Baby Diego’s arrival | Bolingbrook newborn and family photographer

hello 2021

I can’t believe it’s a whole new year already. While yes, things are still dicey when it comes to photo sessions and more at home- work, I finally got to photograph my first at home newborn session since the pandemic started. I am the opposite of a homebody, so I’m so grateful for hikes and outdoor activities because I’m trying to stay home as much as possible to keep the health of my little clients safe. I was so excited that baby Diego finally made his appearance! I got to capture his parents this fall in a beautiful maternity session by the South shore in Chicago near Hyde Park. Now look at that beautiful boy that joined this little family. I’m sure it will take some time to get to meet extended family members for him but Im so happy he’s here and healthy as can be. I saw a couple so devoted to this little boy. Slightly exhausted but so excited to start their new life as a family of 3 + the beautiful furry siblings.

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Hannah and Eric, Lincoln Park maternity session

Sweet December is here, and the time to meet this sweet little baby is nearing. Time has absolutely flown by. I’ve been pregnant a number of times and have given birth just twice. Both times it was a defferent experience. I brought those babies home and I was a different person. After my son I was a mother for the first time, he was big and beautiful and full of wonder. My daughter surprised me with difficultness. I thought I was a pro by then and she swiftly humbled me with her big big cries. I’ve said it before that being a photographer means you’re often meeting people at the highlights in their life. Hannah and Eric are about to be first time parent’s and it is my honor to capture and witness it. Being a part of someone’s birth team is the biggest deal of my life and I cherish it so. I’m so happy we were able to find a moment in the current world chaos to capture their happiness emerging. You can feel the love, you can see the devotion. Little do they know that the way they will parent is apparent in the way they see each other, in the way they hold each other.

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

BY E. E. CUMMINGS

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

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Jessica and Alex, Maternity session in Hyde Park- Chicago IL

Im completely in love with this location. Let me just start by saying that. Sometimes you get little victories and surprises by taking the time to venture out some way out of your comfort. So much of what makes a good photographer is their ability to connect their clients to the enviroment. Love was certainly ever flowing during this session. First time parents are so beyond special. There is something about the unkown that is so scary and at the same time thrilling. A new baby that just creates a brand new dynamic. If you don’t know, i am completely obsessed (understatement) with clouds so this beautiful weather was just pure perfection. I had such a blast getting to know these two. I also love how important it was for Jessica to include parts of their culture into our session together.

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Front porch session | Davison Family, Downtown Chicago session

During the middle of quarantine I offered my clients a tiny front porch session. This is the Davison’s beautiful front porch. I was so excited when I was the beautiful tree oasis right in front. Im always so happy when we can venture and do a few different things. It was so lovely to see them again. I had just photographed their birth story and getting to see a real life update

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Fresh 48 Baby Ana Maria | Best Downtown Chicago and West suburbs newborn photographer

I came back to visit with this little lady the day after her birth. It was so worth it to be able to see her lovely face again with a little less puffyness and much more calmness. I would honestly recommend a fresh 48 if you budget doesn’t allow for a birth package. It did seem thought that over night the covid guidelines got that much tougher, the air had changed. There was a heavier feeling that things were about to change. This baby was slightly early and I’m so grateful I was able to be a part of documenting her arrival. Also how cute are her grandparents. They were there to welcome her the night before and stayed for a while to help around. I bet they were an amazing help.

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Davison birth at Prentice Hospital | Downtown Chicago family and birth photography

Davison birth at Prentice Hospital | Downtown Chicago family and birth photography

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”
― C. JoyBell C.

Birth is such a high. After every single birth I leave with a little bit of strength and joy. It’s absolutely joyus to see a birthing human relish in their strength. To actively see someone reach a finish line is incredible. Birth is always such a team effort, this beautiful couple worked together with a lovely goal in mind. Meeting sweet little miss A. The funny thing about birth is how unpredictable it can be, for this experience it seemed that everything happened so quick. But the pushing was such a prolonged state for this mama, variations of normal. Her absolute grace shone so brightly . She worked and worked her body into so much in order to meet her daughter. Womxn are amazing.

As always I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of this story. & I have already seen this beautiful family again. & they are doing wonderful even with this wild and crazy current

Kerlyn Van Gelder’s magic | a little bit of life, Chicago maternity photographer

Kerlyn Van Gelder’s magic | a little bit of life, Chicago maternity photographer

This new decade has already proven that I am going to be completely challenged and pulled in all kinds of crazy directions. So to take a break from that I am going through old images and publishing, erasing, and moving forward. My amazing friend @KerlynVanGelder taught this amazing session for me in Portland and I can’t belive I haven’t shared what I was able to capture through my lens. I hope you enjoy these images. I want to start adding more of raw motherhood images to my work.

Villagomez Family, Schaumburg family and newborn photography

Villagomez Family, Schaumburg family and newborn photography

With tiny little Valentina the Villagomez family expanded their hearts to become a family of four. She has been the tiniest baby I have photographed. My favorite part about newborns is their super curly qualities and the tiny little fists they can’t help but form. The way they wrap their tiny hands around their loved ones. Did I mentione that her big sister is one! Still just a baby herself and already feeling so proud. This family is incredibly beautiful and Im so happy I had a chance to photograph them in this new chapter in their life.

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McCallum Family, six months later | Itasca IL family photographer

McCallum Family, six months later | Itasca IL family photographer

I am so damn honored to have seen this family twice this year. I cant believe how gorgeous and big baby L has gotten. I met this family back early this year as I was a backup for their home birth. They blew me away with their kindness and just how excited they were to wecome the surprise baby. I eneded up capturing his incredible arrival.

Also can I say just how beautiful this sunset was, we were lucky with such a warm October day. The kids had a blast exploring and you can see just how much they all love each other.

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Almost the same birthday | Oak Park, IL birth photography

Almost the same birthday | Oak Park, IL birth photography

“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.” 
― Napoleon Bonaparte

I am in awe of this incredible mama. The grace and strength she showed during her incredible birth story was so powerful. This sweet baby decided to start making her appearance while I was away in Denver. On my last day of vacation, mama text’d me that her water had broke. It was 10 pm and I was to fly back to Chicago at 5 am. I was so excited for her , but nervous that I would not make it, and my back up would absolutely have to step in and photograph it. Things slowed down and I made it home. I had woken up at 3 am to make my flight and with all the chaos of getting home I didn’t sleep. At around 7 pm I was called to head over to join the birth team. I watched as she worked through her surges.

During the night her amazing team noticed something seemed different. The head midwife joined the birth and she accessed the situation. They determined that the baby was facing the incorrect way. If you’re reading this I completely act like a fly on the wall, I don’t ask questions, so the details are fussy and I’m just typing what I remember. I heard the words “face presentation” among other things. After trying so hard to change the presentation manually, and with a bunch of other incredible ways via her Doula. The call was made to head to the hospital for a C-section. You could feel the amount disappointment and sadness was so real for this mama. She had worked so incredibly hard, and now the reality was things had changed. This was my first C-section experience, and while I wish I had been able to capture the babies arrival, I still was able to see those first moments as she became the mama she was meant to be for a second time.

What an honor to be a part of this story. This is why I photograph births. It is all magical. C section mama’s your story matters. Your birth is just as beautiful.

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