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one holiday at a time

at shalimar b photography we’re all about that base, wait a minute, no we’re not.  i mean, yes, we are, but what i meant to say is that right now we’re all about christmas photos and holiday cards and getting clients prints for christmas gifts and wrapping up holiday sessions, and all things holidays. this has been going on since about september. it’s just the nature of the business.

 

in my personal life my two boys are endlessly asking “when are we getting our christmas tree?” i’ve received individual, well thought-out drafts of each of their christmas lists no less than 5 times, they have pointed out all of the christmas lights and holiday decorations going up in the neighborhood.  and my response to them is always the same. at least in my home life i can say this:

 

one holiday at a time.

 

thanksgiving is not a holiday that i will ignore or decorate over. i love this holiday! what’s not to love? it’s got all the things that make a holiday fabulous.  good food? check. pie? check. taking time out to be thankful? check. not staying up until midnight to wrap presents? check. did i mention pie? check. double check.

so what am i thankful for? so many things – too many to list but the biggies are my health, and health of those i love. food in our bellies and roofs over our heads. anything after that is just gravy in my opinion.

i’m also so thankful for all of my clients who trust me to do what i love. and it’s not just capture pretty pictures of them or their children looking at the camera. i do love that, don’t get me wrong. but what i really love is capturing the moments that pass between people that love each other. you can’t plan for it. you can’t ask for it. you just have to wait for it and know when to take the shot. every session i complete, i am thankful for these moments, and for the people that give me the opportunity to witness and capture them. here are a few from some of my recent holiday sessions. . . happy thanksgiving!

 

thanksgiving

turning bad days to good

i don’t know too many people that can say that if they are having a lousy day it will be better once they go to work – but i sure can!!!!!

it always amazes me! not that i have a ton of bad days – i don’t (thankfully!) but you know how life is. . . we all have things going on .  .  . things on our mind . . . stress, anxiety, etc. but when i walk into a photo session everything just melts away.  anything that was bothering me is suddenly gone, completely forgotten and all i see are the beautiful faces in front of my lens. this little guy was such a joy to me on this day and was exactly what i needed.

we laughed. we ran around. we threw the ball. we cooed over his little sister.

he and his family were a complete delight. and when they left my day was a little brighter and my step was a little lighter.

familyphotography

click, click, click

is that my shutter clicking away? or is that me and this couple just clicking and “getting” each other? was that totally and completely cheesy?  aahhh, yes it was.  however!!!! the correct answer is . . . wait for it . . . both!! sometimes people come into your life and you just “get” each other. i felt this way about this couple. i’m very lucky actually, because i feel that way about many, many of the clients that walk through my door. what’s even better about this couple is that they have booked me for an entire year of photos as their sweet baby is born and grows – i can’t wait!!!  not only to meet their sweet little peanut but also to get to know them and watch them become parents. (sidebar: when an expectant mom comes to the studio wearing Chuck Taylors – hello! instant cool factor!)  this is one of the best parts of what i do. watching people make that leap into parenthood.

when i go thru the photos of families that have been with me for their baby’s first year, it is amazing to see the changes in not only the baby, but also in the parents.  and i don’t mean in how tired the parents look or the baby weight that has been lost. i mostly mean the looks of love that pass between a mother and her baby. the way a father will throw his baby up in the air – so high that sometimes i will gasp (!!) as the baby is laughing like crazy looking at daddy because he knows his daddy will catch him. or the looks between mommy and daddy as if to say “look at this amazing person we created.”

so when i see expectant parents it makes me think of what they have ahead of them. i’m excited for them. but i don’t tell them. i’ll let them figure it out for themselves and be there to take the photos.

maternityphotography

i’m not very photogenic.

if i had a nickel for everytime a woman said that to me, i’d have a lot of extra $$ to spend!!!!  if i had a dollar for everytime a man said that to me, i’d have about one extra dollar.  little kids don’t say it.  tween and teen girls don’t say it. if you’ve ever followed one on instagram and seen all of the selfies, you KNOW that’s true!!! but that’s a good thing!  i love that!! i pray for those girls that it stays that way for their entire lives. my generation didn’t take nearly as many selfies as this generation, but somewhere along the way most women start to despise getting their photo taken. what is it that causes that? we can point fingers. blame the media and the unattainable, unrealistic images of women that they exploit. we can blame society and all of the pressures they put on women to “have it all” and be perfect in everything we do. heck, we might as well blame the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries while we’re at it, i’m sure they’ve done something!!  but seriously, at some point we need to take some accountability for our own attitudes and beliefs.

maybe we’re not wearing the size we want to be.

maybe we aren’t as fit as we want to be.

maybe our hair or skin isn’t as perfect as it was when we were 24.

maybe if we silenced that inner voice that frankly is being a little rude, and told her that we are beautiful just as we are. maybe she’d listen. maybe she’d start to believe it.

because it’s true.

i had an incredible weekend with some incredible women – some i knew well and some i met that night.  we shared stories about things that were currently inspiring us. the amount of support, love and bravery in that room was overwhelming and it struck me,  if women were as kind to themselves as their friends were, the self-help industry would be completely wiped out. so be kind.  not only to others, but most importantly, to yourself.

fashion-inspired

 

glamour

 

Chicago Portrait Photographer | Chicago Family Photographer | Child Photographer in Chicago | Chicago Photographer of Babies

 

“big kids”

it’s no secret i love babies, but i also love having older “kids” into the studio. it’s a different kind of fun. i also love having older siblings in the studio – especially brothers, probably because i have two boys so i look at it as a glimpse into my future (hopefully!)  these two brothers were laughing and making jokes, wait, maybe, they were laughing AT me instead of WITH me!!!  it’s possible!! just like my boys, i guess!  this family was so much fun to have in the studio and every time i see this gorgeous woman i like her even more.

familyphotography