a bushel and a peck & a Blue Ridge Mountain serenade

It goes without saying that I am obsessed with the details. Truly, I drive myself crazy planning for the right light, the right location and the right tempo for my subjects on hand. So when we finally wrapped our epic, 4 hour shoot with some cold, fresh cider and cinnamon doughnuts from this super quaint orchard nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I had as much synergy to get to the edits as I did in our planning of the day's locations. Though in editing these photo gems, I had to curb my own OCD in time to share this engagement shoot set whilst the apples are still on the trees!

I've known the lovely Jane Kramer for many years but had yet to have the wonderful occasion to photograph Western North Carolina's favorite song bird. And this fiancé of hers,  just let me tell you ...if you don't already know the unofficial mayor of Asheville, Jason is the real deal; genuine and funny, kind and cool. The two of them together make honestly sweet and a too-irresistible-to not-photograph kinda love! With all these crazy good intentions, why wouldn't we plan for the sweetest, surprise serenade next to the Golden Delicious + Galas? Along with Jane's willingness and charming, sweet vocals, we had the perfect photo op set up when Jason returned from searching out a ladder to climb to the top of the tiny, but full of fruit trees! He fell perfectly into our photo plan....and in love with this good and kind song bird. Just look at the way he looks at her as she sings to him. **Warning: I'm a gushy, love loving kind of wedding photographer so you know the e-shoot is going to be something of an appetizer to their actual wedding day photos. Stay tuned and scroll down for more if you love the love, too!

Of course, no Rose Photo Custom Engagement Shoot is started without a proper toast. Before we headed out towards Bat Cave in search of bushels of apples, we filled a couple pints down at The Wedge in the River Arts District. Good old Sammie Dog made her cameo and any photo jitters where washed way with a cold one! Planning for a picture perfect engagement shoot really has everything to do with the couple, their story and how we can best tell that story with our lens. Including Jane + Jason's favorite four legged, learning where they love to toast to the weekend and finding the best locations as backdrops to tie it all together is my favorite obsession. Afterall, I never have the same 'day at the office' twice!

To Jane + Jason, so much love to yous for including me in your big day vision and trusting my photo ninja skills in the bushes! I cannot wait for October 14 in Mars Hill to capture more of your love story and make even more photos of my dreams with you two as subject.


Rose + Co



Chicago Riverwalk Summertime Wedding: Best Bridal Party Photo Locales

You may often hear a native Chicagoan or two reference the two seasons the city boasts: winter and construction. Through the short set of 5 or 6 months where the sun consistently shines, city dwellers are charged a fee of their patience to get to their sunny destination outdoors as traffic from many a road project usually makes for added travel time. For each downtown wedding Rose Photo is a part of, we spend as much time checking on road closures and where newly erected cranes are staged as we do planning for the perfect photographs and knowing which lights we will pack. Luckily though, our crew always packs extra patience and is more than happy to go the extra mile, literally, to be sure our couples' big day is as seamless as possible. It could be said that we are part photo crew and part wedding planner/ concierge/ gps but all in the name of having a well planned and organized photo timeline!

When Justine + Matt first sat down to work with Rose Photo on their wedding day timeline, we chatted about a variety of topics including their favorite areas of the city to their overall vision of their wedding day. When we got to discussing where we'd plan for the bridal party photographs, we began thinking of locations that would showcase their love and all the beautiful details of wedding attire so purposely chosen. The bride found the most delicate floral gowns for her bridesmaids at Jenny Yoo in River North. We thought to place that light pastel pattern amongst other organic textures and soft tones at Janine Gang's stunning HoneyComb sculpture in Lincoln Park. Justine's family has worked in stone masonry over the many years so the Chicago River's historic bridges were always something their family appreciated. With that in mind, we planned for a few photographs on the LaSalle Street Bridge near to the couple's venue. Finally, when we arrived at River Roast Chicago, we had the perfect day for the cocktail hour to be outdoors on the sunkissed, river front patio. I should add here that in the season opposite to winter, also known as summer in some parts of the world, Chicagoans claim patio season as their inherent right be outside as much as possible!! And with a view like we had on this wedding day, how could we skip this as a photo op?!?!  Just before the couple's grand entrance, we made sure to capture Justine + Matt steal a quick kiss under their perfectly placed, outdoor chandeliers and in front of one of a handful of iconic Chicago River Bridge Houses.

These locations may be places you've walked by daily or even seen photographed previously. But for this wedding and all our clients, each location was specifically chosen to tell their story through photos in the best way possible. With that in mind, rarely do we have the same work day twice in the photo world! Certainly, we have to stay on our toes and keep our eyes open for new and interesting backdrops but sometimes the ordinary can be perfectly framed to be extraordinary when it tells a real, true story.  Our job as photographs is to be true to life, authentic story tellers and it's really such an honor to get to do that for our clients as often as we do!

Justine + Matt, thank you for trusting Rose Photo to document your big day through photographs. We are so grateful to be part of your wedding celebration and look forward to telling more of your life's story with our cameras!


Rose + Co



That Chicago Lake Life : Planning for AMAZING family photos

Life gets busy. We all know this. Traveling for destination weddings, shooting editorial and still seeing my growing families is really 3 or 4 jobs in one. Juggling time between work, family, and kids is hard for me and I don't even have children! Though the occasion to see 'my kids' throughout the year to capture their portrait in the truest and most authentic way is one of my favorite appointments to make time for and this brood is no exception! A work-life balance read this is not so back to these goofy boys...between all the poop jokes and fart noises, they kept me on my toes to keep them entertained!!  My number one trick of the trade in creating the best family photographs is to make the entire session a play date. Even when someone gets grumpy for a moment, we change the game and small meltdowns turn right around. Certainly, there is a bit of bribery sprinkled on top but mostly we just have fun playing.                        
Location, location, location! I'm always looking for new, more fantastic locale for photos than the last spot. I seek out the best areas based first on great light and then texture, pattern, and color. Chicago has no shortage of wall art, beautiful architecture, and amazing city parks so one need not look too far when searching out the best locations for family photos. Lifestyle imagery needs to read real and true so placing my subjects in a comfortable setting and getting on their playful level equals truly compelling imagery. I also have 2-3 stops at one location to keep our session moving so kiddos stay happy for the duration of our photoshoot. It always helps when everyone is in a great mood and these little guys napped the entire drive into the city! O-man and J may have started our family photo session at the lakefront a bit groggy but by the time we wrapped, they were wide awake and declaring their love for taking photos! TRUE STORY, ask Mom! 

And finally, what to wear?? Best practice on having the best-looking family photos is having everyone dressed in a complimentary color but not exactly matching. This is easier than it sounds, I swear! It adds to the texture of the final product and also is just much more interesting to look at. A good place to start is picking a color as your base and then build on that with a few larger patterns and or corresponding colors. This family of 4 and one adorable bulldog puppy nailed it! Mom wore a perfectly comfy, summer romper with shades of blue as the base. Dad matched with a simple blue t shirt and light blue shorts. Then the boys wore various shades of blue with a few simple patterns of stripes and plaids to keep it all interesting. You don't need to be a fashionista to have your crew looking picture perfect, although I tend to think this hot mama is ;)

To the stinkiest jokesters I know, keep those giggles coming! I was happy to meet the newest member of your fam, Willie, and can't wait to see you all again soon.


Rose + Co

Magnificante Mile + Old School Glam = DRUNK IN LOVE Chicago Summer Wedding

Two words for these two love birds: DRUNK in LOVE. Now for those of you who don't slay likeBeyoncé, then just go ahead and skip to the last paragraph. But for those that do, you really just need take one good look at this gorgeous couple's big day captured recently in downtown Chicago to see that palpable, intense, sincere and over the top love that they share. From the moment we started to capture their love story at Lynsey + Frank'sperfectly styled engagement shoot around Chicago's Loop, I could immediately tell these two were made for each other. On the morning of their wedding, love notes were passed, excitement was high and drunk in love tears dangled from many an eye at The Knickerbocker as we captured preparations for the day. The full mass at St. Joseph's Parish on through bridal party photos along Chicago's Mag Mile all gave a dreamy backdrop for capturing their love story. Like it a scene out of that waking dream, a vintage Rolls Royce appears as we are photographing in front of the Board of Trade.                    JUST LIKE A BEYONCÉ drunk in love Dream! Just another day at the office, as we slay in love!

It seemed to me that Saturday, June 24, 2016, was a day that Lynsey had dreamt of for years and 'cool as a cucumber' Frank had known that this day would look just like this always. Her Lazaro gown was cut from the fairy tale mold and his custom tuxedo was dapper as all get out!  It was aperfect summer day that was breezy and a bit cooler than usual, the amazing details of floral, sparkle and old school Chicago, with a good amount of wedding day glam, all while their guests joined in on their excitement.  For the many sweet stares we've captured, the ones that we didn't and the many more Lynsey + Frank are sure to share over their future together, my team and I are grateful to witness your real true, honestly tangible, drunk love! It's what my dreams are made of and we are so thrilled yours came true on your wedding day. We love your love!


Rose + Co

downtown Spring wedding, classic Chicago style!

You can take the girl out of the city but you can't take the city out of the girl! This pretty much sums up my gorgeous bride from last weekend's beautiful, downtown Spring wedding; perfectly planned around Chicago's most classic + historic locales. Preparations and the most romantic first look were had at the iconic Palmer House Hotel, a trolley ride through the Loop and then down the Magnificent Mile to visit the gothic architecture that is the Wrigley Building and NBC 5 Tower and by 6pm the bride + groom had made their vows public in a sun filled, outdoor ceremony.     All the attention to beautiful detail and incorporating classic Chicago made Kaitlyn + Dustin's wedding picture perfect. But what did they wear???

He was suited in a dapper, navy blue, custom tuxedo complete with bow tie + suspenders to tie together this grooms vintage charm!  She gracefully donned what seemed to be yards upon yards of perfectly pleated tulle in a ballgown style, Lazaro wedding dress. It. was. STUNNING. Don't believe me? Just look at that train!! Flowers by Steen Productions draped each table and perfectly accented the creamy blush color of the bridesmaids' gowns. All this pulled together the ambient colors of the perfectly blossomed yards at Galleria Marchetti's venue space.  In a word, the day was ....dreamy!

Kaitlyn + Dustin, thank you for sharing your gorgeous wedding day with the Rose Photo crew. We love your love + all the beautiful details of April 22, 2017. Here's to capturing even more moments of your love story with our lens!