Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday's Top 5

Can I do it? Do I honestly think I can narrow it down? Only 5?

("What on earth is she talking about?," you ask.)

My top 5? Really? Well, okay, I'll try. But I reserve the right to change my mind.

THE TOP 5 PHOTOS OF 2010 (maybe):

5. I love this family shot that I captured just a few weeks ago. We had worn the little guy out by this point, but the yawn is just so yummy.

4. I know I probably shouldn't use one of my own little guy, but I truly adored his Halloween shots this year. He was the perfect baseball player and we were shooting at the perfect time with the perfect light. So this is love.

3. I loved everything about this session with Sofia and Gavin, but this is definitely my favorite (except for my 6 or 7 other favorites, but whatever). Letting kids do their thing = Awesome.

2. Confession: I found this sheet at a church rummage sale for .25 cents. I promise I washed it in HOT HOT water before I put little Michael down on it, though. I just love what the bright but not too busy pattern brings. A nice diversion from the traditional simple newborn shot.

1. I'm at #1 already? NO WAY! Honestly, this was never going to work. But if I must pick a #1, I suppose I would pick this shot from our family reunion this summer. "Jump off the dock all at the same time," I said. And they did. Perfectly. Ah summer....

Seriously, I cannot stop at 5. Here are a few more oldies but goodies that you may not have seen before:

p.s. Now that I've started, it's hard to stop. I'm sure I'll be back soon with more favorites.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas. Now.

I am loving Christmas right now. And I don't mean to say that I don't always love Christmas. I do. I really, really do! But right now, while Max is in all his almost-three-year-old glory, Christmas is perfection.

We got our tree last night. By the time we got it home and in the stand, it was too late to let him stay up and decorate it. We let him put a few ornaments on and then sent him to bed. Consequently, he came down stairs to a transformed house this morning, and said (no kidding), "Wonderful! Oh! Santa! The tree! The tree!"

So yeah, ask me how Christmas is right now? Christmas-right now-is something really special.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday's Top 5

Something a bit different for today:


5. Mistakes Are Funny. What? Mistakes are funny. And sure, maybe you're not laughing now. Maybe it's mostly just me and your other friends laughing right now (and laughing hard), but one day, you'll laugh about it, too; because, really mistakes are funny. Most of the time.

4. Mistakes Make You Humble. Mistakes keep you from getting that big balloon head that you (and me and you and you and you) get when we've been on top of the world for awhile. Hey, we all need our bubble burst every once in a while, otherwise we'd really be insufferable.
3. Mistakes Are Learning Experiences. When was the last time you made a mistake that you didn't say, "Oh yeah, I should have done that instead."? And if you didn't say that (or some incarnation of it, please see number 4 and then come back to number 3). Seriously, I think some of the best photographic lessons I've learned have come from times when I've royally screwed up first and had to think through fixing it. This logic applies whether you're a photographer, an accountant, or an underwater basket weaver. Mistakes = Knowledge!

2. Mistakes Begat Greatness. Sometimes mistakes turn into accidental greatness. Okay, maybe not for you or for me, but that happens sometimes, right? Yes! The chocolate chip cookie, the slinky, and Velcro are all results of mistakes. Hope springs eternal.

1. Mistakes Are Just Mistakes. And finally, mistakes are just mistakes. I mean, not so much if you're a doctor or an airplane pilot, but for most of us, a mistake is just a blip on the map; something we'll look back on and laugh, reflecting on how much it taught us and how humble we are as a result. So don't sweat those little mistakes, because (after all), tomorrow is another day! (Sorry, couldn't resist).

What mistake will you make today?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

This is the face of blog neglect

This is also the face of a photographer who let her two-year-old take her picture while she was on vacation and had not washed her hair or put her contacts in.

(Yikes! I can't believe I shared that!)

This is the face of said two-year-old.

This is the face of the same two-year-old on a sled with his Dad.

Forgive me?

Be back soon!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday's Top 5

Bet you think you know what this week's Top 5 is going to be, don't you? Bet you think it's going to be the Top 5 things I'm thankful for. Well, if you think that you are wrong. Do you seriously expect me to narrow it down to only 5 things that I am thankful for? Psshaw! I am way more blessed than that. No siree, Bob. Not gonna do it. But what I am gonna do is something just as good (and much more yummy):


(You so didn't see that coming, did you?)

5. Dad's Gross Salad. Here's the thing about Dad's Gross Salad. It is not made by my dad. It is not gross. And it is not really a salad. Dad's Gross Salad is more of a fruity, jelloey, cream cheesey concoction created by my husband's aunt's boyfriend (got that?). The only thing is, his kid's all hate it (hence the Dad and the Gross part). Good thing he hooked up with our family, though, because we all think Dad's Gross Salad is da tastiest!

4. The Cake. What? Cake for Thanksgiving? Aren't you supposed to eat Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie and Apple Pie? What are you unAmerican? Well, I'll admit those are the tradish Thanksgiving desserts and you are supposed to eat those things if you eat pie. Me? I'm not so big on the pie, so I personally take it upon myself to make sure that there is a non-pie (preferably chocolate based) dessert at every Thanksgiving. Purely selfish reasons, really. One of my favorite choices is "the Cake," a delightful boxed cake concoction suupped up with sour cream, pudding, and chocolate chips to make it extra dense, then topped with cream cheese icing for that extra layer of diabetes. Mmmmm.....

3. Casserole. Any casserole really. For me casserole (or hot dish if you're from Minnesota, where I'll be spending turkey day) = Family Gathering. And while I'm quite sure the pilgrims did not have broccoli casserole at the first Thanksgiving, I'm equally sure that if they had tasted the broccoli casserole recipe perfected by my relatives in Fort Meade they would have made several trays worth of it. Thankfully, I am not a pilgrim, and therefore will be working my way through a casserole or two on Thursday (and probably Friday).

2. Mashed Potatoes. Let's face it. Thanksgiving is all about the carbs. Turkey? Sure, turkey gets an honorable mention, but you know it's the carbs you're really wearing those stretchy pants for, and mashed potatoes are like the piece de resistance of carbs. Make sure you throw real cream and butter in with them and maybe some chives and sour cream. Don't forget the salt. Remember, elastic is your friend!

1. Daniel Family Cornbread Dressing. This last thing is very special. It is not just any Thanksgiving dressing (by the way, do not even mention the phrase "sage dressing" in my presence). This is the Daniel Family Secret Recipe Cornbread Dressing. Like, if I told you the recipe I'd either have to kill you or marry you, kind of recipe. Handed down from my great grandmother to my grandfather to my mother and now to my husband (now you know why we got married), this recipe is so so special, and I've never met anyone who doesn't love it. But don't ask me for the recipe. It won't end well for you.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Don't forget to take stock of what you're thankful for!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Freshest Newborn on the Block ~ Schaumburg Baby Photographer

How long is a baby a newborn? In the real world, at least a month or two, right? In photography, though, the window is very short. Newborns make the best models within their first two weeks of life, and at six days old, this little guy was easily the "freshest" baby I've seen to date. And didn't he do a great job? Sleepy, squishy, and oh so sweet!

Aside from being so fresh and new, Baby Colin has a lot else going for him; not the least of which is the oodles and noodles of love he's got coming from his parents, and from his "Auntie Em," who gave Colin's parents this newborn shoot as a gift.


Yep, Baby Colin is off to a pretty fantastic start in the world, which is good because he's going to have to do something to make up for being a Bears fan. (Oh yeah. I went there.) Thanks, Colin for letting me stick you in a helmet. And thanks Colin's family for the honor of capturing Day Six!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What to Wear Wednesday ~ Senior

Teenagers, and high school seniors in particular, are a lot of fun to shoot because they are so young and fresh and stylish. Part of the fun of a senior shoot is getting to create several different wardrobe options with them, complete with outrageous accessories like cowboy boots and high high heels. Oh to be 18 again.....


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!!! ~ Libertyville Baby Photographer

At least, it was looking that way at my house this morning when six-month-old Noah came to see me. He was such a sweet baby and totally rocked his session even though we were so intruding on his nap time. We got some non-Christmas stuff in there too, but I'm just in love with these first holiday shots!

Thanks for bringing Noah out to see me. It was a privilege to capture his six-month milestone!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What to Wear Wednesday

One thing I hear a lot is "I'm thinking about what we should wear, but I'm not sure. I want to coordinate but not be matchey-matchey."

I totally hear you! Most importantly, I think you should be comfortable and confident in whatever you're wearing, and your wardrobe should complement the setting. But still, a little visual guidance is always nice. Here are a couple of ideas for a family look that coordinates without being too match-tastic.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tuesday's Top 5

The hubs turned 35 last week. He's so old. And this year he took a page out of my book and stretched the birthday celebration out for at least a week. I had intended to post this Top 5 last week to go with the birthday revelry, but in the spirit of stretching things out, we might as well keep on celebrating today. Sooooooooo...........


5. He got me my first DSLR camera. I'm pretty sure he did it just to shut me up about wanting it, and I'm quite certain he didn't know what he was getting us all into when he bought it. But he did and the rest is history (or picstory? Bwahahaha!)

4. He is passionate. Sure, a lot of the time this manifests itself in a tv remote thrown across the room during a Vikings game, but his passion transfers into other, more positive channels as well. Like spending time with our families. Adventuring around the world. Raising our child in faith. Certain political parties taking back the House. Keeping our house clean (have I mentioned that I never have to vacuum?). And maintaining important personal convictions, like: Disney beats Universal, Coke beats Pepsi, Oh Holy Night beats Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, and Oatmeal Creme Pies beat Swiss Cake Rolls (not so much that one, actually, but you get the picture).

3. He has been known to let me sleep late (on occasion). He does his own laundry. Irons his own clothes. Unloads the dishwasher. Puts the toilet seat down. Pays the bills. AND he takes out the trash. Oh and did I mention about the vacuuming?

2. He loves me. He LOVES me. He loves ME. Suh-weet!.

1. He is the BEST dad. I mean the best best best dad. The saturday-morning-cartoons, wrestling-match-in-the living-room, read-a-bedtime-book, give-me-another-hug, don't-tell-mom-we-had-taco-bell-for-dinner type dad. The let's-watch-football, make-mom-breakfast-in-bed, carve-a-pumpkin, fix-a-boo-boo, snuggle-together type dad. The best dad. And I am a lucky mom to have him by my side.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pumpkin Carving Time

Just sharing a few of me with the fam jam. Lovin' these pumpkins!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday's Top 5


5. I am lame.

4. I took Monday off work, so this is technically like Monday for me.

3. I got up really early to go vote today and am, therefore, too tired to be witty.

2. I am crazy busy at work (the real job) right now.

1. I am crazy busy editing all of those beautiful people I've photographed over the last month, and I figure you'd rather have your gallery than a moderately insightful and barely useful list from me.

Forgive me? Next week. I promise. Muah!

Maybe I need some place quiet like this to write next week's list:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday's Top 5

I thought and thought about what this week's list should be. Clearly, it needed to be Halloween themed, but what aspect of Halloween? Costumes? Parties? The Great Pumpkin? And then it hit me. What is Halloween really all about? The CANDY of course! And not just any candy. The RIGHT kind of candy. Suddenly, my path was clear. I knew exactly what to blog about. I had a job to do. A mission. A Divine Purpose. I had to keep all of you from making a dire mistake: buying the wrong candy. You know what I mean. Dum dums, jaw breakers, bottle caps. Please. Those are so 1985. These days it's all about the good candy. Don't believe me? Read on, my friend. Read on.


5. The Other Parents Will Thank You. As a parent, what is Halloween all about? Finding your kid the cutest costume? Sure, that's important. Carving the perfect jack-o-lantern? Yeah, that's up there on the list. But come on. You know it's about taking the "good" candy out of your kid's bag after he's gone to bed. Don't deny it. You've done it. And so have the other parents in your neighborhood, so they're going to be pleased as punch to find that you've stocked the ole' treat bag with the right kind of treats. So come on. Cave. Give in to the peer pressure. The other parents will thank you!

4. Saves on Neighborhood Dentist Bills. Okay fine. All candy is bad for your teeth. Whatever. But in my expert opinion (and by expert I mean I have absolutely no dental expertise at all), some candy is worse on the chompers than others. Um hello? Jaw breakers? Let's be honest and call them "Ouch! I think I broke my tooth" breakers. The beauty of the fun-size 3 Muskeers, on the other hand, is that it is soft and gooey with absolutely no teeth-breaking potential. So, hand out the one with the nougaty filling and keep little Tommy from next door out of the dentist chair.

3. It's Healthy. Hello? Dark chocolate? Haven't you heard that it's good for you? Well, it is. Seriously, it was on the internet, so it must be true. Grab a bag of dark chocolate Milky Ways and you'll be able to take credit for the cardio-vascular strength of everyone on the block!

2. It's Less Wasteful. Sure, sure. You get the cheapo candy because you don't like it, and therefore you won't eat it. This makes perfect sense. If you want to be totally wasteful and throw a bunch of leftover candy in the garbage. It's a recession! You can't just throw perfectly good candy in the garbage! You should eat it and feel good that you are stretching every penny of your dollar. Or, if you are truly one of those people who has oodles and noodles of will power and just won't eat the leftover chocolate (and if you are, by the way, we're not friends), you can always bring it into work and be everyone's new favorite person. Lookie there! Economical and popular all at the same time. You can thank me later.

1. The Kids Will LOVE You. Yes, yes, Halloween really is all about the kids (don't tell them), and what do the kids want? They want the GOOD candy. Sure, they'll chow down on a pack of boston baked beans if left with no other option, but what they're really putting on that hot and sweaty Buzz Lightyear costume for is the good candy. Minis are fine. These will make you pretty popular. Fun size are even better. Give out the full size bars and you're going to get yourself voted "Most Likely to be Every Kid's Favorite Mom Evah." So it's up to you. Do you want to be "Mrs. Not Another Root Beer Barrel" or "Mrs. All Right I Love Snickers!!!"? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Minis, Part 2 - Libertyville Family Photographer

Um, can you say "Beautiful People"? And as my sister so astutely pointed out on the phone tonight, I hang out with some really stylish people! Seriously, you guys are putting a lot of pressure on me to make my own Christmas photos all stylish and trendy. Fine. Game on!

p.s. Mini-Session Weekends Rock!