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January 9, 2014
meet heather & mary, the style behind the lens


Today we’re getting up close and personal with two of the most amazing girls inside and out that I know here in Chicago! Meet Heather Mowatt and Mary Graves! I originally met them both through work, but we quickly all became much closer friends and realized we shared a passion for photography and have been able to bond over hilarious outtakes and style snapping sessions.

This blog wouldn’t be the same without them and I know I’m very thankful to have them both in my life. We’ve had such a blast learning more about photography together, but I wanted everyone to know more about them! Mary and Heather dished on where they’re from, their favorite spots in Chicago and their personal go-to’s for photography and style.

mary graves, fashion photography, chicago photographer


Originally from  //  Tuscon, AZ

Favorite hometown shop  //  W Boutique. Tucson doesn’t even have Nordstrom, little boutiques are the place to shop!

Best hometown restaurant  //  Vivace, hands down best Italian. Family favorite and tradition for every visit home. 

Most recent getaway & where you stayed  //  San Diego to ring in 2014. Stayed with my bestie from home and her fiancé at their cute apartment in Cardiff, CA.

Camera and lens  //  Canon Rebel T3i, and a 50 mm f/1.8 lens

Favorite Photography Tip  //  Don’t hesitate! Hesitating can mean the difference between catching or missing the perfect emotion, lighting or background. On that same note: After learning the hard way, I always keep my camera on Continuous Shooting.

O N   C H I C A G O

Moved to Chicago  // A little over 9 years ago! (Holy Smokes!)

Lives In  // Wicker Park

Describe Chicago in 3 words  //  Exciting, deep rooted, thriving

Favorite restaurant  //  Hot Chocolate, my local brunch and weeknight dinner spot. Sometimes pop in for their hot chocolate to go.

Favorite bar  //  The Charleston. Three words: Cozy, Whiskey, Photo Booth 

Your best kept secret about the city  //  Zebra Piano Bar

O N   S T Y L E

 Define your style in a few words  //  Classically feminine with a punch of boho or sport at times.

 Favorite place to shop  //  Bloomie’s for the big brands like my favorite Joie, and for the best selection of denim. For Vintage gems, Very Best Vintage

Personal best color combination  //  Black or Grey with Black skinny jeans.

 Style Icon  //  Olsen Twins, I’ve loved them & their style since the 90’s. ‘Elizabeth & James‘ just solidifies their fashion vision

Item you can’t live without  //  My Prada Saffiano tote. Black, durable and versatile, I take it everywhere

Best beauty product  //  YSL‘s blue mascara. Makes your eyes pop!

If you could have lunch with a designer who would it be?  //  The Rodarte sisters, Kate and Laura. One of my besties from home works for them in LA. I have been following them for years & love everything they create. It’s inspiring to see two young, passionate women move up so quickly in the fashion world.

heather mowatt, fashion photography, chicago photography


Originally From  //  Zionsville, IN 

Favorite hometown shop  //  Pitaya! All the girls shopped there in high school.

Favorite hometown restaurant  //  This restaurant called Big Dave’s had the most amazing cinnamon rolls and cinnamon/sugar bagels that we used to eat all the time before school. Also, if you’re ever visiting Indianapolis you have to go to St. Elmo’s Steakhouse– a classic.

Most recent getaway & where you stayed  //  Colorado- we travelled all over the state but my favorite spot by far was Vail, CO. We stayed at The Sebastian, which was amazing. I would highly recommend Vail in the winter and the summer, it’s beautiful.

Camera and lens  //  Nikon D3100– I have two lenses in addition to the lens that came with the camera. A fixed zoom 50mm f/1.8 and a telephoto 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6.

Favorite Photography Tip  //  Aperture, aperture, aperture! I personally think aperture can change the way a picture looks more than anything. The aperture changes the depth of field in the photo. Typically for portrait photography using a low f stop gives the photo a really cool appearance and makes it look professional. I usually shoot f/1.8 – f/3.0 when I take Christine’s pictures. 

O N   C H I C A G O

Moved to Chicago  //  4.5 years ago

Lives In //  Lakeview

Describe Chicago in 3 words  //  Fabulous, festive, fun

Favorite restaurant  //  There are so many good restaurants in Chicago that it’s hard to pick! I love Quartino, GT Fish and Oyster, and Girl and the Goat. But, there’s this Thai restaurant on Halsted called Noodles in the Pot and it might be my favorite- their food is so ridiculously good that I could eat it everyday. It’s a hidden gem.

Favorite bar  //  I like Stout, Old Town Pour House, and American Junkie. Old Town is my favorite area to go out in.

Your best kept secret about the city  //  A few good spots for photos are the North Avenue Bridge, Lower Wacker on the Chicago River, Diversey Harbor, and the top of any parking garage with a skyline view (such a clear view of the city). They make for great landscape/ architecture photos and great backdrops for portraits.

O N   S T Y L E

Define your style in a few words  //  Feminine, simple, comfortable, fun, classic

Favorite place to shop  //  I am really bad at picking a favorite, but I think Gap, Old Navy, Express, and Zara are great for day to day outfits and they’re all reasonably priced!

Your personal best color combination  //  I love coral and turquoise in the summer. I think brown and white looks very chic for winter especially if accessorized well.

Your style icon  //  Olivia Palermo– she can pull anything off! I’m super jealous of how good she always looks. She could walk outside in a brown paper bag and look put together.

Item you can’t live without  //  The Urban Outfitters Aztec Sweater I’m wearing in this post- you can wear it to make any outfit look stylish, and I always get a ton of compliments when I have it on

Best beauty product  //  Urban Decay Naked Palette – I’ve heard two and three are also amazing but the original is my personal fave

If you could have lunch with a designer who would it be  //  Tory Burch. Not only does she have so many beautiful pieces, but she has risen to success so quickly and carries herself with class. But most importantly, I want to lunch with her because she is technically my sister- we were both members of the (best) sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, in college.

mary graves, heather mowatt, fashion photography


mary graves, heather mowatt, fashion photography, chicago

To follow Mary and Heather, you can check them out on Instagram: @maryegraves and @heathermowatt. You’ll definitely be seeing and hearing more from these ladies in the future!


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