We get asked for recommendations for family photographers all the time so it dawned upon us that a special feature on talented Chicagoans behind the lens is now necessary.
Finding a suitable photographer or artist to work with can be daunting if you’re not too sure about the style you’re after. And since hiring a suitable family photographer is a lifetime investment, it’s a good idea to pick someone who is a good fit for your family and your preferred style; to capture those delicate moments, milestones or stages. Also, we want to mention that Chicago bursts with creativity and there is a huge amount of incredible talent (photographers) out there, which has made it even harder for us to pick our top photographers. We’ve done some homework for you and found 6 brilliant photographers that we feel share The Chicago Chic’s aesthetic both from a creative and a human perspective. Happy Booking!
Edyta Grazman is a European photographer settled in the US (Chicago) with her family. A mother herself, Edyta enjoys motherhood and adores children, making her career most fulfilling by working with little people and their parents. Children instantly warm up to her with her unique and easy to spot aura of warmth, happiness and welcome. Not only is Edyta incredibly friendly and personable but her talent carries sophistication that is very fairytale like as shown in her photos. You will notice that her photos can also come across as paintings, given their subtle elegance. Edyta excels in urban photography capturing her subjects carefully while maximizing the lights (and sounds) of the city, you will also recognize backgrounds from the city of Chicago in her photos.
Her Style: Dramatic & Fairytale like, Edyta captures her subjects beautifully and maximizes her use of (dramatic) light at any point of day. She also helps you decide on what to wear for the shoot (color), based on your desired result.
“I have always been a creative soul and the transition to photography came naturally to me. I started photographing children because I believe that being a parent is the biggest privilege we are given. I believe that family is life’s sweetest blessing and should be cherished and celebrated. It is from this sentiment that I take portraits of my clients.”
Edyta has also won national awards for best family photographer. Sessions start from $275
Emily Cummings is a local photographer in the Chicago area who’s self learned through passion for the art of photography, specializing in family, baby and children portraiture. Emily is a mother of two children who have inspired her to perfect her craft. She has a particular eye for simplistic beauty and minimalism. Both an outdoor and indoor photographer, she believes that the right clothing (color) choice can compliment a photograph- something that many photographers miss in their shoots. As a minimalist in her craft, she recommends that her clients chose carefully paired, complementing colors that elevate the quality of the photo- a technique used by Royals. Her use of light is fresh, clean and modern- Pinterest perfect! Her post-edit work is uniquely chic and treasurable. Emily is a calm photographer with a motherly approach when capturing photos- she’s excellent with kids and has all the tricks in the box to make sure she gets the best of smiles and emotions.
Her Style: Modern, Chic & minimal, Emily is great behind the lens and has an excellent sense of direction with the little ones and their families. Both smile and beauty are captured- uniquely.
Mari Trancoso is probably the next Annie Leibovitz if any of you are a fan, also one of the sweetest photographers you will meet. Originally a yoga and dance instructor and insanely passionate about the natural life, Mari will strip off all your fears in front of the camera through her zen approach. A parent herself, she has a kind and gentle approach that feels very family like, since Mari practiced her early photography days with her own family. Currently one of the Midwest’s most up and coming desired photographers, her photography is raw and truthful- capturing the very detail of a human moment (facial expressions, emotions, energy, thoughts) and literally will take you back to that moment (mentally) every time you look at her photo creations. Her choice of location is usually within natural environments like forests, farms or by the lake, soaking up the surroundings into the photo itself.
“I took a few photography classes in high school and a couple of photography workshops, made a Pinterest board full of photography articles to read to master my skill but I am definitely self taught. I think my favorite thing about photographing engagements + weddings is not only being able to capture these moments of playful love… but being able to actually witness it… to be able to FEEL love when it is around you.”
Her Style: Raw, honest and deep, Mari is capable of capturing raw emotion whether it’s love, happiness or simply passion in the eye of her subject… all while brilliantly magnifying the moment. Her sessions start at $250 in Sterling IL and $300 onwards in Chicago.
Classic Kids Studio is the place to go for timeless photography. Sticking to the bare minimum of black and white while discounting anything that signifies time- clothing, accessories, toys, props, etc- these professionals know how to photograph a child and turn them into art … literally. The passionate owner of this studio concept started her first venture in Winnetka and expanded her concept and brand nationwide with 10 studios. You’re guaranteed an experienced photographer behind the lens and in this case, photographer Monica is simply perfection when it comes to capturing innocence and beauty. She’s a mom herself and knows exactly how to capture profiles while managing every aspect of their mood. We were shocked at how professional the team was during a session. Once they are done with the photography, you’re invited to visit their studio to select prints. Their sessions start at $295.
“My inspiration comes from the total pure love and admiration for children… and the passion to capture that artfully, preserving those memories for others. My passion has proven endless when it comes to child photography. Our style has not fundamentally changed.. it is timeless. I look at photographs that I did 20 years ago and they look very similar to what we shoot today. “
Their Style: Classic, Timeless and minimalist. Classic Kids is all about timeless innocence, purity by maximizing the subject as supposed to the background.
Brooke Blakemore-Montes is one of Chicago’s most loved photographers- her friendly approach makes the family photo shoot experience a breeze. A mom herself, she is excellent at guiding children during the photo shoot while maintaining a fun yet professional atmosphere. With 10 years of experience in photography and elementary school teaching, a career in family photography was only natural. With her unique approach towards story and light, her characters are illuminated all while capturing raw yet sparkling moments. In addition, she has been recognized by both publications and greeting card companies. There is undoubtable beauty and structure in her talent both during the session and post production.
“Capturing classic beauty in everyday settings is what I strive to do through my art form. Photography allows me to find glimpses of life that can be transformed into timeless works of art.“
Her Style: Easy going, Fun. Her sessions start at $350.
Skai (short for her name) is probably one of the most pinned pregnancy photographers out there. She’s definitely uses a good amount of artistry in her dramatic photos- making pregnancy look regal and majestic (which it is!). Skai dreams up a result of what her clients photos should look like and styles them accordingly- all dependent on what part of year you’re pregnant at and your trimester. Also European originally and settled in the US over 12 years ago, Skai found interest in photography when her first child was born. That’s when she got her first DSRL camera and started experimenting. She took a few courses on lighting, manual photography and editing and decided to focus on maternity and new born photography. Not only is she fantastic at photography and editing, she’s also a pro at staging and special effects.
“Maternity photography inspires me the most because it’s something magical, so special. I love every session with my pregnant clients. It such a big experience for them and I am so honored to capture those moments that can be treasured forever. And of course it’s such a pleasure to meet tiny little people and photograph them in the first couple weeks of their lives.”
Her Style: Dramatic, Dreamy and Vivid. Sessions start at $450.
Please check with the photographers recommended above on seasonal discounts if you mention:
The Chicago Chic.