It’s no secret that I love Peoria. It’s where I went to college, where I met some of my closest friends, where I smoked my first cigarette and drank my first legal beer, and where I found my calling. Peoria will forever feel like a home to me, no matter where else life takes me.
In my mid twenties, I discovered a new area of Peoria that was more or less unbeknownst to me prior to that, as someone who had spent a lot of my Peoria time in the Bradley bubble. I moved slightly north after grad school and was a little bit older, and a little bit more interested in getting to know the different parts of my city – it was then that I discovered Peoria Heights. Since I lived minutes from the heights, it quickly became my go to area for nearly everything – I spent days upon days grading essays and editing at Leaves and Beans, I drank many a beer at Publik House, I rode my bike along the trail that runs through it. So when Traci told me that she and Sam wanted to do their engagement session in Peoria Heights because it’s an area that means a lot to them, I already knew I was going to love this session. As we went from spot to spot throughout the evening, they shared their own Peoria Heights loves with me – the location where they had their first date, the spot where Sam proposed, and Sam’s home, which will eventually be their home. We spent our evening chatting, reminiscing, and taking photographs in so many places that feel like home to all three of us – and to be honest, these are the times when my “work” doesn’t feel much like work at all.