Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Books - they're stunning!

I'm always on the lookout for new and awesome things. Maybe because I'm a really good shopper. I found these books, and they're awesome. What I love is that you pick the size, you pick the fabric for the cover to match your room or your personality. And the pages on this book are so thick they won't wrinkle or crease. And the actual photographs are adhered to the pages, so they look amazing.

These would make amazing holiday gifts for grandmas, grandpas, and even mommies and daddies.

Look how thick the pages are, and how perfectly the fabric wraps around the cover.

Here are some of the fabulous fabrics. Come by to see the swatches in real life.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Three Fun Brothers

It's always really fun when you get to see a friend from the past. "J" and I went to high school together, and I was thrilled to get to photograph her family. Three boys! And they're all super adorable and fun. Even though we worked really hard, I had a great time with them. Here are a few from the session. There are a few other great ones of the three boys for your Christmas card.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"I found a lucky day"

Since things are so busy, I decided to treat my three year old to a mommy-son lunch date today. I want him to know that he's special, and that what he thinks and says is important. So, my goal was to go to Panera to hear what's on his mind.

I felt so blessed to be there with him as the lunch rush came tumbling in. All the folks in their khaki pants with their photo key cards dangling from their belt loops looked like they needed to eat and go. Quickly. I remember that feeling. I remember the photo badge that I was proud to wear for the job that I was so proud to have. And I certainly remember the 1:00 conference call that I needed to be back for because I was leading it.

Today, we were only rushed by my son's desire to eat enough of his sandwich to earn his half of the chocolate cookie we were going to share. As he ate his cookie, he exclaimed with delight "I found a lucky day!!!!". That's what he says when he sees a penny. A long time ago, the connection was made between finding a penny and having good luck. Since then, he doesn't find pennies; he finds lucky days. He climbed onto my lap as he finished the last of his chocolate cookie. I whispered into his ear how much I love him, and how much I enjoy talking to him.

Then he picked up his lucky day and we left to go back to life-as-usual. But, I was the one who felt lucky that I'd taken the time to spend time to focus on what matters: my son.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sneak Peek for the "R" Family

This is one of my favorite fields. The grasses are just gorgeous this time of year. And I just love how great the "R" family looks here. I think this could be an ad for Ralph Lauren.

I had such a great time with them. I was warned that they boys had the most forced smiles, but we got really silly and even told mom and dad to "go away", which I think they liked. Anyway, we had a great time, and got lots of great images. The rest will be up shortly.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Style galore

I posted a bit ago about SPOIL ME! boutique. And, I think I'm addicted. Malvina brought some outfits and her daughter "G" to get some product shots of the clothes. And, of course, it doesn't hurt when the model is as super cute as "G". She has the best smile and the best laugh. Here are a few. And "G", look how great you look in the pink top with your hip "popped". I know it felt funky, but it looks so good. I could totally see these images in a magazine, couldn't you?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Girls on the Run McHenry County

It's not often that you hear of an organization whose mission really touches your heart.

I think back to my childhood, and I remember my loving parents. I also remember being 13 and one of my "best friends" would get mad at me for no apparent reason. She'd harass me on the phone as I begged for forgiveness, not quite even sure what mistake I'd made. I remember crying to myself. I still can feel the pain of the loneliness and rejection I felt, and the humiliation that I must not be a good friend. Finally, after a year of walking on eggshells and begging for her friendship, I had the courage to realize that SHE was the one who wasn't a good friend. I finally had the courage to walk away from the cruelty. But, it took too long to realize that I was the one who was fine. Unfortunately, it also took a major toll on my self-confidence.

Only when I grew up and talked to other women, did I realize that girls can be mean. Brutal, really. So many women have endured similar cruelty. And, sadly, we believe so much more what our friends say than what our parents say. Right? And, I'm so fearful that my daughter will someday go through the same thing, and as a parent, I'll be helpless to heal her wounds.

That's where Girls on the Run McHenry County enters. Girls on the Run McHenry County is a non-profit prevention program that encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. Their curricula address all aspects of girls' development - their physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual well-being.

Their 2nd annual Gala by the Lake is Nov. 8th at the Historic Dole Mansion in Crystal Lake. Because I love what this organization is working towards, I've donated a session and a 16x20 to be auctioned off during the silent auction. So, if you're thinking of scheduling a session anyway, you might as well have it go towards a great cause. For more information about the Gala, the race, and the organization, go to

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sneak Peak for the "S" family

Happy 30th Anniversary to you! They wanted a family photograph for their happy anniversary. It was a nice change of pace to photograph some grown ups. Though, I had to joke with them that the mosquitoes made it tricky to get a shot without someone batting one way. Poor "R", who had several welts on her face before the night was through.

Here's one of the fun ones. There are plenty great ones of the grassy/nature variety, too.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Last of the summer sessions

We were lucky to get a summer-like day. And what perfect outfits you chose. The color is so vibrant and fun, and really brings out their eyes! I had such a good time with you all. I'm sorry the mosquitoes got us at the end... I'm still scratching my ankles where they had a complete dinner. Here's one sneak peek. The rest will be up very shortly. Like in a few minutes. :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

SPOIL ME! boutique

You definitely will want to check out SPOIL ME! boutique. Malvina, the owner, has a awesome eye for style and picks out the cutest stuff. Just look at the vibrant color and her super hip displays. And it doesn't hurt when she carries brands like Free People and BB Dakota. Talk about cool factor. This is the kind of shop that you can pop into, always find the cutest and most unique things to wear out that night. I'm so excited. It's easy to see why Malvina has so many regular customers who stop be every few weeks to pick up something new.

The boutique is located inside Profiles Salon at 1106 N. Main (Route 31) in Algonquin, near the corner of Cary-Algonquin Rd. This past Wednesday night, she hosted a private party to benefit the McHenry County Women's Task Force / Breast Cancer. She also included Profile Salon, Infinity DaySpa, and Julie Monacella Photography (yep, me). It was a super fun time. Thanks Malvina for allowing me to be a part of your awesome event!