Caty + Ryan | Collaborative Conceptual Session | Joliet, Illinois

I’m pretty in love with this session. I rounded up my friend Caty, her model pal Ryan, and my good friend Moe who is also a photographer. Together we met up at an abandoned building I frequently use and together we shot for over three hours. My idea was to bring Moe along to shoot the same subjects and compare the drastic differences in our shooting styles. It was pretty awesome! I envisioned a photo of the two of them with antique sickles and smoke bombs - they nailed it! Aside from that we didn’t really have too much direction and were rather spontaneous. I love their chemistry in the images and Caty’s dominance is pretty phenomenal! 

Be sure to check out Moe's work hereYou can see more of my shots from this session featured on The Babetown Collective here

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The Nutter Family | James' First Birthday | Beecher, Illinois

I truly adore this family! I've had the honor of photographing their wedding, their maternity photos, and their family photos, and now their son's first birthday photos! Meet James! He's a spunky little guy who loves to dance and scrunch his nose. Happy 1st birthday James!

Anaya + Will | Beach Wedding | Kemil Beach | Indiana

Beach wedding goodness.

I recently had the honors of photographing a small intimate wedding at Kemil Beach in Indiana. I highly recommend checking out Kemil Beach if you haven't yet. It's definitely my favorite Lake Michigan beach yet. It was an early Saturday morning wedding right on the shore. With the bride and groom's closest friends and family they exchanged vows and rings. Congratulations and a happy forever to these two!

The Harpin Family | Lifestyle Newborn Session | Peotone, Illinois

Who doesn't love a sweet new baby?! Their soft skin, their fresh new baby scent, their warm snuggles, their tiny fingers and toes. They're adorable! As much as I love newborns as much as the next person, photographing them just isn't my jam. That is, unless, my clients want a lifestyle newborn session. I LOVE me a good lifestyle newborn session! So when my dear friend, Jenna, asked me to do their newborn session, I couldn't wait! 
New beginnings all around for Brian and Jenna! A new baby and a new house. Even though their house is still under construction, we decided it was the perfect setting for their session. Plus, I got to see their new house. Or, I should say, old house. If you know me at all you know I have an obsession with old houses. Brian and Jenna bought an old home and are completely rehabbing it. Most people probably wouldn't think of doing their newborn photos in a house that's under construction but I think it's the perfect setting for them. It states their lives at the present moment. A new baby and a new home. I would say it's a pretty exciting time in their lives and I was honored to document it. 

Sarah + Chris | Comic Shop Maternity Session | Champaign, Illinois

Clients - "Do you want to shoot our maternity session at a comic shop?"

Me - "Ummm.....you bet I do!"

Seriously y'all! This was such fun session! We hit up G-Mart Comic Shop, The Blind Pig Brewery, and a brightly colored graffiti wall! And just one week later they had their baby! Congrats Sarah & Chris!

The Blum Family | Forest Maternity Session | Lowell, Indiana

Lori and Kyle are dear friends of mine. They are also expecting a baby boy soon! A baby boy that will, no doubt, be as adorable as their other son. We truly lucked out on weather! If I recall it was 70 degrees, which is warm for February. We were able to take advantage of the beautiful day and take some photos outdoors.

Early Morning Sunrise Playtime

Toddlers are very comical creatures. This is my daughter in her natural habitat. She loves trucks, superhero dresses, and messy bedhead hair. This is my favorite way to capture children, especially toddlers. They're so full of wonder, curiosity, and energy! Do you know what they are not full of? The desire to pose and sit still. And that's perfectly okay! 

Arriah | Modeling Session | Crown Point, Indiana

Look out world! This is Arriah. She's a very talented, strong, beautiful, and charismatic 14 year old. Her mother, who has been a dear friend for many years, said Arriah has shown some interest in modeling so naturally we had to set up a session. I took her to a few different locations and we had a blast! By different I mean an abandoned greenhouse and an alley! Sounds appealing right?! Arriah did a fantastic job in front of the camera and she's clearly a natural! I'm looking forward to seeing what she makes of herself as I have no doubt it will be something spectacular!

Michelle + Pete | Cantigny Park Engagement Session | Wheaton, Illinois

I love engagement sessions! I love getting to know my clients, hearing their stories, laughing with them, and capturing their love for one another. Michelle and Pete have been together for 10 years already! They will be tying the knot next year and I wish them many more decades of love and laughter! 

Angelique + Paul | Convert a Bus

I have some pretty awesome friends, if i do say so myself. Paul and Angelique are an adventurous fun loving couple that are converting a school bus into a RV. I stopped out to hang out with them as check out the progress with camera in tow. Angelique was painting the floor and Paul was painting the hood. I can't wait to see it finished! If you're interested in following their journey check them out here on Facebook.

Films Not Dead! | Michigan City, Michigan

I've been getting back into film lately. I dusted off my Canon AE-1 and purchased a Yashica Mat 124G to add to my collection. It's been fun and I'm really loving the difference between film and digital. My current favorite film is Portra 400 120 paired with the Yashica. Shooting with film really forces you to slow down and configure your shots. I will share a few photos from a film class I recently took in Michigan and a few shots I've taken when just messing around with my cameras.

Lisa + Zac | County Fair Engagement Session | Lake County Fair | Crown Point, Indiana

You might recognize Zac and Lisa from another blog post from last summer! Well, they got engaged! Congrats guys! Of course I was honored when they asked me to photograph their engagement session. And as if I wasn't excited enough about shooting with them again, Lisa said they wanted to do their session at the county fair! Immediately ideas started brewing and I was really excited to collaborate ideas at such a fun location! 

It was a hot and steamy day. 91 degrees and 98% humidity! As if this couple isn't hot enough, right?!!! But we trudged through the weather and owe a big thanks to all of the Lake County Fair workers that didn't mind accommodating us!

Congratulations Zac and Lisa!!!

The Nutter Family | James Lifestyle Newborn Session | New Lenox, Illinois

Is there anything sweeter than a newborn baby? The coos, the little toes, their tiny ears, the unforgettable baby smell....I could go on! Let me introduce baby James. When he was just 14 days old I went to the home of Jimi and Sarah (the two in my previous blog post) to meet James and do a lifestyle session of mama and baby. He slept through half of it and spent the remainder of the time intently staring at his mommy. It was such a beautiful thing seeing the way they looked at each other. 

Sarah + Jimi Maternity Session | Manhattan, Illinois

First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes baby in a baby carriage!

I photographed Jimi and Sarah's wedding 4 years ago and here they are now expecting their first child, still head over heels in love, and Sarah is GLOWING! I am beyond excited to share their beautiful maternity session with you. 

 

Exciting news!

I will be hosting boudoir marathons at a new local boutique hotel! It's elegant, classy, and sexy. The perfect place to photograph boudoir sessions. Details soon!

I'm also offering these fabulous new albums that make great gifts or keepsake items!

Gift certificates are available if you're looking for a special something for a special someone for Valentine's Day!

Christmas and New Years are popular times for engagements! If you were recently engaged, congratulations, I'd love to hear from you!!! If you know someone who is recently engaged please send them my way. I'd love to talk with them and meet for coffee!

My Family Portraits

Moms, I'd like to acknowledge how much you put into a photo session. Between coordinating outfits, making sure nobody spills milk on themselves between home and the session, loading everything and everyone into the car, and getting to the session on time, it's exhausting!

And then stress of making sure your children aren't out of control wild because let's face it, children seem to be their worst when you need them to be their best. 

Breathe.

In the end, no matter what, we will capture THEM being THEM. Their personality will shine through whether they are timid and mild or hyper and wild. Those are the images to cherish and look back on with a smile. Sure, the perfectly posed photos with a smile are nice too but how many children do you know actually do that?

Here's a story. I try to do my own family photos every Fall. Usually I hire another photographer to do them but this season got away from me between weddings, senior sessions, and family sessions. I happened to have some time between sessions last Sunday and the weather was perfect so I decided it was now or never. We didn't have coordinating outfits so everyone wore a band t-shirt and jeans. My husband and I loaded our kids into the car and headed for the closest forest preserve.

I have a shy 13 year old and an unruly 2 year old. The outcome was US. Casual, silly, and loving. And that's what I see when I look through the photos taken that day. I see my oldest being a loving big brother laughing with his goofball sister.

So, with that being said, it's worth it in the end. Try not to stress and just enjoy the moment. :)