This weekend was quite the weekend.  Great weather (mostly).  September sessions really are my thing.  The light is perfection, the air is starting to cool off but not too cool.  It’s the real wind down of summer and it starts getting awesome weather wise and light wise here in Chicagoland.

Plus this September has been filled with Marmalade Favorites and even a sisters session or two…the sneak peeks from this session come from a family session from a long time client family.  The B family has been with me since little S was just a wee one.  Our last session produced some of my personal favorite images and some may be seen in the “Artist Favorites” part of my galleries here on the blog and on my site.  This next image is yet another one in the favorites column (and I’m sure there will be quite a few from this session in that column!).  This is little L in a “Jump for Joy” sort of moment.

…and that dress!  I can’t take credit for the dress or that fabulous hair but to say that I was swooning is no lie.  I ~~swooned~~!

An example of a Marmalade Photography of Chicago photo of a child

An example of a photo shoot with sisters in Chicagoland. An example of a photo of a middle school aged girl in Chicagoland.

And this young lady ^^.  Incredibly sweet, beautiful and fun.  I swooned over her outfit too.  Mom had it in spades!!  I edited this image in a warm toned black and white so I know you can’t see but the lace up detailing matched her sisters suede dress perfectly!  One of my favorite outfit duos to date!

I know I’ll do a session feature on this and other sessions in the future (aka slower season) so for now: Thank you B Fam for joining me at one of my favorite locations in the Southwest burbs this past weekend and celebrating September with me!!  Love you guys and I love what we created together.  Hope you enjoyed your sneak peek!

If you are looking for a Flossmoor Family Photographer I travel as well as having locations near and dear to my heart in the Southwest suburbs.  Feel free to give me a call to chat about your family photo session.  I love working with kids of all ages (from 8 days to 88 years of age!!)  My number is 815-603-8450 and I’m available M-F 9 a.m. to about 5 p.m.




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  • Laini Bacon - September 15, 2016 - 9:57 am

    True art, beautiful!!

  • marmalade - September 15, 2016 - 4:52 pm

    Thank you Laini. As always it was so great to have an opportunity to create artwork for you all!!

Photo of two siblings having fun at a photo session in Chicago

The “sweet spot” of childhood

I love a good time and good times often happen with the age group of the kids in this sneak peek.  Plus it’s a brother and sister session which seem to always be lively (aka fun) sessions.

First off the back story.  Candace is a long time client of mine and unfortunately a few years ago her and her family moved out of state.  🙁  But the good news is that from time to time they come back to the city and I get to see this family as the kids grow up (which if you’ve been following the blog you are already aware is one of my favorite things in the world!)

So it was time for a visit to the city and I was so happy to hear that I would be getting a chance to see these kids for updated photos now that they are a few years older.  It is a treat watching my client families grow.

To add to the fun: I absolutely love photographing school aged children, they are always a lot of fun.  They take on a good deal of direction but they haven’t quite lost the spontaneity that teens sort of lose (you know, because they’re “cool” and all 😛 )  And this session…well judging from the first photo you know this was no exception to the rule.  School aged kids…well they ROCK!!

Fun, funny.  Silly.  Serious.  They have it all and in spades.

As this mom and dad said: “This is sort of the sweet spot of childhood.”  And it truly is.

Having said that I was thinking maybe we should trademark that phrase.  What do you think Candace and Thu?  Shall we?   Note I already tossed the ™ symbol up there and everything.  😀

Enjoy these images from your sneak peek and once again…thank you for taking time to be photographed while visiting your old stomping grounds.  It is always a pleasure to work with you all.  Er, “Y’ALL”.

Sneak peek below:


Photo of a boy peeking out from a tree branch in Chicago

Marmalade Photography creates photos of Chicago families

An example of family photos in Chicago by Marmalade Photography


Client image of a wall display in their home

We are specialists in wall design

Are you looking to have a family photo session while visiting Chicago ?  Marianne Drenthe is a lifelong area resident and can steer you in the right direction for the kind of mood you want to achieve when creating your family photos.

We can often be found photographing in and around the city and the surrounding suburbs to create one-of-a-kind works of photographic art for families to display in their homes.  We can help you arrange a display wall for your photographic art from your session and we can help create a beautiful storybook album of our time together.

Give us a call to book your family photo session while visiting Chicago – our number is 815-603-8450.

(image courtesy of the client of the actual wall display in their home – please scroll down to one of the following blog entries to see the wall to the left hand side)





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  • Candace Nguyen - September 7, 2016 - 10:06 pm

    We loved seeing you Mare! Marmalade photo sessions are one of my favorite Chicago traditions. Speaking of traditions, if you dug back through your archives from 9 years ago, you’d find that we bought a pick of Cole posing in pretty much that exact same spot on the tree. I love the similarity and contrast! The pics are fabulous, of course. Can’t wait to see the whole session!

  • PamN - September 13, 2016 - 1:50 pm

    Lovely work as always! And, I might add, beautiful kids!

  • marmalade - September 15, 2016 - 4:52 pm

    Thank you Pam!!

  • marmalade - September 15, 2016 - 4:54 pm

    It was a joy to see you guys Candace!! I thought that little peek was super familiar!! 😀 I’ll walk down memory lane when I do a session showcase maybe after all the craziness of fall settles down if you are ok with that.

  • Family Portraits While Visiting Chicago - August 3, 2022 - 8:19 am

    […] to walk back in time? Click here to go back to […]

This session preview comes in the middle of many life changes for many of my clients and I applaud C for planning ahead to capture moments in her family’s life that will never be replaced, as they say…time moves forward.

I’ve been photographing the D family for a few years now…in fact before the “baby” was born!! That baby is now six and beautiful as beautiful can be…this whole family is, really.

An at home portrait of this newly graduated high school young adult

a family photo of this Lincolnwood family

An outdoor portrait of a father and his daughter at home in Lincolnwood Family photos taken at client 1MAR1166

Photo of a mom and baby at their Lincolnwood Chicago North Side home

My visit was on the cusp of big transitions and I applaud C (the mom) for knowing that this fleeting time should be captured.  Our children grow up all too fast.  The days seem to drag on and on when they’re babies and toddlers but before you know it they’re waking themselves up, making their own lunches, driving themselves off to friends’ homes and activities and graduating high school…then embarking on their own adult lives.

I seriously have tears in my eyes as I type this.  The nostalgia of this time in my own family is unmistakable (my oldest is a JUNIOR!!  When did that happen?!?!) and I think about that when I see these gorgeous young ladies, who I’ve photographed for years, having their senior photos created by me, then graduating, going off to college and/or big journeys, well…it gets to me a little.  I understand the feelings these moms must be feeling.  I truly do.

And I know that I keep saying it but it’s true: it is an honor to watch little ones grow up and watch families grow.  It is an honor to be invited into a family’s life if only for a few hours to capture their love and their relationships and I am eternally grateful for every opportunity given to me to create images for clients walls and homes.

It was a pleasure to photograph this family once again.  As our children get older it is vitally important to capture this time in your family’s life before they begin exploring the world as adults and I was honored to be welcomed into this client family’s home for a full family session.

While it’s been a few years since I’ve seen this family and when this happens time seems to “freeze” for the photographer.  It’s a bit of a happy shock to know that time didn’t stand still for them and here they are “all grown up” but to see them again at whatever age they are now is, admittedly, a bit disconcerting.

I was on the hunt for images from this family’s first session in 2008 but either my computer isn’t accessing the hard drive where those files lived, which makes me sad but drives home that the fraility of our digital world is all too real.  There were some very fun images of these kids from our first session and as one of the older girls remarked: her favorite photo with her sister is printed and on display in this family’s home, THAT makes me happy.  I’ll have to continue the hunt but with some images on these drives more than 11 years old they may very well be lost to the digital ether.This session was photography at home in Lincolnwood.  My client provided the beautiful home and warm welcoming family and we all just took our time creating and crafting truly one of a kind images.  If you seek to have some photography at home in Lincolnwood (or any other area of Chicagoland and beyond…since we travel…) give us a call.  We will create some custom imagery for your walls, for albums and to give to family and friends and you, well you can sit tight knowing that we’ve been doing this for well over 11 years and enjoy the art of creating memories and fun times.  My number is 815-603-8450, I am Marmalade Photography and I strive to capture beautiful memories for your family to forever cherish.


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Over the past 11 years I’ve been in hundreds of homes where my life’s work has been put on display. Family photos, photos of babies, of children, of tweens, of teens and of kids in their 20’s. Maternity photos, newborn photos on up to senior photos and beyond. Wedding imagery. Mitzvah imagery. Extended family portraits. I’ve been gifted this life and this talent to bring a little piece of history to every single one of my clients.

A client provided photo of their wall display filled with Marmalade Photography photos

A client provided photo of their wall display filled with Marmalade Photography photos (2007 session)


And many times I have visually seen the phrase “Portraits of children and families give the children in the home a sense of belonging” played out. Children and teens often share with me that they love seeing their faces in these large portraits hanging on their wall. I did a senior session several weeks ago where the daughter begged for more than one wall portrait from her session.  Is that not awesome to hear? I love that she thought highly enough of the work I created to ask for that! 🙂

She had a direct sense of being loved, of belonging by the visual display of her portrait on that wall…

But what has touched my heart enough for me to speak on this topic once again happened just last week. I was at a long time client’s home. The mom booked me months ago to coincide with the departure of her oldest (for a year overseas). She wanted to memorialize this time before her daughter started “her life” and “while she’s still ours”. I admit it was bittersweet for me (as it often is) but especially because I’ve been photographing this family since that young lady was no more than 10 years old. I’ve seen this family grow with one more member through our time together. In fact our last session together was about 5 years ago soon after the baby of the family turned one years old.

The “baby”, upon coming down the stairs and seeing me arrive, took me by my hand into the family room. She literally *beamed* with pride and pleasure when she pointed at one of the wall portraits on the wall. That wall portrait featured her at just one years old, holding onto her mama’s hands. Her cherub baby face smiling a several toothed grin. Little not-so-baby-anymore looks at me and smiles a toothless grin and says: “THAT’S ME!! That’s my favorite picture of me!!”

Photo of a Lincolnwood brother and sister playing around in their home on the far North Side of Chicago

That wall portrait was a photo that I had taken. This little was pleased as pleased could be because not only was she obviously a part of a loving family and her family displayed her place in their home but that she loved it so much that she shared it with me.

Now I’ll be honest: I don’t know that she knew that I took that photo but it didn’t matter. The fact that it was my work is only part of the story.

This 6 year old displayed what psychologists have said and that photographers tout as truth. She had a direct sense of being loved, of belonging by the visual display of her portrait on that wall.

There is no greater gift than that sense of belonging. Print your photos. Display them. Take pride in your family and enjoy their faces. You’ll be glad you did. #printphotos #displayphotos  #chicagophotographer

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I really couldn’t believe it had been so long since I’ve seen this family last.  The fun memories of our last session together are still with me…these kids are memorable.  Funny and totally dig on one another, it’s a blend that makes for fun photography opportunities and an AMAZING senior session for an incredibly gorgeous young lady.

Thank you Michelle, once again, for allowing me to capture these images for you and your family.  It is always a great time and a pleasure to work with your crew!

Flashback to our last session by clicking HERE

So it’s been a few years and WOW!  Has K grown into a pretty incredible and accomplished young lady.  I was so happy to capture these images for her to commemorate her senior year…

A photograph of older siblings: two brothers and their little sister overlooking a water way in the Chicago area.

A photo of a high school senior girl in the Chicago suburbs A photo of a young lady in an urban setting for her senior photo session


As I said, it is an honor to have so many wonderful repeat clients and to be afforded the opportunity to watch young people grow up into young adults (and beyond).  It’s actually one of the most gratifying things about this business for me.  I’ve always felt that Marmalade Photography is about family, always has been, always will be.   I do feel like these young people are sort of a part of my own extended family (without the additional bills of sports, feeding and clothing them!).

Here’s a couple images from previous sessions with K to give you an idea of where we’ve been:

A photo from 2009 from a repeat client session

The photo above is from 2009; in 2011 this same image appeared as the title image for a magazine feature about Marmalade Photography (“We Are Family”) in the trade show magazine at the WPPI convention held in Las Vegas.


photo of a young girl at a Chicago area portrait session

The photo above was captured on a beautiful late summer day in August 2011.  You can see the difference two years makes!!  The image above illustrates WHY I love capturing tweens in that “in between” stage between childhood and teen hood.  They are on the cusp of changes and their charm and beauty is already showing through.  I am so glad this mom had captured these during our previous sessions together.


If you have a Lincoln Way high school senior who is in need of a Frankfort Senior photography session (or any other location for that matter!) we travel to your location or you can select one of our beautiful hand picked locations in the SW burbs for your fun, beautiful and relaxed senior photo session.  We photograph seniors from Minooka high school, from JCA, from Lockport high school and all other local (and not-so-local) schools.  Give us a call if you’re looking for unique images that highlight who YOUR senior is!!  Our number is 815-603-8450



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