A few years back I decided to get away from weddings and focus my business on what I loved most – families and kids.  There hasn’t been a day I have looked back at that decision.  However, when you brother comes calling that he has gotten engaged and asks you do consider doing the photos….you happily oblige!  Well, first you celebrate like crazy that he has found THE one.  Then, you oblige!  Nate and Sondra got married a few hours from us in April at one of our very favorite areas to vacation…Sunset Beach.  They are blessed enough to live really close to this fabulous spot.  It was a bit chilly on their day, but the sun was out and the wedding went on without a hitch!  A huge congrats to my little brother and his new bride.  Welcome to the family Sondra!

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Little man Benjamin was more than a ball of fun to chase during this fall session!  I must have had him run back and forth between Mom and Dad 25 times and he loved it.  I’m learning the  more I put kids in motion, the more natural the shots. We were thrilled to walk the grounds at Mayslake Peabody Estate on an amazing fall morning.  This location never disappoints with the well kept grounds and fall colors.

Congrats H family on some new photos to hang of your gorgeous family and on the upcoming addition soon to arrive to your fam!  Hope to get the chance to meet the new little one soon.

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The day of our shoot was the first time I got to meet Miss Maggie, but right off the bat I remember thinking how she was such a natural beauty. Curls that go for miles…every girls dream.  Plus, she had grace and was respectful to her Mom – so that put her at the top of my book.  Do you know how many senior girls I have shoots with that talk to their Mama’s not so nicely?  Let me tell ya…a lot!

We had a brisk, but sunny day for our shoot in October and headed to downtown La Grange.  My heart always softens a bit for this particular downtown area since we lived there for a little over four years before moving to Orland. I miss walking the streets – as I am not sure there are two houses the same in the entire town. So refreshing from your average cookie cutter neighborhoods. When my daughter was born – this Mom was full of anxiety from being cooped up over maternity leave…so I would strap her into the stroller and walk for miles! If you are ever visiting the Chicago area and have a chance to visit downtown La Grange (a strait shot on the Metra from the city) you will find a plethora of fantastic restaurants and shops.  Voted number one suburb downtown at least a few times!  My personal favorite spot for dinner….La Buona Vita.  Hello Italian! Delish.

Sending a huge shout out of thanks to the B family for trusting me to do these photos. Loved getting to hang with you for the afternoon! Wishing Maggie an amazing senior  year…the best is yet to come!

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I’m behind in posting on the blog, so you are in for a treat with many fresh new smiles this week. The Leo family came to me last December and wanted to purchase a gift certificate for their parents for the holiday.  Nothing I love more than giving a gift that is going to mean something to someone years down the road!  We planned for early fall and found a date that the entire clan would be in town.  The rest is history.  Extremely happy for this family that they will have these photos to cherish.  Have you considered a giving a photo shoot as a gift?  We can host the shoot anytime up to a year after the gift is given!  What better a way to tell someone you love them? If I can help to answer any questions at all – please feel free to contact me anytime!

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Have known this beauty since the day she was born. Can’t wrap my brain around the fact that she is headed into her senior year. Miss Maddie – you are an absolute doll and so much fun to hang with. Wishing you the best of luck with all that life has to offer in the upcoming years! Thanks for coming north for our shoot!

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…and baby makes four indeed!  This Mama and I have been friends since high school and she recently moved a few suburbs over – so is now within reach of seeing her and her awesome fam more often.  We’ve got big plans for splash pads and picnics in the near future! I have had the chance of a few other sessions with her first, Alena – but this was my first chance for a meet and greet with the new beauty, Addison. Mmm…she has my favorite scent ever – baby scent!  Just look at these cheeks.  LOVE.

There are few sessions where clients actually let me into their home for a more intimate session – but let me tell you…I really am loving these home sessions more and more. Families are relaxed.  Kids are in their element. This is your space – and years from now these photos will probably mean more to you than any possible outdoor space. Consider a home session at least once while your kiddos are small. You won’t regret it!  Now, onward to these gorgeous faces.  Enjoy!

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I don’t know about you, but we are always looking for tasty meals without meat a few times a week.  We are meat lovers, so this is a tall order. Tonight, we tried southwestern egg rolls that were pretty darn scrumptious. My hubby laughs at me because I have been known to watch several cooking shows on the weekends to start off my day – but rarely do I ever actually follow through with cooking from the cooking show.  What can I say?

Valerie Bertinelli had a recipe on her Food Network series recently that caught my attention – so we decided to give it a whirl tonight. Two thumbs up to these Southwestern Egg Rolls with a Salsa.  The recipe actually makes 16 (whoa Nelly!) so they are perfect for hosting a party. They pack in the punch with flavor and are a great way to get in some veggies!  I was a little intimidated to work with the egg roll wrappers – but it was so simple. Hint: If you can’t find the wrappers in your Asian section at the store – they are probably in the fresh veggies section near the tofu.  Enjoy!

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Summer and strawberries go hand-in-hand, don’t they?  Always a must to the start of the season in this house! We may or may not eat the whipped cream directly from the can.

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Operation Fairy Garden ideas started swirling in my head after a few popped up on my Pinterest wall one afternoon.  Having a four year old who loves anything dealing with fairies – this seemed like an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.  Until…we went out to the stores hunting for fairy garden materials.  Hello! $15-20 for each small piece of fairy furniture?  $30 for a twig fence?  Holy schmolly – too much for this Mama to handle.  We ended up purchasing a few minor items and I decided to turn the house and fence making into our own personal art instead.  She loved it!  We made the twig and rock hunt into a game.  With a hot glue gun, the twigs became a fence and the rocks became painted mushrooms. I would make ten of these if I could – as they keep Gracelyn busy with fun while we work in the yard and garden.  Two thumbs up to the fairy garden!

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Extended. Family. Photo Shoot.  Something that happens so rarely in this day and age.  Back in the day, the full family photo was the main event.  The one photo of the year where folks dressed up and stood perfectly in place to get ‘the shot’. In an era now full of selfies and quick snap shots on smart phones – to actually get an entire group together and hire someone to take the shots is slowly becoming obsolete.  I often wonder… years from now – will we truly have photos to look back on from years prior? People shoot hundreds of photos a month now on their phones – but do they actually take the time to print them or save the videos they shoot for long term reference?

This is why I get pretty excited when I am contacted to do a full family shoot! Sending kudos to the Pondel family for taking the time and consideration to get their family together for what could be some of the most important personal photos to you years down the road. We headed to the Garfield Park Conservatory on a cold December day to warm things up a bit and had some fun wandering the different rooms.  Amazing how pops of colors in the gorgeous flowers and the warmth of the sun through the glass can renew a spirit in winter.  Thank you much for the opportunity to meet your family and capture the gorgeous smiles!

*Please Note:  Keli McCoy Photography offers gift certificates that can be presented to family members at any time and the actual photo shoot can occur within  a year!

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