Monday, April 12, 2010

The Blog has moved

Just in case you missed it, my new, improved, and much bigger wedding blog now lives here:

See, I told you it was bigger and better ;). Go check it out and don't forget to add the new URL to your RSS reader!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hello :: Goodbye

In the last week, I think I've been up past 2am more days than not. While I clearly define myself as a night owl and NOT a morning person, I have to admit that not sleeping at least 6 hours a night has left me a bit -or a LOT- exhausted. What was I doing until the wee hours of the morning, you may ask.

I can't wait to tell you! I've been working on THIS. After months of prep work and consultations and testing and long long nights that became early early morning, I am so excited to tell you all I have a brand new and absolutely improved blog and it's finally LIVE!!!!

Check it out here:

While you're there, you'll notice new colors, new fonts, a totally redefined look. My new logo and branding, which I am head-over-heels in LOVE with, is featured on my new blog as well as my new website. Oh yes, you heard that right... I have a new website as well! You can find it at the same URL as my previous site, but the design is a far cry from my previous look. You can take a gander at

During this redesign and rebranding process, I've had the opportunity to work with the amazing team at Second Street Creative ... and if you're looking for a designer for any project, I highly recommend chatting it up with Ryan because he's a genius. GENIUS, I tell you! Look for a full recap and theory of rebranding and my new logo soon on the new blog.

If you've subscribed to my blog with an RSS reader, be sure to add my new blog to your feeds because this one won't be updated from now on :). Of course, this older blog will live on here at this URL, but for everything new and updated, be sure go to the new blog.

So head on over and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear to your thoughts :). And while you're there, be sure to check out Rachel and Dave's engagement session.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tara and Adam :: Engagement Guestbook Album

I LOVED LOVED LOVED this session! I met up with Tara and Adam last fall at New Town in St. Charles for some engagement photos, and just love these two :). They were so laid back and easy to work with... just what I love in an engagement session :). Here are a few of my favorites:

New Town has such a variety of architecture and scenery to photograph, but I was especially drawn to the farm area on the outskirts of town.

Love these next two. Tara, you are gorgeous!

I did an engagement guestbook album for Tara and Adam, and I was thrilled with the way it turned out. When clients choose to do an engagement guestbook, I always get a little giddy because engagement photos + signatures = a great coffee table book and conversation piece that can be enjoyed for years after the wedding is over.

The outside of the book has a photo cover from edge to edge, making even the cover a customized piece.

The spine is also customizable with names and wedding date.

The pages are cut down the middle, which allows the spread to lay flat. Definitely convenient for guests as they sign the pages.

One of my favorite spreads :). All the spreads have extra white space for your guests to use as a guestbook.

To see a slideshow of their complete album, click here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Family Mini-Sessions :: Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'm so excited to announce that I will be hosting Spring Family Mini-Sessions this April! I always have such a fabulous time with my families and look forward to these sessions every year. I offer mini-sessions twice a year -once in the spring and once in the fall- and only have a limited number of time slots open at each event, so if you're interested in booking a session for your family, please let me know so I can reserve your spot!

When? Sunday, April 11 from 2pm-6:30pm

Where? Forest Park

What's included? A 45-minute outdoor family session with Lisa Hessel PLUS a disk of the high-resolution images from your session

Cost? $150

How do I reserve a session? shoot me an email or give me a call! Your session fee is due upon booking and is non-refundable.

I did a mini-session marathon last fall and had a such great time with all of the families that I photographed. I've been photographing this family for quite some time now and was so excited to spend the morning with them!

The very first time I photographed the family, Gabriella was just about to be born.

Meet Christian, their newest, and oh-so-happy, addition

Christian cracks me up here!

She is so fun and full of life, as you'll see below :).


For questions or to schedule your spring family mini-session, email me anytime. Looking forward to a great spring session!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

An Impromptu Maternity Shoot with a Beautiful Friend

Working from home is such a blessing. Really, it is... but it also comes with challenges I never quite anticipated. And having a husband who works from home (and from Starbucks from time to time) doubles our joy... and distraction :). One of the biggest challenges that we face is that we're so connected to our email and computers and phones because they are always there... and as a result, we sometimes feel like we're always working. Like all the time working. At 2am and sometimes into the wee hours of the morning. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change my work environment for the world... I mean, today, I wore workout clothes to work and watched the Biggest Loser while I edited... it's the best! But sometimes, we just need to get away from it all. And watching tv in the living room doesn't count. We have to get out of town.

So, Jon and I started talking about where we could go to get away for just a day or two that wouldn't break the bank and lock us in the car for an eternity. And almost immediately, Jon suggested we drive to Cincinnati to visit some of our good friends who had just moved away from the Lou.

So we were off. As we headed toward the city, I was totally expecting to see a vintage town a la WKRP in Cincinnati with everyone wearing plaid polyester blazers and feathered bangs. I guess that's kind of telling of how much tv I watch....

Our friends Adam and Ashley met us shortly after we woke up (around 10am... hallelujah for sleeping in!) and took us on a tour of the city, which, much to my surprise was not laden with ultra-wide bell-bottom wearing radio personalities. Cincinnati is actually pretty cool. Really, it's way cool. I should know... I ate my way through the entire city, and I had more fun than I can recount.

And, as an added bonus, our beautiful friend Ashley is going to have a baby! We decided to have an impromptu maternity session about mid-way through our tour of the city (or as Kevin would say, a bit after 1st lunch and right before 2nd lunch).

Seriously, Ashley has got to be the cutest preggo ever. She makes me regret eating all those eggo waffles when I was pregnant.

Seriously, check her out. Is she one hot mama or what?!

Adam and Ashley are having a baby girl, but they're keeping her name a secret. I kept hoping it would slip out, but much to my chagrin, it didn't. I did have time to think about it, though, and I'm pretty sure I have it figured out. I guess I'll have to wait to find out, though... and we all know how much I LOVE waiting :).

Love these of Ash. Beautiful.

We miss you already, Adam and Ashley! We can't wait to meet your precious baby girl and are excited to witness you enter the joy of parenthood. You will be incredible... it's inevitable :). Much love to all three of you!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


When I married Jon, I married into a great family. If you know the Hessels, you know what I mean :). One of my biggest supporters of my photography dreams when my business was just in its infancy was Jon's cousin Kathy and her adorable family.

I first started photographing their family way back in 2007 when I just starting to explore family portrait photography. If you've followed my blog, you may remember Maddie, Sarah, and When Colin came home. More recently, I photographed the entire family this summer on an unusually warm summer day with lots of golden sun:

My latest session with this wonderful family was earlier this winter. But this time, it was just for Kathy. And it was totally different from all the other sessions I've photographed for them.

As 2009 was winding to a close, Kathy stunned the entire family with a startling revelation.

She had cancer.

Kathy was diagnosed with stomach cancer, a type of cancer that is usually found in only the elderly. So at only 31 years old, it was quite a shock to learn that this type of cancer had invaded Kathy's body. The doctors immediately started Kathy on an aggressive chemo therapy treatment.

I remember when we first heard news... it just seemed so surreal. I mean, Kathy is young. She's healthy and in good shape and has three little children that she pours her life into daily. She SHOULDN'T have cancer.

I saw her at a family gathering not long after she had started her first chemo treatment. But she wasn't what I was expecting. I mean, she just found out her life was about to be altered by intensive chemo and a very painful surgery. If that had happened to me, I can imagine I'd probably sit in a corner and pass the time by worrying. and probably eating more cookies than I could count.

But not Kathy.

She was the same Kathy she had always been. Lively. Funny. Full of life. Unaltered.

I told her that I really admired her for having such a positive outlook. She told me she just didn't know any other way to be. And that right there sums up who Kathy is. She wouldn't let something like a chemo pump attached to her neck, or thinning hair, or the uncertainty of cancer steal her joy. She continued to LIVE. Really LIVE.

So when she asked me to come do a photoshoot of her after the chemo had taken her thick brown locks, I immediately agreed. She said it would be empowering. I couldn't agree more.

Her eyes are stunning and captivating. truly beautiful.

And this pretty much sums up how Kathy is facing life... with unaltered joy and a positivity rooted firmly in her faith

Kathy and her husband Mike have been blogging throughout their journey here . It's always entertaining to read Mike's witty posts, and I find it even more encouraging to read about their faith that has held firm day by day.

On Monday morning, Kathy entered the hospital to have her entire stomach and part of her esophagus removed. She has a long road ahead of her with recovery, more chemo, and the addition of radiation, but when we went up to visit her today, the same smile and joy that we've always seen in Kathy was still there. Unaltered.

If you're the praying type, send up a little prayer for our dear cousin Kathy. Please pray that the treatments would be effective and any lingering cancer would be eliminated. Pray that her recovery would be speedy and she can return to life a little more quickly than expected. Pray that she'd be able to enjoy her precious family and savor the moments.

We love you, Kathy, and we're praying for you always.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Avery and Greta :: Twins!

When Kendall and I first chatted over the phone about photography, Kendall was still pregnant. She had called to inquire about newborn photography, and I was so elated when she said she was expecting not one, but TWO sweet baby girls! This is the first time I've had the pleasure of photographing twins and I loved every minute of it!

And now, meet Miss Avery and Miss Greta :).

These little eight-day-old girls were the picture of serenity. There was hardly a peep throughout the entire shoot

Can you believe she had twins -TWINS!- just eight days before this photo was taken?? Seriously, Kendall, you're gorgeous.

Holding hands already. I have a feeling they're going to be bffs.

Pretty much my favorite photo of the day.

Kendall had an Etsy seller make her girls these adorable hats.