Oh hey! So glad you found me! Photography is my passion and I truly love capturing everything that is important to you: people, places, and awesome moments in your life.

My favorite photos capture emotion, laughter, and feel real. No fake posey stuff here!

I am located in central illinois, serving chicago and the peoria area.

traveling is my jam and i will go wherever you need me!
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10 things you may not know about me – Chicago, Illinois Wedding Photographer

Even if you don’t know me personally, you definitely know how passionate I am about weddings if you follow my work. I love everything about weddings – the details, colors, people, emotions, and most importantly, all the love and happiness in the air. Other than that, you may not know much about me. I know how important it is to get a glimpse into who is behind the camera and to learn a little bit about them personally. I hope this blog post helps you get to know a few quirky and fun things about me.

Photo by Christa Meola Pictures, Inc.

Photo by Christa Meola Pictures, Inc.

1. I’m a runner. I have been a runner since 8th grade. I’m not a very good runner, but I love it. I love pounding the pavement when I’m stressed, upset, happy, excited, or just need to clear my head. It’s my go-to for just about anything and it’s my favorite way to push myself to my limits. I have run 5ks, 8ks, 5 miles, two half marathons, and I’m just crazy enough to start training for the Chicago marathon this year. I’m completely terrified to do it which is exactly why I’m going to 🙂 I also signed up to run my very first St. Jude run this August which I’m really pumped about.

Photo credit to Terrence Blount

Photo credit to Terrence Blount

2. I am completely obsessed with Pinterest! I pin everything – home decor, beautiful photographs, quotes, places I’d love to visit, running clothes, work outfit ideas, and most importantly recipes! I think 90% of the recipes I’ve made in the last few years have been from Pinterest. You can check out all my fabulous pins here.

3. I absolutely LOVE to cook but I am a terrible baker. Although I do have a pretty large board on Pinterest devoted to delicious looking cookies and cakes that I will never make haha! (See, told you I pin everything!)

4. I was a military spouse for 5 years. My husband was in the Army and we lived in 3 different states together in those 5 years. It was during that time that I started my career as a photographer and photographed mainly military families for my first 2 years. I have the utmost respect for the spouses and family members of active duty military members and veterans. They sacrifice so much and are the strongest people I’ll ever know. I have made friendships with military families that I know will last throughout my life.

5. I have two VERY WILD children, two boys, each born in a different state. They keep me on my toes and teach me a lot about myself. Being a parent can be totally frustrating but it’s the most amazing journey I’ve ever been on. They make me laugh hard, love deeply, shake my head, can frustrate me to no end, but most of all they make me appreciate the little simple things in life and help me to slow down and keep seeing the world through their wonder-filled eyes.

Chicago Illinois Kid Photographer

6. I’m a warm weather girl. I could wear flip flops year round. I absolutely HATE being cold. If it were up to me, it could snow on Christmas and then be a minimum of 75 degrees and sunny the rest of the year.

7. I love to read. My favorite books include Water for Elephants, The Fault in Our Stars, Unbroken, The Hunger Games series, Night, Memoirs of a Geisha, and any book by Vince Flynn.

8. I went to NYC for the first time in June of 2014 and the most important thing for me to do was to see Ground Zero. I always knew that if I ever went to NYC, I would have to see it. It’s true what they say about it – the loud hustle and bustle of New York quiets down as soon as you get close. There’s a stillness in the air. I went with my best friend the first day we were there, right as the sun started to set. We wandered around separately and silently, just taking it all in. There’s a certain ache you feel, even so many years later, as you pay your respects to those taken too soon in such an awful senseless way. I don’t think any amount of time can pass that I won’t feel that ache and burning anger in my heart for what happened on 9/11.

Ground Zero NYC

9. I’m VERY tall. 5’10” to be exact. I never wear heels, mainly because it makes me a giant but also because I’m incredibly clumsy and would probably break a leg.

10. I buy myself flowers. All the time. I think there’s nothing fresher for the soul than a beautiful and colorful bouquet of flowers around me – in the kitchen, in my office, but most importantly in my Waterford crystal vase that was given as a gift at our wedding. It’s absolutely beautiful and needs to be full of beautiful flowers as often as possible.

Photo by Christa Meola Pictures, Inc.

Photo by Christa Meola Pictures, Inc.

So there you have it. 10 random facts about me that hopefully help you get to know me a little better. Have any questions for me that you want answered? Ask away!

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single frame. Joanna has a beautiful eye
for capturing the emotion of the day - the
love and happiness that
you would never think
could be enveloped
in a
- Sharon & David
unmatched. Joanna's ability to capture emotion and pure beauty
in a photo
- Christine
Joanna is a talented and gifted photographer. She has an amazing eye loves for capturing beautiful
candid shots. she truly

what she's doing
and it shows
in her work. We were
very lucky to have
found her for our
- Katie & Tony