Travel Photography: Eugene, Oregon

Last month, I went to Eugene, Oregon, to see my one and only sister graduate from University of Oregon with TWO master's degrees. It was a very immersive experience as I followed Lindsay everywhere. We partied non-stop in true Eugene fashion. My parents were there, you'll see several pictures of them in this post. Take a look at a week in Eugene, Oregon!

First Ever Mini Sessions

I recently held my first ever mini session, which I'm happy to report was a success! There was a hiccup, however. Due to the excessive rain in Chicago, our shoot had to be rescheduled, TWICE. I offered an indoor lifestyle shoot in lieu of the outdoor photo, but the family had their heart set on an outdoor shoot. When the day of the photoshoot finally arrived, it was a breeze. The family was super laid back, and baby Oscar was an excellent participant! Take a look at our long anticipated, first ever mini session! 

Road to Hana

The Road to Hana is a trek in Maui known for its gorgeous scenery. There is no other landscape like it on the mainland. I was fortunate enough to take this journey a year ago and would be remiss if these photographs were not shared. You must see this in your lifetime.

Until you make the trek for yourself, you can take the journey with me. Enjoy!

"It's not about the destination, it's about the journey."

My engagement!!!

I took 4 photos the day I got engaged. The photos on their own may seem insignificant- a picture of Brian, a photo of a bridge, another of a creek.  But when I go through these photos I see the story of my engagement. A day so special, I couldn’t help but share.

It was Christmas day, 2016. We were making our way to Brian’s parent’s house in Elgin, talking about what a photogenic town Elgin was and how we wanted to take more pictures there.  When we got off the highway, into said town, I noticed we were not on our typical route. 

"Weren't we supposed to turn there?" I asked.

"I want to show you something," he casually replied.

A few minutes later, we arrived at the Tyler Creek forest preserve. Brian said this was a place he used to come visit when he was living in Elgin- that there was a bridge in the woods he wanted me to see. I assumed the purpose of this detour was to take pictures, so I grabbed my camera and hopped out of the car. Brian took my hand and we walked toward the bridge. 

As I was walking and looking at the snow covered ground I got the feeling I was going to come back to this place someday. That I would have the opportunity to see these woods again in their full green glory. 

When we reached our destination, I saw the bridge with a creek flowing underneath. I knew exactly the photograph I wanted to create. I was dreaming of one of those shots where the landscape is completely still, but the water looks blurry from its movement.  

Apparently, I was really into creating this photograph, because I completely lost track of where Brian was or what he was doing. Then I heard him say, “hey baby,” only to turn around and see him on one knee, in the snow. He was holding his grandmother’s engagement ring and said the words every person dreams of hearing, “will you marry me?” 

It was a complete surprise. I wish I could say I immediately screamed yes and we embraced for all the world to see, but I’m pretty sure the way it happened was a little different. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. We had talked about getting married, but I had no idea he was going to ask me on that day, let alone that winter. Eventually, I got around to muttering the word, yes- and there we were. In one of the most life changing moments of our lives. 

Chi-tecture

Recently, I put together a series of photos for a cafe. These photos feature some of my favorite parts of Chicago, so I thought I would share them with you all. Enjoy!

Immanuel & Abel Chicago Wedding

Mannie and Abel's wedding day had such a warm, special feel. Family and long time friends made up the guest list. The reception was held at Abel's family's restaurant in Pilsen. Food was made and served by friends of the grooms. Love was felt in every aspect of their wedding and I was honored to be a part of it. Take a look at this gorgeous couple on their special day!

Want more? Check out Immanuel and Abel's engagement shoot here!

Erika & Jackson Wedding

As a wedding photographer, I couldn't ask for a better couple than Erika & Jackson. Logistically the day was a breeze thanks to the notoriously organized Erika. My favorite part about shooting this wedding was the recreating of photographs. The bride had pictures from her mother's wedding she wanted to emulate and we did just that. Check out this beautiful couple and our modern take on family tradition.

Bulls Game Surprise Engagement

Last night, Jake & Michael made history as the first same sex couple to get engaged at the United Center and the 2nd same sex couple to get engaged at an NBA game. Jake planned the entire evening for his now fiance Michael, a huge Chicago Bulls fan. Normally, proposals are not allowed at these games; however, Jake caught the attention of the Bulls administrators with a compelling telling of he and Michael's love story, so they made an exception.

Friends and family of the couple were at the game, hidden in the stands, as well as a photographer hired to capture the evening.

During the 3rd time out of the 2nd quarter, the moment we were all waiting for arrived.  Benny the Bull pulled an unsuspecting Michael to center court where Jake popped the question. Check out the photos below to see how the night unfolded!

Headshots!

Headshots are harder to shoot than one may think. I've been working on my headshot game this summer and have learned a lot. The biggest game changer for me was setting my camera to aperture priority mode (Av). This setting allows you to set the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed. What you're left with is a subject that is perfectly in focus against a background that is beautifully blurred. Take a look at the headshots I've taken this summer and let me know what you think!