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AMBER + JUSTIN : PROMISED | Starhill Arboretum Engagement Photography

This engagement session!  Leaves, color, and a SUPER fun couple!! I was SO excited to meet Amber and Justin. I had been in touch with them for a long time, and we had been rained out once.  Justin’s mom is a photographer that I know and respect, and I was just so thrilled to get to meet them and photograph them. And our time together did NOT disappoint!  Amber hardly ever stops smiling, and is absolutely beautiful.  Justin adores her, and when he is really looking at her, in the eyes, gets such a genuine look of happiness.  They are playful and fun together.  They know each other so well.  They have gone through a lot together, done the long distance thing, and are finally in the same place the same time.  The story of them getting together involves long late night conversations at neighboring tents during their Armed Forces training.  Both of them have made their careers of serving our country, and are very passionate about caring for and helping others.   They are just an amazing couple to be around. Meet Amber and Justin:

New Salem Arboretum Engagement Photography_0001New Salem Arboretum Engagement Photography_0009New Salem Arboretum Engagement Photography_0012Look at those smiles! And Amber- as I told you that night- the styling is WONDERFUL! 🙂New Salem Arboretum Engagement Photography_0016New Salem Arboretum Engagement Photography_0018New Salem Arboretum Engagement Photography_0025New Salem Arboretum Engagement Photography_0029New Salem Arboretum Engagement Photography_0033Can I just tell you about this?! Justin LOVES Abraham Lincoln…so much that they came with costumes for a few fun shots! Cracked me up…being in the Land of Lincoln and all (and at Lincoln’s New Salem!), I thought it so appropriate!New Salem Arboretum Engagement Photography_0035New Salem Arboretum Engagement Photography_0038I HAVE to take a moment to gush about this location change.  We took these next few photos, and more than half of the photos in their slideshow, at the stunning Starhill Forest Arboretum.  It was absolutely lovely, and full of a huge variety of locations(hence this gorgeous open field, obviously there was tons of trees, a pond…it was just lovely). Our session was just a little past their leaf prime but you will see such GORGEOUS colors even so late in the season! It is an absolute must see for all nature lovers, and I cannot wait to photograph there again! New Salem Arboretum Engagement Photography_0044New Salem Arboretum Engagement Photography_0053Amber and Justin, I LOVED my time with you!  I hope you love these favorites of mine in the slideshow below- can’t wait for your wedding next year!!!New Salem Arboretum Engagement Photography_0057

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  1. Melissa King Brown says:


  2. Cinnamon Ruvolo Wolfe says:

    so beautiful!!! Love the Army hats! And the beards?!? HA! what fun personalities!

  3. Misty Adams Christensen says:

    Beautiful!!! What a gorgeous and FUN session!

  4. Candi Leonard says:

    Beautiful! I love the fun shots too!

  5. Stefani Ciotti says:

    Abe Lincoln in an e-session?! That is hilariously adorable. Love this!

  6. Christine Herington Scales says:

    Beautiful pictures of a beautiful couple. Love them both

  7. Leslie Hogenes Lejcar says:


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I'm Jill, a wedding and portrait photographer based out of Chicago and Central Illinois, and available world wide! I'm also a photography educator, wife to my favorite person on the planet, mama to 3 amazing kids and an energetic Aussie, and obsessed with statement jewelry and all desserts (especially fruit pies!). 

As a past high school teacher, I have a major heart for education. After going full time in my business, I have built a business I love that gives me an almost 6 figure salary and allows me to be home part time with my kids.  I dream for you to run a business that enhances your life and lights you up, and I believe I can help you learn how to do it with a little hustle and a lot of heart!

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You're in the right place!  As a past high school teacher, educating others is my life's work and a HUGE part of my business!  I have been teaching moms and hobbyists how to use their camera from first purchasing it all the way to coaching them into businesses of their own, and I'd love to help you as well, wherever you are (and whatever camera you have!).

I'm so glad you are here!  Teaching Photographers and other small business owners how to run more joyful, successful, and profitable businesses is one of my favorite parts of my business!  I specialize in working with photographers to make their goals a reality (or figure out what their goals should be in the first place!).  

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