prairie grasslands editorial // the traveling dress collective

These past few months, I was lucky enough to be a part of this project with TONS of amazing amazing artists called The Traveling Dress Collective. As artists, we all see things differently from one another and this project was created to celebrate our visionary talents. I was alongside a group of phenomenal ladies,  Kristen KaiserCarol JeanColeen HodgesAbbie Rose WilsonEmilie Iggiotti  and Randi Kreckman. We all chose one dress to rotate to one another to execute our vision. Looking at everyone's images just has me so humbled that I get to even work with these talented babes. Yeah, I'm getting sappy. Deal wit it. 

The lovely Ciara Garza was my wonderful model for this dress. <3

lindsey + mike // chicago lifestyle

I met these two lovely human beings through a dear friend and I am so elated that they have came into my life. Not only is Lindsey one of my brides for 2018, she has grown to be a lovely friend. These two are a blast to be around and their love is so present. 

Also, I love when my couples tell me how awkward they are and the photos are going to turn out weird. Yeah, real awkward, guys. Pfft.

the flannagan's // nachusa grasslands family session

I met this family in December of 2015 for an extended family session. I was so happy Kelsey reached out and booked a family session with her adorable little family this past month. One reason I love my job so so much is that I get to see families grow and I get to not only watch the children grow through all phases of life -- but I also get to document it. 

bree + jake // tempe, arizona desert engagement

Tomorrow, I get to photograph my first out-of-state wedding! I am beyond excited as I am trying to break into the destination wedding / elopement world. This year is a year of travels. Mostly to just get my name out there + to show potential clients images from other places that aren't IL cornfields. 

I shot Bree + Jake's engagement session in December + the big day is finally here! I am a tad nervous since I am in such a different environment but so thrilled to finally see if I can push outside my creative box. I hope this is the first of many many destination weddings in my near future. 

Bree's dress : UOI 

Venue : Postino Annex

lulu + justin // joshua tree, calif.

I have many goals for this year (don't we all). One of them being -- to blog more! Hold me accountable, y'all. I am counting on you. Another goal is to visit my bucket list locations -- whether it's for work or play. 

Two month ago, I was able to cross off one of my locations (it was also top 5, so that's pretty dang exciting) and that location is none other but good ol' magical, beautiful Joshua Tree. 

I was definitely excited to see the desert/park but furthermore, I left the desert with a more than a full heart. I didn't realize the energy of not only the desert, but the town, would be so magnetic. It was unlike anything I have ever been surrounded by. It was with great help by miss Lulu + Justin Zsebe to make it all the more magical. 

My friendship/sistership with Lulu all started on Instagram a few years ago (thank the cosmos for the digital age, eh?) and it began to evolve into such a sweet sweet loving sisterhood -- even thousands of miles away. She was selling dream catchers that she custom made through her shop, Of the Wolves and I ordered one as I was moving to a new home. Everything she does, makes, touches is with love. So, imagine my excitement when the opportunity arose to meet her + her wonderful husband in none other... Joshua Tree. And to make it even MORE magical... it all happened during the powerful supermoon. Mmmmmm the universe is so great. 

Their session was everything + more. They were so fun to photograph -- it also felt like we had been friends for ages. Their energy is electric. So completely electric. After the shoot, we watched the moon rise in the desert. Thinking back to it is enough to give me chills. They invited my friend, Pol (of Sweetpapermedia) and I to Pappy + Harriet's for drinks and dinner.... and let me tell ya, that place may be top 3 of my favorite social place ever. The food, the music, the drinks, and mostly, the atmosphere. I can't even put into words how I felt being surrounded by such beautiful people and such beautiful music. I never ever wanted to leave. 

But alas, my trip was short but my heart belongs to the desert. 

I will be back + I will create more beautiful memories with my beautiful friends. 

I wonder how many times I said "beautiful" in this post. 


senior rep // 2017

High school is such a delicate time. I don't think I ever experienced such a vast amount of ups + downs than I did during my high school years. It really is a precious time -- it goes by crazy fast and you're trying to fit all of these experiences and memories in! 

I am here to help add to those memories. 

Photography by Mari's Senior Rep program was put into action to add one more thing to do to your final year of high school. Not only do you get your senior photos taken by me (at a discounted rate, I may add) but you also get to meet new friends from other schools + learn what it is to be a spokesperson for a small business - colleges totally eat that up.

I am not looking for girls who just want to get dolled up + do awesome photoshoots. I want these girls to be role models for the students after them. I want to give them a chance to tell their story + dreams for the future. The amazing photoshoots are just a sweet bonus. 

What does a Mari Rep do?

You refer your friends to get their senior portraits done by me (with a gift or cash prize for each person you send my way), you get a chance to do creative photoshoots with other girls in your community, stay active on social media with marketing the program and my services! 

To apply + see all the benefits, click here.  (DEADLINE - MARCH 11)

ALL applicants get 20% off their senior session - so why not? It's a short application, I promise. ;)

I don't want these senior photo sessions to be your normal run-in-the-mill senior pictures. That is why I teamed up with UOI Boutique + Sarah Cruz from Studio 404 (Dixon, IL) to help doll you up and make this your dream fashion shoot! I tailor each session according to your application information to make sure this is YOUR one-of-a-kind photoshoot that highlights YOU. Fun, right?

Wardrobe // UOI Boutique

Hair + Makeup // Sarah Cruz

Senior Rep // Maggie McPherson

Venues // Traditional Wellness Center + Savy's Chic Bridal Boutique

weddings // book for 2016

These past 10 months have been a beautiful whirlwind. I had my precious daughter, becoming a mother + the crazy amazing journey that goes with that but also starting my photography business. When I think of the momentum I already have going + my supportive clients (past, present and future), my heart is humbled. 

I told my significant other, Mason, that I want another baby. I know, I'm nuts. But I miss that newborn squishiness! But he said 2016 is my big year + I need to focus on the amazingness this year will bring. And he's right....gosh that's hard to admit. This year will be a big year because I am starting on weddings! Gosh, I have this beautiful vision for this little business of mine + I just keep getting closer to achieving this vision!

Since I have not done any weddings (but a few booked already, eeeee!) I wanted my future clients to be able what I can bring to the table with weddings. I want the brides/grooms to know I will capture every beautiful moment. I want to experience this with you. 

I teamed up with some brilliant vendors for this styled bridal session. Everything from the flowers to model -- I couldn't have done it without them.



Hair // Sarah Cruz from Studio 404, Dixon IL

Dress // Savy's Chic Bridal Boutique, Dixon IL

Bouquet // CM Cakes and Flowers, Dixon IL

Model // Sierra Orlowski

In dreams + in love, there are no impossibilities
— Janos Arany