October 29, 2011

The Why

Today was a long day. I got up on a Saturday at 7 a.m. and didn't get home until 4 p.m. By the time I got home, I was exhausted and starving. I gobbled up my dinner and immediately took a one hour nap, and I am not a napper.

You see, today I had two back-to-back photo shoots. And I'm heading out to the suburbs tomorrow morning to have my third and final shoot of the weekend. I don't usually have this many shoots in such a short span of time, and I'm totally not looking a gift horse in the mouth. I am thankful to be getting out on beautiful days and taking pictures of babies and dogs. There are certainly worse ways to spend a day.

However, it takes some dedication, this whole photo thing. It eats up a lot of what would otherwise be my free time. I plan my weekends around shoots and my evenings are spent editing photos. And it also asks a lot of Mike. My photography weekends mean he's stuck either carting me around or giving up his car. And it also means that he's left to deal with our unruly pack of animals by himself. There are times when I have questioned how worth it is to do this when it's not a job that pays the bills. It's superfluous.

So when my alarm went off at 6:50 a.m. today, I totally had one of those moments where I questioned why.

Tonight I have my answer. My day started by photographing my friends' 3-month-old girl Madelyn. I was culling through her photos tonight and this one stopped me dead in my tracks.

You know what, when I look at that photo I don't question why. When I look at that photo I think oh man, I can't wait to do this again tomorrow.

More to come of this sweet little girl.

October 27, 2011

The Best Present I Could Give

I've known Lexi since my freshman year of college. And she was one of the first people I know to become a mom. Her honesty about its trials and its joys is just one of the many things I love about her. Also, that she's smart, she's funny, she's driven, she's talented, etc...

I also love her family, which is why I thought it a fitting present when I went out to visit Lexi for her 30th birthday that I take some photos of them all. She's been a big supporter of my photography from day one. So I guess this shoot is my way of saying thank you. And happy birthday.
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 Lexi, you are the best. And I hope you like your birthday present. 

October 23, 2011

Weekend Snaps

Mike, Taylor and I spent most of this weekend up at Mike's sister's house. She lives in what is best described as the middle of nowhere Wisconsin. I love going up to her home because it really does feel like an escape from the city. Her family's home is surrounded by rolling hills dotted with cattle and horses and rows of waving corn fields. It feels like a million miles away from home in the best way possible. My cell phone goes to roaming not far after we turn off the expressway.

We spend weekends up there generally hanging out, watching movies, running Taylor tired and playing ball in the yard with Mike's niece and nephew. And I always spend some time up there roaming their property with my camera. I never have to go too far though. Just out there back door is all the scenery I need.

It's spectacular at sunset.
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And equally awe inspiring at dawn.
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You can't ask for much better scenery than that for a city girl and her camera.

October 10, 2011

My People

I've had a couple really good weekends in a row. The weather has been amazing, and I've had the good fortune of enjoying this weather with some of my favorite people in the whole world.

Two weekends ago, Mike and I headed out to the west side of Michigan for the weekend.

We did some apple picking. 

And we hung out on the beach and saw some beautiful Michigan sunsets.

But our main reason for heading there was hanging out with these folks.  

I hadn't seen my entire family since last Christmas, so this visit was long overdue. To say I had a good time is an understatement. I really do love my family.

This past weekend, I few out to Philly to hang out with my other favorite people - my chicas.
Lexi, Kelsa and I have known one another since college, but have remained close despite living several states away thanks to the wonders of social media. I am in Chicago, Lexi is in Philly and Kelsa is in Phoenix. The special occasion for this reunion was Lexi's birthday. We celebrated Lexi's birthday in style (as seen above) with wine in hand. I would travel the world to be with these girls. Lucky for us, our rendezvous was at a winery just a few hours away by plane.

Kelsa and Lexi, besides being all around amazing women, are business women. Kelsa's good with finances (understatement) and Lexi - well Lexi can organize and decorate your entire home before you can clean up your entryway. So of course, some proper head shots were in order. 
Yes, my friends have beauty and brains

I didn't bring Lexi a present for her birthday, but I did bring my camera. So of course, some pictures of her family were a must. I love her family like I love my own. And her kids, gosh. They are photogenic just like their mom.

I returned home from my Philly weekend only a couple hours ago, and while I probably should be unpacking and getting ready to head back to work tomorrow, I couldn't help posting these photos tonight. I will have a lot more to share in the coming weeks. But at the moment, my heart overflows because I have so many wonderful people in my life. My people are the best. 

October 5, 2011

Three Years of Wonderful Memories

When people ask me how I got my start in photography, I always talk about a baby shower I went to for my friend Carly. You know Carly. Her family has graced this blog many a time. Well I took maternity photos of Carly as her present and those photos were shown at her baby shower. At that baby shower there were a couple other women who were pregnant and inquired about my services. Kathleen was one of those women.
I never knew that attending that shower would turn into this little side business. I also never imagined through it that I'd get to meet people as wonderful as Kathleen and her family.

I first photographed Kathleen and her husband Paul in August 2008 for her maternity pics. 
These two were right at ease in front of my camera - my kind of people.

And then there was this photo, about six months later. 
God I still love that picture.

We met up again on a gorgeous fall day last October when Jack turned one. 
Jack 6 
We shared some laughs. 

And now look at him. 
Jack just turned two and with two came the constant request of AGAIN! I think they all jumped off this little ledge about 25 times.

We met up on a gorgeous fall afternoon and hit some of the sights downtown - The Art Institute and Buckingham Fountain later. I always love shoots with Jack, but you know what I realized I love even more? Shoots with Jack and balloons! 
Gah! He kills me.

Enjoy. There are So. Many. Photos.
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If you ask Jack to show you his muscles, this is his pose. 

I like to call this sequence of photos, Where's the fountain? 
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This shoot with Jack was a bit bittersweet. After three years of getting to know this family, they are packing up their things and getting ready to move down south. I am incredibly excited for them, but can't deny that I'm sad to be losing such great photo clients. And honestly after three years and four shoots, I'm pretty proud to say friends as well. 

Best of luck friends. You will be missed.