Van Kampen Family | A Riverside Family Session in Fulton, Illinois

This former family of 4 was ecstatic to add their 5th and final member, baby boy Benson! Mindy was fully prepared to be a boy mom from the get-go and I’d say she totally rocks the gig! All 3 of her little men (and the grown up one) absolutely adore her.

It’s funny how perfectly all 3 boys fit the stereotypes of oldest, middle and youngest! Brayden is the oldest, the calm one and mommy’s helper for sure. He will definitely have his brothers’ backs and always take care of his family. He has such a kind heart. And the middle “wild child,” Braxton, is absolutely hilarious (he removed his pants mid-session hahaha), but has embraced his role as big brother and is just as cute as can be with the new baby of the family. And that brings us to Benson. Of course at only 2 months old he still has to grow into his youngest family member spot, but he is so loved by his parents and big brothers. I’m sure that cute face of his will get him out of trouble often!

I have loved watching these boys grow up in front of my camera and hope to keep capturing their family memories over the years to come!

Everett's Newborn Lifestyle Session

Everett was lucky to be born into a loving family with parents Ashley and Peter, and big brother Charles. As soon as I walked into their home I got the sense that this family was welcoming, kind and creative. Their home was painted beautifully inside and I loved seeing some of their DIY projects around, like a sensory type bored for their 2 year old (great idea!)

We started in mom and dad’s room and had a little family time on their vibrantly colored bed, which fit their style well. Charles actually warmed up to me right away! That was certainly a pleasant surprise! Sometimes my big ol’ camera is intimidating to little eyes but he was all about pushing the buttons! When you scroll through the sneak peek in a minute, keep an eye out for the picture of their cat - Charles took that one!

He’s still adapting to life with a new baby. I mean, it’s a pretty big change after all! Mom and dad are doing a great job of letting him know he’s just as loved as he was before. He even got some story time while I photographed Everett on his own. And let me tell you about baby Everett! He is just such a darling little boy, mommy’s little lamb. Already sleeping long stretches at a week old, perfectly calm and cuddly. I could’ve taken his pictures all day long!

It truly was a wonderful experience spending a couple hours with this new family of four. They are gentle and loving with open hearts and minds. I thank them for letting me capture a little glimpse of their lives and I hope I do their story justice!

Welcome to Your Life, Sophie!

The first thing I noticed about this sweet baby girl were her gorgeous big gray eyes! She was wide awake for almost the entire session, but it was a-okay with me. Her eyes are too pretty not to photograph anyway!

Sophie came into the world a week later than her due date, so mom and dad were anxiously awaiting her arrival. She ended up with a May birthday instead of April. Perhaps she wanted to bloom right along with all of the beautiful Spring flowers. We were so thankful that we got a perfectly sunny afternoon amidst the many midwest thunderstorms we’ve had lately. The nice day allowed us to take a few shots outdoors as well as inside. I absolutely love these newborn lifestyle sessions. All of the moments captured are so real, raw and fleeting. This time in the life of new parents will soon feel like a blur.

That’s one of the things I love most about photography, the ability to keep memories tangible. Proof that, yes, your baby really was THAT small! She held your finger tight and made that same face as a newborn that she does as a teenager. All of those little details that become too easy to forget but are the things we want to remember most of all. That is my hope anyway, to give those memories to families so they can cherish them forever!