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Chicago Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography: PAT + VANESSA

So back in the day when I first was starting this little photography business I worked at a little coffee shop; Starbucks. (: Whether it was to feed my coffee addiction, pay for my insurance, or keep a roof over my head while first starting out in the business, I loved it! One of the perks was I loved who I worked with. Vanessa, being one of them. Fast forward 5 years, I photographed her wedding! Now fast forward another 10 (holy cow, that’s crazy!) and I’m photographing her & Pat’s 10 year anniversary along with their adorable son! I love capturing milestones in people’s lives. Ten years of marriage is one for sure to celebrate. Marriage isn’t easy. It’s intentional. It’s sacrificing. It’s what you put into it. And these two have done just that for a decade now! Here’s to many more years (and cups of coffee!). Congrats guys!

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Stan Mansion Wedding: Melissa Marie Photography: MATT + CLARE

After 14 years of doing this photography thing (It’s surreal to even type that!) there’s not much that crosses my path that I haven’t seen, or that’s been thought of before. But when the bride, Clare, said she bought a ring box for her ring for photos I had a “Why didn’t I think of that!?” moment. Sure the vinyl (is it vinyl? Kinda feel like it’s the mystery meat of materials) (: ring box from the store is fine but I think it was the perfect center-point in creating the perfect spring wedding feel through her wedding details.

Speaking of details…Shout out to Michael, the un-official mans-maid who helped me move the not so light furniture so my gorgeous window nook dreams could come true. Stan mansion has many little gems for photo opps but this one sure is perrrty.

Congrats Matt + Clare!!

 

Chicago Wedding Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography. Stan Mansion Wedding.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Melissa Marie Photography: Melissamariephotography.org

VENUE: Stan Mansion: https://www.stanmansion.com/

PLANNER: Your Wedding By Lauren: http://www.yourweddingbylauren.com/

FLORIST: Flowers For Dreams: https://flowersfordreams.com/

DJ: Toast & Jam DJS: http://toastandjamdjs.com/

DRESS BOUTIQUE: Something Blue Bridal: http://www.somethingbluein.com/

 

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Chicago Family Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography: ISLA

Have you ever seen the movie “Raising Helen”? Where Kate Hudson goes from a hip lifestyle to an overnight mom raising her sister’s kids? I kinda feel like my life can relate. By no means have I ever been “hip.” I’m much more an order in take out & veg with friends at the house than at a club kinda girl. But when you have kids, things in so many ways change. When you’re engaged to be married, you’re generally in a carefree stage of life. Do what you want, when you want. (It’s a glorious stage! Soak it up!)  But when you have kids things change. There’s nap times. Snack times. And concerns of safety on snowy roads.

I love when I get to capture couples in various stages of life. A few years ago, I captured Erica + Jeff’s big day at Independence Grove in Libertyville. It was a stunning day! One that even years later, I remember well. Fast forward some years and now they have little Isla who is turning one in just a few days. I love that I have relationships with my couples. Where we can message about our kids and know that our lives in many ways aren’t very glamorous but even at the thought of how much we love our kids we could lose it in tears. I love that Erica, knowing there would be a big snow storm said, if you feel unsafe to drive, lets postpone. Part of that is she’s just such a sweetheart to begin with. And the other part is, our mindsets shift now being moms. We have families to get back home to. The photos came second in priority. Well, I did make it to their beautiful home and I’m so glad I did! Hugging my dear couple, and soaking in the cuteness of little Isla. Happy soon-to-be birthday little ONE!

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Chicago Baby Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography: ELLIE

Sure, winter in Chicago can maybe seem limiting to some when trying to find a spot to take photos with your baby, but more and more I’m convinced that home is the best. Yes. Your drooled on couch. Your toy littered floors. (Though, this home is immaculate, with or without kids) Your pet that lingers around to not be forgotten. Your bedroom that you’ve rocked, bounced, hushed for countless hours. When I say I don’t do really do props this is why; all of this. It’s the memories. It’s the images that you have in your head when replaying your life. To me…There’s nothing more beautiful. And there’s few things more important to capture and save.

“No matter how you get there or where you end up, human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home.” Creed from The Office

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