The Bride Wore Blue - Intimate Wedding | C + P

Ideally the farther you get along in life, the better your sense of who you are is. You let go of doing things because everyone else is doing them. You have a better idea of what brings you joy and how to attain it. 

Blue Wedding Dress - Intimate Wedding Photography by Kristin Serna -  Getting Ready

Of course it doesn't always go this way. We all have our moments of getting lost in the fray. But that makes the moments where we stay true to ourselves mean even more.

Which is why it was a honor to photograph the ceremony of Cheryl and Phil. 

Intimate Wedding Photography - Getting Ready Photos
Blue Wedding Dress & Unique Bridal Flowers - Intimate Wedding Photography by Kristin Serna
Lifestyle Wedding Portrait Photography
Bride in a Blue Wedding Dress 

They knew they wanted a comfortable celebration. They found their ceremony space in a restaurant they'd often enjoyed visiting. Their guest list would be the closest of family. Music would be played live and on strings. 

Lifestyle Wedding Photography
Intimate Wedding Photography Ceremony Space 
Live Musicians - Moeller Music
Groom Preparing for the Ceremony - Intimate Wedding Photography

Their clothes would be ones that made them feel special and pleasant regardless of whether they came from a store's offerings reserved for weddings. Her flowers would let her express her creative side, a creation customized for her by a florist she'd found inspiring. The minister would bring humor and warmth to the proceedings as they committed to their relationship with each other. They'd incorporate their preference for wine in an observance that contributed to each other now as well as down the road. 

Restaurant Wedding Venue - Intimate Wedding Photography
Chicagoland Intimate Wedding Ceremony Photography
Chicagoland Intimate Wedding Photography
Lifestyle Intimate Wedding Ceremony Photos
Wine Ceremony at Intimate Chicagoland Wedding. Photo by Kristin Serna

Everyone would sit close. No microphones or attendants needed. The warmth of the room buoyed by the smiles of those around them and the sun beginning to set just outside the windows. 

Afterwards they'd enjoy dinner with everyone, taking time to sit and talk at each table. They'd share with their guests one of their favorite desserts that reminded them of one of their favorite trips together. 

Initimate Wedding Reception Photography
Wedding Toasts
Wedding Silhouette Sunset Photo by Kristin Serna

They knew what they wanted and they made it happen. Intimate weddings like this have become my favorite to photograph. Thank you, Cheryl and Phil for letting me be a part of this celebration to your friendship and love. 

©2018 Kristin Serna. These words and photos are mine. Please do not republish without my permission.

New Fine Art Prints Available

For a while now I've been curating photos from my travels and searching for somewhere to make them available for purchase as fine art prints. And now it's finally happening.

We're starting with two collections. Each is from a place that made a big impact on me. Not only were the experiences and sites powerful but whenever I'm away from them, I'm pining for the next time I can go again.  

The California Collection came out of time spent in Northern California with two fantastic women from my family. It was trip that marked two milestones in my life while letting me spend time with people I don't get to see as often as I'd like. These black and white photos make me take a deep breath and re-take in the freshness of spending time outdoors. 


Western Iceland Framed Print from my Iceland Collection

The Iceland Collection is representative of a dream come true and a love that made it happen. Exploring the landscapes of Iceland can easily make you feel like it's possible you're on another planet. Inspired by the colors and textures of the non-tropical island, the first five prints I've selected feature wide shots as well as close-ups from the southern and western parts of the country.  

Three format options are available in various sizes for the travel photography in both collections:

Fine Art Prints
Gallery-quality Giclée prints are placed on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using Epson K3 archival inks. The prints are then custom trimmed with an 1" border, making them suitable for putting in your own frame.

Framed Fine Art Prints
If you'd like the framing done for you, this is the way to go with 8 frame options. I'm especially excited by the Conservation Series frames which are made from solid wood claimed from socially and environmentally responsible forests. No matter which frame you choose the prints are on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper. Premium shatterproof acrylic protects the face of the art print, while an acid free dust cover on the back provides a custom finish. Wall hanging hardware is included.

Each fine art print is placed on a bright white, fine poly-cotton blend, matte canvas using latest generation Epson archival inks. The pieces are Individually trimmed and feature hand-stretched museum wrap over 1-1/2" deep wood stretcher bars. Wall hanging hardware is included in this one as well.

I've set up my new print shop through Society6 based on their ability to help with production and order fulfillment, so you'll be able to find these collections on their website. They're easy to place an order through and the prints can make a great gift for someone dear to you... including yourself. :)

©2017 Kristin Serna. These words and photos are mine. Please do not republish without my permission.

Chicago Portraits | The Cusicks

Chicago Children's Portraits by Kristin Serna

Recently I had the honor of photographing again a family who were among the first people to believe in me as a photographer. And more than that, I got to spend time in the presence of the playfulness, patience, and affection with and for each other that comes out when they are being photographed. 

Chicago Lifestyle Portraits by Kristin Serna, Photographer

As these sisters got older they, like anyone else, became more aware of the camera. Sometimes that means a little more nudging to pose less and let go more. Although in this case, the eldest has been throwing her own personal brand of modeling poses for years now. They are part of who she is and so I welcome it into the mix. 

Together they played and talked. We had silly moments and serious ones too. My favorite might have been when I asked them to tell each other their favorite thing about each sister. With no hesitation, they looked each other in the eye and piled on the love. 

Chicago Children's Portraits Photographed by Kristin Serna
Lifestyle Photography by Kristin Serna
Chicago Family Portrait by Kristin Serna

So sweet. So giggly. So cool to be able to document another stage in your lives. Thank you, Cusick Family. Hope you enjoyed this preview of your session. 

©2017 Kristin Serna. These words and photos are mine. Please do not republish without my permission.

Modern Meets Vintage Intimate Wedding | Brittany + Forrest

Modern Meets Vintage Intimate Wedding | Brittany + Forrest

Have you ever stood in a place so filled with love you could feel it pouring off of everyone?

It's warm, happy, and cozy. Time slows down while simultaneously flying right by. 

And no, it wasn't the Texas heat making me loopy. Brittany and Forrest got married on an uncharacteristically rainy, sometimes chilly, sometimes humid summer day.  We had to call on our photo location back-up plans a few times but that couldn't put a damper on the love. It was everywhere. 

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Like That: Good Times with Makeup

Like That: Good Times with Makeup

Bright blue eyeshadow, bold red lipstick – this was the first makeup combo I ever wore. 

It wasn't by choice, but I didn't necessarily mind it either. In fact, I probably thought I made it look good. When you grow up studying dance and eventually theatre too, it means a few weeks or weekends of the year you go into performance mode and wear whatever makeup was assigned you.

Because of this, I never was one of those kids who runs to play in someone else's makeup when no one was looking. I never argued with my mom about when I could start wearing it or how much was too much. (Stage makeup is always too much makeup – at least for everyday wear.) 

When I started wearing makeup off-stage, I tried various brands before eventually being introduced to the Jane Iredale makeup line by my mother. It's hypoallergenic. It's dermatologist-tested. And in some ways (like sunscreen), it actually benefits your skin.

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Limited Edition Chicago Photo Prints

Limited Edition Chicago Photo Prints

Figuring out the best place to sell my travel and nature photography prints is easier said than done. So I'm in a trial phase. Right now I have a pop-up shop on Etsy – or rather, I guess  a digital pop-up since pop-ups are usually brick-and-mortar retail locations. Either way I thought I'd give the concept usually reserved for fashion a go.

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Chicagoland Engagement Session | Cheryl & Phil

Chicagoland Engagement Session | Cheryl & Phil

These two love spending time outside no matter the season. Walks, snowmobiling, fishing, cycling, boating, off-roading, motorcycle riding – they're pretty much up for anything. So before the last leaves fell off the trees we had a photo session outdoors incorporating some of the ways they love to spend time with each other.  

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