Masthead header

Out Of This World: Happy Birthday Barto!

You and I both know I love me a good birthday. Often times I couldn’t narrow down what to do to celebrate your day, so we’d end up essentially with a birthday week. Knowing this of me, you’d preemptively say: “don’t go crazy.”

Well, some dinners, parties, and many gifts later, I’d lay in bed at the end of it all and hope you’ve felt special.

Well, this year, we have a newborn. And as the saying goes: “it changes things.” I don’t have the additional time to bake a bazillion desserts. I didn’t wrap your gift. And lunch is coming via drive-thru. But what I do have is a heart so grateful for who you are to Ryan and I, it could burst.

As I one finger type this with our sleeping son on my lap, I can’t help but think of all the moments ahead for him that will create who he becomes. There is no one more influential (other than Christ) on Ryan’s life than you. For the past 36 years, (yikes! Old man!) moment by moment, year by year, you’ve become who you are today. An unconditionally loving husband, father, son, and friend. One who is behind the scenes so generous that it pushes me to check my priorities. A man that holds the things of this world so lightly that it makes me realize the best truly is within eternity.  One that’s so hardworking that there is never a doubt that you’d go to the ends of the earth to provide for us.

It’s for these and so many more reasons I’m thankful that out of the entire universe,  the Lord specifically created YOU! And not only that, out of every continent, country, or college we could have met at, our paths perfectly aligned. The God of the universe gifted you to us! Try writing that on a cake or fitting that in a box with a bow.  It’s not the fanciest of birthdays, but I hope you are able to have even for a day, a glimpse at how dearly loved you are.

Happy Birthday!




Chicago Newborn Photographer: Meet Riley!

If you want to really see who someone is look at two things: the photos on their phone & their bank statement. (:

Seriously! Would those two things not say a ton about you!? If you look at my phone you’ll see I’m obsessed with: My son, Ryan, coffee, and donuts. (:

I’m a new mom myself. My son is a little over 4 months old. People say it changes your life, and I can’t even begin to say how much more full mine is because of our little one. Everything he does is amazing to me. I attempt to capture it all on my phone, and inevitably moments happen that will never occur in the same way again, and I only have a memory to remember it by. It’s because of that….That experience I now have on the daily, that I’m more convinced than ever of the importance of capturing family as often as possible! We’re creating little time capsules of memories. Little smirks. Big yawns. First houses, pets, and outfits that eventually will define an era of our life. Its because of this, all of this, that we are absolutely honored to spend this day with our cameras in your life.

Niki & Payton,

There was never a doubt that you’d be incredible parents. It’s so neat to now know the little one you’ve been praying for, for so long now. She beautiful. (No surprise there with you two!) And through her little expressions I’m pretty sure she’s already got a sense of humor. (Also not surprising with you two!) (:

So excited for this new adventure for you guys! Congrats!!


LAKE GENEVA: The Shores of Turtle Creek New Years Eve Wedding: JASON + ALLISON

She would never be the one to bring it up but the bride, Allie, and I played soccer together in college. She in my opinion, is the reason we won a national championship. She’s an absolutely phenomenal goalie. I can hear her in her humbleness as she’d read this go: “no, no, no….”  Sorry, humbleness can’t hide being an All American college athlete. (: It’s no accident that one gains the ability that’d earn that title. Incredible dedication, determination, and passion not only when the wins are easy, but when you’re down, your willingness to fight for it gets you there. Allie has had many things to fight for over the years and though she’s taken them on like a champ, i’m so glad she no longer is going through it on her own. She now has Jason. A man that continually supports her, brags on her, and makes her laugh! Who doesn’t need doses of that? Especially when times get tough?

Al, between your determination and Jason’s ability to unconditionally be a source of comfort, there’s no doubt this is a winning team right here. Remember that; team. Neither of you need to do this life alone, you now have each other. So when times get tough, don’t part ways, remember you’re in it together. And when times are wonderful, celebrate! Continue to brag on each other that you scored the best possible person in whom you now married! Woot! Woot! Love you guys, so excited to see what’s in store for you!

HAIR & MAKEUP: Mia Faccia Salon and Day Spa:

CEREMONY: First Congregational UCC:

RECEPTION: The Shores of turtle creek: 

FLORIST: Flowerama:

DJ: I Wed Solutions DJ Services:

GOWN BOUTIQUE: Haute and Co Bridal:

HOTEL: Bella Vista Suites:

CATERER: The Picnic Basket:


Voted Top 5% Of Wedding Photographers! And A Deal You Can’t Pass Up!

Mom always said it’s not nice to tell on others. Well, considering I’ve got about 4 weeks experience being a new mom (Woot! Woot!) I’d say that’s not always true. Woke up to find some pretty exciting news! People (LIKE YOU!) behind the scenes wrote-in some epically kind words about our photos and what we do and the response went to the tune of us being voted as being in the top 5% of wedding photographers in the country! Seriously…It’s hard to even put into words how grateful we are to be able to do what we do.  Every opportunity and accolade we’ve gotten is not only because you’ve allowed us into your lives with our cameras but you’ve shared your love for what we do with others. To say “thank you” for supporting us on this photo journey doesn’t scratch the surface of how we feel. So we thought we’d celebrate being voted in the top 5% of wedding photographers by giving ya’ll 5x the “Share the Love” rewards!

For each person you send our way that books a portrait session with between now and March 1st you’ll get a $125 credit! 

For each person you send our way that books a wedding in that time you’ll get a $500 credit! 

Send more than one, and add up the love! 

Use as many Share the Love credits as you like towards any future photo session, prints, or photo products we carry!

Much Love!



For the past year, on the regular, Bart would ask if our “new” and by that I mean major fixer upper house felt like home yet. He’s typically gotten the response: “No, but don’t get me wrong, I like it!” That is until the other night. While brushing our teeth, he finally got the answer that he’s been hoping for: “Yeah…Yeah it’s does.” “Really?” he said. “Why now?” We hadn’t just had some cozy date night creating some nostalgia but rather just the opposite. He’s been sleeping sick on the couch for over a week. Even when we are sharing our bed my massive preggo pillow is a cuddle killer we like to say. (Don’t get me wrong, that sucker is worth every isolated night to my preggo body.)  We have a “Wash me” layer of construction dust on just about every nook of our house which for the most part we’ve given up trying to clean until we finish reno on the basement or my water breaks; whichever comes first. (:  So how is it that now this house of ours which is in massive transition all of a sudden feels like home to me?  Well, we’ve experienced home before. We’ve had two prior to this one. Though as Ruggiero says: “He’s dying in this house.” And with all the construction he puts into this place I hope it’s not from that! (: We’ve experienced 3 homes, 22 birthdays, and as of today, 11 anniversaries of the day we said: “I do.” But amidst all the familiar of what 11 years of marriage can bring,  we’re starting something new. Something neither of us have experienced until now.






Barto- With a coffee table full of empty mugs of tea, fruit, disinfectant wipes, and sheets downstairs all disheveled from being slept on all week, I hear you peel yourself from the “sick couch,” putting on your snow gear & boots to go plow our massive driveway for the second time. You never complained, you never tried to score brownie points of “look what I’m doing even though I don’t feel well, aren’t I great?” But without announcement you went to get done what needed to be so that I didn’t have to. For the past 11 years, you’ve done such things. Things that we light-heartedly ask if I could do if you ever weren’t around. It is these things that have made it possible for me to be where I am today, and accomplish what I have. It’s these things (and so many more) that have made you the most AMAZING husband.  And as I brushed my teeth, and you asked for the hundredth time: “Does it yet feel like home?” I knew the answer was yes. Not only for my comfort, but for baby “R.” There will be countless times where you won’t be acknowledged or thanked and you’ll do it all anyway. That’s made you an amazing husband for the past decade+ but I’m even more confident it’s what’s going to make an amazing father for a lifetime.

Here’s to building our home on the unshakable foundation of Christ…

Here’s to building our family one cat and one kid at a time…

Here’s to building upon what’s been and looking forward to what’s to come…

The story is more than we could have ever written for ourselves. Through Christ it will go on forever, and each chapter is better than the one before. Can’t wait to turn the page into year 12 and parenthood with you!

Cherise - December 18, 2016 - 12:02 AM

Missy that was a beautiful picture of Christ serving His bride selflessly! Bart, you WILL be a great father and Missy will fall more and more in love with you while she watched you admire, goo goo, and love on your child. And Missy, you will undoubtedly be a terrific mother and have had lots of experience caring for other children. May you both be overwhelmed with joy as you encounter the greatest gift of all this Christmas! Love you guys abd can’t wait to meet that baby!