St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church | Palatine Baptism Photographer

As a Palatine Baptism photographer, I am so happy that Covid shut downs are in the past. I can return to photographing events this year. I photographed a few events last year but this year it seems there are many more happening. Baptisms are always a beautiful event and I have photographed many Greek Orthodox Baptisms over the years. The excitement always seems to be about the dress! I have seen some gorgeous ones too with this event being no exception. The P Family had a nice intimate ceremony and it was just beautiful. St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church in Palatine, IL is just a beautiful church with bright colorful artwork all over the church. I felt the love and support for this little one as she experienced this beautiful Sacrament.

As a Palatine Baptism photographer, I am very familiar with the flow of the ceremony.

I know where to be at every part so I do not miss a moment of the beautiful day. I have been all over the Chicago area for many religious ceremonies, especially baptisms. I’ve been at St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church in Palatine a handful of times as well.

I find it lovely that the beautiful Baptism dress is always picked out and brought to the church by the Godmother.

grandma holds baby girl at St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church Palatine IL

I love how this little one had a little pink ball in her hand the whole time the ceremony was going on in the back of the church. She was just so content holding her ball and playing with Grandma’s necklace.

Priest baptizes baby girl at St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church in Palatine IL
reunited family after baptism at St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church in Palatine IL

The babies are so happy when they are reunited with Mom at the end. I saw a smile from this little one for the first time once in Momma’s arms again.

I love to capture the family photos in front of the church after the ceremony. We had so many lovely family members participate in the family photos.

Do you have a little one that will be baptised soon? I’d love to be your Palatine Baptism Photographer! Feel free to visit our website for details on what packages we offer for small events. I always recommend booking as soon as you know of your event but some people schedule their events the same week if I am available. Contact me if you have any questions! 224-801-1680

Prospect Heights In-Home Newborn Photos | What is a Lifestyle Newborn Session?

A question I am frequently asked is “Can I take newborn photos in my home?” The answer is yes, you can! Most photographers call this a Lifestyle Newborn Session, myself included. 

So what is a Lifestyle Newborn Session? How is it different than a Posed Newborn Session in the studio?

A Lifestyle Newborn Session takes place in the comfort of your home. I use the natural light in the home and decide the best areas upon my arrival. I will talk to my clients ahead of time asking them where they believe their best light is but then I’ll politely ask to look around myself and see if there are any other light gems. Many times this will be the living room, baby’s nursery or master bedroom but I have used a small side bathroom before if it gives me amazing light. The session uses a few posed elements but mostly is just very natural. I like to capture mom holding baby, dad holding baby, baby by themselves in several set ups, and siblings or pets if they apply. I love to photograph details like baby’s feet in mom or dad’s hands or tiny fingers holding something. 

What equipment is necessary?

Sometimes I will use a flash on my camera but normally I am comfortable with the light in my client’s home. I love to find darker corners to add to the images with a moody light or have my clients stand in front of a bright window to add a silhouette effect. A studio session will have studio lighting set up for optimal lighting and backdrops to get rid of all distractions. A studio session will have more props and baby posed in more diliberately set up ways. Ideally a studio session would have baby sleeping where a Lifestyle Newborn Session allows baby to stay awake easier.

I may bring a few items to your session such as a few fabric wraps, one wooden prop and occasionally a dress for mom (if she requests). It really is just simple in nature and all about the expressions of the people in the photo and capturing that love you have for your little ones. 

How long does a Lifestyle Newborn Session last? 

An In Home Newborn Photos Session, also known as a Lifestyle Newborn Session, takes on average 1-1.5 hours. I always provide my clients with guidance on how to prep for their session ahead of time so that makes for a successful and usually very quick session. Of course I always tell my clients that baby is the boss and we go on their schedule. I wish I was kidding but it is oh so true! There should always be an allowance of time if baby needs to eat, have their diaper changed or needs a break from over stimulation.

Can I include my pet in the session?

I have included many dogs in newborn sessions, both posed and in home, and always share the same information ahead of time. I tell my clients if your dog is pretty trained and calm I recommend it. If there is any uncertainty of how they will be around me (being a stranger in your home and maybe protective of your new baby) or the baby itself, it is NOT a good idea.

Dogs are animals and as beautiful as they are and definitely part of the family, safety is always most important. If you have no doubts that your dog is a good fit for this new environment, then the second question I ask is “Will your dog in the session stress you out?” Sometimes managing a new baby (especially with other siblings that may be jealous of baby and need extra attention) can be enough and adding a pet can add to the stress and make the experience of your session less enjoyable. I want to be sure you have fun and that you experience real memories snuggling with your little one. Stress free is the goal and I want you to remember your session as a positive experience.

Do I need to clean my house before the session?

This is a personal preference question but I’m really laid back when it comes to being in people’s homes and there being clutter or it looking like you just had a baby. No really, we can just push aside any items for baby we don’t want in photos or shoot at an angle that shows “less.” Occasionally I have to move furniture or “clear” an area for a bit but we always get it back in order. So does your home have to be spotless, not at all.

How old should my baby be for an in home newborn photos session? When is the best time to book my session?

It is best to schedule any newborn session when baby is 7-21 days old however an in home session really can be any age. It is just easier to photograph baby sleepy and more content and adds a different look to your images. As a bonus you are really capturing those beginning weeks home when the emotions are fresh and everything is new and exciting! 

The best time to book your Lifestyle Newborn is session as early as possible in your pregnancy to guarantee a spot on my calendar, usually in 2nd or 3rd trimester. I will do my best to book babies after they are born but it seems to make things so much easier to have my clients book before baby is born. This ensures them a spot as well as gives them 1.) one less thing to worry about when baby is here 2.) time to plan your session ahead of time. 

Are you feeling an in home newborn session is the best for your family? Are you ready to book a session with Just Peachy Photography in Palatine, IL or need more information?  Ready to see more of my work, visit our Facebook page. Contact me and I am happy to answer all of your questions and get you in my schedule. 

A Story of Motherhood on Mother’s Day

Palatine Mommy and Baby Photography

Today, I’m sharing about Motherhood on Mother’s Day. Who am I? I am a mother to 5 beautiful boys and feel like the luckiest woman in the world! My boys are truly amazing and even though I won the lottery with all of their fun, distinct personalities, there are moments that are hard too. We don’t always talk about or recognize the hard moments and celebrate them for the growth they give us. I wouldn’t trade any of those moments for the world and feel I was born to be a mother. 

Take time for yourself today, Momma.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you beautiful women! If you are a mother of a baby, child, adult, or fur baby it is your special day! Celebrate yourself and allow other people to celebrate you. Celebrating Motherhood on Mother’s Day is sweet and is known for the flowers, gifts, cards and other sentiments but not always known for the feelings that mothers may have about Motherhood and what this day could mean to them. It can involve tears, both happy and sad. It can involve hugs sometimes for the last time without even knowing it. Sometimes it can involve the biggest feelings of joy and also sorrow. 

The twins are now in their teens but I remember how challenging their first year was. It wasn’t just because there were two — although that didn’t help — but that they were premature and under 3 pounds. Anyone who has had a baby premature or even in the NICU can attest to how taxing it can be on you physically and emotionally.

Most people have a baby and can go home but it is hard to leave your baby in the hospital and go home yourself without them. Also there are so many other challenges that go with it like pumping milk all hours for their best nutrition, managing visiting hours, and seeing your baby with all of those tubes and doctors and nurses poking and prodding them. Those babies truly are rock stars — as well as the doctors and nurses that care for them! If you are one of them, thank you for the bottom of my heart for what you do. 

Sometimes Motherhood just gets hard. Let’s get real.

I’m sure many of you have had babies that just wouldn’t sleep and not just for the first month or two. Sleep deprivation is a real thing. After caring for our babies all day which is physically exhausting in the first year, we really need our sleep. Luckily we all get through it but it can really take its toll on our wellness and health. I know we joke about “Mommy Brain,” but it is truly so easy to forget your own name when you are not getting sleep for an extended period of time.

Two of my boys were just challenging sleepers (including naps) and I’d always have to hold them to get them to sleep. Then you worry about their safety if you fall asleep, ah, mom guilt. I think I would catch myself later still rocking back in forth in line in a store because I was so used to doing it with my babies at home. I did try to remind myself always how lucky I was to have such healthy babies and to enjoy it but there were some tough moments to navigate through of pure exhaustion. It showed me how strong I really am.

Mom and Daughter at Mommy and Me Sessions Palatine

I’m getting to the good stuff. I promise.

I’d love to address one thing that we tend to shove under the rug, postpartem depression. So many mothers experience this and myself included. It really was bad for my youngest son, but may have had signs of it from my fourth son too. Everything just feels hard and you just struggle for air. I can’t speak for everyone but I never felt that bad about myself and life before ever. I just went through the motions of life for awhile not truly feeling anything.

Maybe some people recognize it and treat it and I am so happy to hear this, but for me I didn’t know what was wrong. There just wasn’t any happiness to find for awhile. I felt I had to fake it all and projected a lot of my depression outwards. Sadly because of this, I didn’t bond with my youngest right away like I did with my other children.

Be ready. Here comes the mom guilt.

The mom guilt was back heavy. I couldn’t find the joy of having a new baby every day like I did with the others —queue more mom guilt as you cannnot help it and want to so bad. My hair fell out for 2 months lightly with my first pregnancies but with that fourth one, 8 months and heavy. That bald patch in the back really didn’t help my depression. You would think that would be a sign something was wrong but I still just didn’t see it.

Thankfully, there was a light at the end of the tunnel and I am better than ever before today. I learned a lot about myself and life in that healing as well as what are my priorities in my life. Sometimes we have to take steps back in life to launch forward to a new version of ourselves and that is what I did. I have so much gratitude for life now, my beautiful boys and being a mother. I know it is the most rewarding and most challenging job I’ll ever have. My youngest still to this day loves to challenge me on a daily basis but also brings me SO much joy and unconditional love as do all of my lovely children.

Motherhood on Mother's Day

So yes, I’m putting it out there.

Motherhood isn’t always easy. It isn’t always smiles and giggles, hugs and kisses and endless fun! It can be late nights cleaning up vomit, no sleep for days, screaming toddlers when you are just trying to get your groceries, a fearful trip to the ER, constant fights about bedtime or with siblings, and so many others that don’t make it easy.

However it can also be kisses first thing in the morning to wake up to, tickle fights, squeals and giggles of delight, your little one telling you “I love you mama” and you know they mean it so intensely, all of the firsts that make them so so proud, running up to you when you walk in the door and feeling like the most important person in the world, and hand made cards and gifts for your birthday or Mother’s Day. Celebrating Motherhood on Mother’s Day can be creative and amazing!

There are so many beautiful things to celebrate about being a mother when they are little or not so little anymore. Being a mother really teaches us about love, true unconditional love. Being with my children is the biggest blessing to me and they make my life so much brighter. 

My heart goes out to all of you mothers out there!

I send you all of the love in the world for who you are and what you do. You are loved and appreciated. I want you to know that you are so valued and important to your beautiful children. You make a difference in the world just being you and raising your children. And you are special and a gift to the world! 

Sending love to all of you with losses.

If you have suffered a miscarriage, loss of a child, loss of a mother or loss of a close grandmother I send you the biggest hugs and my deepest sympathy. This day can be hard for some. I hope you do take some time today to honor the person you lost and keep them close in your thoughts. It can be thoughts of who you think they would be today or memories of the past that you treasure most with them. They are angels watching over you and are always with you. Keep them close to your heart.

I lost my mother in 2017 from ovarian cancer. It is sad that she never met my youngest son and that my 4th son doesn’t have memories of her as he was too young when she passed. My oldest children had a beautiful relationship with her and some really beautiful memories to hold on to. I will honor both her and myself tomorrow on our special day. That is why I am so passionate about my job as a photographer. I document these special moments in time. I am able to preserve those memories of those that just aren’t with us anymore or other life changes.

I’m so grateful that I have so many photos of my mom and especially with my kids. These photos I will cherish forever. Was my mom perfect? No. Did she always do the best that she could? I believe so. That is the kind of mother I continue to strive to be daily — one that isn’t perfect but always strive to do and be my best. I want my children to believe in love, believe that mistakes lead to growth, believe in helping others, believe in themselves, and believe that the world is good. Happy Mother’s Day!

Mom and Son at Palatine Mother's Day session

Share your story of Motherhood on Mother’s Day.

I’d love to hear what Motherhood means to you or a special story from your journey of Motherhood. Send me an email or comment on Facebook.

If you want to make special memories with your children, join me at the studio on May 27th for our Mommy and Me Mini Session event. You can find the details on the website HERE. The backdrop is shown on the first photo at the top of this blogpost.

East Dundee One Year Birthday Party Photos at Gallery 611 | East Dundee Event Photographer

one year old baby at party in East Dundee at Gallery 611

As an East Dundee event photographer, I see that birthday parties are so much fun! This is especially true when you are turning one! I think our guests of honor have a little fun but the one year old birthday party is more for the families. This little man made it through the whole party awake and ready to go. I love that he was so happy being passed around to so many family members and friends. The jungle animal themed party was so fun and Gallery 611 in East Dundee, IL was a beautiful place to have the party. There were so many beautiful themed decorations for this East Dundee Event photography to photograph, as well as a fun photo wall for families. With so many beautiful guests, this little man was the center of the show! 

With delicious dishes to indulge in and some fun entertainment for the kids, this party was definitely a good time for all! Making Memories Events provided face painting, creative balloon art and a cotton candy machine too. It was fun to see all of the kids so entertained and it definitely provided a memorable experience for them. The best part about that is the adults can have a break and can socialize and have their own fun. 

Gallery 611 Jungle Themed party photo backdrop
East Dundee Event Cake Table Jungle Theme
Making Memories Events Face Painting at Gallery 611 in East Dundee
Beautiful girl with balloon art in East Dundee
Family Blowing Out Candles for One Year Birthday Party at Gallery 611 in East Dundee
Guests having fun at Galelry 611 East Dundee
Happy Guests at One Year Old Birthday Party in East Dundee
Mom and Baby snuggling at One Year Old Birthday Party in East Dundee
Baby standing with family member at One Year Old Birthday Party in East Dundee
girl eating cotton candy at party at Galelry 611 in East Dundee
Party guests group photo at party at Gallery 611 in East Dundee

The J Family was so fun to work with and I just loved being a part of their special event! If you are looking for a Palatine, IL photographer to photograph your next special small event, check out our event page for details on the packages we offer. I will travel within 20 miles from Palatine in the North Suburban Chicago area. If you do not see a package that fits your needs, contact me and we can customize something for your family.

FREE Summer Fun Mini Sessions | Palatine and Chicago Area Baby and Children Photographer

Greetings, Chicago area Mamas! Guess What? Just Peachy Photography is hosting one of our favorite studio events in July! This is our FREE Summer Fun Mini Sessions event and is a great way to test our services or a great way to update your family with a few adorable summer themed images of your baby/children. The Summer Fun backdrop is posted above with bright, vibrant colors and one of my favorite animals, the flamingo! Make sure to save the date, sign up below and share this special event with all of your friends!

free summer fun mini sessions in palatine, IL on July 15, 2023

The FREE Summer Fun Mini Sessions are for any children between the ages of 2 months and 5 years old.  Children will be photographed individually but there is no limit to how many children you can sign up for the event. The theme is “Summer Fun” and children would look best in fun bright colors for this one. I will have some props for kids to hold or to sit next to them. I recommend “beachy” style clothing like cute shorts outfits, sunglasses, hats (nothing too big), etc.  All edited proofs will be delivered within 7-10 days in an online gallery and participants will submit an order form if they would like to order any digital files or printed products from their gallery.

Saturday, July 15th from 9:00am-12:00pm  (see the link below to view available times)

Times Available:  9:00am, 9:05am, 9:10am, 9:15am, 9:20am, 9:25am, 9:30am, 9:35am, 9:40am, 9:45am, 9:50am, 9:55am, 10:00am, 10:05am, 10:10am, 10:15am, 10:20am, 10:25am, 10:30am, 10:35am, 10:40am, 10:45am, 10:50am, 10:55am, 11:00am, 11:05am, 11:10am, 11:15am, 11:20am, 11:25am, 11:30am, 11:35am, 11:40am, 11:45am, 11:50am, 11:55am

Digital files will be $25 each and include high resolution image in color and black and white or the full gallery is available for $150.  Low cost prints are available to those who purchase digital files from the event.  Also other custom printed products available will be available for this event.   Contact the studio at Erika@justpeachyphotog.com or 224-801-1680 for details!  

Book your AMAZINGLY FUN FREE Summer Mini Session HERE!

Please only sign up if you are able to attend this event as it allows me to continue these free events in the future! Also SHARE, SHARE, SHARE! I love to meet new families and these free events are a great way for families to “try out” my services!

Is it Love at first sigHT??

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Email: Erika@justpeachyphotog.com
Phone: 224-801-1680

Studio: 117 W. Slade St. #2, Palatine, IL 60067