Shelby Studios Photography | Peoria IL wedding photographers » Peoria wedding photographers

There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger, and live a little better. Stephanie is one of those people who make my life better just by being in it!  She’s a beautiful soul inside and out and I’m blessed beyond words to have her as my assistant!   We had the best time soaking in the sun on one of those crazy warm days in February!

The goal of this session was to push myself out of my comfort zone using a 35 mm lens wide open and incorporating movement for a more editorial feel as well as embracing some harsh, challenging light.  I loved the results!

Hair and Makeup by the talented, Kelsey Hawk (Thank you!)


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Several of my #shelbyseniors and their friends participated in a Valentines Inspired shoot this past Saturday.  I asked them to wear pink & grey and then I brought a few simple, fun props including balloons, a Valentine banner, and some confetti. We had another unseasonably warm day in February with beautiful light that made these fun images “pop!”

I LOVE Valentines Day and my beautiful Shelby Seniors!!   This was one of my favorites this past year. 💕

We didn’t know we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun!

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  • February 15, 2017 - 8:19 pm

    Alma Boyles - Beautiful!

So excited to be able to share this for so many reasons!

A wonderful group of talented wedding vendors in the area came together to create a Spring inspired styled shoot at the new Trefzger’s Event Center in Peoria Heights.   I had an opportunity to photograph a wedding reception there in January and it was absolutely gorgeous.  The building features large rectangular windows that encircle both floors of the building.   The most beautiful light streams in from all directions.  Brick walls, wood floors, and wood structural beams  give the 121 year old building so much character for weddings!

During the “off season” photographers and wedding vendors work extra hard to get inspired by ideas and concepts that we love.  It’s so fun to bring our visions to life and that’s exactly what we did a couple of weeks ago.  Icing on the cake ~ our models were a real couple, Mark & Emilee who are getting married in June.  They are madly in love and brought our entire vision to life!

Event Venue | Trefzger’s Trailside Event Center, Peoria Heights

Concept & Vision | LeFleur Weddings, Washington

Florals | LeFleur Floral Design, Washington

Wedding Gown and Tux | Adore Bridal & Specialty, Morton

Stationary Suite,  Chalkboard Lettering, and plate embellishing | Dash/wood, Morton

Vintage Buffet and Chalkboard | Something Old Event Rentals, Washington

Table and Chairs, Charger Plates, Flatware, and Glassware | Morton Rentals, Peoria and Morton locations

Jewelry | Bremer Jewelry, Peoria

Professional Hair and Makeup Artist | Tierney Cheney -Smithers

Eyelash extensions – Transformations Lash Studio, Washington

I need to give LeFleur Weddings a huge shout out for creating the concept, vision and style for this shoot.   They infused so many textures and I’m in love with the combination of pinks, purples, deep reds, greens, gold, and a little touch of blue.  The final look was elegant and makes me excited for Spring weddings and warmer weather!

It just so happens that our groom loves the Avett brothers!   The quote is so perfect for a wedding day and the lettering by Dash/wood is beautifully done.   The large chalkboard from Something Old Event Rentals is an iconic piece perfect for anyone’s wedding day.  Obsessed!

This stationary suite is to die for!!  I’m in love with the simple clean lines and colors.

Peony flowers are MY FAVORITE!!  This wedding bouquet was rich in color and elegant.  It was so lovely up against the champagne dress from Adore and the classic blue tux.  I mean seriously!!!  WOW!

If you want to remember what someone wore, shoot it in color. If you want to remember how something felt, shoot it in black and white.  I love the feeling that these black and white photo shows… breathtaking!

Those eyelashes!  Someday.. I will have lash extensions.. it’s on my bucket list.  Aubrey from Transformations Lash Studio generously gifted Emilee with her time and talent.  Soooooo beautiful!

This Tara Keely dress was vintage elegance at it’s finest! The bodice is gold and silver lace.. the skirt is champagne tulle that looked perfect with Emilee’s fair complexion.

“Classic never goes out of style”  The diamond studs and tennis bracelet from Bremer are heirloom pieces and the perfect touch.

The “Collins” vintage buffet from Something Old Event Rentals is one of my favorite pieces!  LOVE!

Check out this beautiful “naked” cake from Trefzgers combined with fresh flowers from LeFleur Floral Design. It’s almost to pretty to eat!

So many elegant touches and accents by LeFleur Floral Design

One of the things I am most excited about this year is men’s fashion.  Say bye bye to black suits and tuxes and say hello to color!  I love the blue suit and bow tie, the pop of color in the boutonniere and check out the Shinola watch by Bremer.   A classic heirloom piece and a perfect groom’s gift

That pop of color though….

One of my favorite details from this styled shoot!  How fun are these cuff-links from Bremer?!!

Wedding band by Bremer Jewelry

Hearts on Fire wedding band and ring by Bremer.  These diamonds are some of the most perfectly cut diamonds in the world!

I loved this stationary suite so much, we had to rearrange it again for another photo!

I am absolutely crazy about all of these rich color combinations!

Harvest table, chargers, flatware, plates, glasses by Morton Rentals… I die…. gorgeous!  Check out the embellishing on the acrylic pieces that bring the entire look together.

Mark and Emilee are sooooo in love!!  And actually tying the knot in June, so you can imagine the chemistry that I was able to capture between them. They are incredibly sweet individuals and did an amazing job during this photo shoot.

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Sweet and sassy,  small but mighty.. a beauty inside and out!  Meet Tressa, Class of 2017 senior from WCHS and one of my beloved #shelbyseniors!

Tressa would describe her personality as energetic, goofy, and outgoing.  After high school, she plans on attending Paul Mitchell Hair School. When she was a little girl, she wanted to be a veterinarian or a photographer! 😄  Tressa volunteers at Connect Church with the kids program two Sundays a month. She also loves going fishing and shopping.  Advice to incoming freshman, “Do NOT care so much about what others think about you, it’s hard to understand at first, but I have learned as I’ve gotten older that all that matters is YOU. And being the best version of yourself that you can be!”

Tressa would describe her “perfect day” as a day on the beach that has a carnival.. spending it with her closest friends. Then she would do all of their hair, go shopping and then finish with a great concert!

Three things on her bucket list 1. Swim in crystal clear water on a beach in Hawaii 2. Hang out for a day with a baby hippo 3. Personally know someone famous

Something Tressa is most proud of would have to be be viewing life a little differently recently. “This past year has taught me who my real friends are and how to find happiness in focusing on myself. I’m proud of myself for this because I can see a change in me in a very positive way”

“My heroes are my parents because they have done so much for me and never give up on me or my brother. I hope that I can be as strong as them some day.  A favorite family trip was to Michigan City because Lake Michigan is gorgeous and there were so many fun things to do. We  rented golf carts, stayed in the cutest house on the lake and spent quality time with family.”   Best thing about her parents: They are both independent and smart!



Then fun things about Tressa –

  1. One Tree Hill is my favorite tv show to binge watch
  2. The most unusual thing ever eaten: Dragonfruit
  3. Most daring thing ever done: Parasailing
  4. Song she would sing on karoke night? Don’t want to miss a thing by Aerosmith
  5. If she could travel anywhere in the world, she would go to Bora Bora because it’s so beautiful and she is obsessed with beaches
  6. Favorite holiday: Halloween
  7. Favorite sport: Baseball. She LOVES the Cubs!
  8. Favorite holiday tradition:  Watching Christmas Vacation every year on Christmas Eve
  9. Favorite family recipe: Tater Tot Casserole
  10. Something interesting about herself that most people don’t know – “I am very creative and have an artistic ability to draw!”

The end of your senior year is right around the corner!!  I’m so excited for you and the next step.. going to Paul Mitchell, getting your apartment, and becoming a strong, independent woman!  Keep up the great work Tressa and don’t ever lose that beautiful smile!  ~Cindy  XO

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This past week, I was blessed to travel to Carmel, CA to attend the Walk Through A Wedding Workshop with Justin & Mary Marantz.  If you are a wedding photographer, you know who they are, but if you aren’t.. they are one of the best husband/wife photographers in the wedding industry.

Every year, I invest in my business by carefully choosing workshops that will inspire my creativity and passion for photography and help me reset as a small business owner. I chose this specific workshop because Justin and Mary are not only one the most talented (and sweetest) wedding photography industry leaders but their approach for capturing timeless, authentic moments directly reflect my values and approach to weddings. I also love their approach to using flash in a way that doesn’t look unnatural or “flashy.”

The workshop took place at Folktale Winery & Vineyards in Carmel and although it was a little colder than I was expecting, the landscape and breathtaking beauty of Northern California and this gorgeous venue did not disappoint!

Attending this workshop was a great way to kick off the new year and check a huge item off my bucket list!   Now wedding season can hurry up and get here so that I can apply on of this amazing new learning!!

A huge thank you to Justin & Mary Marantz as well as all of the participating vendors who worked hard to make the workshop run so well!!

Hair & Makeup :: MUAH makeup and hair

Wedding & Bridesmaid Dress Boutique :: Epiphany Bridal Boutique

Florist :: Willow & Plum Event Floral and Decor

Dessert Bar :: Room For Dessert

Wedding Dress Designer Day 1 :: Hayley Paige

Wedding Dress Designer Day 2 :: Watters

Bride Day 1 :: IG @followjess
Groom Day 1 :: IG @renevelarde
Bridesmaids :: IG @rachelzeephoto & @pourgirl

Bride Day 2 :: IG @jessicadilullo
Groom Day 2 :: IG @emmo363

Behind the Scenes :: Laura & Rachel

love never fails….

give what you cannot keep

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