MY, HOW WE'VE GROWN

My little buddies aren’t so little anymore and I want to cry… and smile at the same time. I tend to fall into a big void of emotions often, so stick with me here, and you’ll see what I mean.

A dear friend popped by the studio a couple of weeks ago to get some updated portraits of her spunky, sassy, smart, fearless four kiddos. They were actually the first family I photographed as I was just pondering the idea of going “official” with Lyla Lane Photography.

Boy, have we both grown!

Kathryn is the oldest, a leader, trend-setter, fashionable and strong. Charlotte is next. She is my little sunshine friend whose exudes such kindness, sensitivity, grace, is so helpful and all around charming. James is my little dude - funny, goofy, kind, full of energy and inventive. And little Mia pulls up the rear with her elfish charm, humor, innocent energy and an insatiable need for marshmallows and candy. She can only be described as “so Mia.”

I. Love. These. Kids.

Here are a few peeks at the kiddos just two years ago:

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Looking at the images from this little session, it just reinforced my own sense of nostalgia and desire to keep my kids “just this little” forever. Holy cow! These four look like they’ve grown up before my eyes! And…they HAVE!

Rock climbing lessons and fancy art pens replaced library story times and crayons. Hockey practice takes the time where afternoon naps once belonged. Clothes have gotten bigger, and definitely more fashion-forward. But one thing has definitely remained the same. My littlest buddy is just still “so very Mia,” and will still do just about anything for a chubby-bunny-style mouth full of mini marshmallows.

730 days from the photos above and here we are today:

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ROSIE & A LITTLE LADY

Meet my newest little fashion icon - Miss Quinn. She has impeccable taste in headwear and she was only four weeks old at the time of our session!

There had been a bit of a baby boom among my Lyla Lane families, and I have been sooooo enjoying all the extra cuddles with my new little friends. Seriously, how is it that babies smell so incredibly good? (well, most of the time…ha ha!)

Baby Quinn and her amazing mom, Abby, and dad, Justin, welcomed me into their beautiful Park Ridge home to capture all the newborn squishy goodness that has become part of their new family. Baby Quinn also has two fur-siblings who were a big part of our session, especially Rosie-the-pup. She would not leave Quinn’s side. It so reminded me of NaNa from Peter Pan. Curious Rosie did her best to photobomb as many moments of the session as possible and became quite the legend herself in the process.

Anyway, I am so looking forward to getting some fashion advice from this little lady in the years ahead!

“All you need is faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust.” - Peter Pan

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THE FIRST FRESH FACE

I can’t think of a better way to kick off 2019 sessions than with a cozy, snuggly new little love!

Chicago winters are COLD, and LONG, but in my opinion, snuggling through January with such an adorable little guy is just the best way to make it through the season.

I had the privilege to meet Lindsey and Jeff this January through another dear client. They welcomed their first son, James, to the world a short while ago. He was just the sweetest little man who just loved to… EAT! ha! He snacked and napped throughout our in-home city session, and was the perfect little model the whole morning. I couldn’t help but sing “Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor in my head…or out loud the whole time.

Goodnight you moonlight ladies
Rockabye sweet baby James
Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose
Won't you let me go down in my dreams
And rockabye sweet baby James

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THE MAGIC AND MADNESS OF FALL

Autumn Anxiety is a thing.  Really, I'm not sure if it is, but I would like to think that it is.  And if it's not, well that's a new Lyla Lane Photography trademarked diagnosis!!

Really, I have always LOVED the fall, the early fall - the changing colors, apples and pumpkins, Halloween costumes, cute new "Hans Solo" boots, etc.   But I always have this longing for summer to never end too. I know that after those last few leaves decide to float gently to the ground - or get ripped off by a blustery wind - that I'm in for it - that is being IN-side for the next several months. There is a reason that I like to think of Chicago as Summer's Favorite City. You survive those winters so you can LIVE all summer. I guess I just don't want it to end.

But THIS fall is going to be different. I am not inviting Autumn Anxiety into my life. Why?!?! Because I plan to be so busy taking absolutely stunning photographs of my friends, family and clients that I won't have a moment to dwell on how chilly that breeze is turning!  

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So without further adieu, Lyla Lane Photography is pleased to announce the arrival of Fall Sessions and Fall Mini Sessions for 2018!

What are Minis, you ask? Minis are a great way to try out Lyla Lane Photography and get a few gorgeous, key portraits of the ones you love. They are 25-30 minutes and will deliver 10 gorgeous images from which you can choose.  They are really perfect for knocking that Holiday Card photo off your to-do list and capturing a few extra snuggly moments with your favorite people. I do have to mention that Minis are NOT a full session at a discounted price. Your session will be amazing and will provide a great variety of people, poses and candids, but they move very quickly and are more focused on a few key images that we are trying to capture.

I also stress that there are a LIMITED NUMBER of MINIS. So get them fast because, like the colorful fall leaves, once they're gone, they're gone! 

Don't worry though! Basic 1-hour Sessions with the option to purchase your Complete Gallery are also available for fall. A full session allows much more freedom in terms of us getting warmed up and you feeling your most comfortable in front of the camera. I love to focus on candid moments and the unique dynamics of what makes your family YOURS. Feel free to contact me for inquiries and availability. 

I wish you an epic conclusion to your summer and the grace to embrace the winds of change come September.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift

May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay
Forever young

-Bob Dylan, "Forever Young"

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TINY DANCER

For many of us moms, this is a busy time of year. Well, really, when isn't, right? In early June kids graduate, summer camps get underway, baseball practices commence, and for some of us who are moms to young ladies - it's DANCE RECITAL SEASON!!

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In my case, I have a 4 and a 2 year old. So, this isn't all consuming in terms of full weekends of costume changes, tu-tu turmoil, rehearsals and knowing how exactly how all those other moms get that perfectly shaped ballerina bun.  I know those days may be coming - especially since my girls already love to put on recitals at our house on the daily... Just how many times can one hear "Let It Go?" Gimme another month and I'll tell ya when I crack! 

But despite all the back-stage commotion and shenanigans at the local dance recital, I honestly can say it is one of the biggest highlights of my year with the girls. 

They so look forward to it, which is surprising given their shy nature. There is something about dance that lets them be free, let's them shine and drink in what it means to be present in a big moment. 

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And let's face it - those little tu-tu's are just stinkin' adorable.  

Like so many other mom moments, I want to remember them as they are - just that little. It goes so fast.

My husband's grandfather had a vivid memory of seeing his granddaughters at their very first recital, back in the early '80's. The girls were "Dancing French Maids." And of course, some kids twirled to the left, some to the right, some sat down, some looked for mommy in the crowd and some actually did the choreography. Well, the man lived to be 92 and that was a moment he never forgot. 

So, dance moms, it's time to unite. Let's soak up that spinning chaotic beauty and capture it before the curtain closes. 


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WHAT MOM REALLY WANTS

TO BE IN A PHOTO WITH HER KIDS!!!!!!

Ok, let me backtrack a bit...

Hi guys and gals! I have been ruminating on this for such a long time. I never quite put my finger on some of the "can't miss out syndrome" feelings that creep up when I see some of my fellow photographers posting gorgeous, candid moments of other moms and their children.  Then, it hit me. DUH! There is a MOM in that photo!

It's like BBC exclusive footage that you can just hear narrated by Planet Earth's David Attenborough. "...the elusive, rare sighting of mom, captured in time, holding or hugging or chasing or baking or biking or even folding laundry... WITH her kiddos!" How rare, indeed!

I can only really speak on my behalf, but I am confident that many, if not most, moms can relate. We are always behind the lens, and by lens, I'm not necessarily talking about a fancy DSLR, I mean, iPhone camera. We snap quick shots at the park, in front of the huge gorilla at the zoo, or of DAD playing catch with the kids.  

Told ya, big gorilla snapshot at the zoo...

Told ya, big gorilla snapshot at the zoo...

If we are in the shot at all, it's usually a selfie. We are a giant, floating head and arm with our kids crammed in the image or way off in the background. It doesn't feel authentic, or like a way to really remember the special moment you are trying to capture. 

It's time for a change. And Mother's Day is a perfect opportunity to blossom in your own photographic journey - for and of yourself. Your kids want to SEE you in photos too! They want to remember you, as the beautiful person you are right now - yoga pants, ponytail, chins and all.  And I promise in the years to come, you won't see your perceived imperfections.  You will just see the love and connection you have with the little beings that are your world.

So, what can we do?

Example: Giant floating head with chins selfie.

Example: Giant floating head with chins selfie.

Fellas, first, it's up to you. Take the photo - you get big bonus points if she DOESN'T HAVE TO ASK. Take the quick snaps and candid moments.  

Moms give your camera or phone to your partner and... until new Pavlovian conditioning is ingrained, you may have to ask for the photo...a lot. 

And lastly, make it a priority to get some really good professional images of YOU and your kids. A good lifestyle photographer knows how to prompt your children to capture a scene that looks and feels authentic. The images will be priceless and will allow you the opportunity to FEEL that connection with your children, every time you gaze at that beautiful, candid moment on your wall. (Bonus for using pros - we can erase those tired-mama circles under your eyes and fix a couple extra chins too!) 

It doesn't have to be me, but hire someone, sometime and you won't be sorry. Ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXERCISING MY BRAIN...AND FINGERS...WITH A NEW BLOG

Hi Guys! I am so beyond excited to start some new fun projects with you all in 2018!  I must say I have always loved writing - go figure given my previous life as a journalist - and know that I have been neglecting that little part of my brain lately.  Everyone starts new exercise programs in the New Year, right?  So... this is the perfect time to start exercising our brains and writing! 

I can't wait to bring you some fun stories of friends, photo sessions, tips, giveaways and some of the shenanigans that happen at the good 'ol Rosiere household!  

Stay tuned! Lots more to come! - Jen

 
 
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