Family Lifestyle Session

People often ask me…what are these Lifestyle Photo Sessions that I keep hearing about?  I thought I would share a family lifestyle session that I did recently to give you an idea of how they work, when they work best, and why they are growing in popularity.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-11When this Mom contacted me for a newborn session, I recommended that we do it in her home as she had newborn twins as well as a toddler.  Home sessions are always better with little people.  After I delivered their newborn photos, she contacted me to do a whole family session for them a while later. BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-18Again, we decided on a lifestyle home session as it would be so much easier for the family and would capture them in this very special moment in time.  BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-12The most important thing to note is that you do not have to have a perfect house, all sparkly clean, for this to work!  As a Mom myself, I know exactly how hard it is to keep things in order with little ones in the house, especially newborns, so I have zero expectations as far as that goes.  I always tell people “clean as if your best friend is coming over, not your mother-in-law”.  BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-124When I arrive I will look around to see where the best places would be to stage photos.  Sometimes you have an obvious place like in front of the fireplace or in the master bedroom.  I like to choose several locations to give our photos some variety.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-4BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-5BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-69Most importantly, I like to capture moments of your real life.  You can choose to cook a meal together, play a game or play outside.  All great interactions for photos.  Or you can just be yourselves…BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-2BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-21BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-104I will make suggestions throughout our session.  I will also let you lead.  I asked this guy to show me his bedroom and while we were there I captured all kinds of sweet boy goodness.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-52BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-50BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-49Mom had a few shots that she wanted to get that were something that she had done with her older child so we captured those as well.  So much cuteness!BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-86BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-89Lucky for me, they had a sweet outdoor area around their house which lent itself to some great photos.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-14BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-16And this guy…once he warmed up to me it was on!BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-32BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-31BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-34BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-33Stairs are another great spot for posing.  We took a whole series of shots just sitting on their stairway.  BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-59BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-61BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-64BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-65Casual, loving, shots of Mom and her babies.  Love it!BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-118BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-122And, while these are definitely different from posed studio photos, they are equally great for framing and hanging around the house or making a nice book to keep and remember this fleeting time in your family’s life.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Family Photographer-Wheaton-83Of course, this is my favorite shot from our day.  Mom had these shirts printed up especially for our session.  I’m so happy that I got to spend the day with this family and give them this gift of memories.

If you think that a lifestyle session might be perfect for you…..give me a call!


She said YES!

This cute young couple got engaged recently.  They have been together forever…like really forever…and have been through more than most couples at their age.  I am so proud of how they are building this wonderful life together so, when I found out that he popped the question…I couldn’t wait to get them in front of my camera!BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-16Cody is my husband’s second cousin.  Gisel is his sweet fiancé.  The minute she messaged me that they were engaged my wheels started turning with engagement photo ideas.  I thought we would do a fall session together when the pretty colors came out.  Gisel had other ideas.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-10She wanted to capture this moment in time….to remember exactly how they were when she said YES!  Of course…I can never resist an opportunity to shoot some photos so we found a date and were off to capture some pre-engagement session engagement photos…LOL!!BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-26BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-18I thought we would snap a couple of shots and be done that evening but, as anyone who has done a photo session with me know, I’m a bit of an over achiever!BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-21BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-23BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-20BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-11I mean…once everyone is dressed and out there…why stop at a few…right??  This is one of my very favorite spots…those pine trees are amazing!BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-40And, in that same location we have beautiful willow trees and other fun posing spots.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-27BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-15BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-30BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-31Of course it helps that these two are fun and spontaneous and agreed to any crazy thing I suggested…my kind of clients!  BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-33BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-34BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-35BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-38I thought it would be fun to turn some of there photos into a storyboard…

This makes me smile every time I see it.  It would be sweet framed in sequence…hint hint.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Engagement Session-Wheaton-7

Now I’m back to planning their actual engagement session.  Lots more good ideas!  Need engagement photos?  Give me a call.  Fall is the perfect time to capture gorgeous memories in full color.



Cute Kids!

Are photo sessions just for babies, toddlers and Christmas cards?  Nope.  Why not capture professional photos of your kids at every age instead of relying on those regular school photos?IMG_3465This Mom contacted me to do just that.  She wanted to get some annual photos of her older children.  We agreed to meet up at one of my favorite spots (the double swing is always a hit!) and she mentioned that she just wanted a few closeups for framing and maybe a few other shots.  What?!?  You know I don’t work like that…LOLIMG_3406IMG_3461Once we got those two closeups out of the way…it was on.IMG_3286IMG_3281IMG_3328IMG_3444These two were so much fun!  Seriously….once I got them to relax into our session…we had a blast! IMG_3543IMG_3332IMG_3428IMG_3436As anyone who has had a session with me knows, I totally encourage funny faces, hilarious poses, and all sorts of shenanigans!  I want your real personality to shine in my photos and in this case…it worked!IMG_3297IMG_3483IMG_3441IMG_3370I try to capture great images in both color and black and white as part of every package.  I, personally, just love black and white photography!IMG_3519IMG_3506IMG_3503And I always try to end sessions here with the swings.  Not only is it fun…leaving a lasting impression on the kids that photo sessions are NOT boring…but it also produces some great action shots to treasure.

Of course, when I asked these guys is they wanted to do a “jump” photo, they were all in.  I told them to jump and pose on 3….ONE….TWO…THREE…and they BOTH did this!  It was a totally spontaneous and hilarious moment.  IMG_3501This session was so much fun!  I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.

Call today to book a fun photo shoot for your kids!


A Split Session!

I was discussing the different newborn options with a potential client a while back and, as I explained the difference between a lifestyle newborn vs a studio newborn session, I could tell that she was torn between the two.  But, it was only after determining that she had just recently moved into my very own neighborhood (woo hoo) that I suggested an unusual arrangement…a split session!IMG_2859This client has both a newborn and a toddler.  I love to bring newborns into the studio for perfect posing options but I almost alway suggest the lifestyle session when siblings are involved because they definitely do better in their own homes.  In this case…it was easy to do both.IMG_2855We started off in their home to accommodate the toddler’s schedule.  It was the perfect place to capture photos of this adorable guy and his parents along with the baby.IMG_2897IMG_3013IMG_2965IMG_2942Parents are always worried about their home not being “right” for photos but I try to reassure them that we will use very tiny snippets from your house so it rarely matters if you live in a mansion or have fancy furnishings.  IMG_2984IMG_2999And, once I saw this cutie, I knew that I had to capture all of his fun faces and sweet personality of course!IMG_2916IMG_2915IMG_2913IMG_2877Then we packed up the baby goods and shifted our session to my home studio where it was just the baby and his parents.  It was perfect for these sweet posed shots…IMG_3257IMG_3148IMG_3047And, I was also able to capture some of my all time favorite black and white newborn photos ever…IMG_3069IMG_3074IMG_3101This little guy was so wonderful.  The minute I would put him on either his Mom or Dad, no matter how fast asleep he was, he would break out in the sweetest smile.  I didn’t even have to say “cheese”.IMG_3111IMG_3132We grabbed a few parent requests, like this ring photo, and then we were done.IMG_3215IMG_3193Such a great session that gave them a lot to choose from and kept everyone happy!

If you are interested in exploring different session options, please let me know and we can work together to build the perfect session for you!


The reluctant toddler…

This family came to the studio the other day to capture some newborn photos.  The parents warned me ahead of time that their toddler was not thrilled about the idea.  They didn’t have high hopes of getting any photos of her with the baby….or at all for that matter.  Of course…I am always up for a challenge!

BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-8One of the reasons that I encourage home lifestyle sessions when toddlers are involved is because my studio is small and hot.  It’s totally set up for the newborn which can make it difficult for the toddler.  I encourage parents to bring the sibling either at the beginning or the end of the session and then have someone else whisk them away.  That way I still have time to work with the baby in a more peaceful setting.  BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-5Needless to say….I was thrilled to capture one great photo of this sweet girl.  I also managed to get her into a few family photos and one absolutely hilarious photo that pretty much summed up our time together!BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-19Once we finished that up, we moved on to some baby focused photos with her parents.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-17BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-12BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-21I love this one…two beautiful smiling ladies!BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-6BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-22BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-37I have some props that are fun to transition through the milestone photos and this crown is one of them.   It was too big for her head now but as she grows it can make an appearance at each stage, showing how much she has changed.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-38BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-41BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-45BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-57BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-65BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-56Just look at this sweet angel.  I couldn’t decide if I liked this one better in color or black and white so I included both.  Slightly different shots of course.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-49BecciHethcoatPhotography-Newborn Session-Wheaton-48Newborn sessions still rock my world.  Snuggling babies makes my job the best.

Thank you for sharing your girls with me!



It’s that time of year again….Senior Sessions!!  I love capturing seniors on the cusp of leaving home for the first time, going off into the world and figuring out what they want to do.  Here are some shots from my first Senior session of the year….Class of 2018!BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-36BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-7BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-15BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-27BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-32We captured these shots at Cantigny.  It’s equal parts formal and casual and has everything from the mansion to garden structures to expansive green space.  And, even though the entire place is under construction, we still managed to fine enough fun places to get these great photos.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-18BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-19BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-30And my favorite….SPIN!BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-26BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-25BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-24BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-23A quick change into an outfit that reflects her college choice and favorite sport and we were back in business.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-46BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-39BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-49BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-52BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-58And one more change into a nice casual outfit for the final sunset photos.BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-63BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-65BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-64BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-67BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-66BecciHethcoatPhotography-Senior Session-Wheaton-68Good luck to this beautiful girl as she heads into her final year of high school and beyond!  Thank you for letting me be a part of this wonderful time in your life.



I almost included these photos in my previous post about the maternity session but then I realized that these photos really needed a post all their own.  We originally met up to take maternity photos of her Mom but once this sweetheart sat in this big chair I knew that I had to capture the moment.  BecciHethcoatPhotography-Maternity Session-Wheaton-71This little gal is super cute with a huge personality to go along with it.  She kept doing her thing and I kept shooting and this is the result…BecciHethcoatPhotography-Maternity Session-Wheaton-60BecciHethcoatPhotography-Maternity Session-Wheaton-58BecciHethcoatPhotography-Maternity Session-Wheaton-57BecciHethcoatPhotography-Maternity Session-Wheaton-59BecciHethcoatPhotography-Maternity Session-Wheaton-56BecciHethcoatPhotography-Maternity Session-Wheaton-55BecciHethcoatPhotography-Maternity Session-Wheaton-70I love every single one of these shots.  The crazy hair, the sweet smile, the many fun poses in the “princess” chair.  So much girlie goodness!BecciHethcoatPhotography-Maternity Session-Wheaton-87I hope to get her in front of my camera again soon. (hint hint)