Christmas season means Christmas photos for Christmas cards. Here are a few highlights from a photo shoot this past Sunday.

This was such a fun photo shoot. The lights were set up for me when I got there, and the twins had these fun ornaments to play with. If you try to emulate this look/style, make sure they are shatterproof ornaments. These ornaments were, thankfully, since the twins loves smashing them together. It was such an easy set up, and part the part that I loved the most is that it is so easy to recreate in anyone’s home. I brought my off camera flashes with some light diffusers, set one up on a tripod and the other on the floor, and I was able to create this nice soft light in their home.

Now that my wife and I have Logan, we’ll have to send out a Christmas card to our family. Here was our trial run with Christmas light photos.  He was more intrigued by what they would taste like than smiling at us. More photos to come later.

It’s my favorite time of the year. Now the weather just needs to check itself and remember that it is supposed to snow during the holiday season instead of being warm and having shorts weather. I can’t wait to take some more holiday photos for Christmas cards. These holiday photos can be done as mini sessions in your home. Let me know if you want to set something up.

 

There is something about the fall that is just enamoring. The crisp air. The mild weather. Sweaters. Apple cider. Spiced candles. Beautiful colors. When you combine all of these, you get the perfect ingredients for fall family photo shoots. These photo shoots are fun, especially when the weather works out and the sun provides the best colors. Here are some recent portraits from this fall’s family sessions.

I will always ask clients before the session is over if they have any requests for pictures. The last two pictures were a request, and I was more than happy to capture it. I never want to force clients to take photos that they are uncomfortable with, and with the power of Pinterest, many clients have seen photos that they want to take. It’s always fun when you replicate something that you see online, especially when kids do something all on their own. 

As I’m prepping the next couple of posts, I’m realizing that there is a common theme even with my last post: I have had the privilege of watching many families grow. The Waters are another family for whom I’ve documented a wedding, baby, and family photos.

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The first pictures of their newest baby boy were taken when he was less than a week old. It is incredible to see the amount of change, physically and personality, that happens to babies from birth to only being six months old. Looking at the two pictures side by side, it’s like they are two completely different babies. Even though there are many photos that are taken of babies on phones between newborn and six months, documenting the growth with a professional is definitely special.

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This late summer/early fall photo shoot produced one of the most adorable photos that I’ve taken. These two sitting down showing genuine smiles are the moments that I love to capture for families. We took our pictures at the Fabyan Forest Preserve. I was drawn there because of a giant windmill that they have, but we ended up not even taking photos there. The park has so much beautiful greenery that you can take several sessions of family photos there without replicating the same backdrop.

Geneva, IL is home to many beautiful parks, and is actually a beautiful town as well. The downtown area is unique because almost everything is owned by a small business owner. You can’t beat the food choices down there either. My favorite places to eat down there are Barrel + Rye and The Burger Local. If you are ever craving some great American Bistro food, delicious burgers, or craft drinks, check them out.waters-74 waters-64
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One of the best aspects of being a photographer is getting to see your clients grow. Watching newborns grow up and document their first steps is beautiful, but watching a family grow can be inspirational. I’m always very humbled and honored when couples take a chance on me to document their weddings, especially for the couples early in my photography career. The Brownings were one of the first couples that trusted me with taking their wedding photos.

Even though they are family, there was no obligation to having me take their engagement photos, then their wedding photos, and then their family photos once they started growing. There are plenty of other photographers that they could have used, but there must have been something in my style that they liked in order to keep using me to document their memories. I almost cringe when I look back at some of the photos I’ve taken early in my career. The quality obviously isn’t as great; I wasn’t rocking a full frame camera with prime lenses at the time. But some of the ideas that I still use are present in my early photos. I’ve obviously grown as a photographer, and the quality of photos that I take are better as well.
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Nostalgia at its finest.

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This past spring, I decided to run the Chicago Marathon for the third time. My wife gave me the idea that I should run for a charity from now on so that the training that I do not only benefits my health, but it can benefit someone else. I honor of my cousin’s baby, I decided to join Team UPS for DownS. The United Parent Support for Down Syndrome is an organization that offers “support, education, and encouragement for parents, families and others who love and care about persons with Down syndrome” (upsfordowns.org). My wife works with adults with developmental disabilities, so this community has always been near and dear to us. I’m still fundraising even though the race is in a week, and I have already reached my fundraising goal, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t help out. Help support this wonderful organization by clicking here.

My cousin, Sandy, has been blogging about her experiences of motherhood, both with her firstborn son, her second-born daughter, and the challenges and blessings of raising a child who has Down syndrome. If you ever want to read about her beautiful perspective on life, need a word of encouragement, or need a reality check on your own life, check out what she has to say here: http://signet223.blogspot.com/

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I can’t get over how adorable this baby is. This photo shoot was sort of a last minute plan that, thankfully, came to fruition. Mom and Dad, who happen to be my sister-in-law and her husband, which I guess is also my brother-in-law, were visiting from Arizona to celebrate their baby’s first birthday with the rest of the family that still lives in Illinois.

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We knew we were going to be in Chicago one of the days because I have an unhealthy obsessions with donuts, more specifically, Do Rite Donuts in Chicago. I had posted something on Facebook a week before they had visited, and they told me that they wanted to get donuts. It just so happened that after we got donuts, we had made plans to do a quick family photo shoot.

Cannon Family-21I love the Lincoln Park Gardens in Chicago. It’s a place that I’ve visited before for photo shoots, and it’s a quiet calm just outside of the rambunctious streets of Chicago. It’s far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the city to make you forget about the all the noise and escape and appreciate nature. When I edit photos that I’ve taken at the Gardens, I sometimes forget that they were taken in Chicago. Of course, the best skyline in the world serving as a backdrop for some incredible family photos is a reminder of how beautiful Chicago can really be.
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I’m sure I’ll be back to the Lincoln Park Gardens for another shoot in the near future. Check out some of my other work and see if you can spot other shoots done here. Cannon2cannon-1-4
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