Last year I entered into a prestigious international photography competition, the Black and White Spider Awards.  From their site: “With a collective Judging Panel of the world’s most recognized experts from SOTHEBY’S, TATE, MAGNUM PHOTOS, FRATELLI ALINARI, ARMORY SHOW, BONHAMS of London and more, the awards are the industry’s most authoritative and important photographic event for black and white and mono art”.

A few months after I entered, not giving it much thought after that, I received notice in the mail of being awarded an HONORABLE MENTION for one of the images I submitted.  My husband somehow knew he should make a big deal of it.  Not me, I acted very dense and was like “Yeah yeah yeah, they probably give those awards out to everyone just for entering.”  A few days later it occurred to me that I should investigate it.

Among thousands of entries they select a few hundred to get into the next stage of nomination.  From there they choose their top six in each category.  This image placed as an Honorable Mention in the advertising category behind the top three.  I have to say that I feel pretty dense about not recognizing that HEY!  This is pretty incredible.

Advertising Honorable Mention, Black and White Spider Awards

FOR SALE (with Chloe the adorable Terrier)

Thank you for allowing me to share this sort of big deal honor.  I should probably start paying more attention when Karma brings good things, eh?  🙂

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I realized as I was updating this blog that I had not shared the images that hung at the convention in 2010.  I know it’s a year later but I thought I would share here because somehow I have really neglected my blog and my own personal accomplishments this past year or so.  So I’ll start with two images that “hung” at the WPPI convention in 2010.  In context this is a pretty big deal – thousands of photographers enter their best of the best images into competition and only about 6% of images entered  have the honor of ‘hanging’.

Award Winning Child Photographer

The above image was a client image taken by my studio in late 2009

The above image is of my mom & dad’s hands.  My dad suffers from late stage Parkinson’s and at the time (late 2008) was utilizing a cane.  Currently he walks with a walker as the disease is progressing.  It’s a very personal image and I am glad that it did well.

What I am most proud of is that I myself did the printing of these images, tweaking them myself in Photoshop and printing them countless times.  I customized the presentation as well.  These were truly works of the heart and I am proud to present them with some of the backstory for you all to see.

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  • Pammy - March 15, 2011 - 12:16 am

    So proud of you and in awe that you were a featured photographer in the WPPI Show Guide. All well deserved my talented friend!

  • Paula - March 15, 2011 - 12:30 am

    fabulous. Just love that one of your parents hands…….. def not the vision you are thinking of in my case, I assume… 😉

  • Bryan Grant - March 16, 2011 - 5:03 pm

    Great pics i can see why they won… i was there at wppi this year. my head is still spinning

  • alpana - March 21, 2011 - 9:23 am

    congrats! the one with your parent’s hands is so powerful!

Last week was a complete whirlwind for me, I took a last minute trip to Vegas for the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) Convention. For you non photographer types: WPPI is an organization in the photography industry that hosts a yearly convention that attracts thousands of photographers from all around the world.  In 2010 I entered the photography competition and it was wonderful for me in terms of good things: a few of my competition prints were hung – quite the honor that I shared with all my Facebook fans and my newsletter subscribers.  This year my work represented the genre of CHILDREN’S PHOTOGRAPHY in the WPPI 2011 Show Guide, I found out sort of last minute that my work would be in the guide and flew out to see it in person in the context of the convention.  Doing so allowed me to spend time with my photography friends, meet loads of amazingly talented photographers, gain much needed inspiration from people I admire and attend the Awards Ceremony.  I was humbled to be amongst so many talented artists and business people.

Click the image above to download the WPPI 2011 Show Guide – Children’s Photography Article featuring my work

I’ll be honest though, my favorite part was being in the Guide because it really is quite an honor.  The first thing I did was go to the main floor of the convention, grab a couple of copies and sit down in a corner to fully take in the moment.  I jokingly (sorta) told some friends that it took everything I had not to walk around with the opened magazine like a big dork saying: “LOOK IT’S ME!  IT’S MY WORK!”  Thankfully the dorky part of me stayed quiet (mostly).  🙂  I can’t say that I didn’t do that for a day or two after I got home though.  😉

Thank you for allowing me to share this super cool honor.  Also I want to thank the good people at Rangefinder Magazine for hooking me up with web sized copies of the PDF to show the article in the best possible light.  Viva Las Vegas (minus the money that I left at the blackjack table)!

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  • Paula - March 2, 2011 - 7:39 am


  • charity - March 2, 2011 - 8:14 am

    how exciting. congratulations!

  • Leila - March 2, 2011 - 8:45 am

    well deserved

  • teri mason - March 3, 2011 - 8:19 am

    Way to go, Mare! Congratulations 🙂

As you already know the blog was broken for awhile so I thought that I would share some images from a few of the sessions that were not blogged while the cold is settling in for the remainder of February.  CANNOT wait to get back out there to shoot (snow shoot anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller??)

I had the pleasure of meeting this handsome guy (and his brother) back in November.  I think we were hit with cold weather a little sooner than usual so this little guy was settling in for his first long Chicago winter, hope they’re enjoying the copious amount of snow we’ve been hit with.  Here he is with a bright happy smile to warm you up:


Thank you A Family (and Darla H. for the referral) for trusting Marmalade Photogrpahy with your memories.  I hope you are enjoying the gorgeous portrait work of your beautiful children we created together.  xoxo

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  • PamN - February 15, 2011 - 4:34 pm

    Love everything about this – his expression, the door, the stuffed animal, the light – LOVE IT!

  • Michael Wachel - February 22, 2011 - 1:39 pm

    I love this photo! I like them mood and the playful look on his face. Nice job.

  • Leah Severson - March 21, 2011 - 6:15 pm

    Love that he’s still got a tight grip on his furry friend. Great photograph!

Dear blog,

I really didn’t mean to neglect you for the past two and a half months…honestly my database needed updating and things were messed up on the back end…I just couldn’t bear to deal with you in the midst of the busy season so sadly you stood neglected through the end of the rush of the Holiday busy season.  You’ve waited patiently for me to get my act together…I’m back here to play again. 




Hi all!  I’m back with a January sneak peek!  I hope you’re enjoying the new colors and the bit of remodeling the Marmablog has undergone in recent weeks.  I think that some more tweaking is in order but for now…this’ll do.

Little A travelled from Chicago’s Hyde Park area this past weekend for a session at the Marmalade studio.  It was nice to take a break from "event" season and get back to shooting kids (with a shiny new camera no less). 

We’re starting out the 2011 portrait season with a bang!  A huge thank you to A’s parents, Trey and Shari, I appreciate your entrusting me with these memories of your beautiful girl.  I hope you enjoy the sneak peeks I’ve prepared!!


Oh how I adore little A with Rabbit



This one makes me laugh



This one makes me smile

Thanks so much for stopping in!!

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  • Sylvia Laughrin - February 2, 2011 - 9:49 am

    awww. the first one melts my heart. my kids are older and have stopped loving their “lovey.” the color on the last one is beautiful!

  • Lisa Kelly - February 3, 2011 - 6:15 pm

    The first image with Rabbit, sigh it makes me smile. So lovely. What a sweet little one and what lovely images.

  • elizabeth pellette - February 5, 2011 - 8:35 am

    Umm hello.. love these Mare.. so great.. especially the last shot..

  • Dejah - February 7, 2011 - 9:42 pm

    I really like the new blog look! 😉

  • Michael Wachel - February 22, 2011 - 1:40 pm

    Amazing set of photos you have here. I really like your processing on them as well.