decatur illinois babys first year

Avery's First Birthday Photo Session-- Photos by Ariel Studio, Lincoln, Illinois

First Birthday’s are a busy time for momma’s! Trying to plan that first birthday party and then all the emotions that come with your baby turning ONE! I make it my mission as your photographer to make your life easier, not add to your stress! That is why for your first birthday session I provide the cake, the stand, the décor, the outfits, the props…. EVERY. SINGLE. THING. All you have to do is tell me what colors scheme you want and bring your ADORABLE baby! I take care of finding the outfits, ordering the cake, picking up the cake, finding the perfect props, etc. :)

Sweet Avery just turned one and every single image is so beautiful I think I can literally hear my jaw hitting the floor. I am a people-centered photographer. What I mean by that is that I like my subjects to be the focus of all of my images, not the background, not the props, not even the sky (when we are outside). When people look at this image, I want theme to see YOU first. <3 Clean, Crisp, and Timeless is always my motto!

Cake below was made by Emily Jackson out of Mount Pulaski, IL. Enjoy these sneak peeks from Avery’s First Birthday Session!


The beginnings of love....

I recently went through some business counseling. They asked me all the right questions, forced me to dig deep into who I am as a photographer, what I love to do and why, what do I want my business to be and how am I going to get there... basically all the hard questions that I didn't want to focus on because it takes time, a thing which I do not have. But it ended up being one of the best things I've ever done. I will be writing more on that later. But what I discovered about myself was significant. 

I love to photograph the beginnings of love. This can be found in newborns and weddings. There are more in common about these two life transitions than one might think. Both of these times are moments of sweetness and grace, where the other person feels intensely present to us. Devotion, hope, and a future are vivid. Putting the other person first (whether that's spouse or child) is not just considered a privilege but an honor. We are so filled to the brim with love and thankfulness that we cannot EVER imagine taking this relationship for granted. 

But that is exactly what happens. We have this idealistic view of what our marriage is going to be like. We have this idealistic view of parenting and how our children are going to behave. We think we know what our life will be like. But then life smacks you in the face. Whether it’s sickness, a colicky child, a sudden death, a disobedient child, financial difficulties, or just the mundane of day to day life, we begin to realize that marriages are hard and children are difficult. We are left feeling tired, lost, hopeless or indifferent. But more significantly, we have forgotten who we are. 

This is where I come in. By photographing you at the beginning of love, I can return you to this relationship with a sense of gratitude and wonder. I believe that through your entire experience with me (booking, conversations, dreaming, planning, photo-taking, and viewing) I can assist you in recovering your identity and mission. Through your experience with me, not just the photos themselves, I believe we can recover hope, dignify suffering, develop empathy, laugh, wonder, and nurture a sense of communion with each other. I believe that your experience with me and the finished product can heal your feelings of hopelessness and indifference. Not just for the person you are right now, but for the person that you are becoming. These photos become a visual symbol of hope. When you view these photos, presently and in the future, you will remember the truth of their message and be reminded of who you are! And when we are reminded of this, our burdens will begin to be lifted. We will no longer live life aimlessly or indifferently because by remembering who you are, you will KNOW what to do!  

When you invest in a session with me you are not just investing in photos, you are investing in an experience. An experience that will benefit your present, AND your future. An experience that produces a product with an eternal message. A message that needs to be heard not just by who you are at this moment, but the person you are becoming. Who could put a price on that? 

Enjoy some of the sneak peeks from Carissa and Zack's newborn session with baby Murphy, part 1 in their Baby's First Year Experience. This session took place at the Photos by Ariel Studio located in Lincoln, Illinois. Interested in booking your own session? Contact me here.

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Welcome to the World Avery Sue!

Every season of parenting comes with its own set of ups and downs. When you have a newborn life can seem so overwhelming. Sleepless nights, your body is healing and changing, learning your baby’s cries, anxiety driven by an undeniable love for your new child, and experiencing every emotion under the sun that affects your body, mind, and spirit.

When I had my first baby someone told me to "enjoy every season." After 3 babies... I feel like I have FINALLY learned how to do that. Not anticipate the next phase... but actually ENJOY where they are at. Every season of parenting has something new and exciting to offer. Find it, embrace it, and remember it when it feels so hard!

Congratulations on your new baby Heidi Moor!  Avery is absolutely perfect!

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Amiyah is 6 months!

I've had the privilege of watching Amiyah grow before she was even born! When her mom, Katina, scheduled a 3 month session for her son, Princeton, she had just found out she was pregnant! So whenever I got to photograph Princeton throughout his first year, I got to see Amiyah growing in her mommy's belly! When she was born, her mom scheduled a Baby's First Year Session with me and so I had the pleasure of photographing her when she was a newborn as well! I cannot believe she is already 6 months old. In motherhood the days can feel SO long, especially when you have 2 kids under 2! But the years are short, friends! Hold them tight and enjoy every season! Her are some sneak peeks from Katina's session with her beautiful family!  

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