I have not yet shared anything from 2017 anywhere on my website, so this has me simultaneously thrilled and horrified.
This season brought weddings all over the Midwest, from hilly woods in Madison Wisconsin to cozy backyards on the South Side of Chicago to beautiful celebrations all over the state of Illinois. I was particularly fortunate to shoot a number of beautiful backyard weddings. I got to choose a recessional song (‘Rebel, Rebel’ by David Bowie), shot in one of Chicago’s best rock venues, had a first look photobombed by a neighborhood dog (why yes, it was one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me, how did you know), and had nights so fun I couldn’t leave. This season saw a late-night tater tot truck, a bride and son dance, Midwestern craft beer, some of the most LIT receptions I’ve ever attended, the coolest ring bearers and flower girls that you, dear reader, have the great misfortune of having never met, ordinary childhood backyards turned into pure magic, and so much pizza and donuts. This season also stunningly brought an echoed theme of loss: for the loved ones we lost long ago, the loved ones we’re losing, and the loved ones so quickly and cruelly taken from us. I was reminded that every wedding season is filled with such surprise, grit, and powerful heart. I sweated (a lot), bled (a little), danced (embarrassingly too much), smiled and cried (to infinity and beyond).
Thank you to my couples – for their adventurous spirits, their creativity, their tenacity, and their fierce, fearless love. And for their trust in me: giving me the strength and freedom to make art unrestrained, and the courage I needed to overcome more than they will ever know. Unintentionally, they gave my life and struggles in 2017 so much purpose and fulfillment. Even though they’re completely unaware, when I was at my most fragile, insecure, anxious, and unsure, their support and love of the photos I made for them was the only air in my sails, my momentum to keep moving forward.
These photos are special to me. Not because they’re stunners or award-winners – they most certainly are not – but because they mean something to me. They are the tiniest glimpse – truly a sliver – of the beautiful people, places, and moments I was fortunate enough to be trusted to photograph in 2017. I am my own harshest critic, and I am nowhere near where I want to be. But 2018 is already set with new challenges and new opportunities to learn and grow. I cannot wait to blog the rest of these, but in the meantime, in no particular order, enjoy these tiny snippets of some of the most amazing people in the world and their extraordinary love.