I can’t believe that in less than 4 days we will be moving across the country to Baltimore, Maryland – specifically Towson, Maryland. Before I start my new venture as a Baltimore Family Photographer, I wanted to assure we captured our family time in Chicago. When I thought about leaving our little home in Chicago, I wanted memories captured of us in our home and around our neighborhood – real life, real love and our real family loving each other!
As a Baltimore family photographer, my priorities with each client is to be:
a custom boutique experience.
heirloom wall portraits.
in love with emotion.
your custom portrait art.
I’m very excited to launch my new portrait studio in Towson, Maryland as a Baltimore Newborn Photographer and Family Photographer in the fall of this year!! New beginnings… new adventures!!
Thanks to my friend and talented photographer Julia Franzosa, I will have these wonderful images to cherish! Thank you so much my friend, you captured our morning at home wonderfully! Sorry for so many photos below but I couldn’t pick any less, I had so many favorites! I can’t wait to have these in our new home!!
Also, thank you to the wonderful ladies at The Little Style File who helped style our family for our session. They are such a great resource in helping families find the right style! They worked with me on my own personal style, our budget and what we already had in our closet. Even though they are based in Chicago, I know they are only one email away and are at my finger tips as soon as I need them. If you need some personal assistance in pulling together your family’s outfits, they are a wonderful resource!!
Looking forward to meeting many new families in Baltimore!
Before we move to Baltimore and I restart my Family Photography Studio… the boys and I are getting out to enjoy our neighborhood en though its been a bit soggy! I sure hope all these April showers bring May flowers, but I think my boys would be just as happy with the showers. Like any young kids (and big kids, if they admit) love puddle jumping! So we went a hunting all decked out in our rain gear. Gavin got new dinosaur boots and coat that he would probably wear to bed, if I let him.
It is fun to explore our well loved neighborhood and soaking up (no pun intended, well maybe it was ) the familiar sights. I’m enjoying getting in the last few family photos before our move to Baltimore. We are all excited to be moving to Baltimore and I will be re-starting my business there as a family photographer, the boys are thrilled to be closer to their cousins!
I love taking photos of my boys and now that we will be in a new area, I’m excited to scout locations in and around Baltimore County in areas such as Towson, Lutherville, Timonium, Hampton, Owings Mills, Pikesville and also head up a little north to Sparks and Phoenix areas. My boys love to explore and so do I… this is going to be an adventure for all!
As you can see below… every good puddle hunter needs a trusty hunting dog… I wonder where we could find one? Well, at least we have Marley. The boys love him and even though he weighs twice as much as Quinn, he loves to “walk him” although it might be the other way around.
After only a few minutes of hunting we found a few puddles. They *loved* splashing, Gavin especially! He stomped through and as you can see below, Quinn was the recipient of the splashing and was not too excited about being all wet! Gavin on the other hand could have been drenched and would have stayed out for hours!!
As we wrap up our time here, I’m taking every opportunity to enjoy just our everyday life here as that is what I will miss the most – our everyday adventures. We are excited to move to Baltimore and I’m excited to re-start my photography studio there in our new home (once we find one to buy!). As we continue our location scouting for great family photo locations around Baltimore, I will continue to update the blog with our new discoveries!
See below if you are interested in staying in touch via my brand spakin’ new *sweet* newsletter! (sweet may have a double meaning)
I know I have found what I really love… capturing pure beauty! This sweet newborn girl is such a blessing to her family and exudes beauty. I was so honored to have been selected by her parents to preserve this time for their family.
Ladies (and men) – here is your chance to enjoy a fabulous workout and also donate to a great cause – a perfect win win in my book!!
I love The Dailey Method. It is the perfect combination of strength, cardio and flexibility. Afterwards I feel like my whole body has had a great workout and my mind is also relaxed and ready to take on my day. Plus… the bonus…. the Bucktown one (in my hood) is in a beautiful space with childcare available!!! Really?
Does it get any better? Well… yes it does! As many of you know, my mom is a breast cancer survivor. So I love that local businesses like this are giving back and raising awareness, thank you.
This Saturday, 10/27… The Dailey Method Chicago will honor National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by raising awareness and funds to support Bright Pink Organization and To Celebrate Life Breast Cancer Foundation. These organizations provide critical services and educational programs for people with breast cancer and for those who are at risk.
Lindsay Avner Will Attend Donation Event!
We are excited to announce that Lindsay Avner, Founder and CEO of Bright Pink will attend the studio’s Breast Cancer Awareness All Day Donation Event on October 27th! Lindsay will speak about the mission of Bright Pink and its role in breast cancer awareness before participating in the 75-Minute Donation Class. Sign up with link to TDM below.
Free Classes ALL Day!
The Dailey Method Chicago – Bucktown will be offering free classes ALL day with the opportunity to donate to this fundraising initiative. Additionally, all of their instructors will be donating their pay for this day back to the cause! Thank you instructors!
Chicago – Bucktown 75-Minute Donation Class - Saturday, October 27th, 9:30 – 10:45AM
Clients attending the donation class will receive a gift bag filled with unique prizes and will be entered into a raffle to win a $100 TDM credit. Space is limited!
Brunch, Bubbles & Shopping
Red Hen Bread and of course pink beverages after class! Limited edition Do It Dailey Pink Ribbon Tanks and Pink Dailey Method® Grip Socks will be available for purchase with all proceeds going to these listed charities. This fundraising effort is especially close to the heart of many Dailey Method followers and founder Jill Dailey, as she is a breast cancer survivor herself. Thank you for your support!
Visit The Dailey Method Bucktown for a great workout and fun whole body experience!
Thank you for your commitment to fighting this awful disease!
I was so fortunate to meet this sweet family because they have a very thoughtful friend who gifted them a newborn photo session and portrait art. If I do say so myself, this is is the best gift ever for welcoming in a new baby!! As you can see from some of the highlights below that we have a future Ohio State Buckeye and a Reds fan. As a Purdue Boilermaker, I was a bit conflicted to have this little guy with his beloved buckeyes, but I will do anything for my clients. But… I have a soft spot in my heart for Cincinnati as I met my husband there so I was more than happy to have him with his Reds bat and ball!!! This was something a little new for me, but I always enjoy trying new things… a little boy & his sports – a perfect match!
If you would like to gift one of your friends or family with a session, just let me know, I will package and wrap it for you – easy peasy for you!!
Below are some of our favorites, if you would like to view the whole video you can take a peek here. Enjoy!
I love this little family! The first time I talked with them, I new we would “click”. And during our conversation, we realized we live literally right around the corner from one another and play with our kids at the same neighborhood (Bucktown) park – it was meant to be! Their session was one of my favorite types of family photos – they wanted images from around the neighborhood and to celebrate their new family. We talked about their vision for their portraits so going into their session… we had a plan. First of all – have fun! Secondly, creating wall portraits that would decorate their home and remind them of this season in their life. So honored… thank you “O” family for a great time and I look forward to seeing your sweet boy grow.
As a Chicago family photographer it is my greatest honor to know that families will enjoy my portrait art for a lifetime! You can see an example of the rendition of their framed portrait that I designed and showed them at their Premiere. I love that I can show finished pieces and perfectly size them for their home, before they are even printed!
My really love my job! I love that I get to meet, connect and make friends by being a part of new parents lives at times that are the most precious to them. Newborn photos are one of my favorites sessions, new life is such a blessing. Here are some images from a session of this sweet little lady who was born to friends of ours. She is the first grandchild and the first to this sweet couple – what a blessing!!
Thank you E & E for the opportunity to photograph your sweet babe! I loved every minute of it and so thankful that she is in your lives. I know she is still so little but I can’t wait till her 1 year cake smash!!! I’m sure she will be all over Logan Square rocking her cuteness everywhere!
If you have a moment, would love to hear your favorite memory of these first few weeks with your little one. I know it is such a hard time for many so I wanted to highlight some of the precious sweetness that comes during this newborn stage. Mine is having him all snuggled up on me and just listening to him breath and breathing in that yummy newborn smell – nothing compares!!
Thank you again for allowing me to be your newborn photographer and capturing this time for your family! Love you!
Today is a guest post from another Amazing Woman that I have had the privilege to know here in Chicago. I was honored to get to know Sara and her family at Macaroni Kid – Chicago last Fall when I took their family photos and as Sara says I have become the “official Macaroni Kid Chicago photographer”. :-) We first headed to Kinzie Street Bridge and then we also went to Lincoln Park Zoo! Their son is of fun, it was a great time for all! It was my honor to be their Chicago family photographer. She is always full of fabulous ideas and below are some of her ideas for what to do with you kiddos and family this summer. Thank you Sara for your great ideas, as always!
- Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Filled with the memorable characters and the songs in Disney’s original Broadway musical, this 75-minute production tells the tale of a prince who must earn the beautiful Belle’s love in order to break the spell that transformed him into a beast.
- Bristol Renaissance Faire. Complementing a perennially popular array of jousting knights, swashbuckling swordsmen, mud beggars, rope-walkers, period dancers and musicians, the season will be one of the most extensive line-ups of special entertainment the Faire has ever assembled. For the Faire’s youngest patrons (a.k.a. “nipperkins”), Kids Quests provide two daily opportunities to embark on their own, age-appropriate adventures.
- Mac Kid Day at Play. The 2nd Friday of every month, Macaroni Kid is at *play from 10:30 – 11:30AM. Join us for fun crafts, activities, treats from local businesses and good times with friends! For the next Mac Kid Day on July 13, we are very excited to welcome Multilingual Chicago! Multilingual Chicago and Voice of the City will be offering a Spanish Music class called Canta Conmigo, an early childhood bilingual music/movement program that includes songs, finger-play, instruments and dancing for children and families.
Looking for more fun things to do? Check out Mac Kid Chicago for events, museum free days, family friendly recipes and crafts, giveaways and MORE!
Not talking mini-skirts… I’m a family friendly site – I’m talking TIME! A precious commodity!
As a wife, mom, photographer, sister, daughter, friend, blogger, wanna-be exerciser I try to maximize my time! Busy families need to also maximize their time. So this year, I did something new – I held mini photo sessions.
Unlike a full customized 1:1 photo session with me at a location of your choice, this was 1 location and 6 families in just a few hours. This meant only 15 minutes for each family. But, I still wanted everyone’s personalities, connection and love for their family to shine through, but how to do that quickly and efficiently? I had a plan!
As in my daily life, if I don’t make a plan, write down a simple to-do list and communicate that plan to my family, the walls will come crumbling down. So my plan for these sessions:
- Scout the location: Went to the park at the time of day I would be shooting – a.k.a. a play date with my boys in Logan Square. Win, win! They get to play and mommy gets “work” done.
- Know my Families: Communicated with each family to let them know what to expect and who would be in attendance. This helps me determine what props (size of chairs), and my age-appropriate tricks to interacting in a natural way with the little ones.
- Shot List: Prepare in advance a list of shots and interactions I am going for to capture my families interactions and their unique personalities.
- Goody Bag: Prepared goody bags for the parents to take with them after the session so they could start designing where they would place these portraits in their home.
- Treats: Drinks, food and goodies were provided by Khloe Karova, who helped organize and publicize this event for me.
- Practice! Yes, always! Practice how I am going to pose, interact with the kids, and gaining those authentic relationships – not the yucky “say cheese” smile.
- Paper work: Everyone signed up for their 1:1 Premiere session to view their photos and a consultation with me.
- Final Delivery: Visited the families’ homes for those who were selecting frames and a further in-depth home design consultation. Yay – beautiful wall art! My favorite!
Wow! Yes, even my “mini” sessions receive my full customer service from beginning to end! I love what I do! In order to provide all of this to my clients, I had a plan in place and executed it. I want to make sure my clients receive the best of me, but so does my family and in order for that balance to happen – I must MAXimize my time through planning and preparing.
Reader Question: How do you balance / maximize your time between all your priorities? How do you plan your days and allotted time? Would love to hear your suggestions, I’m always open to learning.
Happy Maximizing ~ Shayna
((below are a few examples… more to come next week!)
This is my first guest post in a series of featuring many amazing women who have life experiences, fabulous talent and a wonderful array of topics to share with you. Thank you for reading! (See below for next night out opportunity!!)
New Mom – ready or not! I had a honeymoon baby! We returned from 2.5 amazing weeks in San Juan tanned, tired, and pregnant. The party was over (or so I thought). I missed the chance to just be a wife and enjoy my husband alone as a couple. We were thrust into parenthood, ready or not.. I spent the first 1000 days as a new mom under house arrest with only food and cable. Date night was a highlight, but I was overtired and not myself. Every date night was on the clock, and I always thought about the money flying out the window in every direction especially into my sitter’s pocket. My friends without children did not really enjoy my company with the kids in tow, and I fell off the face of the planet. I didn’t keep myself up, or shop for anything new. I was in the movie Groundhog Day for 4 years, but I was aging at a fast rate.
Irish Twins = No Sleep! Not only was I pregnant again after only 5 weeks of enjoying my new baby and a much needed Lychee Martini with Sushi, but I was back to stuffing my face at home with many sleepless uncomfortable nights. The girls are thick as theives now, but the “Irish Twin” combo by design is a very tough one. I had to carry them both for 6 months in my arms. I had great arms, but no rest in sight, EVER. I went almost 4 weeks with barely any sleep and was delirious. I had been pregnant for literally two years straight, and experienced two very complicated deliveries. I made the decision to call the ball and not breed again.
Missing Life Around 35 I was point blank depressed, missed my friends, dreamed I was on Spring Break again, and regretted not taking full advantage of shorts when my legs did not have a single vein on them. However, if I would have gone to Puerto Vallarta I would have looked like someone’s aunt and Senor Frogs would have carded me as too old. I spent a year being very upset I didn’t travel more when I was single, have more friends in the city or more going on. I didn’t have to work outside the home, but not having a job was not a luxury, it was simply more time to become bored and stagnant. I decided to busy myself.
Where to go? I tried my best to make a ton of new mom friends and go everywhere they were going. I hit Gymboree, Fantasy Kingdom, Bubbles, The Park District, the Zoo, anything that was kid friendly and seemingly good for my girls to see and do. I dropped a ton of cash, but did not reap any kind of personal benefit. It was more work than fun. I was craving going out on the town! Sadly, I was out of touch and did not know the who, what or where to go for a fun time.. Looking Back I was a sad bird in an old cage. I had truly been off the radar to the point I didn’t know how to have fun. I dreaded a child in my face at 7am with no chance of leaving me alone. Therefore, many times turned in early even when I was itching to go meet a friend. Looking back, I wish someone would have helped me keep my head clear and see myself as a individual vs part of a whole. I’m glad and thankful to be a wife and mom, but man I really lost myself for a bit.
My Best Advice… My best advice is to take at least one day a month to yourself and do exactly what you want, and have no regrets or guilt. Some of my favorites: • A good manicure/pedicure • A nice bikini wax every season • Always try to shave on the weekends and color the gray • Use a really good night cream tons of SPF (that’s the Aesthetician in me) • See and enjoy other women. Laugh with Ladies I laugh at home, but I need the company of women to be happy, and I think a ton of us forget to hold close our old and new friends. I have been doing a ton of new things this year and going to different events. I know my girls see the improved & happier me. Kathleen, a wise college roommate, told me she tells her kids, “Listen, I am not your friend, I am your mom. I can be friendly, but I am not here to only play with you.” The words are a bit harsh, but she has a great point. Make sure you have people in your life to “play” with that don’t live with you or are related to you. My favorite saying is, “you can pick your friends, but not your relatives” Please go out and smile and laugh as much as humanly possible!
Shari Duffy – Ladies Night Chicago
P.S. Also, if you haven’t touched it or worn it in a year throw it out.
Check out upcoming event: Chocolate & Dessert Fantasy!!