I feel truly blessed to be able to follow my dream of being a photographer. I absolutely LOVE what I do! From the time I picked up a camera, I was obsessed with taking pretty pictures. After 12 years, my focus has shifted… I have come to realize that one of the most important parts of my job is telling your story through my lens. If I’m photographing your wedding day, I focus on authentic, natural and real moments. If I’m photographing your senior pictures, your personality and inner beauty will shine through! These are the moments that you will forever cherish and remember. Welcome to the blog. I can’t wait for the opportunity to capture YOU and tell your story!
For the past four summers, my studio has hosted a Shelby Senior Destination Experience Trip! Last year, we went to Allerton Park and the two years before that, we went to Starved Rock. This year, we decided to take on Chicago and it didn’t disappoint! 13 Class of 2019 Shelby Seniors along with my hubby, 2 parent volunteers, my daughter, Shelby and my assistant/associate photographer, Stephanie took the train from Bloomington to Chicago for our first overnight trip. We stayed in the beautiful, Chicago River Hotel that was conveniently located across the street from Chicago’s breathtaking River Walk.
As soon as we arrived, we had lunch catered by the Corner Bakery followed by the arrival of an amazing team of professional hair and makeup artists that I hired from the Chicago area. The PHMUA’s glammed up the girls for their high fashion “nighttime looks” which consisted of outfits that fit our chosen theme. Between groups having pro hair and makeup done, we would head to the Riverwalk area for group and individuals photographs and then rotate when the next group of seniors were done with their hair and makeup. It was a beautiful, sunny day in the city and we had the BEST time! After everyone was completely styled, our next stop was the Adler Planetarium that has one of the best views of the city skylines. We attempted to set up lighting, but it was so windy (makes sense that Chicago has the nickname, Windy City) and my umbrella kept flying off despite three people’s efforts to keep it stable!
It wouldn’t be a great trip to Chicago without eating some deep dish Chicago style pizza at Ginos East where we also made our mark on the wall (thank you Katelyn Campbell) with our “Shelby Seniors ’19” mark on the black walls with a white highlighter! We were all exhausted but still ready for more. We closed the city down on State St. at the Chicago Theatre for some super fun nighttime looks complete with City lights in the background. I may or may not have been stopped by the Chicago PD after a very nice taxi driver let us use his cab for Nicole laying upside down with her gorgeous hair perfect positioned on the hood of his cab (the cab driver was not in the car, FYI!) We started walking back to the hotel after midnight and me and Steph saw our first HUGE city rat!
The next day started early with a catered breakfast from the Corner Bakery as well as lunch too! More amazing hair and makeup completed by adorable daytime outfits! We took Ubers but also did a fair amount of walking to Buckingham Fountain, Cloud Gate, Millennium Park, Grant Park, and then a walk down Michigan Avenue to Dylan’s Candy Bar where the girls enjoyed looking through the store and eating some yummy sweet treats!
All of the hours of planning this trip was well worth it!! The seniors had a great time and I’m obsessed with all of the fun pictures we were able to capture during our time in the city!
Special thank you to our talented PHMUA team: Tanya Renalt Artistry, Kourtney Scott, Ashley Condron, and Donna Forsythe. As well as parents, Tara and Sibyl for helping with food set up, carrying equipment, and assisting with anything needed. My hubby, Dave was surrounded by 18 women two full days and didn’t complain once! He wasincredibly helpful and patient! #besthusbandever. Thank you to my daughter, Shelby and my rock/assistant, Stephanie who helped with everything behind the scenes and social media. I couldn’t have planned or done this trip without everyone help, so thank you, thank you for everything!
Special thanks to Anna, Sierra, and Pedro at the Chicago River hotel for your excellent customer service and perfect stay!
Maybe next year… Iceland? 😊