Meeting THE Sarah Hill!!! #SBPMENTORING #BESTSHOOTEVER

Each year I try to improve and learn something new.  I want to make sure I’m always reaching for something more, and delivering my best self and best work to my clients, and I know that the more I learn, the more the tools I have to make the most of EVERY session.  At the beginning of my photography journey, it was the basics, and each year thereafter it’s been any number of things!  I’ve learned how to use new lenses, taken online workshops, read a bazillion tutorials, but really what I love best is HANDS ON interaction and mentoring with some of the best photographers out there.  And I was SO happy/ecstatic/on cloud 9, when last November I snagged a highly coveted mentoring spot with THE Sarah Hill of Sarah-Beth Photography out of Indianapolis!!!!  These spots sell out in SECONDS!  You think it’s hard to get tickets to any Chicago concert??  Ain’t got nothin on these SBP spots, and I had one!!!   At least with a concert you can scalp a ticket if you miss when they sell out first, but not with this!  And I had a spot!!! I would be traveling to Charlotte, NC to mentor with her in June, and it was all I could think about for 6 months!!!

Well then the worst thing imaginable happened.  My father-in-law very suddenly and unexpectedly passed away on May 9, 2015.  To say that it changed me and my family is an understatement to no end.  Our life was and is still shattered, and we are trying to figure out what to do with all the pieces.  Anyone who has lost a parent can attest to the craziness of life that ensues afterwards… we are stuck waiting for something to change back to the way it was, but the world continues on.  {I am writing more about my father-in-law soon…}  To think that only a few weeks later, the Friday of Father’s Day weekend, no less, I was to be in Charlotte.  The decision, albeit hard to accept professionaly, was simple: I could not leave my family on the days before Father’s Day, our first without my second father.  While sobbing I emailed Sarah to let her know, if there was any way to swap I would love to, but there was no way to make it.  My family needed me, and I needed them.  She was SO kind and supportive and understanding, and I appreciate all the extra effort she & Heather put in to fill a spot she could have filled months ago.

I was super bummed.  Just so bummed.  I KNOW I made the right decision, but it just sucked, ya know?  One of those grown up decisions that you know is right and you want, but hard not to have everything you had so planned for.

And then one day after what would have been my amazing mentoring weekend, a spot for an Indy mentoring session opened up!!!  OMG did I just see that??  I hopped on the opportunity as fast as I could type, hoping I could find childcare and change schedules on such quick notice.  And still today, not sure if a spot opened up, or if she added on an additional spot for me, but either way I am SOOOO grateful!!!  Lightning struck twice!  This truly was the best thing I have done for myself and business in a long time!!

If you have met Sarah, or even if you follow her work, you know she is so funny, bubbly, honest, and she really cares about the families she works with and all photographers, and really just all people!!  Her talent is amazing, and she gives so much during these workshops.  She will look at what you’re doing and tell you, “Oh.ma.gah! YAAASSSS!  You got this!” or “Nope, not working, get lower” or any number of things that may need tweaked.   Up front and honest, but with a delivery that is helpful and not criticizing in the least.  With any teacher of any kind, you want them to help you do YOUR best, and she has that in spades!!

Learned SO much more about strategically posing all the family members, finding the most gorgeous light, running my business, and I had so many “Aha!!!” type moments, this, again, was the best thing I could do for myself and my business!!

Enjoy some Behind the Scenes shots as well as my favorites from this gorgeous shoot of Liz’s family:)

And to Sarah, thank you so much for so generously offering your guidance and talent to so many other photographers, to help us all reach our own potential, and for being so amazing!  Smooches!!
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And some love from behind the scenes 😉

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Fabianski Mini Session 6.22.2015 {Downers Grover Family Photographer | Chicago Mini Sessions }

SOOOOO excited to have this family for one of my packages so I will get to see them at least 3x this year!  SUPER loved their fall session, and it was a photographer’s DREAM when Mom said…. “I just love pictures, so don’t care if anyone is looking or not, just capture us!”  I mean let me do my thang…. and I LOVE IT and can be super creative and the sessions just flow!!  I get to capture so much emotion from a family this way, and it allows a family’s own personal story to be told in our short time together.  I love it!!

The first mini session, well, it did not disappoint!  Keegan and Jackson hammed it up BIG time,  and the family was full of love <3  We got to do some running, creek stomping, and puddle splashing, and all of this {plus more!} all in 30 min!  Good luck picking just 10 images mom 😉

Downers Grove Family Photographer
Downers Grove Family Photographer
Downers Grove Family Photographer
Downers Grove Family Photographer
Downers Grove Family Photographer
Downers Grove Family Photographer
Downers Grove Family Photographer
Downers Grove Family Photographer
Downers Grove Family Photographer
Downers Grove Family Photographer
Downers Grove Family Photographer
Downers Grove Family Photographer
Downers Grove Family Photographer
Downers Grove Family Photographer
Downers Grove Family Photographer
Downers Grove Family Photographer
Downers Grove Family Photographer

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Baby Charlotte 6.7.2015 {La Grange Park Newborn Photographer | Chicago Newborn Photographer}

OMG.  OMG.  OMG!!!  Baby Charlotte was the most perfect baby!!!  She was squishy, sleepy, and only pooped on mom 😉 !!  No really though, she did #2 on mom and not my stuff, but that’s not why she was perfect…. she slept the whole time and allowed me to do my thang!!!  And mom and dad were game for all the setups I had tentatively pre-planned!  Happy Dance!!! Makes it easier when we are all on the same page before shooting begins, and just look through!  Quite a variety, and so much squishy-ness!!!  WANT TO SQUEEZE!!

Mom & Dad are fellow LGP peeps, so I am so happy to have new friends in my neighborhood!  They were the nicest and cannot wait to see them again around Christmastime!!  Enjoy all the loveliness… even the little poo shot 😉   Had to include it!!!

Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer

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Piper Family 6.6.2015 {Western Springs Family Photographer | La Grange Family Photographer}

I’ve been shooting more in my favorite sunset hours, but if you have the right location and light, these mid-morning sessions can be so wonderful too!  And the Piper Family Session is the PERFECT example of it!!

I LOVE all of the forest preserves around my house, and we were able to enjoy just a small sampling of what there’s to offer from Fullersburg Woods.  The trees are tall enough to filter some harsh light if I’m not shooting during the golden hours (just before sunset or just after sunrise), and to find the right areas, the images just pop!   Perfect summer bright sessions and colors, and happy, ADORABLE kiddos, parents who just love the kiddos so much, and loved making them laugh, and it makes for a whole lotta cuteness!  Enjoy!!

Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer
Chicago Family Photographer

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Baby Grace 05.20.2015 {La Grange Newborn Photographer | Chicago Newborn Photographer}

Baby Grace was one of my amazing Newborn Mini Sessions, and if all newborns slept like she did all could be minis!!! She was a dream! All of these amazing images in less than 60 minutes! Enjoy her sleepy, dreamy, wonderfulness as much as I did!!
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer

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Kellam Family 05.17.2015 {La Grange Family Photographer | Western Springs Photographer}

Love this family to pieces! We started as clients and have become friends, and they are all such sweet and fun people! We are so lucky to know such a great family, and LOVED this spring session! Of which we found out that lovely Miss Kate was not only in my Avery’s class, but they were the besties each other talked about daily! So fun, such love, and the session flew by! Perfection <3  Enjoy and cannot wait to see them again this fall!!

Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer
Western Springs Photographer

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Celebrate Mom Mini Sessions 05.09.2015 Part 2 {La Grange Mini Session Photographer | Chicago Family Photographer}

Part 2!!! This momma gets her own blog post, since she is the very talented/wonderful/sweet face of Lauren Enright Photography, and since I was able to get a bajillion images of her fam in just our 10 minutes!!!

Every once in a while I am lucky enough to photograph a fellow photographer, and SO lucky to capture Lauren! In an industry that sometimes finds us comparing ourselves to others, wondering where we measure up, and encountering some competitive rather than supportive peeps, she is SO postive and friendly and talented and a great neighbor!! ;)! We refer to one another when we are booked, we have play dates, we value each other’s unique view of the world and how we each capture it, and so happy to have her as a client, but more imporantly a friend! Knowing how much time we spend on other families’ images and how our own take a back seat, I wanted to capture as many as I could in our itty bitty session for her! So with that, you get your own blog post, and a WHOLE LOTTA IMAGES!!!

Enjoy!!!
Chicago Mini Session Photographer
Chicago Mini Session Photographer
Chicago Mini Session Photographer
Chicago Mini Session Photographer
Chicago Mini Session Photographer
Chicago Mini Session Photographer
Chicago Mini Session Photographer

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Celebrate Mom Mini Sessions 05.09.2015 Part 1 {La Grange Mini Session Photographer | Chicago Family Photographer}

This will be a 3 part post…. The best 2 parts are first!

I was so excited to offer some super short 10 minute itty bitty sessions for moms with their kiddos! I wanted to let the ones who are usally behind the camera, be in front with their loved ones!! Your children just love you and want to snuggle, even if only for a few seconds, and I was so happy to have some lovely families in my new studio! Short and sweet!!

I had to split my sessions up into 2 different days, and the reason for that will be all in my 3rd blog post, but was able to meet some amazing mama’s and kiddos, and loved each image and family so much! Enjoy some of my faves from each 10 min session!!

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