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Theirs was a simple and sweet civil ceremony at Chicago Cultural Center. A formal ceremony will be held for their family in China, but for now, Kelly and Deyu said “I do” before a couple close friends in the stunning neoclassical landmark building. Instead of a traditional surprise first look, Deyu was in the room, watching his lovely bride get ready. He helped put on her Vera Wang dress, all the while seeming excitedly nervous for all that lies ahead.

Despite icy November temps in Chicago, Kelly and Deyu braved the streets of downtown for their couples portraits. Even though everyone else around town was wearing puffy down coats and boots, Kelly and Deyu were rocking their wedding finest like pros. We shot at Trump Hotel all the way to Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park – the two lovebirds keeping each other warm, hand in hand,.

Congrats, Kelly and Deyu!

xo, Melissa

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valerie-maternity-40-Editfall maternity photo ideas poses natural light

Before it officially became winter here in Chicago (like yesterday, gah!), the fall foliage still tempted with its rustic beauty. Enter Valerie and her stunning bump – perfect for a roll around the leaves. This lovely momma-to-be will welcome her second baby any day now around Thanksgiving, and I can’t think of anything to be more grateful for at this time of year. And doesn’t Valerie look like an angel clad in a flowing white gown?

Some readers have asked how it seems like my clients always know just what to wear for a shoot.

In case you haven’t worked with me, I typically go over wardrobe with my clients, which helps them prepare and feel more comfortable in front of the camera. I also usually have a very specific vision, and if they don’t have what I’m looking for, they often will go out and hunt it down, wear it for the shoot, and return it. If you’re not actually a professional model with tons of clothing options at your disposal, this is what we average folks do!

There you have it – now that this pro tip is out the bag, hit me up here for more trade secrets on nailing the perfect shoot!

xo, Melissa

fall maternity photo ideas poses natural light
fall maternity photo ideas poses natural light
fall maternity photo ideas poses natural light
fall maternity photo ideas poses natural light
fall maternity photo ideas poses natural light
fall maternity photo ideas poses natural light
fall maternity photo ideas poses natural light
fall maternity photo ideas poses natural light
fall maternity photo ideas poses natural light
fall maternity photo ideas poses natural light
fall maternity photo ideas poses natural light
fall maternity photo ideas poses natural light
fall maternity photo ideas poses natural light
fall maternity photo ideas poses natural light
fall maternity photo ideas poses natural light
fall maternity photo ideas poses natural light

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It may only be the second week of November, but believe it or not, the holiday season is already in full swing – and taking THE festive family photo for the perfect card is about to become a major priority. BuzzFeed’s roundup today of babies who totally nailed their first Christmas shoot provide some fun inspo – including two photos of Lil G! These two happen to be my most pinned, most stolen images – so thank you, BuzzFeed, for the appropriate credits! As of this post, I’ve gotten several thousand hits on my Facebook page in just a couple hours. Now go on – feast your eyes on all these festive cuties and take some cues for your own holiday card! (Click here for more tips from me on how to take unique holiday photos!)

xo, Melissa

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