AJ.Goreham Photography: Blog https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog en-us (C) AJ.Goreham Photography [email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:38:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:38:00 GMT https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u608183460-o23180118-50.jpg AJ.Goreham Photography: Blog https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog 86 120 PEOPLE in TIME - Italy https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2019/9/people-in-time---italy This album is all about people. This is from my vacation to Italy this past summer. I normally try to take pictures of historic places without tourists. This time around...I changed my mind. Some photos have many tourists...some just a few. Enjoy!









[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Amalfi coast Capri city wonders tours intrepid travel Ischia Italy Naples photography Pompeii Rome Sorrento St Peter's Basilica The Vatican Museum Travel photography https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2019/9/people-in-time---italy Thu, 26 Sep 2019 03:44:12 GMT
Lia and Chris Engagement Shoot https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2019/9/lia-and-chris-engagement-shoot This was a fun shoot! The couple was great and we were able to travel around to several spots in the city to capture different views of what Chicago has to offer. Wishing them the best in their new adventure to come! 


This is one of my favorite pics of the entire shoot! 

Shooting through trees and leaves adds a cool touch and feel to this photo!

We wanted to try some pictures with a city feel that was classic "Chicago".

This is at Lincoln Park Zoo! Such a great spot. I was so happy there were not too many people at this location. 


Enjoy the Video! 

[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) AJGoreham Ave Beach Chicago Couples Engagement Happy Lincoln North Outdoor Park Photo Photography Poses Shoot Smiles Zoo https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2019/9/lia-and-chris-engagement-shoot Sat, 14 Sep 2019 03:44:35 GMT
How The Times Flies By https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/12/how-the-times-flies-by Thank you to all my amazing clients who trusted me to capture their stories through the art of photography. I hope your experiences were so much more than just taking pictures. By this I mean...I hope you enjoyed your shoots. It's not just about getting good pictures, I believe in creating a fun atmosphere in each of my shoots. Let's see what 2019 has in store!  


[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) baby photography chicago family family photo shoot naperville photography photography portraits pregnancy shoot https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/12/how-the-times-flies-by Sun, 02 Dec 2018 02:07:41 GMT
Intentional Friendships https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/8/intentional-friendships This is one of my favorite families to photograph. Perhaps, I should not be so bias...but it's okay...it's my blog anyway. I have known the mother, Amma, since 2011 when I first started to work in the same emergency department where she worked.  My side job was being a photographer and I was brand new at it and needed clients. She was the first client who trusted me and gave me a chance to capture her family. Long story short, over the past seven years I have taken 4 family session photo shoots with them. I have truly enjoyed watching the kids grow throughout the years. Sometimes people go to work with no intentions of making meaningful connections or friendships with their co-workers, leave work at work they might say. Although, this is not necessarily a negative belief sometimes exceptions are worth making. In this case, photography was the tool God used form a friendship. Thanks boo... that's for you Amma! Enjoy the photos! 

Being siblings! 


Not sure what he was doing...but I love this shot. 




















I think I have improved as a photographer over the last 7 years. 


To many more!!!


[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Buckingham Fountain chicago family family photo shoot Millennium Park north avenue beach photography portraits siblings https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/8/intentional-friendships Sun, 19 Aug 2018 04:15:35 GMT
Tallinn, Estonia https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/6/tallinn-estonia I was going though some old photos and I realized I never made a blog about my trip to Estonia. I was visiting friends from Finland and took a day trip to the city of Tallinn in Estonia. I have not had the chance to explore too many cities in Europe, however, out of the cities I have been too, Tallinn was one of my favorite cities so far. Except st. Petersburg in Russia is supper cool too! I am sitting here thinking to myself if St. Petersburg is in Eurpore or not...I think it is.  



The skyline of Old Town Tallinn. 


I like the color of this building. 



I am not sure what it is about this picture but I like it a lot!


Imagine the conversations had around this dinner table. 


Beautiful roofs.


The old being made new. 












If you would only imagine how long it took me to get these two pictures without anyone in them...It was a while. 


Being guarded by a wall. 


One by one...the restoration continues.

[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) estonia europe kiek in de kök museum and bastion tunnels st. nicholas' church and museum st. olaf's church tallinn travel photography https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/6/tallinn-estonia Wed, 06 Jun 2018 03:57:34 GMT
Before & After https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/5/before-after I have been working on learning photography for the past six years! Thanks to YouTube it was easier then ever! Once I discovered there were hundreds of people making tutorials on photography, it took me several months to find a photographer who I connected to their videos.  I needed the videos to be easy to understand and cover a variety of topics. Thanks "PhotoRec TV" / "Toby Gelston". I was really impressed with how quickly he answered questions and how easy to understand his videos were. This is some of my work and how I have learned to edit photos. Enjoy!


Tampa, Florida, USA


San Diego, California, USA


Moscow, Russia


San Diego, California, USA


Tampa, Florida, USA


Tampa, Florida, USA


St. Petersburg, Russia


St. Petersburg, Russia


[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) american flag florida manolito's cubans moscow peterhof palace photography photorec tv st. basil's cathedral st. petersburg sunsets tampa toby gelston https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/5/before-after Tue, 22 May 2018 03:35:46 GMT
Sunsets in Florida https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/5/sunsets-in-florida I was in Tampa Florida this past May for my last training weekend for EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) as a therapist. The last time I was in Tampa, January 2018, it was cold and I did not give myself any extra time for vacation after the seminar. This time around, I decided to stay an extra three days to explore Tampa and the surrounding area. I went parasailing, jet skiing, did some boat tours, ate some great sea food, and took a lot of sunset photos. Florida had some of the more beautiful sunsets I have seen in a while. Enjoy the picture.  

** If interested in buying photos feel free to contact me. **

Downtown Tampa during sunset.


This is the University of Tampa in Florida. The architecture is modeled after the middle eastern culture.  


The American flat can be a give away as to where this is located. 


I stayed at the Godfrey Hotel in Tampa. This was the view out of my room 6 days. 



This is one of the many mansions by the water I saw during a sunset cruise. 


Not a bad life style. However, not sure if I can afford this on a social worker salary. 


I love this photo. I have no idea who this couple is, but can you feel the romance? I took this picture while on a sunset cruise. The boat was heading out to the gulf to watch the sunset go down. I imagine this couple was doing the same. How romantic...sailing off to the sunset. 


The simplicity of Florida...Sun, Water, and Palm Trees. 


"They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy". Psalm 65:8.


Looking west from Bayfront Park, Sarasoda, FL.


Bayfront Park, Sarasoda, FL.


On Cinco De Mayo I spent the evening in Ybor City, just northeast of Tampa. After walking around and exploring this small part of Florida, I had dinner in the center of the city and people watched for a few hours. What a unique area. 


Ybor City Center. 


I am not sure if the bridges are normally blue or in celebration of the Tampa Bolts Hokey team doing well. Looks cool either way. 


Multicultural sail boat!


The city of Tampa really loves their Bolts! The city had a huge viewing party outside during one of their games. 


Feeding the hungry who turned out to watch the Bolt win that night. This one of several food truck. I love the colors in this shot. 



I'd rather not be in a hospital at all, but if I had to, I would like a room with a view of a beautiful sunset from Tampa General Hospital. 


Aeromed Tampa General Hospital. I'd rather not need their service. No offense guys. But I like your helicopter.  


Having a zoom lens allows me to get close without trespassing. Thanks Canon 70-200 f2.8.


** If interested in buying photos feel free to contact me. **


[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) aeromed american flag bayfront park bible verse florida sunsets godfrey hotel manolito's cubans middle east architecture palm trees sail boats sarasoda sunset cruise sunsets tampa tampa bolts tampa convention center tampa general hospital tampa river-walk university of tampa ybor city https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/5/sunsets-in-florida Sun, 20 May 2018 21:25:44 GMT
Russian Beauty https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/3/russian-beauty Some of you might know that I spent 9 weeks in Russia this past summer. I had a chance to travel to St. Petersburg, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Lake Baikal, and Yakutia. The majority of my trip focused on working with a non-profit Christian humanitarian organization and other parts of this trip was for tourism. Russia is the largest country in the world when it comes to land size. To better grasp the vastness of Russia I turned to Google Maps. If you wanted to drive from St. Petersburg to Yakutia it would take you about 120 hours or 5 days of non-stop driving. Distance wise, you would cover about 9,000 km or 5,600 miles. I hope you enjoy some of the pictures of Mother Russia.   



The song is an old Russian WWII song about a love story.

The title is "Смуглянка молдованка" and the translation is, "Dark-Skinned Moldovan Women". 













[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) moscow novosibirsk peterhof palace photography red square russia saint basil's cathedral siberia st. petersburg travel photography https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/3/russian-beauty Fri, 23 Mar 2018 12:45:58 GMT
Dominican Republic https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/3/dominican-republic There are a bit late. There photos are from my time in the Dominican Republic last year when I went to visit some good friends. This past week for my family has been really tough and going through photos and editing seems to help take my mind off of things that are out of my control. These pictures were taken from a city called Jarabacoa. This city is located almost in the middle of the country. Enjoy.


Talk about 1st century technology. Take a close look at the wheels...what do you see? 


Can you see the years of hard work on his face?


Color...bringing character.


His eyes tell a million stories.


Daily life.






Not as scary as it looks. 


Coffee...organic, basic, and homemade. Electricity not needed.


A natural source of potassium.


No need for a dishwasher. 


A private school's outdoor theater.


Adding color to life.


Preferred method of transport.


[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) ajgoreham photography central america color dominican republic farming horses jarabacoa missions organic coffee photography travel photography urban life https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/3/dominican-republic Fri, 02 Mar 2018 03:16:50 GMT
Sailing in San Diego https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/2/sailing-in-san-diego I was in San Diego for a conference for work not long ago. I gave myself two days after the conference to explore San Diego and everything it had to offer...and explore I did! One of my highlights was to go sailing in San Diego. I went on a 3.5 hour whale watching tour with Sail San Diego. My tour had 5 other people on it, which made it for a nice intimate environment. One of the couples on the boat were Joshua and Ashley. They were super fun. Being an extrovert I love meeting new people from other parts of the country and hearing what their stories are all about. Since I had my nice camera I decided to take some photos for them. I loved how they turned out. Ashley and Joshua...thanks for being awesome! 









































[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) ashley arcement california photography portraits sail san diego sailing san diego watching whale https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/2/sailing-in-san-diego Mon, 19 Feb 2018 04:37:24 GMT
Beautiful San Diego https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/2/beautiful-san-diego I have been to California multiple times. I have some great friends who live in Oakland and some others who live in Long Beach. I have loved visiting California and have some great memories with close friends. This past January I had the change to visit San Diego for the first time. I went there for a two day conference called TF-CBT. (Trauma Focus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). I was able to stay two extra days for sun. I had my camera and here is what I was to capture. What a beautiful city. I loved it.  


San Diego Skyline


Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial and the 27 foot cross at the top.


Looking out west and admiring the sunset at Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial.


Old Glory flying high and proud. I love the lighting in this photo.


The city skyline at night. How the lights are reflected on the water make this picture so much more incredible. 


USS Midway Carrier Museum. It was the largest carrier for 10 years in the world when it was first built. 


This is on of my favorite pictures from my trip. This picture is an accident. I placed the camera down on the rocks and pressed the button and hoped it would turn out well. The camera chose to focus on the rocks in front, which gave the city skyline a slightly blurry focus. For you camera enthusiast... the camera settings were F29 and the exposure is 30 seconds. The white slanted lines fare airplanes coming into to land at San Diego airport.  


Old Point Loma Lighthouse. 


Cabrillo National Monument


Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. It was amazing to walk around and read the names and the dates of those who served and died for this country. 


Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.


Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.


Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.


Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) america cabrillo national monument california fort rosecrans national cemetery military new point loma lighthouse night photography san diego skyline usa navy uss midway https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2018/2/beautiful-san-diego Tue, 06 Feb 2018 05:34:32 GMT
A Selfless Summer https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2017/10/a-selfless-summer This past summer I had the privilege of working alongside 12 amazing individuals with an organization called Operation Mobilization. We traveled near and far in the world's largest country, crossing many times zones to reach the lost with the love of Christ. We spend time putting together children camps, playing sports, and camping out with a bunch of teenagers in remote parts of this country. I was able to use my skills as a photographer to bless individuals and families with professional photos at no cost to them. Over the 9 weeks, I took 6,547 photos. As I continue to edit the photos even now, I am reminded of the memories and friendships I formed this summer and what a smile it brings to my face. 6 countries represented: Russia, America, Brazil, Scotland, Switzerland, and Kyrgyzstan. 

I am thankful to God for allowing me to worker at a place that gave me 9 weeks off for the summer. I am thankful that God kept all of us safe and healthy throughout  the duration of the trip. But most importantly, I am thankful we have a God who specializes in healing hearts, restoring the the brokenness within, and renewing hope. My friends, thank you for partnering with me this summer. 






























[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) america brazil humanitarian aid international photography kyrgyzstan non-profit operation mobilization russia scotland switzerland https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2017/10/a-selfless-summer Thu, 12 Oct 2017 01:26:34 GMT
To Build or Not to Build https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2017/3/to-build-or-not-to-build      This past February I had a chance to go to Haiti with a small team from my church, The Compass Church. Our team joined local missionaries who have been living there for about 6 years who work with Cross Roads and STEP Seminary. The team raised $6,000 for a home and this included all materials and labor. The foundation was laid prior to our arrival. In four days a small three room house was built. We had a small team of 5 people who joined a Haitian team of maybe 8-10 people to build this house. The Haitian team has built maybe 50+ houses and our team built 0 houses (1 home by the end of the trip). What was really cool was that we worked along side with the family who were going to be living in this very home. We started work at 7:30 AM and in the afternoon we would spend time playing with the local kids who would come by after school. Our team did not come as the experts in construction. We came as a team offering time and manual labor to help make one construction project a bit easier.

     I knew someone in college who thought short-term mission trips where a big waste time. I remember them one day trying to destroy my rationale for why I thought short-term missions were a good thing. They were not interested in a meaningful conversation and I was reminded quickly how words have power to hurt. After I got back from this trip, I saw a feed on my Facebook about how short-terms missions are bad and how they destroy this or destroy that. As I read the article I was initially irritated. I thought to myself, here is another attempt to attack Christians trying to do something good, but as I read the article I start to notice I've heard this all before. In fact, the points this author was making were valid. In reality, there is a healthy way of doing short-term mission. Good intentions are NOT enough. I am not talking about THE right way of doing something or THE wrong way of doing something, I am talking about helping verse hurting. Our team read the book "When Helping Hurts" by Steve Corett and Brian Fikkert. This book was all about how to support and empower a culture that is in need of help instead of re-enforcing the cycle of poverty that exists in a 3rd world country. I highly recommend reading this book before going on short-term missions. 

     In the end it's not just about the home the team built. It's about forming relationships and partnerships. In reality I stink at building houses, I'm slow, and don't know what I am doing. In the time it took for me to hammer one nail into the wood for a roof, the Haitians would hammer four nails. I was sure I was slowing them down and not actually being a real help at all. Not once did they get mad or angry at my poor ability to balance on a wooden roof and hammer nails or how slow I was at laying down concrete for the walls. Looking back our team's presence there was not all able building a home, it was about forming relationships and creating memories. I got to spend a week in a culture I knew very little about. I got to learn their language and taught them part of mine. I went with an attitude of learning and partnership. I got to use my passion of photography capture moments. In the morning before work started the two teams came together to do devotions. Two cultures, two life styles, two countries... ONE AMAZING GOD!  


Mixing the concrete for the walls.






















Re-enforcing the walls with steel cross beams.







Pouring the concrete floor.












[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) brian fikkert compass church construction projects haiti humanitarian work international photography mission trips photography port-au-prince step seminary steve corbett when helping hurts https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2017/3/to-build-or-not-to-build Fri, 31 Mar 2017 22:23:57 GMT
Family photo shoot from the Dominican Republic https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2017/3/life-in-the-dominican-republic Family Photo shoot from the Dominican Republic


In February I was able to visit some old friends from when I was in high school. Rick was my youth pastor back in high school. He and he wife, Beckey, moved to the Dominican Republic about 10 years ago to be missionaries. I was in Haiti this past month and decided to cross the island and visit with them before heading back to the states. It was truly a wonderful trip. It was such a pleasure to be able to catch up with them. Since I brought my nice camera equipment I offered to do a family photo shoot for them. They showed me what they had done a few years ago, and I was happy to offer them a much better quality photo shoot this time around. Enjoy!

Rick, Beckey, Ben, and Elena



















Ben                                                                                              Elena



Rick and Beckey




[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Dominican Republic International Photography developing nation family family photo shoot humanitarian work missionaries natural light photography photography" portraits short-term missions united world missions https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2017/3/life-in-the-dominican-republic Thu, 09 Mar 2017 23:02:54 GMT
The beauty of Art https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2017/1/the-beauty-of-art One of my other passions in life is to help others through difficult situations by using therapy. I am a licensed clinical social worker and work as a clinical therapist with adolescents and their families. I always talk to my clients about the importance of using healthy coping skills to manage emotions that can sometimes be overwhelming. I would say one of the most calming healthy coping skills that I often encourage others to use is ART. There is no such thing as right or wrong art. You don't have to turn it in for a grade and there is no need to impress others. I use photography as a artistic outlet for me all ready, however, I am going to challenge myself this year. Instead of wasting way too many hours playing video games of watching YouTube videos...lets see what I can draw. When I was younger I had a bed time of 9 PM. Most of the time I was not quite ready to go to bed, so I would draw ambulances, fire trucks, airplanes, cars, etc until I got tired. I encourage you, no, I challenge you to rediscover a gift or talent you once had make it your own once again.





The following are some pictures that I drew when I was younger. Hopefully ya'll can see the improvements. I sure can. 


Responding to a call. The light changing due to special light signaling that comes from the ambulance. 


Fire station. Sometimes. 


Look closely at the window. they are not parallel to the plane. 


I always wanted to fly on an airplane that takes off and lands on the water. "A Airlines" ...named after myself of course. 


Much Improved!


Take off time. 


Don't forget the luggage. 


Flight for life. Hopefully, I never need it as a patient. However, I did get to fly along with UCAN Chicago for one of my EMT Clinical rotations. They are a pediatric flight for life with University of Chicago Hospital.  




[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) airplanes airports art childhood memories creativity fire stations fire trucks healthy coping skills photography therapy https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2017/1/the-beauty-of-art Wed, 04 Jan 2017 05:34:15 GMT
Taking advantage of fall colors. Location is everything! https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2017/1/taking-advantage-of-fall-colors-location-is-everything I was hired for a photo session with some friends. They wanted to make sure to get the fall colors in the background. Sure thing I thought to myself... its the fall season in the Chicago area and the trees still have leaves on them. My friends recommended a place to go...so I met them there on the day of the photo shoot. As I pulled up, I quickly started to freak out, since the trees at this particular forest preserve had lost almost all of their leaves and the ones that were up looked brown and dead. The time of day and the sun positioning were also not conducive for easy photo shoot. The forecast called for clouds which would have been a nice natural light diffuser. However, the sun was way too bright. As we started the photo shoot it became apparent that we needed to go to another location for better colors and lighting. As I followed my friends to the back-up location I was silently freaking out thinking to myself...I really hope we find some color. I hope some clouds magically appear. I don't want to disappoint them. Long story short, as we drove to the back-up location...we just so happened to drive past a park that seemed to be THE perfect location. It had big trees with beautiful colors on them. There were other trees that could provide shade from the sun. There was no mud that we had to walk through. Location is everything...I thought to myself. The photos turned out great and my friends were happy with the pictures. The irony from this whole story is that their favorite photo from the entire session came from the first location. The location that I thought was no good. Who would have thought. Thanks Dave and Crystal for a fun experience.  









This is the picture they love from the first location. 

[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Chicago. Fall photo shoot Photography couples fall colors family https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2017/1/taking-advantage-of-fall-colors-location-is-everything Mon, 02 Jan 2017 01:49:26 GMT
Family Fall Photo Shoot https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2016/11/fall-family-photos-shoot The only reason that Fall is not my favorite season is because...As the Game of Thrones would say, "Winter is Coming". If summer followed the Fall season...I would love it. There is something cozy about being able to put on a sweater or scarf and go outside with a warm drink in your hand. Caramel Apple Spice for me please. I love the colors changing and the warm winds that often with the the Fall season. I love shooting during the Fall season. The cloudy skies form a natural light diffuser and make the colors on the trees pop just a little bit more. Thank you to Sasha and Carrie for allowing to capture your beautiful family! Enjoy the video!      





















[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Chicago Naperville photographer Photography chicago land photographer fall colors family family photo shoot portraits https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2016/11/fall-family-photos-shoot Fri, 04 Nov 2016 04:04:10 GMT
A Classic American Wedding https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2016/9/a-classic-american-wedding The other day I had the chance to do a photo shoot for a couple that got married. The bride is a nurse and the groom is a medic in the navy. I am not sure if it can get any more American than that. Outside the court house where they got married was a classic car show. It was really nice that some of the car owners let us use their cars for pictures. Later in the evening we went to Fabyan Park in Geneva to shoot some more photos. It was a really fun photo shoot and an honor to capture your special day Tina and Dan! Thanks! 



I like this picture. They were waiting for the the judge to come and get us. I wanted the pictures from this shoot to have a old 1950's feel to it. The tile floor, the wooden bench they are sitting, and the faded colors help make this feel come true in this picture. 




















Picture from the the ceremony.                                                                                                         Picture from the court house. 



This is one of my favorite photos from this shoot. I love the car, the flowers in the background and Tina's smile. 



I love this picture. I wanted to change the colors to give it an old 1950's feel. 






Here is the video from their photo shoot!


[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) America American flag Chicago Fayban Park classic wedding court house wedding medic military navy nurse paramedic proud sailor wedding photography https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2016/9/a-classic-american-wedding Fri, 16 Sep 2016 12:47:15 GMT
Celebrating the 1st year of Life. https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2016/8/celebrating-the-1st-year-of-life Doing photo shoots for younger kiddos scares me sometimes. The reason being that they don't listen very well. I can't expect them to sit still and look at the camera all the time. I always tell my clients that I cannot guarantee young client's participation and cooperation. Often times, the parents are making funny noises and dancing like crazy right behind me to keep the attention of the young subject. Sometimes its a miss and other times its a hit. You can decide which one this was! This photo shoot was a gift certificate that I donated to a Spina Bifida fundraiser. 100% of proceeds went toward this cause. I am proud to support a cause that seeks to improve the quality of life for those affected with Spina Bifida.  


Ready...                                                   Set...                                                   GO!!!




I love her blue eyes and beautiful pink dress!





Enjoy...Words not needed. 

[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Bifida Chicago Spina charity family first fundraiser photo photography portraits shoot toddler year https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2016/8/celebrating-the-1st-year-of-life Fri, 26 Aug 2016 03:27:39 GMT
Summer Fun as Time Flies by. https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2016/7/summer-fun-as-time-flies-by Last week I had a family photo session with a family who is visiting from Finland. I first met them October 2013, when I did my first family photo shoot with them. I always like having repeat clients because I enjoy seeing the family grow up. I think it s unique privilege that I did not expect when I got into the photography business. Lynn, thanks for allowing me to join your family for a fun evening on Chicago's lakefront. I hope in three years I will be able to do this again. 


This is the video slideshow from the photo shoot July 2016.




October 2013                                             July 2016









[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) . Buckingham Chicago Chicago lakefront Finland Foundation" Photography Photos Summer in the City family family photo shoot lakeshore drive portraits video slideshow https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2016/7/summer-fun-as-time-flies-by Sat, 16 Jul 2016 17:35:20 GMT
Watching them Grow! https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2016/7/watching-them-grow Its been amazing to watch this family grow up. This June, I shot my third photos shoot with this family! I work with the mom and she has been instrumental in helping my business grow when I decided to turn my hobby and interest into a business. You might be asking yourself how did she help? That's easy...she trusted me and gave me a chance and for this, I am extremely thankful for. This past family session was fun because I felt like I was part of the group. The kids remembered me from the other photos shoots. They did a great job listening, and they held my hand as we crossed Lakeshore Drive on our way to North Avenue Beach in Chicago. I look forward to being able work with this awesome family in the future and continue to capture moments that will be remembered for years to come. Thanks guys!   














[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Chiccago North Photography. avenue beach family photo portraits shoot https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2016/7/watching-them-grow Sun, 10 Jul 2016 06:03:42 GMT
How quickly times flies by. https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2016/5/how-quickly-times-flies-by This was one of my favorite photos shoot! I have been going through some old photo shoots and making slide shows. Enjoy! Thanks Courtney and Brody for telling me shoot you guys. 



[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Chicago Photography Photos country. family photo shoot farm western suburbs https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2016/5/how-quickly-times-flies-by Wed, 01 Jun 2016 01:30:34 GMT
Church of God: Uganda 2015 https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2016/5/church-of-god-uganda-2015 Team work in Uganda


Uganda is one of my favorite counties in Africa. I have been there two times, once in 2009 and once in 2015. Both times I went with Northmain Church of God, in Butler PA. The team goes for about two weeks and we partner with local missionaries and churches to help with various projects while we are there. Everything from running Sunday school to home visits and running medical clinics. We offered free tests for Malaria and HIV to anyone who came, we met with local widows and spent time listening to their stores. We organized games and fun activities for over 200 children. Most importantly, we spent time listening, praying, and caring for those who need it. At the end of the trip, I always seem to walk away receiving more than what I put in. I walk away in wonder of God's goodness and glory. Enjoy the video of our team. I am glad we get to share it with you!


[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Church God Uganda mission missionaries of trip. https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2016/5/church-of-god-uganda-2015 Fri, 27 May 2016 00:26:22 GMT
Uganda https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2016/4/uganda The following pictures were all taken in Uganda last summer. It was my third time to Africa on a mission trip and I was excited to be able to capture, through the art of photography, the people and the culture with my camera. As much as I love to work with clients who hire me for photos sessions and hearing and seeing their excitement when they are please with my work, there is nothing like working for yourself.  


Classes held in shipping containers. Doors and windows were cut out to help help increase airflow. 




Lining up to go to morning church before school starts. 



What are you looking at?



Goofy little smile.



I was hiding behind the wall and trying to be incognito as I captured the the kids leaving the classroom.  



I wonder what he is thinking. 



This little guy looked half asleep on the bike after lunch. 



This little one followed me for about 1/4 mile as I walked with some of my team members to a house to deliver food and provide some company. 



Brothers I would imagine...they sure do look alike


This is my FAVORITE PICTURE from my entire trip. I love the composition and the contrast with the colors.

Walking to school barefoot both ways...not a joke for them. 



Just chilling out by the side of the road. 



Each grass hut home we went to had so many children around it. 



I love the smile. 



I sear, I did not pose this kids. Not sure where he learned how to pose so well. 

The uncertainty on his face is clear to me. 



He was proud to show off his bike, but more so, his ability to ride it. 



Daydreaming, sad, or lonely? I am not sure, but the raw emotion is written all over his face and body language. 



This little guy was getting upset that he was not able to move the bike pedal all the way around.  I watched him try over and over and with each unsuccessful attempt he would get more and more upset. He gave up and started to look for his mother. 



Lining up outside the medical clinic for their medical exams. This was part of a project that was started by Compassion International. 



My SECOND FAVORITE photo from this trip. She wears her years of life experience so well on her face. 



There were several church members who wanted to help support the team, but were not able to come with. So they made dresses. 



There two were not quite sure what I was doing. After I took the picture and showed it to them. Their smiles intensified. 



I really had to zoom in to capture this shot. I did not want him to know I was talking a picture of him. He was looking outside at other kids playing soccer. I was not sure if he was in trouble of what...but his eye contact is quite intense. 



I like the contrast in colors. Notice the two baby kittens in the background. One is black and the other if white. 

Friendship if shown through hand-holding... no matter the age or gender.  



Going to a local store and getting new shoes is not always an option.



The church was full and so this little girl sat by the door listening to the message we brought to share.  



More waiting for medical check-ups. 



The children in the cities were much more outgoing and not timid. 



Showing off their tree climbing skills. 




Psalm 56:13

For you have delivered my soul from death, indeed my feet from stumbling,

so that I may walk before God in the light of the living. 




[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) African Church Compassion God International Photography Photos Uganda culture. mission of trip https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2016/4/uganda Sat, 09 Apr 2016 02:51:15 GMT
Being Unique...The Mark, Maralee, Makayla, & Mia story https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2015/11/being-unique-the-mark-maralee-makayla-mia-story Being Unique

As photographer, I have realized that trying to pose little kids for pictures can be very difficult at time and even frustrating. But time after time I also realize that its the candid shots that do the best job of revealing their unique personalities. This photo shoot was no exception. In particular, I am thinking about the close up pictures of Makayla and Mia. When I sat the two girls down on the bench I imagined both girls looking at me smiling with the sun rays coming through behind them and don't get me wrong it would have been a great picture, however, what turned out was so much more precious and unique. It captured their personalities and their relationship in the moment. Taking the pictures on the tanks was also fun...not sure of many places people can go and climb on tanks and have family photos taken of them. Thanks Mark and Maralee for this fun shoot. 




I really like how the cartwheel photos turned out with the sun behind her and the shadows in front. 


I like the tank photos. 


Mom and her two girls.


[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Photography Photos cantigny colors fall family park photo portraits shoot https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2015/11/being-unique-the-mark-maralee-makayla-mia-story Sun, 08 Nov 2015 14:44:45 GMT
Jess, Bobby, & Jase https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2015/10/jess-bobby-jase The Colors of Fall

There is only one reason why fall is not my favorite time of year and if you are from Chicago you might understand. As the characters from The Game of Thrones TV show would dreadfully say "Winter is coming". Having grown up in Russia for 10 years, one would think I am accustomed to bitter cold winters...not so at ALL!

However, when I take the approaching winter out of the equation, Fall is truly a wonderful season. The cool breeze, Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks, and the fall colors do bring a refreshing change to a long and hot summer. 

The fall colors also brought a vibrant back drop to my family photo shoot with Jess, Bobby, & Jase. As a photographer, I have not yet figured out the trick to make a baby smile and look at the camera on queue. So my back up plan is to take as many photos as possible and hope that I have a few that turn out alright. I have not had a photo shoot where this backup plan did not work. Thank you Jess and Bobby for allowing me to capture your beautiful family and create some photos to last a lifetime. Oh yes, thank you Jase...even though you make it tough for me. However, all is well between us! 

These pictures were taken at the Spring Valley Park in Schaumburg, IL. 






Daddy knows how to make him smile! 


The picture in the red rocking chair was difficult to capture. Jase's sense of balance is not quite developed yet. 


Jess kissing the baby is by far one of my most favorite photos from this shoot. I love Jase's blue eyes.  

[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2015/10/jess-bobby-jase Wed, 21 Oct 2015 13:39:19 GMT
Family Fun https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2015/6/family-fun






Check out their video below!











Check out their family shoot video! 


Below are two family photo shoots that I was able to do in the spring time. I love being able to capture candid moments during photography sessions that express the unique personalities of the individual family members. These locations in Wheaton, IL and downtown Naperville, IL. I hope you enjoy watching as much as I enjoyed shooting them.



[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2015/6/family-fun Mon, 22 Jun 2015 05:13:18 GMT
Three Years in the Making! https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2015/4/three-years-in-the-making


Thanks Everyone!

[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2015/4/three-years-in-the-making Thu, 23 Apr 2015 06:04:19 GMT
Senior Photo Shoot https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2014/12/senior-photo-shoot While at a family party I had some one come up to me and ask if I would not mind taking some senior photos of their daughter since. Having some time to spare and taking advantage of the light I said I would love to. Here they are. I think they turned out great! 








































[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Chicago Christmas Party Photos Senior https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2014/12/senior-photo-shoot Sat, 27 Dec 2014 00:51:43 GMT
Chris and Krista https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2014/12/chris-and-krista I am always thankful then the weather cooperates! It was December 14 and the temperature was in the mid 50's, almost perfect fall weather for a photo shoot. In Chicago, one never knows what the weather might bring and there is nothing worse then having an outdoor photo shoot when it is below freezing, cloudy, and windy. For those who are not familiar with Chicago weather this freezing, cloudy, and windy is typical weather December through February. Thank you God that this was not the case! Chris and Krista are good friends and I enjoyed this photo session very much! 


Here is a short Christmas Story for you and your kin.

Krista and Chris had no special plans this year, just the two of them and their Christmas tree you see.


But wait, something changed. With love in their heart they rescued a puppy and Bradly they called him and gave him a home.


The two became three and their Christmas was filled with energy that would last through the year!



















The pictures above are taken in Garfield Park, Chicago, IL


































The other pictures were taken in Humboldt Park, Chicago, IL

[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Animal Chicago Christmas Couples Garfield Humboldt Park Photography https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2014/12/chris-and-krista Mon, 15 Dec 2014 21:34:52 GMT
Nigel Wishes You a Merry Christmas https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2014/12/nigel-wishes-you-a-merry-christmas This was yet another fun photo shoot. After working 12 hours in the Emergency Department, I got to meet this cute dog and take some pictures! Explanation not needed...enjoyed the cuteness! Special thanks to Ann and her husband, Mark for letting me take some photos! 

[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Christmas animals cards dog photography https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2014/12/nigel-wishes-you-a-merry-christmas Fri, 05 Dec 2014 18:14:04 GMT
Art At The Covered Bridge Festival https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2014/11/art-at-the-covered-bridge-festival Every year in Indiana there is something called a Covered Bridge Festival. Basically its a huge flea market that last over a week. One can buy almost anything they might every want or need at this festival for a good price. Oh, and how can I forget the great food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner time. I think there are some covered bridges involved as well. This year it was my second time going and I decided to try to capture with my lens some of the art and antiques that were on hand at the festival. I was able to meet some cool people and talk about their passion for what they make and hear their stories. Enjoy.


The Bird Houses

This is Joe and he is responsible for all the bird houses behind him. A creative genius I think. I enjoyed meeting him and learning about his story. He is able to take something broken and give it life. He is making new what once was old. Skip down to read more about his story. 













I remember seeing these bird houses both times I came to the Covered Bridge Festival. However, this year I was able to meet the man and learn the story behind these bird houses. The man's name is Joe and he has been making them for many years. If you take a close look you will be able to see there is something unique about each and every bird house. No two are alike, weather it be the colors in the metal roofs or the texture of the wood, each house is different. I asked him where he got his materials from and what inspired him to make bird houses. He said that all the houses were made from materials that he got from broken down barns that he would see around his area. He said he was tired of looking at broken down barns and not doing anything about it.  Talk about killing a few birds with one stone. With one hobby, he is able to recycle metal and wood and turn it into a profit. Yes pun intended, after all, they have a few places to hide in thanks to Joe.

Here is a link to his website:  



The Metal Shop




Talk about a metal shop! This store had everything one might imagine made out metal. Everything from scull faces and peace signs to every letter of the English language in different sizes as well. If rustic metal is not up to your satisfaction, no worries, painted signs with lights are also their specialty. The two people responsible for this shop are Preston Mulvene and Sarah Smith.

Here is a link to their website: http://www.theglobalswapshop.com


Snack Station












Fresh fruit on a stick and the one thing that can make it better...Chocolate!




The rest of the pictures are some of the cool antiques that were for sale. 


[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Bird Bridge Covered Festival Houses. Indiana antiques https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2014/11/art-at-the-covered-bridge-festival Tue, 25 Nov 2014 01:38:53 GMT
Trish and Eric plus 2 https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2014/10/trish-and-eric-plus-2 Shooting family photo sessions make me realize how much I love working with families. In my sessions, I try to capture the unique personalities of the different family members. Sometimes it is easy and other times it might be more difficult, however, I love the challenge. Bring it on I say because the results are almost always worth it. Trish and Eric's family session was no exception. I was amazed at how well their kids listened. I never expect young children to sit still, smile and look at the camera for as long as they did...however, I was pleasantly surprised. I swear their little boy is a model in the making. Their daughter's smile is beautiful.     


This is one of my favorites!  The differences in the facial expressions among the family members make this picture come alive. The mother's smile is priceless as she holds her daughter on a cool fall day. The son looking into the distance dreaming away kept safe in his father's lap and a proud daddy and husband who is taking in the moment being surrounded by those who mean the world to him.  And of course the fall colors in the background are wonderful!













These two pictures are just cute! The relationship between the big sister and little brother can be seen. 




















The two ladies in Daddy's life! 



Dreaming away! 


One happy family! 







[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2014/10/trish-and-eric-plus-2 Fri, 31 Oct 2014 06:54:14 GMT
The Stories They Tell https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2014/10/the_stories These photos are from my Africa trip in 2012. I traveled there with Operation Mobilization. They are a Christian non-profit organization that aims at improving the quality of life of people who are improverished, outcast, or just forgotten in their cultures through education, advocacy work, community support, providing medical care, and by offering hope that can be found in God. During my 2012 trip I helped organize donated medical equipment for their medical lifeboat on Lake Tanganyika, taught math and English, and helped with agricultural research.   

I was armed with a simple point and shoot digital camera. I was playing with some locate village kids one day and with no real intention or purpose in mind I took a close-up head shot of a kid I met. After reviewing the picture in the camera, I was inspired to take more similar photos. After getting back I decided to call this album "Faces of Africa." The stories they tell. Enjoy. 

Title: "Welcome"

A beautiful smile that says welcome to my home. 


Title: "Come Find Me"

Physically this teenager is in front of me, but emotionally I wondered where he was at? This photo is one of my favorites because of something you cannot see. Behind me is about 15 little kids trying so hard to make this young man smile. Some are jumping around, some are making funny faces, and others are trying desperately to see into my camera view finder to see the image I captured. 


Title: "What Are You Looking At?"

I love the colors of this photo. Three very different expressions are captured. 


Title: "Yes I Am Cute, I know"

Words are not needed to explain this picture. 


Title: "Let Us Be Friends"

This kids was one of my favorite. I met him at one of the schools that I taught at. He had so much energy, curiosity and rebellion in him.

Title: " I Spy"

This picture was taken during a game I call "Shoulder, Shoulder, Head." Its the same as Duck Duck Goose, however, the kids had a hard time understanding that concept because they did not know what what a duck or goose was and I did not have a translator who could explain. So instead of saying duck or goose, the kids would walk in a circle and touch the shoulder (duck) or head (goose). 

Title: "I'm Scared"

In reality, this girl is far away from and I zoomed in quite a bit. I wonder what she was thinking as she looked at me looking at her through my camera? 


Title: " I Need You"

Letting his expression do the talking.  

Title: " My Best Friend"

Somethings are universal. 


Title: " I See You There Looking At Me" 

Again, I love the colors of this picture. The contrast between the green grass and light colored straw roof is nice. The torn up close on this child and distended stomach gives the viewer a glimpse into the impoverished lives of some villagers. 

[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Africa Mobilization Operation Zambia aid humanitarian missions https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2014/10/the_stories Sun, 05 Oct 2014 15:53:05 GMT
The Imagination of a Child https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2014/9/fun-times-in-country-side This has been one of my favorite photo shoots! There might be a slight bias towards them because they are family...but that's ok. Courtney and her son Brody where such great models. I love spending time with my cousins and it is something that I do not do enough of. During this photo shoot, Brody reminded me of something...how fun and simple it was to be young kid.

At one point during the shoot I was taking pictures of Courtney as Brody was near by. He comes to us and says, "Come watch me fly." He then spreads his hands apart and starts running around making airplane noises. I quickly realize this is an opportunity for a photo and try to focus my camera on Brody as he continues to run around pretending to be an airplane. Click. I hope I got it I think to myself. In that moment I was reminded how fun it was to be a child. To be worry free and letting my imagination guide my play time. Yes, there are times that I miss those days. I hope Brody one day looks back at this picture and is reminded of what it felt like to be child.  



[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) family photo shoot farm photo shoot https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2014/9/fun-times-in-country-side Tue, 23 Sep 2014 06:38:00 GMT
One City Many Skylines https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2014/9/life-in-the-fast-lane Blogging is something new to me. How fitting is it that my first post should be something that is also new to me... night photography.  There are many good and bad things that can be said about Chicago. I guess the good or the bad is all subjective, depending on who is talking. One thing I hope we can all agree on is the beautiful skyline that Chicago has to offer. What is more amazing is that in one city the skyline can look so different depending on where you are. Standing at 31st Street Harbor looking at the city from the south gives you a great overview of the entire skyline. On the other hand, the John Hancock Building is prominently displayed when looking at the city from the North at North Ave. Beach. 

What I learned from this night:

1. Having a tripod is a must! 

2. Wind off of the lake make it difficult to capture good night shots. 

3. Black and white night photos of Chicago look amazing!


Chicago By Night Taken at 31st Street Harbor. Looking North. 


Chicago By Night Taken at North Ave. Beach. Looking South. 


Chicago By Night Taken at 31st Street Harbor. Looking North.


Chicago By Night Taken at North Ave. Beach. Looking South.


Chicago By Night Taken over the Lake Shore Drive looking South near Lincoln Park Zoo.


Chicago By Night Taken over the Lake Shore Drive looking South near Lincoln Park Zoo.


Chicago By Night Taken over the Lake Shore Drive looking South near Lincoln Park Zoo.


Chicago By Night Taken over the Lake Shore Drive looking South near Lincoln Park Zoo.

This is by far my favorite picture from the night. I call it "Life In The Fast Lane" What do you all think? 


[email protected] (AJ.Goreham Photography) Chicago Chicago Lakefront John Hancock Building Lake Shore Drive Night photography https://www.ajgorehamphotography.com/blog/2014/9/life-in-the-fast-lane Tue, 16 Sep 2014 00:53:30 GMT