Engelbrecht Farms | Paxton barn wedding reception venue


A couple months ago, I heard from a friend about the Engelbrecht Farms wedding reception venue that was to be opening soon near Paxton, IL. People have asked me for years if I knew of any local barns where they could hold weddings, and until recently I didn’t know of any. So, as you can imagine, I was ecstatic to hear about this one! I contacted the staff right away to see if I could come tour the facility and get some photos. The barn reminds me so much of the old barn I grew up with, raising my show cattle and baling hay in the summers. The space has so much potential and would look amazing with café or Christmas lights and linens in your wedding colors. There’s ample parking too, and it’s not too far off Interstate 57 at the Paxton exit. I made it there from the center of the UI campus in about 35 minutes – not bad at all! Thanks to Courtney for showing me around the place, and to Chris and his family for opening up this great reception space! I look forward to photographing a wedding there soon! barn wedding with balcony

barn trough for catering

barn hayrack and old antique car

white barn with blue skies

wedding reception country chic barn

rustic charm barn for weddings

kitchen in house for overnight guests

pre-wedding night stay for bridesmaids

Engelbrecht Farms house

Engelbrecht Farms barn for weddings

farmstead wedding

old rusted out car for wedding pictures

ample parking at farm wedding

Jenny + Brandon | Pear Tree Estate wedding


I had the privilege of once again second shooting a wedding for my good friend Kellie of Across the Miles Photography on Friday. It was great to meet Brandon + Jenny and I could tell right away that they were great people with a solid group of friends. It was SUPER windy that day, but we did our best to work around it, and then also the rain that followed the ceremony. Jenny was a real trooper though and I couldn't believe when she said that she actually likes rain. Well, she got it! You'll see some evidence of it in the photos below. :) Second shooting is so fun for me because I get to focus on in-the-moment candids. I'm posting quite a few of those because I feel that's one of a second photographer's biggest roles on the wedding day. While the main photographer is busy posing the bride and groom and crossing the "must-have" photos off the list, it's my job to capture things that the other photographer doesn't see or doesn't have time to focus on. I was so stoked when Kellie told me that the reception would be at Pear Tree Estate. It is one of my favorite venues and is so, so gorgeous. It's hard to take a bad picture there as everything is so picture perfect. Best of luck on your new marriage, Jenny + Brandon!

Groomsmen getting ready

Groomsmen with tie closeups

wedding candids

stunning bridal portraits

Bible Baptist Church Champaign wedding ceremony

sparkler exit

CU Crossfit wedding pictures

Lake of the Woods wedding pictures

gorgeous bouquets

covered bridge portraits

groomsmen with New Glarus spotted cow beer

rainy wedding portraits

rustic wedding decor with S'mores

ring details shots S'mores and pine cones

Pear Tree Estate portraits

Pear Tree estate wedding cake cutting and toast


Ceremony: Bible Baptist

Reception: Pear Tree Estate

Photographer: Across the Miles Photography, Kellie Penn

Second photographer: Holly Birch Photography

Nevada Desert Shootout : Modern Champaign Wedding Photography

This week I was fortunate enough to attend WPPI, a conference and trade show for wedding and portrait photographers, in Las Vegas, Nevada. As part of the trip, I signed up to attend a shootout about 45 minutes outside of Vegas at a place called the Nelson Ghost Town. This place was awesome! It is a tourist destination that is a photographer's dream, and is just what it sounds like. A few abandoned buildings with rusted-out old cars, barns, vintage signs, cacti and tumbleweeds. Throw a few styled brides and grooms into the mix, and it was absolutely perfect! Modern-Champaign-wedding-photographer-desert-session_0313Modern-Champaign-wedding-photographer-desert-session_0314Modern-Champaign-wedding-photographer-desert-session_0315Modern-Champaign-wedding-photographer-desert-session_0316Modern-Champaign-wedding-photographer-desert-session_0317Modern-Champaign-wedding-photographer-desert-session_0318Modern-Champaign-wedding-photographer-desert-session_0319Modern-Champaign-wedding-photographer-desert-session_0320

Stylized shoot organized by Rustic Star Photography Dresses & accessories by House of Style SD