Family

Corner-Miller Family // Chicago

This family holds a special place in my heart but this little girl is very special. Mari June was born about a year ago, these photos were taken to mark her first year of life. She was born extremely early and the NICU was a place of home for her in her first months of life. There were pulmonary hemorrhages, oxygen tubes, waiting, unknowing, doctors, blood transfusions, PICC lines, brain bleeds, brain surgeries, scans, ventilators, blood clots, and ultimately a diagnosis of Hydrocephalus - a buildup of fluid in the cavities (ventricles) deep within the brain. Luckily, Mari will be ok and her life will be fulfilled to the max, plus she has this great family so we all know that smile of hers is a miracle. 

I met Candace, Mari and Henry’s mom at my first day as a Sr. Graphic Designer at ULTA Beauty Corporate in the burbs of Chicago. It was her orientation too, where she was the social media manager. I liked her from the get go. She was confident, smiley and had a cool sense about her that I gravitated to. Maybe it was that she was the young one amongst some IT folks in orientation or maybe it was because we both shared the love of our nose studs. We became friends over time and even managed to get into our own version of a supper club together. Supper club sounds dated but it was really a girl’s date night, where a few of ULTA girls who lived in the city and had to commute to Bolingbrook, bitched about the traffic and laughed about “those” co-workers. 

I met Candace and Johnny at Montrose Beach one August morning and the light was beautiful, perfect in my opinion. The sky was slightly overcast but rays of light peaked through various holes in the clouds. Both kids were smiley and hilarious, and I even got a rendition of Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” by Henry and Candace. He knew every word! For a three-year-old, I am impressed! These photos are soft and gentle, and I think their outfits are just the cutest, not surprised by the woman who puts all us moms to shame when it comes to Halloween! 

They love these images and I hope they’re cherished for years to come. Thanks Candace and Johnny for allowing me to capture these special moments.

XO

J

Torres Maternity // Chicago

These two were a dream to photograph. Not only were they dressed impeccably, they were down for whatever, even my idea of getting into the water. :) It was a beautiful Sunday night and because I just figured that since it was a Sunday night in the summer at 7pm, that the swimmers wouldn’t be around. I showed up about 20 minutes before the shoot was supposed to start and oh boy, it was PACKED.  They wanted beach photos and with how crowded the small beach was, I needed to think fast. Luckily the man-made concrete peninsula wasn’t crowded. So, when they got there, off we went. The only tricky part about shooting on the concrete that has waves constantly coming in and out is the algae. Me, being the photographer I am, I like to get down low, climb high up, just to get the right angles for the shot, and I biffed so hard. My camera slammed into the concrete, got wet, I bounced off my elbow before my hip hit down and there I was, pregnant little me all wet and laughing. This would of course happen to me. I mostly felt bad because of the looks on their faces. I shook it off and we kept going, these things happen, right? ☺We circled back onto the beach and by this time the sun was just a sliver before setting and we grabbed a few shots (which are my favorite) of Lauren bathing in the water with her dress on. I actually did this for my first maternity shoot with my daughter Penelope and loved it. Just glad she was such a trooper! Hope you enjoy these, they were definitely worth the bruises!

Xo

Davis Family // Humboldt Park // Chicago

The landscape might fool you because we were neither lakeside nor in the suburbs, just a quick hop, skip and a jump to Humboldt Park in Chicago and you get everything - beach, pond, prairie and open field. Katie and her family were so great to work with. They found me through a past client and we met up on a beautiful summer evening. I was forewarned that their daughter, Hannah was 1) sick and 2) the shoot was close to her bedtime. Ha! I know what that means! Luckily, she was an angel, even smiley. I just love the warm light in these photos and you can really feel the love between them. I especially loved when Hannah kept kissing her mama, full chin suck and all. Enjoy these sweet moments with the Davis Family. <3

xo

J

The Bernardos // Chicago

Can't you just hear the laughter and feel the love in these? These types of shoots, at home, no agenda, just hanging out  are some of my favorites. 1) it totally takes the pressure off of getting a perfect shot and allows things to happen more naturally and 2) they are hilarious! Three kids six and under love giggling and egging each other on. I fit right in. Hope you love these as much as I do!

Brody Michael is Here // Chicago

I shot Michelle and Brian’s wedding a few years ago and I just love when my clients have babies! I was able to meet Brody when he was just 10 days old. He was still so little, wrinkley skin and oh so hungry! Those newborns love to cluster. JI always have to allow for enough time with newborn shoots. Sometimes they won’t eat, they won’t sleep or they just want to be held. And in the end we were lucky enough to get some shots of Chopper with Brody, their beloved boxer who’s been with Michelle for years and years. Thanks for reading!

J

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!

J

Quinn Lake // Chicago

Quinn was born to some good friends of mine. Their son is just a month younger than my daughter so we were pregnant together. Quinn is sucha well-tempered baby, they are so lucky to have her. She is sweet, she sleeps, she eats AND she looks at the camera. If I was guaranteed to have a Quinn, I think I’d be better equipped to have No. 2! I went over to visit them at their home on a summer night, her brother wanted to go play outside and Quinn and her mommy were the best subjects. After a toddler bribe (happens ALL the time), I was able to capture a few of just the new brother and sister and  This family is so sweet, I am so lucky to have them as friends. <3

J

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!

J

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!

J

Hello, World! Baby Aurora // Evanston

Aurora “Rory,” was a great newborn subject, she was making eye contact, she was so alert! And so cooperative! Her older brother, Radley, was very excited to have her around. He wanted to kiss and hug and hold her all the time. It was a pleasure seeing this family again after taking his 1-year-old photos the previous summer. I went to their new home in Evanston, on a beautiful tree-lined street and made me think, hmm, maybe the suburbs aren’t so bad! It was lovely. I hope you enjoy these photos of this beautiful family.

J

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!

xo

J

 

 

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!

X

JB

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!

Cheers!

JB

The Glocks // A Snowy Lincoln Park Day

I had the pleasure of meeting this adorable family for the first time this day. It’s always a little funny, because it’s somewhat of a first blind date. I stand with my camera gear at a meeting point and await a family who is somewhat put together (everyone always has cute jackets and their hair done when I get to see them). But when we saw each other in the atrium of the Lincoln Park conservatory, we knew who each other was right away and we laughed because oh boy, the weather was something!

What a day this was! We scheduled our shoot later in the day because we wanted to warm sun to be low and amazing. We didn’t get sun at all! We got a heavy, snowstorm! It was the first of the season, December heavy, wet snow. So we went with it! It was actually quite beautiful, it just made for some more challenging scenes. Nevertheless, Gretchen and family were more than happy to go with the flow. So we tried under some trees, and then some winter hats and then we just went with it! If you can’t beat it, join it right? That was our motto that day. And the snow just kept coming, everything was laced with white, the trees, the benches, even our eyelashes. They turned out to be delightful, and will be amazing photos for their holiday Christmas card. Dreaming of a white snowy Christmas?  J

Thanks and I hope you enjoy these!

JoAnna