Monday, April 6, 2015

Aaron & Megan | Wintery 2nd Anniversary Session

They're baaaack! I joked with Megan that people are going to think that I only ever take pictures of them. :-) I shot their engagement pictures, their wedding, their first anniversary pictures, their maternity pictures, pictures of their adorable baby (haven't posted those), and now their second anniversary shoot! It's so fun to keep doing pictures long after the wedding has ended - and it's an interesting exercise to come up with something a little different each time when you have shot the same people so many times! :-)

They got married in the winter, but the last anniversary shoot was in the summer, just because we waited for nice weather. This time Megan wanted to do a snowy anniversary shoot, for something new and since it would be more in line with their actual anniversary. Schedules didn't line up for a while, and we hit March; the snow melted. We thought we'd have to toss that idea when we were enjoying temperatures in the 70's, when it suddenly plummeted and we found ourselves dumped with 4 inches of snow once again. It was a date we were both available so we spontaneously met up at a local preserve and made it happen!

Friday, April 3, 2015

My Favorite Things | Cinderella

Anybody else out there obsessing over the new Cinderella movie? Ahhh, it was just perfection. I honestly wasn't that excited about it when I first heard it was coming out, and decided I'd probably wait for it to come out on DVD. I thought it would be too overdone from my first viewing of the trailer, and I wasn't sold on Lily James as Cinderella. Like a lot of people, I'd only seen her in Downton Abbey and I couldn't see the willful Lady Rose playing a good Cinderella. Happily, I was wrong. :-)

Cinderella and I go way back. I remember as a little girl, we had the original Disney animated film on a large video disc... it must have been some special edition or something. It was in a fancy box and we had to play it in a specific machine. It felt like a really big deal and a special treat to get to watch Cinderella!

When I turned three, I had a Cinderella birthday party and my dad - are you ready for this - built me a pumpkin coach. (Nope, I wasn't spoiled at all). My dad is an engineer but he has a decidedly artistic side, and he hand painted a beautiful false front reproduction of Cinderella's carriage. This is one of my favorite pictures of me and my dad.

Then there was the time when we acted out Cinderella with our friends - I was Jaq, Tara was Gus, and Emily, our best friend who somehow generally ended up with the main role in our acting adventures, got to be Cinderella. Mouse ears from Disney World, our native american indian costume as Cinderella's "rags," and our best dress-up shoes turned into the real thing with enough imagination. ;-)

Last year we traveled to New York to see Cinderella on Broadway, which was an utterly magical experience. We scraped in at the very end of the original cast's run, which was amazing! Fantastic singing, acting, costumes, and sets. I was in the clouds from that for months!

It was so good that we simply couldn't pass up seeing it again when it came to Chicago this winter - especially when we were able to nab $25 tickets!

Anyway, back to the newly released Cinderella. After I watched the trailer again, and researched (read: stalked) more about it, I got more excited, and when I realized I'd be visiting Lily when it came out, we decided we totally needed to go see it in the theater on opening night. And ohhhhh my goodness gracious, I was completely swept off my feet with this movie! The beautiful cinematography, wonderful musical score, absolutely stunningly amazing costumes, and delightful acting all came together to bring the most classic fairytale lavishly to life. Lily James is lovely in the title role, Richard Madden is charming, and Cate Blanchett is brilliant.

Source: Disney Cinderella Gallery
And seriously, people... the dress... THE DRESS!!! All my life, I've loved any dress with a good "spin factor" as I termed it as a child, and that gown is the ultimate. (I'll really take any of Cinderella's clothes, and I may as well have Madam's outfits too, they are prettttty fabulous). I tried to convince Lily to make me one, but she turned down my request. I guess I need a fairy godmother.

Source: Disney Cinderella Instagram
I love that they stayed true to the story and didn't try to stir things up with unexpected plot twists. I don't want to say too much in case you haven't seen it yet, but it was just a beautiful movie, and I have seen it (gulp) four times. Yes, four. In the theater. I should probably be embarrassed to say that, but I'm not. (In my defense, though, I didn't have to pay for it all four times... ;-) Sadly, we missed the window that it was playing at the iMax. I told my mom that my goal was to see it 12 times in theaters. I was only partly joking...

Source: Oh My Disney
At any rate... go see Cinderella if you haven't yet. And if you have... well, you can be like me and see it again. Several times. ;-) I hope ya'll didn't mind this departure from the blog "norm!" Shooting season is picking up now that spring is here, so I'll be having more work to share coming up!

P.S. I was featured on Moriah's blog this week! Thanks Moriah!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Aaron & Megan | 2nd Anniversary: Preview

Here's a little teaser for you! Megan so wanted to get 2nd anniversary photos in the snow, but our schedules weren't lining up. Spring weather (as in, 73 degrees) arrived and it looked like it would have to be next year... and then we were obligingly dumped with several inches of snow, and on a day that I was free! So, all you midwesterners complaining about the snow - blame Megan, she was praying for it. ;-) Come back soon for the rest of the shoot!

And just a reminder... I'm going to be in Paris and the south of France next month and I would just love to photograph a few lovely people if any of you live near there, are traveling there, or know somebody who is. :-) Drop me a line!

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Period Tailor | Historical Costuming Shoot

Last month I did shoot for Gabriel from The Period Tailor, for his portfolio on his (currently in progress) website. He creates fine historical reproductions, both military and civilian. It was interesting finding local historical locations to shoot, and it did end up being one of the coldest days this winter so far (of course!). Thankfully all his outfits are wool. :-)

We started out at Naper Settlement, which is closed in the winter, but they graciously allowed us to walk on for photos!

Second stop was the Joliet Ironworks ruins. Rather interesting, but I don't recommend visiting them in the dead of winter when you have to trudge a long ways in the snow to actually reach anything worth seeing!

Our final stop was my favorite! We went to the Weber House and Gardens, which I had never heard of until searching for locations for this job! It is an absolutely delightful "storybook" cottage - so called because it's not actually historical, but just decorated to look so and in several different eras. I definitely want to return in the spring to enjoy the gardens, but the house has several charming 18th and early 19th century styled rooms that worked perfectly for the civilian outfits. It's worth a visit if you are passing through the area!

Can't be forever serious... ;-)

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