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.

Hi Friends!

I have long wanted to expand upon the Q&A feature that I sometimes do with clients, many of my clients comment on what a cool idea it was to incorporate into the blog–personally I just love the "15 minutes of fame" thing (as an aside I have had a lot of Andy Warholisms in my life as of late which is oddly amusing to me at this point in my life).

So to feature my first IN THEIR WORDS segment….Whitney!  Whitney, for some of my regular blog readers, is a fantastic mom to two beautiful girls (aka Mare’s muses) and every time I see her/talk to her it’s like hanging out with an old friend.   She’s one of my many clients that "get" me (I swear I really am lucky in that respect), she took time out of her weekend this past April and helped me out by bringing her adorable girls to the studio for the benefit of my workshop attendees and came out later in the month to do images for Mother’s Day with the whole family!!  She recently emailed me in great anticipation for delivery: "I can’t wait until my house is Marmalized!"  For just only that little phrase–I simply adore her.

Recently she agreed to be my first In Their Words client.  The purpose: showcase the client’s 4 fave images from their session and have them tell the blog readers in a Reader’s Digest sort of manner WHAT they feel about these favorite images.  Because it’s client’s choice you may (may not) have seen these images at blog preview time. 

(drumroll please) IN THEIR WORDS time with Whitney:


Channahon Photographer


"Such joy in that face and those tippy toes!  My baby girl getting bigger – So full of life.  This is Lyla – Period!"


Suburban Chicago Professional Photographer


"This is true art!  Madeleine looks so small and magical.  I love the expression on her face and the little glimpse of Lambie behind my back. "

(as an aside, Lambie is a regular in our sessions together, sort of like a guest star)


Family Photographer

"I love this shot of my baby being led by her Daddy.  I imagine that one day this piece will be hanging in her home.  Chris looks so strong and gentle at the same time.  Perfection!"



Professional Photographer

"I love this family shot.  Even though Mad is turned away, you can catch a little bit of her cheek and you know she is laughing.  Ring Around the Rosey – Ring Around My Heart."



A huge thank you to Whitney and her beautiful family and a huge thank you to all of you for stopping in, emailing and commenting on the blog.  The beauty and love that I am lucky enough to witness and experience makes this job my life’s purpose feel worthy of the wonderful families that have touched my life over the past few years.  I cannot wait to hear what my other IN THEIR WORDS clients will have to say about their images…I am only thankful that my vision and the inspiration that I gather from being in the presence of these families’ love and light brings them joy in the final end pieces that grace their walls (and their hearts) forever.


(as an aside, i’ve put a little mix tape together for you all)


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  • Samara Hutcheson - June 3, 2008 - 5:28 am

    Amazing work as always! Loved getting to see Mom’s thoughts too!

  • Daveen - June 3, 2008 - 8:05 am

    So fun to read and what a beautiful glimpse into this family’s lives.

  • Paula - June 3, 2008 - 3:06 pm

    Gorgeous – so wonderful to read your reactions, Whitney. Of course the focus is normally on the children but you look stunning in your beautiful red dress. Gorgeous work, Mare.

  • Paula - June 3, 2008 - 3:11 pm

    OH, and the mix tape is WAY COOL!!!!

  • Jen Lane - June 3, 2008 - 7:37 pm

    What a BEAUTIFUL idea, and beautiful showcase!

  • Dawn - June 3, 2008 - 7:58 pm

    I love your work Mare. Just gorgeous.

  • allie - June 3, 2008 - 9:46 pm

    Beautiful Mare. Just gorgeous images. Scrumptious.

  • CarmenM@carmenmiller - June 4, 2008 - 10:12 am

    I love your mix tape! I’m a huge pixies fan and I had a little flashback listening to that song.
    Beautiful pictures too. I love your work!

  • lisa mak - June 4, 2008 - 6:07 pm

    what a wonderful idea! i love reading your client’s reactions…and then looking deeper into the picture. brilliant!

  • jen wilson - June 4, 2008 - 7:46 pm

    What a great idea – and I love the word *marmalized*! Those photos are all gorgeous and it is great to hear what *mommmy* thought…

    jen 🙂

  • MaryAnn T - June 4, 2008 - 11:56 pm

    Mare, you’re an inspiration!

  • corey civetta - June 5, 2008 - 4:28 am

    Beautiful work! I love them all … and that mixed tape is really cool!

  • Kelli - June 5, 2008 - 7:11 am

    Lovely, I can see why mom is in love with these images.

  • Stacy W. - June 5, 2008 - 7:44 am

    Mare, these are beautiful as usual! And the heartfelt commentary by mom makes them even more special. What a great peek into what your work means to this family!

  • June - June 5, 2008 - 7:31 pm

    Amazing images! And what special words from mom. You DO create art, Marm!

  • stacey woods - June 6, 2008 - 5:36 am

    oh mare, what a difference you are making in your clients’ lives by sharing your art, and incredible talent, with them. i loved hearing mom’s personal connection to each one of these pieces. wonderful, fantastic idea.

  • Julie - June 7, 2008 - 8:50 am

    What a beautiful series of photographs! I love them all!

  • Jody - October 22, 2008 - 1:10 pm

    Hello Mare =)
    I just found your website here while surfing for ideas on how to photograph my two darling baby grandaughters. I am just Dumbstruck with your talent and gorgeous work!
    I can only hope in time as I learn to make art with my canon, to capture at least One perfect photo.
    You are added to my blog roll so I can read often! Thanks for the help you give us newbies =)

….with Miss B and Miss M (oops, I need to omit the Miss in there, B told me there is no "Miss" there).

I had the pleasure of working with K family this evening.  It was gorgeous out, warm enough for a great session outdoors with summer dresses on.  After a very weird spring where it never felt like it was going to warm up this evening was a nice break into the warm weather.  And the clothes that Galina brought for the session for the girls just tickled me.  Sundresses and fun capris (with rhinestones on the camouflage…I fell in love).  The girls were adorable, Miss B and her sister Miss M were curly haired cuties and I think the camera really loved ’em.

Thanks to their mom & dad for driving out from Lincolnshire for a Marmalade Location session (we did 3 mini locations, those girls were good to us letting us shuffle from place to place).  Enjoy the little sneak peek of your cuties!!


Chicago and Suburban Child Photographer



Suburban Chicago Professional Photographer


I love the look on her face.  You totally had to be there to get why.  LOL

Southwest Suburban Child Photographer

Thanks for stopping in.  Have a good one!



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  • Caitlin Domanico Pho - June 2, 2008 - 4:57 am

    What cute girls…I love the setting.

  • PamN - June 2, 2008 - 6:16 am

    Oh those outfits are perfect for those cuties, love ’em! The green outdoor setting really shows these girls off – gorgeous artwork!

  • elizabeth - June 2, 2008 - 6:33 am

    These are wonderful Mare..

  • Kendell Silveira - June 2, 2008 - 8:36 am

    Love the expressions. Such beautiful work!!! Those girls are darling!

  • Christie Provost - June 2, 2008 - 11:24 am

    marmalade, you are one of my absolute favorite photographers! these are just so lovely. you don’t need any gimmicks to make your images work, they just DO! beautiful emotion!


  • chantelle bliss - June 2, 2008 - 4:31 pm

    I really love these, especially the first one!

  • Jen Lane - June 3, 2008 - 7:40 pm

    oooohhhh my! LOVE these. What gorgeous girlies! These are all lovely but omgosh I am so drawn to #2! Just mesmerizing!

I had the pleasure of photographing the very beautiful K family yesterday evening.  They drove all the way from up north (like Lake County north 🙂 ) to hang out and have a session with me.  It is always humbling to know that people are willing to drive distances to come hang out with me and get images out in the vast mostly untouched nature that is my outdoor studio.  A big thanks to Agnes & Jeff for allowing me to capture their beautiful kids, O&K at this beautiful time in their lives.

So…a sneak peek for them (& eyecandy no doubt!).  Look below for something fun as well. 


Chicago Professional Photographer


Chicago Family Photographer



Chicago and Suburban Baby Photographer


• • • • • •


Now for something different.  Chloe is the wonderful new addition to the antique store across the way from me, Antiques On Water Street (definitely worth a stop if you are in the Wilmington/Rt. 66 neighborhood!).  Isn’t she beautiful?


Chicago Area Pet Photographer


There is more but I haven’t gotten done playing with them.  I just love little Chloe. 

Thanks for stopping in.  Namaste.


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  • PamN - June 1, 2008 - 5:42 pm

    What a beautiful family! The one of Daddy holding his little girl is beyond precious. The colors are just luscious in all of them!

  • Cindy - June 1, 2008 - 8:54 pm

    It doesn’t surprise me one bit that people are willing to go to the distance for a session with you. Beautiful work! The shot with daddy and little girl just made me sigh. So absolutely sweet!

  • corey civetta - June 2, 2008 - 9:39 am

    What a beautiful family! I love the shot of Chloe, too!

  • Tara McGlinchey - June 3, 2008 - 6:31 am

    I love this image! It’s perfect. 🙂

  • LadyJane - June 5, 2008 - 7:07 am

    A truly amazing photographer….these are not just photographs…they are true expressions of art! In these photographs I see magic, emotion and an amazing love for what you do! Oh…and Chloe…ADORABLE…I can hardly wait to see more of her! Minnie Pearl…watch out…you have nothing on Chloe..her vintage hat with the Antiques on Water Street tag says it all!

  • Anna-Karin - June 27, 2008 - 11:41 pm

    I gasped when I saw the one of dad with his baby girl. Beautiful!

    The little dog photograph is awesome, love it and so lively!