The “G” kids are all grown up and living outside of the Wheaton area, mostly in the midwest but one son lives overseas! Kathy knew that she wanted to have a family portrait created when they would all be able to gather for that rare moment together. She called me late last winter to schedule for late July. Her husband, Jim, is a wonderful gardener and we wanted to incorporate their lovely back yard into the portraits. We anxiously watched the weather and lucked out with a perfect early evening session.

Their family portrait is a framed 30″ piece and is hanging in their entryway above the piano.

It was lovely to work with you, Kathy! Jim, the backyard is gorgeous, love all the potted flowers too. I had fun talking with David about mathematics at the end of the session. It’s a good night when I can incorporate math and art! Thank you for trusting me with the portraits of your family.

We provide portrait certificates to help schools and charities in their fundraising efforts. This family purchased one of my portrait certificates through their local catholic school auction. It turned out that they live about 2 blocks around the corner from us. Even though my daughter is quite a bit older than their girls, she still connected with them and was able to introduce them to another girl closer to their age on our block. It was fun to see the girls trotting up and down the street at various times over the summer!


They chose a 40″ canvas portrait of their family to hang in their home. This is what that portrait would look like above a fireplace. Lots of opportunity for enjoyment on cold January days!


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Thanks for trusting me to be a part of creating special family memories and artwork! Can’t wait to see the kids all running around again together once the weather warms up. My youngest guy just got roller blades — it could get crazy:)

The “W” Family got a beautiful fall afternoon for their portraits. This farm is part of the forest preserve and they started a big construction process this fall that really impacted almost all of the front half of St. James. At first I was really annoyed because there were big excavators in the background of a couple of my favorite spots, but since it is a big farm, there were plenty of other really amazing areas to create portraits and this spot was spectacular! It took a little bit of hiking to get to the area, but that also turned out to be a positive since we pretty much had this area to ourselves and didn’t have to compete with any other photographers (the areas near the parking lot can be quite crowded in the fall). These were their favorites from the session and they decided to hang these as a framed collection, with the family portrait in the center as a 28″ and the two individuals of the kids on either side as 24″ portraits. I really love these 3 images individually, but I think they are even stronger together and make a wonderful overall composition.


Anne, the mom told me that her son saw the portrait he said excitedly, “Wow, that makes me look like I’m 15!” He’s in 7th grade, by the way. I think he found the whole experience completely worth if for that feeling! I have found it amazing how much the portraits of late elementary school to middle school boys brings out hints of what they will look like as older teenagers. The guys love it and I’ve found that hint of who they are developing into is very powerful. It’s one of my favorite things about portrait photography.


And I also love this portrait of their 5th grade daughter. She looks so poised and you can really see that she is moving into that transition from little girl to young lady!


Here is the way the three images look hanging together — the family image is slightly larger as the focal point and then the individuals work beautifully together on either side of the family image. I love how the portrait of their daughter draws you into the composition and the arching of the trees in the background is a common element in the three portraits.


There were a lot more favorites from the session, which they used as gift portraits for family and in a custom album.

I enjoyed creating your family portrait artwork!

Audrey contacted me in December of 2013 about winter senior portraits for her youngest daughter. Her daughter loves winter and snow and we were fortunate enough to have snow (and even some falling) when we created her senior portraits in January of 2014. Once it warmed up and her older twins arrived home from college, she wanted to have family portraits done in their backyard. Audrey is an avid gardener and she has a wonderfully designed back yard. I’ve spent years trying to transform my backyard from a mass of weeds to lovely gardens, so I know how much work and skill it takes. Her gardens are much better than mine!

This was Audrey’s favorite of the kids together and is hanging as a 24″ canvas along with Sarah’s senior portrait from her winter session!

Here’s an idea of what that portrait would look like as a framed piece on a medium sized wall

It was important for Audrey to have the house in some of the portrait compositions

Thanks so much, Audrey, for using me for both Sarah’s high school senior portraits and your family portraits! You guys have been great to work with.

I could have sworn I posted these portraits last winter. I have memories of writing whitty banter about the snow and cold temperatures. But I can’t find the post and have to admit to myself that somehow I missed getting these up on the blog last winter. I feel horribly about that because I absolutely loved doing these senior portraits and loved the final images. We really got some beautiful stuff and because it was a winter session, the images were different from much of my more “normal” spring/summer/fall portrait work.

So a little back story. I was contacted by Audrey, the mother of this senior girl, last December about doing outdoor senior portraits of her daughter. This was December of 2013. For those of you who might have forgotten (since we had such a balmy December this year), it was COLD in December of 2013. Like single digits and teens cold. I initially thought, “Has she been outside lately? Does this mom get me mixed up with the Kim Johnson Photography in Arizona?” Yes, there is a Kim Johnson Photography in Arizona and yes I have had clients from Arizona thinking that they are contacting the Arizona Kim Johnson Photography! Once we established that her daughter is in Illinois, and did, in fact, love winter and snow, we started planning. Like I said, it was pretty cold last winter and we had a lot of snow, so when we met to do our planning session about a week before her portraits, there was probably 12 inches of snow on the ground, minimum. Of course, early the week of her photographer session, it warmed up for a couple of days and rained (I know, you don’t believe me. I hardly believ myself. It was probably the two days from Thanksgiving through the end of February last winter when it got above freezing). The snow started melting and I started getting nervous. Since we had over 12 inches, we ended up being fine. In fact by the day of the session, the temperatures had dropped down below freezing again (I think it was 17 degrees!) and in the middle of Sarah’s session it started to snow. The light snow was a PERFECT addition to her portrait session! The cold was a little challenging. We played it safe and did the session at Northside Park, where we were able to have plenty of woodsy and rustic landscape but still be very close to our cars. We go out for 15 or 20 minutes and then take a quick break back in the cars to warm up.

This was Sarah and her mother’s favorite from the session. This is hanging as a 24″ canvas in their home. As you can see, a lot of snow had melted, but we still had plenty of snow around. I actually think it worked in our favor — the extra green of the grass, along with the brown oak leaves, added some beautiful additional interest in the foreground.


Vertical (“Portrait”) orientated pieces work nicely to accent a smaller wall, like this one just outside of this Kitchen.


Sarah ended up with many of her favorites in an album:

Once again, sorry Sarah and Audrey that these images didn’t get up on the blog sooner! Thankfully I know you’ve been enjoying your wall artwork and album since late last winter!