The Pavillion at Orchard Ridge, Rockton – Kate and Ismail

The Pavillion at Orchard Ridge, Rockton – Kate and Ismail


Another beautiful wedding at The Pavilion. The entire property is beautiful. As a photographer there are endless possibilities for portraits.

Kate and Ismail are amazing and so much fun.

Kate started her day in the bridal suit with her bridesmaids and mom. Lots of laughs and stories where shared while getting their hair and make-up done.


They had a first look and Ismail was speechless when he saw his beautiful bride to be.rockford wedding photography-2-2rockford wedding photography-2-3

The reception room was stunning. The centerpieces, cake and all the small details.


Kate had a special dance with her dad ‘peanut butter’ and ‘Jelly” :))


And they ended the night with a sparkle exit…


Digital Files vs Wedding Album

Digital Files vs Wedding Album

53ae62c7a896b21953dd485b5d095ac5 Digital files vs Wedding Album.

You shouldn’t have to choose. You should have both 🙂
I am going to tell you why your album is the most important thing you should get.

Albums give you the opportunity to show off all your favorites in one place instead of just a few select images on the wall.
This way, you can preserve all memories and it’s a great heirloom to hand down to the next generations.
Albums are simple and beautiful. With a one-piece wraparound cover design and multiple cover options, every album can be unique, designed for you.
Distressed leather line is made of genuine Italian full grain leathers and features unique variations with natural markings.
Linen line is made of a beautiful textile blend and features an assortment of colors to highlight your imagery. 
Velvet covers have a distinctly soft feel with a water repellent finish, and the material is extra-heavy duty double rub tested for durability.
Display the beauty of your photographs inside and out with a Gloss or Matte Acrylic Cover. Your image is printed directly on the backside of a piece of Acrylic for an absolutely stunning look.
Do you know what else looks great? Images from your Wedding Day displayed on your wall to enjoy daily.

You have four beautiful options for your all art:

Framed Prints – Classic yet refined, Frames provide a timeless solution for image display. With many styles to chose from your prints arrive ready to hang with gallery-like quality.

Gallery Wraps – Printed on premium canvas and wrapped around a stretcher bar, an original masterpiece.

Metal – These show-stopping conversation pieces add an artistic edge and contemporary elegance. Experience your images in a new definition and clarity.

Wood – Modern meets rustic,Wood Prints feature your images on a gorgeous wooden surface with warm tones and natural grain.

I have software that allows me to place your wedding images digitally on the walls of your home to help you decide the best images to use and the proper way to display them. 

How will you display your wedding pictures?
What the heck do I wear?!? –

What the heck do I wear?!? –

OOOO! You have an engagement session soon? I know that the biggest stress for my couples is usually “WHAT THE HECK DO I WEAR?” so I wanted to give a few tips from experience of how to pick the perfect engagement outfit.

So here’s 10 tips:

1 . Think about your feet!
You are going to be walking around for an hour or two, so if you typically last 5 minutes with heels on, please don’t torture your poor feet for that long. Make sure your shoes are something you’re comfortable in. There’s definitely a whole lot of cute non heel shoes out there!

2. Consider the location.
Be aware of your surroundings and try not to clash ( or match ). If your engagement session is in a forest , you probably don’t want to wear green.

3. Complement each other…
Don’t match. Gone are the days where the whole family goes to the beach wearing white for their awkward family portraits. That also means matching each other for the engagement session is a big no. Complementing each other is the best way to go. Better yet if someone wears an accent color on a small part of their body and the other is wearing that color. Win! Wearing the same shade is a great place to start.

4. Show your true colors and don’t be afraid to be bold.
Colors render great on camera and white should be reserved for your wedding day! I’m all for off white though is one of you is wearing a lot of color, consider a neutral for your significant other.

5. Dress the same scale.
If your fiancé is wearing a suit and your wearing jeans and a tank, you’re not going to look like you go together. Dress the same level.

6. Switch it up!
If you want to go casual, why not bring a formal option too? I’m not a super formal person but I think it’s fun to dress up once in a while!

7. Dress for the weather and have a backup plan.
If it’s a spring engagement session but it’s going to be 40 degrees then have a backup for your spring dress!

8. Don’t be afraid of patterns
We don’t want to go crazy with patterns, but I really love shoots where one wears a pattern and the other wears a solid. Better yet if the solid color coordinates with a color in the pattern.

9. Dress it up with layers and jewelry!
Scarves, sweaters, jewelry, hats. They all can really liven up pictures and if you’re afraid of going too bold with colors maybe just add it in as an accent  with a scarf – something you can take on and off. This also helps with the weather situation and if you have any insecurities they can cover them up.

10. Be yourself.
The worst thing would be looking at your pictures and looking unrecognizable because you dressed up too much ( if you are not one to dress up often). Also, be sure t wear clothing that flatters your body type. At this point in your life you probably know what those are 🙂

And at the end of the day just remember that the whole point of this is to have fun and get comfortable in from of the camera. I hope these tips will help prepare you for your engagement session!



2018 was great, 2018 was full, 2018 was busy, 2018 is almost over …

I see a lot of people make resolutions for the new year. I see people pick a word that they  use to navigate the new year. I am bad at both. I tried the resolution thing and it never worked. I tried to “thrive” in 2018 and even though I have in many ways I did not meet my expectations. I feel that “awaken” fits my 2018 better.

I decided not to do that next year.

So here it goes…

For 2019 I want:

I want to meet more extraordinaire women who raised amazing sons who are now amazing men

I want to meet more dads who raised strong women. More dads who cry because their baby girl has grown and they are now welcoming a son into the family

More long life girlfriends who had sleepovers, help, held and raise each other up

More ‘sisters’ that share inside jokes and sing their wedding speech

More friends who act like brothers

More friends who drop their pants at a park in the middle of the day because they are proud of their area code tattoos

More friends who tattoo your name on their leg and are proud of it 🙂

More men that are madly in love with their bride. So in love that they would bring the moon to them

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I want to see more brides look at themselves in the mirror and are amazed at the women they have become.

I want to see more brides enjoy the day they dreamed of for years



I want to see more new moms fall in love and hold their heart in their arms for the first time

I want to see more first time parents adore their children


I want to see more families year after year and catch up on life 🙂

And of course I want more days at the beach with my babe

More days at the farm for pony rides

I want to show my daughter the world and take pictures of her more often ( with a camera not iphone 🙂 )

I want to see my grandparents and hear more of their stories

I want to spend more time with my family.

I want 2019 to be full of happy couples and happy families including my own.

Have a great 2019!


Weddings and my second shooter days

All my friends heard me say once or twice that I don’t photograph weddings… Okay! I will be 100% honest.

I’ve said many times : I Hate Weddings :))

Guess what I am now?!? A wedding photographer, booking weddings for 2019 if anyone is interested.

I always loved newborn photography but in my early days as a business I tried it all. Unfortunately when I wanted to see if I will like weddings I second shot for a not so nice wedding photographer. So I naturally thought that weddings are awful, stressful, long days where I get to be miserable and extremely tired.

Well it’s not like that at all. Wedding days are wonderful. Two people who are in love become husband and wife. They start a new family. It’s amazing and I am blessed to be there.

My friend Jen Sacia Photography, who is an amazing wedding photographer needed a second shooter last minute so of course I agreed to do it. And guess what? I did not hate that day. I actually enjoyed that wedding. So I second shot for her again and again 🙂

I then agreed to do a couple weddings on my own and that was fun too.

Weddings are not so bad! 🙂

Last year Jen introduced me to C-tyson photography and I told him from the beginning I will not be a wedding photographer.  He is probably laughing really hard at me now :))

I then met his girlfriend Elizabeth, ellAdele Photography and I got to work with her too.

This is what I learned from working with three talented wedding photographers.

Weddings are amazing. But here is the catch. You should really know your photographer, make sure you are a good fit.

At every wedding I second shot for them they we’re welcomed like family. The bride was happy to see them, hug them and talked about life. They are not just a photographer that day they are a friend with a camera.

I learned to serve every couple. I had this idea that I should only take pictures because that is my job and I can’t cross the friendship line at the wedding, that I had to be a professional. Well if you do your best to help couples have the most amazing day you are a professional. That sometimes means feeding and changing babies, braiding the flower girls hair, helping the bride use the bathroom :)), putting shoes and boutonnieres on etc. And at the end of the night after sometimes 12-14 hours I feel AMAZING because I got to see two people start their life together and in a very small way I helped make their day better  🙂

Of course I learned how to get through the family photos as painless as possible, and how to react when the groomsmen drop their pants at a park :))… how to enjoy the reception and all the special moments.

Now I do have to be 110% honest again … The cake or cupcakes ALWAYS make my day. I leave my house in the early morning thinking of that wedding cake and it definitely makes the day go faster :))

I am looking forward to a busy wedding season in 2019.

Happy Holidays!

Ela Pop Photography

Ela Pop Photography came to life in 2011 but before that I always had a camera and I always took pictures.  The idea that I can freeze a moment fascinated me since I was very young. There aren’t many pictures of me out there from when I was little but there is one that speaks to me. It seems that life, God, the Universe was telling me something when I didn’t even know what I wanted to do in life or that I will one day live in the States.


With Fun and a Smile… I don’t think I knew english back then and if I did it was very little. What I do remember is that I loved photography, I loved film, I loved the dark room and the magic that happened there… and I loved that shirt cuz I wore it a lot :))

Fast forward to my teenager years – that was the time when I was too cool for photography :)). Fast forward again to 2006, I was 19… I moved to Chicago and I picked up a camera again and in 2009 my late husband, Costi, saw how much I loved photography, he saw the passion I had for it even when I didn’t so he bought me my very first ‘professional’ camera.

Then came 2011,that was not a happy year for me. It was the year my husband left me and all his friends and family and joined God in Heaven. It was the year I felt completely lost but somehow I found the strength to open Ela Pop Photography. My way to honor his name, Costi Pop.


This was the last picture I took of him. This is the picture that gave me the strength to start Ela Pop Photography. I remember that day so well. He was sick, tired but so happy, so optimistic. I came home from work and he was outside on the patio chatting with my mom. Talking, laughing, just a normal day like nothing was wrong.

He asked me to join him and I said no, I am just gonna lay in bed. Thats when I took that picture. He came inside after and like always he was the one to encourage me. He was the one to tell me everything will be ok. He was the one who hugged me and asked me to be happy. He tought I was upset because we couldn’t have our wedding that month. We planned our wedding, I bought 2 wedding dresses, he bought tux but it did not happen . God had other plans for us. Bigger then a fancy party.  Our wedding was supposed to be June 4th, 2011. I took this picture on June 10th and my husband went to God June 24th, 2011.

I wasn’t upset about the wedding, I was upset that I can’t be positive and strong enough for him. I was mentally and physically exhausted from sleepless nights, doctor appointments, hospital stays. It was a hard time.

I often tell myself that if I have half of his faith and love for God, half of his positive attitude, that if I love life and my family and friends half as much or if I hustle half as much as he did I will be in a great place. I often forget that life is a gift, I often complain about how busy I am, I often get upset when things don’t go as planned and thats when I remember him.  Costi was always grateful for everything in his life, always positive, always laughed when things went wrong. So my goal is to be half of what he was.  And I did change, I am more like him and I try every day to do better and be a better person then I was yesterday .

Newborn photography was a natural choice for me. I saw my good friend Kelly Fitzgerald Studio pose a newborn and I fell in love. So I took workshops, online classes and I practiced and perfected my posing and in reality I am still learning, always trying to improve and get better, always making sure the baby is safe and that mom and dad will have beautiful portraits.

Newborns are fascinating they know so much already but still they have a lot to learn. They are a book with blank pages and they get to write their story page by page and maybe change the world one day.


One of my first newborn pictures in 2012 I believe :))

And one of my daughter 2.5 years ago…

Some days it’s hard when I look back at what I used to think were good pictures, some nights like tonight I just laugh and I  feel blessed I get to do this and work with wonderful families and that I got to learn how to take a good newborn picture 🙂

Weddings are a very different story.

Weddings didn’t fit my life until my daughter was born. Her toys slowly took over my home studio. I started going on location for newborn pictures and I still do but that takes more of my time, I am away form her longer and as a first time mom I miss her and I need her. I want to spend time with her and listen to her stories. I want to give her more ‘pony’ rides on my  back and hear her say  ‘she’d never hurt me’  because that is what Ana says when she goes out to look for Elsa  in frozen… 🙂

So over the last 2 years I slowly transitioned towards weddings. I did a few weddings on my own and I got to be the second photographer at many weddings for Jen Sacia Photography, C-Tyson Photography and EllAdele Photography.

And now I am booking weddings for 2019 if anyone wants to spend their big day with this girl.


This is how Ela Pop Photography came to life, this is part of my life. I don’t want anyone to be sad… Costi will hate it and probably laugh at you … I read a blog recently and it reminded me that I need to tell his story more, I need to say his name so people know he was a great man and remember him. And honestly it makes me happy because the short time we were together we laughed a lot.