I love photographing downtown Dixon, there's so many cute hidden areas! Dixon give you that nice downtown small city vibe and it's perfect for people who like a mix of hometown and city. There's also so many great spots that are all right together! For Kate's session we walked the alleys and dipped our toes in the water at Lowell Park. Kate's set downtown was perfect, her sangria colored top was the perfect shade of color and her eyes really stood out! Kate's gorgeous eyes, smile and personality were so much fun to photograph! Enjoy her sneak!
Paige was my final model rep session and she definitely wrapped up the group of girls with an amazing session! Nicole and Elissa knocked her look out of the park highlighting her gorgeous features! Her tan was absolutely flawless which was done by none other then Coco Spray Tanning! Her color was a dream to photograph! Her lavender dress was purchased from the local boutique, K.Paige, it was one of my personal favorite looks that she had! Paige was so much fun to work with and we had one of the best nights for her session! I hope you all enjoy her gallery as much as I did!
Summer has had so many amazing nights and I have been so lucky for all of my senior sessions! Abbie was such an easy going girl for her session and I loved her gorgeous brown eyes! She chose downtown Rockford as her backdrop and her outfits looked perfect on her. We finished her session with a quick dip in the river and a few 'quacky' visitors that didn't want to leave her alone!
Best of luck on your new adventure, Abbie!
We had such amazing weather for Mackenzie's senior session this summer! We started off with her getting pampered with hair by Elissa Miller and makeup done by Alpenglow Artistry. Once she was dolled up we headed to downtown Rockford for the first part of her session. We found some really great spots that complimented her and her outfits! Our next location was Rock Cut where danced in yummy light and went for a dip in the creek! I loved Mackenzie's pink dress with the flowers so much! You can shop some of her looks below!
I wish Mackenzie the best of luck at nursing school as she begins her new journey!
Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year and our winters are always too cold for outdoor pj sessions, so the summer edition was born! My parents land has so many amazing opportunities for photo shoots. This year one of the cluster of pine trees was finally full enough to host a little Christmas magic. My mind immediately saw a Christmas session with kids jumping on a white bed. Lucky for me, Oliver, my youngest little guy has a white wood bed that would be perfect for this vision. I jumped right online and began getting the outfits and a few new props for the session and I am so pleased with how it all came out! Keegan and Oliver's pjs are from Target and the best part, the whole family can match with this exact design! Autumn's pj's are from Amazon and her linen bow is from Little Poppy Co. You can shop the sessions entire look below.
Once everything was in my hands off to my parents we went and we created this simple Christmas setup right in the backyard! The kids absolutely loved it and thought it was silly to be outside in their pjs which made my mama heart so happy with the whole creation. Oliver being little enough found so much excitement in jumping on his own bed and it was the cutest thing to see him belly laugh at how high he was jumping.
The holidays are such a special time and capturing not only my own children but your loved ones is so important to me. Family, whether they are blood or best friends, get together and enjoy your time together. Throw a pj party, dress up or wear your favorite ugly Christmas sweater, get together and share some laughs.
You can see what TheBump had to say in their feature of the session and other Christmas pj's!
We had really amazing weather for Joselin's senior session and I am so glad she stepped out of her comfort zone for her senior session! We started off with getting glamed up with hair by Elissa Miller and makeup done by Alpenglow Artistry. Once she was dolled up we headed to downtown Rockford. We found some really great spots that complimented her and her outfits! Our second location was Rock Cut where she anxiously waited for the water part. Joselin wanted a part of her session done with water and I so excited to show you those!
After high school Joselin is headed off to college to become a zoo keeper! How fun and unique is that?! Best of luck girl on your new adventures!
Miss Ava was so bubbly and full of great poses for her super hot senior session! We started her session off with hair and makeup done by the glam squad! Her makeup was done by Nicole from Alpenglow Artistry and her curls were done by Elissa from, Impact.by.Elissa. Ava had such perfect sun kissed skin by Coco Spray Tan, it photographed beautifully. Ava has such a great attitude and truly was so much fun to photograph. She chose downtown Rockford as her backdrop and her style looked perfect against all the amazing textures. This gorgeous girl is heading to RVC next year and I wish her the absolute best on her new adventure!
Aubrey's senior blog is here and I am so excited to show this beauty off! Aubrey was super shy and quiet for the glam squad but soon as she got in front of the camera her personality started to shine! Aubrey's gorgeous curls were done by Impact.by Elissa and her stunning makeup was done by Alpenglow Artistry, be sure to check out their websites below! This girl whipped out some stunning serious faces and beautiful smiles one after another. Aubrey wanted a downtown vibe so we headed to the gorgeous town of Dixon! Dixon is such a cute little town from all the amazing textures to the pretty landscape. She plans on a joining the Army and then study law enforcement next year after high school. I wish you all the best, Aubrey!
LOGAN | CMP SENIOR REP
Logan was on F I R E for her senior session and I am absolutely in love with her gallery right now! Logan is one of senior reps who is representing her high school as a spokes model! Logan is full of spunk, laughter and smiles, when she arrived at the studio for her hair and makeup she was excited and ready to rock her session. She was so much fun, easy going and up for trying different locations! Logan chose an urban setting with us a finishing at a local park for a softer nature touch. The first few poses she rocked and the sun hugged her just right creating some really gorgeous images!
After Logan graduates she plans on being a pediatric nurse and attend Saint Anthony's college. I can already tell that Logan is going to be an outstanding nurse and any little one would be lucky to see her!
Best of luck girlie!
This year I launched a full blown senior rep program to introduce a new package for seniors to CMP. My reps will be show casing this new package and I hope you enjoy it! I have teamed up with local businesses, K.Paige, Coco Spray Tan and Impact by Elissa Miller, to help create the ultimate experience for all of my seniors. My goal is that each person that chooses me to photograph them leaves excited, confident and feeling good about themselves. It can be hard getting in front of the camera but having a team bring out the natural beauty in these young teens make it a bit easier. As they prepare to enter the 'real world,' they discover strength they never knew they had and develop into who they are set to become. By having more one on one with each of these girls I hope they love who they are and see the beauty in themselves that everyone else sees. I am so excited to have such a great group of girls as my 2020 senior reps. You will be seeing lots of their gorgeous faces this summer! My team and I have so many fun things planned for these young ladies!
Bags and CMP tanks by JT Designs
Meet our Byron reps, Ava and Mackenzie
Meet Ava, my dancer and actress who plans on heading to RVC and SIU for mortuary science after graduation. When I first met Ava she was heading into Coco Spray tan for her prom tan and I knew I had to have her as one of the reps. She was so full of energy and her smile is so bright! I can't wait to get to know Ava more this year!
Meet my outgoing, genuine, softball loving rep, Mackenzie! When Mackenzie came to the studio for her consultation she walked in and gave me a big hug, how sweet is that?! Mackenzie is such a bright bubbly young lady who will be heading off to college to become a nurse! I can't wait to photograph this blue eyed beauty!
Meet our trio, the Stillman girls!
Miss Paige is one of my shy beauties who I can't wait to see shine in her session. Paige chose a downtown vibe for her session to show off her love of high end clothing! She is a Volleyball player who is considering playing in college where she will be majoring in psychology.
Meet Aubrey, the girly girl who reminds me of my younger self! She is my outgoing, family loving photo sharing girl and I can't wait for her urban session! Aubrey plans on going to the Army Reserves to become a police officer after graduation next year!
Meet my last Stillman rep, Logan! Logan is my cheerleader in the group who is heading to nursing school to become a pediatric nurse! I can't wait to see this girl in her element for her urban and nature session!
Meet Joselin, my Winnebago rep!
Miss Joselin is one of my other shy girls who is already shocking me with her fun session ideas! Joselin is heading to college to study animal nutrition so she can work with animals at the zoos! I'm looking forward to see Joselin step out of her comfort zone and see her ideas come to life!
We are all so thankful for each of these stunning girls for entering the senior rep search this year. Each of the girls is so different from each other and all of their sessions are going to be so much fun this summer! I am so fortunate that the girls and their parents are all on board with fun and new things we are planning for this years seniors!
I also want to give a giant thank you to the vendors, Coco Spray Tan, K.Paige and Impact by Elissa Miller, who are help making this even happen on this level.
Those of you who asked and commented on the chocolate chip cookies I baked, I used Joanna Gaine's recipe. I used authentic Hispanic vanilla instead, it's a personal fav!
PREP: 15 minutes COOK: under 30 minutes COOL: 1 hour
Makes about 40 cookies
When Lakin contacted me about her maternity session she told me she wanted something different as well fun. I instantly threw the idea of a milk bath session at her and she was on board right away! I was so thrilled that she liked the idea because I have been wanting to do something different for awhile now and she trusted me to run with the idea. We started the session pretty casual with warm creamy light with her two guys and her. I love the colors and outfits Lakin chose for her baby bump! They look stunning on her and they pop so well with golden hour! We wrapped up the evening with the milk bath and I over the moon with how stunning they turned out! I hope you enjoy them as much as we all do!
While Mom and Nicholas changed their outfits I snagged a few snaps of Braylon!
Thank you everyone who came out to my Mother's Day marathon last weekend! We had perfect weather, yummy light and so many adorable faces! I hope everyone has a great Mother's Day weekend and is able to spend some time with the woman in their lives who have helped shaped you! Happy Mother's Day weekend to all the fabulous women out there!
Sydney was a rock star during her senior session downtown Rockford last week! We had stunning light that hugged her perfectly as she popped out pose after pose. Along with amazing light, the perfect temperature we also had the right amount of wind. I love when seniors come to their session fired up and ready to go! Sydney is on her way to become a make up artist and did her makeup perfectly for her session. Not only was her makeup flawless but she picked out two great outfits! I hope you enjoy her session as much as I do!
Turning thirty doesn't have to be scary but a chance to pop champagne and celebrate you. One of my favorite movies is, "13 Going on Thirty," with Jennifer Garner. Thirteen year old Jenny wishes to be the, "it" girl and working at her dream job. With a sprinkle of magic glitter and wishful thinking she becomes thirty and wakes up in her dream house. Jenny quickly realizes that her original self and life were exactly what she wanted. She celebrated herself and her already amazing life with the ones who love her just the way she already was. Always, be you.
A new chapter has begun with this gorgeous mom and we celebrated by having a 30th birthday shoot! We popped champagne and celebrated to new beginnings and turning thirty. Every birthday is an incredible milestone and a chance to look back at the past year and dream of the years to come. Turning thirty doesn't have to be the end of having fun and Shayla definitely isn't going to let that be the case. Shayla messaged me asking me if I would have any interest in doing this session and of course I said yes! I adore this girl and I am so glad she is one of my friends. I love her little girls and her session was so much fun with all of us girls hanging out and laughing. I encourage everyone to celebrate yourself once in awhile because, you're awesome. Get dressed up and celebrate, YOU! Live your life doing what makes you happy.
Cheers to being your amazing self, Shayla!
Shop Shayla's look here:
Brandon and Megan have been an item for ten years now and tied the knot March 22nd at the Ogle County Courthouse. They had a gorgeous sunny 50 degree day which was perfect for their portraits. We took their portraits in one of my favorite parks in Oregon and I am absolutely in love with how they turned out. One of my favorite parts of the day was Megan's dress. At their consultation Megan told me about her dress and I instantly became even more excited, a bride who was making her own wedding dress! I loved that Megan went with a relaxed vibe for her look, it fit their style so perfectly. Watching Megan twirl and laugh made my photographer heart happy. The way Brandon watched her was so heart warming. Going to high school with Brandon I always knew him as one of the skater boys. The day of his and Megan's wedding it was really awesome to see a classmate become such an incredible successful adult. Brandon looked so handsome dressed up in his suit. They compliment one another and really make for a strong couple. I wish Brandon and Megan many years of love and happiness.
Marie and Xander are such a great couple that I had to contact them soon as my tribe and I booked our Spring Break to Colorado. Four years ago I photographed these two in Chicago for their engagements photos on a freezing snowy day. It was definitely nice to see them again in such a beautiful setting! The moment we pulled in Chautauqua Park in Boulder my eyes filled with tears, I was so excited to see them again! It felt like forever since I watched them say, "I Do," at Notre Dame Basilica in 2016! We chose the Flat Irons as our backdrop because it over looks Boulder, has a mountainous backdrop, Flat Irons standing tall and a wonderful open area. For Marie and Xander's look I wanted a relaxed yet fun vibe for them. They are such a bubbly loving couple I didn't want this to be too serious. I purchased the yellow dress for Marie to reflect her outgoing personality from Amazon and it was a great fit for her! Amazon for the win, again! Xander complimented her with navy slacks and a fresh white button up and together they looked stunning! I hope you enjoy their images as much as we do!
If you would have told me ten years ago I would be where I am today I’d probably roll my eyes and laugh out loud in disbelief. Ten years ago when I graduated high school I was set on being a police officer. Yep, a police officer. I wanted to help others and most importantly I wanted to serve and protect, as is the police officer motto. I did a ride along with a local police officer for a day and I was hooked. Afterwards I was even more excited and driven to be a police officer and go through the training. One of our lectures was on what do we do when we approach a scene and it relates to us, how do we handle it and keep our composure? I knew in that moment I couldn’t do it, I didn’t have the strength to keep it together. What most people don't know is, twelve years ago I lost my sister in law and niece in a bad car accident. Loosing them was the biggest loss I ever had. It hit me hard and coming to an accident scene with a mom and child I knew I didn't want to ever witness that scene. It was the worst and still is the worst day of my life. I never went back to that class because I wasn’t ready for the reality of it all.I told my parents and they understood why I didn’t want to go back to my criminal justice class. I didn’t know what to do next because I wanted to be a cop since my freshman year of high school. After speaking with a few friends form high school they suggested I do photography classes.
I thought about that for a while, being a photographer. Could I really make a career of being a photographer and doing what? Back in high school when my friends and I got together I was always taking pictures, I enjoyed it. I thought about why I took so many pictures and why this would be a good fit for me. I enjoyed taking my friends pictures because I saw how it made them happy and it felt good seeing how excited they were over their new pictures. I thought the editing and changing an image was really cool how a simple change could make the photo come to life even more. When I took pictures of friends through high school I didn’t want to forget my friends and our shenanigans. I wanted to hold onto that sliver of happiness they brought back to my life. Being around my friends they helped me laugh again and see the good moments in life again. One day when my brother, Matt, was over he had his "nice camera" with and told me to go play with it and see what happens. I walked into my backyard and a butterfly was in my backyard. I chased that little butterfly and I was amazed at how good the picture was for literally just picking it up and snapping a few pictures. I decided I would give the classes a shot. I changed my classes to photography and began the journey. I enjoyed the classes and learning about the different styles and types of cameras. Unfortunately, I did not succeed in the class, I barely passed with a C. I was incredibly frustrated that I didn't do as well. I didn't stop though, I kept going and kept learning. I took many bad photos but I knew I could get better and I just needed to keep practicing. I found a hobby that I enjoyed and I was not going to stop over a few bad images.
When we loose someone the first thing we look at are pictures of our loved one. We look back on memories and milestones. When we lost the girls it was the first thing I did, looked at a picture of my niece and I just a few months prior to the accident. I remember in those next few days feeling like we didn’t have enough pictures even though there were mounds of picture boxes. I wanted to remember every detail of the girls.
So when I’m photographing your family I do my best to capture everything about your family. From dirty piggy toes, messy hair, a tantrum or smiles, I’ll give you your true family. Life is messy, emotional and wonderful. I tend to over deliver because if it was my kid making a pout face, I would want that image. That’s your child in that moment and I want you to forever remember all of those pout faces, smiles and laughs. Life isn't perfect, it's really messy sometimes but hopefully your ups out weigh the lows. I am so thankful that so many of you come to me milestone after milestone for documenting your life. I love the feeling you guys give me when you comment, share and post your images online. You have no idea how happy it makes me that my photo meant something to you for you to share with others. Thank you for that.
When my oldest was born I kept going, I had a little boy to raise and I wasn't going to fail for him. I got more serious and I really dove into learning so I could to be better. My brother, Matt who is a tech guru helped and built my website and helped find printing labs and legal goods.I had fun my first year, going out taking pictures of friends and my little boy. I learned a lot from all my failures and successful sessions. I had days where I wanted to give up because I hated my images or a client was being difficult but I learned from every thing I was doing. I learned where I needed to beef up my contracts and skills and I learned what worked. When my second little boy came along I got more into newborns and really capturing kids. I did both before but with each new milestone in my life I realized different things about life. I never wanted to miss my little boys details and photography really became more about capturing people for who they were.
When my youngest was eight months old I moved back to Byron to raise my boys on my own. I hit another milestone, another change. I just left a very unpleasant and un-supportive marriage. I got a temporary job babysitting my friends girls to supplement what photography wasn't covering because my boys needed me, a life that was stable, supportive and healthy. I debated a lot on if I was good enough in many areas of my life to really take things to the next level. I decided that I wanted photography to be my full time gig because I LOVE my job. I wanted to keep the flexibility so I could be there for my boys and still be happy with my career choice. I took a break on weddings because my heart couldn't handle them and I focused on what made me happy. Families, kids and seniors. I worked on these three areas while I healed and thought about the direction of where I wanted my business to go. Those two years were much needed so I could get back and be ready for the big things I wanted to accomplish.
It took a long time to be thankful for some things in my past so I could grow and really know what I want in my life. It was a hard two years of building myself back up after five years of someone tearing me down. I am so thankful for my parents and the friends who stayed in my life during my ups and downs. Especially my mom, that woman is amazing. She's the first one I go to for advice on anything and without her encouragement I can honestly say I probably would have quit a few times and wouldn't be as successful as I am today. I have so far to go yet but I will get to my ultimate goal.
Last year I reached the first step to my goal, opening up my new brick and mortar studio in Byron. My first studio was my garage at my old house and I will forever remember where I started this business of mine. That little garage was revamped by my mom and brother, Derek. They worked many hours on getting drywall up and a small storage area for me together but it was small. I was limited on what I could do there and when because during winter it was cold in there. The space heater only did so much and let's be honest, it was a garage. So when my boyfriend, Nate, came along and into our lives we hit another milestone. It was time to move on from the garage studio and a bigger house. Through the process of us finding a bigger house I found my current studio space and I'm so incredibly thankful for my bigger space! I can finally have client meetings and not worry about my clients being cold! The first year there has been so incredible and healthy for my business. My business has grown again and 2019 is looking even brighter for CMP! Every up and rock bottom low has been worth it because here I am today, 27 and a mompreneur.
This years goals will be crushed and I can't wait to show you all what is in store for CMP. I'm breaking out of my shell and I am running with my ideas. If you made it this far reading this, thank you. Thank you for supporting and believing in my dream and possible. Without so many amazing clients I would have the few bad apples ruin my dream. Thank you for making this career so enjoyable. xoxo
Jack & Katie got married at the very spacious urban venue, Warehouse 109 on a brisk snow covered Friday afternoon. When they first contacted me I was freaking out in excitement with the possibility to photograph at Warehouse 109. After our first consultation I was so excited they chose me to capture their special day. Their energy was incredible and I knew their day was going to be a great finisher to 2018 wedding season.
Upon arriving to Warehouse 109 we were greeted by an adorable aqua Chevy truck and Aqua Shasta camper. The lights leading up to the venue lead us to their reception which was decorated in glowing flowers resting in growlers they have collected from a few of their favorite blends. After scoping out their decor we began our day with Katie in the bridal suite! Katie and her girls were such a joy to work with, everyone was so kind! Once the girls were ready Katie & Jack had their first look which brought excitement and tears to our eyes! First looks are always so intimate and fun. With the sun setting behind us we did their bridal portraits and I am so in love in their rich colors. I loved that Jack had a blue cigar jacket and Katie had a super warm and fuzzy maroon shawl that looked stunning on her. The camera loved these two and I am so excited to share with you the highlights of their wedding day! Enjoy and congratulations, Jack & Katie!
Venue : Warehouse 109