Leigh Loftus, Owner + Photographer

Leigh Loftus Bio

Hey! I’m Leigh, I live in Chicago and I started this really awesome company called We are Loftus.

I moved here to study at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I started my photography career with the world’s best mentor, Chris Ocken in the journalism and wedding world. He hates when I say this, but he thought me everything I know about this business.

I fell in LOVE. I wanted to learn everything there was to learn about photography. I wanted to work with the best photographers to learn their styles and differences. So I did just that, I worked with Kevin Weinstein, Chad Husar, David Plowden and Jill Paider to name a few. With this experience and knowledge I started the 1st iteration of my company in 2009 called ThinkLeigh Photography.

Naturally, I began shooting weddings along with families. I built pretty successful business and things were flowing right along then sometime around 2011 things felt off… I didn’t LOVE what I was doing anymore… Now, stay with me for a second allow me to backtrack and I promise this will all come together….

Behind the scenes of the wedding & portrait company I had been asked by The Palmer House to photograph their new spring menu. . . (insert face with big eyes.) I had NO CLUE how I was going to do that, but it was one of those moments where I knew I had to go for it.

I’d never taken a lighting class or photographed food, so I called Chris and he explained the basics… Light travels in a straight line and you can control it’s intensity. I did the shoot, it took about 4 times linger than it would take me now and they LOVED the photos as did I and BAM!. . . I suddenly felt excited again about photography.

I decided I wanted to start to explore this arena, so I reached out to restaurants and hotels, I networked my butt off and I began to build the 2nd iteration of my company. Fast forward a few years and SMACK!. . . Right in the face with that feeling in my gut again.

Something was off, I was working with some of the best restaurants and hotels in Chicago and I loved when I was on set taking photos and collaborating with my clients but the business side of the company was, for lack of a better term, a HOT MESS. I wanted to quit, I was tired of “hustling” and seemingly never having certainty around (sustainability, finances. . . budgeting… business…) (when the next shoot would be booking, how much they would be paying, etc)

Instead of quitting, I changed my approach, I asked myself better questions. I talked with many of my clients and learned about their bigger picture needs and how I could position myself to contribute to them. Which leads us to now, the 3rd iteration of my company, We are Loftus. I’ll spare the details of how we do what we do on this page, because you can check it out in the about our company section.

It’s been 8 years in the making and I am very happy to say I genuinely LOVE what I am doing. I’ve surrounded myself with amazing people and clients and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for everyone’s support. I’ve brought on Nancy Rommeney, below to help bring this vision to life and we now have 4 amazing photographers working with us here in Chicago. We plan to expand to other major cities creating jobs for photographers and beautiful images for every client we work with.

To those I’ve worked with, THANK YOU. To those I’ve yet to meet I look forward to it.  And to those pursuing your dreams. . . Keep going, always trust your gut and embrace the uncertainty.