“Instructions for living a life.
Tell about it.”
― Mary Oliver
To the mamas who are stronger than they think…
“Instructions for living a life.
Tell about it.”
― Mary Oliver
To the mamas who are stronger than they think…
“[Kids] don't remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.”
― Jim Henson
We live in a world full of “perfect” Facebook families, Instagram worthy photos of siblings who never fight and only ever get along in their perfectly curated, camera ready homes, and holiday cards that rival the royal family/Kardashians (take your pick).
Sorry, but nobody is buying your picture perfect life! We’re onto you!
I don’t know about you, but I’m always relieved to see photos of shit getting real.
I like to see messy, chaotic, funny, silly, sad, happy, frustrated, skinned knees, real tears…all of the things that come with life.
When I look through old photo albums, I prefer the candid moments over the curated moments because it helps me remember that moment. It transports me to another time and that is a beautiful thing.
That’s something that never happens when I look at the “fantasy” version of family photos: Everyone dressed impeccably. No hair out of place. Not a blemish to be found. All eyes on the camera and pained smiles across everyone’s lips (especially mom, because she has been threatening everyone within an inch of their lives).
My hope for all of the amazing people who hire me is that they are able to relax & enjoy the ride. I want them to know that we will get that “perfect” photo, but that they need to be flexible in what their definition of "perfect” is.
Also, bribes are a perfectly legit tool to keep in your bag of tricks! ( I almost always have lollipops to offer up)
Will everyone be looking at the camera? Maybe, but I can’t guarantee it. Will everyone have a smile on their face? Possibly, but I never force people to smile. I have tricks & sometimes they work, but not always!
What I will promise you: I will be there to document your family in this moment. When you look back on the images, they will make you smile, laugh, cry, or maybe all 3.
If this isn’t the reaction you have, I may not be the photographer for you…but, I hope I am.
I love being invited into the chaos and being part of these milestones.
I’d love to tell your story too…(you can book sessions here)
On July 14, I will be partnering with RJWC for a day of micro photo sessions. This is my 3rd year offering these sessions & I always have such a lovely time!
Here's the lowdown: 15 minute photo session | 5 edited image files | $150
Find your session: Book it!
All sessions will be held in Riverside, at an outdoor location near Swinging Bridge (exact location to be determined as the session date approaches).
What is a micro session? I'm glad you asked! A micro session is a quick, 15 minute session. It's a great way to get an updated portrait, without the commitment of a full photo session.
Here's the best part...twenty percent of the session profits from this event will go to Riverside Junior Woman's Charity.
Because these sessions are quick, it's important to keep them as uncomplicated as possible. Babies being photographed should be able to sit up on their own or be in a group photo with someone able to hold them or prop them up. Groups should be no larger than 5 or 6 people. Here are a few fun ideas for these sessions:
For small children, toddlers & young kids: updated portrait (alone or with siblings/cousin/friend), superhero/dress-up portrait, lovey/favorite stuffed animal portrait
For tweens & teens: updated portrait, best friends portrait, all about me portrait (what is your kid passionate about right now? skateboarding? dance? the list is endless...)
For adults/families: updated family portrait, updated couples portrait, best friend portrait
To find a time and book your session: Giving Partnership Micro Session
If you have questions: email@example.com
As always...here's the fine print! Sessions must be paid in full to book and hold your spot. Because this is a charitable event, the fee is non-refundable. Should you need to cancel, you can transfer your session fee to a friend or family. Please plan to arrive at least 5-10 minutes prior to your session time and be dressed and ready for your portrait session. No refunds will be given for no-shows or late arrivals. In the event of a late arrival, we will do everything in our power to fit you in, if time allows. In the event of rain or other inclement weather, sessions will be rescheduled on July 15 or July 21.
“Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.”
David Alan Harvey
I love my job & I love my clients.
Big hugs for all the warm fuzzies I got from all those who took the time to vote for little bitty productions...
According to Hulafrog, little bitty productions was voted most loved family photographer in Oak Park-River Forest!
I know that there are so many wonderful and beloved family photographers in the area, so I am truly appreciative and grateful for the support.
(In honor of Valentine's day, here's one of my favorite blog posts from a couple of years ago)
Do you remember your first love? I certainly do. Even though it's been 28 years, that love still holds a special place in my heart...and home.
Before my husband gets suspicious, let me explain.
When I was 14 years old, I got my hands on a Canon AE-1. Though I didn't really know how to use it, that didn't stop me from spending most of my money on film & processing. I spent a lot of money on bad photographs. My love grew, unrequited as it were.
The following year, I enrolled in a photo class at my high school. That was all it took...I was hooked. Photography was (and still is) a magical world for me. In those days (ahem, 28 years ago), I rolled my own film onto reels from a bulk loader, processed & printed everything by hand, and spot touched the images with an actual paint brush (no photoshop or computers...i know, WOAH).
My Canon carried me through my photo education in high school and into multiple colleges, where I eventually received my BFA. Many cameras came into my life through the years, but my love for that first camera was steadfast, even as it's parts began to falter. I spent countless hours shooting, processing, & printing. I managed to get a job working in the photo department of my university, which gave me access to the building pretty much all the time. I would stay in the lab overnight working on projects, taking occasional breaks to nap on the sofa in the lounge area. It's safe to say that I probably (definitely) couldn't maintain that lifestyle at this time in my life, but I remember it fondly. And it all started with that camera...
I eventually found new love with a Bronica SQ-B. Moving into medium format photography was an easy transition & I still very much love the square format, but my 35mm was always close at hand.
Eventually, the Bronica was set aside to make room for digital gear...as I adapt with the times. When it was time to upgrade, my first love came back to me, in a sense. I'm back to using a Canon, only now, it's a bit fancier and there is no film involved.
The old AE-1 has been living in a closet, where I would occasionally come across it while searching for something else.
Today, I decided to pull it out & place it somewhere visible...as a reminder of why & how I got where I am. On days when I'm feeling disconnected, distracted, or disinterested in picking up my camera, I hope that I can look to that old love and it will spark something in me.
I'll end this love letter with a quote from a modern day philosopher:
If I should stay
I would only be in your way
So I'll go, but I know
I'll think of you each step of the way
And I will always love you
“Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.”
― Vladimir Nabokov
Fall weather has been elusive. It's mid-October and the midwest is still very green.
We haven't even put our shorts away yet...but, it seems like autumnal weather is just around the corner. Last weekend, several sessions were a wash. LIterally...it rained so hard, that even after it was finished, the ground was so wet that I didn't even attempt to drag my clients out.
This weekend, I kept my calendar clear so that I could do family stuff, including celebrating my husband's birthday. We were planning a trip to an apple/pumpkin farm and maybe a trip to the arboretum, but guess what? It's been raining since before we woke up. Non-stop, hard rain.
The boys are making indoor obstacle courses & Jeff is playing baseball (on the xbox). The good news is, it's the perfect weather for me to stay in my pajamas & catch up on editing!
So, that's what I'm doing today...editing!
Here are a few peeks from galleries that I'm working on...more to come...enjoy!
Today is the first day that has actually felt autumn-like and it is heavenly...
This year, I made a promise to my family that I would make at least 1 weekend a month work-free. No clients, no editing.
The coming weekend is one of those work-free weekends. But, guess what? Everyone else has plans. Milo has 2 birthday parties and Oliver has 1 birthday party.
So...my big plans for the weekend will involve weeding, planting bulbs, and moving at a slow & relaxing pace. Maybe we'll go pick apples on Sunday, but we have no serious plans, which is lovely...
I'll get back to editing client work on Monday, but in the meantime, I'll share a few favorites from last weekend's family sessions.
Have a lovely weekend!
“Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life.”
― Brian Andreas
Even though it's in the high 80's outside, fall is here...
In spite of the weird weather, some of the trees are beginning to turn & leaves are on the ground.
Tis the season for non-stop family photo sessions!
Last weekend kicked off the start of my official fall season & I am almost completely booked for the remainder of 2017! (Huge shout out to my amazing clients!)
As bloggers go, I'm not always on my A-game. But...I'll stop by & update occasionally, because I love you guys!
Now it's time to edit, so I'll leave you with a few sneak peeks from the past 10 days/10 sessions...until next time!!
It's May 1...I think that we can safely say that winter is behind us.
And so...since it's a new month, I'm working on wrapping up all client work from April, including a lovely Riverside sunset session.
Here's a sneak peek at these sweet & silly siblings...
“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”
― Pablo Neruda
Spring is officially here! Everything is turning green again and flowers are beginning to bloom...it's time to shed our layers and get outside for some much needed vitamin D!
I'm excited about all of my upcoming sessions, meeting new clients, and reuniting with returning clients.
If you haven't booked a session yet, what are you waiting for? Find spring & summer dates here: Spring/Summer
In the meantime...enjoy a sneak peek of this lovely family session!
“Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?”
― Stephanie Perkins
A couple of weeks ago, a lovely family contacted me to ask about our neighborhood. They were considering a home nearby and wanted some first hand thoughts on the area. I love our neighbors, neighborhood, and school, so of course I had all good things to say! I think everyone should live in our neighborhood and I look forward to having them as neighbors.
As they look forward to a new adventure, they will leave the only home their young children have known. Bittersweet, for sure...but...a house is just a house. The people who inhabit the space make it a home. (cliché, but true)
So, as they prepare to pack & leave their current home, they reached out again to schedule a "day in the life" session. These sessions are my absolute favorite, hands down! For anybody who follows my personal, family work, "day in the life" sessions are really just a condensed version of what I do with my family & close friends every day, all the time (just ask my 7 year old...he's over it).
It's such a wonderful feeling when someone trusts me enough to invite me into their home, to follow them around with my camera. There is no direction or posing, just watching & documenting what unfolds organically: giggles, tears, and everything in between. It gives me the chance to get to know people a little more and to really see their personality. I had a great time being a fly on the wall & capturing some memories for them.
I've got a bit of editing to do, but here's a little taste of the session.
For the past few days, the weather has been amazing!
I was lucky to get the boys out of the house, go for several long walks to playgrounds and parks & I even snuck in some time with clients. It was a great (extended) weekend!
Now is the time to book your Spring session and if you book by the end of February, I've got a few promo deals to offer (spring mini promo). You can find all spring session dates & times here: calendar
Or, send me an email & we can chat: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's a little sneak peek from some of my favorite clients...they never fail to bring great energy!
You guys...it's going to be 60 & sunny this weekend.
It's the middle of February.
In the Midwest.
I think we can all agree that the forecast sounds amazing. So, because I'm craving some time outside without 10 layers of clothing, I'm offering a last minute "awesome weather" promo. Let's get outside & stalk some light, shall we?
The sessions will take place at an outdoor location in or near Oak Park. I'm opening 4 mini sessions & offering $50 off each session. Total price, after discount: $175.
Saturday, February 18: 4:20p & 5p (Oak Park) | Sunday, February 19: 4:20p & 5p (Riverside)
If you'd like to book a full, 1 hour session & both time slots are still open, we will offer $75 off. Total price, after discount: $300
To book a session, email me: email@example.com.
The fine print: To secure your time, payment must be made in full at the time of booking. This promo is only valid on February 18 & 19, 2017.
So, I started writing this post on January 15 and then everything went south...
We had a plague that hit our home & had a total of TWO days in January that were without sick people. TWO days.
Now that we are (mostly) on the mend, let's get back to our regularly scheduled programming, shall we?
2016 has come to an end and I, for one, am thankful for that. It was, at times, a very trying year for me.
Work was busier than ever, and for that; I'm so thankful. If there is a downside to that, it's that I missed out on a lot of time with my boys (all 3). I hear a lot of talk about work/life balance and "having it all". That this conversation is typically reserved for women is not lost on me. If there is a formula or magic wand that can get me closer to "having it all", I haven't found it yet. In fact, I'm certain that this is a myth.
With balance in mind, I'm working toward a more organized and thoughtful business schedule. I understand that September through December will always be a bit crazier than all the other months and I will embrace that, but I also hope to come up with a better session schedule and stick to it.
Without further ado, my scheduling calendar is up to date and ready for bookings through the end of May.
Available Spring session dates can be found here: book your session
As an early booking incentive, any regular portrait session (1 hour or more) that is fully booked* by February 15, will receive a $100 file or print credit.
I know that everyone is different and not everyone plans that far in advance, so I will do everything that is reasonable to fit in last minute sessions or alternate dates for current/past clients. Just send me an email!
Spring Mini session dates will be released this week, so stay tuned...
*the fine print: a session isn't considered fully booked until it is paid in full. to receive the early incentive file or print credit, sessions must be paid in full by february 15, 2017.
“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”
― George Burns
I hope that everyone is having a lovely holiday season, spending time with family, spending time alone, or doing whatever it is that fills your heart.
We are spending time with family, in Texas, and currently winding down the first leg of our trip. We will be driving south today, to spend a few days in Houston...followed by the third leg of the trip, Dallas. When all is said and done, we are/will be exhausted, but it will all be worth it!
With family in mind, I wanted to share a little sneak peek from my final session of 2016. This adorable family is celebrating once around the sun for their little guy! We spent a Sunday afternoon at Garfield Park conservatory, a perfect alternative when the windchill is negative 20. Enjoy!
I hope that everyone has been enjoying the unseasonably warm weather...I certainly have & I think my clients can appreciate November outdoor photo sessions that don't require layers & blankets. It can't last forever, but let's soak it in while we can!
Here's a few sneak peeks from recent sessions...enjoy!
I normally like to write or muse about recent work or other points of interest, but since I'm still trying to catch up with my client work...I'm afraid I've got no witticisms to lay out for you. It's time to share some sneak peeks from a couple of recent mini sessions.
I hope everyone is enjoying this amazing weather!
I'm lagging on sneak peeks, but I pulled a few from last week's sessions.
I still have a few more sessions to catch up on, but hopefully I'll have those sneaks up in the next day or so. Until then, here are a few from a hybrid in-home/outdoor lifestyle session. These types of sessions are, by far, a favorite of mine. There's nothing better than catching people where they are most comfortable & at ease. It's always a pleasure and an honor to be invited in to capture a snippet of the day to day stuff...playing with a favorite toy, reading a book or just being silly. Enjoy this little peek...