A colleague of mine, Pam posted this the other day on her blog.  I think it’s a beautiful reminder of what memory making is all about.  Brought to you by the good people at Kodak.


Clients will often write me notes of thank you for capturing moments/expressions/mannerisms that they may not have captured and also to say thank you for reminding them about the beauty of just being.  The beauty of a photograph is that it says to the subject: YOU MATTER, WE LOVE YOU.  After the subject is long gone it is a testimony to their life and proof that they were here and they made a difference in the world.  This clip says it all for me, ever so much more eloquently and with more feeling than I ever could.


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  • Kelly - March 3, 2009 - 8:38 pm

    Love this video.

  • Dulce - March 4, 2009 - 10:23 pm

    I am such a dork, this actually made me teary eyed! thanks for sharing… 🙂

  • Kirsty - March 9, 2009 - 10:29 am

    I like that video! Thanks for sharing it!

Last week I came back from five fun filled days of learning in Las Vegas only to be laid up with the flu and then nasty sinus infection.  I won’t bore you with the details of it all (especially the sickie parts) but it felt good being amongst my peers, learning new techniques, hearing how other photographers run their businesses, learning how they shoot, what their inspirations are.  It made me realize that truly I am ensconced in a profession that I not only have a vested interest in (to help feed my family!) but in one that I am proud to be a part of.

I have this constant realizaiton that photography has brought something remarkable into my life.  I feel fortunate that this is truly where I am meant to be.  I heard a fabulous quote about people feeling lost and it struck me as true:  sometimes the purpose of feeling lost is just that, to be lost.  Sometimes we need to be lost to know when we really truly find ourselves.  As many of you know, photography took me from a dark, deep place and brought me to where I am and need to be.  I was lost and by happy circumstances found myself.

My friend Paula blogged several weeks ago how much she loves trips.  I love that she documents EVERYTHING.  I wish I had that sort of need to express – I find myself searching for that part of myself every year around this time.  I try to take time off in the winter to regroup and sort of find myself again and this year it took longer to get to (client commitments and business related images vs. shooting for pleasure).  This year I vowed would be the year where I’d regroup and find myself (AGAIN).  I haven’t done it yet.  It takes remarkable will to shoot from the hip like I did in my early days.  It’s less about the spontaneity, I find myself SEEKING now.  Paula never lost that drive for shooting for herself (forget everyone else!) and it shows.  Let me just say that I am so proud of her recent achievements (look on her blog) and am so proud of her!

However, my point in mentioning Paula (and her wicked cool talent) is this, several weeks ago she posted about how she can’t wait to leave (hmmm, escapism?  LOL) and posted an image that reminded me of the VERY roots of my love of photography.  So on my way back from Vegas I grabbed my camera.  The image I took was on my way home.  Obviously we have differing world views 😀 :

Flying Home

A simple image from a P&S camera that I stashed in my carry on to capture on the sly before the ok for electronic devices announcement happened (literally 2 seconds after I snapped this shot of the Grand Canyon). 

Paula’s image on her blog of leaving and the world below, my image of the Grand Canyon — they reminded me of an old old image my brother Matt took long ago from an airplane.  He was traveling back to Europe to meet with his fiancee who lived there.  He had invested in a Canon AE-1 (my first love) and loved documenting life. Upon his returned I remember staring at a shot he took from way up high where all you could see were clouds and the wing of the plane and I remember being fascinated by that image.  I was no more than 7 years old at the time and utterly perplexed with the process.  "How did the picture get from your camera to this sheet of paper?"  "How did it come to you ultimately?"  To me, it made no sense (until later of course).  The sky pictures from a birds’ eye view (airplane view) and the double exposures he played with back then were pure MYSTERY me. 

The travel / birds’ eye view images: when I saw Paula’s blog it all came back to me.  THIS is where my love is.  This is where my passion began.  Oh so long ago when my brain couldn’t work around the concept of photography – the fascination has stuck.  Obviously I know where pictures come from now but it is a reminder to all of us to pay attention.  What we say or do, how we act – you never know when it’ll make a difference.

You just never know.

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  • Paula - February 28, 2009 - 6:42 pm


  • Heather Rivlin - February 28, 2009 - 9:17 pm

    Seat 12A?

    My view from the plane was horrible…had a great big wing in my way at seat 22A…..grrr

    I too have had the blahs…and really needed that vegas trip to recharge, although at the same time, it left me feeling a little down too….hopefully that passes, and in the interim, I will simply pine for the lovely java machine you’ve recommended and think of the brighter days ahead 😉

  • Kimberly Hill - March 1, 2009 - 7:40 am

    There are a lot of Marmalade clients who are very happy Matt took that particular shot.

  • allie - March 1, 2009 - 9:25 am

    love the blog layout! beautiful!

  • j.ro - March 2, 2009 - 7:28 pm

    Hi! I just wanted to let you know I linked to your professional child photographer site on my website/blog. thanks so much for putting that together and sharing it with us! it’s an incredible amount of good information!! all the best to you and your business!! jayne

Ahhhh, I can maybe breathe a sigh of relief.  While our local state parks received the necessary funding to keep them open–others (and they are busy parks!) fell to the ax of closure, closing their gates in December of this past year.

However with the impeachment of good ole Blago we now have a governor who seems to care about the people a bit more.  Governor Pat Quinn has been quoted as stating that re-opening our state parks is a paramount concern:

The Pantagraph

So for now I can breathe a sigh of relief. 

I’ve been busy hunkering down and dreaming up new concepts for 2009. In the coming weeks I hope to have a new website for the SEE THE LIGHT Workshop for my photography friends with new dates released for 2009.   I’m looking at a workshop for late April and early June.   Other stuff too!  2009 will be a fabulous year.  I hope it finds you, my blog friends, feeling healthy, enjoying life and making loads of memories.


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  • PamN - February 1, 2009 - 2:28 pm

    Can’t wait to see everything you’ve got going for the new year…I’m sure it will be FUN!

  • Pammy - February 1, 2009 - 4:48 pm

    Yea! So glad you have more workshops lined up this year.

  • Denise - February 1, 2009 - 8:12 pm

    I heard Quinn mention parks in his 1st news conference and was pleased as well!!! 🙂 Happy February.

I had the awesome pleasure of meeting a new little client of mine yesterday.  I have photographed K & J’s family a number of times and watched them transition into first time parents, have had the pleasure of watching their handsome son grow from baby to busy toddler and now I have had the pleasure of photographing the littlest member of their family, P. 

P is super beautiful and such a wonderful baby.  K & J are so very blessed…they have a gorgeous family and their new little girl is perfect-in every way possible.  A huge thanks to them for entrusting me with this most cherished of times in their lives.  I love the images from their sessions so much–I’d marry them if I could.  This newborn session from yesterday is NO exception and in fact already houses a few of my faves from 2009!!

But first a quick retrospective:

This is from March ’07 with their little boy:

Little Max 2007

And here we are not two years later!  Already doing somersaults!

Little M now...

Big M – Jan 2009

Love those beautiful curls and those gorgeous eyes!


Little Sis

And his soon – to – be – partner – in – crime

Little Sis – Jan 2009


Cutie Pies

I love this shot because he was so good! Aren’t they gorgeous gorgeous children??

Now that I have my blog fixed maybe I can update more.  🙂  Hopefully.  I am actually a couple posts behind for sneak peeks..apologies to C, M & L for not being able to sneak peek their sessions however they already have their galleries so no matter!  My story (and I’m sticking to it 🙂 ) is that I sort of FUBARed my blog trying to update it so I reverted to an older copy of it and well, gave up in trying the update–for NOW.  🙂

Thank you for stopping by, until next time–


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  • Cindy - January 18, 2009 - 6:26 pm

    What a sweet little baby! I really adore shot #3, but the one with big brother peeking through his legs is especially fun!

  • Sylvia Laughrin - January 18, 2009 - 8:09 pm

    adorably sweet newborn. beautiful work as always.

  • Lisa Kelly - January 19, 2009 - 12:13 am

    Just gorgeous. Amazing what a good boy to sit still for that image. Lovely work.

  • PamN - January 20, 2009 - 9:41 am

    I love how you got a picture of him on the bed, now with his baby sister! How fun to have both of those!

  • Lisa - January 20, 2009 - 11:51 am

    Those are so precious. Love the somersault!

  • Jana Kunz - January 20, 2009 - 9:18 pm

    These are beautiful images!! They grow up so fast. 🙂

  • Jen Lane - January 22, 2009 - 9:10 pm

    Oooohhhh a Mare fix! I love this session! Those kids are gorgeous! LOVE #’s 1,2 and 3 especially!!

  • dsr - January 24, 2009 - 2:50 pm

    Your photos are always so perfect! I love that second one of the big brother peaking out between his legs!

  • Anna-Karin - January 25, 2009 - 10:19 am

    Oh I love the one of the two on the bed. So beautiful and perfect of a doting brother keeping an eye on his new little sis.

  • elizabeth - January 28, 2009 - 8:40 am

    These are fantastic

  • kelli@fancypantsphot - January 29, 2009 - 9:33 pm

    Wow. Love them all.

  • […] was a perfect day for a roadtrip of sorts.  The first leg of my "tour" was to go to K&J’s home on the North Side of Chicago and photograph their beautiful kids once again.  Before I go any further let me thank them, once again, for entrusting me with the most […]

Well, it’s here!!  The year end Marmalade 2008 slideshow is FINALLY up!  Even before my holiday (um, New Years?) cards have arrived.  🙂  Please click and enjoy the show.  Oh & a HUGE thank you to all my clients and friends that made 2008 an amazingly rocking year here in Marmaland.




• • • • •


Also I’d love to encourage all my blog readers that are in the Channahon/Joliet/Shorewood/Plainfield/anywhere area to make the trek out to Channahon for this AMAZING lights display. 


My pal from highschool, Dave (and his beautiful family) have put together the most AMAZING light show I have ever laid my eyes on.  It coordinates to music so when you are within the transmitted area you can listen to the music that perfectly coordinates with this amazing light show.  I was blown away.  Amazing stuff.  Check out his website for videos to get an idea of what it is all about and to get directions on how to get there.  I assure you it’s worth the drive.  Great job Dave!! 🙂 

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  • Whitney - December 27, 2008 - 6:50 pm

    Awesome slideshow as always – Thanks for the tip on the house. The girls loved it! 😛

  • Denise - December 27, 2008 - 9:16 pm

    Thanks for sharing all the images! Some great shots this year.

  • elizabeth - December 31, 2008 - 3:36 pm

    what a wonderful slideshow. really gorgeous work… happy new year to you mare.. all the best for you and your family in 09 xo .e.

  • Anna-Karin - January 1, 2009 - 10:05 pm

    Loved the slideshow!
    What beautiful portraits and such a great variety session to session.