November 1, 2018

After photographing so many past students, I have gotten really used to sharing about people who I have known for 7, 8, 9+ years.  It never is particularly easy to sum up that length of a relationship in a blog post..but I am used to it. This girl though?  The number is much closer to twenty years…way more than half my life…and that carries a whole different weight!  Dana’s sister was one of my closest friends growing up (and still is today!), and their house was the hang out house, so we just spent a lot of time together over a lot of years and changes in our lives.  I sometimes think I wouldn’t even recognize the dramatic, emotional girl I was in middle school and high school if I met her today, but the truth is that I am still her, I just have learned to control it all in my adult years…and Dana was witness to all that and so much more! 🙂 And even though she was a bit younger than me, I got to witness it all for her too.  She is a funny, engaging, down to earth, warm, tell-it-like-it-is, beautiful person…and she has found her match in Karl.  He is intelligent and equally as warm and engaging as Dana, adventurous but put together, and steady- he is perfect for her.  Because I moved quite far away from home, I haven’t gotten to spend a ton of time with Dana the past 10 years, or had the chance to get to know Karl well, but I could easily tell in our afternoon together what drew them to each other.

Because they wanted fall photos and this is my crazy busy season, we decided to meet in the middle of us somewhere that split the drive: Starved Rock State Park.  I have hiked there quite a few times in my life and have always absolutely loved it, and even though it is very different from my normal backdrop and photography environment, it was absolutely beautiful and so fun to make my style happen in somewhere so different!  I love these images– we chased the light, the bit of color we could find (of course I’m sure there is crazy beautiful color there now when typically it has all blown away!), and the views, and Dana and Karl hiked like champions in their dress clothes.  It was so much fun, and we cannot wait for their Starline Factory wedding next year! Dana and Karl, we hope you love these favorites- we loved our time with you! Thanks so much for meeting us and doing something a little more unusual for your engagement session!!

Love this on the left!! Favorite! Oh that genuine laughter!!! Look, there was a little true fall color!!The light just got better and better… Fav! Totally obsessed with Dana’s halo…on the side?! Amazing! I adore you guys and can’t wait to send your whole gallery soon!! 

To see more engagement sessions, click here!


  1. Erika

    November 1st, 2018 at 11:55 am

    These are beautiful! What an awesome backdrop.

  2. Jill

    November 1st, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Thank you friend!!

  3. Erika

    November 1st, 2018 at 11:55 am

    These are beautiful! What an awesome backdrop.

  4. Linda Beyer

    November 1st, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Jill you captured the complete essence of Dana and Karl. You are an amazing photographer and an amazing person. I just treasure the memories of watching you girls as you became the women you are today!

  5. Jill

    November 2nd, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Linda, this is just the sweetest comment! I was so thankful for you as a kid, and continue to be! Can’t wait to catch up at the wedding if not before! 🙂

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