My name is Liz Schrenk, and this is the story of my business, Something Blue Photography and Design.
Ever since I was a little girl, I saw myself as an artist. I loved to draw and held a deep admiration for my high school art teachers. I attended the University of Illinois where I received a BFA in Art Education and a BFA in Graphic Design. As a graduation requirement, I took one photography class, and I was... terrible. The technical aspects of photography overwhelmed me, and I found no joy in struggling to use a camera that I didn't understand. After college, I found my first teaching job in District 214. They hired me to teach... photography. Driven to find success as an art teacher I became determined to love photography.
As a high school teacher I taught myself and fell in love with the magic of photography using hand-made pinhole cameras. I loved working in the darkroom and began creating art alongside my students. After six years, I became so passionate about photography that I applied to a Masters degree program in Boston. While working on my MFA, I became pregnant with my first and decided to leave teaching and focus on being both a photographer and a stay-at-home-mom.
When I started this business in 2011, I was working as a fine artist by showing my photographs in gallery exhibitions around the country. A friend and former colleague reached out and asked if I would photograph his wedding (which happened to be televised on Bravo, but that's another story). I was terrified at the idea of being responsible for such important images. But something about the way he asked me, the way he believed in me, opened my eyes to the possibilities that come along with simply saying yes.
My friend's wedding inspired me to move forward with a business plan. I believed that I could take great wedding photographs, and chose the name Something Blue hoping that some day I would be working full time as a wedding photographer.
From the beginning, I have always been willing to say yes as opportunities presented themselves. After a slow first year, work started to come in more steadily, and I went from photographing 4 weddings a year to shooting over 25. In addition to a busy wedding schedule, I was photographing families, newborns, birthdays, real estate, boudoir, engagement sessions, and events. Along the way I had two more kids, and life started to feel very full.
I was introduced to Conrad by a friend and former colleague from high school District 214. She reached out to me as my business was really starting to pick up and asked "you seem busy, are you interested in hiring an intern?" Conrad was her student and lab assistant; an AP Art kid with a stunning portfolio and a commitment to growing as a photographer. She trusted him, believed in him, and I was happy to take a chance by saying yes. We shot our first wedding together in June, 2014, and since then have photographed nearly 100 weddings together. He has everything it takes to be a successful photographer - talent, determination, and charm - and working with him has made it possible for this business to flourish.
As I navigate the waters of this growing business, Conrad is my rock. He is always up for anything, open to feedback, and willing to accept criticism. When I was pregnant and shooting weddings up through 39 weeks, he happily carried all of our equipment, kept me hydrated and took on more responsibility. He even flew to the Dominican Republic to shoot a destination wedding after my doctor insisted I stay home (although, man, I'm still jealous). Conrad may well be the most confident person I know, but he is still humble and grateful. He loves Kanye and vintage typewriters, needs coffee to function before noon, and can always warn me with his eyes after two beats that "Blurred Lines" is about to be played at a wedding reception. He is wise beyond his years, and it has been a privilege watching him grow into the talented photographer he is today. This year he will be taking the lead on more weddings, continuing to shoot stunning architecture and real estate images, and also lending his talents to event and corporate photography. To see Conrad's portfolio, click here
Conrad has been a huge help to me, from shooting weddings, families and events to working long hours on editing and processing photographs for clients. But as work continued to pour in I was starting to turn away so much business that I felt the need to bring more people on board. I first met Lindsay two years ago after giving a talk to a local MOPS group. She was passionate about photography and eager to improve her own skills so that she could take beautiful pictures of her infant son. We became friends and kept up on social media, and as her son grew so did her photography skills. Last spring I worked with Lindsay in an Advanced Photo workshop and quickly realized the depth of her passion and talent. We talked about our goals moving forward and decided she would be a perfect fit in the Something Blue family.
Lindsay is loyal, thoughtful, and dedicated. She is constantly looking for inspiration, location scouting, and scouring thrift stores for the perfect newborn props and blankets. She delights in motherhood and has honed her skills by taking thousands of gorgeous pictures of her toddler. Lindsay possesses a remarkable attention to detail, finding beauty in the fleeting moments. Her speciality is newborn and family photography where her approach is one of a historian with a keen eye. To see Lindsay's portfolio, click here
As our calendar filled we needed one more photographer to round out our team, since we have at least 6 weekends coming up this year with multiple weddings. Conrad introduced me to Jessica, a friend and fellow photographer who specializes in portrait and fashion photography. Jessica has a unique talent for capturing personality through her images, all while making her subject look totally amazing. We are so excited to have her on the team; her sweet and joyful disposition and passion for creating portraits make her the perfect fit for Something Blue.
We are also really excited to add a videographer to our team. I have known Dan for almost as long as Conrad and Jessica have been alive!. He is a wonderful friend with a great heart. An engineer by trade, Dan has developed his skills as a FAA certified drone pilot. He has long had a passion for making films and is excited to now put his many talents together to work as a wedding videographer. To see Dan's portfolio, click here.
This is our amazing wedding team; I am so excited for the many busy weekends we have to come!
I am so thankful that these talented people have come into my life that they are along for this ride. And I believe that there are great things to come. Thanks for taking the time to read about us; we can't wait to meet you!