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“From the first time we met with Steve + Ashley to discuss their New Years Eve wedding plans and the idea in hiring us as their Winter wedding photographer, we instantly connected with them. Beyond first talking about us all having a few mutually in common friends and family members… we found that Steve + Ashley each have very welcoming personalities and are simply awesome people to talk with and be around – so the four of us easily connected right away. It ended up feeling like we are hanging out with a couple of old friends!

Ashley was initially referred to us by her brother Joe DeForest who is an amazingly knowledgeable print rep whom we turn to in press printing our graphic designed projects such as wedding invitations, company business cards, brochures, and much more. We have worked with Joe and his company Yorke Printe Shoppe, located in Lombard Illinois, for several print projects over the last decade. Both Joe and Yorke are seriously passionate about printing, producing quality work, and always pushing the envelope with unique papers and printing techniques! Thanks Joe in introducing the idea to Ashley to contact us about her wedding and engagement photography. We had our work cut out for ourselves for this shoot, as in raising the bar even higher… we had the challenge of not only impressing big brother Joe, but also Ashley’s dad! Ashley’s Dad is Jim DeForest the owner of the renown DeForest Group. The DeForest Group is a design and photography company which specialize in food, product and industrial photography… basically the best food photographers in the industry. So not that we always don’t bring 110% effort and creativity to every shoot, but this one was definitely a bit extra special to us.

Steve + Ashley are very much in love and it wasn’t long until we noticed just how often Steve makes Ashley laugh. ( Laughter and making each other smile is definitely an awesome quality to have in a relationship. : ) For Steve and Ashley’s engagement photo session, we decided to incorporate some personalized, added fun utilizing details of each of their unique careers. Steve is a teacher and a competitive level soccer coach. Ashley is the owner and dance director of DeForest Dance Academy in Elmhurst ( which is rated among the Top 10 Dance Studios in the Midwest. ) We learned that Steve first met Ashely in an attempt to discuss incorporating her dance academy’s instruction into his school’s curriculum. Which was in reality his “sneaky way” to get to know her a little better. LOL Because both Ashley + Steve are both highly focused in their own specialties of each dance and soccer, we decided to combine their competitive personalities into a fun photo project. After capturing these fun in studio photos, we later ventured outside and downtown Chicago capturing some high-fashion engagement photos ( we love the ivy and grungy alley way we stumbled upon ), photos in nature under the beautiful willow trees, and then saved the night skyline for last.

Steve + Ashley we had a great time learning about the start of your lives together, the wedding plans, the dance academy, each of your families, and spending the day with you guys. It was an absolute pleasure to photograph you two! We are looking forward to not only photographing, but celebrating both your wedding day festivities and New Year’s Eve together! Hope you enjoyed the engagement session.”

Chicago Wedding Photographers

Steve + Ashley are wrapping up final touches for their New Years Eve wedding. The ceremony will take place at First Congregational Church in La Grange, Illinois and their wedding reception at Harry Caray’s at the Westin in Lombard.

With Sarah’s interest in dance ( in high school and college), learning about Ashley experiences in owning her own studio, seeing walls full of trophies, framed awards and photos of celebrity encounters, our walk around the studio was very interesting. During our tour, we learned Ashley DeForest is an accomplished dancer with a long list of incredible dance appearances and performances on broadway, training in New York and beyond by some of the world’s top tap, jazz and hip hop dancers, her national appearances and not to mention her recently televised performance with Savion Glover on ABC Television’s hit show Dancing With The Stars.

For more information about DeForest Dance Academy’s dance classes for Kids + Adults and their competitive dance group called Steppin’ Out Dance Company visit www.deforestdance.com.

Visit the DeForest family’s company web sites to learn more about them:
– The DeForest Group are product and food photographers with a studio located in Elmhurst. www.deforestgroup.com
– Contact Joe DeForest and Yorke Printer Shoppe in Lombard with your digital printing or offset printing needs. Offering a variety of services, Joe enjoys specializing in high-end, detail oriented printing projects. www.yorkeprinte.com