I was so excited to check out this new location for another family in my neighborhood. I have run around the Bird Sanctuary on some of my longer runs (oh hey…I’m training for the marathon this year! More on that in the future) but never walked inside it. It’s really quite something. Complete calm and quiet right in the middle of the city.

The night before the shoot there was some questions on if we were going to even be able to get it in because it looked like a giant mass of rain was coming our way. Luckily, the rain skirted by the lakefront so the photoshoot was a go!

This family was hosting a party for 75 people that night to celebrate their oldest daughter’s 8th grade graduation. I was amazed and inspired that they could get out to an early photoshoot, looking amazing and calm, and then host a party that big. When I host a party for any size, I’m usually still planning the morning of and making last minute runs to the grocery store. Incredible.

The best part of this shoot was they wanted a picture where they were all jumping.  In the end we got it, but the lead up was one of my favorite 5 minutes or so of any photoshoot yet. Hilarity ensued, and in the end mom got the most air!

I was thrilled to take pictures of a family that is also at my kids CPS school. While we have only been there for two years, their oldest daughter is a recent 8th grade graduate and has been at the school for the full 9 years of elementary & middle school. I love seeing this. So many people get frustrated and leave and I love seeing families stick it out.

This family is full of kindness and laughter and it’s immediately apparent how much they care for each other.  I love meeting different families in this profession, and when I get to meet ones that are inspiring for my own future, it makes the job that much more enjoyable.

Thank you guys for a wonderful morning!

I am so thrilled that I got to take pictures of one of my favorite families in Chicago. Their oldest daughter and my oldest daughter met in preschool and instantly became best friends. I realized quickly that my Lucy chose well in her friends because I instantly loved the parents. This is always a thing when your kids make friends, you want them to be happy, but you also hope that the parents are fun for you to hang out with!

The girls were on the same youth bowling league team and when all of us were on the edge of our seats at the “roll-off” for the league championship; I feel like I might have met my match in competitiveness. If you were wondering…they won. Because they are awesome. They are also just as big of Cubs fans as we are and it was fun to live and die with every pitch during the Championship run last fall. I’m surprised we are all still alive…although, I do believe that we all lost years off our lives.

They also have the same arrangement of kids that we do – girl-boy-girl – and, while I am sure our eldest girls will run the science club in high school, I’m not sure the littles will be so much with the whole following the rules thing.

This photoshoot was taken right around baby M’s first birthday and we met downtown on the museum campus on the hottest day of the year so far. And all I can say is, this family is a bunch of troopers. And after walking all over the museum campus in the 95 degrees and 900% humidity, they all went on to Blues Fest. I told you they were awesome.

Thank you friends. I had such an amazing time and I’m so excited to continue these city adventures, watching our kids growing up together!

I had to absolutely include this first picture, because if that doesn’t say big sister telling little brother what to do, then I don’t know what does.

This awesome family won a family photo session with me in the online auction of our kid’s preschool. We planned a date in the fall to ride the train downtown, get some donuts and enjoy them in the park on Michigan avenue. I brought my kids along for the train ride and the plan was for them to separate with Jason while I did their photo session.

All good, right?

It was, until I left my camera bag on the train. With my lens, flash and wallet in it. Luckily I had my camera out as I was taking pictures on the train, and so that stayed with me. BUT I couldn’t really continue the session while I panicked about getting my stuff back.  I was calling stations, the cops, credit card companies to cancel things. The session didn’t go as planned as my kids ended up boycotting their family time while Jason waited at the train to get more information.

So I promised them we would make up the session another time because it wasn’t a session I would ever want to deliver to someone.

Then winter happened. And then schedules got crazy. BUT then we got things aligned to meet in May. We chose a spot close to our neighborhood, and enjoyed the day.

This family is why I bought the cargo bike I did. B is much much more hardcore than I am as she pretty much rides her bike every day to school and back. Me not so much in the freezing winter….but maybe with Veronica being older next year I’ll be able to ride some of those colder days.

A big thank you to this family for understanding and letting me get a second session in! I had a great time both times!

AND my camera bag was returned to me by a CTA employee who found it in the garbage! What! I couldn’t believe it. I had given up hope that it would be found and she had found my stuff, checked my wallet to get my address and was waiting at my house when we got back. Crazy!

When my friend, and fellow local elementary school parent, asked me to take pictures of their family of six I was so excited. I had done a mini session with their family in the fall as part of a CPS fundraiser, and they were such a joy to photograph. There is so much love and happiness and just plain fun with these people. The kids are so close and it’s obvious immediately. They are always standing near each other, and hugging each other and laughing with each other. I love big families and this one especially is really fun to hang out with. Posed pictures with so many people usually works eventually but I had some great outtakes with these guys as you’ll see in some of the photos!

Our original plan was to meet at Foster Beach and get some beachy photos. I headed down there a little early, as I do, and realized it was really quite windy and wouldn’t be an ideal location especially since they wanted to focus on the baby who had just turned one. I called and mentioned the issue and since they had all four kids in the car and ready to go they asked for another location (as I have three kids, I realize that getting them into the car is more important than location). I have been running in River Park in Lincoln Square and knew of the butterfly path that is just west of the river on Lawrence Ave. I thought it might work, so I jumped in the car and met them there a few minutes later. This location was *perfect* and the bare trees were a perfect backdrop to this family’s bright clothes.

Thank you guys for letting me be a part of your afternoon and capturing your amazing family.

Living in Chicago we are used to getting snow in the December/January/February months. Of course a bit of snow frequently comes in March, but we have already had so much that it’s just another day. This year we’ve had a very easy and warm winter (literally no snow in January and February…for the first time ever) and so when a snow storm showed up in mid March, the kids were ecstatic….SNOW SNOW SNOW…MOMMY!!!!!!!! SNOWING!!! The parents were like, oh man, where are the gloves and the boots and the snow pants?

Luckily all were found (for all the kids!) and so off to school went Lucy and later in the morning I went for a walk with the littles. They were excited to find a “trail” down the alley so we decided to follow it. Yes the trail was a tire track from a car….but it didn’t stop their excitement. Rocky ate a “couple” handfuls of snow, and they eventually enjoyed the slides at the school playground. Slides are always more fun in the winter because they are super fast and you get to land in a pile of snow.

It was nice for one last snow even as we look forward to spring and summertime!