CHICAGO MATERNITY PHOTOGRAPHY // RACHEL + STEVE

Last Sunday, I met Rachel and Steve at their home in Chicago for some maternity pictures. Just from spending a short amount of time with these two, I could see how excited they are for their first baby. Rachel’s eyes light up every time she talks about being a mom, and her excitement was contagious.

After making guesses as to what sex their little bundle of joy is (I think boy!), we headed to a nearby park to brave the cool (ok, very, very cold) November temperatures.
Rachel + Steve – Congratulations again. You are going to be amazing parents! Thank you for rearranging your whole house for your pregnancy photographs and for being troopers in the cold. :)

my list of goals :: september

Well, I am slowly embracing that fall is around the corner….but mostly because I have been dying to get into my fall boots (one of the few perks of the end of summer). I cannot believe September is here (and I know this blog post is a few days late!) The next four weeks will be the busiest four weeks of my business yet. Before I get into my goals for this hectic month, here is what I accomplished from August.

August Goals :: 

– Have two “dates” with Phil where we explore this amazing city we live in. Hm, well I’m going to count this however it was more like 1.5 dates. One Tuesday night, I rocked a new outfit and we went to Ai in River North for sushi. A new restaurant. New outfit. Definitely a date. As for my 1/2 date, I cooked up some vodka pasta and Maggiano’s  salad. Vino + movie = 1/2 date.

– Develop a Brittany Bekas Photography workflow document. Essentially a guide for each step of how I want to handle my business. This is a work in progress. This month I developed a status document for my clients. I also started putting together how-to documents including tips and rules for my 2nd shooters. I worked on e-mail templates and portrait contract templates. Things are def getting in order and therefore helping my workflow. :)

– Find 3 new places to promote my brand and my work. Well, I’m not sure if I really hit the 3 new places. However, I did network with a lot of new people. I am now out there socializing with people telling them about my brand and passing out my cards. I spoke with reps from the Knot, travel agents and business people. The word is spreading!

– Start adding dreamy lens flen into my portrait sessions. I almost did not achieve this, but then I was in the gorgeous Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and my clients’ allowed me to shoot two sunsets where the dreamy flair was captured in their wedding photos.

– Start planning Europe. Phil and I have been talking about spending 6 weeks in Europe….time to actually pull out the guidebook and make it happen. This has been put on hold because we are looking into traveling to Mexico, Belize and Central America again in January….but if anyone has any tips, tricks or ideas for Euro, let me know. I will be making this happen soon.

 – Make the leap into using PASS. My clients deserve the best, and they want to share their images easily. This company will make it happen! My first PASS gallery will be posted sometime early in September from my destination wedding. After that, all of my wedding clients will be getting their own PASS galleries.

– Develop a sample wedding album to show my clients how gorgeous the investment is. And it will be beyond stunning when I include my gorgeous Punta Cana wedding! I am beginning to work on this but with the number of portrait sessions and weddings I have this month, I have a feeling this may not happen until November.

Here is what I am hoping to cross off in September ::

Get back to the gym and tone-up my arms and back. I know this has been on here before, but after shooting 3 weddings in August, I realized that my 6 pound Nikon cannot be the only weight I lift. So between the gym and Tracy Anderson, I will be getting these arms in shape.

Update my website portfolio and images on all my branding. My style and work has changed so much in the last few months. I have been creating gorgeous photos for my clients, so it is time to sit down and edit and replace some of my old photos on my website and Facebook so that prospective clients see what my work looks like now.

– Set aside one day (per month) where I go off the grid. While traveling in Punta Cana, I realized how nice it was to be removed from my laptop, internet, cell phone, and English TV. So I am going to try to bring this into my life by turning everything off for 24 hours a month.

– Take less photos. WHAT?! How can I want to shoot less? When I first started shooting portraits and weddings, I would get a little shutter happy. Not like a crazy, proud parent, but I was overshooting and not really thinking about what the shot looked like – the expression on the client’s face, the position of hands, the background, etc. So I’m trying to take the time to make sure I love the shot before I click. Just because I shoot digital does not mean I should not apply my film training and save the click for the right shot.

– Take more photos. No this is not a typo per the above. This goal applies to my personal life. I get so shutter happy during my weddings and sessions that when I am spending time with friends and family, I hardly ever pull out my camera. I always have a point and shoot and my iPhone on me.  So let’s see if I can capture some of my life in between moments this month.

11 days in…let’s see if I can achieve everything in the remaining days ahead.

the final rose :: a proposal

He had it planned for months. The day that would change his life forever. Every detail was thought of down to having tissues for her when she arrived to accept his final rose.

Ryan and Marisa met three and half years ago, and on Monday night my best guy friend since I was 4, got down on one knee making him one of the happiest (and luckiest guys). His proposal mirrored the famous Bachelor … Marisa’s guilty pleasure on Monday evenings. But this Monday night, the show was all about her. After being picked up in a limo, she was off to meet Ryan where the romantic proposal happened.

It was such an honor and amazing experience to be there for such a special moment in Ryan and Marisa’s relationship. I know that these two have a lifetime of love and happiness ahead of them. Thank you for sharing this with me….the tears welled up in my eyes as I was capturing these moments….. :)

To see more of this special moment watch the proposal slideshow or check it out below.

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