CHICAGO LIFESTYLE // ST. JAMES FARM LIFESTYLE PHOTOS // shelby

Chicago Senior Lifestyle Photos

As the warm August sun dipped behind the trees at St. James Farm, Shelby gathered her clothes out of the car, and she debated which outfits she wanted to wear. She had just returned from LA, her first trip out to California alone, and she was excited to spend some time with her parents and to document this exciting time in her life.

At first glance, you notice her beauty. Her striking blue eyes are memorizing, but beneath all of her physical beauty is a true artist and and a gorgeous soul. Shelby is a songwriter. She oozes creativity and love for what she does. In between her first year of college classes this fall, she will be juggling her songwriting career traveling back and forth between Chicago, LA and New York. She is a true believer in going after what she wants, and she knows that songwriting is what she loves.

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Shelby grew up close to St. James Farm, but she had never really been there until our photo shoot. We practically had the whole place to ourselves … which I loved.

 

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Shelby has a free-spirited nature, so the open fields were a perfect compliment to her personality.
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In addition to being a songwriter, Shelby plays the piano and the guitar. Oh, and she also sings.
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This might be my FAVORITE shot from our shoot.
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Shelby really wanted some photos taken with her parents, so we used a part of our time together to document their relationships as well.
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I love when natural smiles happen in front of my camera.

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And I’ll end with this photo of Shelby’s parents. They were so sweet, and if it weren’t for their beautiful 30+ years of marriage, I wouldn’t have had the privilege of documenting their love, their family, and their beautiful daughter.
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CHICAGO SENIOR : LAKE PARK HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR PHOTOS // sami

When Sami’s mom, Kathy (who happens to be my first cousin) emailed me asking me to take Sami’s high school senior photos, I was delighted. I LOVE photographing high school seniors, and I especially love photographing them when they are as much fun as Sami.

Sami and I met at Danada House in Wheaton on a beautiful summer evening. The sun was warm and glowed a beautiful gold as we wandered the grounds chatting about figure skating, Texas and crime shows. Sami is an insanely talented figure skater. She is humble about her skills, never one to brag about her talent, but she radiates with excitement when she talks about figure skating. It is safe to say she loves the ice …. so much that she even teaches figure skating – a pretty cool job, if I say so.

Sami is sweet, confident and adorable. She is one of those girls that has it all and goes after what she wants. She is hoping to attend college in Texas next fall to study criminology and forensics and put her addiction of crime shows to use. Her dream job is to be a blood splatter analyst. Basically, she is one cool chick.

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CHICAGO SENIORS : VERNON HILLS HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR PHOTOS // ashni, mary + ashley

I’ve told you guys many times before how much I adore photographing high school seniors so when my fall mini sessions turned into a full afternoon of mini senior sessions, I was giddy with excitement. I met three beautiful Vernon Hills High School Senior girls, Ashley, Mary and Ashni at Independence Grove in Libertyville on a gorgeous fall afternoon and here is what happened….

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CHICAGO SENIOR : VERNON HILLS HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR PHOTOS // natalie

I had never really considered photographing high school seniors until I photographed Natalie’s older sister, Alissa, two years ago. I worked with Alissa and Natalie’s dad back in my advertising days, and he asked if I would photograph Alissa. So I did, and I was instantly in love with photographing seniors.

Nearly two years later, I met Alissa’s younger sister, Natalie, at Independence Grove in Libertyville, the same place where my love affair with senior sessions first started for her senior session. I had a blast photographing Natalie and spending time with  a family I just adore. Alissa even came back from college so that I could photograph her with her sister … and well … it was a perfect evening creating.

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Natalie was a complete natural in front of the camera.

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I loved having Alissa in front of my lens again and there to help her sister throughout our photo shoot. These two sisters are just gorgeous – inside and out – and they made me completely jealous that I do not have a sister.

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The number one goal of my photo shoots is for my clients to have FUN … and it looked like Natalie and Alissa were enjoying themselves (or just laughing at my crazy requests).

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Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville is simply perfect in the fall with all the beautiful colors for senior sessions in Chicago.

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A total favorite of Natalie coming up …..

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Natalie was all smiles ….. and lots of laughter during our photo shoot ….

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And this is how it ended … and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

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CHICAGO SENIOR : ST. FRANCIS HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR PHOTOS // annemaire

It was the perfect fall evening. The air was crisp. The leaves were starting to scatter around the yard. And the golden sun lingered in the sky. I was giddy with excitement when I met with Annemaire and her mom, Tina, for Annemaire’s senior photos because it felt as if the stars had aligned. Between all of the looks that Annemaire pulled together for her photos, the perfect weather and the AMAZING private property we were shooting at, I was thrilled to be behind my camera creating.

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Annemaire is currently a senior at St. Francis High School.

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She was a total natural in front of the camera … and she rocked her photo shoot with complete confidence.

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The afternoon light was simply dreamy around the property.

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CHICAGO FALL MINI SESSIONS // october 12

Pre-season football is starting … back-to-school shopping sales are everywhere … and I am digging out my boots which only means one thing … fall is right around the corner. I love summer like a high school girl adores her first love, but fall … well it is my happily ever after. I could, and would, photograph only in the fall. So in honor of my love for cozy knit sweaters, hot apple cider and chili, I will be hosting fall mini sessions. This is the perfect way to get in a short mini photo shoot to update the photos in your house or get a family photo for your holiday cards.

Chicago Fall Mini Sessions Seniors Babies Families Engagement Lifestyle Libertyville - Independence Grove Forest Preserve

Fall mini sessions will be Sunday, October 12 at the Independence Grove Forest Preserve in Libertyville. I adore photographing at this location, and I know it will be the perfect spot for these fall sessions because of all the amazing trees in this spot! I am starting with 5 afternoon sessions (3:00, 3:30, 4:00, 4:30, 5:00)

Each mini session is only $195 and is 25 minutes long and includes 25 digital, high resolution images printable up to an 8 x 12.

A deposit of 50% is due within 7 days of booking in order to reserve your spot. These sessions will fill up fast, so book early. E-mail me at brittany@brittanybekas.com for scheduling.

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WHEATON SENIOR GRADUATION PHOTO SHOOT // michelle, olivia, audrey + rose

A few times a year, I find a random day of the week, and I put together a photo shoot …. just for fun. These photo shoots are for me to push myself creatively outside of what I typically shoot for my clients. It is the work that I want to produce for my clients, but it gives me the availability to focus just on what I need to create in the moment for myself.

So when Rose messaged me a few weeks ago saying that her and her three bffs would be interested in modeling for me, I was so excited. And that excitement, well it multiplied when everyone arrived at Danada House in Wheaton with bags of the most amazing and fashionable clothes, jewelry and accessories. Per usual, I wanted to steal so many of the items for my own closet, but since I couldn’t … we styled up some fun boho looks for these recent high school grads.

It was the BEST afternoon. Dreamy light. Perfect weather. Fabulous outfits …. and four stunning friends who posed, laughed and danced for my camera. As I photographed them giggling with one another, I couldn’t help but smile thinking about how cool of a memory these moments are for these four gorgeous girls. They are only a few weeks away from packing up and moving to colleges throughout the Midwest, but they could have this fun afternoon together with photographs to remember it forever. If only I had thought to do something like this with my high school besties.

Michelle, Olivia, Audrey and Rose – You girls are not only drop-dead gorgeous, but you are all so fun!  Thank you for allowing me to photograph your friendship and this exciting time in your lives. I wish you all nothing but the best! – xo Brittany

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Interested in doing your own bff photo shoot before college? Email me at brittany@brittanybekas.com to book a session.

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CHICAGO MINI SESSIONS // lincoln park zoo

Could it be? Spring is actually here with summer right around the corner?! I hope so! Which means it is the perfect time to get some gorgeous outdoor photos taken. My spring mini sessions are perfect to grab some photos of your family, little one, senior or your other half and you.

chicago mini photography session // brittany bekas photography - www.brittanybekas.com // wedding and lifestyle photographer based in chicago, illinois

Chicago mini sessions will be Saturday, June 21 at the Lincoln Park Zoo. I am starting with 5 evening sessions (5:30, 6:00, 6:30, 7:00, 7:30).

Each mini session is only $195 and is 25 minutes long and includes 25 digital, high resolution images printable up to an 8 x 12.

The first person to book a mini session will get a complimentary softcover book with images from your mini session. A deposit of 50% is due within 7 days of booking in order to reserve your spot. These sessions will fill up fast, so book early. E-mail me at brittany@brittanybekas.com for scheduling.

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CUSTOM SMARTPHONE + TABLET GALLERY APPS // iphone + andriod

Ok, so do you remember when you used to carry around those plastic photo cases in your wallet full of all the VIPs in your life?! You know, the days pre-Facebook or Instagram where you actually had to have a physical photo on you to show someone. If you don’t remember, then you are clearly way younger than me …. but I remember I carried those wallets around with me EVERYWHERE.  I never knew when I would need to show someone a picture of my hot BFF.

But let’s face it. No one does that anymore. If you can’t show someone a photo of your dog, baby or love of your life on your phone, then people may or may not believe you that Charley / Payton / Mike even exist. Ok, maybe not that extreme … but it seems like if it isn’t on Facebook / Instagram or on your phone … it didn’t happen, right?

Now as much as I love for all my clients to have physical prints from their sessions with me, I realize that it is sometimes MORE important for them to always have their images with them. Which is why one of my favorite products that all of my 2014 clients receive is their very own custom smartphone gallery app. This little app also works great on tablets.

custom smartphone / tablet photo gallery app // brittany bekas photography - www.brittanybekas.com // wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Chicago, Illinois

It is an app custom designed for each client with photos from their wedding / session. You just download it on to your phone and/or tablet, and you always have your photos with you. Best of all, the app is designed so you can share with with friends and family. So all those loved ones who are out of state or your Mom who loves to brag about you, can add the app to their phones so they can whip out their phones to show you off. No more plastic wallets for them. ;)

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custom smartphone / tablet photo gallery app // brittany bekas photography - www.brittanybekas.com // wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Chicago, Illinois custom smartphone / tablet photo gallery app // brittany bekas photography - www.brittanybekas.com // wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Chicago, IllinoisWant your own custom app? Just mentioned it when you book your wedding or lifestyle session with me, and I promise, I’ll hook you up. ;)

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CHICAGO HOLIDAY MINI SESSIONS

Holiday mini sessions are here just in time for your holiday cards! They are perfect for any type of shoot (family, engagement, kids, couples, just for fun … whatever!)

Chicago Holiday Mini Sessions 2013 // Chicago + Chicagoland lifestyle photographer

TIME // Saturday, November 23 >> 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm (Session times: 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:00, 3:30)

LOCATION // Chicago (exact location TBD)

COST // $195 (includes 25 hi-res digital images with printing rights. Prints can be purchased too.)

If you are interested in booking a session, contact me at brittany@brittanybekas.com with your preferred time slot. Hurry though, I only have 5 sessions available.

If you are interested in booking but time times don’t work for you, please send me a note.

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STEVENSON HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR // JASLENE

If I could be 17 again, I would make Jaslene my best friend. Not only is Jaslene gorgeous and a total fashionista, but she is super smart and beyond sweet. She is hoping to attend college in California to study psychology and to escape the Chicago winters (I don’t blame you, Jaslene!). Living hundreds of miles away from Chicago doesn’t worry Jaslene … as she loves to travel and experience new cultures. In fact, she has already visited a ton of places on my must-visit list including India and a safari in Africa … and she also hiked Machu Picchu and even climbed to Wayna PIcchu in Peru.

When she met me in Long Grove for her senior photos last week, I nearly died when she showed me all her clothing options. It was like walking into a dream closet. I literally couldn’t eliminate any of them … so we photographed them all.

Jaslene – I loved spending an afternoon photographing you … and lusting over your wardrobe. You are so beautiful – inside and out – and I hope that you enjoy and savor every last moment of your senior year.

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I nearly died when I saw this sari that Jaslene wanted to end the session in. I mean how beyond gorgeous is it?! Stevenson High School Senior // Brittany Bekas Photography //  Chicago high school senior photographerStevenson High School Senior // Brittany Bekas Photography //  Chicago high school senior photographer Stevenson High School Senior // Brittany Bekas Photography //  Chicago high school senior photographer

CHICAGO FALL MINI SESSIONS

Chicago Lifestyle Phtogaphy | Fall Mini Sessions

I’m so excited to finally be announcing my fall mini session date. For those of you who like a quick and easy photo shoot, this is for you. These mini sessions are great for couples, families, seniors, and babies … and they are perfect for anyone looking for photos for their holiday cards.

Each mini session is only $150 and is held a single location (location is TBD but will likely be in northwest Chicago suburbs), is 30 minutes long and includes 25 digital, high resolution images printable up to an 8 x 12.

The fall mini sessions will be held on Saturday, September 28th. I am starting with 4 evening sessions (4:30, 5, 5:30, 6) and once these fill up, I will open up 4 morning sessions (9, 9:30, 10, 10:30).

Mini sessions booked prior to Thursday, September 19th will receive an ‘Early Bird’ bonus – a complimentary iPhone/Android gallery app with images from your session. A deposit of 50% is due within 7 days of booking in order to reserve your spot. These sessions will fill up fast, so book early. E-mail me at brittany@brittanybekas.com for scheduling.

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WHAT TO WEAR // SENIOR PHOTO SHOOT

This week for WHAT TO WEAR, I wanted to put together a look with one of my favorite trends – tribal print – for my senior photo shoots. These tribal print leggings are so amazing (hello, get in my closet) and can be paired with simple black and gold accessories and solid tee.

If you love this look as much as me, click here to learn where you can buy all of the items featured. And feel free to pin it to your Pinterest board or just use the color palette for inspiration for your shoot.

What to Wear Senior Photos | Brittany Bekas Photography | Chicago senior photographer

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VERNON HILLS HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR // EMMA

I’m pretty lucky. Ok, really lucky because I have the best clients … especially my seniors. Every single one of them is amazing … and Emma was no exception.

I first met Emma at University of Saint Mary’s of the Lake in Mundelein after a few weeks of emailing her mom, Lisa. Emma came with some of the cutest outfits for our shoot. I simply adore when my senior girls come with options because it allows me to help them pick out the best looks for their locations (and oogle over all their cute clothes … which makes me want to go shopping …. and well ….).

Emma is the sweetest girl-next-door type. She is the girl you want to be friends with because she is responsible, fun and beautiful! She adores kids and wants to be a teacher after college. And let me tell you, Emma is going to be a fabulous teacher between her caring and patient personality. She even traveled out west with her church youth group this summer to spend a couple weeks on an Indian reservation teaching kids. Impressed? I know I am.

Emma – I hope you have a fabulous (relaxing + fun) senior year. Savor every moment of it because it goes SO fast. And if you ever want to chat photography, let me know. :)

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VERNON HILLS SENIOR // ESTEPHANY

Estephany is one of my 2014 senior models … and let me tell you … this girl is pretty awesome. When I first started emailing with her, I was surprised by how adult-like she came across. She was super organized and responsible throughout all of the planning for her Chicago senior session. When we started thinking of locations, Estephany mentioned she loves the city, so we opted to take all of her high school senior photos downtown where we could get an urban feel.

Estephany can be somewhat shy to those she doesn’t know well, but she is beyond sweet. And her, hair … oh my goodness … what I wouldn’t do for those gorgeous tresses. She came with such fun outfits (that I may have wanted to steal for my own closet), and a great attitude. Here are a few of my favorites from our session. And if you are interested in having your senior photos taken, feel free to send me an email at brittany@brittanybekas.com for more details and availability.

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CHICAGO LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHY // GLAM PHOTO SHOOT

I absolutely adore photo shoots where I am working with a full team of people … other creative minds to collaborate with. It fuels my creative fire. :)

So this past weekend, I was lucky enough to work with the super talented owner of Suite 115 Salon and Spa, Jennifer Sorrentino on a black and white, glam rocker photo shoot. When Jen and I first talked about an editorial shoot, we were totally smitten with a mix of rocker chic and pretty glam looks. Heather Hundhausen styled all of Ashley Jane and Maddie Krause’s looks with a majority of the clothing and accessories from Foxtail Boutique in Bloomingdale.

A huge thank you to the whole team who made this shoot be what it was. I loved every minute of it! Ashley + Maddie …. you girls were amazing in front of the camera.

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CHICAGO CASTING // 2014 SENIOR MODELS

I am BEYOND excited to launch my Senior Model Program. I love, love, love shooting seniors …. between their amazing wardrobes, fun personalities and energy, I knew wanted to shoot even more seniors in 2013.

So this is where my 2014 seniors come in. I am casting for a handful of rockstar Chicago seniors to be my models to kick off the season.

Applications are now being accepted and are due by January 31, 2013 at 11:59 pm. February 12th, 2013 at 11:59 p.m.

WHAT IS A SENIOR MODEL?

A senior model is a trendsetter in his/her school. He/she is really fun, outgoing and and has a energetic personality that is contagious.

When you are a senior model, you are one of the faces of Brittany Bekas Photography.  Your job? Encourage your friends to look into Brittany Bekas Photography for creative, trendy, unique and editorial senior photography. You know, the type of photographs that you see in your magazines … that is the kind of images you will get here. Take a look at what I’ve created in the past :: Brittany Bekas Photography Seniors

You will earn digital negatives from your session and other rewards just for referring your friends. All you have to do is share your custom iPhone/Android app which has your photos from your photo shoot.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?

  • You’ll be treated like a ROCKSTAR!
  • You’ll be FAMOUS! Your photos will be all over my site, blog, Facebook, and marketing materials.
  • FREE modeling session in April
  • FREE Facebook images
  • Custom iPhone/Android app with your senior photographs to share with all your friends and family
  • Opportunity to earn FREE hi-res negatives from your photo shoot
  • Discounts to purchase additional digital negatives (because you will want them all!)
  • $50 session credit for a 2013 fall or 2014 spring senior photo session

 WHAT ARE THE RULES OF THE PROGRAM?

  • You must be a 2014 senior graduate.
  • Having your parent’s permission is a MUST!  Make sure to discuss the program with your parents before you apply. They will need to sign a consent form if you are selected as one of the models.
  • If you are chosen to be one of our exclusive senior models you must agree to ONLY represent and promote Brittany Bekas Photography for the duration of your senior year. (Exception: required yearbook or team sports photos)
  • You must agree to keep your Facebook profile picture set to one of your Brittany Bekas Photography images through October 31st of your senior year.
  • And most importantly, have a blast! This will probably be the easiest & coolest part time job you’ll ever have!?
HOW DO I APPLY?
All you have to do is fill out our online application located here.
I will be accepting model applications from December 19 through February 12.  The chosen models will be notified by February 15th.
Choosing my senior models will be difficult for me because I would love to choose everyone. :( But if you are not chosen as one of my models do not worry, I will have a special bonus for you as a thank you for taking the time to apply.  And please do not take it personally if you are not chosen, I know that you are pretty cool. Thank you so much for showing interest in my model program, and if you have questions shoot me a note at brittany@brittanybekas.com.

 


SENIOR MODEL CASTING :: APPLICATION

 

And be sure to like Brittany Bekas Photography on Facebook, if you haven’t already done so. I will be announcing the winners on my Facebook page. :)


Brittany XO Signature 2

independence grove senior :: mckenna

Outgoing. Sassy. Type A. Interested in photography. Um….sounds like my kind of lady! I met McKenna at Independence Grove to take her senior pictures, but what I didn’t realize was that I would basically be oodling over all the fabulous outfits she brought. Such the fashionista!

McKenna is an athlete and a brain. I mean anyone who has an AP Calc exam the next day and shows no signs of stress is a smarty pants in my book. She is that high school girl who is the total package. Fun, responsible, and gorgeous.

McKenna – I had SO much fun spending just a few short hours with you. Best of luck with your college apps and the final months of your senior year. If nursing doesn’t work out… there is always modeling. :)

independence grove senior :: allison

I had a feeling that Allison was very responsible and mature just after our quick conversation to set up her session, however our afternoon together only confirmed it.

Allison is not your typical high school girl. She runs at least 7 miles a day through the very area that we took her senior photos at (which are STUNNING). She runs because she loves the “runners high”. On top of that, she works at a pathology lab. Applying to some top notch ivy league schools, Allison is quite the smarty pants. Her career goal … become a surgical oncologist. Oh, and she could pretty much be a part-time model based on the stunning photos from our session.

Allison – Thanks for picking me to create photos for your senior year (and allowing me to move elements of nature for the photo). You are a beautiful girl – inside and out! I wish you the best with your college applications and in the years ahead.

Here are my favorites from our session. It was SOO hard to only pick a few to post….

naperville riverwalk senior :: andrea

I spent Columbus day with gorgeous weather in downtown Naperville creating senior photos for Andrea. Andrea is laid-back, ambitious and kind. She is a bit of a musician. She has been playing the viola since 5th grade and mentioned that she will likely continue to play it in college next year while she studies business.

Downtown Naperville was the perfect location to document Andrea’s senior photos because she and her friends love to hang out there on the weekends. And with fall being Andrea’s favorite season, I knew we had a great location when we found a park covered in fall leaves.

Andrea – Thanks for having me capture your senior photos. Best of luck with your college applications and enjoy this year! It goes so fast so cherish every moment!

downtown libertyville senior :: rachel

Every senior session I have shot this year has made me realize how much I am LOVING shooting these girls at this exciting point in their lives. I met Rachel this week at Starbucks in Libertyville. We had the chance to explore downtown Libertyville including all the little nooks throughout the area … all while sipping on some coffee. I guess there was more exploring and less coffee drinking if you ask Rachel. :)

Rachel is a total left-brain so I loved that I could chat about all the creative ideas I had in my mind. Right now, she is working on her AP Photography project where she is learning photoshop and all things digital. She in the process of applying to colleges now, and she is hoping to go into a creative field: graphic design or interior design are the top of her list currently.

Rachel is sweet, fun, and a totally Starbucks junkie. Rachel, enjoy your senior year and all the fun moments that come along with it! It goes SO fast. :)

Following, Rachel’s session, her two younger sisters met us for a couple family photos. How beautiful are these girls?!

 

independence grove senior :: alyssa

When Alyssa met me late afternoon on a Sunday, I knew we were going to fun shooting her senior photos because she had this great, energetic personality. She came with a whole carload of shoes, clothes, and accessories to choose from. And, I LOVE when my clients bring options and trust me to give input on what they should wear.

As I shopped the options – both for our shoot and for my personal clothing wishlist…..I could tell Alyssa was a little fashionista with great taste. What made our session even more fabulous is that Alyssa is really into photography….so I could talk aperture, shutter speed, and post-production with her – hello, photo friend!

Here is a little peak at some of the photos from our perfect Sunday at Independence Grove in Libertyville.

Alyssa – Enjoy every moment of this year….it goes by way too fast. My advice … document all of the little and big moments like a true photographer. You will treasure those photos as the years go by more than you did in the moment. Best wishes for the journey ahead!

independence grove senior :: alissa

I am absolutely hooked on shooting seniors after this amazing session with Alissa last weekend. She was up for whatever crazy ideas I threw out at her (including climbing through cattails with NO clue what could be lurking underneath the tall grass), and she brought little elements of personality into the photos.

Alissa is a cross country runner, viola player and aspiring guitar player. She has this great go-with-the flow attitude and is beyond sweet.

We met at Independence Grove in Libertyville with one goal in mind: create something different from the boring, colored backdrop photos that most seniors get in the studios.

Here is a little peak at some of the fun photos we ended up with. Alissa, you look so gorgeous! Thanks for letting me document this exciting moment for you. I wish you nothing but the best for the years ahead…. and my vote is for University of Illinois…. :)