babies

Wilder Park , Elmhurst, IL Family Photographer | Daniel, Erin, & Declan

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost three years since I photographed Daniel & Erin’s wedding! What in the world?!? It was so good to reconnect with them back in June, and to meet their sweet little man, Declan!! If there’s one thing I love more than getting to know a couple through the wedding planning process, it’s getting to photograph them as their families grow. What a privilege to be there from the very beginning of a couple’s family!

For their family photo shoot, we met at Wilder Park in Elmhurst, IL, and it provided such a beautiful backdrop for our time together. We met early in the morning, which made for not only a happy Declan, but also an empty garden and greenhouse for us to roam around in. Declan turned one a couple weeks before our shoot and, like most kids his age, was a little unsure about having a stranger photograph him at first, but I’m happy to report that I won him over quickly and got lots of adorable genuine smiles! He’s such a laid back little guy! Also, he’s a glasses ninja! I can’t tell you how many times during our shoot that he’d quickly swipe Daniel’s glasses off when it didn’t even seem like a possibility! It definitely provided lots of entertainment for me during the course of the morning.

One quick note before we move on to the pictures: I’m already starting to book portrait sessions for September & October with limited weekend availability, so now’s the time to get something on the calendar if you’re thinking about it! Head over HERE to set something up!

And now, it’s picture time baby!

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Tinley Park, IL In-Home Newborn Photographer | Derek, Samantha, & Harper

Tinley Park, IL In-Home Newborn Photographer

Remember Derek & Sam’s super cute maternity pictures that I shared back in November??? Well, Harper Grace was born just a little over 3 weeks ago, and I had the honor of photographing the sweet little darling!!

For anyone keeping track, this makes four newborn blog posts in a row, and I AM NOT MAD. My kids are 8 (almost 9!), 6, and 4, and I think God knew that with the newborn days well behind me I’d start to feel a little nostalgic and need some newborn snuggles. Well I’LL TAKE ‘EM. :D

Now to introduce you all to Harper!!

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Illinois newborn photographer, Tinley Park IL newborn photographer, in home newborn photography, lifestyle newborn photography, in home newborn photo ideas, creative newborn photo ideas, newborn pictures at home, newborn family pictures, chicago newborn photography, in home baby photo shoot
Illinois newborn photographer, Tinley Park IL newborn photographer, in home newborn photography, lifestyle newborn photography, in home newborn photo ideas, creative newborn photo ideas, newborn pictures at home, newborn family pictures, chicago newborn photography, in home baby photo shoot
Illinois newborn photographer, Tinley Park IL newborn photographer, in home newborn photography, lifestyle newborn photography, in home newborn photo ideas, creative newborn photo ideas, newborn pictures at home, newborn family pictures, chicago newborn photography, in home baby photo shoot
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The top right framed animal in this next picture is Derek & Sam’s dog Maddie, which I just think is so sweet.

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Real life with a newborn, amiright? <3

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Illinois newborn photographer, Tinley Park IL newborn photographer, in home newborn photography, lifestyle newborn photography, in home newborn photo ideas, creative newborn photo ideas, newborn pictures at home, newborn family pictures, chicago newborn photography, in home baby photo shoot

Sycamore, IL In-Home Newborn Photographer | Ted, Brandie, & Teddy

Sycamore, IL In-Home Newborn Photographer

I photographed Ted & Brandie’s wedding alllll the way back in 2013, and it was a joy to catch up with them just after Thanksgiving when they welcomed Mr. Teddy to their family!! I’m not gonna lie, while we talked a ton about being new parents and all of the fun things that go along with that, a lot of our conversation revolved around nerdy literature, much the same as when I first met them way back in 2013 for their wedding consult, and I left with a few more books added to my goodreads to-be-read list. So all in all, it was a pretty productive shoot, haha! In all seriousness, I know I’ve said this before, but I really love that my job allows me to photograph the journey of a family from the very first moment of husband and wife, to the first time they’re dad and mom, and so on. It really is a special thing for me that never gets old. Also, as long as my wedding clients keep hiring me to photograph their new babies I don’t have to have any more of my own to get my baby fix. ;) ;) ;)

Anyways, here are so of my faves from my in-home shoot with Ted, Brandie, and sweet Teddy!

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Sycamore, IL In-Home Newborn Photographer | Ryan, Katie, & Nathan

Sycamore, IL In-Home Newborn Photographer

Last year I photographed Ryan and Katie’s wedding. This year, I got to photograph them as they welcomed sweet little Nathan and became a family of three!! Katie and Ryan drove all the way from Florida just ONE WEEK after Nathan was born to spend Christmas here in Illinois with their family, and it worked out perfectly that I was able to photograph them just a couple of days after Christmas. Mr. Nate had just turned two weeks old when I got to see him, and he’s such a little darling with all that hair and his precious face! I truly could not get enough of this little guy, and it was so touching to see how over-the-moon in love with him his parents are. Katie was absolutely glowing while showing him off to me when I arrived, and the first thing Ryan said to me when I walked in was, “This is the best.” I know exactly how they feel. <3

P.S. I’m pretty sure Katie deserves some sort of an award (or spa day) for driving for two days just a little over one week after giving birth. How she managed to look so radiant and rested is beyond me. She’s my hero.

P.P.S. I just photographed Katie’s sister Kelly’s engagement pictures back in October, and I’m photographing Kelly and Phil’s wedding this coming September! So much excitement for this family in a few short years and I’m thrilled to be a part of it!!

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Byron, IL In-Home Newborn Photographer | Craig, Elizabeth, Annabelle, & Evaleen

Byron, IL In-home Newborn Photographer

YOU GUYYYYYYYYYSSSSS!!! I’m happy to introduce to you all the newest member of our family: MY NIECE EVALEEN!!! She was born back in October and is such a little sweetheart!! Here are some of my favorites from ner in-home newborn shoot!

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Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL Family Photographer | Chris, Karissa, Bennett, & Family

Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL Family Photographer

Look who’s back! I’ve photographed Chris and Karissa EVERY YEAR since 2014! (In case you need proof: Engagement 2014, Wedding 2015, Family 2016, Family 2017, and now this year, which I don’t have to link because here you are) It always gives me the feels when a client trusts me enough to have me document their lives year in and year out. Also I just CAN’T BELIEVE how big Bennett has gotten since I saw him last year…he’s practically a grown up! Especially compared to that 2016 family session when he was just a wee little babe!!

We ended up at Chris and Karissa’s house for the last part of our shoot, but we started at Rock Cut State Park, which is where I photographed Chris and Karissa’s engagement pictures, and where we did their family photos last year. It was fun for me while editing this set to go back and compare these to last year’s shoot. It felt like all we did was replace Bennett with a bigger version of himself, haha! It’d be kind of fun to do this every year and make it into a flip book when he graduates high school. I’m thinking of the swinging photos in particular. What d’ya think Karissa?!?! ;) ;) ;)

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DeKalb, IL Maternity Photographer | Derek & Samantha

DeKalb, IL Maternity Photographer

The last time I photographed Derek and Sam was right before they got married allllll the way back in 2012! That was SIX YEARS AGO. (insert shocked face emoji here) Back in October, we met at the same place where we took their engagement photos to photograph some maternity pictures!! Eeeek!! It was so good to see them again and to chat about all things pregnancy and I’m so excited for them to enter this new amazing stage of their lives!!

This shoot was interesting for me creatively because we planned the session for the early morning, which comes with a type of light that I don’t get to shoot in that often. It was fun to play with the light at a different angle in a location that I shoot in frequently (and 95% of the time I shoot there it’s in the evening) and to embrace some of the harsher light that comes with a quickly rising sun. In previous years I’d be all about running to the shade in a situation like this, and while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, I really felt like challenging myself to step outside of my photographic comfort zone and see what I could get with the full sun for some of the images. I’m really pleased with the result!

Getting back to the main reason we’re here, here are some of my favorites from my time with Derek & Sam, who I just know are going to make great parents!!

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Lincoln Park and North Ave Beach, Chicago, IL Maternity Photographer | Jaden & Cassandra

Lincoln Park and North Ave Beach, Chicago, IL Maternity Photographer

When I last photographed Jaden and Cassandra back in April 2017, they were just getting ready to embark upon fostering to adopt and had traveled to Chicago from Missouri to celebrate the life change with a photo session (which you can check out HERE!). Earlier this year they finally began to foster, and within a few short whirlwind weeks they were caring for a two babies AND a teenager. They hadn’t even adjusted to their new chaotic life when they were faced with an unexpected surprise…Cassandra was PREGNANT!!! WHAT?!?!? While they’re still caring for the teen, they've taken a step back from fostering in general until they get settled after their baby boy is born in January, but then they plan to continue on with their original plan of fostering.

I’m beyond honored that they drove up to Chicago once again to have me photograph their maternity pictures! I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them and was inspired, encouraged, and blessed by their story of obedience to God and of His faithfulness to them. I’m so excited for these two and know they’re going to be amazing parents!! <3

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Palos Heights, IL Lifestyle Newborn Photographer | Josh, Julia, Elliot, Ethan, & Finley

Palos Heights, IL Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

I know I sound like a broken record, but I just LOVE in-home photo sessions!! It’s amazing the level of comfort that comes with being in your own place and having everything you need right there…especially when you’ve just had a baby!! And I have to say that when you have other young kids in the home as well, it’s also a big help for them! They have so much that they’re adjusting to with having a new little one in the house without having to stand in a stuffy studio and slap on some “perfect” smiles for a stranger. Perhaps one of the things I love most about the in-home shoots is that I’m photographing a family in the actual space in which they do life. The pictures I take there will hopefully hold added significance as everyone gets older because the location itself is so intimately filled with memory upon memory. I could keep going, but I’m gonna step off my soapbox and introduce you all to sweet Finley!!

Finely is such a darling little man and is absolutely adored by his two older brothers. He’s also a typical third child in that he slept through all the yelling, jumping, poking, and laughing his brothers subjected him to (praying that continues for you Josh and Julia!! Not the poking and stuff, but the sleeping. ;) ). And can we please just stop a minute to talk about his adorable little face?!?! UGH!! I can’t even look at him without melting!! He’s just so darn cute!! Even my own three kids were awing over him and this entire family while I edited these!

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Big congrats to this family!! I hope you’re adjusting well to being a family of FIVE!! Blessings!

Rockford, IL Newborn & Family Photography | John, Jackie, Dylan, & Lucille

Rockford, IL Newborn & Family Photographer

I just photographed this family back in the Fall, and it was great to see them again as they welcomed darling Lucille into their family on May 17 (which is a pretty darn good day to be born, if I do say so myself!  ;) ). Lucille was just 8 days old when I photographed her, and she was such a content little babe!! 

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Isn't Jackie absolutely radiant for just having a baby?!?!? AND they were moving literally the day after our shoot! Talk about a supermomma!!

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Dylan cracks me up. He was all about these pictures, as you can see. 

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I also photographed John & Jackie's wedding. I love being able to follow these family from their very beginnings!!

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To John & Jackie, congrats again!! You're great parents and it was so good to see you again! <3

Sugar Grove, IL Family Photography | Brandon, Amber, Ava, & Ella

Sugar Grove, IL Family Photographer

About a year and half ago, I posted a blog about our good friends Brandon and Amber and their 5 year struggle to have a baby, which led to them adopting their daughter Ava as a newborn. Well, about 5 months after I posted that blog, we found out that Amber was expecting!! Sweet Ella was born December 19, 2017, about two weeks after Ava's 2nd birthday. I'm so happy for these guys and in awe of God's redemption of what was once thought to be impossible. <3

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