November 9, 2014   |   baby, children, family

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This past weekend, I did my first mini session marathon, photographing families in back-to-back 30-minute sessions. Throughout the week, I’ll be sharing photos from the marathon, and here is the first batch.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to photograph a baby and a toddler, but this little family was just so sweet and happy the entire time. Here are some sneak peeks, featuring the beautiful fall foliage at North Pond.

I’m doing another mini session marathon next weekend. If you’re interested in nabbing one of the remaining spots, just let me know!

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October 31, 2014   |   baby, children, family, tips

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This is the time of year when I shoot the most family photos. The holidays are approaching, another year has flown by, and everyone wants an updated family portrait to share on Facebook, frame in their homes, and put on holiday cards.

I love shooting family photos, and I’m lucky enough to have worked with many of the same families for years. It’s so fun to watch how they change and grow!

One of the challenges of shooting family photos, however, is helping clients with styling. I often get emails from panicked moms, asking what the family should wear and how they should coordinate outfits. As much as I want to minimize stress for families, the truth is, they DO need to think about what to wear to their session, and taking a little extra time to plan can make all the difference in the photos.

So, without further ado, here are some basic tips for styling family photos–and some examples of well-styled images that I found on Pinterest.

Some things to do (and NOT to do) when styling a family photo session:

1. DO think about the location. Are you shooting in a grassy field? In the city? At a ballpark? Whatever the case, your clothes should fit the atmosphere of the location.

2. DO make some attempt to coordinate; DO NOT try to be too matchy-matchy. There is a fine balance between making sure that the accessories, colors, and textures of your outfits play off of one another and making it look like all outfits were–quite literally–cut from the same cloth. The first photo in this post–and the two below–illustrate ways to do this well.

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3. DO wear color, layers, patterns, and different textures. All of these things add visual interest to the photo. DO NOT, however, wear clothes with logos or name-brands visible.

4. DO NOT wear solid black or dark brown. They just don’t photograph very well.

5. But DO wear neutrals (tan, khaki, creams, navy) as long as you pair them with layers, textures, and fun accessories. See below.

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6. DO remember that denim can also be a neutral, and it photographs really well.

7. DO add variety–mix things up! DO NOT have everyone in the same exact color, cut, or texture.

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8. DO NOT wear anything that reads as work wear. This is mostly for my guys: please do not wear khaki slacks and loafers. If you’d wear it in the office, you probably shouldn’t wear it to the photoshoot.

9. DO let the kids’ personalities shine through. It’s okay if someone wants to wear wings or a tutu or carry a skateboard. Those little details will set your photos apart from the others.

10. DO have fun and be comfortable. This is the most important tip of all! If you–or your kids–are so dressed up that they are scared to roll in the leaves, sit on the sidewalk, or dance in the street, then you won’t look comfortable in the photos.

I hope these tips help as you plan for your family photo session. The most important thing is that you just spend a little time thinking about what to wear and how it will photograph. When my clients do that, then it makes my job a lot easier!

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October 5, 2014   |   wedding

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Jessica and Rob were married this weekend at St. Mary of the Angels, and they followed their ceremony with a classic and romantic reception at the Rookery–one of Chicago’s most beautiful buildings.

I knew this would be an epic wedding day, especially after these two dressed to the nines, hauled helium tanks and weather balloons around, and challenged the Chicago police for the engagement session. And, though the rain clouds threatened to dampen the day, Jessica and Rob’s wedding ended up being as wonderful as I’d hoped.

I started the day at their apartment, photographing Jessica and her gals get ready. Then, after a lovely ceremony, we headed out on a Trolley, getting photographs at the Kinzie St. bridge and outside of the Rookery.

These two are so fun-loving and full of life. That always makes for great inspiration for a photog! I love that they can be silly and sexy and everything in between.

I also love that they, especially Rob, LOVE photographs, too. In fact, I may or may not have caught them taking a few wedding day selfies. :)

Here’s to a lifetime of love, happiness, and perfect selfies! Enjoy these sneak peeks.

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Loved Jessica’s classic accessories!

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Is Jess a gorgeous bride or what?!

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Selfie 1: #Iamabouttogetmarried!

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Walking towards her soon-to-be husband.

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I love this little intimate moment. I caught it when I sneakily followed Jess and Rob as they exited the aisle after their recessional

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Married!

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Selfie 2: #wearehusbandandwife!

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There was a quick stop at a CVS as we made our way around town for photos. Of course, Rob’s brother–and best man–was up to no good.

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I loved how dapper these guys were!

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See what I mean? Sexy AND silly!

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Love this wedding party shot, taken in front of the Rookery.

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But really, nothing can top these two in front of the camera!

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Before the reception started, we snuck into the Rookery for a few last shots.

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SO glad we did. I mean, look at this bride!

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Finally, it was time for the reception. Loved the romantic and classic details.

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Selfie 3: #atourweddingreception!

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And, at the end of the night, we ran outside for a couple quick city shots!

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  1. Jessica Oles says:

    Thank you for capturing the best day of our lives, Danielle! You were absolutely amazing to work with again! Can’t wait until the next time we can do it! ;) thank you!

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