Monday, August 31, 2009


Awww, you guys ... get ready for some SERIOUS cuteness. Carson just turned one and he needed some pictures to commemorate the event with Mommy and Daddy. And he's just SUCH a doll. You're going to love him, so I won't keep you waiting. :)


It took Carson a little while to get used to me and I think that here, he might have been plotting his escape through the glass door. But I love how the sun lights up his little hand, and it reminded me that his dad kept commenting that he was doing the Austin Powers/Dr. Evil finger to the mouth. It was really funny. :)


And here is the beautiful family, and that's no exaggeration. They were SO sweet, and they have the cutest little boy, and a lovely home, and they're warm and fun and you can tell there's just so much love there. And now that I've said all of that really sweet and sincere stuff, I can also say ... I'm TOTALLY jealous of Angela's hair. OMG, it's gorgeous. How does she make it look so beautiful while chasing a one-year-old around? I'm SO impressed. :)


Awwww, I love this, probably because one of the things I remember best about my own childhood is that my dad would carry us to bed on his shoulders every night. My dad is a tall dude (about 6'2"), and we didn't have super high ceilings, so I must have been pretty little but it had to have been seriously awesome for me to still remember it so vividly. And hopefully Carson will have those memories too!


Awwww, aren't they all CUTE? And Carson looks like he's got the beginnings of a "rock out!" hand going on!


Mommy was SUPER good at getting Carson to laugh and be happy, and one of his favorite things was being held up in the air (and the other one being spun around). It was so cute to watch them play together. :)


Having a little rest on Mommy's shoulder ... seriously, are they not THE CUTEST? I just loved how much of the affection came through the pictures.


And another in color. Again, I've said it before, I LOVE having water nearby. I never really realized how much it adds to your life (and pictures).


Oh, this. THIS! This is an interlude to show you what the beach looked like where we were in Winnetka. GORGEOUS. I mean, it really and truly looked like this--no crazy Photoshop on my part, just sparkly blue water and a gorgeous little row of clouds. And it was completely quiet (although the bacteria levels that day might have contributed, although that would sort of ruin the illusion). :)


Loved this too--father and son, a beautiful day, coordinating shirts ... what's NOT to love?


And for the big finish, we put him on the swings! Which, obviously, he loved, and my favorite thing about this picture is that if you look to the left, you'll see just a little bit of Gene's face and see that that big huge smile is all for Daddy!


So cute! (I am such a broken record, but it doesn't stop it from being repeatedly true!) And look at those little teeth!


LOVE. He is SUCH a doll, and so happy. And I think he finally started to forget that I was there, which is always the goal when you're the photographer--you want people to look as natural and happy as if there WASN'T a huge lens pointed at their face. :)


And one last little shot of the happy fam all together at the park!

Seriously, this was such a nice way to spend a Saturday morning--like I said, they were really a great family to be around and it was a beautiful day, and I loved getting to capture how they interact. This was SUCH a quick shoot, probably only about an hour (because, let's face it, one-year-olds have better things to do, like play and eat and nap ... I wish I was a one-year-old!), but I was really proud of all the great shots we got, which is totally a testament to my wonderful subjects. Carson was so happy and obviously well-loved, and Gene and Angela were so welcoming and accommodating and sweet, and I know they'll have so many more happy years ahead of them!

Thank you so much for inviting me into your home and your lives for the morning! I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them! :)

Alex is kicking it off for us!

Oooohhhh ... it's going to be a MAJOR couple of days here at the blog. We've got a sneak peek of Alex now, pictures of a kiddo coming up later today, and Ashley and Kyle's wedding tomorrow. And I've got all kinds of stuff that I'm working on behind the scenes, including Phil and Mary Ann's wedding, so be sure to come back often! :)

But for now, we can't keep Alex (and her mom) in much more suspense. They're SO excited to see these. And as you know, I have a strict policy of NOT showing the best pics in the sneak previews, because otherwise there's nothing exciting to come back for. So keep that in mind when you see this gorgeous photo--THERE ARE BETTER ONES. Isn't that crazy? But it's true.


Alex and I worked together in the first office I was in when I moved up to the Chicago area, and we still talk every day at work, usually via IM. She's part coworker that I vent to, part little sister, and totally fun. We've been talking about taking pictures of her since last winter, which is completely insane, and we've been trying to do it all summer, but the weather has just NOT been cooperating.

Since Alex and I worked together, I've transferred offices in my company (and am about to do it again), and Alex took a position as a floater, so one day she was out at my office and I brought my camera, and we were determined to make something happen, so we spent an hour or two just running around the parking garage, taking pictures and playing around. And they're AWESOME. I was looking over them and I commented to Billy, this is just going to be too easy. I can't WAIT for you to see what else we got.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Full swing!

Oh, MAN you guys this is the greatest sneak peek post in the history of the world. I have FOUR things coming at you, and they're all from the past ten days or so, and I combined them into one great superpost! (Superpost, totally a word.) I know you can't handle any more suspense and I don't want to be cruel, so here we go!


First up, Kyle and Ashley! Kyle and his family are long time family friends of ours, so prepare for stories from childhood as well as a picture of my dad and brother, who were in attendance (my mom was sick, which made her sad), and Ashley is the cutest in the world, so we had all kinds of fun, and she encouraged fun picture taking, which I love. :)


Next up ... Kyle and Ashley! Yeah, that's right. :) Since they're in Indianapolis, we didn't get a chance to get together for engagement pictures, so instead we went out the next morning for the after party. Kyle still had his tux, which was good, but they were leaving for their honeymoon in the afternoon, which was hectic, so we did the entire shoot in an hour. It was AMAZINGLY quick, but we got so much good stuff and I can't wait to show it.


This is the incomparably beautiful Janina, who googled around until she found me for her senior pictures. I can't BELIEVE how gorgeous the pictures are, and I can't wait to get them all done and share them. They're really incredible, some of my proudest work yet. You're going to love them.


And then Phil and Mary Ann, who you remember from their stunning engagement photos around Chicago (and trust me, it was ALL in the subject matter!), got hitched at the Chicago Mariott over the weekend, which just blew my mind with how beautiful it was. This was a great wedding, and I am in love with and future facebook friends with their entire wedding party. :) Also, I got a new favorite ring shot at this one, and it's amazing, and I mean AH. MAZE. ZING. I wasn't even tempted to share it with you, because it's so incredible that I need to just tell you about it first (tease you, if you will) and then have you come back for more when I do the full blog post. :)

I'm going to be taking pictures of a one-year-old tomorrow evening in preparation for his birthday party, so if you like the kid pics, that's coming too!

You guys, I am loving August. I've been SO busy, and it's so hot, and it finally feels like summer. I took a week off at the day job and traveled the land (seriously, it felt like it--I am so sick of the inside of my car and it is a PIT right now), mostly taking pictures but also having major fun, which I also took pictures of! It'll probably be awhile till we see those, though, since I have work to do. :)

Speaking of, my photographer friends will be SO proud to learn that I'm finally attempting Lightroom. I really felt last year that I was too busy to take the time to figure it out and learn it, but I think it's just going to be necessary to accomplish anything in a timely way. I went out and bought a Lightroom For Dummies book last night (because that's me if I've ever heard it), and then went home and promptly bought the wrong version of Lightroom to go with it. I should have that part at least figured out by tonight, but I did get a good amount of reading done and I'm anxious to get started. What this should mean for clients is that they get pictures FASTER! Woo! Who doesn't love faster? So I'm really optimistic that this is going to be an awesome thing to learn and use, and good for all of us! :)

On a happy, exciting note, my day job is transferring me into the city (at my request). I'm SO excited. Billy is getting ready to start his internship at the VA hospital and we're apartment hunting in Oak Park this weekend, and we're really excited about it. We'll be closer to the city, have shorter commutes, be on a CTA line, etc. etc. etc. Really, we're very much urbanites at heart and we've missed a lot of the conveniences of city living, so this is a really welcome change, and it's going to be GREAT.

September is going to be a busy month--I've already got a lot scheduled, and we'll be getting packed and moved. I do have some time open in my schedule though, so if anyone is wanting to schedule a session (I know September is a great month for senior pictures especially!), please let me know as soon as you can!

Alright, I think that's about it on the combined sneak peek/housekeeping post for today. If you've made it this far, thanks for sticking with me. :) Things are going well here, and there's plenty of good stuff coming up, so be sure to come back for more!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Who's that hot piece?


Oh yeah, that's right, it's me! Billy took this nice shot of me and Flash while we were at the dog beach, and it was actually kind of a revelation because I saw a picture of myself where I didn't cry or launch into a pit of despair and self-loathing. I've lost around 15 pounds, which is pretty major, and most of it is from switching to diet sodas*, which as everyone who knows me knows, is a MAJOR sacrifice**. So right now, I'm happy enough with how I look--I'm not interested in working out, and I actually don't eat too bad as is, and I'm still losing weight, just at a MUCH slower pace, so I'm not stressing about it or really putting much effort in right now, and it's nice to feel so good again! Billy is allowed to take my picture all the time now.

And do you not love my bangs in that picture? Seriously! Bangs were like, the greatest idea ever. (I can't wait to go back and read that statement in 15 years and be like, girl, what were you thinking?!?!)

Also, I like how I'm simultaneously a tiny bit chubby but also still a lot bit gangly/awkward. Hahahaha! I have the funniest body of all time. :) I like to tell people I'm built like Tweedle Dee (and thus set them up for the Tweedle Dum joke).

You know, there was actually a point to blogging today, besides just analyzing my weird body and weight loss methods, and reminding all of us that yes, I took Flashy to the dog beach and no, I still haven't edited the pictures. And that point was to tell you that I am going to be CRAZY busy for the next ten days, and I just apologize right now. E-mailing will take me a little while longer than normal, and if you place print orders, they'll be a little slow as well.

But you guys, there is SO much to look forward to this week, which will translate to things for you to look forward to on the blog. The next ten days hold for me: Kyle and Ashley's wedding! Kyle and the gang are family friends, so my entire family will be there watching me work, which is a first! You know I'm going to have to swat my mom away while she tells me how cute I look taking pictures. Maybe I can convince my dad to get her one of those bungee leashes they put on kids so he can keep it under control. And then the next day, we're going to do Kyle and Ashley's day after session the next morning before the hit the road for their honeymoon, and I am BEYOND excited about that. I haven't done one yet with a groom in his tux!

I'm taking a week off of work, which is awesome but it's going to be the most whirlwind vacation of all time. Me and Billy are going to go down to Evansville for a couple days to visit his fam and to take them some Garrett popcorn (seriously, it's like the easiest way in the world to be the most popular couple in town, and we are exploiting it for all it's worth), and then we're venturing back up to Indy to hang out, do the drive-in (they're showing Orphan, YAY!--we used our passes for Funny People instead, but it works out since I looooooooooooove horror movies at the drive-in!), hit the State Fair, and then coming back to Chicago for a senior portrait session on Friday, the wedding of the gorgeous/funny/fun/smart/sweet Mary Ann & Phil on Saturday, and then one-year-old pics on Sunday, followed by Sunday Funday! Whew!

All I can say is that I'll sleep when I'm dead. :) But I'm SO excited, I cannot wait. And there'll be plenty of blog excitement to keep you all entertained. YAY!

*(and some additional help from, which I highly recommend and props to Mindy Cooper for introducing me to it).

**The only reason I think that this is still going on is because of Diet Dr. Pepper and Diet A&W Cream Soda. Otherwise, the only variety I would have is Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi. Well done, my friends at DP and A&W. I would pour one out for you, but I am too busy drinking it and too selfish to give it up. :)