Friday, April 30, 2010

Delafield Children's Photography | Project 365 - Day 120. Sick Baby

My babe had a fever all yesterday and through the night.  It broke this morning but Emma still wasn't herself today.  She spent most of the day moaning and clinging to me.   By the end of the day she was perking up so hopefully we're over the hump.  I hate to see any of my kiddo's like this.

fix-It Friday #8

It's fix-it Friday at {i heart faces} and I had to do this one with a sick, clingy baby attached to my chest.  Not my best work but the best under the circumstances.  :-)

I started with the RAW file in lightroom to do some color and clarity adjustments and then switched to Photoshop for cloning out of all the signs.

Here's my fix:

And here's the original:

Want to have a play?   Head on over to:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Project 365 - Day 119. Remembering Angels | NILMDTS Photography

Tonight I attended the Spring Memorial Service at St. Joe's.  All of my Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep sessions so far this year have taken place at St. Joe's and I've developed some great relationships there.  I attended, though, on an invitation from the first family that I worked with in January.  I was SO touched that they thought to include me.  Honored, really.

It was a beautiful service but also very difficult.  So many families who've lost so much.  I truly can't imagine what that would be like.  

My thoughts and prayers are with all of those families and particularly with Baby Jasper's amazing Mom and Dad.

Introducing Our New BFF Program!

The best compliment I've received since I started doing photography came from a client last winter when she said she would be sending me her Christmas photo card because I'm "her family photographer."   Those words made me feel so good and also made me realize that that is exactly what I want to be....YOUR family photographer.   I LOVE getting to know you and your kids and I want to watch them grow!   Correct that, I want to CAPTURE them growing and fill your house with beautiful images of your kids over the years.

With that in mind and as I head into my 2nd year of business, I'm introducing a new program called BFF.  Ok, so I don't have to be your ACTUAL Best Friend Forever, but I would like to be your Best FOTO Friend Forever!   What do you think??

Here's how it works....You pay a one time fee to cover your family and it entitles you to all of the following benefits FOREVER:

~  20% off Session Fees
~ 15% off all print orders
~ Discounted digital images (see here for details)
~ The option of a mini-session anytime at 40% of a full price session
~ No purging of images
~ First notice of all Special Events / Promotions and BFF discounts applied ON TOP of sales/promos

So what does it take to become a BFF of Illustrations Photography?   There is a one time fee for an immediate family with up to 3 children* for $149.

HOWEVER, if you purchase your BFF membership when booking your 2010 session, you can get all of these great lifetime benefits for just $99!   You'll see this paid off in your rewards in No Time!!

* If your family is larger, just add $50 per additional child.

Digital Image Pricing

High-Resolution Images with a print release may be purchased as follows:

All edited proofs from the session  - $600
        BFF price - $450

After a $200 print purchase*
  5 Images  -  $200
  Single Image -  $125
        BFF price - $75

After a $400 print purchase*
  All edited proofs from the session  - $300
       BFF price - $250

Custom Photo Montage DVD - $150

* Excluding discounts and credits

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Project 365 - Day 118. On Your Mark... | Hartland Children's Photography

The highlight of the girls' day today was a surprise visit with Chester (also known as "our dog" but he actually lives with our neighbor).  We went there to pick up Corey and Lilly and Chester was also there for a pick-up so the three of them had a fun time racing around the grounds.  Clearly Chester won (hence he's not in the picture) but it doesn't look like Clare and Emma were bothered about that little detail.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Project 365 - Day 117. My first self-portrait | Delafield Children's Photography

I'm pretty impressed that it took me 117 days to become so desperate that I opted for a self-portrait!  

I was in the car on my way back from Clare's gymboree class kicking myself for not having taken her picture there (to be fair it was behind a closed door) and wondering what I was going to do NOW.  I pulled down the shade to block the sun, opened the mirror flap to wave to the kiddos and Emma said "MAMA".   So, I said..."ok...I'll shoot Mama today".     She responded "I see?  I see?"   Sure, you can see, Emma.   And therefore, so can all of you.

By the way, is there anyone out there?????

Monday, April 26, 2010

Project 365 - Day 116. Monday, ToothDay | Delafield Children's Photography

Today was a big day all around.   Only 2 of the 4 are featured here but it was big for everyone.  

First, Emma.  My sweet little social butterfly.  A friend offered to watch her today and with the draw of "babies" and "doggy" there was no holding Emma back from her first play date.  Kelly is a friend of mine but a stranger to Emma but that didn't matter to her.   She acted like she was just glad to be out and let me leave without even looking back.  She played, had lunch, even a nap and was happy to see me when I got back, but gave Kelly the biggest smile and wave as we left.   The other three kids were so shy at that age that it still surprises me how confident she is.  I love it!!!   And was so grateful to Kelly for helping us out of a hectic afternoon!

Corey.  The big kid but also Mr. Sensitive.  He had his first of 2 appointment to attack his 4 fillings.  He survived it but the first hour wasn't pretty.   Luckily for me, Rob was the chosen to parent to sit in the room with him and all ended well but he definitely had some huge fear of the unknown.

Clare had her first cleaning and check up today and handled it like an absolute pro!  Very proud of how brave she was.

Finally, Lilly.  She had to have her bottom two front teeth extracted because her permanent teeth were coming in behind those (shark teeth).  I was probably as nervous as she was about it.  I mean I've had my share of fillings but "extractions" just made my tummy churn!   My only experience with those were when I had my impacted wisdom teeth pulled and it wasn't fun.  She was totally confident about the whole thing all week and as we drove to the dentist and Corey refused to eat because he was just way too nervous, she was just fine.  Cool as a cucumber....right up until they called her back.  Well, then the tears came and the mantra..."I want to go home.   I want to go home."   It was a bit rough but after about 10 minutes of that and the dentist talking her through what he was going to do (not a shot...a much gentler procedure known as an injection of sleep water), he told her that the more still she was, the easier it would be and I could physically feel her relax.  As he was doing the injection, she was actually getting more and more relaxed.  Heck, she even smiled!!!  I couldn't believe it!  When we finished we checked our hands and the only marks left behind were from me squeezing HER hand.   Such a tough girl!  

SOOOO glad to have this day behind us.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Project 365 - Day 115. Good Night, Sweethearts | Delafield Children's Photography

Clare and Emma started sharing a room when we got back from our spring break vacation and for the most part it's going great.  This has become our bedtime ritual...a big girly hug in Clare's bed before Emma moves into her crib.  Such a sweet moment that is a great way to end their day.   Note the dummies that Emma has.  (A dummy is what we call pacifiers in our house.  It's an English thing and since it became a daily word to me when Corey was born over there, it's just stuck.)  Corey only ever had one and when it got lost or misplaced....well, it was a HUGE issue!  Clare and Lilly didn't use them but with Emma I remembered what I'd learned from before.  ONLY use them at bedtime or really stressful times (airplanes, shots, etc.) and have LOTS of them.  I think I'm currently up to about 8.  This is great...she'll take any of them.  But, she's also evolved into insisting on going to bed with at least 3 of them.  One for her mouth and one for each hand.  She'd take more if I let her but so far we're sticking to three.    Anyway, the other thing to note is that I finally cut Emma's hair tonight.  It was at bath time and she was moving around so it's not perfect but looking much better!!

Good night little ladies.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Project 365 - Day 114. Best Birthday Party Ever | Delafield Children's Photography

Lilly went to a birthday party today.  Let me clarify that....she went to "the best birthday party ever" today. It was at Kid-Do's (a kid's hair salon) and she got her hair, nails, and make-up done.  Sounds like a great day for any girl!  It was quite surprising to see all the Red and Blue hair when I arrived to pick her up.  :-)  They all looked great and had a blast!   Happy Birthday, Grace!!

Here's a REALLY QUICK little video I did of the few shots I got during cake eating and of Lilly afterwards.  Enjoy!

Create your own video slideshow at

Friday, April 23, 2010

Project 365 - Day 113. Budding Artists | Delafield Children's Photography

I'm headed out to my photography seminar so just have a quick minute but wanted to share a couple pictures from today's outing to Gymboree.   This time for Family Art.   Emma is amazing.  I swear she follows instruction better than some three year olds I've seen.  She's just eating it up and, once again, it was great bonding time.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Project 365 - Day 112. A Daisy of A Day | Hartland Children's Photography

I had a really great Mommy day.

Not surprisingly, as I've gotten more into my photography, I've been a bit less "present" for my kiddos.  Particularly the little ones who see me get distracted through the day in a way that I never did when Corey and Lilly were my only little ones.  In many ways, there's been a lot of benefit to mommy having a passion of her own outside the house, but there have been sacrifices and my involvement in playgroups and outings is definitely one of them.  

Recently I bid on and won a 6-week gold membership to Gymboree at a silent auction.  Today I realized that I should really get on top of that since summer will be here soon and I'll struggle to find time to get to a class without the big kids.  As it turned out, there was a class today so we jumped into action and managed to get there.  Well...didn't we have the BEST time!!  Clare loved to run around and Emma?  Well, Emma just couldn't stop smiling, dancing, running, climbing, did I mention smiling??  As a Mom, what could be better than seeing that pure joy on their faces.  Priceless, as they say.

After I dropped the exhausted kiddos into bed for their naps, I ran out to get a few errands done (and a quick pedi).  Came home to grab the rested kids and get Corey off the bus and then we headed to school for Lilly's Investiture Ceremony for Daisy Scouts.  They started by walking in with daisies in their hands and singing "Make New Friends, And Keep The Old".  Very sweet.

Rob is gone.  My Mom was babysitting tonight so I was on my own getting everyone fed, cleaned, read, brushed, and into bed but I didn't mind today.  It was a daisy of a day and I was grateful for all the little smiles.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Project 365 - Day 111. Helping Hands | Delafield Family Photography

Rob is heading down to South Carolina tomorrow for 3 full days of sun, golf, friends, drinking and no kids.  Yeah...I'm more than a bit jealous.  He must be having a tinge of hubby guilt too since he came home early to replace my brake pads that have been making noise for a couple months now.

I'm grateful though.  So grateful that I decided to make it my photo of the day.  But then I went out to the garage to find something even better....Corey getting a lesson on tire removal, jacks, wrenches.  He looked so cute with his little greasy hands.

Lucky me...a hubby who can fix my car AND take advantage of a teaching moment.  Love that.  Love him.  A little less so because he'll be having a better weekend than me but still quite a bit.  :-)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Project 365 - Day 110. Babies Coming Home | Delafield Family Photography

Well, it looks like there will be babies at our house again.  Baby birds, that is.   We spotted this little Mama this afternoon and realized she'd chosen our home to be her home.  I think that's kinda neat.  And, as always, I can't wait to get pictures of her babies!!   Could be tough though.  Her perch is over 20 feet off the ground.  If I take out a screen, I can lean out the window to get a view of her but I'm still a good 8 feet or so below her.   I love a challenge.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Project 365 - Day 109. Coffee | Delafield Portrait Photography

I spotted this sign in my friend's kitchen tonight and knew I had my shot.

I have had a funny relationship with coffee.  My whole life, I never had any interest in it.  At.  All.   I loved the smell and I even liked coffee flavored candies or ice cream but coffee itself did nothing for me.   That is until my little Emma arrived.   With every child I had changes in my taste buds.  Is that normal?  I mean, I know I'm supposed to have pregnancy cravings and I my true NEED for Arby's roast beef sandwiches when I was pregnant with Lilly.  I'd never had one before and don't think I've had one since but I had about 2 a week there for a while.  But I digress.  The changes I'm talking about came AFTER the baby was born.  Just new foods that I didn't like before but now I did.  Well, after Emma...after 37 years of not liking coffee....all of a sudden I really liked and wanted coffee.   I'm not an addict but if I miss my one cup in the morning, I think about it.  I mean I really notice that I missed it.  Weird.  

I like that I like coffee though.  Every once in a while some of the girls in the neighborhood get together for a cup on a random morning and I'd hate to miss those just because I wasn't a coffee drinker!  Phew.  Just in time, I'd say!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Project 365 - Day 108. Maternity Sneak Peek | Whitefish Bay Maternity Photography

When we first moved back to this area after Corey was born, I was desperate for fun kid activities that were tolerable and social for me too.  I found several but THE BEST place for both me and Corey was My Gym.  We just always had a good time there and I was continually impressed with the creativity of the activities and the fun factor that the teachers brought to the environment.  Over the couple of years we went there (before they sadly closed), we built a great relationship with one of those teachers, Kara.  Kara is now the proud mother of 2....soon to be 3...and I had the opportunity today to meet all her boys and see her in all her loveliness.  I really enjoyed my time with them and can't wait to meet the newest member of their fun young family!

This baby is definitely surrounded with love:

The big brothers having fun:

There are loads of gorgeous shots...can't wait to share them, Kara!   Thanks so much!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Project 365 - Day 107. A Day With "The Beast" | Delafield Children's Photography

I still affectionately refer to my new, very large lens as "the beast".  It's so big that I end up not using much. was my day to give it a good test run!  I went on an Architecture Walk in the Third Ward of Milwaukee this afternoon so took lots of pics of stuff I wouldn't normally even notice.  Then tonight we headed back downtown to see Ryan's soccer game.  It was really cold but still fun.  They lost but it was a good game.

I have lots of pics to edit but here's just a couple from my day and the new lens.  It's an adjustment but I'm becoming a fan.

Friday, April 16, 2010

project 365 - Day 106. vacation | Delafield Children's Photography

I spent most of the day feeling like I REALLY needed a vacation.  I know what you must be thinking....geez, didn't she just get back from a vacation????!!!   No.  I did not.  I DID just get back from a trip with the whole gang to Orlando but let me clear...that was a trip, not a vacation.  I'm quite sure that any full time Mom could tell you the difference.  Don't get me wrong...Orlando was great and I really enjoyed the family time but when you're still responsible for meal planning, diaper changes, clothing selections, tidying up, etc....well, it just doesn't qualify as a vacation.  And today?  Well, I needed one.

Ok, well that was 6.5 hours ago and since then I've been out with my hubby for the first real date night in WAY too long and you know what?   I feel like I've had a vacation.  So, with that, I'm done for the day.  A quick picture of my adventurous baby (about to go down the slide) who is sure to be my first child in a cast, and I'm off to rest after my well-needed vacation.  :-)

It's Fix-It Friday!

It seems like ages since there's been a Fix-It Friday.   Maybe it's just because I enjoy them so much!  I was thinking that I really didn't have time for this today but then I saw the shot and knew it could be gorgeous so here I am with my fix.

And here is the original:

I did my fix in Photoshop CS2.  I first adjusted the curves and levels to get the brightness and contrast fixed and then ran the CoffeeShop Perfect Portrait action.  Within that action, I could brighten her eyes, smooth her skin, add color pop and a bit of "urban grit" to the background.  

I LOVE the composition of this shot and the background and of course the girl is beautiful so how it could not turn out well.  I expect a lot of great fixes to this one....I'm off to have a look now. 

You can check out other fixes at:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Project 365 - Day 105. Lollipop, lollipop | Delafield Children's Photography

Clare has been potty trained for a long time.  I can't even remember exactly when because she just decided herself one day and that was it.  She did have a little harder time with poops but nothing a lollipop bribe couldn't cure.   Problem is, 8 months later....she still needs a lollipop every time she goes poop.

Thank goodness for DumDums.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Project 365 - Day 104. Bedtime Quality Time | Delafield Children's Photography

I brought my camera up to Lilly's room for her book time tonight.  She cracks me up.  She was SO worried at the beginning of the school year that she would never learn to read and she still claims that she doesn't know how.  Meanwhile, she reads GREAT and I couldn't be more proud of her.  Tonight she read her nightly "baggie book" to me but also a book she wrote today about Clare's birthday.   It was very sweet.   Oh...and aren't her PJ's great??   Grandma gave Clare and Lilly those for their birthdays....they're from Vietnam and beautiful!   

Corey has been trading his book time for lego-time the past couple of evenings.   He goes in phases with his interest in lego's but apparently he's "on" at the moment.   He really wanted me to take picture too after he knew I'd been in taking Lilly's picture.  And, of course, I was more than happy to oblige.   Anytime, baby.  Anytime!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Project 365 - Day 103. Sicko's | Delafield Children's Photography

Generally speaking, we're a very healthy family (knock on wood).  The last couple of weeks have been a bit rough on us though.  We've had various stomach bugs running their courses through all of us except Corey.  Today it's Emma who's on her second day of whatever Clare had for the four days before that.  I'm looking forward to getting back to a healthy household!!!   Soon!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Project 365 - Day 102. Kindergarten Kicks | Delafield Children's Photography

Because of the little girls, I rarely get to spend time with any of the kids at school.  I feel bad about it and wish I could be there more but it's just one of those things I've learned to accept.

Today both Clare and Lilly had their birthday celebrations at school so I ran around a bit crazy all day but managed to be there for each of their mini-parties.  At Lilly's, I even managed to get the camera out.  

There's no doubt about it...Kindergarten is awesome.  Even better when you have the super-cool Mrs. Atilano as your teacher!  And even better when it's your birthday...Lilly felt like a rock star!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Project 365 - Day 101. Cake, Cake, Cupcakes | Delafield Children's Photography

I'm not a big sweet lover and I don't care much for baking but this weekend has been all about the cake and frosting.   I made a Minnie Mouse cake for Clare on Friday night, rainbow daisy earring cakes (to match Lilly's new earrings), and tonight....4 dozen rainbow cupcakes are on the agenda for Clare and Lilly's classes tomorrow.  Blech.   Wish me luck...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Project 365 - Day 100! Thing THREE. | Delafield Children's Photography

Three years ago today, my third baby was born.   Clare was a week late and induced but came quickly and peacefully into my life.  She's been making me smile ever since.

Clare's been sick most of the week but did seem to be much better today.  Not quite herself yet but getting there.

She has the greatest smile, a mischievous side, a timid demeanor, a wonderful way with words, incredible navy blue eyes, and a huge hold on my heart.

I love you, Clare-bear.  And your birthday is definitely something to dance for joy about...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Project 365 - Day 99. Big Girl Glitter | Delafield Children's Photography

My oldest daughter, Lilly, is turning 6 on Sunday.  It'll be pretty low-key because of just getting back from Orlando.  Earlier this week she decided that she wanted to celebrate her birthday by getting her ears pierced.  She's thought about it before but always decided against it.  This time she seemed really set on her decision.

We went today and she was so brave.   Not without tears, but brave.  Her tears only lasted about a minute though and then she walked around the store excited about all the earrings she'll get to wear one day.   I was very proud of her.  Not for getting her ears pierced, but for making a big girl decision all on her own and sticking to it.

She looks very sweet with her sparkly daisy earrings.  Sweet and grown up.  (sigh.)