Daniel, Jennifer, Perry, and Lydia

This is a family that I sooooo wish lived closer to us. Every time we hang out I wish there was a magical bridge between Michigan and Chicago that would take 5 minutes to cross. Or I wish I was like Barbara Eden in "I Dream of Jeannie" and I could appear in Michigan whenever I wanted. 

This weekend I was happy that Daniel and Jennifer stopped by. The kids had a great time playing with Perry, their son. I'm sure Lydia will be able to keep up with them soon. 

Jennifer took our wedding photos and it's always an honor to be able to take pictures of her beautiful family. 

Phone Photography Friday - The workshop

A quick pic of the styled shoot portion, where everyone got to practice what they'd learned.

A quick pic of the styled shoot portion, where everyone got to practice what they'd learned.

Hello! This week felt as if the weekend would never come. At least for me. Perhaps because Elena didn't have school on Wednesday and is also off today. Anyone else feel like their week would never end?

Our second phone photography workshop on Monday was GREAT! We had a fun time teaching and hanging out with our attendees. I wish I had more pictures to show you, but Michael and I always realize afterwards that we barely took any. There's always next time though.

I want to share a few pictures that I've seen a few of our attendees post since the workshop. I can already see an improvement as they are more intentional about their pictures and their brand. I love it!


@alwaysbmoody is a blogger. Her website, bekmoody.com is a place where she shares about her life in a wheelchair. These are some pictures she has taken this week. I really like the hashtags she comes up with. You should definitely check out her Instagram feed.

@escandargroup is an event and business concierge company. They launched this year and have an amazing and talented team. Their website escandargroup.com now includes their Instagram feed of places around the city. I'm so glad they partnered with us to host this workshop.

@veileventdesign is a shabby chic floral and event design company. Casey's creations are beautiful, and we were so thankful that she sponsored the workshop and provided the beautiful florals for us to use. I love how she is using her images to inspire her followers. Her website, veileventdesign.com, is amazing and her social media is a reflection of her brand. Definitely give her a follow. 

We are so thankful for all our attendees and can't wait for our next workshop. We will be back in the spring. We hope everyone enjoys the holidays and takes a lot of beautiful pictures!

Phone Photography Friday

Hello and good morning!

Welcome to November!

I enjoyed an amazing trip to Dallas this week and came back refreshed and inspired. It's our last phone photography Friday post until the next workshop *tear*. I'm going to be focusing on celebrating the holidays with the family and planning for 2016, but Phone Photography Fridays will be back in the new year!

We talked about telling your story last week and now we're taking things a step further by talking about branding.


Examples: @mjmetts' feed shows you how he sees the world due to his background in photojournalism. @karina_mettsphoto shows her life as a mother and an entrepreneur. @mettsphoto is like a lookbook for wedding clients wanting to get a feel for our work. @mariabayer1 is a business coach and you can see her passion as she encourages her audience through words while keeping her feed cohesive and giving you a glimpse of her brand (you should follow her...she's great).

If you're a business owner, you pour yourself into your business. You should think about social media the same way. Thinking about your social media as a complete story instead of single posts will give you a better idea of what to post and what not to post. You will build your audience based on how you want to be perceived, so authenticity is key. 

We're going talk about branding in depth at our workshop on Monday! You don't want to miss our last one of the year.

We are going to have snacks, desserts, goodies to give away, and a time to practice what you've been learning.


When: Nov 9, 2015 | 5:30-9:00

Place: Lewis Tower, Loyola University Chicago | Beane Hall -13th Floor | 111 E. Pearson Chicago IL 60611

See the full schedule

Monthly Mocha - Bow Truss

We've officially entered the season where warm drinks are a must. Daily. I've got my winter coat ready, sweaters galore, and my coffee shops lined up ready for me to visit. 

This month I hung out at Bow Truss. They have several locations around the city. I visited two, but I'm sure I'll make my way to the others soon enough.

I found Bow Truss when I was looking for a coffee shop that would be ideal for an engagement session. One of my couples loves to go on coffee dates and we wanted to take pictures in Lincoln Park and find a coffee place nearby. We ended up choosing a different place for the pictures, but ever since I saw Bow Truss I wanted to try it. 

First of all, I love their website. They have videos of each location! I also like their logo. I know it's silly to judge a place on their marketing, but Bow Truss had me at first click. 

Both locations (in the loop and Lakeview) I visited were so clean, spacious, and had nice, natural light. Their mochas are also phenomenal. I would definitely take a client here, and would even recommend it for a photo shoot. They're opening a few more locations around the city soon too.

Until next month! And if anyone ever wants to join me on my monthly mocha trips, let me know. I'll treat you to whatever warm drink you'd like. :-)

We stopped at the loop location after picking Michael up from his train. It was nice to have a place to relax as a family for a few minutes.

We stopped at the loop location after picking Michael up from his train. It was nice to have a place to relax as a family for a few minutes.

Phone Photography Friday

It's the last Friday of October! Just two more months till the end of the year. Can you believe it?

Today my daughter is having her Halloween party at school, then her friend is coming over to paint some pumpkins. Tomorrow her ballet class is letting them come in costume and invite a friend. Afterwards, we're spending the day hanging with friends baking scones, drinking hot drinks and handing out candy. I hope you guys have a great candy-filled weekend! I’m sure you’ll be taking lots of pictures of the fun.

Today we are going beyond the technical aspects of creating a picture and talking about telling your story.


With each image you are relaying something to your viewers. Have you thought about what that is? How are you portraying yourself or your business? Are you thinking about your social media feeds as a whole and what those pictures are saying about you?

Now is the time to think about the visual message you're sending, and to step it up. Come to the workshop and we'll show you how you can tell your own story through images and engage with your audience. 

It’s going to be a great time! We will have snacks, sweets, and a time for you to take pictures you can use for your own social media accounts.


When: Nov 9, 2015 | 5:30-9:00

Place: Lewis Tower, Loyola University Chicago | Beane Hall -13th Floor | 111 E. Pearson Chicago IL 60611

See the full schedule

Phone Photography Friday

Happy Friday! We have about one more week in October. I have no idea where the month has gone. However, we've gotten some warm weather again this week. I hope everyone is savoring the 70 degree weather before we're bundling up for below-zero temps in a few months. The kids and I have been spending a lot of time outside the past few days.

Last week we talked about taking pictures of people, specifically people in action where posing really isn't easy. Today I'm going to touch on the times when you can pose your subject.


If you're taking a picture of a person and you have time to frame your shot and find the light but you aren't really satisfied with what you're capturing, don't be afraid to give them a little direction. Phrases like "can you turn your head a little to the left" or "can you hold your cup with both hands" can really change the end result of your picture. (Thanks for bearing with me to get the second picture above Chelsea.)

You might feel self conscious about how long you're taking to take your picture as you keep telling someone what to do, but fellow creative Kristi from It's All Happening Events coined the phrase #doitforthegram.  So don't worry about what you look like if at the end of it you're really happy with your picture. I mean we are all out there looking silly. You're not alone.

What's really great about our workshop is the time we give you to practice what we've been teaching, and the time to ask us questions on the spot. We can help you with posing, styling, and how to find the light in tough situations.  Plus, you'll leave with great pictures to use on your own social media feeds.


When: Nov 9, 2015 | 5:30-9:00

Place: Lewis Tower, Loyola University Chicago | Beane Hall -13th Floor | 111 E. Pearson Chicago IL 60611

See the full schedule



Fall is definitely my favorite season. Who else is with me? A show of hands? I mean who can resist apple orchard donuts, the beautiful fall colors, hot chocolate with marshmallows, and dressing in cozy layer upon cozy layer?

I have been so busy the past few weeks that I had totally forgotten my box was coming. But the kids and I opened it right away and they ooo'ed and aaah'ed as I pulled each piece out. (Well mostly Elena...Elias just copies what Elena is doing as he runs too and from his cars). I love trying clothes on with Elena because she thinks everything looks fantastic on me. She talks about the day that she is able to fit into my clothes and already has plans to wear all my outfits.

Anyway, we were all pretty happy with this box.

First of all, I got a coat! I am very specific about my coats, and I usually get a new one every two years or so. I wanted something that looked dressy, was warm and had a neutral color. I really need to be happy with a coat since it's something I wear everyday for about 4-5 months...and they sent the most perfect one: the Almeria Tweed Wool Coat by Pink Martini.

I've really come to embrace stripes this year, so I was really happy with this next top, the Lawford Knit Top by Market & Spruce. It's similar to the one I got last time, which I really like. I like the leather detail in the collar, and how this one is a little longer. 

Another dress! And yes, I requested another one because all the dresses they've sent me this year have been my style. The Janette Dress by Market & Spruce is another winner. I'm excited to wear it with some tights or high boots. (I guess this is a good excuse to buy some new boots).

Another fun top is the Brixon Ivy Romford Stretch Lace Knit Top. Michael was a little surprised by the color, since I don't usually wear brighter colors, but after a little coaxing from my sister, I decided to keep it. I tried it on with a black cami, and I think I like it better than with the purple one it came with.

My final piece is the Nielson Lightweight Cotton Cardigan by Brixon Ivy. The material is SO light and comfortable. It's like wearing long underwear. I'm sure I'll be able to wear this into the spring next year too! 

I give this fix two thumbs up! Is it bad that I'm wanting my next box now? It will come just before Christmas. Merry Christmas to me! ;-)

If you're looking for some new fall pieces to add to your closet, sign up and give it a try!  

Phone Photography Friday

It's Friday guys! You made it through the week! Woohoo!

I've been sufficiently filled with coffee and pastries this week. I’m getting into my fall groove of donuts, pies, and scones. I exercise every day so that I can indulge my sweet tooth…seriously.

Last week we talked about styling your pictures for social media, and how it’s ok to take time to set things up to get the shot you are hoping for. Today we're talking about something that might be a little harder to set up; people. We're going to take this in two parts, because sometimes you are able to pose, and sometimes you aren’t.


Usually if you are taking a picture of someoneespecially if you’re a momit’s because you want to capture the moment, so you don’t always have the luxury of taking 30 minutes to set and pose that person (or kid), especially if you want to be authentic in telling the story.

Don’t feel like you’re limited to include the person’s whole body, specifically when trying to catch action. Sometimes changing your angle by coming in close or stepping back will make your image more interesting and make people feel like they can experience what's happening at that moment. 

Photographing people isn’t easy. During our workshop we tell you how you can photograph peoplewhether they're your clients or your kidsin a way that engages your audience and stays true to your brand.

There's still time to sign up!


When: Nov 9, 2015 | 5:30-9:00

Place: Lewis Tower, Loyola University Chicago | Beane Hall -13th Floor | 111 E. Pearson Chicago IL 60611

See the full schedule

Aaron & Adrienne | Anniversary Session

Aaron and Adrienne just celebrated two years of marriage last week.

The way they look at each other and laugh together, you'd think they're still dating. This is how marriage should be. Your love, joy, and passion should grow stronger every day. 

Their relationship is an inspiration, and I loved doing a special anniversary session for them in Kalamazoo, Michigan. We got to enjoy some of the area's beautiful fall colors. 

Happy Anniversary you two!

Phone Photography Friday

Haaaaaay! It's Friday again. And the weather is perfect for running. I enjoyed a nice run this morning after more than a week of Michael being away from home. 

We're exactly a month away from the next phone photography workshop! I am busy coming up with ideas for how to style the scene so everyone can practice what they learned during the workshop. I'm also coming up with new goodie bags and books to give out to each attendee. I'm so excited!

Have you been practicing the new techniques we've been going over each Friday and improving your phone photography skills? We already talked about composition and lighting. Now let's talk about styling


When you take a picture of an object, either to promote something for your business or to promote someone else, it's okay to spend some time preparing the scene. You might even take 100 photos of the same thing from different angles stopping every few minutes to shift something then start the picture taking again. We do this because visual presentation matters. 

Not only do you want your subject too look perfectly appealing to the eye, you also want to make sure it's clear to your audience why they should be interested. A big part of that has to do with what you write, but the biggest part of it has to be conveyed through your picture.

Whether it's framing something simple like a USB drive or arranging or an array of products you receive in a care package, during our workshop we can help you think through the photos you style in a way that's attractive and speaks to your brand. 


When: Nov 9, 2015 | 5:30-9:00

Place: Lewis Tower, Loyola University Chicago | Beane Hall -13th Floor | 111 E. Pearson Chicago IL 60611

See the full schedule

Phone Photography Friday

Can you believe we're in October?! While I like the summer, fall is definitely my favorite season. I love blankets, warm drinks, and layers. 

While the weather is chilly outside, our house will be filled with movies and cuddles on the couch. Hmmm...I think it's time for me to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Ok, enough about fall. We're continuing to talk about composition as part of our Phone Photography Fridays series. Two weeks ago we talked about the subject, then we touched on framing, now we are talking about blank space. 


While it's great to get nice and close on your subject filling the whole frame, think about doing the opposite. Leave some blank space. It will help draw your viewers eye to your subject. 

Think of the rule of thirds. Put your subject in one third of the frame, and leave the other two thirds with white space. This also gives you an opportunity to write in that blank space if you wanted. (I never do, but if it benefits your business and brand, then this is a good way to incorporate your own images to the message you want to relay).

Come to the workshop and we'll give you more ideas on how you can use images to tell your story in a way that fits your branding. 

It is a little over a month away on November 9th at 5:30pm. See a more detailed timeline.

Monthly Mocha - Firecakes

This month I visited Firecakes in River North. It's a little shop on Hubbard that sells coffee, donuts and fresh squeezed lemonade. Thank you Jennifer for always posting about this place. Your posts always looked so good, that I had to try it for myself.

Now, let me tell you, I had the best donut ever at this little shop. It was an almond joy donut, and it was AMAZING! 

I know I’m all about the mochas, but this is the place to go for a donut. 

I had an iced mocha on my visit as well, and it was great. It was a warm day, so it was the perfect way to quench my thirst. They aren't really known for their coffees, but for a shop that's focused on donuts, this place has great mochas. 

They don’t have inside seating, which will be a bummer come the winter months, but their little patio is really cute and inviting, even as someone who doesn’t really like to dine outside. (This is a thing between Michael and I, because he is an outside diner, and I’m not.)

I don't think this is an ideal spot for a client meeting, but it would be nice for a stop after an engagement session to treat them to something special. 

I like that they're open late. They start selling at 7am and they stay open until 10:30pm, or until they sell out.

I'll definitely be back here again if I find myself in River North…and you should try it too! It's worth the stop. 

Phone Photography Friday

I've come to look forward to Fridays even more than usual ever since we started Phone Photography Fridays. I get excited writing these blog posts and helping you improve your photography.

Last week we announced our next workshop date! It's going to be Nov 9th at 5:30 right downtown. Get all the details here.

This week we are continuing to think about the composition of your image


Once you've thought about what you want to take a picture of, you need to think about how to make it look nice or interesting; eye catching. 

Whether you are photographing products, places, or people, you'll want your images to stand out and invoke feeling in your audience. Come to the workshop and we can give you different strategies on how to nail your framing and draw your audience in. 

*What do the images above make you think or how do they make you feel?

Elias plays soccer

I am in this denial phase where I don't want to believe that Elias isn't a baby anymore. I remember when he was born, Elena was instantly a "big girl" and "grown up" at 2 years old. Yet, I don't want to accept that my 2.5 year old is growing up.

We are in Elias' third week of soccer. He was wanting to play soccer last year when he saw his sister running...or should I say sauntering after the ball during her soccer season. His time has finally come, and he is completely in his element during practices.

He can dribble and kick the ball pretty well. And I love how he runs with his tongue out.

I'm so excited to share my love of soccer with him and see how he grows.

He had just gotten his hair cut and styled by our amazing stylist Trisha at Lemonmade Salon, so he was feeling pretty good about his soccer practice and his new haircut. He didn't feel so great when Elena swooped in and scored a goal. 

Phone Photography Friday + Workshop Launch

Happy Friday!

In case you missed it last week, Michael and I are doing a new blog series called Phone Photography Friday. We were so energized by our phone photography workshop that we're doing another one!

Whether you are posting personal pictures or promoting your business, we think the photos you take with your phone and put into the social media world should be excellent. Right!? Because YOU are excellent.

Leading up to the workshop, we're going to give you a little taste of the content every Friday. Last week we talked about light, and this week we're going to start talking about composition. 

This week’s tip: Composition (PART 1)

Composition isn't just about what you want in your picture. It's also about what you don't want to capture. Be conscious about the background and foreground of your subject so your audience doesn't get distracted from what you want to show them.

This seems like a simple thing, but it's hard to keep in mind when you don’t have a lot of time to take your picture. Come to the workshop and we'll walk you through how to clean up the background of your photos, and make sure you're framing your subjects well.

Now... Workshop time! We have a date, time and place. We just need YOU. 

When: Nov 9, 2015 | 5:30-9:00

Place: Lewis Tower, Loyola University Chicago | Beane Hall -13th Floor | 111 E. Pearson Chicago IL 60611

See the full schedule

Phone Photography Friday

Hello there! Michael and I are starting a new blog series: Phone Photography Friday.

Plans are underway for another Phone Photography workshop very soon. It went so well last time, and we've had several people ask us to do another one. How could we resist?

Until then, we're going to give you some tips to step up your phone photography game. Let's face it: We're all photographers. If your phone has a camera, and you use it to document your life or promote your business you want those photos to be great, right? Right!

First tip: Find the light. 

The word photography is a mashup of two greek words: photo and graph. Photo means light, and graph means to write. When you take a photo, you're literally writing with light, whether it's on a piece of film, or the tiny digital sensor in your phone. Because phones sensors are so small, light affects mobile photography more than anything else.

At our next workshop and we'll show you how to make the most of your light when shooting with a phone. We're going to announce all the details next week, so be sure to check back!

Monthly Mocha - M2 Cafe

I feel bad for the cafe that had to follow my wonderful experiences at Dollop last month, but M2 Cafe was the one to do it. M2 is located in the West Loop and is the second location of the Morgan Street Cafe. 

I really liked the relaxed vibe. It was never overly crowded or loud. Each time I visited I stayed for a few hours to work and felt really productive since there aren't a lot of distracting things around. It would be a really nice place to meet a client. It's a great space for making conversation. It's a bummer that they have a closing time of 5pm, but this is definitely a good day spot. 

Now for the good part: Their mochas. I tried a regular hot one, and it was gooooood.

*A fun fact about me is that whenever I have a hot drink, I always end up burning my tongue because I'm impatient.  Always.

Doesn't their space look inviting? Very modern, yet hipster. 

My seventh Stitch Fix

I received another amazing Stitch Fix box last week. I must confess I've already worn most of the items they sent. This was by far my favorite box yet. 

I loved the styles. 

I loved the colors.

I loved how they fit.

It was a pretty amazing box.

Are you ready?

This first piece is the Catarina Knit Top from Papermoon. I love the striped print, and it was very light and casual. Super comfortable. 

As soon as I saw the Kendal Lace Overlay Dress by Brixon Ivy, I prayed it would fit. And it does! Like a glove. I already know I am wearing it this week. Thursday. I'm so happy with this dress.

Another piece from Papermoon is the Kyro Button Up Top. I think this would look really nice with leggings, and I like how it is a nice transition piece into fall. I love how it feels. It's thicker than a T-shirt, but flexible and soft at the same time.

You may have seen this shirt on my Instagram as I already wore it on Friday. The Brook Dot Print Tie-Waist Top from Pixley is great. It ties at the waist which brings me back to my middle school days...such a 90's thing, but I like that it's light and casual. I can also throw a blazer or sweater over it to wear in the fall or even pair it with black pants and make it more dressy.  

My last piece is the Jace Chevron Print Dress from 41 Hawthorn. *Gasp*, another dress! I think this will bring me up to 4 dresses now. But seriously, how can I not keep this one? I love the pattern and it fits nicely. 

I'm so so happy with my Stitch Fix this month. My next box will be filled with fall attire! If you are curious about the clothes your stylist would pick out for you, give it a try. Seriously it is so fun and I look forward to these boxes every other month. 

Maria & Jorge

We met Maria and Jorge a few years ago at church. They were telling us of their super hero wedding plans, and I had seen a glimpse of their thoughts through facebook, so when they asked us to capture their day we were more than excited. 

Their day was filled with so much joy, love and fun. From dancing down the aisle, to super hero shirts costumes, a party bus and a smoke machine their day was one we were so happy to capture. 

It was authentic, and so meaningful. They are super heroes to their own kids and to each other, so it was fitting for their wedding reflect that bond with their family. 

The reception was decorated beautifully by Magic UpLighting Inc. It was the first time we had worked with owners Eddie and Jessica, so I was excited to finally see their work in person.

Regina & Korbin

Regina and Korbin moved to Chicago recently because they fell in love with the city after a few visits. Their apartment doesn't have the skyline view they dreamed of, but they are so perfectly content just being with each other.

Their wedding was an intimate gathering with just close friends and family. They're so happy to have come to Chicago, but they're even more excited to start married life in their dream city.