Love love love Madly Wish!  If you’ve ever had a chance to check out their site you know what I mean.  Some of the most sublime baby and kids’ bedding you’ve ever laid your eyes on, soft to the touch & beyond aesthetic to the eye.

For years I’ve been a big fan of owner and mastermind Whitney Surane, I’ve been photographing her brood since there were only two little babes and they’ve always been a joy!  When this opportunity came up it was a no brainer to showcase Whitney and Chris’ sixth baby off (assuming that MW is still considered a baby as it’s getting big buzz in celebrity circles!!)

Thank you Whitney for allowing me to play with beautiful babes and beautiful bedding and loveys all afternoon – I love love love what we created together and I love it even more because it’s family.  Sort of like the idea of Marmalade.  Thank you Whitney and Co. and thanks to all the beautiful models that came to play with us that day.  Thank you for trusting me with baby #6 (and #3 and #4 for that matter!)

So here are some sneak peeks.  Check out the Marmalade Photography Facebook page for more sneak peeks as well (and become a fan because you like us!!)  Thanks for stopping in and enjoy these sneak peeks for Madly Wish’s commercial photography shoot with some adorable babies and kids.

Chicago_commercial_photographer baby_commercial_photography baby_photography_chicago Commercial_photo_session_kids_chicago Madly_Wish commercial_baby_photographer_chicago baby_photographer_chicago commercial_kid_photography_shoot chicago_photographer_marmalade_photography kids_editorial_style_images_commercial inspiration_kids_photo_shoot friends_fun_photo_session Chicago_Child_photographer Marmalade_Photography commercial_kids_photographer 1MAR4645v


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As a Chicagoland Children’s Photographer I travel much of the time throughout Metro Chicago creating memories for clients and their families alike.

Today I am presenting a long long overdue post session showcase for Donna and the rest of her family, having devoted much of the past few weeks on the new website I would like to apologize to them for the overdue session showcase.  Once again Donna thank you so much, it was an honor to create this work for you for your husband and your entire family, thank you for allowing me into all of your lives for a few hours to create these images.  I am very proud of what we created together!

It was a dreary gray day in Valparaiso the day of our session, I am so glad I brought my off camera flash set up (I used 2-580ex flash heads modified with shoot through umbrellas on light stands and augmented with the existing natural light).  For anyone who has ever photographed 3 littles, ages 5 and below you know that it can be a challenging but fun endeavor to augment natural light with stationary lights but these three girls were champs and made the job easy!

Anyway enough chit chat, on with the session showcase.  As a Chicagoland Children’s Photographer I travel to clients throughout Metro Chicago to create one-of-a-kind portraits of your favorite littles to decorate your home and office with, if you’re interested in creating some unique and fun imagery of your favorite littles please give us a call today:  815-603-8450


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  • Heather Arnita - May 26, 2015 - 10:04 am

    Love the look of your website. Very clean and classic. This photo shoot is great. You did a great job with such little models!

  • Maria Manjelo - June 18, 2015 - 4:03 pm

    You do great job. Love your portfolio, been browsing your website for past 45 minutes 🙂

  • marmalade - August 7, 2015 - 11:45 pm

    Oh Maria, thank you so very much!!

This year will mark Marmalade Photography’s 10th year of being in business as a professional Chicago children’s photographer.  Marmalade Photography is my baby and as one of the top choices for child, baby, and family photography in the Chicago area this past ten years has been a blur of beautiful people, loads of emotion and lots of love.  This has been (thus far) an amazing journey and I hope to serve my clients for many more years to come.

I have created a new interface for my work.  This new update will allow me to showcase past clients in a brand new website.  For the most part I have selected work from the previous four years to showcase to give new clients an idea of what Marmalade Photography’s current vision is.  In the coming weeks I hope to add some “blast from the past” type favorite galleries to showcase my children’s photography style as it has evolved in the past ten years because I think that would be a fun addition to an already great update.

I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on the new site.  Feel free to move through it and check it out (AND don’t forget to leave a comment for me here so I can check out your feedback!):  Marmalade Photography’s New Site 

Here’s a quick screencap of the home page of this Chicago Children’s photographer ‘s new site:


Take some time to explore the new site and feel free to drop us a line on the contact page and let us know what you think.  xoxo


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  • Melissa - May 20, 2015 - 3:58 pm

    Lovely portrait!

  • Corey - May 20, 2015 - 4:05 pm

    Congratulations on ten years of producing beautiful work, Marianne! I love the new website!

  • marmalade - May 20, 2015 - 6:26 pm

    Thank you Corey!! <3

  • Tonya Palubo - May 20, 2015 - 8:09 pm

    Beautiful work!!Chicago is so lucky to have you!!

On occasion a phone call will come through to the studio inquiring what Marmalade Photography offers in terms of pricing, services and session types.   I am taking this opportunity to discuss the importance in differences of the various types of photography services that are widely available today.  Marmalade Photography is a custom photography specialist, to find out more please read on…

To make my analogy I will compare photography services to automobile makes and models.  Much as there is several price points/luxury points of cars, from base to luxury, photography is much the same.   In photography there are different levels of services. At the entry level the first that comes to mind is the portrait studio that you might find at large discount retailers, the type of studio chain that offer 1,008 pictures (of one pose) for $4.88 or even the photography you may see at the hospital, which might be billed as “custom” but as with  corporate studios the photographer hops from one room to the next snapping photos.  I would liken that offering to be similar to getting a base price Yugo.  Yes the cost of entry is cheap, but you get what you pay for. The photography may be acceptable but often times the photographer is new (might even be taught on the job to push the button of the camera under certain conditions).  You may or may not have a wide range of products produced by volume labs (or in house labs).  These products may be produced under less than optimal conditions: perhaps the printers or computers used in production are not calibrated to print (resulting in poor quality photo color reproduction).

Then there are mid-entry products, more like the Chevy Cavalier or perhaps one of Hyundai’s more mid-priced offerings. The experience is more in depth (you may be offered a number of poses to choose from) however you are constricted by time limits and corporate policy (have you ever had one of those mall chain studios tell you your 1 1/2 year old cannot be shirtless in that cherub outfit for Valentine’s Day? If so, you know what I mean.)   At this point, you are spending money on someone else’s vision for your photography needs. Your input may mean little to nothing to them, cost of this level of photography is slightly higher and if you want custom products and large wall portraits you’ll pay nearly as much as you would with a custom photographer.  You may even find an independent photographer that has little business knowledge and offering the “disk of images” at cheap pricing.  This sort of segues to our next category, the “weekend warriors”.

The “weekend warriors” as they sometimes are affectionately called in the photography world, are typically hobbyists who purchased a ‘good’ camera and charge for services because they have been told they take a “pretty pictures”.  Oftentimes these are start up businesses who may likely not have a lot of business experience and are dabblers.  You can occasionally find a photographer in the early stages of the business doing fabulous work but more often than not you can not determine if that photographer produces consistent work, often they may not. Recently I had a client tell me about an experience where they commissioned a “weekend warrior” to take images for their one year old to memorialize this time in his life. Several months later, when they FINALLY got to see the images taken at one year, I was commissioned to photograph that same child at 15 months of age because they were disappointed in the images they finally got a chance to see.  The images and the experience fell short.   It seems that more often than not the experience may be satisfactory but the final end product – the precious images of your family captured in time, your littles, are lackluster or inconsistent with what the photographer showed as their best work.

Finally you have several levels of custom photography at its’ finest. What does a custom photographer offer that no other type of photographer mentioned does?

  • A custom photographer takes the time out to do a pre-session consult with a client to obtain information about their clients thoughts and ideas for their session. What are their expectations? Will they be concentrating on one member of the family vs. the entire family? Will there be relationship based art or is the session intended to be more traditional? Clothing options and selections? Is there a favorite location (or backdrop) that they have in mind?


  • A custom photographer will invest time before and during the photography session to ensure that the clients’ thoughts and ideas, their vision, is achieved. Sessions are given extra time, they do not feel “hurried” or rushed. Sessions tend to be custom made for each client, focus is on their family members, their relationships or a portrait study of the child being photographed. The goal is to to really focus and explore those subjects’ and their personalities.


  • A custom photographer is willing to take time out to consult on clothing choices during and before the session. Stressing the importance of highlighting a clients’ lifestyle and fashion sense is more important than stressing out about colors (or lack of). Every session will take on its’ own personality through clothing selections and a custom photographer will focus on this instead of choosing to tell clients to wear khaki pants and white polo shirts.


  • A custom photographer is concerned with working personally with their clients to ensure that they experience a high level of satisfaction with their services. Unlike the chain studios and entry level studios mentioned above, you are an individual and your thoughts and ideas are a major priority as is customer service pre session, during the session and after you take delivery.


  • A custom photographer will consult with clients on image selections and making final image choices for purchase of their photographic art. Because you are treated individually so is the final end product, a custom photographer holds a certain degree of pride of having their work displayed in your home and most likely will be more than willing to help you design a custom wall display for your space.   Typically the higher end custom photographer will have a working knowledge of design principles and aesthetics and may even have a trick or two up their sleeves to assist you with wall art displays of your photographic artwork.

At the heart of it custom photography is considered a luxury vs. your entry level cookie cutter chain photography experience. Custom photography may not be for everyone, clients who enjoy taking a more active role in the creation of their families’ memories as well as have the desire to have portrait art that is truly personalized.  These clients will likely budget and allot time and investment for it. There is a great deal of time involved in creating high end custom photography sessions for a client and you pay for great service and a superb end product in the quality, heirloom quality images you purchase.   Custom photography can be likened to fine dining (as a fellow photographer once said to a group of us): when you are looking for only a meal to fill you up and squelch the hunger then perhaps that going to Charlie Trotter’s downtown may not be the place to go to just “fill up”. However when you are looking for something truly special, to satisfy the desire for exceptional service and a fantastic experience to talk about to all your friends and family, then you would completely opt to go there. Custom photography is much the same beast, the Mercedes/BMW/Lexus of the photography world, where the intangibles make the experience truly wonderful and the images themselves make the investment of money and time truly worthwhile.


This is a repost of an article that I wrote several years ago.  The Googlebot is not pleased with the way it is formatted and I am moving it to my blog for better readability and blogging purposes.

If you are a photographer and would like to repost this article feel free to do so with the proper link & accreditation to Marianne Drenthe/Marmalade Photography at .

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I’ve known this family for a number of years now and was thrilled to photograph them again at my favorite field location for my last session of 2014. Thank you Gretchen & Brian for allowing me to photograph you and your handsome little men! Enjoy the post session showcase of this Chicago family photography session with three (handsome) brothers and their wonderful mom & dad:



Busy! Busy!



What a great storyboard! Love these images – will look great paired with the family wall portrait in our beautiful metallic finish!

Post session update: prints were delivered and they were gorgeous!  So thrilled to complete yet another Chicago family photography session for yet another satisfied & happy repeat Marmalade Photography client.  Thank you M Family!

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  • Linda - March 3, 2015 - 2:11 pm

    What nice photos of a great looking family.