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.

Don’t hoard your photos on your phone

I use my iPhone a lot. Why? Because it is in my pocket.

Sometimes it is honestly just because I am too lazy to go get my camera when I know the iPhone image will do just fine for this situation. Sometimes it is because I don’t want my camera on a canoe or by sand. Sometimes I would rather just enjoy the moment.

That doesn’t mean I don’t want to remember the moment. After a camping trip or a day at the beach, around Chicago or on a canoe I must to print out something to remember our adventure. I started using Social Print Studio years year ago. What I really love is the app. That is the main reason I started using them. It was so easy I continued. They have magnets (I am a magnet lover) and photo strips (which make great Snapchat filter prints!) as well as framed prints.

Here are some of them on my fridge:


Because I only have so much room for magnets and prints, I make books. I will follow this up this post soon with some easy book making sites from your camera photos.

We  have photo books from every trip and vacation.

He was worth the wait – Des Plaines Newborn Photographer

I can’t think of any better way to celebrate your one week birthday. Mom and Dad sat back and watched their cute baby boy in awe as he slept peacefully and happily threw his newborn photo session.


Mom and Dad wanted to make sure to document the time, energy and love they put in waiting for this cutie to make their family three.


He is the start of something wonderful. Their world will never be the same as they watch it through the eyes of their baby.

Welcome to the world Baby E and welcome to the start of the most amazing part of your journey Mom and & Dad.

Chicago Skyline Engagement – Chicago Photographer

Kerri and Dave met in College. They grew up 6 hours apart from each other and their families still reside in their hometowns, which made it difficult to decide where to get married. They decided to compromise and found a gorgeous venue in the middle of their hometowns. Each family will be meeting halfway to spend the weekend together and watch these two tie the knot.

Because we will be in Iowa for the wedding, Kerri and Dave wanted to make sure their engagement images reflected the city of Chicago. What better way to do that then with the skyline.


I am looking forward to their fall wedding!

3 Month Milestone – Des Plaines Photography Studio

Today I got to meet this gorgeous baby girl.  We will get to know each other very well over the next year and I couldn’t be happier about it!

I get to meet with her every three months in my studio to document her milestones… holding her head up, sitting, standing and turning one! I hate to rush time by but I can’t wait to see her Baby’s first year album complete.

3 month portraits


Notice the smiles she gave away on her first session!! Can’t wait to see her at 6 months!