Waiting for Spring

I just returned from California, so waiting for Spring has become extra brutal. I know winter is coming every year, but when it’s March and still below freezing outside, that is when I wish I could import my warm & sunny roots to this city I love. As we await Spring and warm weather, though, there is one escape that is a favorite of many: The Garfield Park Conservatory! We love going to run around, and this week, we went with some friends. It was a wonderful getaway- although Rachel is getting her first molar, so she is an extra dose of fun. 😉

Spring IS coming people. Look at all of this life, and cling to it! (Yes, I recognize I’m being melodramatic. It’s what cold winters do to you. 🙂 )


Sarah is not only a dear friend, but an incredible designer. Her and her husband moved away to California(man- this seems to be a trend!) almost TWO years ago, and our whole community misses them. Thankfully, I got to spend some time with her when I was in California in January and I just got around to working on these beautiful improptu portraits of her. Who could say no to an updated headshot? We drove all over parts of Chino trying to get into Chino State Park, only to be blocked at every entrance. After some googling, we learned that budget cuts have closed these state parks for certain days of the week! BUT- just as we were going to give up searching, this beautiful hillside appeared outside of a housing development. We pulled over, and this was the result: stunning hillside, gorgeous lady, and beautiful sunlight.

Thank you for spending the day with me, Sarah! We all miss you guys so much. Hugs from Illinois!


Engaged: Brandon & Danielle

Where do I begin with these two? Sam and I have known Brandon & Danielle from church for years. We even joke that Brandon is our “son.” Here is our family portrait at Christmas in 2010. **

**Please note that Brandon did NOT take after Sam’s seriously scary facial hair.


ANYWAYS. Back to these two. Best friends for years.  Amazing people. And finally, one Sunday at church, I see his arm around her! WHAT?! This perfect match turned most hilarious power couple had finally gotten together, and I was SO EXCITED.

Fast forward to today, and they have given me the total honor to photograph their WEDDING. Brandon & Danielle are gettin’ hitched! But first, I got them to freeze their booties off in “18 degrees- feel-like-4” weather for their engagement session, and they were TROOPERS! We ventured to the lakefront for about 15 minutes for the sunrise, and they pretended their faces weren’t going to fall off for me like champs. We then retired to Ipsento Coffee in Bucktown to defrost and enjoy some amazing lattes and beautiful details. Once these two warmed up, we finally ventured back out for a few more photos underneath the Bloomingdale Trail. We genuinely had so much fun.

B & D, you know we love you. You’re kind, generous, and constantly serve everyone around you. I know SO many people in our community have been blessed by you as individuals, and I can only imagine what God is going to do through you both as a couple. You are LOVED!


Engaged: Alyssa & Dan

Alyssa is the absolute sweetest woman you will ever meet. We know each other from church, and since we met, I have always loved her kind and genuine nature. Enter Dan, who has totally swept her off her feet. Makes her laugh, helps her relax, and happy to go out in freezing weather to take photos with his bride-to-be. These two are so sincerely in love with each other. I could not be more excited to photograph their wedding in less than a MONTH! Cheers to you two! Thank you for being up for an adventure in the snow!


Enjoy the winter wonderland. 🙂







Real Love Contest!

Kristine of Kristine Aletha Weddings and I are SO excited to share our contest with you!

Do you know a couple that just exemplifies authentic LOVE? Have you seen a mama show her child what it means to love selflessly? A famliy walking a loved one through an illness? Someone who constantly loves on others- even strangers?

We all celebrate Valentine’s Day in different ways, but we would like your help in celebrating real and honest love this February. One that goes beyond Hallmark and chocolate and roses. We want to rejoice in the fact that there is hope and love all over this city, and we want others to be encouraged by your stories!

So that’s where we need your help!

Where have YOU seen real love exemplified? Is it your parents? Your spouse? Your children? We want you to nominate yourself, or someone you know, to be entered in our contest to win a FREE photo session celebrating THEIR love! Their session will be styled by the beautiful Kristine of Kristine Aletha Weddings, and they will also receive an 11×14 float wrap print of their favorite photo, along with some other fun goodies! 

Once we receive all of the entries, we will take the top 10 stories and load them to our Facebook pages. There, our fans and your friends (who will hopefully become fans, too!) can vote for you to win this awesome contest. All they have to do is click the link from facebook to go to our blogs and vote!

Any guidelines? Only two!

1. Email your stories and a photo or two of your REAL LOVE inspirations to meg@megtakesphotos.com. Make sure to include names and ages, and why you think their love takes the cake!

2. All contestants must be within the Chicago area, or willing to travel to the Chicago area. All entries must me made by Friday, February 8th, at 5pm. Voting will begin Friday, February 8th, and will end Thursday, February 14th, at noon. Winner will be announced that same day.


Easy peasy! Let the sharing begin!


Any questions? Email me at meg@megtakesphotos.com. Cheers!

Aaron & Lorin: Maternity Session on Cape Cod

Aaron & Lorin are one of the sweetest couples you will ever meet. Everyone here in Chicago was so sad to see them leave for Massachusetts last year, but were thrilled about the plans God had in store for them. Fortunately me for, when I realized I would be visiting my sister out on Cape Cod in December(only 6 weeks before Lorin’s due date!), I immediately contacted Lorin and let her know. We planned for them to come onto the Cape, and I started envisioning what this session would look like. We found a little bit of everything on that rainy, overcast Monday. A fun, small downtown area, a bright red door donned with a giant Christmas wreath(perfect for the Holidays!) and a beautiful lake that encapsulated the peace and joy that follows Aaron & Lorin around. I’m so happy to finally share these photos, because I feel they really speak to the special relationship you can tell these parents-to-be have.

Aaron & Lorin, we are SO excited for you to enter this journey into parenthood. You are going to be absolutely incredible parents. I am so honored you made the drive to have me capture these precious memories, and I can’t wait to meet Baby S! Congrats and lots of love from Chicago!!



Jenna & John: Styled Winter Session

Wow- this session came together so perfectly!

I had a vision for this sweet, simple, and romantic winter session. I wanted it to be warm and traditional, but with a unique twist. Jenna & John were the perfect couple, and dressed warm & cozy without being overtly “Christmas-y.” Their natural style and chemistry is exactly what I envisioned for this session. From the old fashioned sweets to the bold poinsettia, I wanted to create a comfy living room scene, but in the middle of the park, so John even helped me haul this vintage chair I have in Rachel’s nursery to the middle of these trees- what a champ! I really hoped to create this warm & whimsical holiday scene in the middle of nowhere, and I am pretty happy to say, I think we nailed it!

Jenna & John, you guys are incredible. Thank you for blessing Chicago with your presence. California is lucky to have you! You guys are so in love and it shows. Enjoy the photos, friends.



Jason & Justine: Anniversary

The word that comes to mind for Jason and Justine is class. In their character, their dress, they exude the word. But not the sharp edged class that has no bend, but the FUN class, where they can keep it classy, but also laugh a ton. All that to say, they were a DREAM to photograph! Justine really wanted to do photos downtown in the city they love, Chicago. Because we live here, I tend to be downtown a lot for photos. Every time though, I try to give a different angle. I really wanted to encapsulate Jason and Justine’s love, and a new take on Chicago- even the famous landmarks, just framed differently. A challenge, but so fun!

Justine is wearing her original wedding dress, with a little orange twist(her favorite color!). She designed the flowers herself, bought some slammin’ new orange heels and a simple orange cardigan, and the look was finished with Jason’s perfect orange tie. These two could not be more adorable!

J & J: You two are an incredible testament to love. Not just your love for each other, but God’s love for you. You have blessed SO many people around you just by exemplifying what it means to TRUST Jesus. You have been through SO much, and yet continue to love on others in a most selfless way. (if you’d like to know more about their story, check out Justine’s blog here.) I am floored by your wisdom and insight, and both Sam and I are blessed to call you friends. We love you!

Here you go! Grab a glass of scotch after a long day, and enjoy this classy duo!



Dilello Family

Eric & Heather are just an incredible couple. They are our landlords, but friends first. Our daughter absolutely adores them and we’ve been so blessed getting to know them over the last three years. They had their little boy just two months before Rachel, so having them so close in age has been so fun. (Although Rachel tries to cover Adam in kisses most of the time, and he’s not always too sure about our crazy little lady. )

Friends, thank you for being so great. We treasure you guys so much, and I’m honored I got the opportunity to capture you all in this season!




Meg (And Sam & Rach! 🙂

This is when they were all looking at my daughter, Rachel. It was cracking us up. 🙂


The Wilde Family

I have had the privilege of photographing this sweet family for the last 4 years! Unfortunately, I had to take last year off to have a baby, but I was so glad to meet their new addition this year, and photograph all of their beautiful kiddoes- they have gotten so big! Their personalities shine through, which is what I loved about this session. Nearly all of them wanted their own moment to capture just them- I loved it! And this year, we finally got Amy & James in the photos, too. (In years past, we just took photos of the kids. 🙂 )

Wilde Family– you are always such a treasure to photograph. Thank you for growing with me and allowing me into your lives to capture your “managed chaos. ” 🙂 You are full of so much personality, and I love it! I’m always so blessed that you all keep laughing and loving on each other even in the craziness.