Garfield Park Conservatory Proposal Photos | JILLIAN POWERS PHOTOGRAPHY

These two made my heart sink into my chest so hard. I was all smiles when capturing this beautiful Garfield Conservatory proposal. Taylor had already proposed to Michelle when Michelle came up with the idea to do her own proposal. She decided the Garfield Park Conservatory would be the perfect backdrop. Accompanied by her own custom made donut bouquet, yes, I repeat, donut bouquet, Michelle planned her little surprise for Taylor with me right under her nose.

In their own words…

”This is probably longer than you need, feel free to edit any and all of it!, but I proposed at sunrise, at a (gay couple owned & operated!) bed and breakfast on top of a mountain in El Yunque National Rainforest in Puerto Rico. As the sun was coming up, I played one of our favorite songs and asked Michelle to dance. We talked about new beginnings, reminisced about how when we first met we played a "question game" and then I told her that today I only had one question - would she marry me? I had scoped out that location for a few months online, and knew that with Michelle's love of travel and photography, it was the perfect spot. Plus I couldn't imagine proposing to my California girl in the Chicago winter.”

I don't know if she told you, but Michelle actually proposed to me later that night - because she wanted us both to go back to Chicago with rings! She came up with a bunch of plans last-minute, and when they were all foiled by circumstance, she got down on one knee at a parking garage half a block from our hotel.

I wasn't really expecting another extravagant proposal, but I knew that she had had some ideas to propose in Chicago so I knew it wasn't off the table.

When I saw Michelle standing in the Fern Room, my favorite place in Chicago, with our family and flowers and donuts and poetry, I was overwhelmed. During and after the proposal, I felt so loved and seen by the extravagance, by her attention to detail, and by her way of going above and beyond to speak my languages. (I'm not used to extravagance, and it all felt a little silly until she pulled out the poetry, (her own and Mary Oliver's and then it felt very real and very intimate). We were already engaged, we'd already told our friends and family, and she still went out of her way to coordinate something special and magical and just exactly ours. I felt deeply loved and cared for, and just so excited and happy to have such a phenomenal partner to share this life with. I love her energy and enthusiasm and attention to detail , and the way she pulled off a bunch of big ideas all at once! Life with her is always the best adventure - that's what I was thinking right after the proposal. That, and how lucky we are to have found each other across 2,164 miles.”

And there it goes, my heart, imploding from my chest. I’m so, so excited to see them tie the knot together. If their wedding is even half as intimate as this proposal, I’ll be sure to feel my heart escaping my chest once more. Enjoy these lovely images everyone.


Chicago Apartment Engagement Photos: Pizza and PBR's

Zoe and Mike invited me over to document the growth of their bellies AND their relationship. Yes, we really did plan an engagement session around pizza and beer. Yes, they totally knocked it out of the park and I love all of these dearly.

Zoe is actually an old friend of mine from middle school days. We used to play basketball in those baggy oversized uniforms and dorky white gym shoes. We weren’t the BEST players per say but we had each others back on the court. I’ve missed her! I’m so happy for you and Mike Zoe. Can’t wait to be there for your wedding day.


Torrey Pines Family Portrait Session | JILLIAN POWERS PHOTOGRAPHY

Working with this little family was a breeze. The little guy was a bit shy at first but we let him do his own thing and he cheered up for some shots. I personally like when kids show this side of themself, it’s very telling of their personality. But I can see how a Mother and Father would want to see some smiling faces too. Me? I love the candid ugly faces. I want faces covered in icecream and miscellaneous sticky candy. You know the type.

San Diego was BEAUTIFUL and I am dying to go back for more. I do travel, for anyone interested ;-)


Nellcote Wedding Photography | Chicago, Illinois

Sometimes being a photographer entails you to some lively functions. This was one of them! I’d never been to Nellcote before but the surrounding area is so cozy and cute. Lots of people enjoy themselves in these neat little nooks. I love that about Chicago!

The food was delicious and the company was lively. Thanks for having us! Enjoy!

3 Quick Tips on Planning Your Engagement Photos | Jillian Powers Photography

You've been through the proposal and now it is time for your engagement photographs. You've found a rad photographer to help capture you and your significant other. But. What do you wear? Is there a certain way to dress for these things? Do you have to look fancier than you typically are in real life or do you dress casual? How do you know what to wear? Where to go? What to do?

I've got you.

Engagement photography has it's tendency to be extravagant or simple. If you google it, you'll likely see a plethora of both beautiful and cringe worthy photographs. I personally enjoy the cheesy ones, they remind me how far I've come in photography.

My approach to engagement photography these days is candid, natural, and sentimental. I want my clients to come out of their session feeling good about themselves and excited for their photographs. This takes planning, though! If you really want to have a good engagement session, follow these five tips and you'll find yourself happy you read this. 

Tip #001: Locations

When choosing a location, you'll want to make sure you're both familiar and/or connected to the location. You'll want to make sure it is versatile, like these murals from the session photograph above. We were able to shoot from mural to mural, widely like above, close up in the underpass close by, and by ivy covered fences minutes away.

Not only should it be versatile, but it should also reflect who you two are as a couple. Where did you have your first date? Where was your first kiss? Where was it that you realized you wanted to spend the rest of your life with your partner? Is there a spot you like to go together to relax, is there an activity you'd love photographs of you both doing together? Should there be a theme? 

It's hard to choose. I don't blame some of my couples when they ask me for help choosing because a lot of things and places could be used for your session. That's why I like to break it down into three themes. Versatility, diversity, and sentimentality. Keep those in mind when you choose a location and you can't go wrong!


#002: What (Not) to Wear

There is a large part of me that wants to scream out, "There is no right thing to wear!" but I'll refrain from that...mostly. 

When it comes to dressing for an engagement session, it all depends on your options. If you have two outfits; do one simple laid back outfit and one that is fancier. Like something you'd wear out on a date! If you have one outfit, pick whichever option fits your personalities more. If you're not typically a dressing to the nines type of couple; stay casual. 

Matching changes to coordinating here. You don't need to wear the same colors. You don't have to match jeans. Just coordinate with each other. Choose a color palette rather than a color. Again, there really isn't a "right" way to dress. Just be yourself! Like Chris and Nick from above. They coordinated but they didn't match and I loved it!


#003: How to Act in Front of the Camera

Being in front of a camera isn't for everyone. I know this because I am one of those people. Surprisingly, I hate having my photograph taken. I just simply don't like being forced to stare at a camera and smile. Which, is why I'll never ask YOU to do so. Well, maybe a few for Mom and Dad. But. Otherwise? Don't look at the camera; look at each other. 

My style is based on a candid approach. Some people ask me if I pose and I do. But mostly, I direct. I try to give people actions rather than static poses. When things get too static, things look stiff in the camera. I want your photographs to have a free feeling to them, so we move around. I'll have you chase each other, smash each other with hugs, walk in front of me, and many more different action based poses. 

The goal is to capture you two being with each other and preserving that feeling. I want you to look back and know; these photographs are for you. They describe who you are as a couple and capture your chemistry. Let it all go and just have so fun!


Be Yourself. Be Different. 
And Have Fun!