La Jolla & Laguna Beach, California

I finally got caught up with editing this month to go through some photos from my recent California Trip. I stayed the week in Laguna Beach, complete relaxation with my best friends...literally nothing but eating avocados, drinking corona, watching sunsets and injuring myself trying to surf. Pure Bliss. Bask in all of the golden hour goodness. :) 

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Wedding Albums / Why you should print your photos!

With wedding season just around the corner, I'm gearing up with freshly printed wedding albums! Let's talk very briefly about the importance of the printed photograph.

I think it's so sad that so few people print photos nowadays! Remember the days where you would go on a trip and come back, get your photos printed and spend hours reminiscing and story-telling with your family or friends? Now people just post photos online and wait for digital one-word responses to flood in via facebook comments. While I value social media and being able to share my photos and experiences with people in such a vast way, there's something so intimate about having tangible photos and sharing that viewing experience in person. I guess you could say that one of my new years resolutions this year is to embrace this and get more of my own photos physically printed...and also to relay that importance to clients! 

But really... look how beautiful this book turned out! This book is 8.5x8.5 with a stunning linen cover and gold imprinted label on the front and spine. The pages are thick, durable, high-quality paper. I got this book printed to show my work to clients and to show how great quality of book I can create for them. But more than anything, I've convinced myself of the importance of the printed photograph. Not only is this beautiful quality, there's just something real and nostalgic about the printed photograph / album.

Here's why we should all print our photos: 

  • Prints are more real. They're a tangible way to view your photos and cherish the moments they represent. It's more emotional and personal!
  • They're long-lasting. We make prints with the quality to ensure life-span of these moments. Don't you want your grand-kids to be able to look back at your memories in a physical form just like you do with your own grandparents, even great-grandparents?
  • Digital media changing so quickly. Remember when we used to use those things called floppy disks? They're basically obsolete now. It's amazing how quickly technology is growing and changing, but it also means that our current forms of backup are not 100% secure. It's also not guaranteed that these systems will carry-over into future technology. Printing your photos means you have a physical backup of these memories that will last though hard-drive crashes and through the changes of technology. 
  • Also, if you're making the investment to have high-quality photos taken whether its for your wedding, family portraits, engagement photos etc...Why not also invest in the presentation of those photos that you put so much time and money into? 

Allie & Will / Engagement Session

These beautiful people, my best friends, Allie & Will are getting married. I spent the week with them in Laguna Beach, CA last month and had the honor of shooting their engagement portraits. I saw some of the most stunning sunsets of my life this week in Laguna... specifically while floating on a surfboard, watching the sun drop behind the distant horizon of Catalina Island...nothing compares. This day was no exception.

We made the trek down Thousand Steps beach in South Laguna to these awesome rocks, caves and tidal pools. I'm particularly fond of these photos because they capture Allie & Will's relationship so perfectly to me. I posed them for very few photos, I mostly wanted to convey their adventurous, playful nature together. I really wanted them to just be themselves and have that come through, so I took a pretty documentary approach with these. 

Allie & Will are getting married in July in New Jersey!

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Jessica & Jeff / Engagement Session

Alright. So I know I keep talking about how I've been so lucky to photograph THE MOST adorable couples lately...but no joke these two were so heart-warmingly lovely. Jessica & Jeff are so happy and so in love that you can see it in everything they do. 

We had the most simple, fun day of shooting! There was a giant, fresh snowfall the morning of their shoot that was exactly what we had hoped for. It was seriously a winter wonderland this day. We started off shooting in their apartment in Bucktown. They had to prep some veggies for a dinner they were making for Jeff's parents, so why not photograph them doing their favorite thing to do together?: cook and dance around the kitchen (for real, their life is cuter than the cutest rom-com). After that, we went for a snowy walk and went up onto their awesome rooftop deck for a wintery white sky backdrop. 

They also had a soundtrack to their love in the form of an amazing Spotify Playlist (I approve). The playlist included songs like Honey Come Home by The Head & The Hear, From Eden by Hozier and the best of my dear Leon Bridges. 

Jessica & Jeff are getting Married this August in Wisconsin!

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Sarah & Kyle / Engagement Session

I LOVED getting to spend the day with Sarah & Kyle. I've been so lucky to get to photograph some truly wonderful people with great love stories recently, and these two are no exception. Their story really made my heart sing because it's so incredibly honest. They've known each other basically forever, but have been able to grow up together & both become their own person and then fit together so perfectly. There's something so real and natural about their relationship and capturing these photos felt like I was just hanging out with them while they were on a date at all of their favorite places in the city. 

We started out at the Garfield Park Conservatory which is one of my personal favorite places in the city. Especially during the cold winter, this place is a warm, tropical sanctuary to escape to. 

After that we went to Lincoln Square where Sarah lived before her and Kyle got engaged, went to an adorable coffee/cupcake shop called Flirty Cupcakes and to the Square (the place he proposed to her!) From there, we went back to their current 'hood in Roscoe Village to one of their go-to bars. 

I'll be photographing Sarah & Kyle's wedding day this August at Emerson Creek!

Styled Wedding Shoot at Nico Osteria

In order to gear up for 2016 Chicago Indie Wed and the coming wedding season, I teamed up with some incredible independent Chicago wedding vendors & artists on a styled wedding photoshoot! My dear friend and fantastic hair stylist & makeup artist, Vanessa (Nightingale Beauty) met up to brainstorm and chat about Indie Wed and this photoshoot was the outcome. We truly couldn't have done it without all of these amazing people and it was such a fun day of shooting. Special thanks to Samantha of Jayne Weddings for having the vision for this incredibly classy, jewel-toned, geometric, mid-century modern inspired design and for helping put such a great crew together...and to Ann, Margaret and everyone at Nico Osteria for being gracious hosts and giving us literally the PERFECT space.

Credits listed below. Thank you all! xo


Photographer: Madeline Northway
Event Design & Coordination: Samantha DeVictor of Jayne Weddings
Hair & Makeup: Vanessa Morales / Nightingale Beauty
Hair & Makeup Assistant: Jessica Werch
Models: Michelle Mink and Adam Novak
Dress: Mignonette Bridal
Jewelry: The Left Bank Jewelry & Bridal
Venue/Location/Food: Nico Osteria
Cake: Elysia Root Cakes
Florist: Verdant Company
Invitation Design: Emily Rose Ink

Bella / Bucktown, Chicago

Meet my beautiful, multi-talented, wonder woman, actress/model friend Bella Wholey (pronouced Bey-uh). We had some fun the other day in my studio and exploring the streets of Chicago before the cold drives me into a 3 month long hibernation. This day involved: Whiskey shots, dirty rap music, a rad gothic church, a pink wig and a lot of laughs.

I've met Bella about 3-4 years ago when I photographed her with the amazing makeup artist and my lovely friend Hayley Kassel. When Bella and I get together we are just play and make creative magic awesomeness. I definitely needed this day/shoot to just let go and shoot and have fun. 

Keep an eye out for this one! She is working on two feature films and some amazing projects right now. She keeps the world updated on her handy website here so check it out! 

Thanks for a fun day my friend! Hope you all enjoy these fun shots :) 

Anything Is Possible

"Happiness is a continuation of happenings which are not resisted." - Deepak Chopra

I wanted to share with you all some photos of my workspace! It's been coming along in a lengthy process since I moved into my apartment in Bucktown, Chicago about 4 months ago. I moved back to Chicago from California with very few belongings, just what I could fit into my car, so re-creating my space has been slow, but an exciting challenge. This is all a bit reflective of my life at this point as everything is being renewed, refreshed, recreated. I moved (back) to a new place and am beginning a new chapter of my career and my life.

Throughout this whole process and in my life in general I try my best to always trust. Trust in myself, my ideas, my abilities, my instincts and trust that the universe is working both with me and in ways that I will never comprehend. We work together, simultaneously, to make things possible and make things happen. Every day, I am astonished by life and how things come together, sometimes in just the tiniest ways. Life seems to bring me the right people, ideas, inspiration and even challenges right when I need them, even if I don't realize it in that moment. 

Anything is possible.

That is what these words mean to me and will be a reminder of every day. That I have the power within me in conjunction with the universe to do anything, and it all begins simply with thought. Thought followed by action. So simple, but so meaningful.

Big thank you to the lovely Matthew Hoffman for sending me these special words for my office and for creating them in the first place. 

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Allie / Barnegat, NJ

This Summer I took a trip to visit my best friend Allie in the shores of New Jersey on LBI. We spent a day on the beach at Barnegat. While our friends were skimboarding, we ventured off into the EXTREMELY HOT sand dunes and took a few portraits. We seriously burnt the bottoms of our feet off walking around here but...anything for the picture right? These are just a few of the fun shots we got! Thanks for being a trouper and laying in scalding hot sand, Allie! :)

Nicole & Cody / Maternity Session

So WOW. I'm going to be an aunt for the first time in less than two weeks. My sister Nicole and bro-in-law Cody are bringing into the world baby Emerson Rose on Friday, November 13th (Friday the 13th!). I can't tell you how excited I am to meet her, how happy I am for them and how blessed the world is to have a human creation made by these two people. 

I was so honored to take photos for their maternity session and create memories that we will have for the rest of our lives. I am beyond stoked to create even more when that little baby comes next Friday! 

Special thanks to: Mother Earth & for giving us a 70 degree & sunny Fall day in Chicago in NOVEMBER, my sister for being a beautiful goddess, Cody for putting up with my posing and the talented Matthew Hoffman for the LOVE cameo and street art that I enjoy every day in my neighborhood.

Stay tuned for chunky baby butts and tiny toes.

Willow / Bucktown Session Part 1

Where do I even start here? Well first of all I'm excited to FINALLY be releasing this session. My life has been insane this Summer with moving, traveling, working, going through a really tough loss, and also being extremely excited for the birth of my first niece coming in less than two weeks! With all of the madness, I haven't had a huge amount of time to work on my personal projects but being able to do this has also kept me focused and sane.

I'm particularly excited about this. I can't say how great it's been to be back in Chicago and having the opportunity to work and create with such amazing people. Willow is a dear friend that I've been working with for a couple of years now. I can't say enough good things about this beautiful woman. She's one of the most inspiring, passionate people I know and she's a huge inspiration to me! Together we've landed multiple publications, covers and even storefront banners! She's just a go-getter and is so damn good at what she does. Needless to say, it's a great pleasure to work with and photograph her and this session was no different. 

Working in the fashion and modeling industry has juxtaposed me with so many moral conflicts, concerns and general questioning of "why am I even doing this"? I've seen a lot over the past year. Enough to make me question my own decision of shooting fashion. The industry is riddled with body-shaming, negativity and narcissism... none of which I'd like to be a part of. People are being retouched and liquified beyond the point of recognition and reality. Young girls are being told how they need to look to be accepted, how many inches they need to lose off of their waists, how they'll never be tall enough to "make it" in the industry. And believe me, this doesn't just mean it's destroying the models and people in the industry...it's directly effecting all of us.

So here I am left with this stinging question of "why?". Why do I want to be a part of this culture, this industry, this craft? I recently met with a friend and amazing photographer, Chris Fitzgerald, while he was in town visiting Chicago. Another person I can't sing enough praises. His portrait work is incredibly raw, honest and personal and it makes you feel like you're just there in that moment with them. Talking to him got me thinking about "the process" behind taking a photograph. For me, it really is about the entire process. It's the whole day, it's the interaction, it's your relationship with the person you're photographing, it's what was happening that day, that week, what the weather was like, what road-blocks you ran into and what turned out to be beautiful mistakes. Every element and interaction leads you to the final product. The task is to translate all of these things into a handful of photographs where you can convince your viewer to step inside and experience something with you. It's a pretty enticing challenge. 

I could sit here and write out every detail of this day and tell you about how it was about 100 degrees in my vintage 3rd floor apartment, how I locked us all out and had to jump a fence, how it all somehow worked out magically as it always does (oh, the mystery)... But instead of boring you with that, I give you these photographs. Create your own story, I invite you into the process with us. 

Super special thanks to the amazing....

Willow Star (Model)
Jean Ramos (Hair & Makeup)
Anastasia Chatzka (Romper and Bralette)

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Johanna, Drew & Olivia / Fall Family Session

Another lovely fall family portrait session! I found a great park just a 15 minute walk from my apartment. Big trees, leaves on the ground and we had the park to ourselves! Little Olivia had fun playing in the leaves & they were a great distraction to get her to smile and play while I was photographing her (along with tickles and being tossed in the air by mom and dad). And I'm clearly obsessed with golden hour. It just always looks so magical! Thanks for letting me capture these special moments for your family Johanna & Drew! 

Alex / Headshot Session

There's nothing better then a fresh, naturally lit, classic headshot. I've done all types of headshot sessions from in-studio to in-office, but outside in soft, natural lighting just does it for me. I was so happy with Alex contacted me and wanted to shoot her session outside at the beautiful Gardens in Edwardsville! I'm also a big advocate of golden hour sessions and this day was just perfect for it! 

The naturally gorgeous Alex made this job a piece of cake! Alex is a Conference Coordinator for KMI Event Management. She has an awesome job that allows her to travel all the time to different places. A girl after my own heart! Now she has some fun headshots to go with fun job! 

The Smiths / Fall Family Session

Hey guys! It's been quite a while since I've written a blog post, but I want to get back in the groove as I've been photographing so many amazing people recently that I can't help but share with you all! 

Meet the Smiths! I photographed them when I was back in Southern Illinois last week when the weather was an absolute DREAM!  I mean, it was one of those fall days you just crave. (If only we had more of those in Illinois...) I truly had such a great time working with this family. These kiddos were so engaged in the creative process, by the end of it they were asking me all kinds of questions about my camera and expressing interest in taking pictures (which warms my <3). 

The fall season in the Midwest is a short but oh-so-sweet one. It's hands down my favorite time to do portrait sessions like this one! Here's to a couple more weeks like this one... some pumpkin carving, leave crunching, fall brew drinking, jacket wearing, beautiful fall!