Elizabeth Nord Photography » Everyone has a story. Let me tell yours.

Earlier this month, 24 entrepreneurs gathered at Kate Johnson‘s incredible home in Ukrainian Village to learn about the monthly topic: collaboration! I absolutely love learning from this amazing group of business owners and getting to hug their necks each month! If you are an entrepreneur and are interested in learning more about this group, what we stand for, and getting to be a part of an exciting movement, I’d love to see you at our next meet up! The people in this group have already become some of my closest friends and my hope for you is that you find constant positivity and encouragement through this group too! There are 4 different Chicago groups that you can be a part of.  I lead the city group and there are leaders in the north, west, and south suburbs as well.

To learn more about Tuesdays Together and the Rising Tide Society, check out their website here!  Thank you Kate for hosting us in your home this month and thank you Honey (her super cute pup) for being our monthly mascot 😉

Kate has the cutest decorations in her home!

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Leslie Voegtlin

I feel blessed to have been able to join and meet you all. Very beautiful people in heart. If you haven’t joined, DO!

This past weekend I went home to Tennessee to celebrate my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law’s engagement party! Friday was the main event and we were surrounded by some of my parents most treasured friends and their families.  The next morning, all of the girls on my mom’s side of the family + plus my sweet granny gathered in my mom’s kitchen to have a jam canning party which I cleverly (or at least I thought it was clever haha) named a Bridal Jam Party! Growing up, I watched my mom and my granny can all sorts of things.  They canned green beans and peas from our garden as well as the yummiest strawberry jelly you’ll ever have in your life.  Even though I watched this as a child, I and most of the ladies there, have actually never helped with this process.  It was fun to put on aprons and get to work!

My brother’s wedding colors include peach, so we found it fitting to can peach jam.  We ended up canning over 190 jars of this peach goodness!! They plan to give these away as their wedding favors at the end of their wedding night! Such a fun way to put some good ole southern loving into their favors as well as give us an experience we’ll never forget enjoying together!  Below are some of my favorites from our canning experience! OH, and did I mention there were pineapple, mango, and blackberry mimosas?? YUM

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Welcome back! This is the last post about our amazing trip to Australia and New Zealand (for now! I can’t wait to share photos from something we did while we were there! Coming in a few weeks!)

Did you miss the other posts?? See them below.

Sydney, Australia

Cairns, Australia

Nelson, New Zealand

Blenheim, New Zealand

Our last 4 days in New Zealand were spent in beautiful Queenstown and on a day trip to Milford Sound.  While I wasn’t initially excited for the several hour bus ride there, I am so happy we went! The views were truly something straight out of a fairytale book…like well, Lord of the Rings! They call this area Fiordland and it is absolutely unbelievable to see in person. I hope that I did the place justice by photographs, but there’s something to be said about seeing this yourself…up close and personal.

Our tour was with Mitre Peak and it was great! The bus ride was actually quite nice and we were able to stop a few times along the way to Milford Sound to sight see, take photos, or grab a snack. My favorite stop was called Mirror Lakes.  You could see such a crystal clear reflection of the mountains in the water. I loved it!
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Oh my goodness you guys, if I had to pick one place to just sit and drink wine for the rest of my life it would definitely be in Blenheim, New Zealand. Blenheim is known for its amazingly gorgeous days (it averages the most sunny days out of any New Zealand city! WHAT?!) and the wineries there specialize in sauvignon blanc wine.  Need I say more? I’m sold!

Vince and I wanted to experience as much as we could on the one day we were in Blenheim (aka Marlborough County), so we decided to book a wine tour with Hop N’ Grape Tours.  Cam, the owner and tour guide, was absolutely amazing and SO knowledgeable.  His dad owns a winery and he has worked at wineries for many years, so he knew everything from when to pick the grapes to how it’s made.  Cam taught me how to pick out which vineyard rows were sauvignon blanc vs chardonnay vs pinot noir, too!  I felt pretty dang smart by the end of the trip 😉 But I’ll admit, I only remember what the sauvignon blanc ones look like, because that’s all I was really interested in. HA! We were able to visit 4 different wineries, 1 chocolate shop, and 1 brewery!

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Ewa Kuc

Wow! Wow! and Wow! So jealous!!!

Um…guys. Can we talk about this INSANE weather we’re having in Chicago today? What is going on? Snow then rain, then sunny, crazy wind and cold, ….and currently a BLIZZARD. haha! AH!  Sadly the engagement session I had for today had to be rescheduled, but to look on the bright side, it does allow time for me to snuggle up next to my sick husband and sweet pup, binge watch some TV shows, and relive our time in New Zealand.

Did you miss the previous travel posts?? See more here.

Sydney, Australia

Cairns, Australia

Today, I’m sharing about our 2 days in Nelson! It’s a beautiful, small town on the northern coast of the south island. We’ve pretty much decided that we’re going to retire here one day. The food was the BEST we had in all of New Zealand.  It was full of charm, sweet people, and the scenery wasn’t bad either! 🙂

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Hi friends!

I have something super exciting to share with you today! My friends at Estera Events are launching an amazing e*course for couples getting married that will help you plan your dream wedding! They are incredibly talented, sweet, and professional planners so you won’t want to miss out on this amazing opportunity! So, without further ado, I want to introduce you today’s guest blogger, Erica, who will be taking over today!

Estera Events E Course

Hi Everyone!

My name is Erica Vanco and I am the associate planner at Estera Events. I am beyond excited to be a guest blogger for the super talented Elizabeth Nord! Not only is she an insanely talented photographer, but also one of the sweetest people you will ever meet! Thank you Elizabeth for allowing me to take over your blog today to talk about some very exciting news us Estera ladies have been working on for newly engaged couples trying to plan their wedding!

Let me start off by saying how overwhelming wedding planning can be. From picking the venue, timelines, seating charts, etc., the average bride spends 200 hours planning her own wedding, even when she’s working with a planner! The Estera Events team is putting together an easy to follow E*Course filled with videos that will cover topics ranging from Establishing a Budget, How to Style a Wedding to Building a Day of Timeline and more. Each video in the course will include downloadable content, helpful guides, templates, links and more to our favorite wedding resources! We want everyone to enjoy a stress free engagement and now is the time to start. We will be launching very soon, so head over to http://www.esteraevents.com/ecourse/ to sign up to be notified of the E*Course launch date in order to take advantage of a special introductory discount! For a limited time, anybody who signs up for more information will receive our Wedding Detail Checklist — a great tool to make sure you’re not forgetting any fun details for your wedding day!

Thank you once again to the fabulous Elizabeth Nord for having me!
Until next time,
xoxo
Erica Vanco

 

Hi friends! I’m so excited to share the rest of our trip to Australia with you today!

Our first stop in Australia was Sydney, and just in case you missed it, you can see the photos HERE! Our second stop was the beautiful city of Cairns.  This was my favorite city in Australia and it exceeded all of my expectations!

We arrived in Cairns around lunch time.  This cute, quaint city was quiet and the muggy air hit us instantly as we stepped out of the plane.  We dropped off our bags at the hotel so we could begin to explore the city and scout out a place for a late lunch. Much to my surprise, Sydney was primarily Chinese and Japanese cuisine, so when we arrived to Cairns I was in majorly craving some classic seafood.  Fish and chips anyone?! Yum. After lunch, we walked along the boardwalk and esplanade where we found the most beautiful trees and waterfront views.
Cairns Australia

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Annnnnnd we’re back, guys!! So excited to share the second post about my amazing vacation this past month! Did you miss the first post about our time in San Francisco? See it HERE!

Over the next week, I will be sharing about our time in the down unda! Today, will be all about our time in Sydney, Australia!

Day 1:

After surviving a long 14.5 hour flight from San Francisco to Sydney, we FINALLY arrived!! …2 days later.  Uh what?! Yep! There’s a 18 hour time difference between Sydney and San Francisco, so we literally woke up and “lost” an entire day. Crazy right?! Good thing we “gain” a day back, when we get back to the states! Surprisingly, we both slept decently well on the plane, which is an absolute MIRACLE for me! Seriously. So, once when we arrived in Sydney, we suffered no jet lag (YAY!) and were ready to explore the city!

After checking into our hotel, we put on our walking shoes and went exploring! We made our way through Chinatown, Circular Quay (pronounced key), and to an area called The Rocks.  The Rocks had so many cool restaurants, stores, and several streets filled with shops.  Luckily, we arrived on the weekend which is the only time you can visit this market!

Next to the Rocks is Circular Quay which is where the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House are located. I will warn you guys…I took WAY too many photos of these two iconic structures.  As you’ll see below, I took pictures of them during the day, mid day, and just as the sun set. I’m a nut. I know.
Sydney Harbor Bridge

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Sammy Ojeda

Such beautiful photos!!!!!! I CAN. NOT. WAIT for the trip!

Nicki Defilippis

LOVE!!! These photos are beautiful, looks like a blast!

Hi friends! It’s been a little while! It has been quiet over the past 3 weeks here on the blog and if you’ve seen my Instagram, you probably know why!

Over the past 18 days, my husband, Vincent, and I have been traveling to some absolutely incredible places! We made our way from Chicago to San Francisco and then boarded a plane two days later to Australia and then finished off our last week of vacation in New Zealand! To say we are tired, jet lagged, but mostly left with permanent smiles on our faces would be an understatement.

Our first stop on this amazing journey was San Francisco, CA.  We only had 2 days there and this was a first for me so we tried to make the most out of it by visiting some of the most popular and iconic places all while doing our own thing and stumbling across a few gems!  We stayed at a hotel downtown in the financial district, so once we got all checked in, we made our way down to the Ferry Building Marketplace for lunch at The Slanted Door!

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Kayla Fletcher

Oh my goodness! You were literally a block from our apartment at Devil’s Acre!!! Next time we simply have to plan better and make sure I’m here when you make your way back!!! I’m so happy you enjoyed the city…even if it poured on you the whole time! o_o

Barbara Sapnar

Incredible photos Liz. I am so glad you guys got a chance to go here.

This past weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the very first Rising Tide Society leaders retreat in beautiful Charleston, SC.  I went to explore a new city and to meet other RTS leaders, but I walked away with so much more that that.  I walked away with new friends and an inspired heart, feeling so encouraged, loved, and supported in life, in my business, and in being a Tuesdays Together leader for Chicago.   These women and men that lead Tuesday Together groups all over the world are such an inspiration! It was so wonderful getting to hear many of them speak!

Here are some photos from the retreat! Photos by Austyn Elizabeth Photography

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As you may have noticed, my blog and social media accounts have been a little quieter than normal lately, and that’s because I was preparing for the very first ENP Workshop, which I entitled The Love In The City Workshop! I still can’t believe that this happened… One of my biggest dreams has come true and I cannot thank everyone enough for being so supportive and loving throughout this entire process.  Thank you all for being my cheerleaders and for believing in me! I truly have some of the best friends and supporters in the world.

On February 20th and 21st, I welcomed 6 photographers from different parts of Chicago and Tennessee to my condo here in Chicago.  First, I’d love to introduce you to these beautiful ladies!

The class (from left to right): Liza, Angela, Nicki, Jennifer, Brittany, Lex

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Brit Solie

Team work! Love

Alex Riddle

Looks like a good time!

Valisa Henderson

I’d love to see a post on how you got to this point… I am certainly someone that feels like I’d like to do something like this some day but I don’t feel…. Good enough? Educated enough? I can hold my own for my work… That’s fine. But I struggle with feeling like if I speak out to “teach” something… I am faking it. Which I’m not… I could show what I know… But anyway.. I feel like I have a ways to go to get to that point but that’s a dream of mine too… I’d love to see a post on how you got to this point 😉
I’ll cruise around and see if maybe you’ve already done so!
The shoot looks awesome 🙂 great job in accomplishing your goals!

Day 1 of the workshop is finally here and my heart is beating with so much happiness and I have to admit, I’m also SUPER nervous! Eek! As you’re reading this, the attendees and I are probably in the middle of the styled portion of the workshop.  No doubt, having a blast! This is always one of my favorite parts and man do we have an amazing group of wedding vendors involved to make this shoot simply gorgeous! Be sure to follow along on instagram using the hashtag #loveinthecityworkshop to see all the fun and prettiness!

I am so thrilled to share these beautiful workshop gift boxes that I gave each of the Love In The City workshop attendees this morning! These were made by Brittney over at Southern Grown Vintage based out of Virginia. She blew me away with her sweetness and the way she made each box gorgeous and true to my branding.  She also suggested some of the most unique gifts to go inside each box.  I love supporting other small businesses and these were all created or bought from another small businesses in or around Virginia.

Each box includes a homemade, all-natural soy “leather and vanilla” candle, champagne gummies, as well as a beautiful calligraphy quote on recycled paper created by the talented Linda Sung.  This has always been one of my favorite quotes and something that I remind myself often in my business. I hope that this quote inspires everyone today!

These were such a big hit with the attendees! Thank you Brittney for helping my vision come to life! Day 2 of the workshop is tomorrow and I cannot wait!

 

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This past December, I had the unique opportunity to work with Lisa and Mike, sweet friends of MY sweet friend Elizabeth with Elizabeth Greve Photography!  As you can imagine, they wanted their friend Elizabeth to capture their wedding day but also wanted her to enjoy being a guest.  So I acted as the second shooter for up until the ceremony but once the ceremony began, I took over as the main shooter for the rest of the night so Elizabeth could enjoy herself fully!  It was so fun getting to know Lisa and Mike through the wedding planning process and to be with them on their wedding day. Thank you guys (and Liz!) for trusting me with capturing their ceremony and reception images! That is the highest compliment I could ever receive from a fellow photographer and amazing friend! LOVE YOU!  To see more images from their wedding day be sure to visit Elizabeth’s BLOG!

So on to a little bit about the wedding day!!

Being a lover of all things Irish (especially since his name is of Irish descent), he gifted Lisa on the wedding day with a wishbone necklace and an Irish claddagh ring which I absolutely adored!  You can read more about the claddagh ring meaning HERE!  I loved getting to read about the calddagh when I was in Ireland in 2014.

Did you miss that blog post? You can see the first part HERE and the second part HERE!

Their accents of green and maroon made me swoon. It was perfect for their December wedding! You also won’t want to miss the shawls that the bridesmaids wore! They added to the Irish theme of the night and worked so well with their dresses. Lisa and Mike absolutely love going to the movies, so when they asked if we could go to the AMC theater for some of their portraits, I was so excited! The images were absolutely magical in there!

Their ceremony and reception were held at the amazing Revolution Brewing.  I love this venue because it invites such a fun gathering and relaxed, intimate atmosphere!

Thank you Lisa and Mike for such a fun day!

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Elizabeth Greve

Awesome! Thank you Liz for capturing these memories for my friends and for all of your amazing help throughout the day! 😉 You are awesome lovely!

Oh these engraved crystal USBs have seriously stolen. my. heart. Engraved with one of my new logos, I can’t help but feel even more personally connected to each USB that I send to my clients.

I get these handmade beauties from Ryan’s Denn, who also makes the wood boxes I deliver the USB and prints in! Together, they made a seriously stunning work of art.  Don’t you think?



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Anna Anderson Hedges

They’re perfect! Love them!

traveling with your dog on a plane

 

Last week we had to fly down to Florida so we decided to bring our maltichon pup, Charlie, with us.  He hasn’t flown since he was about 10 weeks old, so I was really nervous to bring him on the plane.  He’s now 5 years old, quite spoiled if I might add, and has a bit of separation anxiety.  Bringing him on planes make me a nervous wreck but I knew that we may have to travel with him quite a bit this year, so this was a great trial run.  I have a lot of dog loving friends and readers, so I was hoping that this might help you the next time you decide on taking your beloved pup on a plane!

  1. Policy and Fees – First, be sure to look up if your airline allows pets in-cabin. We flew Southwest and read about their policies HERE.  They have a limit on pets that can be carried on each plane, so be sure to reserve a spot for your dog before arriving to the airport.  There is a $95 pet fee each way with Southwest.
  2. Checking In – Give yourself plenty of time to get checked in at the kiosk.  You will need to check in with your pet carrier and to check a bag since they consider the pet carrier your carry on item.
  3. Pet Carrier – Choosing the right pet carrier is really important. Be sure to check with your airline to see what their specifications are on pet carriers.  For Southwest, they require carriers to be no more than 18.5 inches long, 8.5 inches high, and 13.5 inches wide so that it (and the pet) can fit underneath the seat in front of you.  It needs to be well ventilated and leak-proof as well. For Charlie, I bought one that I found on amazon and it worked really well! You can see it HERE! We bought the gray color in the medium size.
  4. Restroom Breaks – Be sure to take your dog to use the restroom just before you get to the airport.  There are no areas for him/her to relieve itself, so this is crucial on long flights.
  5. Food & Water – Try not to don’t give your pet a lot to drink or eat before a flight.  Time it out so it gets a little bit here and there.  You don’t want to make it so the pup is dehydrated, but you also don’t want it to hold its bladder too long or even have to relieve itself in its carrier.  Also, be sure to bring snacks!  Charlie did really well with having some of my cheez-it’s that I had in my bag.  He saw this as a fun treat and he loved getting distracted for a while. I will remember to bring his doggy treats for the next time!  With Charlie, he panted a lot so his mouth got really dry.  The flight attendants don’t come around super often, so it never hurts to have a little pop up dog bowl like this one and a water bottle with you on the flight. Just remember to pace the water giving!
  6. Where To Sit – I would suggest siting near the back of the plane and sitting by the window just in case your dog isn’t a happy camper and you have to tend to it a little more than expected.  Charlie was definitely one of those dogs, so we made sure to not bother anyone around us.  Sitting in the back and by the window limits the amount of people we may bother.
  7. Be Kind and Relax – Be sweet to the people around you and your flight attendant.  They will require that you leave your dog in its carrier underneath the seat (unfortunately! ugh!) and will not be able to sit on your lap.  They have to do their job and some flight attendants are more strict/aggressive than others on this rule. So, just try try to relax and have a drink. Seriously.  Dogs can sense your anxiety and it won’t help their anxiety for you to be upset.  The best thing I did on the flight back to Ft Myers was to enjoy a few vodka cranberries. My back was killing me from bending over trying to tend to Charlie for hours and it was seriously a much needed drink to just calm down and relax.

 

I hope these tips help you on your next trip!! I wish you the best of luck with bringing your pet along with you. Some dogs are better than others, so don’t fret it too much! Just take these tips with you and you’ll be just fine! 🙂

Do you have any trips coming up where you plan on bringing your pet? Do you have any advice for me on my next trip? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section!!

Every once in a while I get a request to do head shots or editorial type shoots and it’s always so much fun!! As I bring out my studio equipment and set up the backdrop, my heart begins to sing. My heart sings even more when I get to photograph my amazing family members. Only 6 months apart, Amy Lynn is my closest first cousin.  At a young age her family moved to Chicago, which was a good ways from Tennessee.  At the time, we thought an 8 hour difference was the death of us! We always loved one another and kept in touch the best we could, but we were little and life just kind of gets busy as it always does.  As we grew older and our grandmother passed away, we were reminded just how precious family is.  So when I moved to Chicago a little over a year ago, we reconnected over the phone and she invited me to her wedding.  On that day, I saw her for what felt like the first time in a long time, but also like it had been no time at all. Up until we locked eyes after the ceremony, we had not seen one another for over 10 years. We both threw our arms around one another and tears just flew like a waterfall.  Since that moment, we’ve kept in touch more and more. When she asked me to take photos of her, I was absolutely in heaven. I was so happy to have this time with my beautiful cousin, my sweet second cousin (her baby) Opal, and my aunt Denise. I will forever treasure those moments, the time we’ve been able to have together over the past year, and these photos. Amy, you are absolutely stunning and one of the best mothers I’ve ever seen. I am so proud of you and so thankful for you! I love you with all of my heart!

 

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First, let me start off with a little back story:

I took voice lessons as a kid and I continued my lessons all throughout high school and some of college as I majored in Musical Education for my first 2 years. I loved to sing. Well, I shouldn’t say LOVED …I still do. I LOVE singing, I just hated performing. When it came down to performing each year in front of my family, friends, peers, and professors (or in college it was a few times a semester! eek!), I was often seen pacing the hallways about to have a panic attack and being comforted by my sweet classmates.  Although I loved music so much, I soon found that it simply wasn’t my life’s passion.  I eventually left the dream of pursuing music and pursued a dream of owning my own business or at least doing something in the business world by majoring in Economics. But that’s another story. 🙂

 

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Photo by Alisha Massengill

 

So now here’s where Taylor comes in. We were sitting on the couch the other night and Vince pulled up a video of Taylor Swift singing “Wildest Dreams” at the Grammy Museum on his computer.  We are big T-Swift fans…Swifties I guess you could say, so when I hear her voice I can’t help but stop what I’m doing and listen. As we watched her get in front of the crowd to play on stage with only her guitar and her voice, we were completely enamored.  Vince turned to me and said, “That’s got to be so hard getting up in front of all of those people. If she messes up just one chord, everyone will know.”  I thought about that for a minute. Yeah, it IS hard. I’ve been in her shoes before and it definitely not easy to get up in front of a crowd like that.  But then I thought for a few seconds longer and said, “Yeah, it’s hard but she knows that song like the back of her hand. This is her job… her passion.  She always does an amazing job and no one would care if she messed up a chord. There’s so many people that love her, her voice, and that song!  I also think that Taylor would just laugh at herself, say oops, and keep going. She seems strong like that. By the end of the song, no one would even remember that she had messed up in the first place.”

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Brittney Letsos

Such a great post! Bravo!

Laura Routheaux

I love this post! with David Bowies passing, I have realized how important Music is in shaping my creative vision regarding Photography. I love that you wrote about this, I can truly relate! xo xo

Bri Cibene

Wonderful post!! So true!

Neha Gandhi

beautiful post – and amen to all your aspirations! xo

-Neha
Love Playing DressUp

Oh guys, 2015 was definitely the year of engagements and weddings for my family! My sister in law was married in July, my sister was married in October, and in November my little brother proposed to his lovely girlfriend, Lauren!

Lance and Lauren have been dating a little over 2 years now and ever since the first time I saw them together, I knew she was going to be a part of the family some day. It was obvious to me- in the way he looked at her, the way held her tight, and the way he never wanted to say goodbye.  It reminded me so much of how Vince and I were when we first met, and well, how we still are!

I spent part of the 27th birthday photographing these sweethearts and I couldn’t have imagined a better way to spend those few hours! To top it off, Lauren asked me to be a bridesmaid and Lance asked Vince to be a groomsmen (on one knee I might add 😉  I am so excited for these two love birds to get married in May of this year at my parents home in Tennessee- the same place where these pictures were taken.

I love you both so much! Vincent and I are honored to stand next to you guys and to witness the beginning of your beautiful marriage! Until then, I’m going to swoon over your beautiful winter engagement session 🙂


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Crystal Bolin

Gorgeous!! Love this shoot! So sweet!

Amber Robinson

gorgeous session, and the dog at the end was like whipped cream on the latte!!

Annalise Kaylor

So beautiful, Elizabeth! What a great session!

Britton Felber

beautiful images!

Chelsea Bliefernicht

Love these so so so much <3

When Jenee of Visions Event Studio is planning a proposal, you know that it’s going to be amazing! Jayce decided to propose to his girlfriend Christi at the Ritz Carlton in The Terrace area and it was the perfect location!  A few days before the proposal, Jayce contacted a man who engraved a swing with their names and 3 special dates (the day they met, the day he proposed, and their future wedding date).  After dinner and an elaborate plan to get the ring from his brother, he lead her to the terrace.  She didn’t really catch on until she saw their names engraved on the swing.  Realizing what was happening, she turned around to look at Jayce and began to cry.  After he proposed, their family came to congratulate them and escort them to the party bus so they could continue the celebration at a local restaurant.  At the restaurant, Jayce surprised Christi with one last thing…a trip to Punta Cana! SO romantic!

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Trista Peterson

These photos are BREATHTAKING! Kuddos to Jayce. Jenee did an amazing job… these candles and flower petals are beautiful!

Kate Whelan

So sweet! How did he figure out their future wedding date??

Olivia Fisher

Oh! So cute!!!!!

Emily Macari

Beautiful setup & beautiful photos!

Kim Ing

Wow!

It was a warm summer day in the middle of June.  My friend, Haley, and I were sitting in our high school cafeteria waiting on the Drivers Ed class to begin.  I looked up from my notebook (or maybe I was talking to Haley at the time? Gosh it’s been so long I barely remember every detail but what I do remember is that that was the moment.  The moment I saw him for the first time. He was walking across the lunch room towards the Drivers Ed teacher to ask him a question before class began. I turn to Haley and said “Look at that guy! He’s cute!” Excited, she whispers, “Oh, that’s Vincent Nord! I know him! I’ll introduce you.” A few moments later, she introduces me to the cutie I saw from across the lunchroom. He looked at me with his big brown eyes and I melted. My heart was racing and I was probably starting to sweat to be completely honest with you! haha In that moment he gave me a sense of comfort and made me feel beautiful. “How is that even possible”, I thought? “I hardly know this guy!” But there was something about him that I just couldn’t shake. Not only was he good-looking but he was smart and hilarious! Every day I would look for him (and later on I found out he was looking for me too).  I made a point to say hello and even offer him a slice of pizza at lunch time.  I took every opportunity I could to talk to him.

As Drivers Ed came to an end, I tried to give every hint I could to tell him I was interested in him.  I was so upset when he didn’t ask for my phone number. I didn’t even say goodbye that day. We parted ways and continued on with our high school summer plans. About 2 months later, I find Keith, his little brother who I went to school with, on Myspace.  I messaged Keith and asked how he and his brother were doing.  Keith apparently told Vince that I was asking about him, so Vince got a myspace and asked for my AIM screen name so we could chat more.  After some chatting on AIM, he asked for my number and if we could go to the movies together.  At the time, I was grounded (I have no idea what for anymore) so mom told me I couldn’t go anywhere. However, he could come to the house and she would get the movies for us.  A little embarrassed, I went ahead and told him the situation and asked if that was okay.  Surprisingly, he said, “Yes!”

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Elizabeth Nord – VC

[…] she can be found. Elizabeth met her husband when she was 16 and got married at the age of 20 (read her love story here). She told me that her biggest obsessions are sour candy, puppies & making people […]

Elizabeth Nord – VC

[…] where she can be found. Elizabeth met her husband when she was 16 and got married at the age of 20 (read her love story here). She told me that her biggest obsessions are sour candy, puppies & making people […]

Elizabeth Nord – Viviana Cardona

[…] where she can be found. Elizabeth met her husband when she was 16 and got married at the age of 20 (read her love story here). She told me that her biggest obsessions are sour candy, puppies & making people […]

It’s that time of year when we look back on the past 12 months, reflect on our mistakes and our accomplishments, and count our blessings for what has been brought our way and for the people that have been put into our lives.  I absolutely love to create goals for myself and then look back to see if I met my goals for the year.  I recently purchased Lara Casey’s Powersheets and I’m so excited to have an organized way of keeping up with my goals, facing my fears, and making things happen!

Back in May, I wrote down goals for myself and in my business for the year. Let’s look back and see what I accomplished and what I have yet to accomplish! This will be fun!!

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Jenée Allan

Love this!!! It’s so great to see things checked off from 2015!! Praying blessings to be poured on your and your family in 2016!

As 2015 comes to an end, I love going back through all of the images from the sessions and weddings that I’ve had the opportunity to photograph.  From nearly every wedding day, I have a special section of behind the scenes images of me that I save (thanks to my sweet second shooters) that up till now has mostly been for my own entertainment. This is my first time sharing these all in one post and I think I’ll have to make this a yearly tradition- this is so much fun!  I have to say…they make me look super cool and awesome in some of these, when in reality I am sweaty and half of my makeup has already rubbed off! haha! However, some of these are pretty embarrassing, but I decided to share them anyway because they are SO me. I hope they give you a good laugh!
Photographing the bride’s details are among one of my favorite parts of the wedding day. I absolutely love this photo that my second, Maria, got for me on Megan and Andrew’s wedding day in June.

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Oh my goodness guys… I was tearing up nearly the entire proposal! Sidd was so sweet and his smile when he saw Alice on the rooftop says it all. Alice (according to her brother) is not a crier, but oh man did she bring the water works! I mean, who can blame her?! I was right there with her!

A little background story: Alice came to visit her family here in Chicago for the holidays and her boyfriend, Sidd, originally from San Diego, told Alice that he would be unable to join her since he had to stay back in California to work. Little did she know that Sidd planned to fly separately to Chicago only to surprise her with a beautiful proposal on top of the Ivy Boutique Hotel!  He also surprised her with her closest family and friends who came around the corner of the building after he proposed! They enjoyed drinks and appetizers in the downstairs lobby and then went to dinner at Rosebud later that evening.

I love the personal touches that Sidd added to the proposal. He brought her favorite blue scarf and a large fleece blanket from San Diego so that he could put it on her when she arrived and he also brought his mini speaker so that he could play romantic music in the background. To top it all off, he wrote a special note to her saying why he wants to marry her.  As you’ll see, that’s what she’s reading right before he got on one knee.

The proposal was planned and designed by my new friend Jenee of Visions Event Studio, the floral was beautifully done by Jan Sanchez, and the furniture was rented from Bowery and Bash. Together, we executed a gorgeous proposal for this amazing couple!

Side note: This was my FIRST time photographing a Mrs. Box and I’m obsessed!

 

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The holidays are finally here!!!!

One of my favorite hotels in the north part of Chicago is The Guesthouse Hotel.  Is quaint and homey with a southern gal meets the city kind of vibe, which I totally adore.  These gorgeous decorations by Vision of Elegance Events will make you want come in, sip hot tea in their lobby next to the fire place, and stay a while. The ornaments on each place setting as well as the stationary were provided by the super talented Sylvia Stremming Designs.

Drop by and say hi to all of the lovely people there! They are so nice and welcoming. They also have a nice sized gift store inside the hotel lobby that feature local designers and their work! It took everything in me to not buy the entire store while I was there.

 

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My husband and I met Leynee and Doug when we first moved to Chicago in September of last year. We all became immediate friends!  We typically go on double dates together and often times spend holidays (like Easter, 4th of July, and Halloween) together since we consider each other “our Chicago family.” We always loved hearing about the beautiful Miami beach, their adventures in Florida and DC, and how they fell in love. Last winter, Doug and Leynee went on a ski trip to Colorado, where Doug proposed to her on a mountain top. Seeing the pictures when they returned and getting to hear the whole story was so exciting!

Vince and I had always planned on attending their wedding in Miami, but I was so honored when they asked if I would consider photographing their wedding day as well. Getting to photograph a friend’s wedding is unlike any other wedding I’ve done before.  One thing that I took away from photographing this wedding was how it reminded of why I want to love my couples, why I like to know their love story before the wedding day, and why I want to remain friends with them even after it’s all over.  I ask a ton of questions beforehand so I am able to understand them individually as well as a couple. In other words, I like to know what makes them tick. Because I knew Leynee and Doug individually as well as a couple, I truly believe that I was able to capture their wedding day unlike any other person would have been able to do.

Something else that made this wedding incredibly special to me is that I was there when Leynee found THE dress. We ventured to Valparaiso, IN together to a small boutique bridal store, enjoyed lunch and a quick stop at a cupcake store (we LOVE cupcakes!), and then decided that this dress was IT! It was the first dress that she tried on that day and we both cried as we saw it on her. It was SO Leynee.  As I took the dress out of the bag on the wedding day to photograph it and all of her gorgeous accessories, the memories of finding the dress flew back into my head. I couldn’t help but smile! Leynee and I also happen to master brunchers. (I’m not sure if that’s a word, but if it’s not- it is now!! lol) We love to find new restaurants around Chicago, enjoy “fancy eggs”, and enjoy a mimosa (or 3). We could literally spend all day having brunch together. I was also able to attend her bachelorette cruise along with some of her closest friends, which was so much fun! I’m still gushing over the fact that I went on a cruise to the Bahamas!! Over this past year, we’ve really gotten to know one another and become such amazing friends.

I am so happy to have been able to watch their relationship over the past year and to have been chosen to be their wedding photographer.  Gosh, what an incredible honor. What an AMAZING job I have. I feel so incredibly blessed to have such amazing friends in my life and to have them trust me 100% with their most precious memories. I could go on and on about how special this wedding was and how amazing Doug and Leynee are, but I will leave you now to look at the images from their incredible wedding. It was simply perfect in every way.

 

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Last week we celebrated the last Chicago Tuesdays Together meeting of the 2015 year! Instead of the normal topic meet up, we decided to celebrate with a Christmas party where we could get to know one another better, drink wine (duh), and have fun!! We met at Elizabeth Bankmann’s STUNNING home in Logan Square and it couldn’t have been more perfect!

As I reflect back on the past 6 months, I can’t help but smile. I am so thankful for all of the friendships this group has brought me and for everyone that comes to the meetings each month. Your support of the group and of me as a leader means more than you will ever know!

I also want to thank all of the people in this group that continue to support each other, lift one another up, offer advice, and give hugs when needed. YOU are the reason The Rising Tide Society and Tuesdays Together is a success. As we quickly dive into the 2016 year, I urge you to keep encouraging one another and spreading the word about Community Over Competition.   Give smiles, hugs and laughter… Continue to be a shining light in someone’s life and in their business! I love this group so much and cannot wait to see it (and everyone in it) flourish in 2016!

XOXO

 

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Although a little rainy and windy at times, this gorgeous fall day was truly a perfect day for Elise and Dan’s wedding.  Elise’s dress and details were to die for!  Dan was dressed to the nines and was so excited to see Elise for their first look. I just love their sweet personalities that shined throughout the entire day and their obvious love for one another.

 

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On October 29th I had the unique opportunity to photograph the La Perla grand opening on Oak Street in Chicago alongside Vogue Magazine. The store is absolutely stunning! They opened the doors to some of Chicago’s most influential people, amazing entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and celebrities such as Melody Hobson (President of Ariel Investments and wife of George Lucas), Donna Hall (owner of Donna Mondi Interior Design), Suzy Biszantz (CEO of La Perla), and so many more amazing people!

Guests were greeted at the door and invited to browse the store, drink champagne, and enjoy light o’heuvres. Following the opening they held an exclusive dinner at Fig & Olive decorated by gorgeous floral centerpieces and personalized menu cards.

These photos are also seen across the media! See a few of the links below.

Social Life Chicago

Chicago Business

SPLASH: Sun Times

 

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As I walk in the door to Gotam’s family home, I am greeted with hugs and escorted to the garage where his parents were hosting the prayer ceremony (also known as Graha Shanti) for Gotam and Shveta.  As everything was getting set up, their family members quickly began to gather around the couple who sat on multicolored rugs that were placed throughout the floor.  According to Hindu traditions, this ceremony is a formal engagement announcement.

This experience was like no other for me. It was really beautiful to watch the Indian rituals and to hear the language spoken. The happiness in everyone’s eyes and the laughs they had will be something that Gotam and Shveta will never forget. Something I will personally never forget is the fact that the parents invited me to be a part of the ceremony. I put down the camera for a few moments so I could bless the couple by anointing my forehead with pithy (a specially prepared paste), drinking water and then putting it on my head.  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your special day!

I am beyond excited to be their wedding photographer and to spend so much time with them throughout the planning process over the next few months. They will become a regular on the blog over the next few months, so be on the look out for more photos from this amazing couple!

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