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 suburbsA 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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For sure another overdue session showcase.  I can’t believe this family wasn’t featured yet.  So here we go, a long overdue feature for the S Fam.

The time: Fall of last year

The players: A family I’ve worked with before from places south of Illinois (aka Missouri).  I’ve photographed these fun peeps before – our first session blast from the past can be found HERE

The setting: A chilly November morning on Chicago’s Gold Coast.

The goal: a fun family session at one of their fave places.Thankfully this client was open to shooting in and around the hotel they were staying in and the hotel is always accommodating and all was good on the weather front.  When traveling to Chicago you have to be prepared for ANYTHING weather wise – it was a cool/cold and windy morning this day, for sure that these kids rolled with it and really got a feel for an early November chill during our time outside but these guys were pros and played along.

First up some images in and around the Four Seasons:

Visiting Chicago? Marmalade Photography has you covered for your photography needs.A photo of a set of three siblings in the Four Seasons Hotel, Chicago, IL

Is this what your kids look like?  Heads down in their cell phones?

A quiet moment amongst siblings, just long enough to get a beautiful image of their love for one another.

Sweetness, right? Just long enough to be able to capture this image. 🙂

An image of a family on North Michigan Avenue in ChicagoThis young lady is in the midst of her senior year in high schoolLove this image of a mom and her almost grown daughter.  While she is still "hers".This image of a dad and his two sons was taken on North Michigan Avenue in ChicagoA quiet moment amongst siblings, just long enough to get a beautiful image of their love for one another.A nice ending of relaxation for the kids during their visit in Chicago photo session

Are you looking for some beautiful family photos while visiting Chicago?  Are you looking for unique imagery that also highlights your family and who you all are at this stage in your lives?  Has it been far too long since you had professional photos created?  I’m your girl!  Give me a call, let’s chat and make some beautiful wall art happen for you.  Creating a set of family images while away from home will add depth and experience to your vacation and create a lasting memory of your time here in Chicago, Illinois!  I pinky swear!!  My phone number is 815-603-8450 and my name is Marianne.  I’ve been doing this for a few years so trust that you’ll be in good hands. 😉

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I keep saying I am behind in sneak peeks and session showcases and I am reminded that I should take care to post some images from this senior’s family photo session in and around Michigan Avenue in Chicago this past fall.  I know I’ve shared these images elsewhere (Facebook most likely) but with all the little blog issues I had around fall busy season 2015 I just never got back to it.  SO in the next few days I’ll be posting a few images from this fun family session in 2015.  Apologies to you Erin, I’ll rectify this oversight asap!

But this sneak peek isn’t about family.  It’s all about one girl who is about to embark on college and life.  High school senior photographs (sessions) are a beautiful way to honor the young person in your life who is on the cusp of adulthood.  Their life is about to “take off” and it’s a great way to honor the child that was yours and only yours and photograph them as independent (well sorta…we all know how that goes) young people who are about to take the world on their own.  I always suggest that we take time to focus on what matters to the young adult as a nod to where they are headed and where they’ve been.  A high school senior photo shoot should be about the young adult’s story and what has meaning to them, a great way to remember this all-too-fleeting stage by.

I’ve photographed J several times in my career.  Most recently last fall (you’ll see a few images from that session in the next  week or so I hope) but the first time I got a glimpse of the young lady she was becoming when she was only 9 (I think).  The wisdom and beauty in her eyes was apparent from the moment I met her.  Beautiful, smart, fun.  For this session I met up with J and her family in St. Louis (yes, Missouri) to capture her at one of her favorite spots in the world.  The Four Seasons is always so accommodating in sharing the beauty of their hotels with their guests and the St. Louis hotel was no exception.  In fact I feel like they went above & beyond (exactly what they’re known for!!)

Here are a few sneak peeks that she and her mom may be (just may be…) looking forward to.  Thank you Erin & Scott, once again for trusting me with your girl.  <3


A senior session photo where I traveled to St. Louis

Isn’t she gorgeous?  Has the best eyes and smile!

We photographed this high school senior at The Four Seasons in St. Louis

Teen and tween photography by Marmalade Photography, this is an example of a high school senior session photographed on location in St. Louis, MO…and one last one because I enjoy this so much!! <3
High school seniors by Chicago photographer Marmalade Photography

High school senior photographs are not just moments in a yearbook, they are excursions to explore the personality of your child and highlight where they’ve been and where they are going.  Many of my high school senior clients tend to get albums and a wall portrait plus files for sharing and for printing up invites, thank you cards and social media sharing.  If you are looking for unique imagery that takes a holistic look at your child and their personality please give us a call.  We have been photographing clients since 2005 and plan to do so for many more years to come!  PHONE: 815-603-8450


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Two sisters in a natural outdoor setting during a photo session


What a joy it is to see littles grow up.  By the looks of it in the next few months I’ll be saying that repeatedly (and I’m so very excited!!)

I first met the big sister B a few years back when she was a super little and we did a fall children’s photo session outdoors.  It was a pleasure to get to know her, she has definitely grown!!

Chicago photographer of outdoor family photos, Marmalade Photography created this image on a cool late fall evening in November 2010

Blast from the past!!

The great thing about seeing a child a few years down the line is the surreal progression of little little to a bigger version of themselves.  As you can see big sis B is just a bigger version of herself!!

Photo progression of a child from 2010 to 2016

And little sis B is just as adorable.

A photo of a little sister during a family-sibling session

Thanks to the L Family for coming out to one of my favorite and most versatile locations this past weekend.  I hope you enjoyed your sneak peek!

An example of a family photo from an outdoor family session by Marmalade Photography

Session preview for this Plainfield Family photos by Marmalade Photography.  If you’re seeking an experienced photographer for your next family photo session feel free to give us a call to chat.  Marmalade Photography…since 2005.

And hey!  We still have just a couple of August dates still available.  Give us a call today before the days of summer fly by and your tan fades away.  😉





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