Kansas City

When I became a mom, I lost myself in being a mom for awhile. The first time I left her for more than an hour was when I went to The Metro for an Other Lives concert, she was almost six months old. Slowly but surely I came out of that "only a mom" stage and I started to do things for me again, I even went back to work full-time. One thing that I make sure I do for myself is travel and to be with my girlfriends (solo!). This Kansas City trip was just that. Being with my best friends and hanging out at home, ordering pizza, watching Netflix, seeing a concert, going out to eat... it was perfect. Plus, I got to see a new town, Kansas City, which I had never been to. Sarah moved there over a year ago and I hadn't had the chance to visit until this October. Arcade Fire was playing there on a Friday night, so I called her up and told her we were going. Andrea was just the icing on top of the cake because she decided she could drive down and make it. 

Sarah's house is filled with amazing thrifting finds and antiques. She and her boyfriend are incredible artists who tattoo for a living. It was so great to see their spot (and their shop)! If you're in need of a tattoo in the midwest, head to Old Souls in Kansas City, Sarah and Travis will hook you up. 

Andrea brought her pom pom making kit and we drank cafe mentes (my new favorite) and wine and laughed a lot. I didn't bring my camera to the Arcade Fire show, so I don't have any photos via my Canon but if you check out my Instagram: @feathersandnoise - you can check a few out there. I'm so grateful for my time with them there this weekend but my heart was aching to get back to my Penelope. Walking in that door after being gone, and having her run to me so excitedly, is the best feeling as a mom. I'm already planning our next adventure... stay tuned!



Hall Family // Chicago

I met one of my favorite clients at the beach, normally we just do local shoots at her home but today we ventured out to a bright early summer morning shoot. The sun was bright, the volleyball leagues were playing, the runners were out in full force. For some reason Valentina wasn’t up for a shoot. We tried walking with her, we tried tickling, giving her snacks, and it just seemed that this day was not her day. Her mom felt so bad because we made the trip out, we really wanted to make it work so then we took a stroll near the water. As we got close, we’d run from the wave. That’s when her tears started to dry. Valentina started to open up to me a bit if I just kept back and let her have her moment in the water. That’s when we got our photos!


Lefevour Family // Oakbrook

It had been almost 4 years since the last time I photographed this family. Mikey was barely crawling and Mae was still so little. They’re both so tall now and hilarious. I love their brotherly- sister love. He always wanted to do what she was doing. I love when little boys look up to their sisters, that’s my feminist bone coming out. JWe met on a warm summer night in Oakbrook, I had never been to the Graue Mill, a water-powered gristmill and it sits on the Dupage Country Forest Preserve. It had water, trees, paths, and gorgeous summer light. I just wish it was closer to the city so I could shoot here all the time! So much personality in this family, we even had a to take a few photos with thumbs up to appease Mikey, the youngest. Haha! I hope you enjoy!


Sayers Family // Chicago

Here’s a great little mini family shoot I did for Sarah and Ryan and their not-so-baby anymore, big girl, Frances aka Frankie aka Frenchie. Frankie just turned two shortly before this shoot and it was so fun shooting her. I think my favorite age is two, they are so funny and just talking so the things they say are so entertaining.

We met at a garden park in Logan Square, across the street from their home. It’s a great little space, one city lot with a patio, trees and wildflowers. I love this family a lot, we’ve been friends for years, I go way back with Sarah to my hometown in Iowa so it’s fun to be able to do these kinds of things for her. Enjoy these!


Nicole + Andrew // Chicago

I had the pleasure of shooting Andrew and Nicole’s engagement photos last winter and come October, 2014, they’re hitched! The day started off rainy and cold and then it stopped and opened up just for us (at least I like to think so).  Nicole and Andrew made my job easy, their chemistry cannot be denied, I think it really shows through these photos. The love and admiration for one another is really special. Please enjoy!


Gabriella // Lincoln Park

I took Gabriella’s 14 Month photos on a dreary day in March. She wasn’t so sure of me at first. Her faces in the first few photos below express her feelings, haha! She slowly but surely opened up and ended up being a total goofball. I love see the personalities of little ones come through. She is the same age as my daughter so it’s fun interacting with other children her age, sometimes they are so different! I hope you enjoy!





VanMilligan Family // Willow Springs

I recently found this lush green area outside of Chicago as part of the Cook County Forest Preserves. You can fish, picnic, hike etc. It’s gorgeous! I had Kenny and his family meet me there one summer night in early June and it was perfect. The sun was warm and low and the magic hour really did us a favor. I’ve known Kenny since I was a girl. His family moved into my family neighborhood when I was probably 8 years old. Kenny used to bike me home sometimes after I was at their house playing with his sister. We actually had the same circle of friends in college and he’s always been one of the best, his smiles are contagious. I met his wife, Tyler, and their two beautiful girls at Saganashkee Slough Woods. So full of energy and sweet smiles, I knew this would be a good shoot. You can always tell within the first few minutes of a dynamic. Sometimes it’s off, one child had a bad day, or a meltdown in the car, but this wasn’t that day, everyone was excited. The Slough has a lot of water so there were ducks and geese and lots of curiosity from the girls. We had such  good time, just enough for a few shots of just Kenny and Tyler, so in love.

I love these and I hope you do too!



Zalaznik Family // Iowa

Just a few short years ago, I had the privilege of shooting Madde and Ryan’s wedding, in the exact same spot! I remember because I was pregnant and it was summer, they had the most beautiful atmosphere. The property belongs to her father and it’s actually the house he grew up in. It’s a gorgeous old brick farmhouse with tall ceilings, giant windows and all the character you could expect in a house like that. The property is even more stunning. All the trees, the green and the background of the rolling hills of Iowa, you’d like it was out of a Grant Wood painting. Madde and Ryan were accompanied by their two children, both from previous relationships, and the same age! They were brother and sister and best friends, their dynamic is so fun, I think that you can tell by these photos. I hope you enjoy!



The Stephensons // Eagle Point Park

I am so glad we decided to push this shoot by a day, Friday was turning out to be a pretty dark and gloomy day so I proposed we push it so that we could get some good light and they were totally flexible. The forecast said there would be sun on Saturday so we went with it. Do you see all this luscious warmth coming through the trees? Not to mention we were days out from December and we didn’t even need coats, the sweaters were perfect.

This is a special family to me, Kira, the mother, has been a dear friend of mine since we were in middle school. We both love cooking, wine, family, friends and OPRAH! Kira and Ricky met while serving our country and after coming back from tour, they got married and had three babies–one of which is not shown, Max. He is a sweet angel who left this earth too early. Kira has taught me so much during all of this painful time and her strength and positivity is second to none. What’s so special about these photos is that after Kira saw them, she expressed her gratitude to me for capturing them and she pointed out how present Max was on this day, you can see him in little light bubbles and rays shining through on each of them. I felt him too that day. I really had fun capturing this amazing family, I hope you enjoy these!


The Bluths // Lincoln Park

This family is from out west, they both went to school here in the city, fell in love and stuck around. They then had Adeline – the world’s most smiley baby. Seriously, if you can’t tell from the photos, every time I had the camera on her, she looked into the lens with those big blue eyes and smiled with her minimal teeth smile. Oh my, to die for. This sweet family requested one of my favorite spots in the city, Lincoln Park, near South Pond. The long prairie grass, the Studio Gang Pavilion, the water and the gorgeous skyline in the background makes it one of the best. Linden, Adeline’s dad, was a great tosser, (sounds funny) but when he would throw her in the air, she just giggled with happiness. This family was one of the best and I’m grateful I was able to capture them.

I hope you enjoy!


Mond Family // Galena

I had the pleasure of shooting Darcee and her family at their home in Galena. Their home was built in 1856 and is so beautiful. Their backyard is where most of these shots were taken–we shot in their garden where they grow their veggies, on their tree swing, on the back patio and watering the plants in the front yard. One week after I shot them, Siesta-their beloved pooch, passed away. I was lucky enough to have captured them with her before she was set free. I know they’ll miss her dearly and we’re all grateful she was there for these photos.

Eben got little Huxley to put his face in the hose stream. Too good. This family is the best and I’m lucky to call them friends. Huxley’s shirt let us know how old he just turned and Darcee’s glowing belly let us know there’s a healthy growing baby in there. So happy to have captured them on a perfect summer evening. I loved this shoot and had a hard time choosing only a few shots, so I might have showcased a few more! I hope you enjoy these!


Riecks Family // Iowa

I love getting referrals from people, this was a family of four that I was referred to so we had never met before. We met at The Mines of Spain, a beautiful nature preserve in Iowa along the Mississippi River. If you know anything about Iowa summer nights along the river, you know that they’re beautiful but full of mosquitoes! Beau and JC were the friendliest and most un-shy children, we had such a great time! I hope you enjoy these family photos!


Stoffel Family // Iowa

This was my first family shoot with this many family members! The Stoffel Family is made of a mom and a dad and their 2 daughters and 3 sons along with their own families. We had met in the morning of the 4th of July at a nature preserve outside my hometown in Dubuque, Iowa. We got some great shots of the individual small families and then some great group shots of everyone. I even got them to agree to all get into the freezing cold creek! The water temperature might have helped  add to the great energy. 😉 I hope you enjoy these photos!


Vogler Family // Christmas in Iowa

While back in my hometown of Dubuque, Iowa for the Christmas festivities, I had the pleasure of shooting the Vogler family. The mother Michelle was the older sister of a grade school friend of mine and so it was really great getting to know her own family. Her husband is Jeff and together they have 2 little ones – Collin, 3 years, and Hudson, 3 weeks… hello polar opposites! Oh, and I mustn’t forget their boxer, Daykin, who on every photo opportunity was trying to get front and center between the family and my lens. It was pretty hilarious. It’s always so cool to get to be so intimate with a family and to see their dynamic first hand. Pretty cool part of my job. 🙂

Enjoy these!


Cousins // Dubuque

I was back in my hometown of Dubuque, IA over the 4th of July weekend and had the privilege of shooting Nixon and Nova. Nova is the daughter of one of my best friends and Nixon is the son one of my husband’s best friend. So going up to meet them to do a photo shoot was just like hanging out. It was a really good time filled with lots of laughs. Everyone contributed to helping capture the moments including impromptu Itsy-Bitsy Spider sing-alongs. These two cousins only see each other a few times a year as Nixon lives in San Diego and Nova lives in Iowa. Since they are both only children, they are like brother and sister complete with kisses and wrestles. Only 3 weeks apart, these two were a whole lot of entertainment including the moment we had them “cheers” with mommy’s and daddy’s wine/beer. 🙂 I hope you enjoy these!


Oglesby Family // Iowa

I had the pleasure of shooting my first family this past Saturday and what a beautiful summer night it was. We chose dusk as the appropriate time for summer outdoor photos since the temperature would be cooler and the light much sweeter.

The Oglesbys were a joy to photograph, plus they’re easy on my lens. I was back in my hometown of  Dubuque, IA for the long 4th of July weekend and what a beautiful weekend it was, we couldn’t have asked for better weather. I would say the first family shoot was a success for both me and their family!

I hope you had a fantastic 4th of July! Enjoy!

LeFevour Family // Elmhurst College

As a photographer, you hope your subjects are adventurous, have an open mind and most importantly, just want to have fun. This beautiful family of four did just that. I was so happy they asked me to shoot them, full of energy, smiles and the interaction between them all was absolutely awesome. We met at a clearing at Elmhurst College, just outside of Chicago. The October day was beautiful, crisp with a warm sun. Here are the photos of the LeFevours. I hope you enjoy!


Harris Family // Dubuque

Last weekend I was in my hometown of Dubuque, Iowa and I had the pleasure of meeting and shooting the Harris Family. Sarah reached out to me in hopes I would be in Iowa soon and it just happened to work out. I think we landed the last beautiful fall weekend, the light, the leaves, everything was still and beautiful. There are three beautiful boys in this family with a lot of energy, Will is 4, Cole is 3, and Ted is 1. 3 boys under 5, makes for constant entertainment. 🙂 These shots were taken at one of my favorite places in Dubuque, The Mines of Spain – a nature park on the Mississippi with lots of trails for hiking. I hope you enjoy!


O’Neill Family // Dubuque

It’s been quite fun having my last three shoots at Four Mounds Inn in Dubuque, IA because it’s where I married my love. I had a great time shooting Remy Bear with her parents, Maggie and Dennis who were in the midwest visiting family from Brooklyn, NY.  Enjoy some of these sweet family photos. <3 J