ON MOTHER'S DAY...

TO THE ONE WHO MADE ME A MOTHER AND TO THE ONE WHO COMPLETED OUR FAMILY...


As I've sat here thinking about all the things I could write, happy things, sappy things, etc. about being a mom on Mother's Day and motherhood, I really just want to say what I appreciate most about my children.  Yes motherhood is hard and yes my children are not perfect.  I am far from a perfect mom.  But flaws and all, difficult moments and all, what I love most about my children is their unconditional love.  Their love of life, and playing, and pretending.  Their creativity.  Their laughs.  The way they keep me so very grounded.  The way their little cheeks feel when I kiss them goodnight.  Their big beautiful smiles with their little dimples.  Their ability to make me love more deeply and unselfishly than I ever thought I could.  The way they remind me that life is precious and short and we should enjoy it to the best of our abilities.  So I sit here today being so incredibly thankful that they have given me the ability to feel and experience all of these things.  I'm so very proud to be their mama today and every day.  <3  

MARTEN | FAMILY

NAPERVILLE, IL


This past fall I had the pleasure of meeting and working with the Marten family!  They were just the sweetest and so easy to work with!  They braved a very chilly November day and their photos came out just beautifully!  The girls are super sweet and well behaved and did great taking their sister photos as well as their individual photos.  Take a look at some of my favorites from their session!

HOFFMAN | NEWBORN

STUDIO | NAPERVILLE, IL


I recently had the Hoffmans in for their newborn session and what a beautiful family they are!  Danah and JR own a local business in Westmont called Artisan Concepts Cabinetry (they do amazing work - if you need any custom work done for your kitchen, bath, mudroom, etc go check them out!).  Not only do I love that they are fellow small business owners, they are such a sweet family, too!  Their two boys Brendan and Ashton are so well behaved and they just love their little sister to pieces!  They did such a great job snuggling her for photos!  Check out some of my favorites from Miss Avalynn's newborn session!

RYAN | FAMILY

NAPERVILLE, IL


I recently had the pleasure of photographing the Ryan family and we had such a fun time!  The day of their session it was a rare 90 degree day at the end of September - Kate had planned on a fall photo session with fall clothes, but had to figure out new outfits to accommodate the heat!  The Ryan family looked great and were total troopers in the heat for their session!  Even little Lilly, their daughter did great!  We had perfect golden hour light and I just love the warm tones of their photos.  Since it was so hot, I also suggested they take a splash in the water next to the boat docks at the end of the session.  They were totally up for it and we had a great time!  Lilly also had a blast digging in the sand before the session ended.  A perfect end of summer session!  Take a look at some of my favorite shots from this session!

BRANDON AND ALLY | OUTDOOR

CHURCHILL WOODS | LOMBARD, IL


The other night I took my babies out (they're not babies anymore really but they'll always be my babies) for a few quick photos at Churchill Woods Forest Preserve in Lombard.  I'd actually never been there before so we went to scope it out and wow, it was absolutely gorgeous and so serene. It was a cloudy day but sometimes it's better when I take photos of my own kids on overcast days because they both have really sensitive eyes and tend to squint a TON!  While we were there we just explored the rocks and creek, had fun on the bridge, and of course made wishes on dandelions!  And what do you think the kids wished for?  Ally wished for a pink unicorn (bless her little heart) and Brandon wished for a Darth Vador costume (haha can you tell they'd just watched Star Wars with Tony?).  

I love capturing the easy, everyday moments.  I love that I can look back at these photos and remember the expressions on my kids' faces, how they laughed and played with each other, and their sweet dimples on their little faces.  Sometimes I wish I could just freeze time.  Moments like these, when I slow down and really take in life, I'm reminded how grateful I am for my family, but especially for my children, who are happy, healthy, and feed my soul with unconditional love.  So on this Mother's Day, this is my gift to myself.  Beautiful photos of my children, that I will cherish forever, that will help remind me what life is really all about.  It's not about things, it's about the little things...

LANCASTER | NEWBORN

IN STUDIO NEWBORN | NAPERVILLE, IL


This was my first time meeting the Lancaster family and they were so fun to work with!  They are already amazing parents to baby Liam, he is one lucky little guy!  He also totally rocked his session!  He is such a good baby, he slept through most of his session so I was able to get so many great shots!  He also had amazing skin for a newborn!  I love the simplicity of this newborn session, the neutral colors really allow the focus to be on the emotion of the family and the details of baby Liam.  Take a look at some of my favorite photos from their session!  


Naperville, IL Photographer | Naperville Maternity Photographer | Naperville Newborn Photographer | Naperville Child Photographer | Naperville Family Photographer | Chicagoland Photographer | Fine Art Portraiture

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HERNANDEZ | NEWBORN

IN STUDIO NEWBORN SESSION, NAPERVILLE, IL


I first met the Hernandez family last fall when I shot their maternity session.  Alicia and Alberto were just the sweetest, sweetest people and we had so much fun during their maternity session.  Their sweet baby boy Jariel ended up making an early appearance, coming 3 weeks before his due date.  Thankfully everything was ok and they were able to bring him home and start their new routine as a family of three :)  When they came for the newborn session, they were as sweet as ever and handling the new feat of parenthood graciously.  Little Jariel was as adorable as ever and even though he was awake for the majority of the session, his beautiful brown eyes just added to the beauty of his photos.  Take a look at some of my favorites!

HERNANDEZ | EXPECTING


KNOCH KNOLLS, NAPERVILLE, IL

I met this sweet couple a few weeks ago and now their baby boy is here (a little early but healthy and a Christmas baby I might add)!  We will be doing their newborn photos in the next few days and I can't wait to meet the little peanut!  The maternity session was at beautiful Knoch Knolls in Naperville, right before it started to really get cold out.  The grass was a bit damp the morning of our session, but they were troopers and rocked their session!  These photos are seriously gorgeous and get this - they said they had never taken professional photos before, yet they look like models!  I'm in love with all of their photos, but here are some of my favorites!

BRANDON AND ALLY | SNOW MINI


HIDDEN LAKES CONSERVATION AREA, BOLINGBROOK, IL

Now what kind of a photographer mom would I be if I didn't take my own kiddos out for a quick snow mini?!  Last weekend it snowed a ton here and it was so fresh and pretty!  (Disclaimer - I actually really, really dislike winter because I'm always freezing and it makes me crazy, BUT I do love the look of fresh snow outside covering everything and making the trees look so pretty!)  I had three sessions scheduled on Sunday (originally not intended to be snow sessions), but my clients were awesome and totally willing to brave the snow for some quick mini sessions!  My client sessions looked so awesome that of course as soon as I came home I told Tony I was going to take Ally and Brandon out for some quick snow photos!  The kids were really good sports about the photos, even though it was snowing a ton and they were freezing!!  We were out for about 10 quick minutes but I got some really cute shots of them and then got them back in the warm car under warm blankets :)  They know mama loves her pictures so they were excited to do this for me (and even though they were freezing they still had fun playing in the snow for a few minutes!).  Snow mini sessions are totally worth braving the cold for!  :-)

MCELROY | FAMILY


KNOCH KNOLLS, NAPERVILLE, IL

Recently I had the pleasure of taking photos for the McElroy family at Knoch Knolls in Naperville! Not only do I love Knoch Knolls because it's beautiful there but it was fun to reconnect with Christina, who I had gone to high school with, and also meet her husband and sweet baby Ava.  Ava is so precious and has such a little doll face!  They are a beautiful family and we captured some really great moments!  Here are some of my favorites from the session!

CARTER | FAMILY


HIDDEN LAKES, BOLINGBROOK, IL

A few weeks ago Brittany emailed me asking to schedule a fall family mini session at Hidden Lakes in Bolingbrook.  I was excited (I'm excited for every session, though!) because I love Hidden Lakes.  It truly is a hidden gem.  The scenery is so beautiful there and it's just so peaceful, especially in the morning.  It's typically quiet there with some people fishing in the ponds.  Sometimes it's bustling with people riding their bikes on the trail that runs along the East Branch of the DuPage River, but everyone is so friendly.  As part of the bike trail at Hidden Lakes, there is a beautiful wooden bridge that makes for a perfect backdrop for photos (we just need to keep a lookout for people riding bikes along the bridge :))  Brittany, her husband Jarrod, and their adorable baby girl Caroline were all so sweet and we had so much fun at the session!  Here are some of my favorite photos (it was hard to choose!)

DICIANNI | FAMILY


ELDRIDGE PARK, ELMHURST, IL

I took photos for the DiCianni family back in the Spring when baby Nora was just six months old. She and 3-year-old big brother Joey were so cute!  I took some of just Nora for her six month photos and then I also took a few of Nora and Joey together.  Joey was so adorable and sweet with his little sister!  Fast forward six months and Erin emailed me asking if I could do a family session with a few of just Nora for her one year old photos as well.  I couldn't believe how fast time had flown by!  Needless to say, the DiCianni family was as sweet as ever and Nora and Joey were just as cute together!  Joey loves trying to make his sister laugh and loves to give her snuggles!  Here are a few of my favorites from the session!

Vivian Turns One! | MILESTONE


PIONEER PARK, NAPERVILLE, IL

I had the pleasure of meeting this sweet family back in the spring when Vivian was just six months old!  Vivian's mom, Leah, emailed me asking to schedule a cake smash session for Vivian's first birthday and I was of course honored to do it!  Leah knew exactly what look she wanted for Vivian's photo session so it was a piece of cake (pun intended)!  ;-)  Leah made Vivian an adorable headband to match her dress for the beginning photos and then she also made the cutest rainbow tutu and matching headband for the cake smash photos!  To complete her vision, she brought with pink and purple paper lanterns to use for the cake smash session!  We had a blast, Vivian loved her cake (if you can't tell from the photos ;-)), and Leah and Alex shared with me that they are expecting baby #2 soon!!  So happy for them!  Vivian will be such a great big sister!!  Here are some of my favorites from the session!

 

Seamus Turns One! | MILESTONE


EATON PRESERVE, PLAINFIELD, IL

This little cutie is about to celebrate his First Birthday!  I had the pleasure of meeting this sweet family back in March for Seamus's 6 month photos.  Oh my goodness was he cute!  Jamie, his mom, recently contacted me asking to book a cake smash session for his one year photos.  I couldn't believe how fast the past six months have flown by!  But of course I was honored and so excited to see them and take more photos for them!  Jamie knew she loved the look of sunset photos and wanted a rustic looking session, so we chose to do the shoot at Eaton Preserve in Plainfield.  It was the perfect place with the old barn and the tall prairie grass.  And not to mention, Jamie dressed Seamus in the most adorable outfit that totally completed the look and feel of the session!  Although Seamus was not a big fan of the cake part of the session, we still got so many adorable shots!  This boy seriously melts my heart!  Check out some of my favorite photos from the session!  <3

 

TANGLIS | EXPECTING


NORTHSIDE PARK, WHEATON, IL

When my friend Elizabeth asked if I could take her maternity photos for her, I was beyond excited!  I had been wanting to do a "fancy" maternity session for a long time, and I knew she would totally be up for it!  Kosta and Elizabeth's daughter, Olivia (who we call Livy) loves to dress up, too, (and has a slight shoe obsession already ;-) ) so I knew she would love to be a part of this photo session.  And she felt like a princess!

I decided to make Elizabeth's and Livy's outfits and they came out perfect for what I was envisioning!  My sister helped me sew the lace tube dresses and I made the tulle skirts to go over. They looked great on the girls!

We went to Northside Park in Wheaton for the session.  I'd been wanting to try it out for a photo session for awhile because I knew it had pretty grounds and cool bridges.  We went in the evening close to sunset and it was the perfect, serene setting, complete with a log cabin!  

To say I'm in love with these photos is an understatement - it was hard to even choose a few to include in this blog post!  But here are a few favorites I wanted to share...