About Me


Hi, I’m Marie!

PHOTOS CoURTesY OF ALLY AND B PHOTOGRAPHY #SELFPORTRAITPROJECT

PHOTOS CoURTesY OF ALLY AND B PHOTOGRAPHY #SELFPORTRAITPROJECT

This is my family!  My husband Tony, my son Brandon, and my daughter Alexandra (Ally)!

PHOTO COURTESY OF TWIG & OLIVE PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO COURTESY OF TWIG & OLIVE PHOTOGRAPHY

I can’t wait to get to know you and your family!  But first, here are 30 random facts about me!

1. My husband Tony is five years older than me and we met at a bar we both worked at while I was in college.

2. We have a son named Brandon, and a daughter named Alexandra, who we call Ally. I named my business after them!

3. I am completely addicted to coffee and chocolate. I know I should stop, but I just can’t!

4. When I was little, I wanted to grow up and be a writer.

5. I hate the fact that I quit playing piano when I was a kid. It’s still on my bucket list to re-learn how to play.

6. I have my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education and am a former Early Childhood Special Education teacher and Kindergarten teacher.

7. My kids are my everything. Time is flying by and although it makes me sad that my babies aren’t babies anymore, I love watching them grow and learn and they make me so incredibly proud every day.

8. One of my best friends passed away Freshman year of high school. She had an undiagnosed heart condition and collapsed on the field during a soccer game. That day changed my life forever and changed who I am as a person.

9. I live a daily struggle of being Type A/OCD and completely messy artist.

10. I hate being cold. Illinois winters make me crazy and I’m desperately trying to convince Tony to move to Nashville.

11. I love listening to live music.

12. I’ve seen every episode of Friends so many times I can recite them all. I still can’t help referencing episodes during similar real life situations.

13. I love white wine (Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc are my favs!).

14. My four-year-old nephew was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) when he was 17 months old. He’s been fighting hard ever since and is the strongest kid I’ve ever known.

15. I love belting out Disney songs in the car with my kids.

16. I suffer from anxiety and I hate it so much.

17. My favorite food is mashed potatoes. I could eat them all day long!

18. My eyes are green but sometimes they look blue depending on what I wear.

19. I’m addicted to buying jeans and sweaters!

20. I got married when I was 22.

21. I’m pretty good at bowling left handed, even though I’m right handed.

23. I have two older sisters. We've always gotten along really well and still do (besides in the car on long road trips as kids ;-))

24. I am 110% committed to my photography business. It has given me the best of both worlds – being able to stay home with my kids and also have a career that allows me to be an artist and also work with babies, children, and families!

25. I have a group of girlfriends who I’ve known since I was 8 and we are all still super close. They are the best!

26. I believe a good, uncontrollable cry is one of the best stress relievers.

27. I come from a very artistic family. My mom is great at watercolor painting. My dad is an amazing artist and can draw, paint, cartoon, build...you name it, he can do it! My parents and sisters are also musically talented!

28. We have a dog name Nugget. She's a cockapoo and she's the best! She really helps my anxiety when I'm having a bad day.

29. My all time favorite movie is The Sandlot. I even have a t-shirt with Porter’s face on it!

30. I never had any intention of becoming a photographer. My dad taught me how to use a DSLR a few years ago and I've never looked back. I have the best job in the world now!

In all seriousness though, it all started when...

I married my husband Tony in 2007 and we now have two beautiful children, Brandon and Alexandra (who we call Ally).  I have a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Special Education and began my career as an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher and also a Regular Education Kindergarten Teacher in Evanston.  

During my pregnancy with Brandon in 2011, we had an unexpected turn of events when I went into preterm labor at 25 weeks and landed myself in the hospital on bedrest for 7 weeks.  After showing stability, I was allowed back home at 32 weeks to finish bedrest.  Brandon came at 36 weeks and we had a healthy baby boy.  I absolutely loved spending time at home with Brandon and decided to quit my teaching job to be a stay at home mom.  

During this time, I rediscovered my passion for art and began drawing again.  A friend suggested I start an Etsy shop to sell my art.  I opened up my shop in October of 2012 and began selling prints of my nursery art.  My shop did well and I began selling more and more.  I even began transferring my designs onto infant and toddler clothing.  I was loving having a creative outlet!  

In 2013 I found out I was pregnant with Ally.  Rather than continue to buy cute headbands for her, I decided to start making them and sell them in my Etsy shop.  This went really well and I was busy creating and selling.  

In the summer of 2015, we moved from Elmhurst to Naperville.  It was a busy time for our family and I had to take a step back from my Etsy shop.  During this time, Etsy itself took a turn and shop owners were seeing less and less shop traffic and sales.  In addition, I was finding it difficult to keep up with the fast pace of retail while continuing to be at home with my kids.

A few weeks before we moved to our new house, our lives took another turn when we found out my {then} 17 month-old nephew Owen was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).  We were so heartbroken over the news and wanted to help Tony's sister and our brother-in-law any way we could.

My brother-in-law Brian said he would love it if I could take some family photos of them because he knew I had always loved photography and had a DSLR camera.  We chose Pioneer Park in Naperville and the photos came out beautifully!  Brian joked that I should start a photography business and the rest is history...

My dad, who had a career in the printing field and therefore is very knowledgeable about photography, film, and cameras, taught me the technical aspects of the DSLR camera and the main principles of photography.  I began building my photography portfolio and launched the business in January of 2016.  I absolutely love photography and I love capturing little details and life's moments in time that we will never get back.  I've learned first hand through multiple events that life can drastically change in a instant and we should cherish the precious moments we have.

I really look forward to working with you!

<3 Marie

photo courtesy of twig & olive photography

photo courtesy of twig & olive photography