just drop off the key lee, and get yourself free….


WHY? might you be asking am I singing old Simon and Garfunkel.  Hmmmm…only the S family all the way from Missouri knows!

Yes bloggers, you read that right.   Missouri.  😀

Thank you to Erin, Scott & their gorgeous three kids who made the trek of all treks out to the studio Thursday evening for a Marmalade Waterfall Session.  The images are fabulous and they were so very sweet to me (even if chocolate melted and a/c decided to take a hike).  I hope they enjoy their time in Illinois however short it may be.

Here’s their sneak peek!  Enjoy.




american girl :)


photographer for boys of all ages


baby and mom moments


thanks for stopping in….Namaste.

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  • kathy wolfe - June 13, 2008 - 7:20 pm

    so so beautiful. I just love the uniqueness in your work – bw, color – urban, country – doesnt matter – i can tell its a Marmalade no matter where it is.. thats what i love about your work… its just always sooo lovely.

  • Erin - June 13, 2008 - 11:11 pm

    Here we all are gathered at the hotel reading your blog and getting a sneak peek at our session.
    We had a wonderful time…Thank-you!!
    You were so sweet and treated my children with such respect.
    What a beautiful talent you have we are blessed you shared with us.

  • christie provost - June 14, 2008 - 12:47 pm

    love that song too! lol

    i love how happy and naturally beautiful they are, nothing posed or phony about them. 🙂

  • kristine k. - June 16, 2008 - 6:10 pm

    what a beautiful family. that one of the dad and the boys is amazing. your work is incredible!!

  • janet - June 16, 2008 - 8:05 pm

    Marianne-You have outdone yourself. This family will cherish these forever. I only wish I could go back in time and bottle up moments like this.

  • Marianne - June 16, 2008 - 8:07 pm

    Thank you everyone. 🙂 It was an honor to photograph this family.

  • Danna Bowes - June 18, 2008 - 8:06 am

    wow Marianne, these are just stunning, what a beautiful family and your images of course are as AWESOME as usual 🙂

Out where we live there are still a ton of open fields.  However the issue with fields such as the one I used for my mini quickie session with my girls (out in minooka) is that if it is untilled land (in june!) chances are some development is going to be headed this way (sigh).  There are all these mini areas of wild flowers all over land tracts in the area so I took the girls out this evening to take advantage of the shoulder high beautiful yellow blooms that made some fields explode in yellow delights.    Also, it isn’t often where I have two willing parties to the photographic purpose.  Not often at all.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by.  No children were tortured in the making of the following images.  🙂


chicago area children

I love the bit of motion in her swooshing skirt.  Adds to the moment that I captured here.



this little light of mine...

The light on her face just makes me happy






Thanks for stopping by!! 


Edited to include a song I heard today on XRT and it took me back.  Far Gone & Out…love love JAMC.  Love.



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  • chantelle bliss - June 12, 2008 - 1:59 am

    these are all amazing, but that second one………wow, that is an award winner 🙂

  • PamN - June 12, 2008 - 5:13 am

    Oh, I wanna see what these look like on your walls!

  • Brandy - June 12, 2008 - 10:58 am

    Absolutely gorgeous as usual!

  • Kimberly Hill - June 12, 2008 - 11:20 am

    Total Marm-ness! I can tell your images the second I see them. Love the rich color in Marmaland!

  • Amy Lynden - June 12, 2008 - 11:28 am

    Hi Marianne,
    Love the pictures – wish I was back in Illinois to enjoy the beautiful fields… but gotta add, love Jesus and Mary Chain… we have similar taste in music :). It was great meeting you at wppi!

  • traci - June 12, 2008 - 7:23 pm

    your pictures take my breath away. beautiful.

  • Anna-Karin - June 12, 2008 - 8:33 pm

    Your girls are so beautiful and so is your photography!
    Great captures. Print them big mama!

  • Pammy - June 13, 2008 - 9:01 am

    These are dreamy–what a great present they gave their mommmy.

  • Pammy - June 13, 2008 - 9:01 am

    I guess I can’t spell. Ha

  • Nina Pomeroy - June 13, 2008 - 6:35 pm

    OMG – that second shot needs to be big big big big!!!

  • agnes klimek - June 16, 2008 - 4:45 pm

    Hi Mare!
    It’s the Klimeks from Crystal Lake.
    HuUUUHHH (deep breaths!)
    Your girls in the field of yellow flowers
    are just STUNNING!!! I don’t even want to blink!
    Simply amazing…….

It never hit me that yesterday was 06-07-08 until I was processing some images from my nephew’s pre-wedding photo session at my studio.  I love plays on numbers, last year all the rage was to have a wedding on 07-07-07 (probably in Vegas, right?).  I wonder if 06-07-08 was in any demand for the die hard wedding photogs?

Incidentally i have received about six phone calls, two emails and a couple of shout outs on the internet about the status of my studio (it’s located in Wilmington which was one of the areas hit by tornadoes in the Chicago Southland yesterday).  all is good as far as i can tell.  from what i understand tornadoes went through the south part of town (my studio is more north in the historic downtown area).  thankfully no one was hurt from what i’ve read.  i’ll only know for sure once i get down there in the next few days.  All is good on this front (thankfully) and thanks to all of you who have been worried and trying to get in touch with me to find out if we’re ok.

• • • • • •

Yesterday was a BUSY busy day in Marmaland.  First, I photographed my nephew’s fiance in the a.m. at her parents home and then did pre wedding bridals & bridal party images at my studio.  I love LOVE the concept of getting wedding images taken pre wedding and eschewing the antiquated notion of the bride & groom not seeing each other pre wedding.  Somehow I suspect that many couples who have not made good on their marriage vows did follow the don’t see your bride before the wedding notion so right there is the debunking of that old thought.

Secondly, what better time to get images taken then when you are freshly made up, get to relish in that pre wedding time with your beloved and get to spend some time more relaxed and less rush rush then in between ceremony & reception?  Other than doing these sort of images post ceremony several days/weeks later I cannot think of a more wonderful way to capture a bride & groom then pre wedding.  It helps eat of that pre jitters time and occupy your minds with something else and personally it’s more relaxed photographically speaking.  I noticed that I had more "play" time to be creative and the bride and groom just opened up to the camera.  So although I do weddings fairly sparingly (usually intentionally so) I so enjoyed the prewedding photography shoot so much I thought I’d give a shout out for it so that if some bride or groom stumbles upon this PSA they will know that it truly is a good trend in photography.  I even have pix to prove it!!


Chicago South Suburban Photographer


Chicagoland Bride


South Suburban Wedding


Chicago South Weddings


A huge huge thank you to Jacqueline’s, a beautiful, beautiful shoppe next door to my studio (the owners also own a bed & breakfast in Wilmington called Chester Manor which I recommend for anyone making a weekend of it).  Jacqueline’s is a Parisian inspired boutique that carries just beautiful items for Francophiles and non Francophiles alike.  Every time I walk into her shop I sigh because it’s just THAT lovely.  A definite must stop for any of you coming out to the studio or making an antiques excursion out…


Finally,  yesterday was recital at the Rialto Square Theatre for my little darlings (who can’t seem to make up their mind about dance.  Are they done?  Are they not?  They don’t seem to know.  Last week they were DONE DONE DONE and this week, it’s a whole new ballgame.  Gotta love indecisive girls).  I got some great shots in Rialto of my youngest in her adorable costume that I’ll share here.  A big thank you to Pam’s Academy of Dance who puts on this spectacular show, year after year, fairly flawlessly.  I cannot begin to fathom the extent of what it takes to put on a number like this!


Joliet Photographer


Rialto Square Theatre


Thanks for stopping in.  🙂


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  • Paula - June 8, 2008 - 2:19 pm

    wow… first, off, congrats making it thru a very long day. The wedding shots are gorgeous. Very lucky bride and groom to have you in the family!!!! The recital outfit is GORGEOUS! And, tornadoes??? YIKES. Keep us up to date!

  • Pammy - June 8, 2008 - 4:28 pm

    Glad you are okay.

  • Susan Braswell - June 8, 2008 - 4:35 pm

    I wanted to especially comment on the wedding images. Okay I am about to scream – MARE, WOW YOU WERE DESTINED TO DO WEDDINGS. The post processing, angles, crops everything is perfect to a T. I hope you book more…

  • Danna Bowes - June 8, 2008 - 5:21 pm

    so glad you are ok…..

    these images are absolutely stunning!! The one of her looking in the mirror is so beautiful. And the last one of the little girl is adorable.

  • Terrilyn - June 8, 2008 - 6:49 pm

    Oh Mare, these are just BREATHTAKING. Wow.

  • Mellissa DeMille - June 9, 2008 - 9:22 am

    First off, so glad to hear that both you and your studio are okay! And second, you rocked this day. I agree with Susan, you really should consider doing more wedding photography and those dance recital images are just dreamy.

  • Samara Hutcheson - June 9, 2008 - 11:54 am

    Amazing wedding images Mare, just amazing. Seriously makes me want to get married again and hire you!! Well keep the same guy but just do it all over again 😉 And your girls, well gosh are they cute or what!

  • stacey woods - June 9, 2008 - 3:53 pm

    wow wow wow, i have to agree with susan here. these wedding images are FLAWLESS, and the couple looks so extremely relaxed. i think you are so right about the prewedding idea!! and yes, please book more so i can see them, lol!

    and those last two shots of your littlest girl are divine. divine! especially the color one… oh my goodness what fantastic light coming through that door!!!

    ahh, always a treat to visit the marmablog…. 😉

  • Bunny - June 9, 2008 - 9:14 pm

    As the mother of the bride I first want to thank you for making everything go as great as it did for the pictures you were awesome. And the pictures you have posted are great love them and I can not wait to get to see the rest.Abd the girls pictures are awesome to. Again thanks for your support and handling everything like you did.

  • PamN - June 10, 2008 - 5:17 am

    I was wowed by the wedding shots, and wowed again by the shots of your daughter! You are amazing!

  • elizabeth - June 10, 2008 - 8:22 am

    Glad you are ok with all that severe weather and can I just say HOLY COW on the images.. wow girl.. these are stunning

  • Tara McGlinchey - June 10, 2008 - 2:51 pm

    Wow! Your wedding work is fantastic. Add me to the list of those who want to remarry and hire you. 🙂

  • Royann - June 10, 2008 - 7:23 pm

    I wanted to publicly thank Marianne again for the wonderful photos of Brian’s wedding she was terrific and the photos are to. Also thanks for the one of me and Brian everyone has loved it, especially since I didn’t take one of myself. Now I can’t wait for the rest, the little sample just wasn’t enough. I know they’ll love them to when they get back from Jamicia. thanks again

  • Jen Lane - June 10, 2008 - 11:23 pm

    OK, first, SO glad to hear all is well with the studio! Phew!!!

    Second-WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!!!!!!!! You seriously ROCK wedding stuff! Girl, these are too beautiful, too cool, too incredible for words. Sheesh! Could your nephew and his bride to be, be any more beautiful?! Really Mare, these are just stunning! VERY well done!

    And finally, omg could she be any sweeter?! I know by the time the recital is over the kids are just wiped out, but give them a week and they are ready to do it all over again, lol.

  • Marianne - June 11, 2008 - 6:45 am

    thanks everyone. wow….i feel overwhelmed with the wedding love! ha. 😉

  • kathy wolfe - June 11, 2008 - 5:25 pm

    first i want to say that i’m glad you are ok…

    next i need to say that your work blows me away and i cant believe you arent into the wedding business….these are freaking stunning… stunning!!

  • becca - June 14, 2008 - 5:41 pm

    love that shot at the door in her dance costume!! Just gorgeousss!!!

  • Francesca - June 25, 2008 - 11:53 am

    Your girls are as cute as ever and your pictures keep getting more amazing and inspired. happy 4th!

  • KATIE MOORE - July 7, 2008 - 2:41 pm


over the past several years i have been blown away by the kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity by others.  each time something good happens to me i am reminded of the inherent good in people (despite the noise around us, in the media, on the streets, all the negativity).  people in general are thoughtful, kind, well thought out.  i have been especially privy to this as of late….

on this note, i have to thank some very special people in my life for some niceties over the past month or so.  stuff i appreciate whole heartedly.  stuff that i adore.  stuff that is too generous.  stuff that is a bonus, the little extra icing on the cake for the wonderful gifts these people bring to my life on a regular basis.


first off, to whitney who gave what i shall never tell.  LOL.  Duane got a kick out of it, btw.  😉



and a huge thank you to susan who knew how down in the dumps i have been and is always a kind soul.  i’m glad things are looking up for you now as well susan!

Yummy Box


and housed within is sinful delight!  biscotti from new york.   yum-o!

biscotti delight


finally to paula, who knows more about me than i probably know about me.  she’s journeyed with me on & off for about six years now and we began our photo journey together.  this came as an absolute out of the blue surprise and my family is ever grateful.  thanks to her & her big strapping SEO guy!  🙂

Wii for You, Wii for Me


thank you to my blog readers who tune in to read about my misadventures from time to time.  thank you to my clients for being the most awesome clients ever.  thank you to my family & friends for putting up with me.  thank you to all of you have touched my life.  i don’t want to be superfluous with my gratitude but at the same time today, i feel extra grateful.  probably to make up for the past week when i’ve been feeling less than grateful….

message for the day:  start your day with gratitude.  gratitude for living today and the ability to live life well with your family and friends beside you.  live life today as if it were your last day.  and do that tomorrow and the next day…you’ll never go wrong.


p.s. oh my gosh, i owe a thank you to nichole (i owe you email!  i know, i know, i’ve been in a fog this past week) and to so many others for all sorts of things.  🙂  i adore you all…i appreciate you being a part of my life.  xoxo

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  • Pammy - June 7, 2008 - 9:41 am

    What a great way to start off my morning and think about. Glad you are feeling better!

  • Paula - June 7, 2008 - 11:21 am

    😀 I’d tell you to turn that thing off so you don’t run down the battery (as I yell at my son constantly for doing….) but I see you are green and rechargeable! Good Girl!

  • Terrilyn - June 7, 2008 - 12:52 pm

    Totally deserving!! Mare, you have such a sweet soul, it’s obvious to all. You deserve all the kindness you’ve received.

  • Susan Braswell - June 8, 2008 - 11:51 am

    You are welcome and that box is divine. I always trust she will take care of me .. glad you have enjoyed it.

This is guaranteed to make you cry.  If you ever watched Six Feet Under you may already be familiar with this clip but if you haven’t let me warn you (even without knowing the characters) I suspect you’ll cry long & hard.

This clip at the end of this fabulous series was part of a series of events that changed my life and put things in huge perspective for me.  Not much in pop culture is worthy of such a statement but the final few moments made me realize how quickly things pass.  It reiterated my love and passion for my then early burgeoning career as a photographer and truly solidified my feelings and thoughts in the direction I was going to head in my business.

Pretty deep.

So what’s so awesome about this clip?  I’ll let it speak for itself….however the bestest part is "Breathe Me" by Sia which is a song that haunted me LONG after I finally deleted the episode off of TiVo (after watching it no less than 20x and subjecting my husband to my talk about it long after).   Even after (what’s it been, 2-3 years?) all this time I still cried like a baby during it…and that my friends is enough to want to share it here, you know, since I’m all about savoring your time here & now.

So think about your day and what sort of memory making will you create for those around you while you watch this video clip.



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  • heather - June 6, 2008 - 8:28 am

    Without a doubt, the BEST series finale of all time. LOVE LOVE LOVE it -thanks for posting. No dry eyes here, either!

  • MISSY - June 6, 2008 - 11:59 am

    this is without a doubt my favorite part of the series too!! it touched me on so many different levels.

    beautiful post. i am so crying again from watching it lol

  • Paula - June 6, 2008 - 2:01 pm

    wow…. I have never seen that before. What a stunning bit of cinematography…… (jaw dropped… wiping tears…) Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • chantelle bliss - June 6, 2008 - 4:35 pm

    i have only just started watching this series and have just finished season 2 – Nate was just going in for brain surgery – I am addicted……unfortunately I can’t watch this now or it will ruin it all for me….my fingers are itching to play it though…lol

  • Christie Provost - June 7, 2008 - 5:47 am

    ACK, i can’t watch it or read the comments because i’m still making my way through season 4 from netflix. now i’m really excited to finish watching this show! i’m so intrigued that it affected you this way…

  • Julie - June 7, 2008 - 8:49 am

    Okay….WOW! I have never see that show, but now I totally have to get the DVDs. That was a very moving clip. Thanks for sharing it!

  • Lisa - June 11, 2008 - 1:02 pm

    Yikes, that clip is as moving as it was when it first aired. Definitely one of the best examples of television. And such a good example of how quickly life goes by. With the recent loss of a generation of my family, that clip says it all.