Our Family Portrait at The Art Institute with Hannah Drews Photography

Since I was planning on using some of these pictures for this year’s Christmas card, I wanted to wait until we mailed out our card to post this session in the blog.


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Last spring, I won a contest on Instagram! Really, I did! I never win anything. And I rarely enter the ones that are offered on social media because I feel my chances are pretty slim. But when Hannah Drews Photography posted on Instagram about a free mini session, I jumped at the opportunity! When she announced that I’d won, it felt like I’d won the lottery! I’ve been following her work and admire her style of photography.

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I’ve been eyeing the south garden of The Art Institute of Chicago for a family portrait since it’s one places we missed during our wedding portraits. The garden feels and looks like an enchanted forest and can be easily missed, especially by tourists rushing to see the sites at Millennium Park. It truly is one of Chicago’s hidden gems (well, not for wedding photographers- haha).

When I contacted Hannah for a portrait session, I suggested the location and she happily agreed. We picked a Saturday in June to take the portraits when the weather is not too hot so we can all dress comfortably. I knew wedding season was in full swing but hoping there wouldn’t be many wedding parties in the garden taking pictures. If so, we would have to go with Plan B, which was the Lurie Gardens. Thank goodness it wasn’t crowded at all.

I always find it nerve-wracking to meet a photographer for the first time. I don’t want to come off as demanding, controlling or just being all over the map with ideas (although I don’t think I am?).  And….I’m always hoping Luke wouldn’t be in one of his moods. You know the threenager moods – the unpredictable “I don’t want to” tantrums or the hyper “I’m gonna run around and make you catch me” shenanigans. Thank goodness  Luke had taken a nap earlier that day so he was somewhat in a good mood and cooperative.

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When we met Hannah, we found her to be so nice and accommodating (since we were running late, as usual). She had ideas, I had ideas, and I thought we worked well together. I mean, all I had to do was smile, right? Although Luke was cooperative, he was more into playing with his dad’s old toy car that he brought with him (the whole time!) than looking at the camera. Hannah went with the flow and took some pictures of him playing with the toy car, which I adore!

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While taking the portraits, Luke asked if Ms. Hannah could come over to our house to play and mama and daddy could go. He was implying that she could come over to babysit! Wow!! He never says that about anyone we’ve met. So I jokingly asked Hannah if she babysat in addition to being a photographer. She politely said she was busy. LOL! But like Luke, I found that Hannah’s presence, personality, and patience to be so warm and great to work with.

I’m so very happy with how these pictures turned out. Hannah did a fantastic job of capturing us as a family in such a beautiful setting. And we took these pictures at the right time of day because a huge storm rolled by shortly after we were finished.

4 thoughts on “Our Family Portrait at The Art Institute with Hannah Drews Photography

  1. laurenkahan says:

    Omg!!! That 2nd shot of you all with you and Charlie kissing and all that ivy….LOVE!!! If you haven’t already, I hope it’s printed very BIG in your home! Oh, and of course the last image too! 😍

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