Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

Spanish Summer Wedding: Paloma + Jack

July 19


Hey everyone! Happy Wednesday!

Oh man, what an exciting post. If you’ve kept up with me at all in the past couple of months, you probably know I shot a wedding in Spain. This was a bucket list item for me to shoot an international wedding. What I wasn’t expecting was just how rewarding it would all be for a handful of different reasons that I’ll explain as we go. First let me catch you up to speed.

A few years ago I shot a wedding in Chicago with my sweet friend Amanda. It was Catherine and Tommy’s wedding. To this day, their wedding was one of my most favorite to photograph. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt more welcomed on a wedding day than I did at Catherine and Tommy’s wedding. They just…went above and beyond. Their families were so warm and inviting. I felt like one of their own. At the time that Catherine booked me, I had written in my “About” section on my website that one of my favorite movies is You’ve Got Mail. This still holds true. Don’t you just love NYC in the fall? Makes me want to buy school supplies. She told me early on You’ve Got Mail was one of her favorites too. So a connection was made. Isn’t it crazy that putting that totally random piece of information out there in the cyber world started this thread in my life that has literally woven the coolest tapestry? I have a feeling it’s not done weaving either.

Paloma and Jack were both members of Catherine and Tommy’s wedding party. They met as a result of Catherine and Tommy’s wedding. They even WALKED DOWN THE AISLE together. I mean, as a wedding photographer, I’m not sure it gets any cooler than that? When Paloma messaged me that they were engaged and was wondering if I’d ever be interested in shooting their wedding in Madrid, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. Paloma (one of 12 – yes, 12 – hang tight for more on this) is from Madrid and wanted to marry her best friend there. So to Spain we go! I studied in Florence junior year of college and I never made it to Spain but always wanted to. This was a no brainer for me.

I had a few blips on my radar getting over to Spain. For one my flights were postponed a day due to weather and in addition my luggage didn’t make it. Well, it actually DID make it to Spain with two days left in my trip. At which point I figured hey, it’s worth it to interrupt plans to go back to my airbnb to wait for the airline representative to deliver it, but they never showed after 2 hours of standing outside of my airbnb. With the help of Paloma’s very kind brother (did I mention the customer service number they gave me was all in Spanish with no apparent button, despite my best efforts lol, to press for English) I had the luggage sent home. At that point I had already bought enough clothes and underwear to get by and was emotionally prepared for not having my things.  What’s hilarious is the luggage actually beat me home. This all honestly made me so much stronger. I traveled to Spain on my own with all of my gear, shot a wedding on my own, and I will say I’m proud of this gallery. I know I’ll always look back with a full heart on these moments.

Paloma and Jack – What a chance of a lifetime to come out to Spain and photograph your wedding! I am eternally grateful to you and your incredible families for all all that you did for me during my time in Spain. I’m so thankful I was able to play a small part in your big day. I am always sending my best to you and look forward to grabbing a drink next time I’m in Chicago!

Paloma and Jack married at San Jeronimo el Real. This is where royalty gets married in Spain. I had several family members tell me over in Spain that Paloma just knows how to get things done. She made some connections and somehow, this church that is near impossible from what I understand to use as your ceremony venue, well…she booked it. I wish you could have seen my face walking up to it for the first time. Isn’t it stunning?

Oh Madrid…you are a magical place for sure.

Okay, I know I mentioned Paloma is one of  12 earlier in this post, but did I mention Jack is one of 7? Including Jack and Paloma, there are NINETEEN siblings between these families. I laugh when I think I thought I came from a big family. How incredibly handsome did Jack look on his wedding day?

Paloma’s father passed away year ago and her brother stepped in his place to walk her down the aisle.

Couldn’t have loved Jack’s mother and family more. This trip was Jack’s parents’ first trip out of the country. I spoke with them quite a bit at the rehearsal dinner and they said they could get used to it. 🙂

Guys, Paloma just IS joy and light. Everywhere she goes.

Okayyyy.. now let’s talk about this church. Jaw drops.

During their ceremony, I found myself imagine the construction of this church and all of the ornate details. I mean, can you imagine? That shrine to Mary and that podium. Who made those?! What was their story? How long did it take them? It just blows my mind.

Not only do I love Paloma’s face of adoration in this photos, I love all of her family in the background. Which you can’t even see in entirety! I’m pretty sure Paloma has 27 nieces and nephews (forgive me guys if that number isn’t spot on!) but holy huge family!!! So freaking awesome!

That painting too!! I mean…WHO MADE THAT? Did I mention this church was built in the 1500’s. I can’t even wrap my brain around it. This job is so amazing.

Absolutely stunning.

NEVER have I loved taking reader photos more. I mean, come on.


This was one of those moments on film I couldn’t wait to see come back in my scans. It did not disappoint.  Did I mention Paloma’s little sister made her flowers? Love when the families get involved! Also, I’m forgetting the man’s name shooting with a film camera on the left, but he was so nice and we connected at their reception over photography and shooting film. We talked about our love of Ektar film.


Hey guys, 10 years ago I sat in college classes not not knowing what the heck to do with my life. I knew I was interested in photography and took some risks and they all lead me to this moment. I’m not the best photographer in the world but I’m proud of my story and for taking some huge risks. I keep showing up for my business and while it’s been a roller coaster of emotions it almost never lets me down. I am beyond grateful for the lessons and opportunities.

Hey Tommy!!! That’s Tommy on the left looking fly shooting some photos. Also, that tailcoat. SO SHARP.

One of my favorite parts of the day is to grab formal photos outside in beautiful light. That’s Paloma’s mother on the left and Jack’s on the right. Aren’t they beautiful? This was a special request of Paloma who was standing by me as I took this photo….

…and seconds later, Paloma – onlooking this merging of families, threw her arms around Jack and looked at him like this. I quickly turned a took this photo and I think it may be my favorite moment from their entire day. When it all sunk in their families just doubled in size and love.

Okay, have you ever met a family with 6 boys? This is what it looks like! And they have a super awesome sister, Liz, too! I just, look at all of those siblings. I’m even missing one.

Okay wait. Now this photo. When I found out Paloma was one of 12, my immediate thought was, “Oh, surely there are some multiples in there!” Nope, 12 separate pregnancies. And with that, I bow down to Paloma’s mother. Suddenly I feel like the ultimate underachiever. Lol. Look at all of these beautiful humans. Man, what a LEGACY. This is all of them in birth order.

Okay, I lied. This may be my favorite photo of the day. Jack, Paloma, Catherine + Tommy. I literally wouldn’t have had this opportunity without these four beautiful people. You have no idea how happy I am to know them and call them friends. Thank you! ALL of you!

I had to just throw this in here too because, I mean, how lucky is Paloma to join this crew?! There’s Liz in the blue too 🙂 I know it’s an in between moment, but those are oftentimes my favorite ones.

This is Catherine’s sister, Anne. Leading up to the wedding, I spent some time with Catherine’s whole family who all flew out to help celebrate this amazing celebration. We all went to the oldest restaurant in the world called Botin where Ernest Hemingway would frequent. How awesome!? I ate white asparagus and drank red wine and again felt like I was part of this family of friends. I just had to share a sweet sentiment regarding their family because I’m so lucky I got to spend some time with them.

Remember that time I shot a wedding in Europe?

It was pretty incredible.

One of my favorite captures from my time in Spain.

Now let’s party! I am not kidding any of you, this was the craziest and best reception I’ve ever photographed. Paloma warned me there would be dancing until 4 am. Thanks to the time change, I still wasn’t fully adjusted and had no problems staying until the dancing ended. It was a blast!

The middle on the left is Paloma’s younger sister. The one who made the flowers. 🙂

Another shoutout to this awesome duo who can seriously throw down on the dance floor. Catherine and Tommy – you guys are the best!

I’m not sure the relation is to the man in the bottom left with the yellow shirt and blue hat – but I assure you, he was one of my favorite to photograph on the dance floor that night!

We’ll end on this because look at the mega watt smile. What a dream.

SUCH A FULL HEART. Have a good night, friends.

Valerie & Grant

July 6

Hey friends! Happy Thursday!

It’s been a whirlwind to say the least over here. I’ve shot 3 incredible weddings in 2 weeks, one of which was in Spain, and it’s been SUCH a blast and it feels like I’m just now catching my breath from it all. With another amazing wedding in store this Saturday, this stretch has been one of the busiest I can ever remember in my business. I can’t wait to share more in the coming weeks!!

Right now I’d love to share just a few of my favorite moments from Valerie and Grant’s amazing day. Where to start with these two?  I knew after taking their engagement photos that this couple would be a great time. I’ll never forget making a quick stop at Grant’s place in downtown Chicago for a wardrobe change during photos. I walked in, saw Chicago’s skyline through his windows AND almost simultaneously noticed his porch, and KNEW we had to take a few out there. After all, it’s not often I have a balcony up in the sky to shoot with. I told them to pour a glass of wine and sit your butts down and enjoy each other while you have a drink. They probably thought I was crazy! 🙂 But I still have people talk about those images! If you need a refresher, you can find those images here. 

These two married tied the knot at St. John’s in downtown Indianapolis with a serious party (and some of the best speeches I’ve heard to date!) at the beautiful Indianapolis Museum of Art after. I loved spending the day with their sweet friends and family. It was a perfect day with plenty of sunshine. It may have been a little sweaty at parts – hey, it’s Indy in June – but these guys were such troopers. Man I had such a blast shooting portraits of these two! Can you say models? Oh also, Grant is going to Harvard business school in the fall. So, they’re crazy smart too.

Valerie and Grant – I’ve so loved getting to know you guys during this special time in your lives. Thank you so much for the honor of being your wedding photographer. I wish you two all the best and can’t wait to see how your life unfolds in MA! xo

Possibly my favorite image from the wedding! Val, you are STUNNING!

Love this shot my sweet second shooter, Gail, captured of Grant getting ready.

I’ve so enjoyed getting to know this couple. They have such bright future ahead!

This is one of those images that I think their kids will especially love one day. Such a beauty.

Such a fun group! What an amazing day this was!

What a long way I have come since day 1 of business. I am so grateful.

There’s just something about a moody black and white! <3

Look at that bling! 🙂

Timeless beauty.

Their first look was so sweet! A few weeks before their wedding, Val emails me telling me of this idea she has to do their first look on this rooftop. Her father owns the building so we’d have access and privacy for a first look and I was sold. I really prefer a first look with privacy. It just lends itself well to the couple really having an uninterrupted, special moment to themselves. When you think about it, a bride and groom don’t get much time to themselves on a wedding day. Val and Grant’s first look was one for the books!

It was also a bit windy up there 🙂 love this image!

Handsome groomsmen. Thank you to my second shooter, Gail, for capturing this! It was such a treat to have Gail team up with me at this wedding.

Val and Grant had their ceremony at St. John’s downtown on Capitol street. I’m always so blown away by the ornate details all throughout this church!

I was mildly obsessed with this space for their cocktail hour. How INCREDIBLE is this backdrop!?

Val’s dad gave a touching welcoming speech…

I always love to photograph the parents during speeches. They always have a glow about them. 🙂

The best man’s speech had everyone laughing!

I LOVE this image of Grant’s mom!


Now let’s party…


What an incredible day!!

Stay tuned for so much more, friends. Until then, have a great night!

Alex + Ellie

June 1

Happy Thursday!!

Feels a little bit like Christmas over here because the NBA finals start tonight. Yes, I’m that girl that still watches as many of the playoffs games as I can even when my team loses in the first round. It’s okay, Pacers. I’ll always love you!

More than the game, I’m so excited to share these images with you. How beautiful is this couple? Ellie and I go back to our childhood days. I remember swimming with her at the Rivi – the local swimming pool – and to think, fast forward twenty years, and I get to photograph her as bride? Well, that’s just awesome!

From the second they arrived looking THIS sharp, I knew my job would be easy. Honestly if this is any indication of how amazing they will look for their wedding, I know I’m in for a treat. These guys are perfect for each other and I’m so happy to see a childhood friend glow this much. Enjoy a few of my favorites from our time together at their engagement session 🙂

I’m a lucky girl to photograph such beautiful people! And let’s talk about Ellie’s hair. On point!

Film just gets it. THOSE HEELS!

Does this groom win most incredible teeth!? Lol, if that were a thing, he’d be up there. Holy beautiful smile!

Can’t wait for September, you two!

Kelly + Josh

May 8

These two beautiful people are getting married in September – my most favorite, glowiest time of year in Indy – and I couldn’t be more excited! You can tell A LOT about a couple from how they navigate having to reschedule a shoot. I think we ended up rescheduling this shoot maybe 3 times? Even the day we had this shoot, it was insanely windy and I thought about rescheduling once more, but than I thought heck we are going to have some fun with this. Kelly was so kind, so easy going about it all. We patiently waited for nice(r) weather and it was so worth it.

Taking these photos was the first time I actually met Josh and Kelly in person and in literal seconds it made so much sense that we came together. They’re just awesome people. So much fun. So light hearted.

See, I told these two they were my first session getting back in the game. That is to say, I definitely have a quieter season in the winter months and their session was one of my first back. I’m officially ready to rock this 2017 season (hellooo Spain next month!?!) and I can think of no better couple to kick it off with than these two.

Okay. How stunning is Kelly in this red dress?! See wind ain’t all that bad, am I right?!

OLLIE!!!! The love Kelly has for her dog…I respect very much. 🙂

If I’m taking your photo soon and you’re wondering if you’re allowed to bring your pet – I encourage it. 🙂

Hey, this is one of those moments where I’m like dang, this job though. So fortunate. All the praise hands.

I shot a little film with these two and so glad I did. Man I can’t wait to see them all dolled up as husand and wife.

Ollie wants some action too 🙂

Happy Monday, friends!

Here’s to a great week.

Emma + Michael part 2

March 28

Scarlett, Jonathan + Everlie

March 27

My new friend, Scarlett, recently had her baby girl. Everlie is beyond precious and I had so much fun photographing this sweet family. I’m often asked if I do newborn photos and my answer is yes but never the ones where the baby isn’t being cuddled 🙂

I’m much more into the lifestyle route of newborn photography. Holding your new baby. Figuring it all out. That’s much more my style!

I was pretty much in love with this shoot in large part due to Scarlett and Jonathan’s serious decorating skills. This nursery?! Seriously? I’ve wanted to share these for a while but with busy season and wanting to get photos delivered in time for the holidays, it had to wait a bit longer. But I’m so glad now is the time. Please enjoy a few precious moments I had the honor of documenting of these beautiful people.

Let’s start with this photo, shall we? Ladies, is there anything hotter than a man holding a baby? I’m not sure there is.

One of my all time favorite family photos. Ever. In all the land.

Dear Jesus – please let me look like this days after giving birth. Amen.

Oh parenthood. You’re pretty cool.

Look. At. That. Popeye. Smile!!!!!!

<3 <3 <3

Emma + Michael

March 27

Happy Monday, beautiful people!

Listening to Vance Joy while pulling these images together. Light flooding in through the window next to me. I feel like it’s going to be a really good week. I can think of no better way to kick it off than by sharing a few moments from my time with Emma and Michael. These two lovebirds are getting hitched this September and I can’t wait to document it all. They are such warm, easy going hearts. I have no doubt their wedding day will be one for the books. Also, just to reiterate, September is my favorite month to photograph literally anything. The light in Indy during that month is unmatched. I’m going to have a blast with these two. Can’t wait to see them all done up with their favorite friends and family on earth.

My favorite. Love is awesome!

Not at all hard on the eyes. Such a beautiful couple!

Ohhhh fall…you’re some kind of special. And let’s talk about Emma’s dress! Heart eyes for sure!

So excited for you two!!!! Few more from this session to come….

Washington D.C. Wedding – Kali + Ryan

November 2


Hey friends! Happy Wednesday and game 7 of the world series! Who else is super into this series?  I’m a huge fan of sports in general but baseball admittedly has always been lower on my list. This series though, I’m loving it and honestly who can’t get down to watch a good game 7? I can’t imagine how electric Chicago is feeling today. Cleveland too! I’m not mad at you! But you already took the NBA championship this year so maybe let’s not get greedy? It’s fun to bring up Chicago today because that charming city plays an important part in Kali & Ryan’s love story.

Kali and Ryan met at a chance meeting at a bar in Wrigleyville. Kali was living in Chicago at the time and Ryan was in town visiting for a couple days. The short version is that Ryan and his friends helped Kali avoid stepping in someone’s vomit at the bar. If that isn’t romance, I don’t know what is. I share this openly here because well, they do with anyone they meet (and their bridal party shared this story at their wedding, equally awesome!) and that’s one of the things I love most about these two. Down to earth, go with the flow, always a great time, don’t take themselves too seriously.  They parted ways after that meeting and the rest took care of itself. Did I mention they would text each other Dumb and Dumber quotes in the beginning days of getting to know each other long distance? They are a blast. And my kind of people for sure.

Their ceremony took place at the Spanish steps in DC and I always say I love to shoot outdoor ceremonies, but this spot took that feeling to another level. It was a dream! Afterwards they threw a serious party at Long View Art Gallery. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that amount of people up and dancing the entire night. I suppose an enormous live band will help with that! A highlight of the night was watching Ryan and the bridal party do the dance to “Uptown Funk” together – a surprise to Ryan because he thought only his family knew the dance but little did he know the bridal party was in on the secret and learned the dance too. Fun fact, did you know there’s a Youtube video that teaches that dance? Brb while I go learn that.

If you follow the blog, you may remember Kali as my friend I studied abroad with in Italy. It meant a lot to photograph her as a bride and I’m so happy I was there to capture the day as it unfolded. Enjoy just a few of my favorites from their incredible wedding.

Kali and Ryan – Wishing you nothing but the best in your life together. You make a crazy awesome team and I can’t wait to see what’s in store. Thank you for the honor of photographing your wedding. I honestly won’t ever forget this day! 🙂




So timeless and beautiful.


BHLDN knocks it out of the park again! Seriously, do they design anything less than jaw dropping dresses?





Kali is a crazy talented designer who designed her wedding invites and they are among some of the most beautiful I’ve EVER seen! Such a fun touch to their wedding. When I found out she designed the invites, I knew I wanted to photograph their rings on her design. Done and done! 🙂



Special thank you to Stem and Sprigs for your gorgeous flowers and artistry that day!



Ahh Spanish Steps + Kali as an ethereal bride walking down to see her groom for the first time – basically a DREAM. What a freaking cool venue and a fun change of pace to photograph!!! This moment literally took my breath away. Kali has always loved Alexi Murdoch and walked down to meet her groom and have their “first look” in front of all of their guests to his song “Love You More”. To this day, Alexi Murdoch’s music always reminds me of Kali. This moment gave me chills everywhere and made me cry. I don’t like to choose favorites from a wedding day, but if I had to, this would be high on the list.



Among the guests in this photo was a surprise overweight cat with a red collar that lingered the entire ceremony. One of the many fun details from this day! 🙂



That LOOK on Ryan’s face! Taken for sure.



You did it!!!! You’re married!



But seriously, some major swagger at this wedding. Such great style all around.






Such a great day with these beautiful people!



Another special thanks to Alexa and Victoria with Long Aisle Events  for you perfect execution of this day. I know you had tons of help from a very talented bride with a great eye, but we couldn’t have done it without you and you two are awesome!!!



Kali and Ryan arranged to have a tequilla shot ready for each of their guests to partake in- definitely a decision I can get behind.



Their entrance into the party…


…and that Uptown Funk dance I told you about. This honestly was one of my favorite reception moments ever.


Not to be outdone by CROWDSURFING AT YOUR OWN WEDDING. We’ll end on this for obvious reasons.


Hannah + Ryan

October 25


Happy Tuesday, internet!

This super sweet team is getting married next July and I couldn’t be more excited to capture their big day. When I first met with Hannah over the summer, we hit it off instantly. Her sense of humor especially. I mean really, within five minutes of being around her, I knew we were on the same level and because of that I was at ease much faster with her from the get go. She told me about Ryan and how he proposed. How she actually met me years ago at a bar but because of my sketchy memory from that time, I don’t remember. Sorry about that, Hannah! 🙂

We took these photos around Hannah’s parents neighborhood. A neighborhood that I drove past EVERY DAY during my high school days and had never seen for myself. There’s something to be said for having a quiet space to take photos. It’s weird having your photo taken – at first. For some people it’s strange the entire time and I get that, too. I always say if you aren’t having fun, I’m not doing a good job.  I’m no stranger to those first few minutes with a giant camera in your face and the expectation to just “look natural”. I stopped trying to get the perfect photos with the perfect setting and backdrop long ago. For me it’s become much more about just slowing down with people who care a lot about each other and being able to create some space for them to enjoy each other. Having a quiet space without too many onlookers helps 🙂

Wait until you see their dog, Penny. Softest and sweetest dog I think I’ve ever photographed…


Such a sweet pair…





I’ll always tell couples to close their eyes and check in. We move so freaking fast these days, it’s rare we take a minute for something like this. Love this so much.





I can’t wait to photograph you two as a bride and groom!






PENNYYYY!! Sweetest little nugget ever.





I love you, fall!!! You make photos feel extra warm and cozy.


If I were you guys, I’d frame this for your parents and watch them cry when they open it as a Christmas gift. Is that just my mom???




SO much more to come in the coming weeks. But did you all hear the Pacers season kicks off tomorrow? This girl is soon excited!

The Marra Family: Molly, Andy + Ella

October 25


Loved photographing this sweet family! Molly and I went to the same high school and over a year ago, she was a guest at a wedding I shot in downtown Indianapolis. It was before she was pregnant with Ella and as were briefly were catching up towards the end of the reception, she said someday when she starts a family she’d reach out for photos. On top of an amazing wedding, it basically made my night. Well, it was wonderful to see that time come! There’s something really special about photographing a very new family in that first year. Ella is the sweetest and between the three of us we were able to capture some special smiles in that perfect golden hour fall light.

I also feel it necessary to mention my sincerest hair envy for Molly’s AMAZING locks. Maybe it’s because I tend to line up my subjects so they are backlit, and all of that dreamy light makes her look like she belongs in a hair commercial, but man – what a beautiful mama with a beautiful family! I sort of couldn’t stop talking about it. If you’re a female (or male) with amazing long and flow hair, you can probably expect me to comment on it at least 5 times while photographing you.

So happy for Molly and Andy! Love this moment so, so much….


Is there anything sweeter than a dad with his little girl?


I can’t get enough of their sweet pup in this photo. If the pet is around, I’ll always have them come in for a photo!



The DOG IS SMILING! I can’t make this stuff up. Man what a fun little family!


This dreamy fall light is already starting to fade. I’m going to miss it so much this winter…



Ella – you are a doll!




I’ll end with this shot because…look at that face! SO precious!!! 🙂

molly-57 Marra