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Chicago Family Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography

In my relatively new to being a mom opinion, “mom guilt” is a real thing. We obviously want to give our kids the world. When that world at times seems like it’s shaken a bit, or at minimal, not as joyful as we envisioned or hoped in the moment, it can be discouraging. Something I love about kids though is they are so incredibly gracious & resilient. When I’m at my wits-end of: “What on earth is going on!?” I’m minutes away (usually) from smiles, and laugher, as if all was right in the world again.

I feel like family sessions are a good reflection of that. We may come in with a certain vision in our minds as to this “Sound of Music” frolicking, when in reality we have meltdowns. (: However, I always say, just keep loving on them, don’t worry about the photos, and inevitably they soon enough are their adorable, precious, joyful selves again. These are the real days of life with kids. And besides…I can always cut out the meltdown photos. (: The smiles and precious moments are the ones that sometimes get overshadowed in our memories. Through photos…Want to highlight them! Store them for your rainy days. Hold on to them when the “mom guilt” kicks in, and we think we should be or do more than what we are. Grace & love are enough.

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Chicago Family Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography

My husband and I didn’t choose to know the gender of our baby. Though I had a very strong feeling it was a boy, a day or two before I had him I panicked that my inkling was wrong and bought a couple bows. Well, my gut feeling all along was right. It was a boy! To my accessorizing dismay, I returned the adorable bows. Little miss Aria’s outfit is exactly why girls are so fun to dress! How adorable is she!!? Which I’m not surprised her outfit is on-point. Her mama’s wedding dress is still one of the most talked about out of my brides. Loved seeing you guys & getting to capture beautiful Aria! 

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CHICAGO FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER: MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY

For those of you who’ve never never done a photo session with me before (Umm…You’re missing out! Contact me for one!) (:

You may not know that I actually do every photo both in color and black and white. Why? Well, the honest answer is I can’t choose! Each image has such a different feel if it’s in color or if it’s black & white. So though my clients get both versions, I spend an embarrassing amount of time trying to choose which version to post for the blog. Well, it’s wedding season, and we’ve done 22 mini sessions so there’s no time for mulling it over forever! So I took to Instagram! (@melissamariephoto) And a ton of you voted on my Insta story as to which version you thought I should go with. It was a close one! And verifies why it was a hard decision for me too, but ya’ll said the fall colors were to dreamy not to include. And I’d add that lil’ Davin’s amazing blues eyes! There really wasn’t a bad photo in the bunch. These guys are beautiful! And I’m not just sayin’ that since I play Dave in soccer often and I wanna win. (: 

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Chicago Family Photographer: Melissa Marie Photography

One of my favorite parts about photo mini sessions is I get to meet a lot of new families. Somethings are seemingly universal. As in kids love leaves! (: Or that kids are super cute. (I mean, obviously they’re adorable) However, my favorite parts of family sessions are seeing what’s unique about their family dynamic. How siblings interact. What things intrigue or have kids rolling in laughter. I love seeing that even for just a short while there’s no to-do list. No work beckoning. No phones. Just pure family time. All in. All focused on each other. Here’s to Sunday hopefully making memories with your loved ones!

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Melissa Marie Photography: Kathleen + Brian

Love that these two were (I saw were cuz Chicago weather has been gnarly and we had to reschedule) willing to come out on their wedding anniversary! Crazy that it was two years ago when I captured their big day.  Like old friends, we picked up right where we left off. Helping me with my directionally challenged ways…Showing photos of our fixer-upper houses we bought… Talking about our “kids” one being a fur baby: Riley who joined in on the pics. Oh yeah…And all the while taking some ridiculously cute pics. It also happens to be Kathleen’s birthday today! So much to celebrate for them! Happy anniversary! And happy birthday!! So great to capture such fun things to celebrate. 

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