My name is Melissa Smith and I am the owner and photographer of MAK Photography.  While my company is based out of Crystal Lake, Illinois I travel all over the suburbs of  Northern Illinois area to cities including but not limited to, Chicago, Schaumburg, Lake In the Hills, Algonquin, Cary, Huntley, McHenry, South Barrington, and Woodstock.  I specialize as a  wedding photographer, but I also am an engagement photographer, a portrait photographer, a newborn photographer, and a maternity photographer.


My style of photography is photo journalistic.  I like to capture events as they happen naturally.  Some of the words that are often used to describe my photographs are fun, candid, artistic, genuine, modern, and nontraditional.


If I'm not shooting a wedding in the Chicago-Land area, you can find me in Indiana or Wisconsin.  I grew up in Indiana so when a couple asks me to be their wedding photographer in Northwest Indiana, you can be sure I will be there!  My favorite Northern Indiana cities to photograph at are Crown Point, Valparaiso, Chesterton, Munster, Schererville and South Bend.  So if you are planning a wedding in Northwest Indiana I would love to be apart of your day!


I moved to Illinois in 2010 and I now find myself photographing more weddings in Wisconsin.  Some of the most popular wedding locations in Wisconsin I travel to are Lake Geneva, Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, and Madison.


One of my favorite things to do when I have down time is to go on vacations.  I have seen so many beautiful destinations for weddings and I would love to get to travel more for work!  Some of the  destinations that I would love to photograph at are Las Vegas Nevada, Maui Hawaii, Seattle Washington, Los Angeles California, Phoenix Arizona, Vail Colorado, Dallas Texas, and Miami Florida.


With so many photographers in Crystal Lake Illinois finding the right one for your portraits isn't always easy.  I specialize in children portraits, family portraits, newborns portraits, and maternity portraits.


All of my portrait sessions are done on location, and if you aren't sure where is a good spot for your portraits I would be happy to help you pick the right location.  Some of my most popular portrait locations in Crystal Lake are The Hollows Conservation Area, Veterans Acres, Sternes Woods and Fen Park, and Three Oaks.  Other Northern Illinois portrait locations I like to photograph at are Glacial Park, Moraine Hills State Park, Volo Bog State Natural Area, McHenry Dam,  Randall Oaks Park, Pleasant Valley Conservation Area, Crabtree Nature Center and Lakewood Forest Preserve.


If you are looking for a great portrait photographer, I would love to create you a beautiful portrait that you will be thrilled to show off to your friends and family!


Yay! You are officially engaged!  But now what?  Not all photographers in Northern Illinois include engagement shoots in their wedding packages.  So why do I?  Wedding packages with engagement sessions is the standard at MAK Photography!  But what is it and why do you need one?


Typically my engagement shoots are between 30-60 minutes.  This is a great practice run for the day of the wedding.  Having an engagement session helps me to get to know you and your fiancé, as well as you to get to know me and understand how I photograph brides and grooms together.  Locations for engagement shoots can be picked by the couple or by me if you need help finding just the right location.  Having an engagement shoot will help you to feel comfortable in front of a camera on  your wedding day.  The photos from your engagement shoot will make great save the dates or thank you cards for after the wedding.


So if you still aren't sure you want to have an engagement portraits done, just let me know.  I would be happy to help you build a custom wedding package to fit the needs of your day.



My name is Melissa; I am the owner and photographer of MAK Photography.  I have been taking pictures my whole life.  When I first started taking photos, I wanted to capture the world and what I saw.  Then I realized taking pictures isn’t just about seeing something, it’s about capturing a moment that can never be recreated.


While I do spend most of my days being a business owner and photographer, I am also a wife and a mom.  My husband and I were married in Las Vegas and love to go back there every year for our anniversary.  My son, Landon, is a hockey player, and my daughter, Liz, is a gymnast, so let’s just say I spend a lot of my time being their cheerleader!  Whether I am at your wedding, my kids sporting event, or just at home on a holiday, one thing is for sure: I will always have a camera in my hand taking pictures of life’s most special moments.


For the past 15 years, I have been involved with photography in some way.  It is something I am extremely passionate about.  I love capturing life's most precious moments through photography as well as ensuring that these moments last a lifetime and continue to tell a story for generations to come.


In addition to photography, I enjoy traveling the country with my husband, where we typically explore our national parks via biking, hiking, or even road trips.  We have been to nearly every state in the country and have seen some of the most breathtaking landscapes.  On some of our excursions, our dog Gryffin, who is a Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles/Bichon Frise mix of dog) will accompany us.  I also enjoy spending time with my sister Melissa (owner of MAK Photography), so it's nice that we are able to work together doing something that we both love.  Whether the two of us are taking photos or just hanging out together, we click well, and in the end, that shows in our photography.

Check to see if we are available for your wedding date!

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Are you interested in having us photograph your event?  We would love to be apart of your day!




PO Box 1625, Crystal Lake, IL 60014




I was so lucky to have M.A.K. Photography at my wedding!  Thank you for loving what you do! It shows in your work!


I was so lucky to have M.A.K. photography at my wedding! They were so fun to work with and made the big day that more special! Thank you for loving what you do! It shows in your work!







I'm so glad that I went with M.A.K. Photography for my wedding.  Melissa and Aubrey took stunning photographs without being intrusive and were gladly willing to work with my requests. Melissa has a keen eye for unique photography that made the final product look truly extraordinary. Thank you so much!


Kelsey C.

Love, love, love!!! Our engagement and wedding photos were perfect! Melissa capture every moment that we will cherish for years to come! She was so easy to work with leading up to the big day and so great on the day of the wedding. Everything was so organized. We will be using M.A.K for all of our photo needs!


Stephanie G.

 Phone: 815.893.9868          Email: Melissa@makpic.com