chicago_professional_photographyLife is an amazing journey, isn’t it?  I once read that if you can visualize your goals and the feelings associated with achievement of your set goals-your dreams are more likely to be attained.  I don’t know if that’s right, wrong or maybe somewhere in between but I do know that when I set forth creating Marmalade Photography in mid-2005 I had goals and I felt them in every fiber of my being.  While perhaps I have achieved some of them I know that I need to continue to set goals for myself to grow as, not only a photographer but also as a person.

Last week I traveled to a client’s Michigan summer home on the Lake Michigan waterfront for a session.  This was a session for a repeat client and it was my pleasure to travel to them to capture their lives at the place where they feel most centered and happy.  At a point during our session, the dad took me through their gorgeous home and showed me the images that I had taken last year for them.  He led me to the den and had me stand back and proudly said to me:

“This is where I feel at home, surrounded by these photos of my beautiful family and I have YOU to thank for these.  When someone asks me why I would spend so much on (photography) I simply show them these images.  How can you not see why?”

Again, it’s been said before but I love my clients!!

…back to my original point.   The photo (above right)  represents so much to me, it represents the creation of a business based on my love for the bond between mother & child (child & child, father & child…you know the drill).  It represents the celebration of life, love and moments of happiness.   It’s what my above quoted client said he felt about the images we created together.  The photo to the right is the icon of what I base all my work around.  I even described the feeling of this photo as “nirvana” in my recent Rangefinder Radio podcast interview with Scott Sheppard HERE.

At the heart of it this image represents the beginnings of achievement for me; not moreso than any other image taken at that time but because sometimes there is a need to have an iconic representation of what you set out to do.  This image of my client and friend Sara and her beautiful curly haired boy is totally the mood I set out for each and every session.  Iconic images for my clients to remember the celebration of life that took place at a specific moment in time.  There is no greater goal for me to achieve.

So to all my clients I vow to continue to reach for images that truly represent who YOU are as a family and as individuals.  I vow to continue my goals of creating gorgeous images that you will be proud to hang in your home today, tomorrow, seven years from now and twenty years after that.  It is my pleasure to do so.

Celebrate life and enjoy the moment.


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So question of the day:  What do you get when you combine a good looking family + an amazing sense of humor (x5-yes I’m including myself) + crumbling urban decay?  You get a fun, amazing photo session with some extraordinary humans!

While some of the funner moments of this session will never see the light of day on this blog (I will reserve those for their mom’s blackmail opportunities if she sees fit!!) I have to say it is remarkable to me that this session was even MORE fun than our first session together just a couple of years ago.

Much thanks to their beautiful mom, Michelle, and  K, C & K for a great time.  Michelle-hard to believe, I know, but we actually DID accomplish what we set out to do – really terrific high school senior photography (and an absolutely hysterical session).




and this last shot that is just divine (plastic plant notwithstanding):

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek!  And btw RIP Sanders!  LOL

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  • Macarena Yanez - August 22, 2011 - 11:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos. There is nothing like having a great session with a funny and easy going family.

If I could just title this entry with !!!!! tons of exclamation points I would !!!!!!

My professional photography friends understand what a complete honor this is and I by no means am taking any of this moment for granted.  I am incredibly humbled, excited, honored, pleased, thrilled, overwhelmed, overjoyed, and every other emotion I can think of about this news.  So bear with the giggling freak that I am and please join in my excitement at this news:


The article is in print only currently but here are shots of the magazine.  (and in a clichéd statement uttered by EVERY portrait photographer when they are forced to photograph a non-moving object I will state: “I am not a product photographer, please bear with me.” 🙂  )

chicago-glencoe-photographer chicago-winnetka-photographer child-photographer-chicago-hinsdale chicago-plainfield-photography family-photos-chicagoland evanston-photos I was stunned when I got the news that *my* work was going to be on the cover of Rangefinder.  I am honestly humbled beyond words that the editors believed in my work enough to place it on the cover.  HUGE.  Huge news.  I want to take this opportunity to thank all my clients for their support and my blog readers for their interest but mostly to my family-because without family there would be no Marmalade.

Now please excuse me so I can continue running around being a freak about this amazing leg in my life’s journey.


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  • Leila - August 16, 2011 - 8:54 pm

    That one of your girls is one of the images that made me fall in love with you the first time I laid eyes on your work. STILL sad the spot is no more. A little piece of heaven it was. I am so proud and happy for you. I continue to look up to you and feel inspired by your essence. You are a gem!!!!

  • Marianne - August 16, 2011 - 9:48 pm

    Leila, you too are a gem and I thank you so much for thinking so highly of me and my work. I truly appreciate your words and have loved getting to know you since the workshop and on “that” social network. You are such an amazing lady as well.

  • Laura - August 19, 2011 - 11:33 am

    Congratulations!!! I can imagine your excitement, that is an incredible honor and amazing opportunity. <3

  • Mira - August 22, 2011 - 5:21 am

    Hi! I found my way to your site and blog through Rangefinder and I had to blog about you! Congrats! Your work deserves it!

  • Mary Anne - August 23, 2011 - 4:42 pm

    Congrats! I just received my issue today. So well deserved. I am always in awe of all of your images. Mary Anne (your mentee from last Sept)

A group of very talented children’s & family photographers (whom I am lucky enough to call friends) have gotten together for yet another themed blog carousel.  What is it?  It’s a monthly interpretation of a photographic theme.  This month we are tackling LOVE – PASSION.

This month I decided to dive into the archives and retrieve some images from weddings.  I love photographing (the occasional) wedding – for me it’s a combination of “rights”.

  • Right mood (love)
  • Right setting (somewhere gorgeous)
  • Right people (people I love to work with, love or just plain admire) and
  • Right clothing (who looks awful on their wedding day?  Hardly anyone!!)

When you encounter these factors of “rights” it makes for easy photographing.  I hope each of these couples loves these images like I do:

After you are finished reading this entry click on the link at the bottom of the page for the next photographer on the blog carousel.  There are quite a few of us so give yourself a good 20-30 minutes to go through all the entries.

I hope you enjoyed this stop on the Blog Carousel!  The next stop is my friend Danna Bowes, Calgary maternity, baby, and family photographer‘s blog.  I cannot wait to see what beautiful imagery she has for this month’s theme!

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  • Simone Hanckel - August 15, 2011 - 2:00 am

    I don’t think I’ve seen a Marmalade wedding image before! These are so beautiful 🙂 I love the passion in all of your imagery, so seeing wedding images is a treat 🙂

  • Anna Mayer - August 15, 2011 - 9:19 am

    Awww. Weddings are amazing! and these are amazing shot so of love at them. I especially love the first one. I swoon when my husband puts his hand on my neck like that. So tender. Beautiful.

  • Corey Sewell - August 15, 2011 - 9:47 am

    Each of these are so beautiful, Mare! Perfect interpretation of this month’s theme!

  • Danna - August 15, 2011 - 12:21 pm

    such a wonderful selection of images for this months themes! Gorgeous Mare!

  • lauri - August 15, 2011 - 1:11 pm

    Don’t forget… right photographer! These are absolutely beautiful wedding images, and so full of love.

  • elizabeth pellette - August 15, 2011 - 1:36 pm

    these are all awesome.. hope you are well Mare.

  • dawn sela - August 15, 2011 - 4:14 pm

    So pretty! Makes me want to get dressed up and go to a wedding!!!

I have worked with the G Family since before their first son, S, was born.  In the few years  we’ve worked together we have created beautiful maternity images together – some of my very favorites of all time (and if you look through my sample maternity gallery you’ll see a few from our session together!), some gorgeous newborn photos and one year/family photos as well.

Fast forward to a few months ago when Lori got in touch with me to book a session for her current pregnancy – I was so excited for her and Andrew!  Earlier this week I finally met the new bundle of joy, Little D!  What a sweet, beauty she is.

I love how this brother is welcoming his new baby sister into his world

I think the above cropped to a 10×20 would display beautifully!

Cuddle up baby. This little bundle was such a joy to work with.

Sweet sleeping baby

My wish for D:  Welcome to the world little girl, this is an amazing place filled with wonderment, joy and happiness – take the bad with the good as it is inevitable – but never highlight the bad too much or too often.  The beauty that the world has to offer to you is limitless if you choose to fill your heart with it.

I feel decidedly monochromatic today.  I hope you enjoyed the sneak peeks!

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  • Leila - August 11, 2011 - 1:44 pm

    love the smooshy lip in the Mommy shot!

  • Marianne - August 11, 2011 - 10:24 pm

    Me too Leila. Love that sort of newborn shot, timeless and lasting and always meaningful to parents.

  • Pieces of Sunshine - August 22, 2011 - 5:33 am

    These are beautiful! The middle one is my favourite.