Chicago Child Photographer Marianne Drenthe“Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.”  ~Henri Cartier-Bresson

The day was warm, thick with humidity.  The frogs were making noise in the canal we rode alongside.  The path was open, free from any fellow bikers or runners or humans taking their canine companions for a walk.  The sun hung low in the sky, the small gnats made their best attempt at halting our passage further down the canal towpath (time & time again).  My daughter, outfitted in her best hot pink helmet pedaled her pink bike faster than the wind – trying to prevent my passage to get in front of her.  Giving up I took my iPhone out of my pocket and shot several frames (nearly falling as I precariously balanced myself on my bike, my balance better than it has been but not nearly as good as in my days of riding my bike hands free).  I received this image as a gift in return for my efforts.  Thank you iPhone, the simple tool that keeps on giving.

(no manipulation contributed to this effect – simply movement and focus)

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  • Corey Sewell - April 18, 2011 - 12:28 pm

    Love it, Mare – and your post! It’s so important to capture those everyday moments with our families and I am so thankful for my iphone to help me do that on a whim.

  • Nichol Krupp - May 2, 2011 - 8:21 am


    LOVE THIS IMAGE. I have to agree with how many times and captures my iphone has contributed to with the spontaneous documentation of my children and life in general. Beautiful. I love the words that you put with the post as well. Made me smile over coffee. That is the good stuff.

  • Marianne - May 2, 2011 - 8:27 am

    awww, thanks Niki(& Corey). I love that the camera is with me, it’s taken my photo taking to a more spontaneous & fun level. Now to just print some of these gems!! 😀


My favorite kind of images have always been relationship style images.  Moms with their ‘littles’ are a personal favorite of mine.  Moms tend to be the family historian, the one BEHIND the camera – it’s my goal to create beautiful images for moms so that their children will grow up having a tangible memory of how much mom loved them.  Inspired by this my annual MOMMY & ME sessions came into being.  It’s a way for moms to get involved IN FRONT of the camera and to capture the beautiful relationship moms have with their children.

For the past several years I have hosted a MOMMY & ME set of short sessions in honor of Mothers Day.  This year, instead of ONE set of days on one weekend, I am hosting these with a bit more flexibility – every Saturday in April we will take appointments for Mother’s Day Mommy & Me sessions.  Details below.

Mommy and Me SessionsPlease call the studio to schedule your appointment or send someone who loves you the link for this blog post so they can gift it to you for Mom’s Day.

These go fast so hurry & schedule your appointment today.

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I have teamed up (once again) with a group of some of my fellow children’s photographers to bring to you a Blog Carousel.  What is a Blog Carousel?  Well it’s simply going from site to site and checking out each individual photographers’ entry into a theme.  This time around we are doing the theme, REFLECTION.  Once you’re done reading this post please feel free to go round the carousel to the next link and follow through.  It’s a fun project and I cannot wait to see what all my fellow photographers have come up with for today’s theme.

I have tons of images that fit that description but one of my very favorites is an image taken a few years back of my daughters.  You may have seen it if you’ve looked at my work in the past.  I love this image, in part because it describes the big sis-little sis relationship as well as any other image I’ve ever taken.  Because it is of my own children (in one of my favorite dresses of all time), it’s extra special to me.  AND it fits the REFLECTION theme.  I usually show it in color but this time I’m going to showcase it in a warm toned black and white.


I have this image in color at the studio in the viewing room – it never fails to elicit oohs and aahs.  I do love this shot – everything about it makes me very happy.

After going through a few of my friends images I thought I’d add another favorite of mine.  I was in one of the Yellow Wagon tours in Yellowstone in 2007 when I saw this scene as we were driving by (pretty fast actually).  I was ecstatic that I caught this image on film – it made me happy:

Reflection at Yellowstone National Park

Now to the next photographer in our REFLECTION theme: Baton Rouge Children’s Photographer, Anna-Karin.

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  • Danna - April 6, 2011 - 7:22 am

    MARE! I actually gasped. This is gorgeous.

  • […] follow our little circle and visit one of Chicago’s premier Children’s Photographer Marianne Drenthe of Marmalade Photography for her interpretation of Reflection. Posted in Blog Carnival, Photography Tags: blog carnival, […]

  • PamN - April 6, 2011 - 7:31 am

    Everything about it makes ME happy, too! Love it!

  • Corey Sewell - April 6, 2011 - 7:41 am

    Absolutely gorgeous, Mare!

  • Marianne - April 6, 2011 - 7:47 am

    Thank you ladies! It’s a favorite of mine.

    I added a 2nd shot and I said I caught it on film – since I’ve been shooting a lot of film I need to correct myself – I really caught it on sensor. 😀

  • Anna-Karin - April 6, 2011 - 7:49 am

    Just stunning! Love how big sister is reaching out to little sister.

  • Lauri - April 6, 2011 - 8:09 am

    That image of your daughters is one of my very favorite images ever. I love it in color, but it makes a gorgeous b&w as well! What a great composition you have on your second image, especially for shooting out of a moving car. I love when that works!

  • amanda padgham - April 6, 2011 - 8:10 am

    WOW Mare!
    These are unreal! I love them both. As always your talent shines through your images!

  • teri mason - April 6, 2011 - 8:21 am

    Gorgeous, Mare! Your girls are so sweet!

  • Sandy Edelstein - April 6, 2011 - 8:45 am

    Love the carousel idea and that image of your daughters is truly priceless!

  • Melody Hood - April 6, 2011 - 9:02 am

    These images are absolutely fabulous! Breathtaking!

  • Je Neuhaus - April 6, 2011 - 9:58 am

    Beyond gorgeous. Visually stunning and so lovingly swaddled with meaningand emotion. I belove it. Truly.

    That second? Score! Beautiful and great capture!

  • Dena Robles - April 6, 2011 - 10:43 am

    These are truly gorgeous. I love the clarity of the reflection in the 2nd image and the moments captured in both. I am so drawn into the first image and love the way the background trees almost look like a rippled reflection too because of the pretty bokeh.

  • Julie - April 6, 2011 - 4:34 pm

    That image of your girls is beyond stunning! AMAZING! And I love the second too – that is a wonderful capture for sure.

  • dawn sela - April 6, 2011 - 4:44 pm

    this image of your girls is art that is forever engrained in my mind;)

  • Lisa Russo - April 6, 2011 - 5:55 pm

    Definitely an image to treasure ALWAYS. Beautiful, Mare! And that coyote image is so cool!

  • Samara - April 6, 2011 - 6:03 pm

    Ok so I looked at the image before reading and my first thought was “Oh I hope those parents bought that HUGE.” Then when I realized it was your girls I was thrilled – I know it is sometimes so difficult for us to capture our own children and images like this are so special. The portrait from Yellowstone should seriously be a postcard, love it.

  • Blair Blanks - April 6, 2011 - 7:19 pm

    My first thought was, “One day, I want a portrait like that of my girls…” It was the mother heart wants, just like that. So very, very sweet.

  • Ruthi - April 7, 2011 - 1:06 pm

    STUNNING. It’s literally breathtaking, I am in awe of this image, Mare. The second one is also super cool – what a great moment to catch!

I had the pleasure of photographing J this weekend, what a handsome guy!  He made sure to let me know he wasn’t a fan of his sister’s dogs (his words!) and that he doesn’t like to have bare feet.  I love it!!

Kari, here’s a couple of sneak peeks of your sweet, funny & handsome guy:

I love it!  Personality plus!

“LOOK MA!  No hands!!”

Thank you for allowing me to photograph this adorable just-turned 4 year old sweetie!!

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I first met H and her mom last year.  I had a mentoring session with a photographer from Hong Kong and the day was beautiful, unseasonably warm for March.  Unfortunately it wasn’t so warm outside this go around HOWEVER the images we captured are sure to warm H’s moms’ heart.  (I know, CORNY, right?)

Thank you Jamie, for taking the time and coming out to the Wilmington studio earlier this week for a Marmalade Urban session.  Here’s a couple of (SWEET!) sneak peeks.

I LOVE all the colors!!

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

On that mommy love note – I’m happy to announce our annual MOMMY AND ME photo sessions.  These are going to be held every Saturday morning by appointment only in April starting 4/9.  They are always very popular so hurry to book now.  815.603.8450

Portraits of moms with their kids

Our most popular limited edition session

Sessions are first come, first serve, by appointment only.

Sessions will be held on Saturday mornings starting April 9th.  Sessions on 4/9, 4/16 & 4/23 are guaranteed for Mother’s Day delivery*

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  • Jamie Page - April 2, 2011 - 6:42 pm

    Yay!!! SO excited for the sneak peek! As usual Mare, your work is amazing! Thanks so much! I can’t wait to see them all. 🙂

  • elizabeth pellette - April 4, 2011 - 7:11 am

    Love these.. they are so awesome

  • Corey Sewell - April 5, 2011 - 6:23 am

    Beautiful work, Mare! Love that first one – so sweet!