Once again I am taking part in the ELEVATE Fine Art Photography Blog Circle with a group of very talented women photographers that I am lucky to be friends with.  I am so very excited about making art an active part of my life again with slow season starting (right about the time my last holiday delivery goes out the door in the next week or so).  This time of year is my time to take a more active part in personal projects and ELEVATE fits into this goal.

This month I am pulling an old client image to show off – on location indoors – very suitable for this winter season in Chicagoland – indoors is where it’s at!  🙂  I am also including some work I had done for Professional Photographer Magazine, for which I  do the occasional photography equipment/software review for.    That second image happens to be one of my many faves from a Lensbaby Composer Pro trial that I did earlier this year for PPMag.  I am excited to include it here for ELEVATE.

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Little E in one of my all-time favorite shots of her – l-o-v-e

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To continue following the ELEVATE blog circle, please visit my wonderful & talented friend Nichole Van | Utah Portrait and Wedding Photographer – I cannot wait to see what amazingness she has in store for us this month!!

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  • terri - December 12, 2011 - 8:13 am

    The portrait of the little girl is just beautiful! Congrats, Mare!

  • Jennifer N - December 12, 2011 - 3:17 pm

    The last image is very cool. Congrats on PPM, you deserve it.

  • jules - December 12, 2011 - 9:33 pm

    would love to know what she’s thinking. beautiful portrait!

  • wendy - December 26, 2011 - 9:57 pm

    They are both so timeless! I love the movement in the second one. Beautiful.

  • Jacqueline - January 20, 2012 - 3:50 pm

    beautiful photos! Love the “Little E” one. 🙂

I used to post quite a bit on new little discoveries for the kid set: clothes, outfits, styling your family, new products, etc.   I sort of miss that aspect of my blog and decided why not change that?!  🙂  So here we are, back with a holiday gift idea that will make your “I want a cellllll phooooone!” tween or middle school aged child happy while keeping you happy because you’ll a) stay on budget and b) maintain some control over how the phone is managed.

Kajeet is a company that one of my client friends recently told me about and I LOVE LOVE them.  I did quite a bit of research on them in the past day or so and I can’t see a downside to their service.  Their cell phones come with parental controls – I’m pretty sure the quality of their controls isn’t matched on the market (I have been looking for months and we finally settled for a value plan by TracFone which I’ve been mostly happy with).  The great thing about Kajeet is that maybe you want your child to fall within a certain budget and allow them only text messaging (no picture messaging) unless they pay for it – Kajeet allows you to do so, break up the service so your child can add to their own “wallet” and have picture messages or other add ons taken out of that fund vs. your monthly bill.

Seriously you need to check it out if you’re considering getting a cell phone.  You’ll keep the peace of mind knowing you can reach your child wherever they may be with their phone, Kajeet runs on the Sprint network so you know it’s reliable service and they have such a wide selection of phones I can only imagine there’s one for every kid on your list.  You will have the peace of mind AND the control.  Win-win!

Kajeet Cell Phone Service for Kids

Thanks to my client, Dawn, who recommended it to me.  Here’s a favorite image from her gorgeous session that I just delivered yesterday:

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I’ve started this entry at least three times and cannot seem to find the right words for it.  I’m not usually so speechless but in this case I feel like it’s all I got.

My friend Cara and I share a mutual history of independent events that lead our lives on a trajectory much different from most women.  I feel like I am ultimately a better person for knowing her and for the events that lead to our meeting.  I’ve photographed her beautiful family & extended family once before a few years back and we got some amazing images together and I was finally able to meet the people who love & support her – which was such a blessing to finally get to do.  In the past year and a half (really two years…) Cara’s life has really changed (for the busy better) and they brought this amazing little L into their lives – he is full of life and laughter (even though he’s been sick for a few days) and it was an honor to meet this gorgeous bundle of (busy!) joy finally.

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And there he goes!!  I shouldn’t tease, he was *so* good for us but I love this moment, the older cousins (and brother) are enjoying the moment

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Chicago-professional-photographerand finally the big brother in what he called the “80’s pose”.  I just watched Sixteen Candles – I think he might be right on that one.  😉

Thank you Cara for entrusting me with your photos once again!  I loved seeing how the cousins are growing up and how their relationship is blossoming despite the distance.  I loved seeing you again – I wish we had tons more time to hang out before you had to return home to Florida.  And thank you to Rob, Kriszti and ALL the kids for being beautiful and fun.  I had a blast this past weekend during our session.

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  • alpana - November 29, 2011 - 9:05 pm

    Such a good looking bunch of kids! Love how you have captured their unique personalities. The little girl and her outfit are just gorgeous 🙂

  • Susan - January 4, 2012 - 10:36 am

    ooh la la! these portraits look gorgeous!

I first met Becce and her beautiful boys last November for our first session together and we created some pretty fabulous images (if I do say so myself!) of the boys mostly indoors (because it’s November in Chicago, right?).  I was so very excited to be able to photograph these cuties again, this time with a bit improvement in the weather this past week; they came out from Hinsdale to the Marmalade Studio for a pretty awesome urban session.  I really enjoyed hanging out with these adorable cuties and can’t wait to show off some of the sneak peeks I have for Becce.

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Thank you Becce, for allowing me to glimpse into your lives and capture your boys at such a sweet age.   Here’s a quick blast back to last November to see how much they’ve grown in that short amount of time!

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I had so much fun wrapping up the November sessions on location this past week or so. This session happened to be with the S Family at their lovely home in the area of North Park/Albany Park in the city. It’s the perfect example of how photographing in a child’s environment allows them to be relaxed and happy for the camera.

Miss S was one of my sweetest and funnest clients. She is not only seriously adorable but is going to, mark my world, take over the world with her patented cat shooing strategies (I’d let you know her secret but I don’t want to let the cat out of the proverbial bag!). We had tea time together and play time together and I’m pretty sure I made a new friend (or three).

Thank you S Family for welcoming me into your lovely home and allowing me to photograph this pretty amazing time in your lives:

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(and we should all wish Josh a belated happy birthday as well – hope it was a great one!)

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  • Pieces of Sunshine - December 3, 2011 - 9:40 pm

    Beautiful. I love the first and last best.