Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Eric & Nicole | WEDDING, FAMILY, & CHILDREN'S PHOTOGRAPHER | EFFINGHAM, ILLINOIS

When I receive calls about photographing a family or a new baby, I am always honored that people want me to capture this moment in their lives. However, when someone calls me about weddings, it almost takes my breath away...not of fear, but of honor. This is one of the most important days of their lives, and they're asking me to witness their relationship, their family, and their emotions...moments captured in images that their children will still peruse decades from now. It is the highest honor.


I limit how many weddings I am a part of; so, but when I met Eric and Nicole last year, I knew that I just HAD to be a part of this wedding. Why? First, because Nicole and Eric are two of the neatest people I've ever met. They're funny. They're sweet. And, they're beautiful...both inside and out. Second, because Nicole told me that her favorite images were the sweet, simple genuine moments...a grandson smiling at his grandpa, people laughing, and stolen smiles between the bride and groom. And I agree with her. Those are the favorites from my own wedding. And, I knew then that we thought alike.


Nicole and Eric - Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Where do I even begin? Your families. Your fun bridal party who were up for anything. Your fun spirits. It was an honor being with you on your wedding day. I hope you enjoy your images as much as I enjoyed spending the day with you, your families, and your friends. And I look forward to see your family grow and flourish in the future. Kelly


A few of my favorites from the day are below. You can also see more of their wedding day images by viewing the slideshow.


video




Could Eric be any more handsome? He has killer eyes.



The groomsmen were awesome. We were tight for space where they were getting ready; so, I asked them to haul these chairs outside. So, they were handsome AND helpful!



Nicole's dress...the flowers....the jewelry...all beautiful.





But, not as beautiful as Nicole.



The ceremony.



This image of Eric smiling at the congregation is one of my favorites of all time. You can just see his excitement in his eyes.



Nicole's adoration for her new husband.





After the ceremony, we headed downtown for their pictures of the bride and groom alone.





A stolen moment.



There's nothing more comforting and sweet then a kiss on the forehead.



Eric owns a landscaping company, "Greenworks Growers and Garden Center" in Cowden, IL. So, flowers and greenery were important to him. A lot of the images were taken at the Gardens of Heartland Hall, where their reception was also held.





Eric's niece...one of the flower girls. Stunning eyes.



At every single wedding I've been a part of, there is always at least one moment that causes me to tear up slightly. Nicole comes from a sisterhood of three sisters, and they are close. When sister Emily had a difficult time making it through the toast, sister Courtney had to take over. I teared up also. OK, just thinking of it again makes me tear up right now as I'm typing this! Geesh. By the way, Nicole's mom also comes from a sisterhood of six sisters! Eric, I see little girls in your future!



When Nicole and I put together the list of "must have" shots, a picture of her with her Grandpa dancing was near the top of the list.



My awesome assistant for the day, Megan, caught this shot, and I LOVE it.





Did I mention that the bridal party was up for anything?



Nicole's cousin stole the show with his lipsyncing to a Michael Jackson song!



Eric and Nicole, once again, congratulations, and thank you.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oh the Places You'll Go | WEDDING, FAMILY, & CHILDREN'S PHOTOGRAPHER | EFFINGHAM, ILLINOIS

Last night Nick was staining our new door to the patio (Yeah!), and I was sitting outside with Colby when I had the genious thought of bringing her walker outside. Now, normally, she is not a fan of the walker. She can motor and maneuver really fast in the thing on our wood floors, but she prefers to crawl instead. However, she was thrilled to be able to motor around the patio last night. Mostly, she wants to chase after the dogs, which are her favorite things to watch outside.

Here are a few pictures. And, yes, I'm miserably trying to make up for the lack of very few pix of Colby over the last month while I finish editing pictures of a wedding!!

































Yes, I know there's no Colby in this picture, but don't you love my new orange vinyl couch set I bought on ebay?!!! Nick about died. It's really low to the ground and the back of the couch comes off to make it a bench! It's awesome...and indestructible...and reminiscent of the orange vinyl couch we had growing up!! :)




Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yogurt, please | WEDDING, FAMILY, & CHILDREN'S PHOTOGRAPHER | EFFINGHAM, ILLINOIS

In the last two weeks, Colby has become quite the eater. She's now eating three meals a day, and we're starting to eliminate some of the bottles (woohoo!...less $$ on formula!). She, of course, has been doing the vegetables and fruit, and shortly before Labor Day, she discovered yogurt (Greek yogurt, no less...no cheap stuff for this chick...at 8 mos old, she knows the good stuff...geesh), and it has been a staple in each meal ever since.

Tonight I decided to try cottage cheese. And, while she ate it, let's just say the look on her face translated to "Where's my yogurt, Mom!"

What?! I don't get yogurt tonight for supper?

What has this world come to?

Yogurt! Yogurt! Yogurt!

Perhaps if I smile cute I'll get yogurt.

Peaches. Hmmph. Still not my yogurt.

Maybe mom is getting my yogurt out of the fridge.

That mean mom didn't get me my yogurt.

I'll just sit here and suck on my fingers if I'm not getting yogurt.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Morris Boys | WEDDING, FAMILY, & CHILDREN'S PHOTOGRAPHER | EFFINGHAM, ILLINOIS

One of the great pleasures I've experienced since releasing my website two months ago is getting to meet people who Nick grew up with. I've heard their names, and yet have never gotten to meet so many of them until now!

One of the first people that emailed me after releasing my site was Kinda. She had one growing toddler (K1)and one brand new baby boy (K2), and would I please come and do K2's 3mos pictures...and perhaps a few of the boys together and of K1 on his own!
Toddlers...especially little boys!...can keep me on my toes, but can I just say that this was the EASIEST shoot ever! Their mom was a genius! I want to steal her awesome idea for my own, but alas, in the interest of being honest and giving credit where credit is due, I have to admit that the ploy to get K1 to get his pix taken was all hers. (Insert sigh of regret here that I didn't think of it myself!)

I showed up in the evening, and we started with a few pictures of K2. After the baby got a touch fussy, we decided to take a break and snap a few of his older brother. Now, here's the genious idea: Kinda had gotten K1 his own play camera. He and I became fast friends! We ran around the farm. I would find a great place for a picture and then sit and show him how I wanted him to smile and act. He would 'take' a picture of me with his play camera, and then we'd switch! I usually count on 30-45 minutes of good shooting time with a 3yo; however, with this little game going on, K1 wanted to play all night!

I had so much fun, and as a result, I had to sort through over 200 pictures and pick out my favorite 40-50! It was so tough...especially when you throw in the boys' killer blue eyes!

Kinda, thank you so much for calling me! It was such a pleasure getting to meet you and the boys, and I look forward to seeing you in a few weeks for the extended family pictures!!!

A few of my favorites are below, and you can click here to see a few more!

Take care and thanks for checking in!

I love taking pictures at farms where there's tons of old, rustic buildings and equipment to use! And, K1 is the perfect little model!

Older brother giving little brother a little bit of support for their pictures together!


I can't even remember what we were doing here! But, I crack up every time I see this picture! I think I was trying to get him to go take pictures somewhere else, and he REALLy wanted to stay near this barn!

Look at these blue eyes! They mesmerize me! This is an example of a picture where all you can do is stare at the eyes...and later, you can't even remember what else was going on in the picture...which is something I love in an image. And, with this little cutie, I have tons of images like this!

Sweet moment between mom and her boys!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Stine Family | WEDDING, FAMILY, & CHILDREN'S PHOTOGRAPHER | EFFINGHAM, ILLINOIS

Krista first mentioned to me at my friend Lisa's baby shower that she wanted me to take their family portraits this fall, and when I deployed my website several months ago, she was the very first one to email me from the site itself to set a date for a portrait session (Thank you, Krista!...I'll forever remember you for that!!).

When I finally showed up at their house two weeks ago, Krista looked at her husband and forewarned him, "Did I tell you that Kelly likes to trespass to get her pictures?" You see, on my way to their house, I had passed an old abandoned farm with lots of old buildings and treasures to discover. A photographer's dream and a parent's nightmare...

First, though, we set out across the road to a relative's house (I was trying to be well-behaved and forego the trespassing). But, after a while, I turned to Krista and her husband and said, "Let's take a chance and head back to that old farm!" I've not been kicked off a property yet (I know it's coming), because not only did I get three adorable, photogenic, well-behaved kids to work with that night, but the old farm had a couple of surprises for me too!

Krista, thank you SO much for allowing me to photograph your family. I have so many great things to say about your kids...but I'll leave all of that for the comments on the pictures below!

As usual, my favorites are below, and you can see a few more from there session by clicking here.

This is how Little Man "W" felt about the entire picture taking process. Why would you want to get your picture taken when there are so many things to discover in the world?!!

But, a game of peek-a-boo around the corner of a building finally got him to play along.

...and that little game got me this pic...hard to see on the blog, but "W" has beautiful blue eyes.

All of the kids had beautiful eyes of different colors. Big sister "S" is showing off hers!

Here was one of my surprises behind the old barns!!! Three rusted out 1950's trucks! I was so excited!!! I will be trespassing again on that farm soon!!! :) Don't you love her 'serious' look!!

Big Sister "A" taking a breather from the photo shoot. This might rank in my top 10 favorite photos of all time. I love it.

A sweet moment between dad and son. If "W" could talk, he would probably say, "Dad, Dad, make the crazy woman with the camera quit following me around!"

My favorite of their family photos.

Thanks for checking in! KM

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Andrews Family | WEDDING, FAMILY, & CHILDREN'S PHOTOGRAPHER | NEOGA, ILLINOIS

I know I've talked about my friend Kathy on this blog before...she's the one who loaned me the first Twilight book....which in turn has snowballed into most of my friends and sisters reading the saga.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I had the extreme pleasure of shooting portraits for Kathy, her husband, Linc, and their two kids! Linc and Kathy are me and Nick's supper partners....at least they were until Colby curtailed a lot of our weekend social activities! Nick and I have spent many a nights with Linc and Kathy debating politics and tractor-pulling over wine and margaritas. We ALWAYS stay out way later then we originally planned, and we always have more fun than originally planned. And, in my book, that's what defines a good friendship!

So, when Kathy asked me to keep a spot open for them for a fall family portrait session I was thrilled! Because Kathy and Linc are ornery...like Nick and I. It's fun getting to know new people, but it's also fun to take pictures of people you know really well! You can heckle them, tease them, and harrass them in ways you can't new acquaintances.

Here are a few of my favorites from our ornery, heckling, "Can-you-please-stand-a-little-closer-to-the-person-you-made-babies-with" session! Click here to see a few more of my favorites.


Daughter Kendyll showing some sassafrass. Although I think Linc needs a rebellious teenage daughter in his future, Kendyll is a really sweet, responsible girl!

Little brother Layne is playing it all cool....like Elvis.


They may bicker like a brother and sister, but they love each other.



I am a serious fan of all of Linc and Kathy's pictures as a couple. They are some of my all-time favorites.



Linc - acting like he was caught in the act....probably because he was...by me. :)


Kathy is a fashionista. And, she brought her new red heels along for fun! One of those things she does that I could never pull off!

The family. I have a TON of good images of this photogenic family. Unfortunately, a lot of them have bunny ears behind someone's head....LAYNE!

A great picture of mom with the kids.


The end of the shoot.