It all came together|Chicago children’s and baby photographer

I had been perusing Instagram when I stumbled upon the most gorgeous portrait of a mother and her son at a beautiful airy greenhouse. I was so mesmerized I took a deep her look to find that the photograph took place somewhere near chicago. After mailing my dearest photography friends - begging to find out where this beautiful spot was located I finally came upon Elmhurst’s Wilder Mansion and Conservatory. The funny thing is, I used to cater here as a high school job. This was well before I saw the world and its possibilities with my photographer eyes.

When planning the clothing for this session, I also came across a new photography clothing styling site called Style and Select. Styling for a session has never been easier. We literally typed in whimsical shoot, we like pinks and greens and voila Style and Select helped us pick two gorgeous little girl dresses that would be perfect for the feminine and airy look of this session.

We were so excited for our August session. We had hair and makeup ready to go but as the days inched forward the forecast was looking rather glum. So at the last minute we canceled…sigh. We did get a beautiful few studio shots on the blog but we did need to reschedule our Wilder Mansion session. We were so fortunate that our rescheduled date turned out to be the most gorgeous September afternoon and we arrived at the conservatory 15 minutes before close. Which meant that we had the conservatory to ourselves. The light was more incredible than I could have even imagined. Wilder Mansion conservatory and grounds had so much variety that it almost looks like we had four different sessions.

Finally, and most importantly, the love between these three ladies is palpable in each and every picture. The way they play and laugh together was such a pleasure to capture on my camera. Simply put, this is why I do what I do.

I am excited to share the session that came together so perfectly.

Petite Studio Session - Chicago Children and Baby Photographer

A twenty-minute studio session is all you need to capture those life moments you just don't want to miss. Three months, six months or even six years with a jack-o-lantern grin, let me help you freeze these moments forever with a picture! Each session takes place in our cozy Southport Corridor studio. The sessions are timed perfectly for one child but we will be happy to add on accommodate siblings for an additional fee. Once your gallery is ready, you choose your five favorite jpegs and your very favorite image is printed and ready for you to frame!

Glencoe Beach and Lake Family Portrait Session - North Shore Suburb of Chicago, IL

The weather is finally heating up, school is letting out in just a few weeks and summer is on my mind! Grab a glass of Rose', pull up a lounge chair and check out the portrait session of this gorgeous family. I have had the privilege to work with over this dear family for the last few years and I can hardly believe how much they have grown.  

Gather your crew this summer and let's create special memories that will last for generations! I will help to coordinate custom family portraits to capture each unique personality. We will work together to plan out the perfect session relaxing on the beach, exploring in the woods, or taking on the city and I will be there to capture every smile. 

A New Way of Thinking about School Photography | Chicago Children's Photographer

Every year I have the pleasure of photographing roughly 200 of the most adorable children Chicago. I am blessed that I have the opportunity to work at school and I get to put my camera to good use!  It is such a fun way to get to know these students and in turn they become very comfortable in front of my camera, check out the video below if you don't believe me!! I slow the portrait process down and use the other students to get genuine reactions from the student. I just love how they turned out. 100% of the profits from these school portraits will benefit our Anchor Ball and in turn our school. These will be on sale until February 27th! So don't delay in purchasing your portraits (these also make great Mother's day gifts and you will be well ahead of the game...hint hint). Thank you to all of our parents for your help supporting our school!  http://www.tenlittlebluebirds.com/anchor-ball-portraits/

Favorite Chicago Outdoor Locations Series | Chicago Children, Family and Baby Photographer

I am often asked by my clients help choose the best location for their family photo shoot. The location plays a major role in the outcome of our photographs. Think outside the box a little...I often start by asking a few questions "What does your family like to do as family?" or "Where do you enjoy spending time together?" This helps guide our decision. Sometimes families have access to unique locations through their friends and networks. A cool hotel? A stadium? Perhaps a boat? Maybe an awesome view at the top of a skyscraper that they work in? 

In the summer I love outdoor locations! Granted it may be that our Chicago winters are so harsh, that I would do absolutely anything to get outside and take advantage of what our great city has to offer. This blog series will provide examples of some of my favorite go-to spots around Chicago. 

 

Gompers Park, Chicago IL

Looking for that idyllic fall foliage? Look no further than Gompers Park on the west side of Chicago. I am almost scared to post this because it is such a secluded spot. Is the perfect place for an afternoon walk through the park and across the red wooden bridges. Play in the leaves or bring some bread to feed the ducks.

 

Saint James Farm, Wheaton IL

Interested in an adventure in the suburbs? Check out Saint James Farm Forest Preserve. I grew up near Wheaton and never knew about this fabulous spot. Apparently, it was owned by the McCormick Family in the last few years they donated it to the DuPage County Forest Preserves. There are gorgeous horse trails and groves of trees and beautiful farm buildings that give this spot a very French Country feel. 

 

OZ Park and my lincoln park studio

With the weather so gorgeous this time of year, I love to take advantage of the many gardens Chicago has to offer. One of my favorites is a sweet little rose garden just a block away from my Lincoln Park studio. We had a sweet little newborn shoot that started in the studio and ended up with the gorgeous sunset in Oz Park!

 

Chicago Botanic Garden

If you are jones-ing to get out of the city one AH-MAZING spot is the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe, IL. Between the English Gardens, White Birch trees, prairie fields, Japanese garden and bridges, there so many fabulous options. I loved it so much I ended up purchasing a membership for my family and can't wait to head to back and visit this gem of a spot in every season! 

 

Olive Park and Ohio Street Beach

I love the city-scape that Olive Park and Ohio Street Beach offers. The buildings loom right behind us and offer a dramatic and up-close city backdrop. We shot first thing in the morning, as the sun rose over the lake. Navy Pier can get pretty crowded on the weekends so I love shooting early in the morning here. This is a great spot for an active family. So many fun places to explore along our route.

 

Montrose Magic Hedge and skyline

Because I am a slight nerd (just slight)- I find the history of this place so interesting! Check out the PBS series Chicago Tours with Geoffrey Baer for some amazing insights and even more photo location ideas! Anyway, Montrose Point was taken over by the US Army before WWII as a radar station and then a missile station. It was finally dismantled in the 1970s and the hedge is now the resting place for over 300+ types of birds. I love that we can shoot in a forest just miles from downtown Chicago. We also have the backdrop of our magnificent skyline.  We get such variety at Montrose. 

When should I schedule my Newborn Photo Shoot? Chicago Children, Family and Baby Photographer

In an earlier post, I discussed how important it is in my photography to capture images that evoke emotion through a connection. In this last post, I wrote about why some parents choose to do their newborn photo shoots right away. However, there also many people that prefer to wait.  

The Case for Waiting to Take Pictures

As beautiful as those first breaths of life are, newborns are no less cute or miraculous one month, two months, or even three months later! I had the privilege of doing a recent photo shoot where the family waited a few months before having me to the house. Mom and dad had given themselves time to get comfortable with this new little guy! The house was clean and the nursery was done, allowing for a cozy backdrop.

As with most any choice you make as a parent, what you believe is best, safest, and sanest is the correct answer. That connection between you and your baby is there, whether s/he is 30 hours or 30 days old.

I purposefully chose the words "Before they fly away" to appear on the first page of my site because I want everyone who visits to understand why I do and love this work. While my business and photography style has evolved, my mission has stayed the same since I first started in 2009: to save the fleeting and glittering moments that make our lives worth living.

Join us for Santa and the Skyline Photos! October 22nd

Naughty or Nice? It doesn't matter Santa would love to take a skyline photo with you! These skyline photos with Santa are priceless!

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I am so excited to bring to bring you Limited Edition “Santa and the Skyline” sessions in Chicago, IL on October 22nd.

These magical photo shoots include a personalized meet-and-greet with our authentic Saint Nick! Sweets Perfection will provide delicious Christmas Cookies and hot chocolate. 

We can help you avoid the last-minute scramble for holiday cards, and score some gifts for the grandparents while you're at it. The Limited Edition Skyline Santa Sessions will take place at the North Avenue Beach, affording a beautiful backdrop of the lake and skyline that no Mall Santa can rival! After you purchase, we will follow up to schedule your time. 

Parents you are welcome to be in the photo, but all photos will include Santa.  Also,  Santa goes over best with babies under 1 year or kids over 3 years. 

Check out details here.

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A cake like this doesn't deserve to get smashed | Chicago Baby, Children and Family Photograher

What's cuter than one-year-old with a fist full of cake? A mischievous three-year-old that knows better? A six-year-old with a toothless grin? You be the judge! We all know that birthdays fly by too fast! What better excuse to get your little one into the studio than for a birthday session with Ten Little Bluebirds! You provide the cake and the kid, I'll capture what happens next. A limited number of birthday mini-sessions are available each month. You can purchase your session here.

Thank you to Sweets Perfection for the elegant cakes and to Kelsey Triebes from George the Salon for the stunning hair design. 

Mother's Day Give Away|Mom, please get in the picture!

I can't tell you how difficult it is for me to get moms in front of my camera—but if you are a mom, you probably already know what I'm talking about. Between the "extra ten pounds," or the bad hair day, or the apple sauce on the shirt, moms have plenty of excuses to avoid getting their picture taken. I should know, I'm the queen of these excuses. But no more! 

Ladies. You're beautiful. Your love for your children is beautiful and palpable. Twenty years from now, when your kids are getting married or graduating college or curing cancer, you're going to find yourself going through old photos and remembering the days when they wouldn't let go of your hand, or they couldn't wait to show you the stick they found in the yard. And maybe you'll wish that you had some pictures capturing that overwhelming, all-encompassing, unlimited love you shared with your little ones. 

Photographs are investments that get more and more valuable with time. It's time you got in front of the camera. Let your confidence shine for your daughters and sons! Let the world see how beautiful you are and how amazing motherhood is!

Because I am passionate about getting Mothers in the picture, this May I'm giving away a full Portrait Session, which includes digital images, a print collection, and an 8.5x8.5 inch album from our session. Jessica McKane Makeup and stylist Kelsey Triebe from George the Salon, have also offered their services to make sure you feel fabulous in front of the camera. 

To enter, simply like my facebook page, share this post and submit a super short (3-5 sentences) explanation of why you are ready to get in the picture! You can enter for someone else if you want it to be a surprise. Only one entry per person, however. The winner will be chosen on May 14th. Click here to submit.

 

Kelsey and Ryan | Chicago Engagement Photographer

I have gotten to know Kelsey over the last year and I have so enjoyed collaborating with her for a number of photography projects. She has such great style! I was thrilled to hear about her engagement to Ryan and couldn't wait to do to their engagement portrait session.  We were lucky to be able to use the Robie Room and the marble staircase at the Kimpton Gray Hotel. Photographer Elaine Melko and I worked together to style this shoot. Make Up Artist Jessica McKane of Jessica McKane Makeup did a beautiful job with Kelsey's stunning make up.  Clothing Designer Liz Meyer owner of Silver Moon Vintage provided us with the gorgeous vintage sequin number. It all came together beautifully. 

 

 

When Should I Schedule my Newborn Photo Shoot? Part Deux|Chicago Children, Family and Baby Photographer

In my last post, I discussed how important it is in my photography to capture images that evoke emotion through connection. In this last post I wrote about why some parents choose to do their newborn photo shoots right away. However, there also many people that prefer to wait.  

The Case for Waiting to Take Pictures

As beautiful as those first breaths of life are, newborns are no less cute or miraculous one month, two months, or even three months later! I had the privilege of doing a recent photo shoot where the family waited a couple of months before having me to the house. Mom, dad, and big bro had given themselves time to get comfortable with their new little creature, and mom had even managed to get some sleep before the photo shoot! The house was clean and the nursery was done, allowing for a cozy and homey backdrop.

Best of all, we had time to plan the wardrobe and arrange for my make-up artist and hair-stylist to come to the house. This was a game. Changer. When you’ve been in the newborn fog for weeks, worrying about feedings and changings and sleeping, you are barely noticing whether your hair is washed or your shirt is clean. To press pause and take some time for yourself, to have a moment of feeling beautiful, is priceless.

As with most any choice you make as a parent, what you believe is best, safest, and sanest is the correct answer. That connection between you and your baby is there, whether s/he is 30 hours or 30 days old.

I purposefully chose the words "Before they fly away" to appear on the first page of my site because I want everyone who visits to understand why I do and love this work. While my business and photography style has evolved, my mission has stayed the same since I first started in 2009: to save the fleeting and glittering moments that make our lives worth living.