IMG_9568Meet Michael.IMG_9395I was lucky enough to meet his awesome wife on a local chat about having celiac years ago.  We had lunch, became friends, and we have shared many dinners, book clubs, etc since.IMG_9392Recently, we were out to dinner and chatting about photography when the subject of head shots came up.  I was sharing my thoughts about how important it is to have great head shots for your professional image when Michael showed me his.  IMG_9449It’s interesting to look at a head shot of someone you don’t know.  You formulate ideas about who they are instantly.  But try looking at a headshot of someone you do know.  IMG_9459Does that shot look like the person they are?  In Michael’s case…the answer was ‘No’.  I suggested that we do some updating and he was in!IMG_9506Anyone who knows Michael knows how appropriate it was that we met in downtown Wheaton at the Starbucks. I thought the urban/vintage vibe would be great for him.IMG_9467Michael is funny, quirky, super smart and interesting.  I wanted his photos to reflect all of those things with a more casual feel.  IMG_9404Of course, we had a few great outtakes….as I would expect with this guy!IMG_9406IMG_9630IMG_9386I told you…he’s a funny guy.  But, mostly, we captured some amazing photos that I think will give someone a sense of his personality long before they meet him.IMG_9631I also put together some photos just for him personally….cool black and white shots that are more artsy than the normal head shot.IMG_9444IMG_9434It was such a fun night.  He discovered a side of Wheaton he never knew existed (including my favorite alleyways) and I enjoyed his interesting and fun company.IMG_9477Thinking of getting new head shots?  Give me a call…I would love to put together a great portfolio of images that will make your LinkedIn page or website a more effective tool.


Grayson is 2!

It is always an honor to be entrusted with taking special photos for someone that you have known for a long time.  We met Ashley when she was only 4 years old and we first moved into our current home.  Her Grandmother lives next door to us.  She was an important part of my children’s growing up and we have fond memories of many summers spent together.  She was a huge help to me with my children and now it’s hard to believe that she has two children of her very own.IMG_4690Meet Grayson.  Isn’t he so cute!!IMG_4707Grayson just turned 2.  We spent a little time capturing some sweet photos of him to commemorate this special birthday.IMG_4695IMG_4750As with most 2 year olds, he was not thrilled about our ideas.  There was no posing going on so we had to capture our photos on the run…IMG_4820He was interested in playing with the balloons and then with the cars.IMG_4916IMG_4920That gave us some time to snap away.

IMG_4893And, of course, he loved my puppies!IMG_5053When our studio time was over, we went outside to play and that’s when the real smiles came out.  Even though the background wasn’t so wonderful, I kept snapping to capture some of those happy times.IMG_5086IMG_5092That face!!  I could not get enough…IMG_5094IMG_5140IMG_5193IMG_5199This boy loves his Mama.  And, we do too!  Thank you for letting me be a part of this special photo session.

Happy 2nd Birthday Grayson!


Fun x 2….Twins!

I was recently invited to spend a morning with these two cuties!  We chose an In Home Lifestyle session to celebrate them turning 6 months old.  Sometimes lifestyle sessions are better for small children who are happier and more comfortable in familiar surroundings.

I asked their parents to come up with some fun facts about them at this point in their lives and then we made up these collages that can be printed like photos and framed.  It’s a fun way to keep track of the little things that you think you will never forget….but do.Elsie CollageTJ collage 2Lifestyle sessions are meant to tell a story.  The story of you.  I like to take some snapshots of things around the home that are meaningful to my clients or represent where they are at that time.IMG_0455IMG_0461IMG_0460Of course I also snap some great shots of the kids. IMG_0876IMG_0873IMG_1064And I always bring along some lights and simple props to get some more ‘studio like’ shots for framing.  IMG_0582IMG_0641IMG_0652IMG_0910Of course I like to include the parents.  Sometimes they protest….they aren’t looking their best, their hair isn’t great, etc.  But I like to explain that 1. I have photoshop. and 2. Your kids won’t care some day when they look back at these treasured memories.IMG_0777IMG_0756I love black and white photos.  A good black and white photo can elevate something simple to something amazing.  Little fingers….tiny toes…those long eyelashes….and, most importantly, the cute little butts!IMG_0846IMG_0805IMG_0463IMG_0860IMG_0928IMG_1024IMG_1097These two were simply the cutest!  They made my job so easy.IMG_1267IMG_1254IMG_1226I love this shot of them holding hands.  Sweet.IMG_1109Lifestyle sessions come in all shapes and sizes.  They can be an hour snippet or encompass an entire fun day.  If you are interested in exploring a Lifestyle Session for your family…let’s talk!


the Beutel family

With Thanksgiving break coming up…we are heading out of town, thus no photo editing will be going on.  This week I have been working night and day to finish up a few more sessions prior to our trip.  One of those sessions was for this family…img_4355We share a special bond with them as families because our sons both have the same rare neuro-immunological condition, Transverse Myelitis (TM). (you can find more info on that here…TMA)  We met years ago when our boys played wheelchair basketball on the same team and have kept in touch, sharing information along the way.  We also enjoy spending time together each year at TMA Family Camp at this amazing place (CCK).  I was thrilled when they reached out to me to capture fall family photos for them!img_4333As anyone who has a dealt with a chronic illness knows….it’s not easy.  It puts a strain on the family that is difficult to explain to someone who has never faced it. This is especially true when the sick person is your child.  They say that facing things like that will either tear you apart or draw you closer together…and if you spend any time with this family you will see that their bond is super strong, loving, and as close as any family could be!img_4138I had so much fun photographing these guys.  They are super silly siblings!  Equal parts of loving and wanting to poke each other every second.  Perfect!!img_4425img_4431img_4443Our day was beautiful…the fall colors were in full swing…and we took our time moving around to get the best shots.  img_4183img_4511img_4823Sometimes it takes a while for kids to loosen up and just be themselves.  I always book extra time with kids to give them time to relax into the session.  I find that when you do that you get photos like this…img_4720And this…img_4699And especially this…img_4806img_4811I hope you guys had as much fun as I did that day!  And…thank you for choosing me to capture these sweet memories for your family!


The Bridal Portrait Session

The proposal has happened, and the date has been set.  (and hopefully you called me to take your engagement photos)  You’re busy renting a hall, hiring a caterer, a DJ, and a photographer (me!).  It’s such an exciting time in your life!  img_6773Then the actual day arrives and you are up early, butterflies in your belly, thrilled to finally have gotten to this point with everything in place.  The day is full, busy, packed….and you still have to squeeze in time to spend with everyone and to take photos.  Will those photos looked relaxed and natural or will they look tense, rushed and stressed? img_6917 A trend among smart brides is to schedule a ‘Bridal Portrait Session’ separate from the wedding.  Yes…it might mean getting dressed, made up, and getting your hair done twice but it’s also a great time to do a trial run in advance of your actual wedding.  img_6715Bridal Portrait Sessions are a great way to get in all of those special shots that you might not have time for on your actual wedding day.  You can travel to different locations, take your time, be relaxed and have fun.  img_6759And don’t think that these sessions have to come before the wedding.  The photos from this session were actually done after the wedding.  I was booked already for their actual wedding date so they immediately made plans to take these photos later…thus getting amazing, on location, shots of just them together without the pressure of schedules, guests, etc.img_6904I highly recommend that you consider adding a Bridal Portrait Session to your wedding plans.  And when you do….be sure to give me a call!!img_7004XO

365 Photo Project…and a special birthday wish!

(this was supposed to post yesterday but, somehow, didn’t….so here it is)

First off I wanted to wish my bestie Brenda a Happy Happy Birthday today!! She has been there for me forever, is the Godmother to my children, and my sister from another mother.IMG_5868-2 Ella & her Aunt Brenda have a super special bond that I hope will last forever.IMG_5870-2She and I have shopped together, pedicured together, traveled together, and have been through lots of life’s ups and downs. She has always been there when I needed her (even if it meant working a party with 20 screaming 6 year olds). IMG_9397-3I am so proud of her and all of the wonderful changes that she has brought forth in her life recently.  So…

Happy Happy Birthday my friend!! Many more…