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month: November 2011

Chicago Musician head-shots, CD cover shoot | Photo of the week, Nan

Recently I had the pleasure of photographing  a very talented Indie Rock musician Nan, from Luna Blu. Here’s my favorite from the session. Needless to say I LOVE this photo.

Did you know I have another website? Check it out here.

The Shores of Turtle Creek Spring Grove, IL | Amy and Dave wedding

When Amy first contacted me she sent me this e-mail…

“The photography is the most important service for the wedding for me. I do tend to prefer a less traditional more artistic type of photography mixed in with a little fun!
I’m open to trying new ideas to get great shots. Would you be available to meet so that we could see your portfolio in person?”

Needless to say we got along fabulously during our meeting and they hired me. I really admire how truly dedicated they both were to make sure they got amazing photos. They gave me plenty of time by having a first look, and doing  the bridal party and romantic the photos before the ceremony.

Dress by Pronovias.

I loved her bridal hair piece with the birdcage veil.

Mom helps with the final touches.

Dave and the groomsmen.

Amy and Dave took the time to select some fab photo locations for their first look and bridal party photos. They even took photos to show me during our final meeting!! How’s that for dedication? I cannot thank them enough for being so pro active!! That is why they have such  great photos  😉

I love first looks!!! Dave looked so handsome 🙂

Time for some fun bridal party shots. For couples still in the planning stages please consider grey suits instead of black for summer/fall weddings. Your groomsmen will thank you when we’re shooting in the sunshine. Especially if it’s an outdoor ceremony.

This was one dedicated bridal party, they had to climb over weed and creatures in the grass to get to this location. Totally worth it, no? One of my many favorites.

Don’t you love the colors?

The groomsmen decided that this this would be a fun shot and they were right! 🙂

I just loved the colors and variety in the bouquet.  Phillip’s Flowers Wheaton, IL


So get this, they found a red barn for the next stop in our photo shoot. OMG was I in heaven? Yes! The fun part was explaining to the owner why we wanted to take photos there, he was really nice man and we told him we’d send him prints  🙂

On the property.

Of course we had to include their mascot the sock monkey that also made an appearance in their engagement session.

Amy had one more surprise for me, she brought along red jacket…Holy Red Happiness Batman, how lucky am I to have couples like this?

Ceremony time!

The wedding and the reception was at The Shores of Turtle Creek. It’s located in Spring Grove IL. The property is beautiful, and the food was delicious. No I really mean it, not your typical wedding food at all.

My view.

Carol’s view. She works really hard at getting the perfect flare shot, great job Carol!

Love this moment!

Check out the petals on her dress 🙂

The new Mr & Mrs 🙂

Love this one, another favorite.

Phoebe’s Cupcakes Chicago, IL

I live for moments like this.

Amy’s Dad really rocked that guitar, no joke he looked like he belonged with the band.

The Midwesterners from Madison WI, provided the entertainment, they were really good!

Cookies from Caputo’s Algonquin, IL

One last shot of the happy couple, can you spot them on the porch? The fog on the pond was just a huge bonus, I was so happy. Thanks to Carol for not only braving the pitch black and risking falling in, (that’s her by the trees holding the flash) but also for suggesting this idea.

So I do have a question for Amy and Dave, did you guys ever find the lost groomsman?  😉

If you enjoyed the photos, please share with your friends and family and I do love comments 🙂

Website. 😀 Facebook.

Millennium Park Chicago IL Wedding photography | Photo of the week Addy and Griffin

This was taken shortly after their first look at Millennium Park. I just told them to pretend it was their first dance, they did a few turns and then he dipped her. Spontaneously!!  Yep, angels were singing that’s how perfect that moment was. I just about jumped out of my skin, oh yeah there was some happy dancing  by the Bean that night! 😀

Comments are appreciated, and please check out my website 🙂

Maggiano’s Little Italy, Chicago Illinois | Kara and Jimmy Wedding ceremony [2]

Here’s part two of Jimmy & Kara’s wedding 🙂 Had to post a few more photos in front of the red backdrop of course 😉 Kara you’re gorgeous!

Thank you bridal party for your fun personalities and cheerful cooperation. It always  makes my job  easier when the bridal party has a good attitude!

BTW, the photos below  were all their ideas!

Since they did a first look before the ceremony, we had time to do all the fun/formal photos without stress or rushing, YEY!

Below photos at Maggianos, where the food is to die for, yum.

A special thanks to Jimmy who did not like taking photos but he knew it was important to his Bride. At one point he said to my assistant “I’m really looking forward to seeing the photos I did not want to take”…well here you go Jimmy I hope it was worth it, you were a very good sport 🙂

The adorable flower girls….

…who of course had matching shoes.

The ceremony.

Check out the sad little face of the flower girl, I wonder what she was saying to her Mom.

Kara changed into a fun little dancing dress to rock it out with her Grandma.

I love the guys expression on the left, LOL!

There are always more photos on FB, Friend’ me or ‘Like’ my page.

Comments are always appreciated 🙂

Kara, you *are* welcome! 😉

Photo of the week, Erin & Dom [Chicago IL Wedding photography]

When you include children in your wedding you have to be ready for anything. These boys were very well behaved throughout the ceremony, although clearly one of then didn’t like what he was hearing 😉

The Chlebowicz Family, [Glenview Family Portraits]

I shot Sandra & Leszek’s Wedding in 2008, we’ve stayed in touch ever since. I took photos of the twins when they were new born, now they’re two and baby # 3 is on the way! Congrats to the happy family 🙂

Looking forward to meeting the new baby soon!

Hilda Burke, Angel Eyes Photography Chicago.

Photo of the week, Rebecca and Tyler [Evanston IL wedding photography]

Fall is my favorite season. Rebecca & Tyler are one of my favorite couples. This is my new favorite photo 🙂

Angel Eyes Photography, Chicago

Chicago Wedding planning, Choosing a venue

For all you newly engaged couples below are some very helpful tips from Event Planner Patti Herioux, [With Love Weddings and Events]


Q: What should I pay attention to when I visit a potential venue?

A: You took careful consideration when selecting your beloved, now it’s time to take careful consideration when selecting your wedding venue! This venue sets the stage for all pieces of your wedding reception –and maybe your ceremony too- and will be one of the most crucial decisions you make. Hire a wedding planner, read bridal magazines, surf the web, and pay attention to the weddings you attend to get started in your quest to find the perfect setting for your big day. Select a few locations and schedule visits armed with this list of your top question to consider when making your venue selection.
#1 What is your first impression?
It’s true, you only get one chance to make a first impression! As you arrive at your prospective venues employ your senses. What do you see as you drive up? Are the lawns and gardens well maintained? How is the lighting? Are there sidewalks (think about your guests in formal attire and high heels)? Once you are inside of the space what feeling is provoked? Do the curtains look like they came from Grandma’s house… or worse, does it smell like a locker room and stale cigarettes. Is there a lot of ambient noise? Take in all of these things, what you see… and smell and hear… is what you get on your wedding day, from the parking lot to the bathrooms.
#2 How does the color scheme work with your wedding colors?
When you tour reception venues, you are likely to see the blank canvas. An empty hall can leave much to your imagination and envisioning can be a struggle for many brides and grooms. How will your things look in this room all set up? Look at what you can absolutely bet on… like wall color and carpet… do the color schemes enhance the colors you have selected for your day? Will your exquisite emerald green bridesmaid dresses look pleasing against pepto pink colored walls? And yes, that pink hall does exist; I’ve been there before!
#3 What is the natural environment?
We’ve already taken into consideration what the lawns and gardens look like, and hopefully they are up to par. Now take a look at what you see from the room. Are there windows? If yes, what do these windows overlook? Do you have access to usable outdoor space? When will it get dark? Video montages and dancing are most popular when done after the sun goes down… with lots of windows on a sunny summer day that could be well into your party.
#4 How many events run at once?
This is YOUR once in a lifetime day, consider who you want to spend it with. That vision probably doesn’t include another bride. Many venues can run multiple events at once. If your potential venue runs more than one wedding, that doesn’t mean it has to be ruled out and it may not even matter to you. However, if it is a concern, consider how close the event rooms are to each other and if all event guests will be entering from the same area and be using the same common space.
#5 Is the space large enough AND small enough?
Most couples are concerned if the space will be large enough to accommodate their guests. As an event planner my concern is not only if the space will be comfortable for the guests and meal service logistics, but will it also be small enough to make the party look full and robust? You don’t want sardines, but you don’t want peas rolling around in a tin can either.
#6 Is there a logical place for everything you need?
Once you have the venue picked out you have a number of things to fill the space with. While walking through a potential venue try to envision where you think each piece of the day will go – place card table, gift table, DJ or band set-up, dance-floor, guest tables, head table, cake table, buffet tables, late night snack table, sweets table, photo booth… whatever your personal needs are. Not only is there enough space, but also, is the space conducive to the logical flow of a party?
#7 What staff will be on hand on your wedding day?
Food and beverage will take up the bulk of your budget, so spend wisely. The staff at your venue will be the point of contact for your guests. You want a beautiful venue, but also a top-notch service staff. Questions you’ll want to ask are how many tables does each server attend to? (1-2 is a good number) Is there a banquet captain? How many bartenders will be on staff? (1 per 75-100 guests is standard) How many valet staff will be available? Is there staff for a coat check?
#8 Is this venue in your budget?
As we established, food and beverage is the bulk of what you will spend your money on. Be realistic in the consideration of what you can afford. There is much more to factor into your bottom line price than what is presented on the menu. Start by thinking about what you want to serve… chicken is obviously less expensive than surf-and-turf. Have an idea of your meal selection BEFORE you sign a contract, or I can pretty much guarantee you will blow your budget. Make your preliminary selections, consider any upgrades and add-ons (extra hour of bar or bar upgrade, chocolate fountain, late-night buffet…), factor in ALL of these things. Once that is done multiple that by your number of expected guest, then multiple that by your service charge (estimated 18-23%) and your sales tax. Yes, they tax the service charge. That is your true bottom line cost, don’t get shell shocked in the end when you are handed a bill that is over 30% higher than what you expected.
#9 How is the Food?
This one is a bit tougher to tell because you won’t do a tasting until after you have signed the contract. You’ll have to depend on reviews (most wedding websites have them) and word of mouth. Going with a chain venue is usually a safe bet because there are certain quality control standards you can rely on. If you are going to a stand-alone venue or using a newer catering company, make sure you do thorough investigation prior to signing a contract!
#10 Is this venue convenient for your guests?
Your guests will likely travel from far and wide. In extremes, I’ve planned a wedding that had representation from 31 countries; consider them in your decision. Is the event space convenient for them? Is it easy to find? Is it clearly marked? Is there a hotel close by that will give you a good group rate? Does that hotel have shuttle service? Since your guests are happy to give their time and travels to celebrating your big day with you, give them equal consideration!
That is quite a list to consider, but you will be happy you did! Remember to bring your camera to take pictures of the venues that meet your standards for review later on. If a potential venue meets all your specifics, take a moment to consider your emotions, can you imagine yourself celebrating your wedding day in this space? If the answer is yes, congratulations, you’ve found your venue!
With love,


Photography by Hilda Burke, Angel Eyes Photography Chicago.

The Allerton Hotel Wedding | Downtown Chicago, Michigan Avenue wedding photos| Michelle and James

James and Michelle had their wedding and reception at the beautiful and historic Allerton Hotel in Chicago. It’s a gorgeous Hotel located right in the heart of Downtown on the Magnificent mile.

Below the groom, his brothers and Dad get ready.

Meanwhile the girls try to calm Michelle’s nerves.

Gorgeous detail on her shoes.

The ceremony was great!


We didn’t have to go far some some amazing portraits, the Allerton is a photographer’s dream…and obviously so it this gorgeous couple.


Instead of a book, guest signed a canvas by placing their fingerprints as leaves on the tree. How cute is this idea?

First dance.

Grandpa was the cutest, he was dancing with all the ladies.

The view from the reception.

Just had to run out for a few photos on Michigan avenue.


So cute two random guys congratulating them, notice the thumbs up 😉 We are a friendly bunch here in the Midwest 🙂

From Michelle…

“The Allerton was great in coordinating dates and times with us, making it super easy to deal with the long distance planning. Specifically a thank you to Sherri and Kate who were always available for questions and phone calls and last minute details.

Cake by Bom Bon was amazing. Our minister, Marsha, conducted a beautiful ceremony. Thanks again to my cousins Andy & Natalie for the great music. And a huge thank you to April for doing all the flowers.

I don’t think I have much advice except that if you aren’t a detail oriented person you might want to get someone else to plan the wedding, as there are countless little details to coordinate. And as cliche as it is, to remember that the day is really about marrying this wonderful person and THAT’S IT! Everything else if for the guests and making sure they are able to have a great time!

My favorite wedding memories were seeing James at the end of the aisle. The speeches from James, his father, my cousin Anna and brother in law Patrick. Also, watching my grandfather boogy down all night long!

From James: This was the best wedding I’ve ever been to!

Oh AND I FORGOT TO MENTION YOU! Hilda did a wonderful job of meeting our requests of ‘staying in the moment’ of the wedding! She managed the large family shots really well and encouraged us to take time for ourselves to do some beautiful photos. She made us feel like we were made for photographing (which is difficult for me to believe, as I’ve never particularly photographed well). The confidence she instilled showed itself in the photos and I really appreciate all that positivity.”

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Website 🙂

Photo of the week, Romantic kiss on Michigan Avenue [Chicago, Illinois]

At the end of the evening we ran out to grab a few shots on Michigan Ave. Michelle and James are such a gorgeous couple, but this photo really shows how in love they are with each other. I hope they will always remember that feeling 🙂