Your family is more than a posed photograph. It’s your daughter insisting she wears her darth vader helmet with her Elsa dress. Their childhood is full of fairies and swords, bugs and make believe — and my goal with your family session is to save that fleeting magic forever. Inquire for travel rates, complete pricing and availability.

Round Lake Beach Family Session

The Ringer Family at Grant Forest Preserve in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. Katie and Tyler are two of the coolest people we know. They love books, music, and games, and they both serve at our church every week. And since their son, Stryder, and our son, Ezra, are only three months apart, they’ve become buds, teaching each other any useful (read: mischievous) skills they happen to learn. For instance, Ezra taught Stryder how to steal toys from other babies, and so Stryder taught Ezra how to climb our baby gate. Before we know it, they’ll be picking locks and hot-wiring cars!

Chicago Family Session

It is so amazing every time we get to catch up with a past wedding couple and see how their married life is going. With Lauren and Chris (see their Allerton Hotel wedding here), hearing about how things are going for them right now felt a little familiar. Two months ago, they celebrated the birth of their first child, Charles. And seeing them with their tiny kiddo reminded me of things I’d already forgotten about life with a newborn (like those little newborn puppy noises!).

Their son is stinking adorable, and with those full lips, that blonde hair, he is definitely going to be fighting off the ladies some day. It was so fun to spend some time hanging out at the Janner household (including their two pups Betsy and Luke). Can’t wait to see how they grow and change together!

Day-in-the-Life Family Session in Madison

I arrived at the Patterson house early in the morning, just as the girls were waking up, and then left at the end of the night, just as they had been put down to bed. There’s something just so amazing about getting to spend an entire day with a family, getting to witness all those little in-between moments, the way they are together, holding hands, wiping away tears. This day was one of my faves…

little girl in pajamas
mom and daughters
changing baby's diaper
mom getting baby out of car
family at the zoo
little girl hugging polar bear
family watching giraffe at the zoo
little girl and snake
family at the zoo
little girl and seal
little girls at aquarium
family lunch preparation
family lunch preparation
prayer before lunch
baby and cat
baby smile
family hugs
silly mom and daughter
little girl black and white
family at pumpkin patch
little girl picking up pumpkin
family candid moment
black and white geometric symmetry
little girl laying in grass
family in black and white
ruby slippers
four-year old in ruby slippers
mom laughing at pizza restaurant
holding hands at dinner for prayer
dad with baby
family eating pizza
family at ice cream shop
parents and baby at night

If you’re interested in booking a Day-in-the-Life documentary family session, these images can give you an idea of what to expect. The Patterson family had some activities planned (a morning visit to Henry Vilas Zoo, lunch at home, shopping at a pumpkin patch, and then pizza and ice cream for dinner), which can give more variety to the photos. But I also love just spending the day at your home, photographing you all in your normal routine. Plan a day that fits you and your family. 🙂

Round Lake Beach Family Session

The Laib Family in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. There’s no way you can describe the Laib family without using the word love. David and I count ourselves so blessed just to know them (Justin is the pastor of our church — Heritage Church in Round Lake Beach). Their love for the community around them, their neighbors, their church family, and, of course, their kids spills out in abundance. Last week, I was lucky enough to get to spend some time at their house, where kisses, hugs, dance parties, and silly faces are the order of the day.

Naperville Family Photographer

Dubon Family in Naperville, Illinois. I try not to play favorites but I’ve worked with this family since David (my husband) and I, started shooting weddings. From their engagements session to their destination wedding, watching the arrival of their two daughters and their move to the suburbs. We’ve photographed them more than 10 times (not including the other weddings they’ve attended. So when they asked me to do another, of course I said yes.

Crystal Lake Family Session

The Brust Family Session at The Hollows Conservation Area in Crystal Lake, Illinois – When Jonathon said he was looking to do a family session trade with another photographer, we jumped on it! With Ezra about to have his first birthday, we knew we needed some shots of us all together that weren’t iPhone selfies. So we met up with the Brust family in Crystal Lake at The Hollows Conservation Area and spent some time exploring!

Crystal Lake Family Photos
This family was so easy to take photographs for, they’re so full of energy and life!
Crystal Lake Family Photos
We love the outfits they chose for their session.
Crystal Lake Family Photos
We always enjoy taking these overhead photos.
Crystal Lake Family Photos
Their daughter looked so cute with her flower wreath.
Crystal Lake Family Photos
Their boy had the same name as our son. And to be honest, we think he’ll have the same personality, too.
Crystal Lake Family Photos
For the short time we were with them, we could see what a loving dad he is.
Crystal Lake Family Photos
Their daughter was such an adventurer, always lagging behind to pick up rocks.
Crystal Lake Family Photos
We brought our son along to the session because Jonathan is a photographer, and took some family photos for us. Our son was obsessed with his wife and just wanted to be held by her.
Crystal Lake Family Photos
A tip for photographs. Side lighting can make photos like this more interesting.
Crystal Lake Family Photos
We love it when kids are themselves during a nice photo. 🙂
Crystal Lake Family Photos
We finished their family session down by the lake.
Crystal Lake Family Photos
There was no prompting necessary to get this family to be themselves.
Crystal Lake Family Photos
We’d never shot at the Hollows Conservation area before but we’d definitely like to go back.
Crystal Lake Family Photos
Piggy back rides are always awesome.

Guys, thank you so much for driving so far to meet with us and spend the evening tromping through fields and brush. It was such a pleasure to photograph you guys (and I hope your quest for frozen yogurt afterwards was successful)! 🙂

Fox Lake Family Session

NOTE: This is an archival post from 2015. My photography has changed some since then but I’m still very proud of where I started. Enjoy! Please be aware: Some of these posts may have been written by David. Also, we are currently based in the north suburbs of Chicago but are always happy to travel.

Abbie and Scott | Grant Woods Forest Preserve | Long Lake, near Fox Lake, Illinois • Abbie and Scott booked us after hearing about our work through their friends, Meredith and Ulises (whose gorgeous faces grace our blog regularly—be sure to check out their recent Naperville family session). In honor of their daughter Vivian’s second birthday coming up as well as their second child on the way, they figured it was the perfect time for some photos.

Oh my goodness. Never before have I seen such cuteness. Well, except for our son Ezra, of course, who takes the cuteness cake ( check out our endless stream of instagrammed baby photos here and here). Vivian is SO stinking adorable and has so much energy. From the second they arrived, she was jumping, running, and grinning ear to ear with excitement over “her photoshoot.” Everywhere we went—around the pond, across the bridge, chasing the geese—Vivian was ready to move on as soon as she got there. She wanted to see and do it all. 🙂

My favorite thing of all was that Vivian barely paid attention to my camera. She just wanted to have fun with her mom and dad and enjoy herself, which made documenting their time at the park so fun and easy.

Naperville Family Session

NOTE: This is an archival post from 2015. My photography has changed some since then but I’m still very proud of where I started. Enjoy! Please be aware: Some of these posts may have been written by David.

We’ve done a couple of shoots for Meredith and Ulises. Here is their engagement. And their destination wedding. And headshots for Meredith. And a newlywed session we did for them. Here are their newborn photos. Here is their daughter’s first birthday party. We also took some photos for her new website. And now, we have the chance to take photos of Mercedes when she’s two! And, of course it’d be Meredith and Ulises who would jump at the chance to be test subjects for Cathy’s new documentary family sessions — up to three hours of Cathy simply documenting what she sees as your family hangs out together (with some quick portraits at the end). It went perfectly and exactly as planned and Cathy got some of the best family photos we’ve ever shot. Thanks so much guys for trusting us all these years to capture your family, for making us a part of your lives. We cannot wait to continue taking more as the years go on and as your family gets bigger.

Libertyville Illinois Maternity Session

NOTE: This is an archival post from 2015. My photography has changed a bit since then, but I’m still very proud of where I started. Enjoy! Please be aware: Some of these posts may have been written by David.

Babies!!! Seriously. All of our clients are having babies. And we’re so excited because we’re having a baby, too! We were thrilled to get an email from Angela and Mike that they were having a baby (and since this blog entry they’ve had their baby — and he is SO CUTE!). We love doing maternity sessions and families even if they aren’t the main focus of our business because usually it means reconnecting with a past couple, like Angela and Mike. After some discussion on where to do the session we decided on Independence Grove in Libertyville, which was great for us since it was a short drive from our lake house. We also know the area a little bit after having shot Kim and Steve’s weddingthere. We couldn’t be more thrilled with how the session turned out and were even more thrilled that their baby and Angela are both healthy and happy. We hope to see them again down the road for family photos. And we hope for more maternity sessions and family photos from past clients, too! Just saying, guys!

Chicago Birthday Photographer

NOTE: This is an archival post from 2014. My photography has changed a little since then, but I’m still very proud of where I started. Enjoy! Please be aware: Some of these posts may have been written by David.

As mentioned in the last blog entry, Meredith and Ulises have won the record for most sessions by a single client. That makes them family. They’ve also attended more weddings than any other client. So when Mer messaged me on Facebook about taking pictures for her beautiful daughter’s first birthday, I said yes without even thinking. Normally a birthday party would be something I’d be hesitant to accept but I knew that Mer and Ulises would want us to simply capture what we see, document the day as it happened and would only want a couple of portraits (in fact we had to ask them, lol). We had so much fun seeing familiar faces from their Florida Destination Wedding and watching Mer and Mercedes open presents together. I cannot wait until the next event we document in their lives, or the next session they have us come to. Thank you so much for your trust and love. You’re the best!

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