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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The Turning Point in my Photography Business – My One Year Wedding Anniversary – Chicago, Illinois Wedding Photographer

Exactly one year ago on this exact date, I spent the majority of the day completely stressing out. I had committed to photograph my very first wedding on New Years Eve. The bride was a friend from high school who was having a hard time finding a photographer since their wedding would be on a holiday. She asked me a few times and I had politely said no. Weddings had always intimidated me. In my 3 years of business, I always referred weddings out to other photographers in the area. I just didn’t think weddings were for me. I am a very laid back, carefree, go with the flow type of photographer, so I was terrified of the bridezilla. I thought wedding days would be full of drama, unreasonably tight timelines, and crazy demands. I didn’t think I was ready to photograph such a HUGE deal. I was a family and child photographer and basically, I just lacked the confidence in myself as a photographer to take on something as important as a wedding. But Alyssa persisted, insisting it would be a very casual and small courthouse wedding and she just wanted nice photos at the end of the day. She believed in me and my ability to capture her day in a beautiful way. I eventually agreed to do it and it just might be the very best decision I have ever made for my business.

New Years Eve last year was a very chilly 8 degrees and I drove in a small blizzard for over an hour to get to Woodstock, IL where Alyssa was going to marry Phillip. I was freezing (hello polar vortex!!), and as I was sitting in the courthouse waiting for Alyssa and Phillip to arrive I started to worry about letting my first wedding clients down. But when they turned the corner and started walking down the hallway towards me, I saw how absolutely BEAUTIFUL Alyssa looked. I saw the way they looked at each other and felt how the world seemed to stop for the just the two of them. I saw the love between them and that’s when I realized that I was going to fall hard for weddings.

 After we arrived at their luncheon venue, I took them outside for a few super quick photos. Once I started shooting, I knew I was in for the long haul. I knew I would do everything in my power to be able to capture love at any chance I got. True love is so incredibly beautiful and I want to be the one to preserve it in time for as many couples as I can.

As scared as I had been for this day, it turned out to be completely natural to me. I guess I never really thought about the atmosphere of a wedding – completely full of love, laughter, smiles, heartfelt words, and raw emotion surrounding me. It is such a unique and awesome environment to work and be inspired in. It’s all so perfect for a photographer like me who thrives on capturing candid moments since those candid moments are everywhere you look. All of my nerves completely washed away and I learned that I had a natural talent for photographing weddings. The best parts of the day were the things I never expected. I never thought I would be treated just like family, that my cheeks would hurt from smiling so much, that I would find tears in my eyes during emotional speeches, and I certainly never thought I would become completely obsessed with weddings the way I am now.

Chicago Illinois Wedding Photography, Winter Wedding in Woodstock

Illinois wedding photographer Woodstock Illinois

Joanna Smith Photography Chicago Illinois candid wedding photographer

Since then, I have photographed 4 weddings in 2014 and I have 6 more on the books for 2015. I wanted to share some of my favorites from my 2014 weddings.

David & Alicia – March 2014

Spring Wedding, Chicago Wedding Photography

Spring Wedding, Chicago Wedding Photography

Spring Wedding, Chicago Wedding Photography

David & Sharon – July 2014

Saint Charles wedding photography, Chicago area wedding photographerFirst look wedding photos, Chicago Illinois wedding photogrpahyHotel Baker wedding photography, Joanna Smith Photography, Chicago Illinois wedding photography

Erin & Jeff – August 2014

First look wedding photos in Illinois by Joanna Smith Photography

Wedding photography in Chicago, Illinois

Wedding day photos

Amy & Mark – August 2014

Chicago wedding photography

Chicago wedding photos

Rustic wedding, Chicago Illinois wedding

I am so humbled and honored that I have received such an overwhelming response to my wedding photography. My clients are all so incredibly awesome who make me feel like family and I have yet to encounter a bridezilla 🙂 I think I have found my calling with photography and I look forward to photographing many more weddings in my future.

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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