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

Emily and Chris were brave enough to agree to a sunrise session with me this past Saturday and it was so much fun! This was actually my first ever sunrise session, mostly because I’m just not a morning person, but I have to say that for these two…I’d wake up early any day! They absolutely rocked every “pose” and were so much fun to be with!  One huge perk of a sunrise session is that there is no one around, so we had all of Lincoln Park Zoo to ourselves!

They initially met while working in the same office in the summer of 2010.  They reconnected with one another after Chris graduated law school and have been together ever since. These two are incredibly smart, witty, and have huge hearts for one another. It is so evident in the way they look each other and the way Chris holds her tight. Chris and Emily made my heart melt throughout this entire session!

We ventured to several different locations (Lincoln Park Zoo, Millennium Park, Chicago theater sign) since they were all really close together and it couldn’t have worked out better!

Lincoln Park Zoo Engagement Photos

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This past Friday officially kicked off my engagement sessions for the year!  I couldn’t think of a better way than with Lydia and Brent’s engagement session at the gorgeous Northwestern University campus in Evanston! After months of rescheduling due to weather (c’mon Chicago!), we were able to find a beautiful spring day for their e-session and even though it started to rain at the end, it was so much fun and you would never know it by looking at the photos!

Lydia and Brent have been together for over 7 years now and first met in their freshman English class. They started dating Lydia’s junior year of college and had their first date on Valentine’s Day in 2008. Brent proposed on the 4th of July at Lydia’s aunt and uncle’s lake house surrounded by her family.  Lydia said, “It was so awesome that he did it on that day and with my family there because we immediately celebrated afterward!”

Below are my favorites from their engagement session this past weekend!! I’m so excited to be capturing their wedding day this September! Guys, I’m counting down the days to see Lydia in her amazing dress and to see Brent’s face when he first sees her! EEK!

Northwestern Engagement Photos

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Oh my goodness you guys, I can’t wait till you scroll down to see all the gorgeousness from Michael and Sammy’s Hubbard Inn wedding!! Not only was it absolutely gorgeous (I mean, how could it not with these two cuties), but the ceremony was probably the sweetest I’ve ever seen! So much thought and meaning went into this ceremony… between the handwritten vows to the giving of flowers to the parents, to the merging of red and white wine to make a rose that they plan to recreate every year on their anniversary, we were all in tears.

Michael and Sammy got ready at the beautiful Godfrey Hotel.  I was in detail heaven with everything Sammy incorporated! Her love for rose gold was evident in her robe, wedding ring, and jewelry and her shoes were purchased in Ireland, where Michael proposed to her.  Michael surprised Sammy with a large bouquet of red roses, a rose gold bracelet, and a shadowbox filled with momentos of their life together. SO sweet! They had their first look in a private space on the rooftop complete with perfect windows that backlit them so perfectly.

Their wedding day was incredibly rainy, but you wouldn’t tell it by the photos! I don’t mind rain…It’s good luck, after all! We all piled into the Zed451 shuttle bus to go to a remote location in the west loop for their portraits.  And I have to say – I’m obsessed with this wall, guys! You’ll just have to see what I’m talking about…SWOON!

Their wedding ceremony and reception was at the Hubbard Inn, a super unique hotel and restaurant venue! I’ve personally been there for brunch a few times and it’s AMAZING. Had to put that out there, just in case I have some brunch loving readers 🙂 Their attention to detail at the reception was remarkably  personal and spoke so true to them as a couple. They included their engagement photos (which I always get a big smile from!) as well as vintage suitcases, a popcorn machine, and cupcakes! YUM!

I’m so incredibly happy for you guys and am so lucky to have you both as friends! I can’t wait to see where your exciting and beautiful future together takes you!

Chicago wedding photographer

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Maria Harte

Amazing!!!!

Ben Elsass

Elizabeth, these are so wonderful! Thanks for capturing such amazing images for my friends!

Nicki Defilippis

Love this wedding!!! These photos are gorgeous!

Michael Moody Fitness

Liz, your work is amazing! You truly have an uncanny ability to capture any special moment….we absolutely love our engagement and wedding photos and look forward to sharing the full album with our friends, family, and clients! Thank you for everything!!!

Michael
http://www.michaelmoodyfitness.com
Author of Redefine Yourself: The Simple Guide to Happiness

Hi friends!

There is a new series on the blog and it’s called Newest Obsession! Throughout this blog series, I will share …well, my newest obsessions!

I’ll not only be sharing about the things that I’m loving right now, but also the things I’ve found over the years that bring a little happy to my life! Some of these things you may know about already and some you may not, so I hope that you can either confirm their awesomeness or be surprised by something new!

I want to begin this series by talking about a tool that I use for quick and easy unsubscribing!  You know all of those email newsletters that you get signed up for?  Maybe you ordered something from Target once upon a time, put your email into a Kate Spade sign up box so you can get a discount on your purchase, or wrote your name down at your local boutique to receive updates.  Do you want to see those emails every single day? Do you even shop at that store anymore?  If you’re like me and have moved around a lot in the past 5 years, you probably have your email signed up for all sorts of newsletters that you never even look at!

So if you get 50 emails or more a day, are constantly annoyed at seeing emails from stores you never even shop at, or just want a more organized email inbox, you’re definitely going to want to check out Unroll.me!

When you go to unroll.me you will be brought to the main page where you’ll sign up to get started. Did I mention that this is TOTALLY FREE!!??

 

 

Unroll Me

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When my sweet friend and neighbor Katie asked me to do a branding session for her and her company, Katie Lord Inc., I was so excited! Any chance I can get to work with my friends, I am all about it! We had tons of fun going around the city and also taking some photos in her gorgeous office.

Guess what, guys?! Her website just went LIVE! RIGHT NOW. Click here to see the new site and to learn more about Katie Lord Inc.

www.katielord.com

 

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Shaunáe Teske

Aww I love this Elizabeth! Great work as always!!

Shalyce R. Tyson

Awesome job, love this!

Alexandria Shea

Lovely photos! Great job keeping everything in a clear brand.

Hi friends!

I’m so excited that it’s Friday! On the weekend, we love hanging out with our friends, going out to eat, and binge watching Netflix shows and we intend to do just that!

Today, I want to introduce you to my little cousin, Ali! She is such a smart and beautiful young lady and I am so proud of her! She is graduating from Crockett County High School in Bells, TN this May and plans to attend the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (my alma mater! GO VOLS!) this fall. She will follow not only me in attending UT Knox, but several of our family members! UT Knox is no stranger to the McGee family!

I was so excited to photograph her senior session and to document this special time in her life. We had so much fun going around downtown Jackson and exploring the Green Frog area in Bells.  Ali, I love you so much and I know you’re going to do such amazing things in this world!

Congratulations on your graduation!!!

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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!

San Francisco Photographer

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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!

 

welcome boxes for workshop

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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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