“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…
“I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway... let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.”
― C. JoyBell C
To the mamas just starting out and the mamas who’ve been doing it for years…
Photo sessions make great gifts… or treat yo self!
Book your session now: Find My Session!
“[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)
“I am a mother and mothers don’t have the luxury of falling apart in front of their children, even when they are afraid, even when their children are adults.”
― Kristin Hannah
To all the mamas who get shit done & keep on doing it, over and over again…
Interested in booking a session for yourself or someone that you adore?
A limited number of Summer & Fall Mini Sessions are available…book now!
“Sometimes,' said Pooh, 'the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
― A.A. Milne
It’s January 14 and my new year has been filled with new life.
My first clients of 2019 were a family of 4, whose newest member was a beautiful 6 week old boy. After that, I had the pleasure of photographing a long time client & her 3rd baby…a baby girl who was less than 24 hours old when I got to photograph her. Today, I got to photograph Tina Harle, a friend and fellow Oak Park photographer, and her family of 4, including her newest addition: a baby girl who was a little more than 24 hours old when I got to the hospital.
It’s always a little nerve-wracking when I’m photographing another photographer. You never know how it will all play out, especially when small children are involved. I know that my kids are terribly uncooperative with me, but they do ok with other photographers (usually). Tina and her family were amazing though…there’s nothing I love more than a client who tells me to do whatever I want & that nothing is off limits. I can just shoot what I see & document the moments as they happen.
Tina has a 6 year old who was there for the session. She was so sweet & caring towards her new baby sister…”teaching” her the alphabet, talking to her, combing her hair, and giving her lots of kisses. I was able to capture so many loving gazes from her…these were genuine moments! My newborn sessions aren’t staged, so what you see is what was occurring naturally. It was beyond adorable! It was not the experience that I had with my kids…Oliver wouldn’t go anywhere near Milo in those early days…I think he was terrified of him! HA! (We should all be a little terrified of Milo…just saying!)
It’s truly a gift to be invited into people’s lives, homes, and hospital rooms during these early, hazy, sleepless days. I do not take it lightly and I am so thankful that I get to be an observer of these real and special early days.
How’s your new year going?
What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”
― Karl Lagerfeld
Are you printing your photos or do they sit on a hard drive, thumb drive, or some other storage device that could (and will) fail you at some point? I often wonder why clients only want digital files...seeing images on a screen can’t even come close to looking at them on display (framed, canvas, block, or book...). There are so many reasons to love digital photography, but this is one of the reasons that I don’t love it.
I daydream about going back to shooting film exclusively, so that giving my clients beautiful prints, instead of files, is the end result. Somehow, handing over digital files makes me feel like I haven’t finished the job. I’ve left clients hanging...
To me, photography has always been about the whole process, as opposed to the sum of its parts. If I don’t have a tangible, beautiful print in my hands...what do I have? What was the point?
Are you printing your images? If not, what keeps you from doing so?
In an effort to get more beautiful prints into the hands of my wonderful clients, I’m running a print promo. The promotion is good until the end of the year. Details below:
20% off any orders of $100 or more using code: 20off100
30% off any orders of $300 or more using code: 30off300
If your gallery is no longer active but you would like to take advantage of this offer, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE NOTE: To receive prints prior to our holiday closing, local orders must be received by December 7. For orders that need to be shipped outside of the Oak Park/Chicago area, orders must be received by November 30.
The fine print: This offer applies to a la carte prints and print products only. Cannot be applied to digital files, print/file packages, or sessions. Cannot be applied to previous purchases. Any orders placed after the delivery deadline of December 7 will be processed and delivered after we reopen on January 7.
“The best stories are like the best burgers: big, juicy, and messy.”
― A.D. Posey
Photo sessions can be hard for little people.
Let’s be honest...they can be hard for big people!
The most important thing that I want to tell my clients is: Relax. It’s only photos. We will make it through and everything will be fine. We may not get the “perfect” smile, but we will get what’s real and that is worth so much more than “perfection”.
I would argue that the real stuff IS perfection.
When we look back on our photos, we should have a sense of being there. We should be transported to that time and remember how hard or funny or sad or chaotic it was. It should fill us up and help us see how far we’ve come.
This is the real stuff. This is the good stuff.
click on an image to enlarge & scroll through entire gallery
“Even twins have their differences.” -Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Last April, a client reached out to schedule a newborn session. She was expecting twins & her due date was early August. We both, her especially, expected they would make their debut sometime in July.
Throughout the summer, I would check in to see how things were going. Namely, how the babies were? Should we plan a session sooner than August? By late July, it seemed the target date was still August.
On August 8, we made our yearly pilgrimage to Texas & when we returned, I got to spend a couple of hours documenting this sweet family & their 2 newest members. Did I mention they also have a 3 year old?
Enjoy a few shots from this in-home session!
“The connections we make in the course of a life--maybe that's what heaven is.”
― Fred Rogers
On May 25, I had the pleasure of photographing Victoria and her lovely family. It was a beautiful, perfect sunset session. I'm working on completing the edits, but so far...the images are stunning and I'm very happy with them.
A lot can happen in a week and I'm so happy we were able to make this session work. I can't wait to deliver the full gallery...in the meantime, enjoy these images!
“But kids don't stay with you if you do it right. It's the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won't be needed in the long run.”
― Barbara Kingsolver
This quote always gives me pause.
As much as I dream of a day with uninterrupted bathroom breaks, a car without goldfish crackers in every nook & cranny, and a day free of screaming, bickering children, I also know that this time is fleeting.
Every mom with a young child has been told to "enjoy this time...they will be grown before you know it!", or some variation of that. I'm sure this is sage advice, but it can feel...overwhelming, condescending, scary. Pick an emotion...it can make you feel all the things!
I take a lot of photos of my kids. Obviously. But, since I'm the one taking those photos, I don't show up in too many of them.
Over the years, we've booked family photo sessions. We've also taken family photos by setting the camera on a tripod & setting the timer. They were always fine & marked the moment in time, but I wanted something more.
Last year, I gifted myself a motherhood photo session. It was me & my boys. The images are beautiful & I could not love them more.
You know what else? I was not feeling particularly beautiful. I still "needed" to lose weight. My busy schedule made it tricky to find a time. My boys wouldn't "cooperate".
I could find a million reasons why I needed to postpone the session. But, I didn't.
I got my uncooperative boys to wear jeans (gasp!), put on clean shirts, brush their hair, and we drove an hour and half (in the pouring rain) to our session. We were late (of course). I was nervous and flustered. But, we did it. We survived! And now...I have the most beautiful images to document that moment in time.
Even though it was only a year ago, I look at the images & my boys look so much younger. Oliver still had his baby teeth (I know...he didn't start losing teeth until the end of 2nd grade). Milo still wanted to cuddle with me in front of strangers.
Most importantly, I'm in the frame. They will have proof of my existence.
Have you been putting it off? Forget about all the reasons why you can't. Do it for your kids. Do it for yourself. You won't be sorry.
“I don’t trust words. I trust pictures.”
I'll never be accused of being the most eloquent person in the room.
Writing doesn't come easily for me.
The one place where I have always been comfortable is behind the camera, any camera. Put a person on the other side of the lens and it always feels right.
Quick shoots are great & I can almost always capture a great portrait, but I love nothing more than a slow, laid back lifestyle session. These are the sessions where I am able to relax, observe, and let the photo reveal itself to me. I can chat, engage, and help my client relax.
On the other side of these sessions, I am almost always in love with the images. They bring me joy and, hopefully, my client feels the same...