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Do you ever feel like things happen for a reason? If you have been following me for any amount of time, you probably know that I definitely do, and I believe that reason has much to do with a God who is orchestrating our lives if we let Him!  Our story with this couple feels like one of those things for me.  Last year, I took a leap with a local photographer friend of mine to head to Arizona for the Amy and Jordan Photography Workshop (read all about it here!).  It was an amazing weekend for many reasons…I adored learning from 2 of the absolute best, I fell in love with the desert (even though Michael and I had been there just one month before!) and even more so photographing in it, and met some amazing other photographers who have transferred to friends over the last few months.

The first morning everyone was nervous.  When we walked in, it was like high school all over again in a way for this type A student (even though much more exciting and comfortable)…where do I sit to get the most out of this?! I don’t want to sit in the FRONT row and seem too eager…but I am definitely a front row kind of learner! Hmm…the second row in the middle seemed a good fit for my friend and I, so that is where we went, and I sat down next to Marie and Stanley, whom we had met the night before at the welcome event.  An engaged couple and soon to be husband-and-wife team, I was intrigued by them (Marie had shared some interesting work stories and Stanley had mentioned an interest in music), but also loved that I was a part of a husband-and-wife team, and knew how special that can be.  We chatted throughout the next 2 days during, following each other’s social media, talking some tech details (external flash anyone?!), and generally enjoying each other’s company. And like everyone else, hugged goodbye super late the next night after talking with Amy and Jordan way too late under Arizona’s stars.  About a month later, I got a message from Marie on facebook asking if I would ever consider coming to Pennsylvania to be their wedding photographer this year.  Um, yes!

We love to travel in life in general, and for weddings (see our first destination wedding here!) it is just the icing on the cake! Marie said such sweet things about having met me and my work, and it meant so incredibly much to me to be asked.  She told me that they had worked hard to find the right photographer, and were struggling but felt like I was the right fit- and we were totally elated!  We probably would have moved heaven and earth to make it work– but happened to be available anyways, and started making plans right away. We cannot wait, and it was just such an incredible feeling to be chosen by them knowing they had many other options!

Now I have to speak quickly about this last part.  Marie and I were texting one evening, and I asked her (not for the first time!), not expecting a yes, if they thought they could come to Illinois this summer for an engagement session.  She started brainstorming about how they were heading to Ohio for a wedding at one point, and did have family in the suburbs…and it all took shape quickly.  We were overjoyed to know we would get to spend the time with them, that they would drive all the way to ILLINOIS for their session, and that we would get to photograph them before their big day!  And it was so worth it! We LOVED every moment with them.  I am absolutely positive if Michael and I lived in the same state as them we would be regular in person friends…there are a fair amount of similarities between us, and it was so fun to talk business with another couple.  But it was also great to just learn more about each other’s lives and families…these two are solid gold, my friends, and I know their marriage is going to be so much more beautiful than what I know will be a stunning wedding! Marie and Stanley, thank you SO MUCH for choosing us, for traveling to us, and for trusting us!! We hope you love these– we almost always shoot at sunset at home but for mid-day light, we absolutely LOVE them and both of you also!!

Meet Marie and Stanley! Aren’t they lovely together?! They have been together a long time, and known each other even longer…and you can tell that when you are with them! The Chicago Botanical Gardens is just breathtaking–and also where Michael and I had our engagement session! I LOVE Marie’s unique ring! Love this shot of Michaels! Favorite! The sun popped out for the second half of our time together! I loved this little nook. Other favorite! This little path was just dreamy. Had to include this…typical Stanley and Marie pose!!! <3 We adore you two and can’t WAIT for your wedding-full gallery coming soon!!

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  1. Mary Petrina says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! Stanley and Marie are a wonderful couple and I am so happy they found such a talented photographer. The gardens in Chicago are perfect for pictures… You guys did your homework! Thanks for sharing.

    • Jill says:

      Thank you!! I was so thrilled to take these photos and spend the day with this amazing couple in Chicago! 🙂

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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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