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VOLKENING HERITAGE FARM: MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY: CORNING FAMILY

I love the moment when a family’s initial concern of: “Lets see how this gooooeesss…” Transitions into pleasant surprise, to full fledge, this was actually fun! I get it. The outfit planning, the snack packing. The please even for a few minutes nap taking, it’s all a lot. But family life is a lot. It’s truly a goal of mine that it’s easy for you from the moment you join me. From that point on it’s lets make memories. Capture what we all along wish we would. And come out with some quality time and keepsakes with our family.

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VOLKENING HERITAGE FARM: MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY: CORDIER FAMILY

Someday I’d like to create a coffee table book of my clients and their celebrity dopplegangers. Who knows if that’s even legal or if my clients would think their celebrity match-up was a compliment or not but from the moment I met Nina I thought: Joanna Gaines. And not only because her home looks straight out of HGTV. Of course I’m meaning this comparison as a compliment. Both Joanna & Nina are obvious knockout babes with amazing taste, and beautiful families. I get as excited to capture this family as someone anticipating the reveal of “Are you ready to see your Fixer Upper!?” Which side note, we’re painting our fixer upper right now. It’s wedding season. My kids have had fevers. It’s been super fun. (:

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CHICAGO BOTANICAL GARDEN FAMILY PHOTOS: MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY: ALFANO FAMILY

At first, when I heard that it was little Kate’s 2nd birthday, I thought why “waste” it on taking family photos. You could do those any day. Kinda ironic coming from a photographer, but the sentimental side of me initially thought that. But in reality, how SWEET it is to savor family, to celebrate life, than to capture it! And how full of life Kate is! She’s was like a hard to catch magical unicorn, running through the rose bushes. Some have a “that was my bouncy house birthday.” Others have, “That was my superhero birthday…” Well, miss Kate. Your 2nd birthday was your “garden” birthday. You stopped and literally smelled the roses. You squealed with excitement to evade being scooped up out of the flower beds. You snuggled your mama at the end of the night, I’m sure filling both your hearts to the brim. Happy Birthday sweet Kate!

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VOLKENING HERITAGE FARM: MELISSA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY: WINTER FAMILY

I know Derek from college. We both played soccer, so naturally, we’re a bit competitive. Have you ever beaten me in ping pong Derek? (: Well, one competition I was late on was the having kids and trading in cars for vans. He kept having kids and I kept thinking they were crazy. Until we had our own (kids) and got our own (van). Sure, we still talk smack. (Though, the older we get the more the “you’re getting old” jokes are more so reality.) But like athletes, the real good ones make it looks easy. Derek & Tatum truly make raising 4 honest to goodness, really great kids look easy. I’ve got 2 and I know full well it isn’t! They’re just really great parents. Ping pong skills may be lacking, but parenting….You’ve nailed! (:

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