Fall Family Mini Sessions 2014–Chicago Northwest Suburbs Family Photographer



Fall Family Mini Sessions Final. Information for the sessions are as follows. There are only 2 dates and locations and VERY limited spaces!   In order to book your session, you must sign a portrait agreement, model release form and provide a $200 payment. Your space is not officially booked until these 3 items have been received by Just Peachy Photography.

Session 1:

Saturday, September 27th in Palatine  —1 SPACE LEFT
Times:  3:30pm, 4:00pm, 4:30pm, 5:00pm

Session 2:

Saturday, October 4th in Barrington   —3 SPACES LEFT
Times: 8:00am, 8:30am, 9:00am, 9:30am

Rain dates will be announced in cases of inclement weather. If you cannot make it to your session, you may get someone else to take your place.  Deposits are nonrefundable.

In addition to the great savings above, participants will also receive a 30% discount on any other prints or custom products AND a personal mobile app with their images to view on any mobile device!   The first three families to sign up AND anyone who spends more than $300 will receive a FREE custom Facebook Timeline Cover!

Digital images will be available by digital download from our website in color only.  Black and white images are only $35 more.  If you would like Just Peachy Photography to mail you a flash drive with your images with a keepsake case, it is $35 plus shipping/sales tax.  For more information, contact us.

You may use the button below to make your payment online.

If you prefer to pay by personal check, please contact us.  Please make sure your date and time is available above before you send payment.  Once you have contacted us with your preferred date and time, I’ll send you the paperwork.  Thank you!   If you do not get a space, you can still schedule a petite session for your family that we offer year round.  Petite Collections start at $175.  Please contact us for a full price guide or more details and availability.

***No Just Peachy Photography “credits” can be used for this event until after the $200 payment has been received.

You may also pay by credit card by phone or online through our invoice.  Just request an invoice sent to your email.  Thank you! 

Monart Drawing Studio–Chicago Northwest Suburbs/Mom Around Town

Welcome to our Mom Around Town feature! We took a bit of a break over the summer but I’ve got a lot of great features lined up for the fall! Last time I posted an interview with Melissa Haak, creator of the website, Little Lake County and the blog, Peanut Butter in My Hair.  Today I am sharing a visit to Monart Drawing Studio in Arlington Heights.

Since many of the business owners I will be interviewing work directly with children and expecting parents, I think it is important to get to know them well. Our Mom Around Town feature will help you do that! Make sure you check out our other Mom Around Town posts!


Business: Monart Drawing Studio, 620 S. Arthur Avenue, Arlington Heights, IL   Contact:  monartstudio31@gmail.com  OR 847-788-9323

Owner:  Ellen Sharpe

Website: www.sharpeexpressions.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Monart-Drawing-Studio/276172779139999

I have had the privilege to visit the Monart Drawing Studio many times in the past few years.  This is not a review but I want to share that the studio has a very welcoming feel from the moment you walk in.  Everything is very clean and organized and you can tell it is a place of learning.  I love that there is always classical music playing for the students and they are all eager to work on their art for the day.  Even the young children that I had visited, were invested in their class art pieces.  They knew exactly what to do and didn’t even need to be told that they had to be quiet.  They were ready to listen on their own and participate in the day’s lesson.  

Another thing I’d love to mention is that my twins that are now in second grade started participating in their winter and summer art camps starting last December and I truly had tears in my eyes when I saw the art that they created.  Not only was it really impressive how the class was taught and how much they learned in a short couple of hours but the looks on the face and the pride they had in their work was inspiring to watch.  I will definitely continue sending them there as they love the experience.   I have shared some of the work they created at Monart camps below.  I hope to hang them up on our walls soon! 

I have an interview to share from the owner of the drawing studio, Ellen Sharpe and then I will share some photos from my visit there as well as some art that my own kids created there.

Erika: What services does your business provide?

Ellen: We teach realistic drawing for age 4-1/2 through adults using the Monart Method created by Mona Brookes.

Erika:  How does your business benefit the families in the Chicago area?

Ellen:  With the elimination of extracurricular art programs in the schools, we offer art instruction to compliment the students education. Studies have shown that school children exposed to art instruction may do a better job at mastering reading, writing and math than those who focus solely on academics. Visual Arts improve content and organization of writing; promote sophisticated reading skills and interpretation of text, and reading readiness.

Erika:  How did you get the idea to start your business?

Ellen:  As an artist myself, after reading Mona Brookes book, Drawing with Children, I felt inspired to learn more about her method. After fostering a relationship with Mona, and extensive training with her I was licensed and opened my own studio in Arlington Heights in 1995.

Erika:  What did you do before you started your business?

Ellen:  I was a stay-at-home mom.

Erika:  Can you share one memorable story from an experience you had related to your business?

Ellen:  This experience has many memorable moments for me. I enjoy watching a student start at an early age 5, and seeing their skill level grow and mature, and then witnessing them blossoming in high school and some even go on to college to pursue an art career. This is very rewarding! Many former students have stayed in touch with me through the years.

Erika:  Do you have anything you would like to tell us that is new for your business for the end of 2014 or early 2015?

Ellen:  We have expanded out curriculum to offer acrylic painting for our students.

Erika:  Is there anything else you want to tell us about your business or yourself?

Ellen:  We have various opportunities to display the children’s artwork throughout the surrounding community, in many public libraries, along with our annual Spring Art Exhibit. We have received so much positive feedback as people are amazed and impressed with the quality of the students work.

Erika:  If you could meet any artist, alive or dead, who would you choose, and why?

Ellen:  I would choose Georgia O’Keefe. I fell in love with her art early in my life. She inspired me in my own work, and I have passed that love of her work on to many students at the Studio.

Erika:  What is one place you would love to travel and why?

Ellen:  Just coming back from Paris, I am still remembering that experience, so I don’t have any thoughts of traveling anywhere else right now.

Erika:  Do you have any unusual talents?  If so, which ones?

Ellen:  I can flutter my eye lashes REALLY fast….not sure if that is a “talent” but I have fun with it now and then.



Thank you so much for doing this interview with me, Ellen as well as letting me peek in a class and visit! Make sure you check out the Monart Drawing Studio website and take a look at all of the student work displayed on it.  The website truly is a piece of art by itself with all of the art displayed.  They have a full description of the classes and times offered and participate in a lot of community activities so make sure you check out their events page as well. 

Enjoy some photos from my visit to Monart Drawing Studio!

A few more!

And here are some of my own twins’ work as first graders.  These were some of their first classes ever.

Leave your comments below!  Will you be checking out Monart Drawing Studio soon?

Janice Hite - Ellen and I met in High School and though we live miles apart that friendship is as strong today as it was more then 50 years ago. I wish I lived closer to the Monart Studio so that my grandchildren could have the benefit of learning and practicing art.
Your photographs are beautiful because they show a beautifully organized studio and the impressive work that comes from there.
Thank you.

One With Nature–Barrington Illinois Maternity Photography

As I had said before, I’m truly trying to get back on track with blogging but it is really hard with the first few weeks of school.  Now all three of my kids are back in session and I’m finally able to get a little extra work like blogging in!   I’ve had a lot of challenges to get caught up including a 30 hour power outage in my neighborhood last weekend!  Luckily we did not get any damage but our neighborhood had trees down everywhere!  There is still talk that it might have been a small tornado that tore through.

Onto the post as I have been waiting to share this one.  It is from a maternity session I did in June and really was a perfect session.   The young couple I met were very laid back and just open to any of my ideas so I just let them be one with nature.  I truly felt such a sense of peace at the location we chose and even though the sun was in and out of the clouds, it really created a fun mood for the session.

Baby H made his appearance shortly after which I have already shared HERE.  I just love to get to know a couple ahead of the newborn arriving during their maternity session.  It lets me see who mom and dad are before baby comes and allows them to be so much more relaxed during the newborn session.  Sadly, the Chicago area doesn’t allow for outdoor sessions all year round but I have even done some in the snow and loved them just the same.  There is just something about being one with nature.

Enjoy these images from this maternity session.

If you are expecting and would like to set up a maternity or maternity/newborn combination session with Just Peachy Photography, contact us at Erika@justpeachyphotog.com or 847-302-1783.

Little Lake County–Chicago Northwest Suburbs/Mom Around Town

mom around town palatine illinois

Welcome to our Mom Around Town feature!  We took a bit of a break over the summer but I’ve got a lot of great features lined up for the fall!  Last time I posted my visit at BELLE+BEAU, a children’s boutique in Park Ridge.  Today I have an interview with Melissa Haak, creator of the website, Little Lake County and the blog, Peanut Butter in My Hair.



Since many of the business owners I will be interviewing work directly with children and expecting parents, I think it is important to get to know them well. Our Mom Around Town feature will help you do that! Make sure you check out our other Mom Around Town posts!

Blog Name: Little Lake County / Peanut Butter in my Hair

Website: www.littlelakecounty.com / www.peanutbutterinmyhair.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/littlelakecounty    http://www.facebook.com/PeanutButterinmyHair 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/PBinmyHair 

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/littlelakeco/

Instagram:  http://www.instagram.com/PBinyHair

Year Established: Peanut Butter in my Hair started in 2008 and Little Lake county in 2010

Erika: What services does your business provide?

Melissa:  Little Lake County is a website for families in Lake County to get all the information they need to have fun and explore Lake County. We have a calendar of events and 10 moms that write reviews and experiences about being out and about in Lake County with their own kids. Peanut Butter in my Hair is my personal blog on motherhood, life and everything in between. I write out the “sticky side” of motherhood working through PPD and miscarriage and pregnancy after loss.

Erika: How did you get the idea to start your business?

Melissa:  I moved to Lake County from the city in 2008 and was shocked at how hard it was to find and connect with other moms online. Everyone at my schools seemed to know all these cool things to do with their kids because they have lived in the area their whole life. I wanted to create and curate a space where families could find and connect to their local community. There are so many local gems in Lake County, probably in your own backyard, that you don’t know about. I wanted to get people, and myself, out and staying local instead of only hitting the big places (usually in the city) that had the marketing forces to spread their message. 

Erika: What did you do before you started your business?

Melissa:  Prior to having kids I was in healthcare. I started staying at home when I had my son in 2005 and was just a volunteer, writing for my local parents group before moving to the suburbs. 

Erika:  Can you share one memorable story from an experience you had related to your business/blog?

Melissa: Well I have had a lot of really cool experiences thanks to my personal blog and for being part of (now closed) Chicago moms Blog and ChicagoParent.com. I have been an ambassador with Campbell’s Soup and Huffy Bikes and am currently working with Netflix.  I have met Apollo Anton Ohno, and I have met amazing writers and friends. My favorite experience is summed up in my 2012 Listen to Your Mother Performance  (which was such a great experience)!  I met a great friend who lives down the street online. 

My favorite, and the coolest thing really, about Little Lake County is when someone I meet or know casually through school etc says to me, “Hey have you seen this site? Little Lake County? It’s so great!”. I love hearing people referring it to friends and hearing that it helps them. 

Erika: Do you have children yourself? Feel free to tell us about them.

Melissa:  I have four children and an angel son, their “online” names are: PBboy (9), PBgirl (7) JSH (angel lost at 18 weeks) PBToddler (3) and PBFin (1). 

Erika: Do you have anything you would like to tell us that is new for your
business in 2014?

Melissa:  Little Lake County is really growing and we have big plans! Look to see us out and about in the community more and having more events for kids and moms to connect and have fun!  I also just won the Lake County Suburban Life Women of Distinction award.


Erika: Is there anything else you want to tell us about your business or yourself?

I hear a lot, ” oh you’re a blogger? You get everything for “free” and that’s so far from the truth. Yes, I blog on my personal site and for Chicago Parent as a way to tell stories and connect with moms. At Little Lake County, we are much more like journalists. We spend a lot of time researching and aggregating the information to make sure we are not only giving you the best answers and resources but the correct ones. It’s not about sitting at home waiting for someone to give me something for free.

Personally I think it’s so common for moms to put their dreams, hobbies and desires on hold while they are in the early mothering years. I love, love, love my children and being a mom, but I am a person too. Taking time and energy to cultivate my hobbies and desires only makes me a better mom and teaches my children that their desires matter in a relationship, it shouldn’t be all consuming.

Erika: What is on your “bucket” list?

Melissa: To run a marathon. I love running and was training when I got pregnant and subsequently lost my son. Now that we are done making babies I can’t wait to get back to running and training. I also really, really, want to write a book. I have several ideas and I can’t wait to see where they take me. 


Erika:  Any fun, unusual talents you have or what is a fun fact about yourself?

Melissa:  Weird talent–my toes are like monkey toes, I use them to pick things up all the time – usually because my hands are full with babies and stuff!


Thank you so much for doing this interview with me!  Make sure you check out her two blogs, Little Lake County for fun events in Lake County and other useful kid-related articles as well as Peanut Butter in my Hair for a look into the “sticky” side of being a Mommy!

7 Day Old Bright Eyes–Palatine Illinois Custom Newborn Photography

I can’t even believe how behind I am on blogging!  My goal is to do at least a post every day or every other day until I’m caught up!  Needless to say I had an amazing summer with my boys and they came first.  I met a lot of new clients and worked with some returning ones but the blog took a back seat for a bit.

I’d love to start with a newborn session because they are always a lot of fun!  This little guy was only 7 days old for the first set of his portraits and then we finished up at over 2 weeks old.  When we began his session, it took him awhile to settle down.  I believe he was having a little growth spurt based on how hungry he was and then he had a little diaper rash too.  It is important to really tune in to a newborns needs and figure out what they want or the portraits won’t happen.  This little man gave me about 10-15 minutes at each session to sleep and then he was just all eyes.  I can’t complain though because I got some extra cuddling time with him, got to know more about his fun parents and got to be creative!  If you missed his parents’ maternity images, you can view them soon!  I’ll be blogging those this week too!

Here are some of my favorite images of baby H and his family.  It was really hard to choose which to post because they were all so beautiful!  What a lucky family they are to have such a beautiful baby boy!  I look forward to watching little H grow 🙂