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The McCarthy Family 2012

Our third photo session with the McCarthy family was the most fun yet. :] They now have two adorable daughters, and we had a great time photographing the girls playing at a local park followed by some bubble fun back at the McCarthy home.

Cate is currently a huge fan of Disney's Tangled with the long locks to prove it. Libby is the spitting image of a younger Cate and definitely in a curiosity/exploration phase. She seemed perplexed when Cate started blowing bubbles -- but after trying to eat them for a few minutes, she got the idea. ;]

Ginny & Michael -- thanks so much for working with us again, and enjoy your images. :]

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Transit of Venus 2012

The Transit of Venus is a rare event that happened last in 2004 and, after today, won't happen again until 2117. Thankfully today's transit was visible from Chicago, on a cloudless day, and I had a great setup to be able to capture it right at sunset.

To top it all off, the flight path of O'Hare International Airport passes between the roof deck of our apartment building and the sunset at this time of year. Plenty of people will have photos of Venus crossing the sun, but I was lucky enough to get a few that included landing planes -- and here are the best two. Enjoy!

Captured with a Nikon D800 (1.5x 18MP DX crop) + Nikon 300mm f/2.8 lens + Nikon TC-20E III 2x Teleconverter -- total effective focal length: 900mm

UPDATE: The second photo has been picked up by a couple of my favorite blogs (Wired Science | PetaPixel)! :]

If you found this post through a news link and are interested in a license to publish one of these images or would like to know if/when I make prints available for sale, please email me.

UPDATE 2: Here are some close-ups!

AncienTrails - June 6, 2012 - 15:58

[…] of our readers, Austin Kurtz, has sent a great photo of the transit taken from Chicago. The flight path of O’Hare International Airport was between Kurtz and the […]

Puttaraju - June 6, 2012 - 23:55

Excellent snap…
Thx for sharing.

It got mentioned in WiredScience as well :)

[…] Austin Kurtz: Mai mult   |   Taranul cu Maserati Tags: jet, planete, […]

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After Kayla and John's wedding festivities, we had a few days to experience the beauty of Maui and take some photos. My brother (and second photographer), Lawson, was accompanied by his girlfriend, Wendy -- and my cousin, Travis, and his girlfriend, Emmy, also came along. (Whew -- that was a lot of commas!) Emmy is an aerial dance instructor and runs Iluminar Aerial with Travis in Colorado. They were great sports and did some awesome poses in some of the most beautiful spots on the island!

Unfortunately, this trip ended somewhat tragically for me... While touring the Road to Hana, I took a nasty slip down a hill, breaking my ankle in three places. After a 90 minute drive to the ER and two loooong flights home in a splint, I had an ORIF surgery (thanks, Dr. Summers!) followed by several months of rehabilitation. Thankfully it happened towards the end of our trip, and I am pretty much back to normal now. :]

I hope you enjoy these glimpses of Maui!

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Kaitlyn + Amilcar’s Wedding

Here's a recap in case you missed Kaitlyn and Amilcar's engagement photos... Amilcar is from Peru, and his visa was recently approved to come to the U.S. so he and Kaitlyn could get married.

Unfortunately, I broke my ankle only a month before their wedding, requiring surgery. I thought I would have to find a substitute photographer to take my place, but Kaitlyn was extremely flexible and kind and told me they would do whatever it took to make it work. I was humbled by her confidence in me, so I decided to give it a try! I rented a knee scooter to get around with my cast, and it worked quite well. I'll let you judge the results for yourself. :]

We started the day taking portraits downtown. It was raining that day, but Kaitlyn's maid of honor, Meghan, was able to hook us up with access to a very nice office building where her father works. (Thanks, Meghan!) We also ducked into the Field Museum after dark to stay out of the rain. A lot of other people had the same idea, but we still had a fun time shooting there.

Their wedding ceremony and reception were at Rios D'Sudamerica, a Peruvian restaurant downtown. (If you're ever there, try the Arroz con Mariscos -- delicious!!) Amilcar's family was back home in Peru, but they were able to watch the ceremony via Skype. Meghan gave one of the most touching toasts I have ever heard -- first in Spanish (so Amilcar could understand), then in English. The wedding guests were in high spirits -- it was clear that everyone was happy that this day had finally arrived for Kaitlyn and Amilcar. Many of them were dancing until the last song, and at the very end of the night, I couldn't resist joining in myself on my knee scooter. ;]

Kaitlyn and Amilcar -- felicidades! Congratulations on your marriage, and enjoy your life together! :]

Special thanks to my lovely wife and second photographer, Alicia, who was indispensable in helping me shoot this wedding with a broken leg!

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Kayla + John’s Wedding — Maui, Hawaii

This was our third time photographing Kayla and John, and as before, it was an absolute delight. Over 60 people traveled all the way to Hawaii over Thanksgiving weekend to witness their marriage. Clearly they are very loved by their friends and family!

The ceremony and rehearsal were at the Lahaina Wedding House (a.k.a. the Blue Sky Beach Villa), a large house right down on the beach which was absolutely gorgeous! The coordinators, Gabrielle and Julie, were wonderful and so nice, making sure that everything went smoothly.

The details were perfect -- little welcome packets shaped like plane tickets (handmade by Kayla), ceremony programs that doubled as fans with a crossword puzzle and mad-lib, the groomsmen's Toms shoes, personalized hand-painted cake topper dolls from Etsy, the leis for all the guests at the rehearsal dinner made by Kayla's mom, Kayla's bouquet charm in memory of her sister, and of course, her beautiful wedding dress. Everything tied together into an island wedding that was elegant, charming, and uniquely Kayla and John.

We also witnessed a spirited father-daughter dance that turned into a fully choreographed performance involving several members of the wedding party and many of Kayla's family and friends. That set the tone for a high-energy reception with a hopping dance floor!

Kayla and John -- thank you so much for allowing us to be part of your incredible day! I feel honored that you were willing to fly us to Hawaii to photograph your wedding. You are both such nice people, incredibly easy to work with, and so fun to be around.

Special thanks again to my brother, Lawson, who flies out from Washington D.C. to be my second shooter at destination weddings. (Haven't heard him complain yet.) ;]

And an extra super special thanks to my assistant, "third shooter", muse, wife, and love of my life, Alicia. She was really a trooper this time because she had to leave during the reception to catch a plane home to be back in time for her clinical surgery rotation -- so she was only on the ground for a total of 48 hours and missed out on the fun after the wedding. I'll make it up to you someday! :]

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