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Elmhurst Family Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography: CORDIER FAMILY

There’s no place like home. No really… There’s no place like home to have your family photos. Photos are about memories right? About stopping time figuratively and literally. Claiming moments we don’t want to pass. For me and my family, our slow wake ups (all to early but at least they’re slow) where we have our toddler climbing on our faces to get to the baby monitor to press the buttons like it’s a gameboy. It’s the millionth banana or “nana” (as my son calls it) while I brew the strongest coffee possible. It’s the flips upside down and jumps on the bed. It’s memories. So I actually loved the last minute change from a local park to the family’s house for their session. Room to room we jumped, (ok…they jumped) ( : played, laughed, snuggled, and loved. Soaking up the moments until the very last bribed ice cream cone. Loved every bit it! Thank you for spending the afternoon with me and my camera!


Lowes Hotel Chicago Wedding: Melissa Marie Photography: MICHAEL + KRISTIN

Whether it’s the biggest party you’ve ever been to, or an elopement, weddings…marriage…it’s personal.

There’s no more intimate act than to forever commit oneself entirely to another. Now whether that’s celebrated amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, or it’s a commitment of the heart made official at the courthouse, celebrating, cherishing, and taking in every moment are things to not let slip by. (And yet so easily can with all that a wedding day can bring.)

Kristin & Michael desired one thing. In my opinion, the most important thing: Each other.  The more they could savor the better. Their wedding was at the absolutely incredible Loews Hotel in Chicago. Honestly, some of the most jaw dropping views I’ve ever seen in my career, in their favorite city, Chicago. (And don’t even get me started on their staff. From the valet who literally ran from taxi to taxi to find the cleanest one for us. To the seamstress that came up the moment we arrived back to help sew the bride’s dress. To every waitstaff who usually I think fly under the radar but this crew genuinely loves their jobs. And Claire…By far, hands-down the most involved (in the most amazing way!) catering manager I’ve ever worked with.

So even with the all star team behind the scenes there were factors that were out of everyone’s control. Scenarios that were unchangeable and challenged the very reason they chose to have a wedding instead of an elopement. Tears of bitterness, sadness, disappointment, in all senses would have been justified, I’d even say reasonable. But what tears did Kristin + Michael have? One’s of utter gratefulness & love. Truly, a mere look at each other could well up their eyes. So here they amidst the biggest that the city can offer amidst circumstances that most would have crumbled and they stood. They stood hand-hand. Fiercely promising their forevers. Now that my friends is intimacy. That is marriage at it finest. If the could they would have chosen other circumstances perhaps but no doubt they would not change who the person on the other end of the aisle was. I’m so utterly grateful to find and capture such people. May your wedding photos be so much more. May they be images of who you. Like mirrors reflecting what is true. Your love, warmth, ability to endure, and desire to give all of yourselves fully to each other.

Thank you for allowing me to capture all of this within you.




Chicago Wedding Photographer: Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel : Chris + Brittney

You wanna start your marriage out with a bang? Have your wedding on the 4th of July! Everyone is already prepped to celebrate, and a firework display that you don’t have to pay for? Umm… Yes please! I love that the light fixtures at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel even look like fireworks. (Well, at least to me they do.) (: And after a few minutes of the big firework display, Chicago decided to open up the skies and absolutely pour! So those light fixtures were all the fireworks we were gonna get for the rest of the night. (other than between Chris & Brittney of  course) (:

Thank you for allowing me to capture your amazing wedding day!

HOTEL: Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel:

FLORIST: Dahlia Blooms:

DJ: Double B Entertainment:

GOWN BOUTIQUE: Wolsfelt’s Bridal:

HAIR & MAKEUP: Rare Bird Beauties:


Melissa Marie Photography: Family Grandparent Session

This season I’ve done several family/grandparent sessions and I’m absolutely in love with the idea! A great reason to get the whole family together. (Today’s families literally flew in from different areas of the country) For my family, we’ve been fortunate to have our kids live fairly close to their grandparents but no matter if near or far, young at heart or young of age, time with our loved ones is absolutely to be treasured! So when families who aren’t all together very often get an opportunity to spend time together, those are moments I love capturing!

I know it took a lot of coordinating for you guys, but I’m so glad you all got to get together and have photos with your mom/grandma!