Naperville mom and her sonThis weekend was fabulous weather wise.  A great day for some family photos with a Marmalade Favorite.

You may remember this family from my retrospective post in Fall 2015.  It is wonderful to watch Not-So-Little-N grow up.  He’s pretty much my height now, which cracks me up because I think he was only three months old when I first met him.

I watched him literally take some of his first steps.  Which is quite a wow moment for me, we even have photos that documented it (how often does that happen?!).  As I’ve said so many times before: to watch someone grow up through my lens is one of those things that’s pretty much indescribable and such an honor.

If you’d like to see how far we’ve come together I’ll post a link for a Then and Now flashback for you after these amazing sneak peek images.

Follow through for the sneak peeks from this mini session.  I also have posted a link after the sneak peeks to some past images with Kim and N.  And Stella.  I always forget Stella and sometimes she’s the star of the show!!  😀

A photo of a boy in a natural outdoor setting

An example of a photo of a boy and his dog, fall 2016

This was a fun image to capture. He got all tangled up. Stella didn’t seem to mind!!


The colors are JUST starting to turn.  October is on its’ way.  If you want a fall family photo session NOW is the time to book your date before all the good color dates are gone.  The weather is still nice enough to be comfortable, I really think we are starting to hit the “sweet spot” of Fall.

Naperville family photos can be created at your home or other location of your choosing OR at one of our locations (as pictured here) in the Channahon area.  We can discuss the dreams of your vision for family wall art and make that dream a reality.  Contact us today to make it happen!  815-603-8450


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Our 2016 Fall Mini Photo Sessions are booking now!  Minis will be held at one of our favorite locations where there is a nice variety of tall grasses, color filled fall trees and stone structures.

Book your session using the button below.  Your time will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.  If you need a specific time please email us and request it and we will do our best to accommodate you.  Once you pay via Paypal you will be taken to a form to fill in your information.  We will have a backup rain date in case of inclement weather.


Announcement for fall mini sessions 2016

MINI SESSION 2016: $145

20 minute session
Up to 5 people
Private gallery with 8-10 images for 2 days, personalized ordering session over the phone with Marianne
1-digital image which will include both B&W and color versions of your photo
1-online sharing image of your selected digital image

After paying you will be directed to our online form for your mini session paperwork.  You will be assigned a time for your mini session the week of this event.  We look forward to seeing you all!

Mini Photo Sessions Suburban Chicago held by Marmalade Photography on Sunday October 16, 2016.  Book now via our BUY NOW button above or contact us at 815-603-8450 (or email: marmaladephotography@gmailDOTcom ) for more information.



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Marmalade Photography showcases mothers with their children at every photo session we shoot

If you’ve followed my blog at all over the past, oh, 10-11 years or so, you will have noticed that there are certain themes that I’m in love with.  Number one or two on that list is definitely mother-child photography.  It goes without saying that I love this genre/part of my job.

I believe that photos of parents with their children are a necessary part of a family’s life.  I think that children truly derive a sense of belonging from photography on display in the home (see THIS post for more detail on my thoughts on that topic) AND I think that it is valuable, no maybe necessary, for every child to have photos taken with their parents – ESPECIALLY moms.  Let’s face it moms: you’re always on the other side of the camera…how do I know?  Because I’m that mom too and I’ve taken the time, over the years, to ensure that there are photos with ME present in them.  With the kids.

It’s not that I enjoy being in photos (I kind of hate not being in control of the photo taking process…I KNOW…hard to believe, right? 😀 ) but I do believe that children get a kick out of being in photos with mom and kids definitely enjoying seeing themselves in photos and moms are often the forgotten family member in photo albums.  As moms we have a bazillion excuses to not be in the photos but the #1 reason we should be in them is this: THE PHOTO YOU TAKE WITH YOUR CHILDREN ARE NOT ABOUT YOU.

Which comes to this session in particular.  I know this mom understands the value in being in photos with her babies…she *gets* it (she gets me and my passion for it).  I’ve had the pleasure of photographing her oldest since he was toddling and also her youngest starting around the same age.  I was thrilled that she was coming to town again and chose to have me photograph her and the kids while she was visiting Chicago.  I keep saying it because I mean it:  it is an honor to watch these young people grow up, it is a pleasure watching their personalities emerge and it is humbling to know that our time together, while short and only a few hours of one day, is something that will be remembered for a long time to come.  The value of what I create goes far beyond the present moment and I am fully aware of the weight of what I do (and create).

I capture personalities, quirks, fun moments, loving moments and the heart and soul of relationships.  And what a blessing it is.

Thank you Svena for allowing me into your beautiful family’s life for this brief morning this past weekend.  It was a joy to see you all again!  Much love and I hope you enjoy your sneak peek.


A Marmalade Photography photo of a young child in Chicago An example of a photo of a girl in downtown Chicago


If you are looking for a Chicago IL family photographer I may be your girl!  I regularly travel throughout the city and the suburbs for family photography sessions.

(I seem to be seeing a lot of my out of town clients this year…this is a hint to those I haven’t seen in awhile…your photography session awaits you!! 😀  Come to visit the Windy City and while you’re booking your flight call me, your updated family photos await you!  815-603-8450)


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  • Alex - September 30, 2016 - 1:36 pm

    Great post! Having lost my mother 13 years ago, I know the importance of having images of her and with her. They are my most treasured possessions.

  • Nicole - September 30, 2016 - 1:46 pm

    This is a great post to read. I see your value, I see the love you have for your clients, and I love that you get a little personal with them. Great sneak peek, I know she will love these. <3

  • Kelly loeffler - September 30, 2016 - 2:49 pm

    beautiful blog. Mother child portraits are a beautiful thing to capture

This weekend was quite the weekend.  Great weather (mostly).  September sessions really are my thing.  The light is perfection, the air is starting to cool off but not too cool.  It’s the real wind down of summer and it starts getting awesome weather wise and light wise here in Chicagoland.

Plus this September has been filled with Marmalade Favorites and even a sisters session or two…the sneak peeks from this session come from a family session from a long time client family.  The B family has been with me since little S was just a wee one.  Our last session produced some of my personal favorite images and some may be seen in the “Artist Favorites” part of my galleries here on the blog and on my site.  This next image is yet another one in the favorites column (and I’m sure there will be quite a few from this session in that column!).  This is little L in a “Jump for Joy” sort of moment.

…and that dress!  I can’t take credit for the dress or that fabulous hair but to say that I was swooning is no lie.  I ~~swooned~~!

An example of a Marmalade Photography of Chicago photo of a child

An example of a photo shoot with sisters in Chicagoland. An example of a photo of a middle school aged girl in Chicagoland.

And this young lady ^^.  Incredibly sweet, beautiful and fun.  I swooned over her outfit too.  Mom had it in spades!!  I edited this image in a warm toned black and white so I know you can’t see but the lace up detailing matched her sisters suede dress perfectly!  One of my favorite outfit duos to date!

I know I’ll do a session feature on this and other sessions in the future (aka slower season) so for now: Thank you B Fam for joining me at one of my favorite locations in the Southwest burbs this past weekend and celebrating September with me!!  Love you guys and I love what we created together.  Hope you enjoyed your sneak peek!

If you are looking for a Flossmoor Family Photographer I travel as well as having locations near and dear to my heart in the Southwest suburbs.  Feel free to give me a call to chat about your family photo session.  I love working with kids of all ages (from 8 days to 88 years of age!!)  My number is 815-603-8450 and I’m available M-F 9 a.m. to about 5 p.m.




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  • Laini Bacon - September 15, 2016 - 9:57 am

    True art, beautiful!!

  • marmalade - September 15, 2016 - 4:52 pm

    Thank you Laini. As always it was so great to have an opportunity to create artwork for you all!!

Photo of two siblings having fun at a photo session in Chicago

The “sweet spot” of childhood

I love a good time and good times often happen with the age group of the kids in this sneak peek.  Plus it’s a brother and sister session which seem to always be lively (aka fun) sessions.

First off the back story.  Candace is a long time client of mine and unfortunately a few years ago her and her family moved out of state.  🙁  But the good news is that from time to time they come back to the city and I get to see this family as the kids grow up (which if you’ve been following the blog you are already aware is one of my favorite things in the world!)

So it was time for a visit to the city and I was so happy to hear that I would be getting a chance to see these kids for updated photos now that they are a few years older.  It is a treat watching my client families grow.

To add to the fun: I absolutely love photographing school aged children, they are always a lot of fun.  They take on a good deal of direction but they haven’t quite lost the spontaneity that teens sort of lose (you know, because they’re “cool” and all 😛 )  And this session…well judging from the first photo you know this was no exception to the rule.  School aged kids…well they ROCK!!

Fun, funny.  Silly.  Serious.  They have it all and in spades.

As this mom and dad said: “This is sort of the sweet spot of childhood.”  And it truly is.

Having said that I was thinking maybe we should trademark that phrase.  What do you think Candace and Thu?  Shall we?   Note I already tossed the ™ symbol up there and everything.  😀

Enjoy these images from your sneak peek and once again…thank you for taking time to be photographed while visiting your old stomping grounds.  It is always a pleasure to work with you all.  Er, “Y’ALL”.

Sneak peek below:


Photo of a boy peeking out from a tree branch in Chicago

Marmalade Photography creates photos of Chicago families

An example of family photos in Chicago by Marmalade Photography


Client image of a wall display in their home

We are specialists in wall design

Are you looking to have a family photo session while visiting Chicago ?  Marianne Drenthe is a lifelong area resident and can steer you in the right direction for the kind of mood you want to achieve when creating your family photos.

We can often be found photographing in and around the city and the surrounding suburbs to create one-of-a-kind works of photographic art for families to display in their homes.  We can help you arrange a display wall for your photographic art from your session and we can help create a beautiful storybook album of our time together.

Give us a call to book your family photo session while visiting Chicago – our number is 815-603-8450.

(image courtesy of the client of the actual wall display in their home – please scroll down to one of the following blog entries to see the wall to the left hand side)





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  • Candace Nguyen - September 7, 2016 - 10:06 pm

    We loved seeing you Mare! Marmalade photo sessions are one of my favorite Chicago traditions. Speaking of traditions, if you dug back through your archives from 9 years ago, you’d find that we bought a pick of Cole posing in pretty much that exact same spot on the tree. I love the similarity and contrast! The pics are fabulous, of course. Can’t wait to see the whole session!

  • PamN - September 13, 2016 - 1:50 pm

    Lovely work as always! And, I might add, beautiful kids!

  • marmalade - September 15, 2016 - 4:52 pm

    Thank you Pam!!

  • marmalade - September 15, 2016 - 4:54 pm

    It was a joy to see you guys Candace!! I thought that little peek was super familiar!! 😀 I’ll walk down memory lane when I do a session showcase maybe after all the craziness of fall settles down if you are ok with that.