A Valentine's Day Adventure


On Saturday, we decided to brave the freezing cold to trek along Montrose Beach and watch the waves crashing into the air. It was a great opportunity to reconnect with my love for photography, which I haven't dedicated too much time to this winter. Despite the cold weather, I was so happy to be out there exploring and marveling at the wild waters, the giant chunks of ice floating in a mesmerizing pattern, and the sunset giving off that beautiful glowing light.


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LaBagh Woods Chicago by Bryna Shields

Whew! September was a crazy month full of projects. Of course I'm thankful for these opportunities, but more than anything, I've been craving some time to explore something new. My friend Aidan suggested we check out LaBagh Woods, which is a forested area in Chicago. I've lived here five years and had no idea this little gem existed! It's refreshing to know that there are still places left to discover if you look hard enough. It was a wonderful weather to get lost in nature, and I'm thankful that summer has stretched its limbs just a little bit further into the end of this month.

LaBagh Woods Chicago by Bryna Shields
LaBagh Woods Chicago by Bryna Shields
LaBagh Woods Chicago by Bryna Shields
LaBagh Woods Chicago by Bryna Shields
LaBagh Woods Chicago by Bryna Shields
LaBagh Woods Chicago by Bryna Shields

Engagement Session | Scott and Emily

Last week I had the chance to photograph engagement photos for Emily and Scott - who met during a photography class in college. We wandered around Chicago's beautiful Lincoln Park. If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember when I posted about this little oasis, and I instantly knew I wanted to photograph a couple here. So when Emily told me the general area she wanted to take photos, I could hardly wait to take them there. Thank you again for inviting me to document your happy occasion!

Chicago Lettering

This image came out of a strong desire to do some lettering late one night. I've been spending a lot of time over the last few months lettering in my daily sketches. I decided on the word 'Chicago' for no particular reason. But I soon realized that cities - no matter how long we spend in them - symbolize different phases in our lives, they hold stories from the best and worst parts of our lives, and they may change the way we think about the world. So I'm curious: what city holds an important story from your life? If you share a short, meaningful story about it I will letter that city. I'd love to hear a story that had a significant impact in your life; it doesn't have to be long or elaborate, just meaningful to you. I cannot wait to hear your stories!

Chicago was the first city I moved to after graduating from college. As I've navigated through all the craziness a young twentysomething must wade through, the thing that remains a constant comfort in this city for me is the architecture. I often find myself getting lost in the small details of these buildings. You can truly find beautiful architecture anywhere in this city; there is potential for a pleasant surprise around every corner. It reminds me to stay hopeful, to stay the course, because you just never know.

Chicago City Guide | Lincoln Park Conservatory

Lincoln Park Conservatory | Chicago, IL

The Lincoln Park Conservatory is a little gem along the lake in a beautiful part of the city. It's a nice little escape from all the buildings and skyscrapers, though those are of course enjoyable in their own right. The conservatory offers a more serene setting to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, a great place to go with a friend or alone, just to think. Outside of the conservatory is a large field with a great view of Chicago's skyline, perfect for a picnic or some meditation. And the best part is it's free, and close to the zoo and a cute little landscaped lily pond which I discovered happily by accident on my way. Definitely worth a trip if you haven't already been there.


Alapash Chicago, IL

When you walk into Alapash, you may feel overcome with the irresistible urge to purchase everything in sight, simply because everything is so beautifully and artfully arranged. And when you meet Marco, the shop owner, you may never want to leave. What's most wonderful about this shop is that Marco enjoys collaborating with a variety of artists, giving it an even more authentic feel. Everything in here seems to have a story, and these pieces are versatile enough to fit into a number of different styles. If you're in the Chicago area, you ought to stop by!

Cold & Sunny

There have been quite a few days where the morning sun is so bright and perfect, offering a certain harmony that you almost forget the biting cold weather. Photo from my instagram. You can follow me @highfivesforeveryone.