One of the best aspects of being a photographer is getting to see your clients grow. Watching newborns grow up and document their first steps is beautiful, but watching a family grow can be inspirational. I’m always very humbled and honored when couples take a chance on me to document their weddings, especially for the couples early in my photography career. The Brownings were one of the first couples that trusted me with taking their wedding photos.

Even though they are family, there was no obligation to having me take their engagement photos, then their wedding photos, and then their family photos once they started growing. There are plenty of other photographers that they could have used, but there must have been something in my style that they liked in order to keep using me to document their memories. I almost cringe when I look back at some of the photos I’ve taken early in my career. The quality obviously isn’t as great; I wasn’t rocking a full frame camera with prime lenses at the time. But some of the ideas that I still use are present in my early photos. I’ve obviously grown as a photographer, and the quality of photos that I take are better as well.
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Nostalgia at its finest.

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This past spring, I decided to run the Chicago Marathon for the third time. My wife gave me the idea that I should run for a charity from now on so that the training that I do not only benefits my health, but it can benefit someone else. I honor of my cousin’s baby, I decided to join Team UPS for DownS. The United Parent Support for Down Syndrome is an organization that offers “support, education, and encouragement for parents, families and others who love and care about persons with Down syndrome” (upsfordowns.org). My wife works with adults with developmental disabilities, so this community has always been near and dear to us. I’m still fundraising even though the race is in a week, and I have already reached my fundraising goal, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t help out. Help support this wonderful organization by clicking here.

My cousin, Sandy, has been blogging about her experiences of motherhood, both with her firstborn son, her second-born daughter, and the challenges and blessings of raising a child who has Down syndrome. If you ever want to read about her beautiful perspective on life, need a word of encouragement, or need a reality check on your own life, check out what she has to say here: http://signet223.blogspot.com/

elton-40-1 Vern and Rosie: they are the epitome of love, sacrifice, and commitment to one another. Their beautiful, quaint, and surprise vow renewal ceremony was perfect for them.

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Their marriage has been such a blessing to everyone around them. They have been through and have conquered so much, and it seems as if their marriage and dedication to one another never went off track. I’ve been blessed because of their son, who was also the best man at my wedding, and I know that anyone that knows anyone from the Elton clan can say the same thing. What they have created is a family that continues to give and sacrifice and is the embodiment of Jesus. I could not love the Elton family any more.

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From the beautiful, homemade decorations, to the symbolic ring exchanged, and to the perfect vow renewals conducted by their own son-in-law, this ceremony was one that will never be forgotten. Congrats to Vern and RoseAnn. Cheers to a lifetime of celebration and anniversaries to come.
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