I'm Maggie :)
Keep the surprises coming. This is exactly what I have been praying for since that time when my oncologist thought I may be sick again and another PET scan was in order. I would like to say I was heroic and saintly but truth be told, I nearly lost myself. The fear swooped in with a vengeance and my doubt in the goodness of the Father was all too real for me.
I've had a deep love for my Catholic faith since childhood but have surely had it tested. I have fallen short, picked myself back up, and then believed that since I've been through childhood trauma, cancer, shingles, and multiple miscarriages, I should be all set. We're good now God, right? The rest is smooth sailing from here, no?
When my test results came back, they read "unremarkable." Now, technically that’s good news. That’s what we all want it to say! It means you’re healthy. The funny thing is, I was playfully offended by that. Unremarkable?! How dare these results say I'm unremarkable!
And for the first time in prayer, I shared with God the deepest desires of my heart, this photography business being one of them. I then rested, listened, and kept showing up for the Lord. In doing that, He showed up for me in ways I never could have imagined. God really does care about the little things.
It was then that I realized: Everything is Grace - a gift from God - and photography has the power to remind us of that. You never know when God will use an image to connect you to Him, to help you see what He sees. It is because of this that I want to photograph YOU and your loved ones.
You, dear reader, are anything but "unremarkable" and your story is worthy of being documented. Don't wait another second. Reach out and let's make this happen!
My journey from NCAA All-American volleyball player to collegiate hall of famer. Check out my acceptance speech and get a unique glimpse into my heart!
My podcast interview! Take an even deeper dive into my story, this time my marriage story, and hear the journey that led us to "I Do." This man of mine is the kind of person that sticks around even after your cancer diagnosis when you are only 11 months into dating and not even exchanging "I Love You's" yet. The kind that comes to every treatment and cooks dinner for your family after. Check it out!
Laughter is SO important to me that I will go out of my way to seek it out. That includes following comedians, streaming stand up, and attending live shows. My favorite current comedian is Sebastian Maniscalco. Laughing about the ordinary moments of every day life is instrumental in helping me maintain perspective, guard my joy, and not take life too seriously.
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One of the ways I personally pursue growth is through books. I LOVE them. I love reading them, looking at them, smelling them. It's one of the things I probably spend the most money on. Ever since I was a kid, they allowed me an escape into another world and to dream big. I love reading inspirational memoirs or any other nonfiction that is geared toward self-improvement or spiritual growth. I usually have multiple going at one time. When it comes to fiction, I love a good mystery/thriller. Bottom line, I never go anywhere without at least one book!
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Back in 2009, my oncologist prepared me to never be able to have children. But thanks to modern medicine, I was able to be a part of a new treatment at the time to (hopefully) help preserve fertility. It worked! My children, the three in heaven and the four here on this earth (I'm pregnant here), have been everything I didn't know I needed. Embracing motherhood has been one of the most challenging journeys of my life. It has broken me down, built me back up, and revealed to me all the places I have needed to allow myself to be loved so that I can love in return. I wouldn't trade it for anything but wow, it's quite the journey!
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I have a huge heart for teenagers! I taught 7th and 8th graders in Cicero for nine years and then 9th-11th graders for five years on the west side of Chicago. After an intense period of discernment, I decided to focus solely on photography (yahoo!) but not with the intent to leave teaching totally behind. Seeing that it will forever be a part of me, I am currently seeking out new and creative ways to work with teens outside of the traditional classroom. They have a special place in my heart!
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I love to seek out God in the ordinary events in life, whether it be the beauty of the frothed milk in my coffee, the random exchange of kind words at the store, or the unexpected song that came on while listening to music. I believe God is constantly pursuing us and speaks to us through the things that we love. So when I get excited for a coffee I didn't make, a social event, or a good book, I try to remember to stop and say, "I love you too, God." His love is freely given and He delights in showing it to us. We have the choice to love Him in return. I think life is more fun this way and it keeps us open to all kinds of surprises!
MY CATHOLIC FAITH
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My Favorite Things
what other's say About Working With me:
"HER SENSE OF HUMOR AND GENUINE EXCITEMENT HELP YOU FEEL NATURAL IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA!"
"She is A TRUE PROFESSIONAL AND VISUAL ARTIST."
"She is CALM, WARM, PATIENT, AND WELCOMING."
"HER HEART AND SOUL GO INTO HER WORK. IT IS TRULY AN EXTENSION OF HER."
"SHE IS JOYFUL, LOVING, GENEROUS, AND A LOT OF FUN."
"She ENCOURAGES YOU AND EMBRACES you AS INDIVIDUALS."
"SHE IS INVESTED IN YOU AND WE LOVE IT!"
"she makes you feel like you are hanging out with one of your closest friends!"
what other's say About Working
A snapshot into my life
The photos Maggie takes are not only brilliant, but they display the beauty, truth, messiness, and absolutely lovely parts of life. She does all of this through a photo session that makes you feel like you are hanging out with one of your closest friends. She eases everyone in and through that process gets truly gorgeous photos of her clients. I will continue to use her for my photography needs and would recommend her to anyone!
There aren’t enough words to explain how amazing Maggie is. Her work is truly an extension of her. The care, the ease of preparation, the session itself, all the things added to the experience. When we got the images back, I had so many good ones to pick from, which has never happened for me before. She gave us memories that we will forever cherish.
You won’t regret your investment in Everything is Grace Photography! We love our photos! And boy was it hard to choose a few favorites to share! We’ve never done a summer photo session and they turned out beautiful. I am so glad I chose to capture these moments, my kids are getting so big and all doing their own things, it’s bittersweet. Seriously, go check out Maggie! She pours her heart into these sessions and is simply one of the best. Joyful, loving, kind and generous. You won’t regret it! Thank you Maggie for loving on my family and connecting with us, I am so grateful. Now to choose ones for my walls…."
Lisa & MARK
This was the single best experience I have ever had with having pictures taken! I was hesitant to do it beforehand, but all that melted away the minute the session started. Maggie was calm, warm, and welcoming. She encouraged my daughter and I to be ourselves and provided direction here and there to create the most beautiful photos. I can't say enough about how incredible this experience was, and the photos are unbelievable! This will forever be a very special memory for my daughter and I, all thanks to Everything is Grace Photography!
Kris & LIZZIE
Maggie of Everything is Grace Photography is a true professional and visual artist! During our session she managed to capture so many images that authentically showcased me and my personality. I was blown away with the album she sent of the pictures she captured. After seeing the photos, a friend commented that every pic looked so joy-filled! THAT is a direct result of Maggie and her skills! I've already recommended her to family and friends, and would book with her again in a heartbeat!
Absolutely amazed and overwhelmed at the photos we received after having a session with Maggie! What's even better is that it was such a fun and easy time. With two young kids, photo sessions have been hit or miss but she was so great with our boys and the time flew by. It was so casual! It felt like we were just having a conversation and walking through the park while she snapped away. I could not be more pleased with the whole experience and we have definitely found our photographer for years to come!
Matt and Michelle
Maggie is a talented photographer and an amazing human being. The combination of these attributes makes her excel at her craft. Maggie's heart and soul go into her work and it is reflected in the product. Our session was incredibly thoughtful and planned perfectly. The lighting captured in our photos was angelic because Maggie had scouted an incredible location and knew by the minute when the sun would be magical. I am so thankful to have found Maggie to take Mother/daughter photos for the holidays this year. She exceeded my expectations. They are more than photos; they are an heirloom.
Aside from being an amazing photographer, Maggie is such a sweet and kind human-being! She completely made my family and I feel at ease and the pictures came out beautiful and natural. Maggie really captured our personalities. It was such a nice experience to have as a family. It was fun and playful without feeling cheesy. We were blown away by the images. The pictures were breathtaking and even made me teary-eyed (in a good way). Simply put, they are beautiful!
Kevin & erin
Maggie is not only amazing at what she does but she also has a heart of gold to match! She really took the time to get to know me and my family and I can’t tell her enough how much I appreciated that. She made me feel more comfortable and confident at our session and was so supportive of what our daughters needed, encouraged us to follow their lead, and because of that she was able to capture beautiful photos. I felt this overwhelming feeling of joy in my heart when viewing the final images! I was blown away at the beauty. I couldn’t stop smiling! Maggie was able to perfectly capture our family - “this is SO us!” my husband and I shouted at each other as we scrolled through our photos. I sincerely can’t thank Maggie enough.
LYVYANE & Mike
Maggie came to our home on a cold February day for a couples "Date Night" session. My husband and I are not the most comfortable in front of the camera, but Maggie made it so easy for us. Her sense of humor and genuine excitement helped us feel natural in front of the camera. Her specific directions while shooting made the session painless, and honestly, a lot of fun!! We absolutely love having photos of us in our home. We will treasure these photos forever!
Matt & Lauren
My husband and I just had our 10 year wedding anniversary and did a photo session with Maggie to celebrate, wearing our wedding clothes! It was so much fun. She did an outstanding job replicating some of our favorite wedding pictures and had some cute ideas of ways to involve our 3 young kids! We will cherish these pictures forever. It was also so special for our kids to see us in my dress / his tux! We can’t wait for a repeat for our 20 year!!!! Thank you Maggie!!!
TIffany & ANDY
Maggie was warm, communicative, professional and focused on ensuring that everything about our experience with her was the best that it possibly could be. It was also so refreshing to have someone who encouraged us to embrace who we are as individuals and as a couple and to have that reflected in beautiful photos. When you work with Maggie, you will be amazed at how she is going to capture you and your family in your element, which is probably why all of her photos turn out so beautifully - they reflect who we were in that moment in time and for that I am grateful.
Kate & JOsh
Maggie has given me the gift of being able to marvel at my family. I think that deep down, this is probably how God is able to view us all. He is not hurried, rushed or impatient. He gazes upon his loved ones, soaking in the beauty, vulnerability and love of a given moment. Thank you for the gift of being able to see my family as God sees us. Thank you for this captured Holy Pause.
Chad & Nora
My family can’t say enough about Maggie. We did a family session with her and it was wonderful. She was patient and kind and it was a lot of fun. My kids keep asking when we can do it again. As for the pictures they are truly amazing! Our family has always had a hard time with photos and often don’t take them because people (including ourselves) can never get the lighting right. My husband and I are caucasian and I have very light skin. Our two daughters are African American and biracial and have darker skin. This was our first experience that my older daughters facial features and my own looked amazing. Usually lighting is too dark or too light. She captured our family in true form and love! We’ll definitely be doing another session!
Stacy & DAVE
Absolutely amazing session and final pictures! Maggie was able to capture moments that we normally would not have on camera. She made it fun for everyone! We shared MANY laughs and she made the photo session easy. She has a great eye and knows just what to capture! When you work with her, she is invested in you and I LOVE it. This is also probably why my husband reached out to her a few months later to surprise me with one of her couples “Date Night" Sessions which was another incredible experience but this time for just the two of us. :)
Julie & RONNIE
A slice of life. That is what Maggie captured when she photographed my family. It was exactly what I was envisioning, plus more. She scouted the location and knew the best spots to catch that golden hour sun. She was playful and fun which was perfect for my sons. She let the session unfold with an idea of what she wanted to capture, all while letting our love and laughter guide us into truly comfortable and real moments!
Nic & Di
YOU ARE REMARKABLE
It's your openness to life’s journey and your willingness to see that all things can be used for good. It's your yes to joy and continually showing up despite the hard. It's your strength and resiliency. It's your love for life. You deserve to be celebrated!
Out of my love for the community I serve, I have created a Facebook group for Chicago area moms! The goal of this group is to foster a loving and encouraging community that bonds (online and/or in person) over the desire to live a life fully alive. You can expect honesty, laughter, inspiration, and lots of recommendations for pursuing a life full of joy and peace. This isn't a place where we pretend to have it all together! If this resonates with you, JOIN! I can’t wait to meet you!
As a bonus, I will also make sure you are also the first to know about special bookings that become available!
~ FAITH ~
Click HERE to join my
for laid-back, Jesus loving, Chicago-area moms!