Archive for 'Uncategorized'

August 10, 2017
Living only a few blocks away from this oasis in the city made for the perfect backdrop for Susie + Bill's sunset Engagement session last week. We pretty much had the run of the place making it feel that much more intimate. I loved incorporating the mix of city landscape with all the lush greenery this scenic Lincoln Park spot provided for our session. These two had nothing but eyes for each other and I can't wait to celebrate with them next month!

Chicago Wedding PhotographerChicago Wedding PhotographerChicago_Wedding_PhotographerChicago_Wedding_PhotographerChicago_Wedding_PhotographerChicago_Wedding_PhotographerChicago_Wedding_PhotographerChicago_Wedding_PhotographerChicago_Wedding_PhotographerChicago_Wedding_Photographer
Sarah and Greg's Classic Summer Wedding set in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast at the beautiful historical landmark Germania Place was a wedding unlike any other. So many personal details went into the making of this wedding starting with the sweet gift exchange the couple gave each other before the ceremony at The Renaissance Hotel- followed by the interactive sermon (SO fun!) given by Father Mike Gabriel at the second oldest Roman Catholic Church in Chicago Holy Family Church.You could just feel the love and support from all 200+ guests from the start of the ceremony leading into the reception. It meant the world to Sarah and Greg as they had many guests who traveled near and far to gather together to celebrate with them for their one special day on August 27th.

The weather was perfectly sunny and kept the Bride, Groom and Bridal Party in high spirits as we ventured around the city in a Chicago favorite "Marilyn Jean" Trolley. I love when couples trust me enough to lead them to the best locations that this city has to offer including the uber pretty Cancer Survivors Garden in Maggie Daley Park. Followed by my favorite The South Gardens at the Art Institute. My fav and most fun DJ- Alli Klein from  Toast and Jam curated the best playlist for the evening and helped to created some very special moments for Sarah, Greg and their families while keeping the dance floor packed and pumping all night!

Not only was this day filled with heartfelt speeches and toasts from family members and dear friends of the couple but I could feel that Sarah and Greg were as excited to be celebrating and even more excited to begin their lives as a newly married couple. Thank you both for inviting Joe and I to photograph all the sweet details, tears, laughter, and love- we are truly honored! Cheers to you both as you continue to celebrate all the beautiful milestones in your lives together. xo

Head over the Borrowed & Blue blog to see Sarah and Greg's amazing celebration featured today as well!

Coach House Pictures, Chicago Wedding PhotographerCoach House Pictures, Chicago Wedding PhotographerCoach House Pictures, Chicago Wedding PhotographerCoach House Pictures, Chicago Wedding PhotographerCoach House Pictures, Chicago Wedding PhotographerCoach House Pictures, Chicago Wedding PhotographerCoach House Pictures, Chicago Wedding PhotographerRenaissance_Hotel_Chicago_WeddingRenaissance_Hotel_Chicago_WeddingRenaissance_Hotel_Chicago_WeddingRenaissance_Hotel_Chicago_WeddingRenaissance_Hotel_Chicago_WeddingRenaissance_Hotel_Chicago_WeddingRenaissance_Hotel_Chicago_WeddingRenaissance_Hotel_Chicago_WeddingRenaissance_Hotel_Chicago_WeddingRenaissance_Hotel_Chicago_WeddingThe Knot ChicagoThe Knot ChicagoThe Knot ChicagoThe Knot ChicagoThe Knot ChicagoThe Knot ChicagoMidwest BrideMidwest BrideMidwest BrideMidwest BrideMidwest BrideMidwest BrideMidwest BrideMidwest BrideMidwest BrideMidwest_Bride Midwest_Bride Midwest_Bride Midwest_Bride Midwest_Bride Midwest_Bride Midwest_Bride Alvina-Valenta-Wedding-DressAlvina-Valenta-Wedding-DressThe_Knot_ChicagoThe_Knot_ChicagoAlvina-Valenta-Wedding-DressAlvina-Valenta-Wedding-DressAlvina-Valenta-Wedding-DressAlvina-Valenta-Wedding-DressGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_WeddingGermania_Place_Wedding

Ceremony: Holy Family Catholic Church

Reception: Germania Place

Wedding Coordinator: Macrina Oscampo with Germania Place

Florist: Friend of the Groom

Catering: Kenmare Catering

Cake/Sweets: Mariano's

Videographer: RAC Visual

DJ: Alli Klein from Toast and Jam

Bridal Dress: Alvina Valenta

Bride's Shoes: Nina New York

Bridal Shop: Dimitra's Bridal Couture

Bridesmaids Dresses: Adrianna Papell

Bridal Hair: Salon Soca

Bridal Makeup: Deanna Lewis

Transportation: Premier Trolley and Limo





October 28, 2016
Chicago Maternity PhotographyModern Maternity PhotographerMaternity Photography | Coach House PicturesChicago Maternity PhotographerChicago Maternity Photographer

These last few months have been a whirlwind of celebration and wrapping up another beautiful wedding season all while preparing for my biggest and most important role yet- motherhood! And I couldn't be more excited or ready to welcome our little baby lady. I like to think that she's already shown a few sides to her personality already like keeping most of her playtime activity during the day and letting me sleep restfully at night. Along with her resistance to punctuality- today is actually her due date (40 weeks- YAY I made it!)  She is however showing no progress or interest in making her grand debut. Which has just given Joe and I more time to enjoy our cozy nights in together.

Thank you to the many special people in my life who have filled me with so much gratitude and blessings over the last 9 months. Our baby is truly lucky and blessed to be entering into such a loving community of family and friends. Including my sweet friend Karina of Metts Photo for capturing these beautiful photos of me and baby a few weeks ago at Humboldt Park. Oh and for indulging me in my craving for pizza after our photo session 🙂 And to my family for always making me feel like the luckiest lady- I am thrilled and honored to be entering into motherhood. I can only hope to be as devoted, caring, and selfless as I have seen my 2 sisters be in raising their kids. With so much to learn, love, and laugh about I cannot wait to see what motherhood teaches me and our family.

To say that I loved putting together our baby girls nursery would be a gigantic understatement. I pulled inspiration from a few different place starting with Rifle Paper's Wildfire wrapping paper, nature, bold happy patterns and by tapping into the girliest side of me. For those who know me well- I'm not a pink girl at all- never really have been. So taking the leap to paint the nursery this dreamy peach/pink shade- Whispering Peach was a big deal for me. But I loved using this color as a foundation to creating a calm, playful and pretty backdrop for many new memories to be created in. I am so excited to be sharing photos and DIY links/inspiration to all the many projects I had the joy in creating for her. My intention in everything I make by hand is that it will live on long past her infancy and be loved for many years to come.

Kids Nursery

(1): This IKEA egg chair (that I believe is no longer sold at the store) can still be found on Craigslist- which is where I found it a few years ago for $20. I recovered it using an old IKEA bed sheet as my fabric. I've used this as my desk chair for many years and now has a new life and purpose in the nursery. I crocheted this sweet baby blanket over the last few months and loved how it turned out. The only thing I changed was adding a more girly scalloped edge to finish it off.  Using 100% cotton yarn was important to me as I suspect I will be washing this blanket many times over.


Girls Nursery

(2): I spent many nights cutting out these petals and leaves before putting everything  together to create this whimsical nature inspired mobile. I took inspiration and the petal patterns from the book Paper to Petal. However instead of using paper I decided to use felt for its durability.

I had so much fun picking out the felt colors for this project. I wrapped a 14" wood embroidery hoop with satin ribbon that I had left over from our wedding and used the same ribbon to hang from a small white hook mounted to the ceiling.  How sweet would it be to wake up to this view every morning 🙂


(3): I created these wall hangings using the Charlotte Stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils and an inexpensive canvas drop cloth from Home Depot. The matching wood frames where a thrift store find that I simply sanded lightly and painted using a cream colored chalk paint.

Target Drawer Handles

(4): The dresser/changing station is from buybuy baby. And while I loved it for its clean lines and that it matched the crib I thought it could use a little more love and a dose of playfulness. So I added (what might be my favorite shape)  scallop edges using this tape onto the  3 front drawers and completed the final look by adding these fun Target feather drawer handles.  A complete transformation with little investment!

DIY Chicago Nursery

(5). Creating this faux taxidermy Elephant head was such a fun sewing project. I loved how easy this pattern was to follow- perfect for a beginner like me! The only thing I added was mounting the head onto an unfinished wood mount found at Jo Ann Fabrics.

(6). Crochet Cactus- what else is there to say? I've added to my collection over the past year and now they have a permanent home in the nursery. To get started on building your collection check out the easy to follow pattern at Little Things Blogged- thanks Tanya 🙂

(7). This stuffed fox pattern by Miranda Winslett was so easy to make- again great for a beginner. The hardest part was picking out the fabric combination. I can't wait to make more of her patterns.


Chicago DIY Nursery DIY nursery bookshelves

(8). Okay- so not really a DIY but I wanted to share the link to these clear bookshelves which are actually greeting card displays. I choose the 30' long ones to fill a small nook behind the door. I love how they don't take up any visual space and really help the book titles pop off the wall. I have to thank Sarah a recent client of mine for this find- she had them in her nursery and was where I first saw them 🙂


If you've made it this far then you really LOVE DIY's as much as I do! Thanks so much for taking this nursery tour with me. And if you're wondering what's on the other side of the wall in the nursery- its my office! More on that at a later time. But for now wish me luck 🙂 Happy weekend friends! xox
Chicago Family session, Chicago photo shoot, IL family photographerChicago Family session, Chicago photo shoot, IL family photographerChicago Family session, Chicago photo shoot, IL family photographerChicago Family session, Chicago photo shoot, IL family photographer Summer in Chicago is finally here and my Chicago family sessions are officially in full swing. The clouds parted just in time for my photo session with The Barkers last week. It was so great to meet them at the South Pond in Lincoln Park while all the trees were at last in full bloom.  And little Ava was the center of attention sporting her adorable jean jacket, espadrilles and the best smiles that had us all laughing out loud. There is nothing quite like summer in the city with family!
Love is all around today- can you feel it?  I like to think that love for each other should be celebrated on a daily basis.  It's the little things that add up like daily hugs and kisses in the morning with your loved one or cooking dinner together while sharing a bottle of wine. Or my favorite when Joe folds my laundry or makes the bed in the morning- haha- these little nuggets of daily love are what keeps love alive and a daily celebration of appreciation! May you celebrate with your love(s) today and for the rest of the year! xox


chicago wedding photographer, love, ido, happy valentines day, celebrate love
Thanks for joining me for my newest monthly blog series I like to call- Friendor Spotlight. Every month I will be highlighting a different Chicago wedding vendor to add to the creative conversation, inspire, showcase the many talented ladies + gents in and around Chicago and to encourage others to lead with love and intention everyday.

Please welcome Emily Talsma of Emily Rose Flower Crowns to February's Friendor Spotlight series. I met Emily last year while shooting her brother's wedding in Chicago. She was in the wedding party and the bride was wearing one of her custom flower crowns. I knew right away that she was someone I needed to connect with and I'm sure glad I did because after our first coffee meeting we found out that we are neighbors and in fact only live about 2 blocks away from each another!

Friendor Spotlight, Community over Competition, Coach House Pictures Series, Emily Rose Flower Crowns, Chicago Florist, Green Wedding Shoes, Chicago Wedding Vendor, Coach House Pictures, Chicago Wedding Photographer, boho wedding, boho inspiration

Q: Where does your inspiration come from?

Emily:  I am so inspired by my grandmother, Evelyn Ruth. She wore red lipstick every day, wasn't afraid to be bold in her style (hello, high heels and fur coats!), and was kind to everyone. I feel a little bit of her genes in me every time I prance around in a flower crown. Also, I'll never forget the words Jodi of Giving Tree Photography said to me when I was first starting my businesses: "Always be a little kinder than necessary." That inspires the heck outta me. I want to be kind. More than successful, I want to be kind.

Q: What pushes you to keep creating your best work?

Emily:  When I was getting married, I could not find a flower crown that I liked (or really any at all!) and felt like I had no choice but to make my own. When I make my crowns, I make them with my future clients in mind and try to create things people would actually want to wear on their wedding day - crowns that are aesthetically beautiful and tasteful but are also high quality. I make sure my crowns won't fall apart + choose nicer flowers that look real in photos because that's what I would want!

Q: If you could give your younger self one piece of advice what would it be?

Emily:  Don't be so hard on yourself.

Q: When you need to unwind/get away/escape where do you go and what do you take with you?

Emily:  I'm the weirdo that unwinds by cleaning or creating something. It's weird because my job IS creating stuff so it's sometimes hard to separate work from "life" (but I guess that's not a bad problem to have, right!?). As far as "getaways", Michigan will always have my heart. Beautiful uncrowded beaches + wineries with free tastings + the nicest folks around? Count me in.

Q: Favorite place in Chicago?

Emily: I'm trying so hard to not sound like the lamest person ever... Aldi?? My own apartment?? jkkkkkkk (kind of)... My husband and I are such homebodies when we do go places, we're total creatures of habit. Thai Lagoon is our favorite place that we go to. It's the best Thai in the city, hands down!

Q: The best gift you have ever given yourself?

Emily: Not jumping into another office job for the sake of security/comfort and finally doing what I love. I think that one takes the cake. Special thanks to my husband too for that one. He believes in me a crazy stupid amount.

Q: What are you most looking forward to in the new year?

Emily:  Now that both of us work for ourselves, I think we'll be traveling a lot more which is super exciting! We've always wanted to do a road trip across the U.S.

Q:  Favorite book or podcast that everyone should read or listen to?Emily: I'm reading Chronicles of Narnia for the first time right now (super late on that bandwagon...) and it's kind of the best. It's actually a children's book so it's really easy to read and has the sweetest tale, based off of the sacrificial love of Christ.

Q:  3 words that describe you today?

Emily: Goofy, Motivated, Ice cream-craving

Friendor Spotlight, Community over Competition, Coach House Pictures Series, Emily Rose Flower Crowns, Chicago Florist, Green Wedding Shoes, Chicago Wedding Vendor, Coach House Pictures, Chicago Wedding Photographer, boho wedding, boho inspirationFriendor Spotlight, Community over Competition, Coach House Pictures Series, Emily Rose Flower Crowns, Chicago Florist, Green Wedding Shoes, Chicago Wedding Vendor, Coach House Pictures, Chicago Wedding Photographer, boho wedding, boho inspirationThank you so much Emily!  If you would like to connect and learn more about this wildly talented lady feel free to reach her here:

Instagram: @emilyroseflowercrowns


Valentines day gift, Chicago wedding photographer, product photographer, family photographer

Looking to gift someone special a family or kids photo session this Spring or Summer? Wanna surprise your wife with an Anniversary OR Maternity session? Or traveling to the Midwest and want to capture an afternoon on the lakefront? Personalized gift certificates for any occasion are now available! Message me to start planning your next photo session. Email:
To say 2015 has been a whirlwind is an understatement for sure!  But I wouldn't have had it any other way. This year I have faced fear head on and you know what- I am still here stronger and better because of it!!  Quitting my 9-5 corporate job of 10 years was one of the biggest fears I faced and I've never been happier because for the first time in my life I feel like I am actually LIVING my life on my terms. And not just any life but a passionate life lead with love and intention. Living an authentic life means everything to Joe and I as creative people and as people who are so passionate about experiencing this amazing world around us.

We are so grateful for all the gifts that 2015 has brought into our lives. Here are a few snippets of all the beautiful wedding moments we were able to capture along our journey. Thank you to all our couples who welcomed us into their lives. We are honored and blessed to be able to photograph so much love!  We are thrilled at what the new year holds for us! Cheers 🙂

Coach House PicturesCoach House PicturesCoach House PicturesChicago Wedding PhotographerChicago Wedding PhotographerChicago Wedding PhotographerChicago Wedding PhotographerChicago Wedding Photographer

Chicago, Logan Square, Coach House Pictures, Chicago Wedding Photographer, Seasons GreetingsChicago, Logan Square, Coach House Pictures, Chicago Wedding Photographer, Seasons Greetings  The month of December has felt like such a whirlwind. I feel like we are still settling into our new place in Logan Square (I will someday get to unpacking my craft supplies one of these days) Some of the highlights of this month include decorating for the holidays!  Nothing sets me in the holiday spirit more than carefully unpacking all of the handmade ornaments I have made over the last 5 years and dressing up our tree with them. A beautiful tree all light up at night really sets the holiday mood for me!

One of the best things about this year is opening up our home to family and friends as well. Early this month I hosted my first craft night with a few of my favorite vendor friends. We created these easy (as well as addicting to make)  felt ornament gift tags from The Purl Soho. These mini gift tags whip up quickly when paired with great company, comfort food, and wine! And look sweet as a tree ornament or as a gift tag. I hope to continue to share my love of the handmade by hosting seasonal craft nights as a chance to unwind, step away from our computers, socialize, and create something with our hands.

Another fun social event Joe and I hosted a few weeks ago was the monthly Tuesdays Together Chicago meetup. Tuesdays Together is a chance for local creatives and entrepreneurs who believe in community over competition to gather together to discuss a new business topic every month. It's also a great chance to get to know so many talented creatives in the wedding industry to help support each other in our businesses. Tuesdays Together was created by The Rising Tide Society as part of a movement to help small businesses lead with love and intention. I've meet some great people through these meetups and honestly look forward to our meeting every month. For the month of December our host Elizabeth Nord decided the Dec meetup to be all about celebrating the holidays. Some of us wore ugly Christmas sweaters, I wore the ugliest thing in my closet that looked holiday-ish and enjoyed the evening by mingling with new and old friends.

Now with the month of December winding down- I am spending time with my family (I just got back from a sisters/mom trip to NYC)- which I will be posting a few photos from our amazing weekend away! I'm also gearing up for a blogging/marketing course hosted by Christine Tremoulet called Business Brilliantly. Its a marketing course geared toward harnessing the power of the blog! So you can count on seeing much more of me here on ma blog!

To close I would like to send a virtual THANK YOU to all those who continue to love and support our small business. Even for those who still maybe aren't 98% sure why I left the corporate world to pursue this dream of living the life of a full time wedding and family photographer- I still say thank you! And of course to all our the 2015 couples and families who continue to spread the word and are the reason why we are still growing. THANK YOU (from the rooftops!!) YOU are the only reason why we are able to continue to do what we do. YOU are the reason why we are able to pay our phone bills, buy groceries, enjoy the occasional date night and help keep the hustle alive!! Seasons greetings and may you continue to enjoy the comforts of your nearest and dearest this holiday season.

much love,

Chicago Family PhotographerChicago Family PhotographerChicago Family PhotographerIt's been an exciting month hosting a few families for our first Chicago holiday mini sessions in our Logan Square studio. I love the fact that every family brought so much great energy to the set that it made it hard for me to pick my most favorites to send to my clients. As soon as they arrived we cranked up our Holiday Collection of tunes on Spotify to help get everyone into the Christmas spirit even more. We have a few more sessions lined up for the following week and I am so excited to keep our studio doors open for our clients this season.

All images © Coach House Pictures 2016

- photography blog site