I hope everyone has gotten out to vote.  In this era of jaded views it’s more important than ever to take part in the voting process.  Hopefully changes will happen in the coming few years that will set a solid foundation for our children’s future…this has been my biggest concern.  I won’t go on about political stuff because frankly to me it’s much less exciting than kid’s portraits but nonetheless voicing our desires via the vote is the most responsible thing.  You can’t complain if you don’t vote my dad used to say.

I found this amazing chill music on open source audio.  I think it’s the whole album.  It’s called My Feel India Chill (sort of meshing with my yoga – Indian mood as of late).  It’s half hour in length but I totally love the first and second songs.  Worth keeping my blog on to listen to.  🙂


So TARA, I KNOW YOU’RE WAITING!!  I won’t bore you all with details however let’s just say this is the best group of five kids ever.  I am so fortunate to be their family photographer and have cherished watching them grow up this past three years (and four sessions!)  Here are a few sneak peeks from the Country Girl portion of my Sunday this past weekend:





growing up too fast (and too handsome)

I can’t wait to totally dive into this session…it makes me happy.  E girl was much more into getting photographed than in years past and looked surreal among the tall grasses in her silk blouse & skirt.  I was in love with the gorgeousness!!


(sigh.  I’ve always said I love November light.  Now you can see why!)

Thanks Tara & Alan for allowing me to watch (via the camera) your beautiful family grow…

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  • cheryl johnson - November 5, 2008 - 12:52 pm

    gorgeous images & magical light – inspirational work 🙂

  • corey civetta - November 6, 2008 - 8:28 am

    What a beautiful bunch of kids! You captured them so well, too. I love the light in the last one!!

  • diana - November 6, 2008 - 9:50 am

    that first and last ones are just too amazing for words!

  • alpana - November 6, 2008 - 10:17 pm

    These are so wonderful! Beautiful light too. Love your work!

I heard this song on my way into the city yesterday morning…I remembered how much I loved this song when it came out (& still do):


Sunday was very much a CITY GIRL/COUNTRY GIRL kind of day for me.  My first of two sessions was in Wicker Park.  It was an AMAZING day in terms of weather and in terms of the company I was with.  Lucky lucky me!  I got to meet E and her gorgeous parents Thad and Deb.  A huge thanks to them for welcoming me into their lives for a few hours for an on location session.  Without further adieu…on with the sneak peeks:


all smiles

sometimes you take what you can get...

Thanks for stopping in…more sneak peeks tomorrow!!

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  • Anna-Karin - November 3, 2008 - 11:54 pm

    What a great location for this session. I love the soft feel of this sweet little girl in an urban setting.
    Mare at work, creating beautiful portraits as always!

I’m a couple days behind and apologize for my tardiness.  🙂

This past weekend I had the great pleasure of meeting a wonderfully gracious family who allowed me into their reunion weekend for just a couple of hours to photograph this amazing weekend in their lives.  Here’s a few more candid sneak peeks that have made me grin from ear to ear:

pumpkin sweaters

Had to show one with the sweaters!!  🙂

upside down






quiet for a second

As for the events of the past week…Thanks to all my readers, those who took time to comment & congratulate and those who emailed me.  I was overwhelmed with the happiness people have shown me for the good stuff.  I truly believe that happiness begets more happiness and I wish many successes and much happiness to all my readers.  I’m overwhelmed with all sorts of oozy good stuff, call me Mrs. Brightside.  😀


 I know I know, it’s like the 100th time The Killers have appeared in my life’s soundtrack.  What can I say?  It’s my blog!  😀

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  • PamN - October 30, 2008 - 7:08 am

    I just LOVE the images with the grandparents – so special! I wish more people would do that!

  • diana - October 30, 2008 - 7:25 am

    love those sweaters!

  • Connie - October 30, 2008 - 11:13 am

    These are just lovely, Mare! Congratulations on being featured in the Daily Candy- that is awesome!

  • Terrilyn - October 30, 2008 - 8:40 pm

    Mare, it is always a treat to view your sessions. You manage to capture the essence of the children and their family with such beauty. Always an inspiration.

  • Lisa Kelly - October 31, 2008 - 4:02 pm

    These images are just so wonderful, they ooze love and family and I guess that is what a reunion is all about. And by the way, my 6 year old’s in love with The Killers, so keep on sharing.

  • kristina - October 31, 2008 - 9:24 pm

    You did a lovely job with the family images. They look so happy and close–I can see the relationships there. Lovely!

  • Jennifer Parke - November 1, 2008 - 6:27 am

    I love the shot of the little person holding hands with the adults! Please keep sharing!

I am told Marmalade Photography is going to be featured in Chicago’s Daily Candy!!! tomorrow (Monday).  ……I know!  What a H U G E  honor.  Even more unbelievable… I was told by a little birdie that um, I’m like the first photographer to be featured.  That just blows me away and I feel incredibly humbled.  Thank you to Kelly and Megan from Daily Candy and please, Monday a.m., go check it out!  To be up to date on the latest, hippest, newest goings on in Chicagoland you should subscribe to Daily Candy.   There’s other metro areas if you are outside of Chicagoland (is there such a place…ok, yeah, in this cold there definitely is!  LOL )

Since I’m taking a few moments to toot my horn…photographers everywhere would agree that one of the of the best sources for photographers who desire to be inspired is DESIGN AGLOW.  DA infuses the reader with inspiration and creativity and I am completely humbled/honored/proud to be part of the most recent issue of Design Aglow, Issue No. 6 The Style Issue (available now).  (does this mean i have style?)  😀  The article is written by the talented Andrea Joki and discusses thoughts on shooting and surroundings, philosophy and my own inspiration, it also features a few of my favorite images.  If you have never gotten a copy of Design Aglow this issue is sure to blow you away.  Why you may ask?  Because this issue features some of the most talented photographers in the world and I am truly humbled to be amongst these well known and beloved photography style icons.  Anyway, run don’t walk to get this issue.  I promise you the tips and the stories in this issue are amongst the best available to us photographers in the industry.

And lastly and image and a bit of soundtrack, because I love this song so much and it’s theme is anti-my mood today I decided let’s include it, a bit contradictory, are we Mare?  Why yes I am!  As an aside I have always found Shirley Manson intriguing…and filled with style 😉  SHE would be fascinating in front of the camera, wouldn’t she?


So even tho I’m personally in love with the rain, but my mood isn’t, I thought let’s pull my fave rain image out.  They look happy don’t they?


happy when it rains


A couple of sneak peeks in the next few days as well as the rest of Fall 2008.  Amazingly enough there is like…1 session left for 2008!  Run run run to your phone to book it.  2008 is dwindling down fast!


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  • PamN - October 26, 2008 - 7:31 am

    Congratulations on your success! You deserve it! Love the umbrella image, btw.

  • Sheila - October 26, 2008 - 9:40 am

    Very well deserved! You rock!

  • sylvia - October 26, 2008 - 1:29 pm

    CONGRATS ❗ I’m so excited for you!!

  • ginny adkins - October 26, 2008 - 4:33 pm

    Many congrats!! 🙂

  • diana - October 26, 2008 - 7:11 pm

    love that shot

  • Kimberly Hill - October 26, 2008 - 9:06 pm

    I can’t wait to see the DAILY CANDY piece! You shouldn’t sound so surprised about the DA bit and the Daily Candy nod, Mare. You, and Marmalade, rock the Casbah!

  • Marianne - October 27, 2008 - 6:14 am

    :mrgreen: thanks! i am super excited about all this good stuff and very thankful that my work resonates with the viewer. i appreciate the kind words and thoughts sent my way! thank you thank you thank you!!

  • Julie - October 27, 2008 - 11:30 am

    I LOVE that umbrella image! Gorgeous! I just finished reading your DA article and I really enjoyed it! Congrats!

  • Pammy - October 27, 2008 - 10:59 pm

    That is so awesome…so many great things happening for you at once!!! I can’t wait to check out DA and what an honor to be the first featured photographer in Daily Candy! Well deserved kudos to you!!!

  • Whitney - October 28, 2008 - 6:45 pm

    Love Daily Candy! Love you! So excited for you!!!! Congrats! 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛

  • Marianne - October 30, 2008 - 5:48 am

    Thank you everyone. I’m way over the moon still.

It’s been so long since I did an inspiration for shopping entry (almost a year if I’m not mistaken) and I realized it this morning as I was lying in bed with a tad bit of insomnia.  I’m doubly inspired because I’ve been on the prowl for complementary clothing choices to the Catimini sweaters I bought for my girls (I had no idea that some of the Catimini line goes to size 12 and with a 8 year old who is in size 10 already it’s a relief that I can still find age appropriate clothing by this fantastic Euro line!  I know Beth will be very happy with me!  🙂 )

So on with the shopping!

What is "in" with this photographer (and most photographers everywhere if you happen to stumble upon this blog and are in need of inspiration)?  Lots of texture, colors!  lots of vibrant and/or dark colors, mixes of patterns.  The Euro lines…you can’t go wrong with them.  Brands like Clayeux, Catimini, Deux Par Deux, Oilily, and others I can’t even begin to list define style with texture, color, mix of patterns and always unique and a totally non cookie cutter-ish sensibility.  A lot of these brands take the guesswork out of mixing patterns so that you can totally coordinate an outfit for a child/children and play off what they’re wearing in your own clothing choices (for adults who happen to be in pictures with their children).   The more American ‘mall’ lines: GapKids, Abercrombie for Kids, Crewcuts (J. Crew for Kids), 77Kids (American Eagle for Kids), Red21Boys seem to feel more collegiate, more of what you could call definite American flavor, almost rugged.  Depending on the flavor and style you are emulating you can totally layer these clothes to come up with a unique look for a coordinated but not overly matching style. 

I’m currently on the prowl for something to go with a couple of beautiful Catimini sweaters I bought for my girls several weeks ago at Lil Surprises in Historic Frankfort.  These pieces coordinate with them but unfortunately I’m not coming across the sizes I need for my own kids.  I’ll use these pieces as my illustration for the fake family session I am now coordinating for a photo shoot with me.  🙂  Use your imagination folks!  😉

It feels like gypsy inspiration to me.   The above outfit this would go very nicely with black tights and a pair of tall black boots and a cute beret or mary jane buckled shoes coupled with with a set of tights that are made to coordinate (but not matchy match!) with it.

 For younger toddlers I love this Catimini dress, I can only imagine how cute it would be on (and it totally reminds me of Bananas who wore something similar a few years ago):

This dress would be sharp with coordinating tights made by Catimini!   Now imagine the siblings who would wear these two outfits.  They would coordinate wonderfully without matchy matching or claashing for that matter…  I encourage my clients to think of dressing up for their session as they would go about decorating a room of their home, coordinating with colors and patterns.

Let’s say we had a big brother involved…how would we dress him to keep the style flowing here?  You could pair a plain red, grey, khaki-tan, blue, etc. sweater &/or shirt and it would pair nicely to coordinate.  I love these selections from 77kids in the boys section of the website:

With a CrewCuts Long Sleeved Jersey T underneath. 


Do you see the way you can mix patterns and get away with it as long as the colors coordinate?   Also, yes I’m mixing patterns with patterns…the method to my madness is this:  many of the Euro lines, specifically in this post the Catimini line, already coordinate and mix colors and patterns for you.  What this means is the elimination of guesswork about what color goes with what.  The first outfit is rife with color and contrast…by investing in an outfit like the one illustrated you make clothing choices based upon the many colors available in that outfit for the rest of the family.  Keep in mind that none of these patterns overpower another.  For the adults: throw on a tie loosely knotted with a pattern for dad and maybe a cardigan sweater and for mom a really nice thick knit sweater with denim or chinos on the bottom and you have fantastic fall fashions for a Holiday photo shoot set in outdoor settings.  The outfit selection is half the battle and once you got that nailed down, I assure you the rest of it is good fun with Marmalade!  And lots of gorgeous gorgeous images to prove it.  🙂

Just a couple clothing lines I am a fan of.  There are hundreds of others but this’ll get you going for inspiration:

Matilda Jane


Crewcuts for Kids


Oilily USA

Deux Par Deux


Thanks for stopping in, I hope you enjoyed a peek into my insomniac brain. 🙂

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  • Lori L - October 24, 2008 - 8:17 am

    I adore that skirt!!! Great find!

  • PamN - October 24, 2008 - 11:25 am

    This is so helpful to your clients – they will love the tips and direction!