kids

DeKalb, IL Family Photographer | Aaron, Courtney, Grace, & Emma

DeKalb, IL Family Photographer

I’m currently in the thick of the craziness that is the Fall wedding, engagement, & family portrait season, and I’m kicking off a run of family portrait session posts with this adorable bunch!! Aaron and Courtney, along with their adorable kiddos Grace & Emma, recently moved to the area from Idaho and will likely only be here until Aaron finishes up grad school at NIU. What better way to commemorate this season in their lives than with a family portrait session? Feast your eyes upon some of my faves from their shoot!!

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

Wilder Park , Elmhurst, IL Family Photographer

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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DeKalb, IL Family Photographer | Kristin, Maddie, & Colette

DeKalb, IL Family Photographer

It’s been a few years since I’ve photographed these littles and their momma, but I’m so happy to have them here on the blog again!!! My favorite family shoots are the ones that are mostly candid with just a dash of smile-and-look-at-the-camera, and this photo session is a great example of that! This was a mini session, so I was only with these girls for about 20 minutes, but I just love that Kristin has always been super go-with-the-flow with our shoots and doesn’t mind letting the girls pick wildflowers in between posed shots. I love the blend of images we got in our short time together!

Random Sidenote: This is my favorite location to shoot at because, 1. It’s almost always empty and has lots of variety in the way it looks…I shoot about 80% of my DeKalb sessions here, 2. I feel refreshed after spending time out in nature so getting to WORK in nature is a true gift, and 3. I’m most often here at sunset, which is my favorite time of day. These images feel quiet and peaceful to me, and make me want to take a hike in a forest preserve at sunset and just breathe it all in (minus the fact that this particular forest preserve is right next door to a pig farm, which makes “breathing it all in” not such a pleasant experience depending on which way the wind is blowing, lol)! I hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed photographing them!

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Sycamore, IL Family Photographer | The D Family

Sycamore, IL Family Photographer

It was downpouring while I was driving to my extended family photoshoot with this fam, but part of the group was visiting from Colorado and leaving the following day, so I kept driving with the prayer that the rain would stop so we wouldn’t have to cancel. And guess what! As I pulled into the parking lot at Sycamore Park, IT STOPPED! And not only did the rain stop, but the sun came out and dried the park within minutes! I think that my have been a first for me in my 9 years as a photographer!

It was such a joy to photograph this bunch! I love extended photo shoots for all the history and legacy they capture, and this shoot was no exception! Here are some of my favorites from my time with the D family!

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photo of grandparents with grandkids | extended family photos outside | sycamore il family photographer
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candid family photos outside with 2 kids and a baby | sycamore il family photographer
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photo of grandparents & grandkids |extended family photos outside | sycamore il family photographer
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two brothers with girl cousin on bridge | extended family photos outside | sycamore il family photographer
portrait of mother and adult son on bridge | sycamore il family photographer
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photo of two young brothers on a bridge | family photos outside | sycamore il family photographer
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two brothers with girl cousin dancing on bridge | family photos outside | sycamore il family photographer
picture of two brothers on a bridge | family photos outside | sycamore il family photographer
two brothers with girl cousin dancing on bridge | extended family photos outside | sycamore il family photographer
family photos outside | sycamore il family photographer
portrait of husband and wife on a bridge | sycamore il family photographer
two brothers with girl cousin on bridge | extended family photos outside | sycamore il family photographer
candid family photos outside on a bridge | sycamore il family photographer
portrait of a teenager on bridge | sycamore il family photographer
two brothers with girl cousin dancing on bridge | family photos outside | sycamore il family photographer
portrait of husband, wife walking on a bridge, laughing | sycamore il family photographer
portrait of mother and adult daughter on bridge | sycamore il family photographer
two brothers with girl cousin dancing on bridge | family photos outside | sycamore il family photographer
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extended family photos outside | sycamore il family photographer
two young brothers with newborn sister on grass | sycamore il family photographer
extended family pictures | sycamore il family photographer
extended family pictures | sycamore il family photographer
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extended family pictures | sycamore il family photographer
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extended family pictures | cousins portrait | sycamore il family photographer

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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Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL Family Portrait Photographer | Tom, Lauren, Ethan, & Isabel

Nachusa Grasslands, Franklin Grove, IL Family Portrait Photographer

It’s been about 4 years since I last photographed this crew, and man have these kids gotten HUGE!!! What really makes me feel old is that I photographed Isabel’s newborn pictures. IN 2011. I don’t even know what to do with that. I just fell down a rabbit hole looking back at those pictures, and then I remembered that I photographed Isabel’s newborn pictures the day after I found out I was pregnant with my daughter (who is my second born). I remember not feeling the best, and also being a little emotional seeing new little Isabel after just finding out I was going to have another baby. It’s funny how pictures of other people’s families and life events can bring up so many of my own memories! And I’m floored that that was SEVEN years ago! WHAT IN THE WORLD.

I met up with Tom, Lauren, & the kids at Nachusa Grasslands, which I had never heard of before Lauren suggested doing their shoot there. Have any of you out there heard of this place??? There are legit bison there! It’s so cool! And speaking of cool, it was FREEZING the day of their shoot. It was windy and cold and I felt so bad for making them traipse around without their coats on. Thankfully we moved to a more wooded area for the second part of the shoot and the wind-blocking trees made things much more bearable. They were troopers, and I have to say that I’m proud of them because I can’t even tell that they were freezing while looking through these pictures.

ANYWAYS. How ‘bout some pictures?!?

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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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