Wednesday, December 30, 2009

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes...

I had the BEST time tonight with the most gorgeous couple. They were so sweet, so in love, and so excited for their little boy to arrive next month. I loved being able to involve Dad in the shots and can't wait to get all three into my new home studio next month! Tonight was my first chance trying it out (other than with my kids) and it worked great. Alright I had to stand on a table a few times but Dad was really tall!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all the best in 2010. I am so grateful to all of early adoptors...who have helped me get my business going this year. It's been so rewarding and I couldn't be more appreciative or excited for what's ahead!

January will bring the introduction of a First Year Package called Baby Steps, and a fun special session to get one-of-a-kind Valentine's for your little ones to hand out at school! Keep watching for more details.... you go Julie & Chad. ENJOY!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mt. Mary Models

I've had an extremely hectic few days which was capped off today with a fun mini-session with these 3 beauties at Mt. Mary College! They all do modeling so are no strangers to the camera. Good thing because it was freezing out and they were real troopers, even in the snow!

I think things are going to slow down at Illustrations Photography for the next couple of weeks while holiday festivities are ramping up (finally) with the Johnsen Family. Just so you know how bad it neighbor today offered to loan us some Santa hats for our pumpkins!!! We decided that it's not that we're's that we're really good planners for next year. That's our story and we're sticking with it. At least until I can get our wreath that was delivered 2 weeks ago out of the box!!

Glad to have ended my crunch time with such a fun bunch! Thanks to all the M's, including Mom!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

In The Midst of It....

I am in the midst of a very busy weekend!

This morning I got to test out the new camera/lens for real and it was very fun! I have to get used to the blur it can create....very cool but also a little bit dangerous (in a good way). I always have a great time with this family...they seem to have great laughs together and a lot of adventure in their lives. As you'd expect with 4 kids ages 5 and under! Unfortunately a couple of the cuties are sick so we had to take lots of cough-y breaks but they still look adorable. Amazing eyes on these kids!!

Tomorrow I'll be spending the afternoon at a Clothing Swap benefitting the Children's Hospital. It's the first time I'll have a booth somewhere so it's been some working getting organized for it but I'm looking forward to it. Then tomorrow night is scheduled to me my first volunteer session with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. I'm nervous about it but also glad to finally be able to contribute to such an amazing organization. I'll post later this week with more information on the organization and an update on how it went.

In the meantime, a sneak peek for Jennifer and family...hope you're all feeling better soon!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Testing Out The Studio...What Do YOU Think?

I'd love some feedback here....This past weekend I tried out a new location that I'm considering as a part time natural light studio for me to use through the winter. This was really new to me since the only "studio" type shots I've done before have been using a studio light (not natural light) and were only maternity shots. I used a background called Autumn and I have two others...a studio gray and a bright blue...and am considering some new colors but wanted to check out the set-up first. So, here it is...

I had mini-sessions with two different families and the light definitely got better as the morning went on but I'd really love to hear what YOU think about the look, the light, the background color (what color would you like to see?), anything! This is a sneak peek for the two families but also a request for your inputs so please leave a comment, send me an email, post a note on FB, whatever...just let me know your thoughts PLEASE! Thanks in advance and thank you also to my two families who went with the flow as we tested things out together!!

This one was taken very close to the window and using the floor as a background instead. I prefer this coloring but realistically with multiple kids and family shots I wouldn't be able to pull it off...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Still Shooting Outside - Portrait Party

I had a very busy morning today shooting 7 great families at a Portrait Party! We totally lucked out with the great weather...gotta love Wisconsin autumns! I really enjoyed meeting all these new faces and look forward to sharing some fun images with everyone soon. Until then, a sneak peek at a few of my favorites... Thanks for hosting, Kelly!!

PS My next scheduled sessions are testing out my new part-time studio location next Saturday...I can't wait!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sleeping Like A Baby

Awwwww...there's nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby. Today I got to meet 10 day old Lia. I took Mom's maternity photos in September and have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this little peanut ever since. She was such a doll and a perfect newborn model...she slept through all my adjustments and my only disappointment was that I didn't take better advantage of it. I've never had a newborn that slept like that so I was a bit tentative for fear that I'd break the spell... :-) I got some lovely shots, I just think in retrospect that I could've gotten more.

I'm still offering "modeling" newborn sessions. So if you know someone who's expecting in the next few months, please have them contact me. They will receive a FREE session within the first 10 days of babies life and a complimentary 5X7 print. I'll even give you a free 5X7 print at your next session as a thank you for referring the expecting mom!

Alright, back to the important stuff. Here is the lovely baby Lia.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Birthday Brothers

This weekend was GORGEOUS around here and I was so happy to spend part of it playing with these little guys! Today was big brother's birthday (he turned 4) and last Tuesday was little brother's 2nd birthday so quite a week for both of them! They welcomed me with open arms and we had a great time. Oh yeah, and the pictures turned out beautiful too! Thanks for sharing your birthday boys with me, Kelly. Loved every minute of it!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Toddler Time

Yesterday I got to photograph the cutest little 18 month old, Ava. I just adore toddlers! Truly my favorite kid-age (at least up to 7 which is I'll I can completely claim knowledge of so far). She was cautious with her smiles but I got a hug so all is good! I also got to photograph her Mom and Dad. Mom is due at the end of the year so they're all gearing up for the big change. Except maybe Ava. She is still reveling in the uncontested love from Mom and Dad. :-) They're a beautiful family and I can't wait to photograph them again after their new baby boy joins the fun!

Thanks, Greg & Kim.

This isn't the best shot of Ava in the bunch but it was right about when she hugged me so that's why I chose it. :-)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

And Grown Up's, Too!

Today, Corey and Lilly had to choose a saint to represent at mass for All Saint's Day. Lilly was St. Valentine bc her middle name (and my maiden name) is Valentine. Corey chose St. Nicholas. So, before we left this morning I asked Corey why he chose St. Nicholas (just in case Father Mike bothered to ask him at some point) and he said because Nicholas was the saint for children. I said "and you love children?". He looked me in the eye, leaned in to hug me and said "yeah...and grown ups, too!" Awww....I love that kid. :-)

Ok, so shifting gears to my photo session today. Michelle contacted me about a month ago to schedule a session for her and her husband and their dog! Totally new territory for me but I found the idea very intriguing. I think Michelle had more confidence in me than I did in myself but we decided to go for it! We had one weather reschedule but finally met today for a gorgeous fall session. Well, I have to say, it was so FUN!!! I am loving the shots we got and will really have a hard time narrowing things down for the gallery. So, it's been a revelation for me. I do love photographing children but it turns out...I love grown ups, too!

Thanks for being such a great sport, Rory, and thanks for having faith in me, Michelle! Sorry about the Packer game but at least it wasn't a wasted trip as you can see.... More soon!!!

I just love, love, love this one. I can't believe this is Lake Country, WI and not Europe!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Portrait Party Portfolio

So, last Sunday was my Premier Portrait Party hosted by my great friend, Crystal. She had 5 of her friends over for an Open House style party and in the relaxed, party atmosphere, I spent 20 minutes photographing each of the families as the kids played in Crystal's backyard. It was a blast!! The kids got to play, I had a ball, and all the Moms seem to be happy with their images so overall a great success!! I hope to do a lot more of these in the future.

If you're interested in learning more about Portrait Parties, please let me know and I can send you a hostess package. Did I mention that the hostess earns FREE PRINTS!! And your guests get access to great Portrait Party Exclusive Collections and Specials. It's truly a great experience for everyone!

Below are some of my favorite shots from the afternoon. Enjoy!