costume a Grateful Dead dancing bear!
Last week in Chicago we got a 90 degree day in October!! This was the perfect opportunity to splash around one more time before fall temperatures arrive! This photo shoot celebrates Ava’s 2nd birthday! This girl really knows how to pose! I love those silly faces!
I visited Fermentation Fest in Reedsburg Wisconsin and drove past a farmer who was giving away FREE squash! I had never made butternut squash soup before and am now hooked! below is the recipe I followed! It was a great way to use up some of my herbs from the garden before the firsts frost. Even better its vegetarian AND gluten free!
1 hr 20 mins
3 medium butternut squash halved, lengthwise
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp honey
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
For the soup base
1 onion finely chopped
4 large carrot finely chopped
3 celery spears finely chopped
3 garlic cloves crushed
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
6 cups chicken/vegetable stock/broth (1.5 liters)
½ cup cream/coconut milk
salt to taste
pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF.
Generously drizzle the cut-side of the butternut with the olive oil and honey then season.
Place cut-side down in a roasting pan then add 1 cup of water and cover with foil.
Roast for 45-60 mins or until the butternut is completely tender and starting to caramelize.
Remove from the oven then scoop out the flesh, discarding the skin and seeds.
In a large pot fry, celery, carrot and onion in a few tablespoons of olive oil/butter until soft and fragrant then add the garlic and herbs.
Cook the soup base for 5-10 minutes until the vegetable just start to caramelize then add the roasted butternut and chicken stock.
Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes until all the vegetable are cooked through and the stock has reduced slightly.
Remove the herbs and transfer the soup to a blender then blend until completely smooth. Pour back into the pot and add the cream.
Bring back up to a simmer, cooking for another 5 minutes then season to taste and serve.
Two week old baby Mackenzie is the perfect fall baby! Born in September I was anxious to photographer her with fall colors and soft pumpkins! Mackenzie is a baby of a Chicago Police Office and is already proud of her Daddy! Even Callie her puppy wanted a shot!
I recently spent two weeks in Europe traveling to Copenhagen Denmark, Rome, Posatano Italy and Palermo Sicily and I didn't bring my camera... on purpose. Before I left on my trip lots of people were telling me "its a great photography opportunity!" and asking if I was going to bring my camera. Here was the problem.. I knew if I brought my camera I couldn't bring just one lens.. That also meant I would be lugging around a ton of camera equipment. If your anything like me, when I have my DSLR with me im taking tons of photos, and that's what I was afraid of. I recently watched a interview of a National Geographic photographer who talked about how photographers get so caught up taking photos they forget to make memories because they are constantly seeing the world threw a small camera lens. I didn't want that to happen to me.. so I ditched my large camera!But I couldn't go with absolutely no camera! I decided to invest in a GOPRO HERO 5. This camera is waterproof and fits in your pocket! I never had to worry about it getting wet and it took awesome photos, of course I had my phone too. In the end I still took a lot of photos but they were just snapshots, I wasn't focusing on taking the best shot with the best lighting. Now that the trips over im happy I left my camera home and still got some cool shots to look back on! But most importantly I have amazing memories. Here are my favorites! All shot on the GOPRO HERO 5 and an I phone 6s.
I've been working as the site photographer for Reckless Spirit Jewelry for a few months now! Owner and artist Lori is about to launch a new line of boho/ western inspired looks! I love the uniqueness of each piece and the ability to stack multiple items. Antonette and Asi were jewelry models for this session. To view more from this line visit www.recklessspirit.com