Elgin, IL
Kimberli specializes in newborn, child & family photography in Elgin, Illinois and the surrounding suburbs of Chicago. Call 630.709.2559 or email photographybykimberli@gmail.com for more information on your custom portrait session.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Our family Christmas celebration...

Usually, our extended family convenes upon my mother-in-law's house on Christmas Day.

Its a wild time, with all my husband's cousins and aunts & uncles all in one place at one time.

But, in recent years, with each of those cousins branching off into their own little families, its hard to get everyone together. So, this year, we decided to celebrate on the Sunday before Christmas.

Yesterday, we had 6 "adults", 17 "kids" (the ones who are in my age group), and 11 little ones. It was heaven. Boisterous and loud and cheerful, we ate until our bellies were full (and then ate a little more), opened presents, watched football, and caught up with loved ones who we don't often see.

I tried to play paparazzi - especially during the madness of 9 kids opening gifts (two of the younger ones were asleep).

So, Jan - thank you for having us all!! It was great and I hope you enjoyed it.

To everyone else, I had a good time and wish we'd had more time to chat... hope you enjoy the pics and don't mind me sharing!!!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Making of a Christmas Card - The Brothers {D}

This past weekend, I visited my husband's cousin - the mother of twin 11 month olds and a 3 year old - with hopes of taking a Christmas Card photo of the boys. Mom planned it perfect - the boys awoke from naps as we arrived. They ate and drank a bottle and got dressed after playing a bit. Everyone was in a great mood and ready for the pictures... or ready to avoid pictures... or hog the spotlight (I won't name any names - {Mr B}!!!!!). Big brother did fabulous, giving me big smiles while trying to help mom wrangle the little ones.

When all was said and done, I got a couple that mom liked... but I preferred it as a storyboard. Telling the person looking at the photos, "This is what is involved in taking Christmas pics of a group of energetic boys."

The other part of the story?? Three happy little boys with big smiles on their faces in a big smooshy hug. Obviously three boys who are loved and who love each other...

Thanks, for letting me take their pictures and share!!!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday Photos

Last year, we spent a boatload of money on "professional" pictures of the girls for Christmas. We did some pics of the girls in their fancy Christmas dresses (thanks Nana) and then tried jammies in front of the prop Christmas tree... I thought some of the pics were stellar (although, I remember thinking..."I'll bet I could do just as well!")! My husband, not so impressed... So, this year, I was happy to try MY hand at their holiday pics.

A few weeks ago, I tried taking holiday pics - in fancy dresses (again, thanks Nana!) - of my girls, then of my niece, and then of the 3 of them together. My Bug and Niece "Miss K" did well on their individual pics. Lou wasn't having it... And the group photo was disaster!

So, this past week, I tried again with just my girls. Instead of dresses, this time we did jammies. And since Lou is rarely happy to be photographed, I bribed her with a candy cane. I think we did okay! Actually, I think we did BETTER than okay! I even took some pictures of Lou on her own after the fact.

A final thanks to the boss, Kelly, for sharing some tips on photographing at night. Although I was at home - not in the hospital - her tips worked wonders for me!! Would you have guessed I don't have a lighting set-up?!

My first attempt (Bug did well, Lou not so much, but I did get one worthy of sharing!):

Although this one is not our "Christmas Card" photo, it is my personal favorite from the sitting... No, she's NOT pouting. She was actually pulling the candy cane out of her mouth and I captured it at *just* the right moment...

And finally, pictures of just my Lou. She's so sweet, and so adorable, but really really uncomfortable in front of the camera. She must have been coming down from her candy-cane induced sugar high...oblivious to me in front of her...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Twins, AGAIN!

I am definitely feeling the twin love, here at my hospital. Today I photographed another set of twins... this pair, born just yesterday! A little more than 24 hours old when I held them, snuggled them, and finally photographed them... {Miss M} was feeling the December chill and needed some extra warmth, so she wasn't so happy to photographed alone. But, as soon as I laid her brother, {Mr A} down beside her, they snuggled and looked so happy. I just adore twins. It truly is a photographer's dream!!

I took other pics today too! And I'll be sharing some in time, but I couldn't wait to get this one up...

I should probably share this one, too... its too funny (and stinkin' adorable) not to!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My niece {Miss K} at 6 months

Today I took pictures of my niece for her 6 month pictures, and for her mom to make holiday cards. Just look at these big blue eyes, infectious smile, and long, long eyelashes. Beautiful!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Double the fun!

I had my 3rd opportunity - in as many weeks! - to photograph newborn twins. These two - {Mr D} and {Miss N} were just a day and a half old! Hopefully, I will be assisting on a family sitting for this family in the near future - Mom, Dad, the twins and their 4 year old brother.

Are you jealous of my job yet?!

Hands-on dads...

Although my main priority at Bella Baby Photography is to photograph the baby, I try to take it above and beyond that if 1) the baby cooperates 2) mom & dad are interested and 3) the situation to take some beautiful pictures presents itself. Not all parents are interested in participating, while some come with ideas of their own.

Like {C} and her dad... Mom wanted this shot, and I think it turned out pretty darn well...

However, with {R}, mom & dad knew they wanted to be in the pictures, but I chose the "posing" and I personally love this. I hope mom does too!!! And I know that some day, when {R} is a little lady, she'll be so thrilled that I captured this moment for her.

Friday, November 21, 2008

{FOUR} My lucky number...

Bug turned four on Wednesday (can you believe it?!), so we celebrated with a trip into the city and a surprise visit to American Girl Place. She had no idea where we were going, what we were doing, or why she was so dressed up. She just knew it was her BIRTHDAY! and that we'd left Lou home with Heidi...

Anyway, it was a great time. Tiring and exhausting and emotional and so, so, so much fun. I never thought a tomboy like me could have so much fun at a DOLL store. Anyway, I have a ton of pics to share, but not a ton of time... so a couple of my favorites.

Happy Birthday Bug!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

{Miss R} - Worth the wait

Although I had to wait until near the end of my day to photograph this little lady, it was totally worth my while. I looked at her with a little doubt that all 9 pounds would fit in my basket and then said, "Screw it! Let's try!" She fit. She filled my basket perfectly. And she was so happy to sleep in there. Mom & Dad joked that they would have to buy one, especially given the fact that her nursery furniture (ordered in July!) was not in yet!!!

Some cheeks are just begging to be smooched. This girl is gonna be smooched silly by her wonderful parents!!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

While I'm waiting - {M} & {S}

Today is a better day. The baby gods are smiling down on me. So far, two happy and gorgeous little ones. One more to go (he's lunching now, hence the wait). So, I thought I'd share a couple more...

I actually set out to photograph {Miss S} yesterday, but she was NOT having it. So, I told mom & dad I'd return today and suggested wrapping her in a blanket from home and keeping her tee-shirt on. SCORE!

Once {Mr M} let out a baby belch, we were all systems go. He did wonderful, even catching my eye in a couple of the shots.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What keeps me going...

Let me start by saying, I LOVE working for Bella Baby! LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Adore it. There's not a day I don't look forward to going in. But...that doesn't mean I don't have tough days. Days when my eyes are tearing up in frustration as I leave the hospital. Days when I just want to go home and delete all my files from that day. Days when I just want to run as far from the hospital as I can. Because I'm so passionate about the pictures I take, I expect the same response from the parents...and I can't help but take it personal when they don't love the pictures like I do! And when I have a day when the pictures don't turn out as I'd hoped, that's even worse!

Today was a rough day. I went into the hospital with high hopes and walked out with hopes dashed. I faced obstacles throughout the day and come 5pm, I just didn't have the heart to deal with one more. But, out of a rough day, there was still a ray or two (or three!) of sunshine. And that's what inspires me to go back in tomorrow, optimistic once again... sure that TODAY will be the day I make a mom cry tears of joy! The day a mom stares in awe at the images I've captured!

Anyway, here are some of my favorites from today! Thank you to M & J for allowing me to photograph their sweet 3 day old twins! As soon as brother & sister were side by side, both were comforted. While baby boy looked around the room contentedly, baby girl quietly snorted in her sleep. It was such a precious sight.

And my last baby of the day {V}. What a cute chubba!!! He was a doll! Mom had asked me earlier in the day to return just prior to closing up for the day, and I'm glad I was able to. This little guy had endured a busy first day of life, but slept through all my fidgeting and fussing with him. Even slept through a wardrobe change! I just wanted to cuddle him!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Bella Baby {Miss L}

Now that I know I can share my Bella work, I need to go through my thousands of images and figure out which ones I want to show off, and more importantly, which parents have signed off consent to use the pictures! A daunting task to be sure! But, for now, a recent fave of mine! Thanks to her parents for allowing me to use the picture.

Proof that you never know what you might catch on camera...mom & dad had just set her down on the bed to unwrap her from her swaddle so I could take our traditional "bare baby" photos. She was so happy, so content, that I had to step in and take a few photos. Dad later said, "I didn't even know you got that!!!" Mission accomplished!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday {Party}, BUG!!!!

Yesterday was Bug's birthday party. She's gonna be FOUR! Can you believe it? I can't. She acts like she's 6 or 7 and yearns to be 16 ("then, you can teach me to drive a REAL car, mom!"). She's absolutely gorgeous and funny and such a joy to be around. I can only imagine how much more fun she'll be come this time next year!

The numbers for her party weren't real good (one of the downfalls of a November birthday - cold & flu season!), but about 30 minutes in, I realized it just didn't matter. Thank you to I & Z, and F for coming to spend the afternoon with Abbi. Its wonderful to know that she is making new friends. And, of course, thank you to her big friends, H & M!!!

So, I thought I'd post a few candids from the party. We'll be celebrating with a big outing into the city on her actual birthday (11.19), when I'll take her "4" pictures. Yesterday, she didn't even want me to bring my camera! (silly kid!)

The birthday girl truly enjoyed running wild with her friends, opening her gifts (she asked me to read each card before turning to the gift! So proud!), and chowing on the cupcakes she helped me make. In years past, it was like pulling teeth to get her to open her gifts in front of the guests.

And despite her grumpy face in the one picture, Lou enjoyed the party too!!! She loves running with the bigger kids!

On a separate note: Today I got some awesome news... With the parents' consent, I can share my Bella Baby work on my blog! Yippee!! Finally, I can show off my best work! And my passion!! Hopefully, tomorrow I will be shooting my second set of newborn twins. Fingers crossed that I get consent to share those images!!!