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  • AliviaGrayStudios

Emily + Michael

Updated: Jan 15, 2019



I knew that this engagement session was going to be a special one. It was for two people who mean a lot to me, it was in the city where I found my love, and we were going to be next to the iconic Wrigley Field. The opportunity alone for me was huge and I was honored to be capturing Emily and Michael during this special time. The day couldn’t have been more perfect! Perfect weather, perfect calm Chicago Sunday morning, the eagerly anticipated start of football season….just perfect.

I arrived to Emily and Michael’s charming new place and we started walking through their classy, upbeat, neighborhood snapping pictures along the way. We stopped to grab a drink and a bite to eat (longest wait for a bloody mary EVER but delicious food!) and catch kickoff of the NFL season.

As the day went on my eyes kept welling up after certain shots…I had a certain man on my mind who would have been so overjoyed to see these two so in love and finally getting married. I kept thinking to myself “I wish he were here” just as I had years ago when David and I were in the same stages. I said a quick goodbye later that afternoon and was beyond eager to get home and start editing (and to see my mini munchkins).

The following morning I got my chance to scroll through and look closely at all their photographs. AND THERE IT WAS….

(Backstory: I was told as a young kid whenever there’s a light orb in a photograph it’s a loved one’s spirit showing their presence. In my eight years of taking photos I’ve seen this only a few times and when I ask “do you have a loved one that you’ve lost?” they always reply “Yes” and share their story. It’s become something special I look for in my photography and when I saw the orb in Em and Michael’s picture there was no story needed.)

Grandpa Porter…You sneaky, sweet man, I caught you. Of course tears ran down my face while editing this photograph…SO many feels. His love for Em , Happiness for both her and Michael, and his humor… I could just picture him trying to photo bomb their picture with some hilarious gesture. As I finished editing I just starred at the image. I’m glad he showed up there with us, for he’s one of the people who showed Emily’s Father to love, and her dad taught her and without that, we wouldn’t be celebrating these two incredible people’s engagement.



XO + AP




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