A Chicago Walk | Illinois Documentary Photographer

It's been a time since my last post, and I have been working away on something super exciting that I am going to share soon...EEK!  Anyhoo, last year I went on a photo walk in Chicago with some fellow photographers.  Here's some of what I was able to capture that day.  Enjoy! 


Illinois Family Documentary Photographer | A Perfectly Imperfect Day with The Blank Family

Some days.

Some days include waking up too early to get the kids off to school, but you still need all the sleep.  You pack the lunches.  Someone "doesn't feel" good, but you're not sure what that means.  You do the drop-offs and the carpools.  Your work won't stop calling, and you need to fix things.  There are dishes in the sink from...whenever.  You can't remember the last time you saw the bottom of your sink.  You have your list of things that must get done today "or else", then the school calls.  You're on your way back to school to pick up the one who "doesn't feel good".  You divide and conquer.  You almost forget about gymnastics tonight.  Now, you have to break it to the kids that they won't be going to the pumpkin patch after all, as you promised.  There are tears.  Take out is for dinner.  You're still taking phone calls at bath time because well, it's work, and you have to.  Now, it's bedtime and kids get a little wired.  There's homework.  Always with the homework.  Kids are in bed.  Good night.  You still need to eat dinner.  

Then, some days.  

Some days you wake up early and your kiddos smile and kiss you good morning.  Everything is good.  You write sweet, encouraging notes and put them in lunch boxes.  In between hugs, you steal a quick kiss with your spouse by the sink.  You play fun songs in the car and dance.  You sing loud.  You swing.  You laugh.  You visit with friends.  You laugh a lot.  Everyone gets a pickle, and everyone is happy.  You're spontaneous.  You'll go wherever anyone wants to go.  You divide and conquer.  You wipe tears and give hugs.  You make it all better.  You sing some more.  You make everyone fly.  You read stories with special voices.  You cuddle.  You give love and feel the love. Day is done.  

Even the not-so-good-days can be the best days.  It all depends on how you see it.  On this day, one very special day in October, with one of my dearest and closest friends in the world, I saw a family.  A loving family.  Doing their best to be the best for everyone.  And, it was beautiful.  After all, what is more beautiful than love?

Some days, are perfectly imperfect!

24 Frames. A Video Project: March - A Video Portrait

Baxter Scott Young - actor, writer, director, future scientist (vows to build the universe's first time machine) POTUS expert, IMDB researcher, costume lover. 

This is the third month of our monthly film blog circle, "24 Frames. A Filming Project."  I've teamed up with a group of photographers, and fellow ClickinMoms, who have come together to improve our filmmaking skills.  Each month, our films will be a new theme, interpreted differently by each of us.  March, this month's theme, is a "video portrait".  I hope you enjoy following along on this project with us.  Please follow the blog circle and check out the ever-so talented Erica Kuehlem Everhart, and her film. 

The last days of Fall...with The Koors Family

Well, here we are and it's almost Spring...and like the occasional dufus I am, I completely forgot to share this blog post from my favorite fall session of 2016, The Koors Family.  I love everything about this family, and they were so much fun to photograph.  

A Morning With Milo | Child and Family Documentary Photographer

Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
— Dr. Seuss

Today, my son learned to climb into and out of the recliner without falling out onto his head. Something he has gotten used to lately.  It takes him awhile to throw his leg up and slowly inch his way up and into the chair, grunting and whining, as if he's climbing Mt. Everest.  He couldn't do that the day before.  He waves, he hugs, he kisses, he stands, and he couldn't do any of that a few short weeks ago.  In one year, he has learned so much.  In that year, I too, have learned so much.  Now, I'm not sure if it comes with the territory of having a second child, but I have learned that without a doubt, I do not remember what I thought I would remember.  I don't want to forget.  My life, my children, my husband, my family mean everything to me.  These little movies are reminders of just how important they are...and when I'm 80, I hope I can watch them and FEEL how important they are, too.


To book a session with me,  just reach out and contact me and we can chat about what memories are important to you to remember.  

A Boy and His Trampoline | Illinois Family Documentary Photography

So far, the best purchase we have made this year, in the name of fun, has been this trampoline.  When you are six, you can just jump, jump, jump your way through the day.  No matter the weather.  It's been one hot summer, but you can find this kiddo outside playing on his trampoline.  You will have no complaints from his dad and I.  This sure beats hearing, "but, I am so bored" on repeat. 

As August comes around, first grade will be right around the corner, summer will come to its abrupt end, and I'll be so thankful that I have spent what time we have had outside documenting our family and the summer of 2016.  In the months to come, this trampoline will feel its share of thunderstorms, will collect plenty of snow, and will be anxiously awaiting spring like we do every year after suffering through cabin fever from December-March.  Hopefully, next year he won't be "too cool" for his trampoline.  


A Day in the Life, Peoria, Illinois | Family Documentary Photographer

For some time, I had been hoping for the day that I would get the opportunity to shoot a Day in the Life session.  When Janel of Janel Peyton Photography answered my ad on Facebook to find a family who was willing and excited to allow me to document a day in their life, I couldn't be more thrilled.  Janel and I met through Instagram a few years ago and have had the pleasure of watching her family grow over the past few years.  Documenting their day was such an honor for me.  It was everything I had hoped it would be.  I couldn't be more smitten with this family.  

A day in the life with the Peyton's is a morning snuggling in bed with mommy, pancake making, lego building, homeschooling, picnicking, hiking, ice-cream tasting, farmer's marketing, water hosing, car-washing, bubble-bathing, flying through the air with Daddy, bedtime storying, and parent's night outing kind of day.  A perfect day, in my book.  Just take a look...

Are you living in the Peoria, IL | Chicago, IL | Central IL area? If you would like to inquire about a Day in the Life family documentary session, please contact me here.  

To see more of the Peyton family Day in the Life in photos, click here.

(song "A Beautiful Day" by Joshua Radin, licensed through Musicbed)

Day in the Life with the Peyton Family | Illinois Family Documentary Photographer

I am so passionate about documenting the beautiful, ordinary everyday.  There is so much magic that happens in our day to day lives.  So many special moments that could be overlooked or taken for granted.  Our lives, our children, our families change so quickly and its so easy to forget what it was like.

Well, I don't want to forget.  I want to relish in every moment before its gone.  I want to remember how our six-year old dresses up all "fancy" at the dinner table.  I want to remember how our 11-month old screams his head off whenever he is waiting for food, or how he shakes his head when he "dances".  I want to remember how our kids look at their dad like he is the greatest man in the world when he reads bedtime stories.  

 As an Illinois family documentary photographer, it is my goal to give the gift of memories to families.  I want you to see what I see.  The magic of your everyday.   Your family is so special, so unique.  It is all of the little things you do, how you are when you are together, your everyday, that makes you who you are.  Your everyday is your story.  I want to tell those stories.  

Thank you to the Peyton Family who so graciously accepted me into their home to share a Day in the life.  After this incredible day spent with them and their three boys, I couldn't be more certain that this is exactly what I am meant to be doing.