Whew.  It’s been a week!!  I think Mercury is in retrograde already, my phone has been acting wonky.  My computer keeps giving me errors.  My web server isn’t forwarding me emails like it should and always has…definitely a problem above my pay grade…LOL  My youngest had her very last homecoming dance this past Saturday and it was more insane than usual (I’m not sure why senior year does this to us mamas and the seniors!), the light was off, in this photographer’s opinion, and it was way windy.  Thank goodness the weather settled by the time I had a mini session that evening but honestly everything seems to be off just ever so slightly for the past week.  Not so much that I feel like things are spinning out of control but more like I can’t hit pause long enough to actually accomplish any one task.

Ahhh the life of a mom with teens and tweens.  We all think it’s going to be hunky dory and then one little mishap turns into fifteen.  😀

However I had THE most amazing session with some repeat clients about a week ago.  I think this session had all the stars align for the weather, the lighting and of course the scene.  We mixed in a beautiful family that I know and love and the rest is pure magic.

On Location Photography in Chicago

I traveled to the far North side near the Loyola campus for this session, I was so excited to see this family as it has been a few years since I last caught up with them.  I say this time & time & time again, I know y’all are sick of hearing me say this, but honestly after my session with my families/kids is done it’s like time for that family has frozen.  So when I am confronted with almost men and young ladies after last seeing school aged faces it is a little startling.  But then I quickly remind myself that yes, time passes.  All too quickly actually.  And I remind myself that my sole purpose as a photographer, my personal credo, is to stop time, capture personalities and relationships and do so in as artful of a way as I can.  So I re-centered myself and got to it.

Look at these flashbacks for just a moment though…and I want to briefly discuss the value and importance of prints as I do this because I could NOT find the following image until I went in my “media” files on this blog and dug this fun image up.  It is TRULY one of my favorite baby images of all time.  ALL TIME folks.  ALL TIME.  E and Lisa came out to the studio for one of my Mother’s Day Minis back in 2009 and we captured this and a bunch of other truly captivating images but this stands out as one of my faves of forever.  AND I COULDN’T FIND IT on any of my drives or discs (back when I used to burn discs).  It was gone like it never existed……EXCEPT it does exist in the real world as a beautiful black and white print in this families’ home.  THANK GOODNESS.


And of course this low resolution web version that is constantly backed up on my blog.  But this, my friends, is why I love prints.  THIS IMAGE RIGHT HERE is why they are so priceless and valuable.  Because this serious face full of seriousness dressed in a beautiful fuzzy pink sweater is just full of sweetness and smiles now.  Gosh I love this girl:

Chicago Tween Girl Photographer

Now look back at “The Dictator” photo from 2009 and look at this nex timage just a few months later.  Oh my gosh, my HEART!  This baby growing up right before my lens:

Baby photos of Chicago babies

Chicago Family photographer

Family image from 2009 ^^

And now we move a few years later to 2012.  Lisa with the boys:

Mom and boys photographer

Chicago family photos done in nature

There’s our cutie E with her handsome dad and brothers and beautiful mom.  Almost as serious as before except…

Kids of Chicago photographerNot so much really!

When I say I love photographing personalities I really mean it!!

So a few more sneak peek images because I know that Lisa and Jeff would really love to see what we created a week ago…beautiful images of this slice of their current life:

Couples photos on Lake MichiganTruly a beautiful night out  on the water…

And beautiful light in the home… At Home Photos in Chicago high school boy skateboarding photo…and under the street lights

Ahhhhh…what an extraordinary night.  What an extraordinary session with equally extraordinary folks.  Much love!

Listen, I am no stranger to the passage of time.  In the fourteen years I have been photographing families I have watched babies grow up, school aged kids graduate high school and go on to accomplish BIG things and have watched families grow.  I love what I do, I believe that your family should be captured artfully and with a specific vision.  I believe no two families are alike and even more so I believe in the unique qualities of every person I photograph.  If you too believe in those things and if you’re looking for a professional photographer with experience, with vision and the portfolio to match to create some on location photography in Chicago … or the ‘burbs … or for travel even beyond Illinois (I do that and love traveling to my clients!) give me a call.  I am your girl (er…woman).

My name? Marianne.  My game? Professional photographer for beautiful kids and families in Chicago and beyond.  My phone number?  815-603-8450

Thank you for taking a look at some of my on location photography in Chicago.  🙂



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SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER 2019 photography availability:

Chicago mother child photographyAre you looking for options for fall photos?  Are you in Chicago?  Naperville?  Hinsdale?  Burr Ridge?  Clarendon Hills? Plainfield? Or any point in between??  You’re in luck!

Availability is still open for October for both on location options (we come to you) or our Marmalade Locations (you come to us in the SW burbs).

Also we still have a couple slots open for our last minute options posted the other day LINK to take advantage of the glorious September and early October light

…finally…we have opened up our 2019 Mini Session time slots for immediate booking LINK HERE

Since 2005 Marmalade Photography has been coordinating, creating and printing beautiful images for highly discriminating clientele who seeks personality driven, fun, beautiful imagery created in relaxed settings.  If you are looking for September & October 2019 photography availability for area Chicago photographer fall sessions to create images you have always dreamed of we can help!!

Call us today at 815-603-8450 if either of our linked options do not work to your benefit.

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A words written by Misty Brewer Lee, images by Marmalade Photography



Chicago Baby Photographer for at home photosWhen you first have children they talk about the challenges of parenting….the struggles of a baby waking in the night,
the toddler who won’t stay in their bed, the cost of childcare, injuries from sports…

Having to take off work to pick them up from school when they don’t feel well, helping them with homework, a messy house, the never ending laundry, the cost to buy school clothes, packing their lunches….

You watch their eyes light up on Christmas morning….and try to soak in the magic of those moments.

You coach them in sports, rushing to practices and ballgames…and tote them all over the country to let them play the game they love…no matter how exhausting or expensive it becomes.

Life is just so busy that you rarely even stop to think what the end of those days look like.

In fact, it’s not really even something you can wrap your mind around.

You go into it thinking that 18-20 years sounds like a long time….

Then suddenly hours turn into days…days into months…and months into years. Sports Performance Volleyball

That little person that used to crawl up next to you in bed and cuddle up to watch cartoons…suddenly becomes this young adult who hugs you in the hallway as they come and go.

And the chaos and laughter that used to echo throughout your home….gets filled with silence and solitude.

You’ve learned how to parent a child who needs you to care for and protect them….but have no clue how the whole “letting go” thing is supposed to work.

So you hold on as tight as you can…wondering how time passed so quickly…feeling guilty that you missed something….

Because even though you had 20 years…..it just somehow doesn’t seem like it was enough.

You ask yourself so many questions…

Did you teach them the right lessons?  Did you read them enough books as a child?
Spend enough time playing with them? How many school parties did you have to miss?
Do they really know how much you love them? What could I have done better as a parent?

…..When it’s time for them to go, it all hits you like a ton of bricks.

Naperville high school senior photographyAnd all you can do is pray….hope….and trust that God will protect them as they start to make their way into the world alone.

Parenting is by far the most amazing experience of your life….that at times leaves you exhilarated….while others leave you heartbroken.

But one thing is certain…..it’s never enough time…?

So for all the parents with young children…who’s days are spent trying to figure out how to make it through the madness…
Exhausted day in and day out…

Soak. It. All. In.

Because one day….all those crazy days full of cartoons, snuggles, sleep overs, Christmas morning magic, ballgames, practices and late night dinners…

All come to an end.

And you’re left hoping that you did enough right, so that when they spread their wings….

They’ll fly…?


If you enjoyed this you may enjoy our thoughts on “Don’t Disappear from the Picture

The only way I’ve found that effectively freezes the passage of time is the creation of beautiful portraits of your favorites’ in a beautiful setting.  October is fast upon us, schedule a photo session for you & yours today!! 815-603-8450



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September light…I can wax poetic about it forever however because we are nearing the end of the month I can’t go on and on (but I’ll include a few images to illustrate my point)

To celebrate one of my favorite of months to shoot, if not favorite, I am offering several “last minute” options for family, senior or a catch up session before the light isn’t so beautiful anymore.  These are exclusive to one of my Marmalade Locations (in the SW suburbs).

The following dates are for afternoon sessions:

Saturday 9/28 | Sunday 9/29 | Monday 9/30 | Wednesday 10/2 | Thursday 10/3 | Friday 10/4 | Saturday 10/5 |  Sunday 10/6

Select your date

These last minute prices are truly special (reflecting the belief that I have about this special time of year for photos) and are normally $195-255.

September Light High School Senior Session in Chicago

Northside Chicago Photographer

downtown chicago photographer

If our dates for the ” September Light Sessions : Now at “last minute” pricing ” do not work out for you, feel free to drop us an email or give us a call at 815-603-8450 to pick another date!!




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Chicago Child PhotographerAh…easily one of my favorite images from the early days of my business.  The year?  2006.  I hadn’t even yet celebrated one year in business.  This beautiful girl stole my heart, her and her brother’s session is still one I replay when I think of the early days of my business.  We spent our time exploring the local children’s garden and I remember how beautifully the light hit.  This little girls’ curls were EVERYTHING and her mom dressed her up so stylishly!  It was a great afternoon.

I loved being able to meet up with both mom and this not-so-little-girl the other day for an urban session for her high school senior year photos.  I loved catching up with this girl, getting a quick fast forward of what her life has been like this past few years and using some really exquisite light and some fun backgrounds to create images that highlight who she is, a sort of “slice of life” in her senior year.

SIGH.  And it hits me hard, to be honest, because this girl and my own daughter are the same age.  It is just highlights to me how quickly time has flown.  I mean in my mind’s eye this “little” girl (pictured above) hasn’t grown up at all!  And when I met up with her she is this beautiful, statuesque dancer.  A beautiful young lady about to embark into her own life.  Bittersweet.  Beautiful.  Frustrating.  Lovely.  I think those four years sum up what most of us moms of seniors feel like.  A mix of dread, fear, worry and happiness that we got to this point and almost a sense of relief that these kids are thriving and about to be their own people but yet so sad because in our mind’s eye they’re still little littles.

Chicago childhood captured

But enough waxing poetic about the past…fast forward to September 2019 where we have beautiful Becca, class of 2020, photographed in some amazing September light.  September really IS magical.  One of my favorite months of the year for photography!!  Becca: you are gorgeous.  You are smart.  You are amazing.  I know the future holds only potential and beauty for you…your mom and dad did a really great job.  You’ve worked really hard to get here.  And it’s crazy to me that you look the same!!  LOL

High School Senior Photos for St. Francis Class of 2020

Chicago High School Senior Photos

St. Francis Wheaton high school senior photos

I also have a old & new set up on the Facebook page to check out.  While you’re there LIKE my page, please & thank you!

Looking for high school senior photos for St Francis Class of 2020 or for any seniors in any local area highschools such as Wheaton Academy, Benet Academy, Joliet Catholic Academy, Nequa Valley, Naperville North, Hinsdale?  Look no further!  We’ve been photographing beautiful faces since 2005 and LOVE photographing high school seniors.  Give us a call at 815-603-8450 to book your own high school senior portrait experience!

Chicago childhood capturedSave


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