Thursday, December 31, 2009

Kiss and Tell Promotion

I'm really excited to announce this promotion! It's going to be so much fun! It's a new twist... a shorter session, lower price point, and the option to add-on digital files! How cool is that? It's only offered for a limited time, and I expect it to sell out before most people forget their New Year's resolutions, so call now!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Just a friendly reminder

The Christmas cards have officially started to arrive in our mailbox, and I LOVE it. I especially love seeing the ones with photos to see how people and kids have changed.

This is just a friendly reminder that it's not too late to order holiday cards from your session this year. Or, if you don't want to do a card through me, you're welcome to purchase a digital file (which includes copyright license) from your session so you can print as many as you want.

Please be aware that it is illegal to scan prints and make your own copies. I don't want to be the copyright police, but I also know that a lot of people really don't understand the copyright laws. So here's my public service announcement on the topic. ;) In essence, when you purchase a photograph from any professional photographer, you purchase the single photograph and the right to display it in your home, office, etc. It does not give you the right to reproduce it in any way. I know lots of people do this, and some do so without knowing that it is wrong. Illegal, actually. And it's punishable by law with fines up to $150,000.

If you do want to make multiple copies, please let me know, and I'd be happy to sell you a digital file that allows you to do so with better quality, too. In doing so, you can keep a clear conscience and be a good role model for your kids when you teach them that stealing is wrong.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A photographer's son

The week before Thanksgiving, I was hired to photograph over a dozen doctors for public service announcements (on the radio) and posters for them to hang in their studio. It was a really fun job. I did it over two nights at local recording studios and really fun people to spend the evening working with. So, leading up to and following the events, there was a lot of talk about headshots in our house.

Yesterday, we are at our pediatrician's office for H1N1 vaccines, and Grant says "Mommy, I don't like headshots very much". It took a minute to figure out where that came from. Then it clicked. Funny. Kids say the cutest things.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Love this photojournalistic shot

Has it really been so long since I've posted on my blog? I guess that's because I've been crazy busy with sessions, editing, and ordering. Busy is good, but I am looking forward to the slower months so I can just be a mom myself.

I do feel compelled to share this one. Can't you just see how sweet they all are? These kids were so cute and so fun to be around. I had the best time! Thanks for having me to your home to capture your precious babies.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cutie Pie "A"

Check her out. Isn't she all cute and sassy (in a good way) in this zebra print chair? I've had the chair since January, but just haven't pulled it from the sitting area into the shooting area very much. Isn't it great?! Next time, a pink wall behind the chair. Can't wait to try that.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

DawnMarie + Franco = Perfect Wedding Day + Wonderful Life Together

I could write paragraphs upon paragraphs about the wonderfulness of yesterday. Everything was amazing. It was truly an honor to photograph the wedding of a dear friend of mine, Dawn Marie. DM (as she's known) is an amazing person. She's as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. She's funny and smart, and can grab the attention of room full of people and keep them entertained and engaged for hours upon hours. Good thing she's a facilitator for Dale Carnegie Training!!! But, most importantly, she's truly a good, good person. Kind, generous, and caring. She's kind of person who drops a card in the mail just because. And when you open the card, it's filled with beautiful, bright words. The meaning of the words are bright and beautiful, but they're also visually bright and beautiful - carefully written and created with bright and vivid markers and pens. DM- I hope I'm not embarrassing you!

So, when she she told me a few months back that she was getting married to Franco, I was so incredibly excited for her! He's the perfect match for her. And the highlight of the day was the ceremony, standing on the rocks overlooking Lake Michigan. With the warm sun on our shoulders, and warm feelings in our hearts, DM and Franco shared their promises for their life to come in a way that was, well, totally them. Perfect.

This is just a small collection of moments and details of the day.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of School

Wow. A first grader. That's my baby. Well, at least she was a baby. Now she's reading, skipping rope, and doing those hand slapping and clapping games that little girls do... you know, the ones that are the grown-up version of patty-cake. I say every year how time flies. And it only seems to go faster. So, I apologize for saying it here. And, I'm sure I'll be saying it next year. But, all parents feel the same way.

Today, she lined up with her old friends from her kindergarten class and the other kids who will be new friends by the end of today. Together, they walked into the school, put their backpacks in their locker, and started their year. It made me proud.

And here she is with one of her very dear friends in the neighborhood.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What my kids will be wearing

When I shop, I'm always thinking of what I can pull together for photos of the kids together. And, I admit, it's hard! Even stores that have both boys and girls clothing never coordinate their lines. Girls have bright colors, boys have muted tones. So, here's what I pulled together today. It's really a sneak peek, because I just placed my order today from Mini Boden. As of now, this is one option that my kids will be wearing for some fall photos. While I ordered the bunny shirt that's shown below, I may opt for a solid blue shirt for the photo session. I'll also layer my son in a blue shirt as well. So, there you go - coordinating outfits that aren't too matchy-matchy.

Outfits below from Mini Boden:

And, if I were doing a family shoot, I'd throw my husband in a casual blue button down and some khaki cargos, and I'd wear jeans and a sylish brown jacket or sweater with cropped sleeves (you know the kind?) and some a pink long sleeved shirt. I haven't shopped for that.... yet. :)

Don't you just love back-to-school shopping?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fun family session

Do you ever have a million things that must be done, and yet, you just can't resist doing something that doesn't quite qualify as a "must do". I'm having a moment like that right now. There is laundry to be done, stuff to organize, outfits to pick out, suitcases to pack. But, I'd rather post some of these images. I had such a fun time with this family, and we got some really great images. Check out a few below:

Friday, July 31, 2009

Studio will be closed August 4rd - August 10th

Just a heads up that the studio will be closed during the time that I'll be laying on a beach and doing absolutely nothing. ;) I've been told by my travel agent that there is wi-fi at the resort... but I've also been told by my husband that we won't be using it (except to check in on the kids, who are staying home with grandparents).

If you're interested in a session, go ahead and email me right away. I'll call/email you back when I return in the order that you contacted me, since I'm almost fully booked for the months of August and September.

Monday, July 27, 2009

An important message

Most of the time I get to shoot the happy moments of love, life, and relationships. But, occasionally I get called upon to create images of a different kind.

In June, the American Motorcyclist Association contacted me to shoot some images for an article in their August magazine. Many of you will remember the story recently about the motorcylist, Anita Zaffke, who was killed when a driver failed to stop at a stoplight because she was painting her nails. It was a tragic story. But, it's not just a story for Greg Zaffke, who is Anita Zaffke's son. He has to deal with the very personal and wasteful loss of his mother every day.

There's a lesson to be learned here. And, Greg has turned his grief into something productive in order to brings awareness to a problem in our multi-task focused world. He paints the nails on his right hand black as a statement and reminder of his mother. Black Nail Brigade is an organization that he's created to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, and to work for legislation that holds negligent drivers accountable.

Greg appears above with his black nails and his mother's helmet. To learn more about the organization, see the Black Nail Brigade website.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A little bit of sunshine

I'm working on editing this session, and this little cutie pie makes me smile. She has bright eyes and a smile that melts hearts. I have so many sessions to edit, but I couldn't resist taking the time to share two of the many, many, many adorable photos from this fun session.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bad Blogger

That's me. I'll admit it and take full responsibility that I haven't posted anything for a while. It's not that there isn't good stuff to post. The truth is that there's too much to post, and just not enough time. So, I put my nose to the grindstone and try to get the editing done. Lots of sessions. Lots of great and fun sessions. Lots of really fun people. Lots of awesome images. But... not enough time to post them at the moment. So keep checking back. :)

PS. The studio will be closed from August 3rd - August 11th. And this vacation, I'm not taking my work with me. Heck. There probably won't even be internet. Is that even possible these days? Anyway, because of this, turnaround times on orders and proofs will be slightly longer than usual.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

McHenry County Girls on the Run 5K -- go girls!!!!

Inspiring. Strong. Confident. Fun. Challenge. Goals. Courage. Perseverance. Character. Reward. Accomplishment. These were the words of the day for May 31st. I'm so proud of the girls who finished their participation in the program with a 5K. Even though I donated my time and talent to be there, I feel like I was given so much in return. I had chills as they started the race, and tears of joy for them as they finished. I can't wait until my daughter can be a part of this great organization.

Here are a few of my favorites from the morning. To view and order photos, go to
- Go to the website, and then the proofing page.
- Enter "GOTR1" for photos before the race, and "GOTR2" for photos during and after the race.

If you'd like to purchase prints, we're offering very special pricing and donating 20% of the event print sales back to Girls on the Run McHenry County.

How to order:
- 4x6s and 5x7s are $10 ($2 of every print sold goes back to GOTR McHenry County)
- 8x10s are $20 ($4 of every print sold goes back to GOTR McHenry County)
- Place your order via the online ordering system. The special prices will not be reflected on your order, but we'll contact you with the correct pricing.
- Orders will be accepted until Saturday, June 27th. Details on where to pick up the images will be available shortly.

Lil' Slugger

When I photograph little ones who are as cute and as happy as this little guy was, I really know that I have the best job there is. This little guy was so happy and was so fun to photograph. His dad brought this awesome glove and ball. Perfectly used, but not too grimy. His dad kept hiding the ball in the glove so little "R" would have to dig and hunt a bit to find it. Worked like a charm. We got so many great shots like this.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sneak Peek of Miss M

Photographing Miss M was a delight. Even better than a hot fudge sundae with extra hot fudge. It's the best thing in the world to get to photograph such a gorgeous girl who was such a natural. Here are just a few.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Picture of Perfection

We worked so hard to get this little beauty to sleep... the little lady just wanted to be awake or held. But, finally she wore out for a little bit and we were rewarded with these precious images.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Book your summer or fall session before it's too late!

Summer Sessions are filling up, with only a handful of weekend dates available. Call now to reserve your date. 847-707-9227. There's never been a better time to focus on what matters most... your family.

Update... As of right now, August is nearly full. I only have a one or two slots left in the entire month. There are still a few of July slots. And, I'm already booking into September and October. If you want fall color (the 3rd and 4th week of October) call soon. These are highly sought after weeks.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What to wear

It's the question I'm always asked. And, while white shirts and jeans look great, it's sometimes fun to do something that's, well, a bit more fun. So, here's an idea to give you an idea of how colors and patterns can be mixed. On a side note, this is the most fun I've had in a few days. I love shopping... and here I get to "shop" for a whole family. More to come... I promise. I can see it now. Honey, REALLY, spending time on *IS* for work!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Renee + Tim

I have to tell everyone that I had the BEST time. No kidding. Renee and Tim, you guys are so cute together and so fun to be around. Even though we just met, I felt like we'd been friends for years. I hope you love these as much as I do. I'm so excited about how they turned out.

Tim, here's your bridge shot. I've never heard anyone so passionate about beams and rivets... It was really interesting to hear about them and to think back to the structures classes I took in college.

This could be my new favorite location of all time. Any city people want to book a session and go here???? I could see it working for kids, seniors, and families. Renee and Tim, maybe someday we can do your family photos here. :)

We got kicked out of this spot... I wish I could have spent a little more time here, but I had to shoot this one with security looking over my shoulder.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Meet Sabrina!

Meet Sabrina - another senior rep. Cary-Grove Class of 2010. She's fun and spunky, and look at her killer green eyes! She's adventurous and we had a lot of fun at this location.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Meet Gabrielle!

Meet Gabrielle. Class of 2010, Cary-Grove. She's my first senior rep for this year. She's also a contestant for Miss Cary. She's smart, funny, fun, warm, full of energy, has the best smile. She's got my vote... that is, if I had a vote. I don't. But, I am sponsoring her... so that counts for something, right?

We went out recently for a session and got some amazing images. We had so much fun. You know you're having fun when you look at the clock and go "whoa... it's already this late?" Well, I felt that way during our shoot. I had no idea it was so late. I had to race home just to make it to my daughter's school open house. Thanks Gabby! And, I'll see you on Saturday night!

This post is "To be continued...". I can't give you a "scenes from the next" post, but I can tell you that I'll be introducing another fabulous senior rep... so stay tuned!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Class of 2009

Check out this senior from Crystal Lake South. He's graduating in just a few weeks, and then heading off to DePaul to hopefully play baseball. He would probably disagree, but I seriously think these images could be in a magazine. He's got THE look. I hope I didn't embarrass you, Tyler!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Beautiful Baby "A"

This is a special one for me because these are the kind of friends who are more like family. I waited to post some on my blog to let the birth announcements go out first, so it's not exactly a sneak peek. It's more of a show-off of this lovely little girl.

Here is beautiful baby "A", who made an appearance several weeks before her due date. Even before her mother's baby shower. I'm sure it's not the first time that she won't accommodate her parents' schedule.

Isn't she pretty???

Thursday, April 9, 2009

First Communion Limited Edition

Sessions are filling up, so call today for details!!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New Mini Digital Sessions

I'm really thrilled to announce a new concept that I'm offering for a limited time.

New Mini Digital Collection - $375

This includes:
- a 30 minute session for up to two people
- 8-10 digital images sized for printing up to 5x7
- Wall portraits are 15% off

Only a limited number of mini digital sessions are available, and can only be scheduled during the week.

Monday, March 30, 2009

365 Project

It's time that I shoot for myself again. I spend so much time photographing my beautiful and wonderful clients, and I'm forever grateful to share my passion with my clients. And, still, I find that my camera is packed away, or somehow not accessible for the daily moments in my own life that are so sweet. So I've started a project for myself. For my family. Every day, for one year, I'll take one photo. I'll capture their goofy expressions, the silly stuff, and the quickly passing days. I will have them to look back on when I'm old and in a nursing home. My kids can pass them down for generations (um, if I print them). No, I mean, when I print them. Photos on disk are dangerous. They are just bits and bytes. Only a print is there to be valued. Okay, off that tangent... When I print them. My kids will have them to pass on to their kids. This project is about my family. It's about my kids. It's about the people who I love the most in this entire world. It's about focusing on what matters. ;)

I'm posting all of them in a folder on facebook... go ahead and "friend" me if you want to see them all. :) Here are just a few from the first week.

Oh, and the added bonus... it's sparking my creativity, forcing me to try new things, and I'm learning to shoot outside my comfort zone. All of these will make me a better and more creative photographer.