Can be SO SO very fun.  Especially when everyone involved is totally  into it.

Meet (once again) E&S, two of the cutest babies this side of Chicago.  I am telling you, E is a huge flirt and S just knows she is IT.  So stinking adorable, I could’ve taken them home for my own (luckily I didn’t otherwise I’d be writing this from the Will County jailhouse!)

A big huge thanks to Lisa & Ed who brought the kidlets out to the studio for urban studio stuff and then willing to haul my new blue velvet chair to the new location to do some fun sky stuff.  I have enjoyed working with you guys so much over the course of the last two baby plan sessions, you guys are so very awesome.  Up for anything.  Ed, I now hereby decree you Chair King.  LOL.


So anyway…here we go:



Chicago Baby Photographer


and finally, my nod to the great Dave Hill (whose work has inspired me for years now and finally I am understanding some of the methods…)


Chicago and Suburban Family Photographer


I am so happy with this session.  Can you hear how giddy I am?

• • • • •


 Now for something different:




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  • Season Moore - May 19, 2008 - 11:10 am

    Oh that family shot is gorgeous!

  • Marie - May 19, 2008 - 5:12 pm

    love that last shot…

  • Lisa S. - May 19, 2008 - 9:27 pm

    Well, I really don’t know what to write. These shots are amazing. Ed and I are so very excited to see the rest! Great job there, Marianne. What a great job.

  • Pammy - May 19, 2008 - 9:59 pm

    Oh my gosh I am giddy for you too! These are just ooozing with color and beauty.

  • Susan Braswell - May 19, 2008 - 10:32 pm

    The color is just so 3D Mare and these are amazing. I love your work, it’s like a peek in the life without too posed. 🙂

  • Ritz Rivera - May 20, 2008 - 9:11 am

    Gorgeous family shot…your images just have that “Mare” signature to them…beautiful!

  • Tobi - May 20, 2008 - 12:04 pm

    Umm Wow!! These are all stunning…But that last one is just perfection…

  • PamN - May 20, 2008 - 4:00 pm

    You deserve to be giddy over these – they are jaw-droppingly beautiful!

  • Kristina - May 20, 2008 - 8:21 pm

    Very cool work! It’s always a treat to see what your creative mind has come up with. So inspiring. These are beautiful and I LOVE the family image! Great work.

  • CarmenM - May 20, 2008 - 10:08 pm

    I gasped when I saw the last one of the family. That is stunning!

  • elizabeth - May 21, 2008 - 9:32 am

    What a great session looks like you had an awesome time.

  • Mary Beth - May 22, 2008 - 5:57 am

    I’m trying to think of words to explain how much I love these! The location, lighting and your special artistic talents all come together to create such incredible works of art. The family image? – jaw dropping!

  • Daniela - May 22, 2008 - 7:25 am

    These are so dreamy Mare….love them! The family shot is TDF!

  • Kelli - May 22, 2008 - 8:37 am

    Oh, wow. These are drop dead gorgeous.

  • Sherial - May 23, 2008 - 9:29 am

    Love them all but the family image is just gorgeous.

  • Anna Mayer - May 25, 2008 - 3:43 pm

    What a fantastic location!! Way too cool!

  • Elin - May 25, 2008 - 6:21 pm

    LOVE the first one! The light, the colors….beautiful!

  • Mellissa DeMille - May 26, 2008 - 3:04 pm

    OMG! These are so rich and wonderful. #3 will win any contest you enter it in. Great work!

  • Nina Pomeroy - May 27, 2008 - 8:35 am

    Love that last family shot – the sky, the contrast, everything about it is perfect!

  • June - May 27, 2008 - 11:10 am

    Gorgeous! These are true works of art!

  • Jen Lane - May 27, 2008 - 10:51 pm

    Such a beautiful session with a beautiful family! And your youtube shares always crack me up.

  • Heather Gibb - May 28, 2008 - 9:09 am

    Wow the family info is breathtaking!!!!! Your work is amazing!!

  • kathy wolfe - May 29, 2008 - 3:10 pm

    wow, Mare. I adore your work.

  • Stacy W. - May 29, 2008 - 9:21 pm

    Wow – I absolutely adore the second one! And the family image is perfect as well!

One of my most beloved small movies is actually a commercial.  I have several in fact (all advertisements, however subtle they may be, produced to be viral pieces of beauty or humor filled to spread the buzz of the brand they signify)…this is my ‘beauty’ favorite.  Stay tuned til the end to see the real deal of the WHY this is.

(photographers, be ready for real eye candy)


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  • Elin - May 18, 2008 - 8:28 am

    Thats the most beautiful commersial I have ever seen! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

I am honestly most thankful that now, having been out of the world of nursing for a year and a half, I do not have to attend anymore mandatory meetings.  DH and I were discussing the infamous Dave Barry quote:

If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race
has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word
would be "meetings."

Which always amused me.   The hospital that he and I both worked LOVED the mandatory meeting / focus group concept.  There of course is nothing wrong with meetings but often they felt like nothing got accomplished.  I do NOT miss the mandatory meeting.

Which brings me to this.  Who doesn’t love mocking the caveman set:


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I promise to not be uberchatty this post…

I stumbled upon this link just now.  It moved me to tears.  In the realization that my kids are growing up way faster than I care to think about (I realized sometime ago and reminded myself yesterday that these are the truly happiest days of my life)

The Years Are Short

Since my earlier topic was partly related to finding your inner bliss via your creative vision I’ll mention that the Happiness Project is a good read (the link can be found after The Years Are Short clip).  Good place to bookmark.

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  • Kimberly Hill - May 18, 2008 - 5:48 am

    Loved it, Mare. Thanks so much for sharing! I may be sharing this with my blog readers as well… with credit. 😉

Disclaimer: a bit of creative meandering about goes on in this post.  Deep thinking about vision.  Skip this bit if you aren’t feeling deep today!  🙂

Hit <PLAY> and hang out awhile…I love DCFC (death cab for cutie) and this is def. one of my faves:




There are so many rumblings going about the internet these days, in my line of work especially, about copying, about imitation, about originality and about inspiration.  I guess it’s only natural that this topic comes up amongst those of us who create for a living.

Several things have come up in the past few days that have made me think about what inspires me, what makes me tick.  This is one of those things that crosses my mind often actually…what is the basis of my work.

The good:  I was speaking on the phone to a new client yesterday morning and she said that she contemplated hiring a photographer based on several factors.  Originality being one of them.  This new client gave me the impression of being pretty discriminating (she travels the globe and collects art from all over the world) and to be told that by someone who simply viewed my portfolio was a boost to the ego (so thank you Lia!).  I know I’m far from the most unusual photographer out there but I do like to think that bringing to the table that is so very unique is my worldview, the way I see things and I really truly hope that all that inspires me is sort of lost amongst the shuffle in the work that I present.  Yes you can tell that I am inspired by a million things (some more than others…) but I hope that you can’t even pinpoint one source.  I talk about this ad nauseum during the photographer’s workshops that I host , not just the concept of originality (because as photographers we can bang on that drum all day!)  but being true to HOW you see the world and what inspires you.  Emulation as a creative endeavor is not a sincere form of flattery for anyone involved.

In art school (so I have been told numerous times) the burgeoning artist is encouraged during their early stages to emulate great works of art.  In art it is recognized that without some level of emulation you cannot learn basics.  While that is true as a student, as you become an artist you are then encouraged to switch gears and become more individual and to apply the very basics to your own vision.  I can honestly say without doubt I try to live my life in the way that provides me meaning, in the way that provides my work with everything I need for it to be the way I envision in my head.  I think, that as a photographer who has "several" 😉 fellow photographer readers, many of who are burgeoning into becoming professional or possibly are on the path to doing so, it would be a disservice to not discuss the concept of finding your voice in your art.  While I think that yes, it’s all been done before, sheer emulation (on basis of locations, poses, concepts) is not a worthwhile or truthful endeavor to yourself.  You sell yourself short by not following your vision.  And instead of flattering the person you may be emulating, in fact you may be insulting them.  Think carefully before doing something that doesn’t wholeheartedly inspire you to respond to your inner voice.  By not being true to yourself you only cheat yourself in the long run.

The internet, with it’s widespread ability to inspire us, has made us often complacent when it comes time to give credit where credit is due.  Unfortunately we believe because we are viewing something on a small box in the privacy of our home, that we are the only ones privy to what someone else is showing.  As if it is our own secret.  The fact is, my small corner (er, corners) of the internet, sites as small as my own gets literally thousands of hits weekly.  SO think carefully about not listening to your inner voice.   Do you want to be known as a copy of someone or would you rather be known as someone who thinks outside of the box.   There are literally hundreds of people who are thinking they are on the inside scoop for something, that does not make for a very small club.  🙂  My message is think very long & hard about emulating someone’s site/work/poses/etc. before doing so.  The internet ends up being a very small place.  It really does.


Prissy Missy


Dock Girls I


To that end I think Herman Melville said it best:

"I think it is better to fail in originality than succeed at imitation."


Being human it is in our nature to be inspired by others.  Great achievements have been made based upon using someone elses’ ideas/concepts/inventions and bettering them.  So if you are inspired by someone and are working on improving a concept someone else has done, by all means should you give credit to where credit is due.  I’ve personally made the mistake of not following through with something in the past few months and once I realized the error of my ways, I did all in my power to rectify it.  Because being inspired is part of what makes us human but also we are obligated to those who inspire us to occasionally give them some credit.  That’s part of being a good human.  🙂

Thus concludes my creative PSA for the day.  I only want for each of us to be the best that we can be.  To follow our own path set forth for us.  Looking at my own life I know I have come to my place for a reason…find the path that your life is meant to follow and you will never live a life of regret or sadness.


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  • elizabeth - May 19, 2008 - 8:21 am

    Ohhh I love these image Mare.. wow

  • Pammy - May 21, 2008 - 10:07 am

    That image of your girls on the dock has always been one of my favorites and I think that is when I first noticed your work. Stay unique.