Lake of the Woods

Rachel + Torey | She Said Yes Proposal Story

Her nails weren't perfectly manicured, but it didn't matter -- Rachel had a gorgeous ring on her finger and she had just said "yes!" to the man she loves!

Torey planned his proposal meticulously, but we all know that life likes to throw us curve balls. Last Friday evening, Torey had all his details in order and then Rachel got off work early.  No problem -- he just had to stall her a bit!  She knew something was up when he made her get dressed in something other than scrubs. Then he drove her out to the place where they often take their dog Pepper for walks -- with no dog this time.  

Luckily for me as the "nature photographer/hiker" casually applying bug spray as the entered the parking lot, there were several other people around that evening too.  I saw a runner, a dog walker, a guy flying a drone... all perfectly timed so I as the surprise photographer blended right in! :)   I followed them back a long grassy path and just as I rounded the bend, Torey dropped down on one knee and popped the question.  I then met them both for the first time, and we continued on with a sort of mini engagement session.  They also ran back to their house quickly to bring the dog back for a few shots.

Congrats, Rachel + Torey!!  It was my honor to be there to document your proposal.  And if you need a wedding photographer, you know where to find me!! ;)

To book photos of your own surprise proposal or engagement session, shoot me a text! 217-737-0971

Jayme + Wayne | Downtown Mahomet + Lake of the Woods engagement photos

I am so excited with how this engagement session turned out! Jayme rented this special red dress as a statement piece for her and Wayne's engagement photos. These two are actually really good friends of ours, so we had many chances to discuss locations and options for their session. We all wanted to stay around Mahomet, and we frequent JT Walkers, so we started there on the rooftop bar, and then continued downstairs to a cute little bistro table out front with a couple craft beers. 

We strolled along the little Americana slice of downtown Mahomet and found some great nooks and crannies to finish up the first half of the session. Then we moved on to the Lake of the Woods, because I knew with that red dress that we HAD to use the red metal bridge at the park.  As we neared sunset, I wanted to try a couple images with the fading orange glow and also my off-camera flash equipment.  It was fun to hang out and just have a very chill session and take our time visiting different spots.

I am SO excited for Jayme + Wayne's wedding in September.  Wayne's son Max and my son Max are best friends, and my daughter Hadley is going to be the flower girl!  It is going to be the best day! Stay tuned! <3

To book your own session or wedding, contact Holly!

Jessie + Bob | CityView train station wedding in downtown Champaign

He makes her laugh. As I was editing these photos, that's the theme I kept coming back to.  Bob brings out Jessie's smile, and they both fit so perfectly together.  In the maid of honor's speech, she shared that the thing that sealed the deal for Jessie's was Bob's demeanor, interaction, and love for his son Bobby.  This new family of 3 is so sweet together!  One of my favorite moments of the day too was just after Jessie had read her vows and Bob stopped and said, "Aw, I want to kiss her right now!"  But he waited for the official pronouncement from the officiant anyway. :)

I am so thankful Jessie + Bob chose to do a first look because their wedding (at the end of September, no less!) ended up being one of the hottest days of the year, and everyone was absolutely melting by the end of the ceremony.  We did most of the portraits before the ceremony and then didn't do any more until sunset after everyone had a chance to cool off at the reception.

Despite the heat, we had a fantastic day with tons of love, laughter, antics, and definitely no shortage of sunshine!  You may also notice one of the very last photos of a few ladies in their boxing gloves as a nod to the CU Women's Boxing Gym that Jessie owns.  I've known Jessie for several years now and I'm so thrilled to see her businesses thriving!  Jessie + Bob, I wish you both the very best, and congrats again on your new marriage!!

Leave a comment below for Jessie + Bob and after 50 comments, they'll receive a complimentary 11x14" print of their choice!!

Contact Holly to book your own wedding or engagement session!


Florist:  Blossom Basket | Schnucks

DJ: Elite Entertainment

Caterer: Dish Passionate Cuisine

Officiant: Karla Giroux

Bride's dress: Elite Bridal | Stella York 

Bridesmaid dresses: Elite Bridal | Sorella Vita 

Suits/tuxes: The Black Tux

Instrumentalist: Ryan Giroux | Rob Sweedler | Jeff Sweedler | Henry Strehlow

Invitations: Kelly Graves Designs

Hair + Makeup: Timothy John Salon

Photographer: Holly Birch Photography