Chicago Photographer

4xForth: Olivia Leigh of Olivia Leigh Photographie by Clare Johnson

We're bringing back our 4xForth interviews with the amazing women of Forth Chicago, starting with the wildly talented Olivia Leigh of Olivia Leigh Photographie. Though Julie's fangirled since Olivia photographer her wedding, the rest of us recently met Olivia at our spring salon, hosted in the beautiful Sunday Dinner Club. Her warm personality, insight and attitude lit up the room and we're excited to introduce her to the rest of the Forth community.

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4xForth: Devron Enarson of Dev Photography LLC and Paper Doll Club by Natalie Pavela

4xForth-Dev-Enarson-Chicago We're so excited to feature Devron Enarson for today's 4xForth. You may remember her from last year; Dev so graciously hosted our 2013 Autumn Salon in her gorgeous studio and you can read about her experience and see here studio space. Dev is a multi-talented lady - photographer at Dev Photography LLC and co-founder of Paper Doll Club. We love the idea behind Paper Doll Club - it's all about encouraging and building-up girls. They invite you to gather your girlfriends for a fun event filled with make-up, hair-dos, cocktails, and a photo shoot!

Today Dev is sharing some awesome tips - helping you appreciate this colder season with a few things she's looking forward to this winter and sharing the inside scoop on products she can't live without. Learn about the websites she loves and the places she frequents around Chicago. Happy Friday friends!

Things I'm looking forward to this winter

1. Being an introvert. I've been exploring how to give my inner introvert her romp in the woods these days. I love being extroverted and all that jazz, but winter is a time that calls us indoors - and inward too - if we give ourselves the right space to do it. I'm committed to being kind to myself in that way this winter.

2. SOUP. Need I say more? I could live off of soup all winter and thankfully I have an enthusiastic soup lover as a husband so it works out well for us. Soup also let's me continually use my favorite kitchen pot, my dutch oven. It's even yellow to put a little sunshine in my life while I cook!

3. Yoga yoga yoga. I just joined Corepower Yoga and I'm gonna milk that membership all winter long. Heated rooms? I'm in!

4. Christmas lights. There is no magic like tiny light bulbs on green wire all plugged into each other! The effect is so much greater than the sum of its parts. Magic! It ALMOST makes up for the sun going down at ungodly early hours this time of year....(almost)

Products I can't live without

1. This might be cheating since they are not products you can buy, but I can't live without my home-made beauty products. It also may sound very snooty, but I don't care because I love them so much and they enrich my life! I feel good about putting simple and preservative free things on my face and I zen out when I'm making them. It's a win-win situation. Plus, once your in the groove of making them it's really much more lazy than it sounds. I've also enlisted one of my closest friends to join me on product making days which makes it even more enriching, and less work!

2. Dry shampoo. Ahhh, an extra day of no styling (let's be honest, it's more like three days). My favorite brands are Big Sexy and L'Oreal.

3. Already mentioned in my winter section but it gets another nod here - My Dutch Oven. It's a pot, it's a roaster, it's a frying pan. It can be used on the stove top or in the oven, or both in one recipe if needed. Perfect for roasting veggies or meat for a soup and then transferring it to the stove top to simmer everything with broth for an amazingly complex soup. Yum!

4. Espresso maker. I have a DeLonghi. One of those supped up ones that you push a button and it does everything for you, including grinding your beans on the spot. I would never have paid the $1,200 price tag on it (I got it for a crazy unreasonable deal) but now that I've enjoyed 5 years of bliss with this guy it would have been so worth it if I had.

Websites I love

1. www.localmilk.com - She's a writer, a photographer, a recipe maker and a stylist. I try not to hate her too much, and the quality and haunting beauty with which she does everything has me going back to her every time.

2. psychologyforphotographers.com - This site is for photographers but could just as easily translate to any profession. Love the crazy good info she gives for free, and one of these days I'll put all her good advise to use.

3. barenecessities.com - I'm one of those people with a "complex" bra size. Simply put, I can't go to a store and buy a bra. No no, I have to order mine special, and this is where I do it.

4. It's not so much a website as an Instagram feed: @katiacarletti. She's a ceramicist from Australia and one day I will own an entire set of dishes from her! Rustic and whimsy meet in her work to surprise me, make me smile, and feel at home all at the same time. She sells hanging planters at association-shop.com.

4 places I frequent in Chicago

1. The Logan Theatre. $6 movies and a full bar in an vintage theater. This is the only place I'll go when I want to see a movie by myself!

2. Just around the corner from The Logan Theater is Lula Cafe. A tried and true Chicago classic, but I can't leave it out just because most people have probably heard about it. It's for sure my breakfast place of choice, and I'm a professional breakfaster.

3. Revolution Brewery Tap Room. When Rev Brew opened this place so close to us (Avondale) we became instant regulars! We've since tapered down a bit, especially since the masses have, rightly, begun coming as well. But, it's still a perfect place to gather with a group, bring your own food (might I suggest sushi from Lawrence Fish Market?) and sip their beer in a warehouse environment. You'll feel very cool. Oh! And they have free popcorn!

4. For fancier drinks I always revert to The Violet Hour. I know, I know, just like Lula Cafe this is far from a Chicago secret but the fact remains that they make a damn good cocktail! I'm a gin fanatic and their selection of gin cocktails is superb. With homemade tinctures and specialty sized ice cubes they lure me in through thick and thin. My secret to enjoying this place the most? Go at 5:00 on a weekday to avoid a line that NO cocktail is worth. Yeah, I'm old(ish).

Thanks for sharing Dev! My dutch oven is also my favorite cooking vessel and we say three cheers for embracing your introverted self this holiday season! We love your food and drink recommendations - and ordering sushi to the brewery tap room - genius. If you ever need extra hands next time you're making homemade beauty products, call us in to join in the fun!

Stay in touch with Dev on twitter and instagram, and follow along with Paper Doll Club on twitter, instagram, and their blog as well!

4xForth: Melissa Salvatore of A Little Photo Studio! by Natalie Pavela

4xForth-Chicago-melissa-salvatore Each Friday we’re highlighting one of the lovely women in our community. Today we're talking to Forth alum Melissa Salvatore, photographer and owner of A Little Photo Studio. Today Melissa shares some of her most frequented spots (kid-friendly too!), plus her favorite places outside of the city, favorite activities with out-of-town guests, and her must-do activities during a Chicago summer.

Places I frequent in Chicago

My days are filled between our two shops and a toddler so my most frequented spot is Lincoln Ave between Diversey and Southport. When we get a chance to choose where we want to go beyond Lincoln, we love to head over to Antique Taco. As much as I wouldn't call it necessarily a "kid-friendly" hang-out, it is kid-friendly because of how easy it is: you get to order yourself and once you sit down, someone is helping you out. While sitting outside and drinking a margarita (with a rosemary sprig sticking out of it) and eating amazingly delicious tacos, I have a moment where I feel like a grown-up who is out on the town…until my 3-year-old spills water down the leg of my pants.

Another favorite spot is the lakefront. We love taking advantage of the early morning rides or just getting some sun and fresh air within 15 min from home. Our favorite spot is heading North towards Montrose Beach.

I guess most of our "hang-outs" end up being food choices, because we also try to spend nice Sunday afternoons on the patio of Parson's...another kid-friendly spot because of the large outdoor space. I can't help favoring the spots where I know my son will behave, eat the food, all while I get to actually eat amazing food and have a good drink.

Favorite places to visit outside the city

We have enjoyed our trips to the Elkhorn Flea Market in Wisconsin 2 years running now. It is an adventure-filled day that involved some street food, sun and shopping!

We get away to Camp Wandawega whenever the opportunity arises. That only word to describe this transfer through time is magical.

We head to Barrington where Mike, my husband, and his family have preserved an old horse farm that was purchased by his great uncle. Although there are no longer horses, there is a lot of land to enjoy with the kid and dog and a way to get out of the busy city for a weekend.

Favorite things to do in Chicago when out of town guests come to visit

I have this weird obsession with the Architectural Boat Tour and I do that every year with a guest around my birthday in October and then any other first time visitor usually ends up on the tour boat with me!

We are big foodies, so I always try to bring guests to unique food spots like Bang, Bang Pie, Antique Taco, Parson’s, Pleasant House Bakery, and our neighborhood favorite, Side Street Saloon.

Millennium Park is another touristy must-do. It is never so crowded that you can't stand it and it is a pretty unique experience if you have never seen a city park filled with art structures before.

The Lincoln Park Zoo! I love our city zoo, I love that it's free, and I love that it is close. And it is worth a visit in the summer and winter for zoo lights!

Your 'must-dos' during a Chicago summer

  • Head to the beach more than once
  • Make it to at least one street festival and more if possible (Renegade Craft Fair on top of that list)
  • Farmer's Market
  • Pools! Find Pools - in the city, outside of the city, wherever!

Thanks for sharing Melissa! I also share a healthy obsession with the architectural boat tour, having experienced it about 10 times to date, and it’s the first thing I suggest when out-of-towners are visiting during the warmer months. Bike rides up to Montrose Beach are the best, and that Antique Taco Rosemary Margarita can’t be beat!

Keep up with Melissa on A Little Photo Studio's blog, and on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.