The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Fearless

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Fearless

Tsage, my model for this shoot, is not only pretty and smart, but she's also fearless. The park was full of adventure and she wanted to share them all with me. This image was taken when she stopped to show me some feathers she had found. She looked up and the light was perfect. It really captured her spirit.

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Woke Wednesday // Meet Cindy Savage of Aisle Less Traveled

Woke Wednesday // Meet Cindy Savage of Aisle Less Traveled

Liz: Would you tell us a bit about what the coming out process was like for you?

Cindy: Yeah. It was horrible from one side and totally great from the other. So: good stuff first. During that first relationship, my best friend had come to visit and totally called me out on what was going on. So she was the first person who knew. And honestly, she knew before that, I'm sure, as I know we'd had some theoretical conversations about it, in which I'd said I could easily imagine being with a woman. I wasn't really worried about acceptance among her, or really any of my friends; it was more that I'd been keeping this secret at the behest of my ex, and now a year and a half in, it felt shitty to have waited so long to tell anyone. I told her, and two or three other people in our tiny theatre department also knew, since I'd needed an occasional confidant. But I started making a concerted effort (mostly via AIM, laughs) to tell my other friends, and every single one of them was instantly supportive. Which was awesome.

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10 Tips for Stress-Free Dress Shopping

10 Tips for Stress-Free Dress Shopping

You should feel beautiful, happy, and confident in whatever you choose to wear for your wedding day. But unless you live in a vacuum, it’s hard to stick to your vision, or even decide on a vision without everyone offering an opinion. Making matters worse is the generic advice in every wedding magazine on how to find your “perfect” dress. 

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Real Couples // Long-Distance Love Story: Jen + Amy

Real Couples // Long-Distance Love Story: Jen + Amy

Amy: I lived in California, Jen lived in Chicago. A mutual friend introduced us, and our distance apart couldn’t hold us back from experiencing an instant, electric connection. I bought a plane ticket to meet her in person, and as each day passed, we posted a hand-crafted number to count down to our first meeting. We had a little over a month to learn everything we could about each other, and by the time we physically met, so much care and trust had been built.

Jen: By the time the countdown ended, we had learned so much about each other and had grown so much closer. In addition to the daily countdown, we were also sending each other letters and packages and accidentally staying up until 3am on 6-hour Skype calls! We had fallen for each other, and meeting each other in person only validated everything we had been feeling. Amy and I also started an Instagram account and blog to keep sharing with each other through the distance.

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Real Couples // Love and Activism: Bianca + Christina

Real Couples // Love and Activism: Bianca + Christina

Going to a protest as a first date was fitting for these two Chicago land activists who are planting seeds of change all around their community. Bianca and Christina are passionate about making this world we live in a better and equal place for all. Love just happened naturally and sprouted fast for these two. They may even admit that it was L-O-V-E at first sight for the both of them. As they approach two years of being together, it still feels like fireworks and butterflies to them.

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Real Couples // Married in the Spotlight: Mitch + Erynne

Real Couples // Married in the Spotlight: Mitch + Erynne

Mitch and Erynne are a special kind of special, man. Mitch met Erynne at a show they played together at Chicago's Double Door, and the rest was quickly history. So it seemed only fitting they'd marry in a place where they met: onstage. They wed at the Bottom Lounge, a venue in Chicago's West Loop, surrounded by over 200 of their closest friends and family. 

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Real Couples // Multicultural Celebration: Robie + Shaun

Real Couples // Multicultural Celebration: Robie + Shaun

These two are incredibly in love. From their tearful first look to their romantic vows, Robie and Shaun's wedding took our breath away. Their reception was definitely a celebration of both their cultures and the support of their loved ones. There was even a Filipino Candle Dance and a choreographed number straight out of Bollywood! What an awesome night!

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Real Couples // Restored Firehouse Chicago Wedding: Jami + Kerri

Real Couples // Restored Firehouse Chicago Wedding: Jami + Kerri

Jami and Keri's wedding took place on October 7th at Firehouse Chicago, one of my all time favorite U.S. wedding venues in the quaint neighborhood of Andersonville. Jami’s pale blue and lace wedding dress was handmade. Kerri wore a dapper suit from J. Crew with a handsome bow tie and boutonniere. Hillary Bullock officiated their outdoor ceremony under the ivy where Jami walked down the staircase to meet Kerri and a knot tying ceremony was included to signify their union. 

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Real Couples // West Loop Engagement: Deena + Brian

Real Couples // West Loop Engagement: Deena + Brian

Everyone stop what you are doing, and check out this ridiculously gorgeous duo!! From the moment we met Deena and Brian, we knew instantly that these two were something incredible. Not only are they some of the most beautiful people inside and out, they are also two of the kindest and most genuine people we've ever photographed. Deena and Brian just radiate pure love and happiness! We had such a great time exploring the West Loop with these two, and are even more excited now for their big day at Bridgeport Art Center.

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Real Couples // Dreamy Redwoods Engagement: Nausheen + Husam

Real Couples // Dreamy Redwoods Engagement: Nausheen + Husam

Nausheen, a marketer from San Jose, and Husam, a consultant from Chicago, were introduced to each other by a mutual friend. They first met in San Francisco and spent countless weekends exploring the city together — which is why they chose San Francisco staples for their engagement shoot locations. They wanted a rustic backdrop focusing on the natural beauty of San Francisco so they picked the redwoods of the Presidio.

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Real Couples // Hollywood Beach Engagement: Paul + Keith

Real Couples // Hollywood Beach Engagement: Paul + Keith

We spent a beautiful Friday evening at Hollywood Beach in Chicago, exploring the area with this amazing duo and their adorable pup Floyd. Paul and Keith are so perfect together, and after meeting through mutual friends, these two have been inseparable ever since. Their wedding next year at Promontory Point is undoubtedly going to be one epic celebration!

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Watassa Photography Stands Up to Political Oppression with Portrait Project

Watassa Photography Stands Up to Political Oppression with Portrait Project

Emily Alt of Watassa Wedding Photography has launched a fundraiser aimed toward the empowerment of women, and the project as a whole will be a form of artistic activism in this current political climate. The project, I am Syn, is about refusing to normalize the abuse or disrespect of women. 

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Maternity Shoot Turned Wedding Proposal and Engagement: Kelly + Tom

Maternity Shoot Turned Wedding Proposal and Engagement: Kelly + Tom

Kelly and Tom met during Lollapalooza weekend at exactly this spot in 2013, so this location was very important to him. On a perfectly crisp November afternoon, we met at Buckingham Fountain under the guise of maternity photos. I began their session just as I would any other. Focusing on that sweet bump, a few on her own, a few of them together. Until we made it around to "the spot".

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Feminist Wedding Photography in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Chicago: Watassa Wedding Photography

Feminist Wedding Photography in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Chicago: Watassa Wedding Photography

We’re about to introduce you to one of our favorite people we’ve met this year. If you are a Midwestern couple planning a wedding for 2017, we envy you. Quick! Hire Emily Alt of Watassa Wedding Photography before she’s booked up!

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Real Couples // Olive Park Proposal: Ivan + Fara

Real Couples // Olive Park Proposal: Ivan + Fara

Ivan got in touch with me a week before his trip to Chicago, with his girlfriend, Fara. They had a fun agenda planned for their weekend getaway, and the Midwest welcomed them with some amaaaazing weather AND a memorable, busy/buzzing city...celebrating the Cubs' achievement of making it to the World Series! Though, I'm sure that will be the last thing they remember about their time in Chicago, ha!

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Out of the Box Challenge // Featured Team: Love From The Windy City

Out of the Box Challenge // Featured Team: Love From The Windy City

Last month, we hosted our first-ever Out of the Box Challenge, a styled shoot challenge similar to the cooking show Chopped. We had nine teams from across the country compete, and we sent them boxes of mystery items including dresses from Ash and LightCelia Grace, and Urban Set Bride along with accessories from Kerry Ann Stokes and Wood Thumb. Our first and second place winners will be featured in Volume Three of Catalyst Wedding Magazine and all the other teams will be featured here over the next three weeks! We are extremely proud of all the teams and their hard work (and beautiful photos)!

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