Tag Archives: photographer

that day when I met Trudeau…


I usually love my job. Like everyone, some days are better than others. I hardly ever have really bad days. And sometimes, I have the best day ever.

Yesterday happened to be one of those days.

This happened.


I swear I am not celebrity obsessed. OK, so maybe I like who I like, and when who I like is beautiful in his words and actions, then it is someone I can feel slightly obsessed about.

So, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

I spent the afternoon and evening listening to an articulate, empathetic world leader talk about the future in a room filled with UChicago students. It was refreshing and interesting and hopeful.

And then I literally photographed and photographed and photographed him with guests at an evening reception. Everyone in the room seemed to want a photo and PM Trudeau obliged until he was basically one of the last people left in the room. He spoke to EVERYONE. He listened to EVERYONE. And it was really something to see.

I usually don’t make it a habit to get my photo taken with University guests, but as I spoke with one of his equally kind assistants, he asked if I would like a photo with him.

I hesitated for less than two seconds. And then I said, “Yes, I would really like that.”

Best. Day. Ever.



I bought my first camera when I was 12 years old.

That sentence is absolutely true. That sentence was also the lede of my entry into the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Photojournalism competition. I didn’t win, (thanks to Elian Gonzalez – another story for another time) but just having the Chicago Sun-Times editors believe I had a chance at the Pulitzer was certainly one of my career highlights.

The reaction of people when they find out what I do for a living ranges from jealousy to starstruck. It’s so funny – I am almost embarrassed sometimes to admit that I have this crazy, fun, amazing way to make a living.

But truthfully, it is the only job I have ever had.

My dad, my grandmother and my grandfather all loved to take photos. Grandpa Lachat favored Kodachrome, and boxes of his slides are still in my aunt’s possession.

My dad didn’t buy that first camera – a Kodak 126 that I saved $12 to purchase. But he did buy my first real 35mm camera – A Canonet QL 17 – for me. That camera got me through a couple years shooting for Inscape, the student newspaper at Mother McAuley High School, until I was able to save enough money for a Canon AE-1 Program from Able Camera on Kedzie in Mt. Greenwood.

So, the photography bug runs deep and wide on both sides of my family. And I caught it at a very young age. Gram used to let us kids take photos with her camera. It was magical and fun, and all these years later, it still is.

Why do I do what I do? The joy that great photography brings to the people who entrust me with documenting their families, their children, their weddings, mitzvahs, birthdays and anniversaries gives me my own joy times ten.

I do this because it is magical and fun. I do this so that my own daughters see that passion should be a part of what you do to make a living. I do this because it is joyful and important to those I serve.

I can’t imagine doing anything else.

MokenaGram Flashback



The One that Started it All

This photo of the Ebert Farm Service grain elevator on Front Street was the first photo shot and published – two years ago in the Mokena Messenger. You can see it here: http://www.mokenamessenger.com/mokena-gram.

I had just watched the documentary, “Finding Vivian Maier,” and was feeling inspired as I drove down Front Street. The idea of a weekly column was born and though it no longer lives in the pages of the Mokena Messenger, I still love shooting it almost every week right here in Mokena!

Please subscribe to keep an eye on my columns, and I’ll be seeing you around town.

MokenaGram 03/30/16





Jack Cantway of Mokena United Methodist Church, left, carries a cross Holy Saturday on Mokena Street towards his church from St. John’s United Church of Christ during the annual Easter tradition for local churches. photo by Jean Lachat/jean lachat photography

back and better than ever.

The first snowfall of the year settles on the roof of the barn at Yunker Farm on January 3, 2015 in Mokena.

The first snowfall of the year settles on the roof of the barn at Yunker Farm on January 3, 2015 in Mokena.

Well, I’d like to think so at least.

I knew I hadn’t written anything in a while, but when I came to the blog and saw August 29 as the last post, the first thing I thought was, “uh-OH!”

New year means new commitment. And since the Mokena Messenger is so great about giving me space for my photography, I need to be quite a bit more diligent about providing these great back stories to my weekly MokenaGram.

And while on that topic, if any of my Mokena readers have ideas for MokenaGram – someone, or someplace, or something that makes our little town rock, then please email me right away at: jeanlachat@comcast.net. I will consider any suggestions!

So many great things happening in my professional and personal world in 2015.

I love my cute little studio on Front Street. Kim McAuliffe, owner of An English Garden florist where my studio resides,  is my cheerleader, friend and business guru. We are planning on ripping up the second floor carpeting this year and doing some cool work to the floors so that the studio has that shabby-chic vibe both Kim and I enjoy so much. Behind closed doors, we call it “old crap” but don’t tell anyone!

I had an outstanding year for portraits in 2014. My business grew by leaps and bounds, and with a lot of hard work, I hope it continues in 2015! THANK you to all my wonderful friends here and around Mokena who consistently spread good words about me and my work. You are so wonderful!

2014 Highlights include (but are not limited to) my awesome seniors from Class of 2015 for giving me creative license to make you look super cool and beautiful!

My brides and grooms, who regularly trust me with documenting moments that will last a lifetime. I embrace this responsibility!

My families and their adorable children that fill my studio with love and laughter and JOY. And their “beasts” too — our four-legged friends who are always WELCOME at 11210 Front Street.

In addition to my studio work, I have met amazing people in and around Mokena through my work at 22nd Century Media,  the University of Chicago, the Les Turner ALS Foundation, Adler University and the March of Dimes, among others. I’ve met heroes and movers and shakers. Even rock stars. Literally. I shot Aerosmith this summer. It was, as you can imagine, a blast.

Most of all, I could not do ANY of this without the unconditional support of my loving husband, Rick, my Dad (bless his heart!) and my children Becky and Jess, who don’t always understand why I work every day, but know how much I love it, so they support me regardless! And my sisters & girlfriends and sister-friends, who, if I try to name, one will inevitably be forgotten. But you know who you are. And I love you, too.

I face a couple challenges right off the bat this year, but I am literally surrounded by God’s love and support in so many forms, that I am looking forward to both the challenges and blessings so I can watch Him work!

A happy, healthy 2015 to all.





will anyone ever love me the way john bearint loves me?


Our relationship began when he was merely a bump in his mommy’s belly.

Bev and Tim have become like family to me. Both incredible parents, they trusted me enough to forge a year-long relationship to capture their son’s milestones with my baby program:  sessions as a newborn, 3-month, 6-month, and 9-month-old and his one year birthday. In between those sessions, I was able to photograph baby john at his baptism and during his first moments with Santa. In between, we’ve shared moments of triumph in John’s milestones, and the trials of everyday life: job loss and sick parents.

Every single time we got together, the little guy had big smiles for me. I would squeal with delight as he charmed me every three months with his humongous grey-blue eyes, unbelievably long eyelashes and sweet personality.

“I think he’s fond of me,” I would say to Bev and Tim. Luckily, they were fond of me as well.

Baby John is one year old, and we had a bittersweet, beautiful session at Lake Katherine in Palos Park a couple of weeks ago.

I will miss these days, and so thrilled to have played a part in the Bearint story.
We will undoubtedly stay in touch, so I will see that sweet little guy now and again.


I hope he never stops smiling, especially for me.

for more information on my year-long baby program, please call 708.263.7269 or email: jeanlachat@sbcglobal.net

see more of my work at www.jeanlachatphotography.com