9 Month Milestone in Studio – Des Plaines Photographer

9 months and still full of smiles! From holding her head up then sitting to standing, it is so fun to see her come back everything three moths to show off another milestone. The first year is full of such growth. You blink and they have a new trick or new expression. I am so happy Mom and Dad chose me to capture her first year. One more milestone session to go!


baby's first year photographer


Mother – Daughter Session- Arlington Heights Photographer

Mom wanted some special images of just her and her baby girl…. because she is no longer a baby anymore!

I think we accomplished just that! Her daughter is going to love seeing these images in their home everyday reminding her how much Momma loves her.


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This mom and daughter joined in my Busse Woods Mini Sessions last weekend. This was the perfect way to use a mini session!

I am wishing I had some of these precious images with my daughter! I need to get her out with me soon.

Welcome Baby O – Des Plaines Newborn Photographer

Baby O headed into the studio with Mom and Dad with in a week of arriving home. After spending a gorgeous Labor Weekend in his new home, it was time for his portraits. He was a rockstar. He slept and posed without more then a few peeps.


So tiny. So peaceful. So sound asleep.



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This is a favorite image with Mom. This is how baby O loves to snuggle and sleep on her every day. Pretty soon this will fade but this image printed 8X10 and framed in her home will remind always her of those first moments.










6 Month Baby Girl – Des Plaines Studio Portrait

Time for Baby K’s 6 month portrait! Every time she brings along her pink baby blanket and her two stuffed elephants friends. And every time I photograph her with them to show her growth. Pretty soon she will be standing up next to the elephant! It will happen way to quickly.


Just like last session, you can see she brought all of her smiles too. She is always happy and thinks her parents are the funniest. Can’t wait to have her back in three months and see what milestone she has checked off by then!

I love books, particularly when they have photos in them.

I do not have a very big house. The only thing I don’t like about that is my lack of wall space. But getting a bigger house for more walls seems silly, although I do consider it from time to time.

Photo albums are the solution to not enough wall space to display photos. I make gorgeous albums for my vacations containing all the beautiful photos I take with my fancy camera, these don’t come right away though. They have to make it through the editing process, which after a two week trip can be awhile.  I am still not finished with last summers road trip. The kids have been hounding me lately.

So I also make small ones containing the camera phone images that myself and my kids take. I am sure there are tons of places to make photo books, but I like to keep it simple so that it actually gets done. I also like it done very quickly after I get home from a trip.

For the last few years, I have been using Artifact Uprising for these books. I use this one for the same reason I use Social Print Studio ,  simple and produces a nice product. Their app allows me to connect to my Instagram or my camera roll. I have been known to create these on my way home, even in the airport. My kids have always enjoyed looking at the pictures from our trip and getting them back quickly always helps take the sting out of returning back to our normal routines.

Here are artifact uprising softcover books:


Yes, I was one of those people taking pictures of my food. It would be weird if I was taking out my DSLR and standing over my plate at every table (or maybe I should say it would be weirder). Honestly, we look back at this food book. The food was a huge part of our trip. The images below are from the book and are pictures of food from the gas station. I was obsessed with Italy’s gas stations. No roller dogs here! Fresh food everywhere. I have never wanted to eat gas station food before. And here I kept finding a reason to stop.


The larger three books are from Mixbook and Blurb, I go in more depth on those books in a post here. Plus you can see why it was the best camping trip ever.





You want to make a photo book, but you don’t know what to put in it.

I always loved catching my little kids picking up a photo book and flipping through. I might love seeing it more now that they are older. I even see their friends pick up a book and look through the images from preschool or 4 year old park district soccer, giggling over the images of classmates when they were tiny. They have sat for hours going through talking about what they remember or telling stories. The books get the stories started and then they keep flowing.

I have a miscellaneous book of 4X6 prints from wherever and anywhere, typically they are prints that hung on the fridge at one point in our lives. The majority of our books have themes or subjects.

When my kids were about 4 years to 6 years I printed out the park map in the back of the Des Plaines Park District book. When we needed something to do we would go to the next park on the list. Of course I took pictures and when we completed our park tour, I made a book showing each park in a two page spread. I used Blurb  who at the time didn’t have as good of a design program as they do now. I imagine it is even easier to use. They even have a mobile app now, which I have yet to check out. Here are the two books I made at that time:

Park Tour Hardcover Book
Inside Park Tour Two Page Spread

The other easy theme for me is vacations or short trips. One guess where this one is from:

Florida Vacation Book
Two page photo spread

On our way from Disney to Daytona we took a break and walked along a beach. It was intended to only be a break from driving but turned into an unplanned day at the beach with no suit or towel. And that is always a great part of the book to stop and laugh about.

This last book is from a camping trip. And it was the BEST. CAMPING TRIP. EVER. We spent three days canoeing and camping on the sand bar. As a family of three, we only packed one dry bag of clothing and one dry bag of sleeping necessities along with a cooler and a bag of food. That was it. My camera coming along was not an option. I relied solely on my Iphone. At first I was not happy about this but I ended up making a great photo book with it. I believe this was the first book I made with camera phone images and it worked out so well I have continued to rely on only my Iphone for many outdoor trips without being disappointed by it. I used Mix Book and it appears they now have a phone app as well. So I may need to download that and give it a try.


More photo book ideas for you to make:

Birthdays – Birthday parties – weekend trips – day trips – hiking – camping – favorite parks – best friends – halloween – any holiday – your favorite furry friend – your kids and their pets  – a walk around your neighborhood – preschool – class parties –

Don’t be afraid to leave your books out! They are made to be looked at. They are made to bring back good memories.