Tag Archives: Destination Wedding
Chicago Beach Engagement Session
Meghan and Ben were able to look so graceful on this blustery Chicago day. Seriously, the winds just wouldn’t let up- it was nuts. But! Thanks to Meghan’s graceful step and vibrant maxi dress, the bustery day managed to look like it was all meant to be for their Chicago beach engagement session. Not to mention, the waves on the lake were huge!
We started off at a park in southern Chicago, and slowly worked our way over to the windy beach. Naturally the beach was a great choice as Meghan and Ben are getting married in Cancun this fall. With a plane full of guests headed down to Cancun for the Thanksgiving holiday. We are so excited! Festivities on day 1 and portraits on day 2. Meghan and Ben have done a bit of traveling together, from the Caribbean to Italy and lovely places in between. Low key, breezy and fun, which is exactly what Meghan and Ben’s day will be.
Last shot = my favorite. Ahhh, love a Chicago beach engagement session. Perfect wind for perfect waves.
Jason and I just made it home from the fantastic coast of North Carolina- where we photographed Cassie and Justin’s seaside wedding. 🙂 Along with our encounter of the wonderful breezes and the overly friendly Pelicans at Kure Beach pier, Justin insisted that we make sure to try donuts from Britt’s Donut Shop. And indeed- These little circles of glory would blow krispy kreme’s socks off. I wouldn’t be surprised if these little guys were featured somewhere on the Food Network (as they should be). They definitely eased our lobster-esque sunburn we managed to get while napping on the beach. Needless to say, if you are in the Wilmington, Kure Beach area- make sure to check out Britts! Thanks Justin and Cassie!! <3
Yay for Justin and Cassie!! These two love birds (or should we say love fish, since they’re getting married at an Aquarium) live in Raleigh, North Carolina. Well- mostly, Justin is currently on assignment for his fabulous scientist techy job in Michigan- which Cassie has had the pleasure of visiting the Midwest during the few months surrounding Snow-apocalypse.
The engagement session was so much fun! We got to bear the super cold and sharp wind during sunrise near the Shedd Aquarium (troopers, I know) to the warm delectable delisiousness of Intelligentsia coffee- Roasted right here in Chicago! And when Cassie mentioned she didn’t have a chance to see the Bean, well, we had to get a few shots there!
Super excited for Justin and Cassie’s wedding. Like I mentioned, aquarium! Fish! Seashells! The whole shabang! Cassie actually has a wedding blog where you can see her whole process. I don’t know how she has the time to blog all of that while teaching high schoolers. Great students though indeed. 🙂
So- the aquarium where the wedding will be is in North Carolina, right along the sunny, warm and amazing Atlantic coast. Fort Fisher Aquarium is located just south of Wilmington on one of the lovely little cay/penninsula/island chunks of out stretched land with a big basin keeping it away from the mainland. And!! THEY HAVE AN ALBINO ALLIGATOR! That is so fantastic! There are loads of lovely critters and fishies which will assist in making Cassie’s wedding absolutely fabulous this summer.
So exciting! We love Cassie! She is so full of ideas! And Justin is awesome and able to withstand loads of cold cold weather. See you two in a few months!
So during the couple of days of off time before and after the fantastic love session with Christ and Dan, (big shout out to how wonderful the two of you are!) I snapped a few happy little critters and some amazing views on the USVI. This is such a fantastic place! Since over 60% of the island is protected by the Virgin Islands National Park, much of the island is forested in a lush green tropical blanket. It’s the perfect island to go to, if you are looking to get away from the cruise ships and tourist jewelry shops on St. Thomas- which is where the airport is. St. Thomas consists of many transplanted locals- most from the cooler regions of the US, who just grew tired of the bitter cold winters. So what did they do? They booked a one way ticket to USVI and stayed! Good plan indeed. Hitching is actually quite popular on the island, most locals own a jeep or a truck, so you just point your index finger and hop in the back.
It’s amazing how you can feel like you’re in your own little world while on this island. Which is why I took the liberty to create a mini world out of a Panoramic I shot down at Rams Head Point, which is on the South East end of the island (photoshop tutorial courtesy of photojojo). A grueling hike, but worth it! (TIP- don’t go at high noon) 🙂 After our hike, we hoofed it to a lovely little intersection near the beach by Rams Head Trail- on that intersection is a little yellow building in the middle of nowhere with a sign called ‘The Tourist Trap‘ Oh the irony! And they have the most delicious homemade iced tea! I felt like an eager thirsty little kid when asking for thirds.
The main town/harbor in St. John is called Cruz Bay. Its a busy little town filled with restaurants, a grocer, a ballpark, and a few hotels and giftshops. It’s also filled with chickens of the sorts- which seem to be all over the place, and are much more entertaining than pigeons. And of course lizards are all over the place as well, moving at jet speeds with their little legs. Once you’re finished with the nightlife festivities that Cruz Bay has to offer, you are in for a roller coaster ride to get home. Since the islands are made of series of volcanoes from long ago, the hills are quite steep- making for narrow roads. So it’s a bit of an adventure driving or walking along the roads. But! once you leave town, make sure to look up and check out the stars. They are amazing! Jason and I tried to get a shot of the stars with our travel camera, but the photo doesn’t do the sky justice. Quite a contrast from the orange hue of the Chicago sky indeed. 🙂
St. John US Virgin Island Studio Finch
My personal favorite day was the day Jason and I went snorkeling and kayaking. We rented the kayaks from little Maho Bay’s beach and proceeded to go out to Whistling Cay, a tiny island off the coast of little Maho. At Whistling Cay there is ample snorkel viewage along with- the possibility of sea turtles!! Oh the happiest looking reptiles ever. We spent much of the morning snorkeling away, seeing loads of lovely little tropical fishies who have great resemblance to Ellen Degeneres’ Character ‘Dori’ in finding Nemo (along with all of Dori’s friends of coarse).
After a bit of snorkeling we ended up swimming upon- A SEA TURTLE! Oh it was amazing! He looked so large, so graceful! So happy (both the turtle and us). He even surfaced for air! Oh it felt like we were in the middle of a National Geographic Movie. It’s amazing how vibrant the yellows and oranges are on a sea turtle. After that amazing experience, Jason decided that that was the highlight of his trip. Indeed!
Later on in the day, about two hours before sunset, we decided to head out snorkeling again, just for fun at a nearby reef between Maho Bay and Little Maho Bay. So off we went, bubbling away for a bit. Jason, for the moment stuck his head out of the water to catch a glimpse of how far in to Big Maho we swam. Just in time to hear a lady in a parked yacht shout and point “Dolphins!” What What? Who Who? Dolphins?! Away we went as fast as our flippers can go! Halfway across the bay on our way to the supposed dolphin spotting, a gentleman in a dingy was telling his story of how he just had a quick chance to swim with one of the dolphins. Yay for him, but our spirits sunk a little…. did we miss them? We decided to keep swimming anyway.
At the point of almost reaching the other side of the bay- we saw it! A dolphin make a little dive about the water only 15 feet away. Low and behold, it turned out there were 3 dolphins! All playing with a buoy and enjoying fish. We stayed still and had high hopes that the dolphins would come to us- and indeed! They noticed us and swam our way. It was amazing!! We began swimming in circles with the dolphins- looking straight into their eyes! I can’t even begin to describe it- the adrenaline rush of swimming with a group of wild dolphins.
So, indeed, the sea turtle was quite amazing, but the dolphins were unbelievable! And, of course, I didn’t bring my underwater camera. Lol. 🙂
So back at The Tourist Trap, we heard that there was going to be some sort of a storm.. of course, without TVs everywhere, we didn’t exactly realize what we were in for until we got to the airport on St. Thomas- The Storm of the Century! But it’s only 2011? Needless to say, we enjoyed our comfortable flight to Charlotte- Jason with his Pirate book and all, but we had to stay overnight before heading up to Chicago. Which worked out for our benefit- since we were bumped to first class and ended up sitting across the aisle from Dennis Rodman. Crazy! The dolphins were friendlier though. 🙂
Best. Vacation. Ever.
So when Christina and Dan asked us if we would come to the Virgin Islands to take Anniversary shots of them, we said HECK YES! And holy cow- it was AMAZING! I can still feel the warm tingles on my skin (or perhaps it’s sunburn). Christina and Dan have been married a bit over a year, and this fantastic trip doubled as Dan’s birthday present. Warm climate in the midst of all of this crazy Midwest blizzard weather? Best birthday present ever! Christina treated Dan to a stay at Maho Bay‘s Eco tent cottages, which are up on stilts so you can hang with the iguanas in the trees. Maho Bay is located in the USVI’s National Park on the island of St. John. If you ever have a chance to go to the Virgin Islands, I definitely recommend St. John- it’s amazing! The National Park allowed for the island to keep it’s natural integrity- so you won’t see too many homes lining the coast and cliffs unless you head out to the east side or to the town of Cruz Bay.
Christina and Dan live in Grand Rapids, MI and got married at the Blythefield Country Club in Rockford, MI just a bit north of their hometowns. Christina is studying for health sciences currently and Dan is a fantastic engineering problem solver. I woud just like to add an extra note that this was a fabulous idea by Christina- and it was even a surprise!
Now- we, of corse, took loads of happy snaps of other critters and scenes on the island, which I am also super excited about- but that will have to be in the next post. 🙂 Hope this helps with thinking warm thoughts! We’ll have to see what the groundhog says about that in a few days.