Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I LOVE presents and present giving. I really do. I am absolutely one of those people that gets really really excited to give someone a gift! I also love the challenge of gift wrapping creatively! I usually go to the store and pick out something really fun and gaudy but this year I was feeling the Kraft paper vibe and went for it. I knew I'd have to do something special to dress it up and so I decided to print out some of my favorite pictures from around Chicago in the Winter to use as tags and I like the way they turned out. 

I decided that I didn't want all my presents to look exactly the same so I used a combination of pretty ribbons from Anthropologie, bakers twine, and some different washi tapes from my! I think all three worked well with the printed out photo tags, don't you?!

Our tree is too small to put presents under so we have a present stack next to it! I can't wait to watch my family tear into these! Do you get as excited about paper goods as I do?!


Thursday, December 5, 2013


Have you guys heard of PhotoYolo? It's an email list that sends you a random picture a day. As a subscriber you'll eventually get asked to submit a photo, any photo of your choosing with no limitations, and that'll be queued up to be a PhotoYolo photo of the day in the future. I love that! Here's a screen shot of the email with my submitted photo in it.

Pretty cool concept huh? You can sign up for PhotoYolo here.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Steven Stojak is such a fun guy to be around. He's creative, ambitious and a lot of fun to be around!  Peep his work on his Flickr


Monday, December 2, 2013


I am so stoked to be featured on Ona's blog showing off how I use their Roma Insert bag. I am a huge fan or their well made and beautiful camera bags that don't look like camera bags. I recently bought their Union Street as my primary camera bag and couldn't be happier about it. You'll see more on that soon! 

The Roma is an insert made to go inside any bag of your choosing which was the major draw for me. If you have a large tote, that can be a camera bag! The Roma allows you to securely carry and store your camera gear in your roomie purse. I like to take the Roma with me when I travel because it allows me to have the option of using my purse as a camera bag (I usually travel with a Longchamp Le Pliage, pictured above) or you can take the insert out and just have a normal purse. You aren't tied to having to carry around a "camera bag". Here's a link to a review I did on the Roma last year.

Head on over to the Ona blog to read what I carry in my Ona Roma! 


Friday, November 29, 2013


Annnnd I'm back! The past few months have been busy with lots of fun photo projects, weddings, portrait sessions and even some adventures! I can't wait to start catching up on here which I hope to do soon since things have begun to slow down a bit!

It is Thanksgiving weekend and I feel that I have a lot to be thankful for. This year has proven to be the most exciting one yet in pretty much every way I can think of. It feels good to slow down and reflect on the good things in life. I feel so thankful for my tiny family, Christopher and his support in all my endeavors, the fun adventures I've gotten to share with my Mom, our health, an amazing group of friends and new ones that have been made this year, all those little things we can find joy in daily (for us it's probably starring at the rabbits and being so amused by them), and that I have a hobby and career that I find so fulfilling! 

I have mixed feelings about black friday and what it brings out in all of us, but I'm happy to be spending the afternoon with my two best friends working on a post for our Chicago-awesome-places-to-eat-blog and catching up on life, eating amazing thai food and feeling thankful!


Thursday, October 17, 2013


Julia is one of those positive and upbeat people you always want to be around. Her growing love for photography is contagious! Take a peek at some of her amazing images here.


Friday, October 11, 2013


The wonderful Heather Champ has started something that is quickly making checking my email even more fun, Favorites. Favorites is an email list you subscribe to. Each week Heather choses subscriber submitted photos to send out in an email. Most weeks there is a theme that you can interpret and submit to or you can just join the list and receive really awesome photos that you might have otherwise missed in our fast paced, visually overstimulated world! I am absolutely guilty of scrolling through Tumblr or Instagram very quickly, taking just a few seconds here or there to "heart" something, so the idea of an email being sent to me with carefully chosen goodness is super appealing! I think it's a brilliant idea! 

I was lucky enough to have a photo used in one of the emails a few weeks ago, here's a screen shot of my submission. 

Subscribe to Favorites here! Big thanks to Heather for brightening up our inboxes! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013


My friend Anne sent me an envelope with a tiny piece of paper in it with instructions. The directions were to choose two Impossible Project photos to send along for a project. The photos will be a part of an exhibition and a final project for an artist named Clare Massey.

I loved this concept so of course I sent in two pictures. My submissions were created with the Instant Lab and Impossible Project's PX 680 CP film. I chose one image of a pretty wall I saw in Boulder, CO that I photographed with my phone and the other was a wall of lips from Ikea! On both occasions that these photos were taken with my iPhone I was without proper camera and I'm so glad that the Instant Lab exists so I can have a tangible photograph to mail out! Read my review about the Instant Lab here.

Excited to see the other submissions from around the world! Speaking of projects, as they say on Game of Thrones, "Winter is Coming!". I need to start brainstorming fun photo projects to keep me sane during the cold Chicago Winter months!


Monday, October 7, 2013


I had such a blast at Lisa + Chris' wedding last month in Denver. They got married in a really cute church turned photo studio turned wedding venue with a backyard perfect for any party, Ralston's Crossing! Lisa and Chris were the models for cool calm and collected on their wedding day. I loved the little nesting doll toppers on their cake. SO CUTE (and a total, why didn't I think of that moment- I love Nesting Dolls!) Lisa picked them up on a trip to the Ukraine, she wanted to include a bit of Chris' heritage into the day which made them that much more significant! They enjoyed themselves with family and friends and A LOT of dancing. Props to Lisa who can and will shame the best of them on the dance floor!

Wedding Day Details:
Photographer: Me! Azuree Wiitala // Venue: Ralston's Crossing // Florist: Cori Cook Floral Design // Wedding Dress: Sottero-Midgley // Wedding Shoes: Chelsea Crew (Lisa added those cute blue bows herself) // Wedding Invitations: Hairpin Press // DJ: A Music Plus // Groom's Bow Tie: Tommy Hilfiger // Groom's Pocket Square: J Crew // Salon: Honeycomb Salon // Bride's Headpiece: The Yellow Peony // Musician: Aaron Foster (who makes his own beautiful guitars!) // Lisa and her friends and family made their own beautiful backdrop, embellished bookpage garland and paper rosettes! What a crafty lady!

You can see more of Lisa + Chris's wedding on my Facebook page

Friday, October 4, 2013


I am super lucky to have some very talented, creative friends. It's wonderful to be surrounded by people who are constantly pushing themselves and creating - it makes me keep pushing forward too! One of those rad people is my girl Rachel Winslow. Rachel is an a master at experimental film photography. She's always trying different things, experimenting with techniques, coming up with photo ideas. I love that! I'm much more of a take-pictures-of-whats-going-on type of gal so I'm always impressed with people who can come up with great ideas and execute them well!

We recently got together with some other friends to go on a photowalk here in Chicago on the Bloomingdale Trail but it was fenced off and drizzling out so we just hung out under this bridge instead taking pictures with all of our different cameras and it was just as fun. How cute is Rachel's outfit? It hasn't quite felt like Fall here yet, but since it was rainy Rachel wore her Tretorn lined rain boots and her outfit was so cute and functional! I love effortless style!

Thank you for being such an inspiration Rachel! Do you have friends that inspire you?