confetti + cake at The Chicago Athletic Association

 When the RP team first learned of Brittany + Hunter, we were told by the bubbly bride about how the two lovebirds met online and courted long distance.  Often skeptical of the online dating world, we quickly were impressed with the couple's success story and their dedication to each other's budding relationship. As we grew to know the two of them through many phone chats, email threads, and finally when we traveled to their sweet Kalamazoo, Michigan home, it was visibly apparent that these two are made for each other. We started capturing their love story as engaged sweethearts, settling into their first home together, complete with kittens and throw pillows! The RP take on engagement shoots is to capture couples in real life as much possible, skipping the overly posed and unnatural. We want to show you, with a zoom in on the authentic 'Day in the Life'... kitties included!! Brittany + Hunter chose to use the backdrop of their quaint, ranch-style house and showed our photographer, Hannah, their favorite local spot in downtown Kalamazoo, Bell's Brewery. After that it was time to dress up and make it official! We met the soon-to-be-newlyweds at the Chicago Athletic Association on a perfect summer day. We don't need to go far to locate stunning backgrounds for all our photo ops. In fact, Brittany was so excited about her historic wedding venue that she and Hunter asked that all of their wedding photos be taken inside the architectural gem that is the CAA. Well familiar to this incredible Mag Mile locale, the RP team planned for a few perfectly timed and expertly placed portraits. We couldn't pass up all the details of the vintage wood molding, Italian tiles and stained glass that tell a story of Chicago's rich history. To say this is one of our favorite places to work whilst photographing weddings in Chicago's Loop is an understatement!

Downtown certainly has a number of incredibly inspiring landmarks and picture-perfect ballrooms, but CAA's old-school glam along, with the newly restored original architecture and visionary design by Henry Ives Cobb really shows off the intended glory of 12 S. Michigan Avenue. The building is part of the Historic Michigan Boulevard District, which was designated a Chicago landmark in 2002. Did you know the previous stewards of the building once hid those amazing sconces in the White City Ballroom with foam drop ceilings and covered that incredible tile floor with carpet?? Oh, the 80's and 90's!!! The renovation in late 2012 brought this stunning space back to its true form and we are so grateful to be resident photographers there!! 

Brittany + Hunter were absolutely wonderful to photograph on their wedding day. We couldn't help but feel the excitement from every person who was part of the celebration and our team of 3 storytellers with cameras were set to capture every grin, giggle and hug. Their friends and families watched as these two dear hearts vowed to always put their love first. There were tears, there were lots of laughs and there was so much confetti...but only following the second line from the Madison Ballroom to that perfect White City, exposed sconces and all!  Our New Orleans raised groom turned Chicago Cubs fan waltzed arm in arm with his new wife into their wedding reception. What a reception it was! Cake and confetti!!! Did I mention the confetti ?? It danced on that Italian tile along with the entire wedding party as they moved in unison to their expertly choreographed group number, enticing pretty much every guest to join them on the freshly opened dance floor. And should you need a quick sugar fix, not a worry because backing the cake cutting was a doughnut wall, folks! YEP...a wall of doughnuts. No detail of celebratory magic was left unimagined by sweet Britt.  So much so, we felt the need to pen a blog about it...sometimes a little confetti ( or A LOT) goes a long way!!

Brittany + Hunter thank you so much for having the RP team document your love story. We may still be reeling from the extra doughnut love you sent us home with and also finding small remnants of confetti in our gear bags but we couldn't have been happier to be a part of your big day. And if you need a stand-in on that group number, you know where you can find us!!

love,

Rose + Co 

Be my Valentine, Asheville !!!!

Timing is everything! When it comes to chasing love, light, and the perfect shot, if you are off by a moment, you just might miss it. The best light is said to be just before the sun rises and again later in the day before it sets. Whilst we can set alarms for this tempo, we aren't always as lucky in love...until we are! Put those two magical elements of picture-perfect together and voila, you've got yourself a lovely Valentine's Day set of imagery that certainly makes me swoon. Wait, wait.... don't scroll down just yet! I swear there are a few more juicy love letters for your soul here, too.

Admittedly, I chase all of the aforementioned gems of life endlessly but until you are sitting amidst the optimal light, in true love, and with the perfect capture, the search seems unending. With that sappy snapshot into my soul, you can guess it was to my heart's delight to have a second opportunity to photograph this beautiful couple, on top of a mountain in the Blue Ridge, during the best twilight ever, and just as the perfect pink cloud floated above them. Not only was this set photographed with the softest light I'd ever seen in the WNC region but it made for this really ethereal and dreamy backdrop. I wish I could say I perfectly planned that but honestly, as our entire crew was racing up the Blue Ridge Parkway, I half thought we were missing that short window of the golden hour; as it seemed to blur by as we safely sped around those tight curves! Finally, we'd parked, set up and captured the bulk of our imagery when the good light shifted to even better. I mean, isn't that just the best when something good gets even better!?!?! I live for this stuff, I swear!

A wonderful friend who has recently become an even better partner in creating photographic magic with me couldn't agree more. Our combined effort in making imagery with intention is not just based in telling an authentic story but also in seeing our subjects as truly as they see their love for one another. A note from my friend, the stylist: 

'Working with Kyrie and Richard, on top of this gorgeous mountain with this stunning view, was like watching love unfold and burst right before your eyes. After joining me in a chance to dig into the depth of their connection to one another prior to this shoot, they took this opportunity to document, to demonstrate their love in a way the camera could catch the very essence of their affection. Richard gazes at Kyrie with unwavering love as Kyrie beams back at him with fierce passion and infinite acceptance. What a beautiful thing to witness. I thank them for the chance to guide and to journey with them through this day. 

The love that Kyrie + Richard share is certainly palpable. If this shoot had been shot on film,  you'd most certainly want to lick these negatives, I promise! The light in that early evening on the tall hills of Asheville was perfectly pink and definitely the most delightful sunset I've seen in a while. Judge for yourself on the captures as I'm pretty biased, but I think this set is the sweetest we've shared all year!!

love,

Rose + Co 

DWNTWN Brooklyn Wedding: Pony up for the best ride of your life

When life gives you lemons, you add vodka...errr make lemonade, right? And most certainly I have had my fair share of lemons come my way but where would I be without the trials to feel my triumphs??  As I sit here typing various thoughts of thanks and praise for our recent couple this past weekend in NYC, nestled in one of  Brooklyn's most vibrant neighborhoods, Dumbo, I can't help but think of all the lessons learned on that snowy day.  It began with the grace Stacey had throughout her wedding day and ended with the giant bear hugs Brandon gave me at the end of the night. The morning started with a cool 3-4 inches of snowfall before noon and that was just the weather! A number of other physical challenges made for a trying day, to say the least, but thankfully Stacey's partner in crime, ride or die best guy and one of my first 'real artist' friends from way back was 110%. In fact, Brandon is extra dialed into the creative tempo that is downtown Brooklyn AND totally on point with knowing what his lady needs. So with 'Bracey Standon'  as my official hosts for my first NYC wedding, I was more than happy to be there through thick + thin and, incidentally, pony up!

The wedding crew kept cozy in our shuttled sleigh that sloshed us around the cobblestone streets, between the usually colorful walls of Dumbo that were now covered in a thick coat of white dust. Wedding heels where replaced by snow boots and stylish fur was absolutely utilitarian. Making our way to plan C for first look photos, I was thrilled to discover the perfectly filtered light in the temporary snow globe that filled the winter home of Jane's Carousel. Soft but echoing giggles from passing by ponies lightened the mood even more and we'd suddenly flipped the script for a second time that day. After a short line and a lovely spin on the merry go round overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge, these two lovebirds made their way onto the wedding ceremony at an old synagogue turned wedding venue on downtown Brooklyn's bustling Atlantic Avenue. You enter Deity Events through its gilded gates and travel up and down a series of stairways leading to the varying levels of wedding celebration. I always joke that I never have the same work day twice and here was just another awesome example of yet another interesting 'work space'; truly storytelling never gets old when the story you learn to tell is never the same.

Creatives create, teachers teach and the show must go on! All old adages are rooted in their own form and let me tell you, we got real real on this wedding day.  This groom's creations inspire so many friendships, mentorships and now the best partnership of his life, his wife.  This bride's lessons offered with kindness and calm will be noted in my life's little book for a long time. Brandon, thank you for introducing me to your new family, for trusting me to make art for you and for being 110%. Stacey,  you are a queen of queens, kinder than kind and beautiful in every way. To you both, I cannot wait to ride that carousel again down the road, in the years to come, capturing even more of your love story! 

love,

Rose + Co

 

 

 

Fall in love in Asheville, North Carolina

I am totally a YES person. And in the spirit of collaboration, I always believe that I have something to learn and there is strength in the team over the individual. So when a dear friend + fellow creative told me of her new professional venture taking her private practice as a licensed therapist to a next level experience offering image consulting, I wondered how I could get involved. We kicked around the ball a few times, chatting varying concepts and even throwing together a few test shoots with her stylish self as our sweet model. As the fall colors of Western North Carolina reached the season's peek, we had our first project together outlined. Brilliant at most things she touches, this ladyboss played casting director and found our sweet + totally in love couple to play the part of falling in love with these lushes fall colors. With the perfect backdrop, authentically in love cast and vision for a true collaboration, all that was left was what to wear.  A stylist is nothing without her resources and pull it all together she did! With the generous support of a favorite boutique AND a vintage shop on Lexington Ave in downtown Asheville, we had our storyboard in order!

We love this shoot for so many reasons: we love Minx as one of Asheville's best and long standing boutiques for a super cute, and always color-coded shopping experience. The Honey Pot, through it's various incarnations has remained a mainstay, vintage hub on the hipster drag that is Lex Ave. With Kyrie + Richard's budding love changing seasons in front of my lens, my job to photograph that emotion was pretty seamless. As we sprinted back down from 4800 feet in elevation to capture the remaining light of the day, there where cheers for each of our separate but equally supportive roles in encouraging the success of this shoot. {side note, if you haven't ever visited Asheville, NC, you may not know, but this kind of energy is palpable and regular. It is one of the very solid reasons I now call it my base camp. Also, if you haven't visited, please do plan for a long weekend but please don't move there!! I took the last open seat but that's because I left my name on it when I left for Chicago 10 years ago!) Seriously though, capturing the magic of twilight at Craggy Dome, with perfectly suited lovers at the peek of Fall's brightest colors, with the making of such a dreamy crew was perfection. Here is a sweet interlude from Marisol, our thoughtful stylist and intentional af human being:

'Although styling, posing and getting the look right is the point, running up & down mountains with bags of wardrobes is thrilling and utterly life affirming. But I have to say my favorite part of my job is the conversations I get to have with my clients through our process together. Talking with Kyrie, I began to glimpse into the love that she and Richard have shared over the last year. It is dynamic and explosive, as witnessed in these shots; but even more so, their love is patient, accepting and entirely vulnerable. During my conversation with Richard, he echoed the sentiments of his beloved like a mirror meant only for the reflection of another. He noted the timeliness of this opportunity to publicly express their connection on film as it relates to growth in all areas his life. Synchronicity, folks. It's not a coincidence; it's universal law.  When we work together, possibility flows like honey'

With that, I offer this collaborative set of personal work on my professional channel because I love it that much! The old adage of 'if you love your job you will never work a day in your life' has never rang more true in my heart and soul. To all of the collaborators on this project and the various projects, both personal and professional I have on the stove at the moment, your energies fuel and inspire me beyond my best and worst dreams; after all, you can't have dark without the light.

Stay tuned for more pops of color from this team and many more collaborations. Remember, #strongertogether. 

love,

Rose + Co

My love is the color red: Chicago Indian Wedding Inspire

15 years ago, I was participating in a study-abroad semester in India through my undergraduate studies and my host had invited me as guest to what seemed to be hours worth of ceremony; I would later learn this was the last in a line up of 3 action packed, full length days of wedding festivities. The colors, the joyful shouts, the dancing and clapping surrounded me like an ocean of happiness. Somewhere, somehow, and very suddenly, with enough gentle shoves from my host family and amidst the different sounds and tempo so beautifully chaotic, I was photographing an Indian wedding IN INDIA!

 In my newly acquired, colorful sari, I stuck out like a sore thumb but was eagerly guided by uncles and aunties alike to be sure not to miss this photo op or that extra special moment. It was with this wedding that my love documenting cultural ceremony was born. Add a few more trips to my own homeland of Eastern Europe to view archival portraits of distant relatives in a WWII memorial and my life's work was laid out in front of me: retell meaningful stories of our human experience with my camera in hand.

Fast forward the tape a decade and a half forward and here I sit, penciling love notes about stories that mean as much to the people in these photos as they do to me. The colors, textures and immersive nature of Indian culture and celebrations, especially these weddings, melt my art heart. When offered the opportunity to work with the beautiful humans that are Rishi + Minal, I couldn't have been more excited to tell their vibrant love story.

Minal's elegant poise, stunning style and gentle playfulness are unique to anyone I’ve met. Radiantly beautiful and arrayed in her gorgeous lehenga, I couldn't help but notice the gentle calm she wore all day, mirroring the quiet elegance that she is.

Rishi's easy and funny banter made for animated photos while he waited to see his bride. His dapper manner as he joked around with his best buds perfectly suited the white tuxedo he wore later in the evening.

The baraat, a raucous parade led by the groom's family into the ceremony, was one of my favorite parts of the entire celebration. It was jovial, loud and just a little bit crazy.

The day of festivities was long, but it flew by in swirls of color and emotion; the ceremony was filled with auspicious blessings, the reception dazzled with animated dances and performances, and the speeches were hilarious as well as heartwarming; especially as Rishi dropped to his knee in front of a tearfully happy Minal. This buzz of love surrounded every single person in attendance and kept even the eldest of guests grinning all day and helping to close out the dance floor! My life as sociologist with a camera has never been boring. Documenting the love story of this strikingly gorgeous and genuinely kind hearted couple for 17 hours fits right in line with that amazing tempo.

To Rishi + Minal: you, your love and your culture are beautiful. It was my honor and very much a privilege to play fly-on-the-wall at your wedding celebration. While I've grown less shy and a tad more bossy while directing portraits, your candid demeanor and unwavering affection shine through these images. Thank you for both trusting our photo team to experience your unique love. It is bold, beautiful and withstanding, just like your roots.

love,

Rose + Co