Everybody wants it

I grew up in a family of 5. Two parents, three kids. Two boys, one girl. That’s me, smack dab in the middle of two rowdy (but wonderfully kind) brothers. The older one has this “thing” called Marching-To-The-Beat-Of-One’s-Own-Drummer. The younger one is The Party. Me? Well, I like to think I was the classic middle child peacemaker, but I was probably closer to the I-Think-I-Know-It-All child… This different-ness worked to our advantage as kids, rarely did we step on each others’ toes vying for the same kind of attention or affirmation in the same area. But life isn’t always that neatly compartmentalized.

Sometimes we find our “thing” and relish the adoration that comes with it for about 5 minutes, only to find that our spotlight is actually quite crowded with others who believe this is also their “thing.” Photography is a lot like that. But here’s what keeps us sane, even if our “thing,” our creative outlet, our livelihood, our passion also shows itself in the multitudes – no one shares our exact same story, perspective, history or personality. We don’t have to exclude others in our search for what makes us special because it’s not the “thing” that brings the special-ness. Everyone wants a “thing” that brings significance but it is the person that has the significance. The “thing” is just a thing. And we are already significant.

Your story matters.

Understanding Photography Chicago blogger


Kid’s Neon Summer Portraits | Grayslake Photographer



I love the neon trend right now – it just fits with my boys’ energetic style. We took one sunny afternoon and had a portrait session full of color, big sticks, sunglasses & light sabers. Just the way childhood should be.Gurnee Photographer

Rainbow Balloons First Birthday | Gurnee Baby Photographer



This sweet little girl turned one and so her mommy though rainbows and chocolate would be the perfect way to celebrate. I couldn’t agree more.  🙂

Gurnee Baby First Birthday Portraits

Spring Portraits | Lake Villa Photographer

I knew I wanted to do a photo shoot with these two cameras as soon as my mom gave them to me. The Zeiss Ikon (circa 1940) belonged to my great-grandfather and the Canon (circa early 1980s, hence the strap) belonged to my dad. I brainstormed ideas for locations but the reality of Chicago Spring set in and I decided to do something creative in my studio instead. A photojournalistic theme began to take shape and I made a newspaper backdrop. I dressed my boys in their Easter best and let them have at it. My 4 year old LOVED it. Made my heart happy. My 2 year old was less enthralled… maybe he’ll be the editor and not the photographer someday. These images are a treasure – a beautiful legacy and I can’t wait to get them up on my walls. And go buy some film so I can see the world through 4 year old eyes.

Gurnee Portrait Photographer

Professional Headshot | Gurnee Portrait Photographer

Sarah just graduated with a degree in Graphic Design and Photography, check out her website! http://sarahstiefelmayer.com/

Warren High School Senior Portrait

Athlete Portraits | Gurnee Sports Photographer

Strength & femininity, Emily has them both.
Special thanks to CrossFit Northpoint, Emily Gorman, Pat Gorman, Lynnette Sweeney & Sarah Stiefelmayer!


Portraits Gurnee Athlete Photograper