Mama, you deserve to see yourself | P52radness highlights| Chicago + West suburbs Lifestyle Photographer

So at the end of 2016, I was in one of the worst creative ruts of my career. I say career because I’ve finally owned up to the title of Artist. But, that’s a topic for another day. I looked at my work from the past two years and it was full of conforming images. Stuff I had taken to get up on the IG cycle. That is also a separate conversation, can you tell that I have a lot on my mind.

Anyway, it was a portfolio full of beautiful images that said absolutely nothing to me. Nothing at all, except that my kiddos were cute af, but nothing much.

So I decided that I needed something different, and as I shared my thoughts on my lack of inspiration but, more importantly, lack of seeing myself reflected in my work, I heard the echoes from most of my photographer friends. Who, they were too failing at getting themselves documented. So a simple FB post turned into one of my all-time favorite communities. It a safe space to create and collaborate. Its a place where I’ve felt heard, even as 2017 has been one of the hardest of my personal life + and I guess, work-life combined to some extent. I cannot even put into words how much each of these images means to me, and what they will mean to my children one day. I have always been guilty of so much self-awareness and it is both a curse and a blessing.  As I know and I am reminded every day with a tiny clock in my head that time is limited. As somber as that is, I am the happiest knowing that I am making the most of my time on earth living, and breathing, making mistakes, rectifying some and learning from most. These images are reminders too, to cherish my children and my youth.

So you see, you deserve to be seen, mama. Take time for yourself. If it’s not photography that moves you, paint, draw, shop, dance, read, whatever it is, do it for yourself today. I want to give a huge shoutout to all of those women who have inspired me in a hundred ways in these 52 weeks. Your stories mean so much.

I hope you enjoy some of my P52 highlights.

TO SEE MORE INCREDIBLE SELF PORTRAITS GO CHECK OUT CHLOE LODGE’S YEAR .

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Lunde Family | Chicago + West suburbs Lifestyle family photographer

Oh, the heart of this family.

It’s incredible to get to see these sweet boys grow in front of my camera. The love and connection that they share with one another is so beautiful to witness. I was lucky enough to witness Mr. G’s entrance into this world and we celebrated his first birthday with a family session.  One of my favorite things about them is their incredible attitude towards adventuring because I love capturing the beauty of childhood. I hope Kayla has 10 babies that I get to hang out with them every year and document all of the growth in complete amazement.

 

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Baby W | Itasca IL – At home newborn lifestyle photographer

New life near the holidays.

I photographed this sweet little family right before Christmas. They were so gracious and inviting. Meeting new parents always takes me back to my own experiences. Baby W is the luckiest little dude. His parent gushed on him the whole time. My favorite part was getting the first baby, their pup, more willing to be near the baby. I think he was feeling protective since a new human was there. Anyway I’m glad he was all over the baby as well. Their beautiful home not only served as a wonderful backdrop for all the love but it was cozy and in between such a cute town. Take a peek at their session

 

In the baby’s room

The city lights are
Milky
In the curtains…
Breath
Gentle as rain,
Sleep
Quiet as snowflakes”

-john geddes

 

 

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M+M Chicago winter engagement and love story

WHEN I LOOK AT YOU

I FIND IT HARD TO BELIEVE

THAT THE WHOLE UNIVERSE HAD NOT CONSPIRED

TO BRING YOU TO LIFE.

I CANNOT THINK OF A MORE BEAUTIFUL REASON

FOR IT ALL TO EXIST

THAN FOR YOU ON THIS DAY.

 

Shooting this engagement was perfect. The love they share and the moments between them just beamed out like lasers. They laughed the most and at times they forgot I was there. Before they became mr+ mrs , they sat in front of my lens and shared all of their love. I wish them all of the luck and love and happiness.

 

 

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Gemma’s Birth Story| Chicago + West suburbs birth photographer

My excitement has not worn off yet.

I got a text on that Friday, at around 3 ish after a whole week of uncertainty and lack of sleep. I was worried like crazy that I would sleep through it. I’m guessing that its normal for birth photographers to feel like that. This was the first birth I’ve ever photographed, and I got so incredibly lucky with the beautiful souls that chose me as their photographer. I cannot even adequately enough state how much love an devotion was felt inside that room, as I saw Jason be the most supportive partner to Sarah, as she worked hard to bring their baby earthside.

I have to mention that only dad and big brother knew the sex at that point. Big brother was busy telling everyone the opposite sex and it was hilarious. He was present at the birth of his sister and was able to see first hand how strong of a mother he has. When Sarah took a peek at the sex she was elated to find out that it was, in fact, a girl.

I hope you enjoy this gallery. It has to be a new favorite if mine. Welcome baby Gemma, she was close to 10 lbs of perfection and already so loved.

 

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The PNW- Chicago lifestyle and documentary photographer

So last year I dragged my family to Click away. 

I’ve been holding onto these images for no reason at all. Other than feeling overwhelmed to blog them. So I finally narrowed down some faves and got my act together, time just flies and its already going to be a year since them. While I don’t have that many photos of the actual Click away event I do have these of my kids.

We drove 4 hours from our downtown Seattle location, to make a Twilight fan dreams come true. It was so worth it. Granted the drive was longer than our flight but who cares.

My photos do not give this place its rightful justice. My kid is begging to go again, and I think we might have to. If you make it to the end you’re the real MVP.

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Sweet baby Mary | Chicago + Suburbs lifestyle family photographer

I was invited into this sweet family’s home by a fellow photographer. It is always such an honor to photograph fellow photographer’s families. It makes me slightly nervous and excited at the challenge.

The day prior we had a crazy snowfall. I basically drove bumper to bumper until I reached them. That drive was worth it, they did not disappoint. Still, to this date, they are one of the most inviting families I’ve had the honor to meet. Our session together was pretty effortless. Even though big brother was more interested in showing me all of his treasures than interacting with his sister. You could just feel how grateful and full of love they were to have brought that sweet little girl home.

 

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6-Moths, Milestone session | Chicago and Suburbs family photographer

 

TIME JUST FLIES WHEN YOU’RE HAVING FUN! 

I’m in awe of time, still. Even after having my two babies, I can never believe that time actually flies as quick as it does.  I have the honor to capture all of sweet little H’s first year of life and even when he was in his mom’s belly. I am so excited for our next session. take a peek at how much joy he radiates.

 

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Sarah | Maternity session, Chicago and west suburbs lifestyle photographer | SNEAK PEAKS

 

No words for the beauty of this family.

Sarah is expecting her second child, and guess what? They are planning a home birth, and I’m  so honored to say that I am going to be capturing that for them. How insanely cool is that? I first met this beautiful family as I offered some complimentary nursing sessions for local moms since breastfeeding is so near and dear to my heart. Sarah brought along the sweet baby boy. I’ve seen them a few times after that, and as you guessed it her baby boy is still just as sweet, and he cannot wait to be a big brother.

While this session was rushed, since we were worried about the weather, I am so pleased with the images we were able to accomplish. They are so incredibly laid back and awesome. Cannot wait to capture more of their story.

 

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