The Baptism of Sweet Angelo | Chicago Greek Baptism Photographer

It is quite an honor every time I am invited to photograph the celebration of Baptism in the Greek Orthodox Church – for a myriad of reasons.  One of which is the incredible artistry and beauty inside each church – I love to see the detail in the surroundings!  The Greek Orthodox Church of St. Demetrios in Elmhurst certainly did not disappoint.  Gorgeous chandeliers on top of the already gorgeous artwork.  I LOVE seeing this part of their culture!

Another reason is the Full On DUNKING of the baby!  It is so beautiful, and really something magical about the whole body dunk – being cleansed by the Holy Spirit.  Ahhhh!  I can’t get enough 🙂

I could go on and on, but the biggest draw for these celebrations is the family.  Even if I don’t speak Greek, they always welcome me with open arms (and delicious food!).  The family celebrated after Angelo’s baptism at Empress Banquets, with incredible photo detail made by Angelo’s mom.  She’s got mad skills!  Thank you again for inviting me to celebrate with you all –  and Angelo, well, he’s officially the happiest baby boy I’ve ever seen!


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The Baptism of the Sweetest Sophia | Chicago Baptism Photographer

What a beautiful fall day for the celebration of the Baptism of Sophia at St. Matthew Church in Glendale Heights!  We were surrounded by the love and support of many friends and families who came to witness the christening of many little people that day, but none were larger (or more loving!) than Sophia’s wonderful family.  It is such a blessing to be surrounded by that much energy and love!  She is a very lucky baby indeed 🙂  The celebration followed at Maggiano’s in Schaumburg (and my belly is still full just thinking about it!).  Thank you again, Roanne and Mark, for including me in this wonderful day!


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How To Take Better Photos of Your Family – 5 tips for NOW! || Chicago Family Photographer








Do you know what the best camera in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE is?

Are you ready for the answer?

Can you handle it??

IT IS THE ONE THAT YOU HAVE!  Right here, right now.  iPhone.  DSLR.  Point and Shoot.  It doesn’t matter what it is, if it is the one you have on you right at the moment you need it, than THAT my friends, is the best camera in the world 🙂

Truth is – there are many tips out there on the interwebz, and many of them will get into technical aspects on how to improve your photographic skills.  This will not be one of those posts!  I’m here today to supplement the live presentation of these tips at the 1st Annual Morton Grove Public Library “How To FEST!”. These are very simple, easy ways to change the way you see your photos so you can have improved imagery, regardless of what hardware you use to actually capture the image!

1.  Light

See the light.  Be the light.  Find the light!  Or, Run away from the light!  Take notice of the light around you.  Too bright?  Find some shade.  Too dark?  Find a window (during the day, at least.  At night this tip won’t help at all!)

Take baby M here, sitting so contently in the sunshine.  Looks adorable from far away….but get up close, and she’s squinty and angry.  Well, as angry as a happy baby gets anyway.



Pick her up and move her three feet to a shady spot, and she’s as happy as the sunshine she just left 🙂


2.  Background

Take a few seconds and observe the scenery behind your main subject.  If there is something distracting behind them, moving a few steps to your right or left might change the background completely!  Or, move in closer, and make the background just fade away 🙂


3.  Perspective

Its all about how you see things that matter!  Most people stand in their normal position – point at the subject, and click.  But what if you stood somewhere else?  UP high?  Like REALLY high on a ladder?  Or moved down low on your belly?  Or looked straight down?  Or even just kneeled down so the camera is kid level?  Or stood upside down?  You get the idea….moving yourself even just a little can make your subjects even MORE striking and the stars of the show.3-Perspective-13-Perspective-2



4. Say NO to CHEESE!

Even if you aren’t lactose intolerant, cheese can be a bad thing when you ask your kids to say it.  Forced, goofy smiles are sure to abound.  Let us all realize that it is OK for kids NOT to smile – it sometimes tells more of their story than a fake smile does – and lets be honest, NOT smiling is definitely a very real part of life.


It is ALSO ok to just give in to the chaos and just let kids be, well, kids.   Try to catch them playing and running around, you know, in their natural habitat.

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If you’re still looking to get a great, natural smile: give them a job to do.  Ask them to run, jump, twirl, sing a song, hug in really really close, or launch a surprise sneak attack of kisses on someone.  Just be prepared to snap right after when the smile beams through 🙂  Other ideas include asking them to say something silly, such as “Daddy is Stinky” or “I want CANDY!”.  Farts and Potty words usually get the job done too 🙂


5.  LAST but not LEAST – My very BEST secret to GREAT FAMILY photos!

Make sure you’re in the picture.  Yes, you.  The one with the camera.  And the eyes.  And the thighs.  And the face that your children love SO SO much.  Make friends with your timer.  Get comfortable asking a stranger to snap the shutter.  DO NOT.  I repeat.  DO NOT wait until you have a great hair day, your skin clears up, you wear clean clothes OR for you to be 20 pounds lighter.

Your kids love you for who you ARE TODAY. I can assure you, in 20 years seeing yourself in the photos with your family will be the greatest gift of all 🙂


P.S.  It does take a little practice to get it right with the timer.  Especially if you are far away.  Sometimes 10 seconds isn’t quite long enough…..

Kimberley O'Brien - These are SUCH Great photos!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE the little star wars dudes doing laundry, LOL! I wish I could take photos like this; all of mine end up blurry and washed out.

Wedded Bliss | Chicago LGBT Wedding Photographer

One of the best parts of my job is having the honor of being present to celebrate life’s high points.  You know, those times in life that are SO bursting with joy and love, it just beams from the face of everyone in the room.  This was particularly the case at the wedding of Barb and Tricia – filled with family, friends, love, laughter and respect – and most of all, equality.  Every person in that room was so filled with joy that these lovely ladies were finally, legally, able to be married after many, many years together.  Freedom to Marry act was effective state-wide on June 1, 2014 in Illinois,  and it gives me so much pride to be a part of such a history making event.  Thank you for including me on this beautiful, bursting-at-the-seams love filled day 🙂

Venue – Carmichae’ls; Mary Bartlme Park
Heart Glass Gems: A Stroke of Beauty



The Baptism of Aaliya, Alexa and Dylan | Chicago Baptism Bautizo Photographer

What’s better than a sweet baby being baptized?  A whole family getting in on the action!  These two sisters and their cousin were welcomed into the Catholic faith at St. Catherine Labourne in Glenview, and a grand fiesta followed at Avalon Banquet Center.  What’s a fiesta without Mariachis, face painting, a balloon artist and photo booth!??! The best part, though, was all of the beautiful, hand crafted touches made by the family.  It was an incredible day – congratulations to the whole family for making it so special!



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