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.
M A R Y
Originally from Â //Â Tuscon, AZ
Favorite hometown shopÂ Â //Â Â W Boutique. Tucson doesn’t even have Nordstrom, little boutiques are the place to shop!
Best hometown restaurant Â // Â Vivace, hands down best Italian. Family favorite and tradition for every visit home.Â
Most recent getaway & where you stayed Â // Â San Diego to ring in 2014. Stayed with my bestie from home and her fiancÃ© at their cute apartment inÂ Cardiff, CA.
Camera and lens Â // Â Canon Rebel T3i, and a 50 mm f/1.8 lens
Favorite Photography Tip Â // Â 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 Â C H I C A G O
Moved to ChicagoÂ //Â A little over 9 years ago! (Holy Smokes!)
Lives InÂ Â //Â Wicker Park
Describe Chicago in 3 words Â //Â Â Exciting, deep rooted, thriving
Favorite restaurant Â //Â Â Hot Chocolate, my local brunch and weeknight dinner spot. Sometimes pop in for their hot chocolate to go.
Favorite bar Â //Â Â The Charleston. Three words: Cozy, Whiskey,Â Photo BoothÂ
Your best kept secret about the city Â //Â Â Zebra Piano Bar
O N Â S T Y L E
Â Define your style in a few words Â //Â Classically feminine with a punch of boho or sport at times.
Â Favorite place to shop Â //Â Â Bloomie’sÂ for the big brands like my favoriteÂ Joie, and forÂ theÂ best selection of denim. For Vintage gems,Â Very Best Vintage
Personal best color combination Â //Â Black or Grey with Black skinny jeans.
Â StyleÂ Icon Â //Â Â Olsen Twins, I’ve loved them & their style since the 90’s. ‘Elizabeth & James‘ justÂ solidifiesÂ their fashion vision
Item you can’t live without Â //Â MyÂ Prada Saffiano tote. Black, durable and versatile, I take it everywhere
Best beauty product Â //Â Â YSL‘s blue mascara. Makes your eyes pop!
If you could have lunch with a designer who would it be? Â //Â TheÂ RodarteÂ sisters,Â Kate and Laura.Â 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.
H E A T H E R
Originally FromÂ //Â Zionsville, INÂ
Favorite hometown shop Â // Â Pitaya! All the girls shopped there in high school.
Favorite hometown restaurant Â // Â This restaurant calledÂ Big Dave’sÂ 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 toÂ St. Elmo’s Steakhouse– a classic.
Most recent getaway & where you stayed Â //Â Colorado- we travelled all over the state but my favorite spot by far wasÂ Vail, CO. We stayed atÂ The Sebastian,Â which was amazing. I would highly recommend Vail in the winter and the summer, it’s beautiful.
Camera and lensÂ //Â Â Nikon D3100– I have two lenses in addition to the lens that came with the camera. A fixed zoomÂ 50mm f/1.8Â and a telephotoÂ 55-200mm f/4.0-5.6.
Favorite Photography TipÂ Â // Â 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.Â
O N Â C H I C A G O
Moved to Chicago Â // Â 4.5 years ago
Lives InÂ // Â Lakeview
Describe Chicago in 3 words Â // Â Fabulous, festive, fun
Favorite restaurant Â //Â Â There are so many good restaurants in Chicago that it’s hard to pick! I loveÂ Quartino,Â GT Fish and Oyster, andÂ Girl and the Goat. But, there’s this Thai restaurant on Halsted calledÂ Noodles in the PotÂ 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 Â // Â I likeÂ Stout,Â Old Town Pour House, andÂ American Junkie. Old Town is my favorite area to go out in.
Your best kept secret about the city Â // Â A few good spots for photos are theÂ North Avenue Bridge,Â Lower Wacker on the Chicago River,Â Diversey Harbor, andÂ the top of any parking garage with a skyline viewÂ (such a clear view of the city). They make for great landscape/ architecture photos and great backdrops for portraits.
O N Â S T Y L E
Define your style in a few words Â //Â Â Feminine, simple, comfortable, fun, classic
Favorite place to shop Â // Â I am really bad at picking a favorite, but I thinkÂ Gap,Â Old Navy,Â Express, andÂ ZaraÂ are great for day to day outfits and they’re all reasonably priced!
Your personal best color combination Â // Â I loveÂ coral and turquoiseÂ in the summer. I thinkÂ brown and whiteÂ looks very chic for winter especially if accessorized well.
Your style icon Â // Â 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 Â // Â TheÂ Urban Outfitters Aztec SweaterÂ 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 Â //Â Â Urban Decay Naked PaletteÂ – 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 Â // Â 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.
To follow Mary and Heather, you can check them out on Instagram: @maryegraves and @heathermowatt.Â You’ll definitely be seeing and hearing more from these ladies in the future!
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