The Post Perfect Event. A Guide to Creative Living Photography.

WORDS – Christian Guajardo

PHOTOGRAPHY – Julia Latkins

We all love this Fall tradition like a Friendsgiving dinner with all the best friends and unbridled joy, right? It is just a perfect time to get together, decorate a space with flowers, light some candles, and then sip a cup of hot beverage, indulge yourself with a slice of a berry tart, chat, and celebrate being thankful for each other.

Why not to combine that type of gathering with some educational purpose and spice it up with the creative force and encouraging collaboration with the most talented and inspiring women in photography and social media? That is exactly what we thought with our Lokal team and decided to organize the Post Perfect gathering in the beautiful penthouse of the Freehand Hotel Chicago.

Handcrafted berry tarts and chocolates, coffee and long talks about decorating and photography. It was a lovely day where organizational skills of The Lokal team turned a photography event into a cozy collation of old friends and new friends. After all, nothing fires the creativity and gives us power of expression more than being together and bouncing ideas off our kindred spirits.

FIRST AND FOREMOST, we would like to thank all of the amazing women who made this special event possible: Julia Latkins, Nina Hazhala, Alina Tsvor, Inna Kostukosky, and Elena Rodina.

The choice of the Freehand Hotel was not random. We are big fans Chicago history and architectural traditions. This Freehand outpost in River North occupies a classic 1927 building with an elegant feel. With its exterior boasting Chicago’s past, the interior design of the building is an eclectic mesh of various styles and cultures, which makes it ideal for the burst of inspiration and creativity.

THE EVENT OPENED with three main female speakers: Inna Kostyukovsky, Elena Rodina, and Julia Latkins. Each speaker is a field professional in their own subject: photography, writing, and design. Every participant presented us with their unique perspective and experience in photography and social media. 

Photo by Renata Bueno Gelfi (@thegelfis)

INNA, A LONDON-BASED PHOTOGRAPHER, was the first to present to the group. A world traveler and former Chicagoan, Inna finds inspiration in many themes from trivial everyday events to gorgeous cityscapes. Her specialty remains with elegant wedding, family, and lifestyle photography. During her talk, she introduced the audience to several photo-taking lighting and angle techniques that she has obtained over the years and took the lead on how to style set up in the interior .

AS A TRAVELER, Inna has been exposed to a variety of landscapes and sceneries which have helped her further to refine her ability to capture stunning moments on both traditional film and digital photography.

Photo by Renata Bueno Gelfi (@thegelfis)

UP NEXT WE HAD ELENA RODINA, a Chicago-based writer and journalist from Northwestern University, an internationally-published author for Esquire, Elle, and Time-Out Chicago. Her presentation focused on word usage in social media. Elena also touched on how one can shape their tone of voice to add new depth to their photography, and how to develop branding.

The writer highlighted how being mindful of word usage and communication style, one can build a unique voice for one’s social media accounts and to successfully engage with their audience. 

THROUGHOUT THE EVENT WE SET UP A VARIETY OF PROMPTS. This enabled the audience to have the opportunity to put the information presented into practice and to share everyone’s talents and skills.

Our practice setup included gorgeous pottery from Polly Yates, flowers from Youth and Yarrow, and a variety of plant-based desserts from Mana. Through the use of natural lighting, props, and with the help of our models Lina and Alina, our team was able to truly delve into the craft and to produce some stunning photography pieces.

THE BEST PART OF THE EVENT WAS not so much the presentation, but the interaction and engagement that came with it. Our audience had diverse backgrounds and experiences, but it did not prevent anyone from assisting one another in the creative process of photography. Whether it was recommending a certain angle or helping with prop-placement, the spirit of collaboration was high and the synergy vibes in the room were absolutely thrilling. 

Photo by Renata Bueno Gelfi (@thegelfis)
Photo by Alina Tsvor (@alinatsvor)
Photo by Vlada Kozachuk (@vladak_photo)
Photo by Renata Bueno Gelfi (@thegelfis)
Photo by Vlada Kozachuk (@vladak_photo)
Photo by Renata Bueno Gelfi (@thegelfis)
Photo by Alina Tsvor (@alinatsvor)
Photo by Alina Tsvor (@alinatsvor)
Photo by Nadia Ryan (@nadia.ryan)
Photo by Nadia Ryan (@nadia.ryan)

JULIA INTRODUCED THE AUDIENCE TO THE PRESENTATION ON MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY with a specific target towards those looking to share their work via Instagram. Her key recommendations were centered around mindfulness when taking your photograph. She highlighted the importance of being actively alert of several factors such as lighting, exposure, resolution, symmetry, and more. Additionally, she recommended a few apps to add to one’s arsenal when deciding on how to best to edit a photo. 

Ultimately, when it comes to photography, the goal of this kind of events is to share our experiences and preferences with like-minded individuals. However, the real cherry on top of the cake is an opportunity to meet many unique people that carry inspiration inside of them in one place, and to create new friendships. After many photos and lovely treats later, we concluded our networking and said our goodbyes, leaving with lingering light of synergy and inspiration to create.


Freehands Chicago

Address: 19 E Ohio St., Chicago, IL 60611, United States

Phone: +1 (312) 940-3699

Instagram: freehandhotels


Youth and Yarrow


Instagram: youthandyarrow


Polly Yates


Instagram: polly.yates

Plant-Based Desserts



Instagram: eat.mata


Styling – Julia Latkins & Nina Hazhala

Editor – Nina Hazhala

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