A Whole Lotta Love {Chicago Family Photographer}

As promised, I'm on a journey to blog sessions from last year that I simply couldn't keep up with due to balancing family life and business life. 

Loads of sessions to show, but I'm hopeful they'll make you smile as you see stories of regular folks on regular days doing regular life.

I'm super excited to introduce you to one of my very favorite sessions from this past fall. 

A super great family of four!

 See, awesome right?
 
And let me tell you, it was SO hard to narrow down images from this session. 
So I didn't. 
I'm posting most of my faves.

 Little sweet "J" is four and her little brother "L" was 21 months at the time of their session. And they could give each other a very fun squeeze!
Both = ADORABLE. 

We really did have a great hour together, which is the typical length of my family sessions. Any longer than that and the kids get antsy.  

A massive buck walked within maybe twenty feet of us. 
Totally random.  
BONUS.

I love the moms I photograph. 
Every one of them is absolutely beautiful.

The older I get and maybe the more 'mom' I get, the more I realize that yes, 
it's important that we take care of our outsides, 
but the reality is, 
moms are beautiful simply because they're moms.

I think what shines through an image is the fact that often moms don't get to be selfish. 
Our time really isn't our own. 
Let's be real. 
I don't even get to go to the bathroom without someone 
coming in and asking for help to tie his shoe. 
No time is alone time.
And that self-sacrifice shows in photos. 
And often, moms are weary-to-the-bone,
 and yet in an image, 
what you see is a mom with a fierce love that trumps out tired. 

I suppose that protective heart that a mom wears 
around on her shirt-sleeve shows up in the image, too. 
A pride in her babes. 
And I love capturing beauty as they interact with their children. 
In their weariness, they're beautiful. 

This particular groovy dad had been out-of-town for several days and had just arrived home within an hour or so before their session. 

Result = kids were ALL over daddy the entire hour. 

Which I absolutely love to see. 

It 
really 
was 
beautiful
and
natural
and  
genuine. 
Fatherly love at its best. 

And here's a little photography secret and a sort of "call-out-to-dads" ...

Hands down -- HANDS DOWN --- 
the DAD is the key player in a successful photo session. 

Sessions where the dad is totally engaged 
and into it
and WANTING to be there (or at least faking it) 
and not dragging along behind 
make the images 1000 times better. 

Seriously. 
I am so not kidding.

It really is an amazing thing to watch unfold during our hour together. 
And THEN to pull up the images after a session it's like, 
"Yep, that dad wanted to be there and it shows." 
Or, "Yep, that dad had no desire to be there and it shows." 

I share the above only as a challenge for future dad clients ... 
Give your wife and kids the gift of an hour of your fun, I-LOVE-MY-FAMILY self 
and you'll all treasure the images we capture for decades to come. Even if you think it's dorky to get family pictures done. Even if you think it's unnecessary.
I promise. 
Or your money back. 

{ End of my mini lecture. }

And all this is to say, well done Nick. Thanks for showing up and playing with your family, even though you had just been on the road for days. Even though the last thing you probably wanted to do was walk back out the door after being gone on business. 
Thank you!
You were a FANTASTIC example of who a dad should be during a photo session!

So without more delay, here are a bunch more of my favorite images from our time together.

Sarah and Nick, what great parents you are -- 
it was so fun to spend an hour together, 
capturing your love for each other as you wandered through the woods. 
It's the simple things in life that truly count! 

And, because every good session comes up with at least one major meltdown ....

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