peoria illinois photographer

Central Illinois Engagement Session in Downtown Lincoln and Kickapoo Creek Park

Jessica and Kaleb recently had their engagement session for their upcoming wedding in October! This adorable couple has been together for 7 years and first met on the dating app: tinder. It’s so funny how more and more couples are meeting online these days! :) These two lovebirds definitely know how to have a good time and were full of laughter despite that fact that their session basically took place in a pig pen (see the image at the bottom of the page for reference). They kept their spirits high and their love was evident! I absolutely cannot wait for this October wedding! It’s going to be PERFECT!

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20 Father's Day Gifts for Every Kind of Dad

20 Gift Ideas

just for dads

So, I don’t know if any of you have heard of Gary Chapmans, “The Five Love Languages,” but its basically a book talking about how there are five basic ways people communicate and like to receive love. Well, long story short. One of my main love language’s is GIFTS! I LOVE giving gifts to those I love. But not just any gift, the PERFECT gift. Like when you see an ad for it online or in a store and your just like OMG this would be perfect for this person! :) However, not all people love gifts. My husband for example always says that the best gift I could give him is not spending money on a gift…. BLAHHHHH…. #nofun! :)

Anyway, because of my love of gifts! I have created yet another gift-giving blog post but this time… just for dads! Click the buttons below each photo to learn more about each item or purchase it! Enjoy!

For the Dad who loves coffee

Driftaway Coffee Subscription- 3 months only $50!

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for the dad who can grill

this deluxe grill set for only $32

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for the dad who can rock

the rise & fall of rockstars only $15

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For the dad who loves to camp

This amazing hammock only $25-35 (pending on color)

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for the dad who’s always tinkering with things

this tool is a spork, knife, fire flint, peeler, can opener, bottle opener, pry bar, box cutter, cord cutter, and flathead screwdriver and only $50

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for the dad who’s a health nut

no blender in the world can stand against this one only $68

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for the diy dad

this magnetic wristband allows him to keep those tools at his fingertips for only $10

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for the budget-minded dad

this nest smart thermostat will keep his money right where he likes it, in his pocket! Only $200

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for the dad who likes travel

get this airbnb giftcard on amazon- range $25+

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or

this cork globe to mark his travels only $30

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FOR THE DAD WHO LOVES CARS

driveshare.com allows you to rent a car for a day! Amazing opportunity to drive those cars he dreams of owning!

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for the dad who loves his facial hair

beard shampoo and conditioner

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for the dad who loves video games

He’ll love this vintage Atari Shirt

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for the dad who loves the finer things

He will definitely fancy these scotch infused toothpicks

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for the dad who loves beer

need I say more!?!

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for the dad who loves to read

these book darts are great for keeping his place in all the different books he is reading! Plus they can be used to mark important thoughts that he can come back to later!

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for the dads who love board games

Start with Settlers of Catan and then move your way to Scythe if you have a REAL board game enthusiast!

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for the hipster dad

this foodie cook book is something he will surely love

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for the dad who loves jokes

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For the musical Dad

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Motto & Fleur Branding Session- An Apparel Company for Moms

I’ve done some photos for Alyse Bressner, the owner of Motto & Fleur, in the past. But when she contacted me about doing a massive rebrand for her company, I was as giddy as a 5 year old on Christmas Morning.

Helping companies find themselves and then communicate their passion to their clients via their website and social media accounts is a MAJOR passion of mine. So naturally, I made myself right at home with this project.

Alyse signed up to be part of the Photos by Ariel Content Club. A club where I provide businesses with enough photo content for their social media and website all year long (Find out more here).

Alyse has been designing clothes for specifically for momma’s since she was 8 years old and she has the school projects to prove it!!! She is one amazing mom-preneur with an amazing mission! Knowing the loneliness, frustration, joy, sleeplessness and love that accompanies motherhood, she has managed to create a sense of community for mom’s everywhere with something we all know and love…. CLOTHES. Her designs are specifically aimed at women and mom’s that speak to women empowerment, all things coffee, and all things motherhood.

For her spring session, Alyse traveled down to Lincoln on a Saturday. We started the day at REPS Gym because Oh yeah, she has a workout line! Huge shoutout to REPS for allowing us to use their amazing facilities to show Alyse’s designs in action!

Next, we went to downtown historic Lincoln and had REAL momma’s ready to model! They did an amazing job of showing how these shirts can be dressed up for any occasion!

The second portion was spent with the mommas AND their babies, snuggling in playing and showing how these shirts are also comfy & durable enough to survive the everyday life of mothers. This portion took place at the BRAND NEW lower level of Lincoln’s Loft in downtown Lincoln, a place that I HIGHLY recommend EVERYONE check out. Lincoln’s loft had ALL the amenities and the historical elegance and beauty that we were looking for! Huge shout to Adam, the owner, for having the places renovated and decorated in time for this shoot! You rock as a designer, business owner, and person! Thank you so much for your generosity!

Make sure you follow Motto & Fleur on Facebook and Instagram and check out this amazing company!

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To my husband on the day he graduates...

Today we celebrate this amazing man and my husband! The reason we moved to Illinois is so he could get his masters from Lincoln Christian university. And today he graduates with a Masters of Divinity in the New Testament. The thing about time is that when you look at it in hindsight it all sounds so simple. He graduated with a bachelors we moved to Illinois, got his masters, etc. but that’s not how it works. In reality, There has been blood, sweat and tears pursuing this degree. There were good times and bad times. Financially, emotionally, and spiritually. It takes dedication, commitment, passion, drive, a humble spirit and an eagerness to learn when pursuing higher education and even MORE SO when you do it with a full time job, a wife with a business and three young kids. But the really amazing thing about Chase is his integrity and his humility. He always does the right thing even when no one is watching and see’s himself not as one to be served but as a servant to all!

So today I take a break from everything to celebrate him and the amazing human being, husband, friend, and brother in Christ this man is. He is everything I’m not and everything I want to be! I love you chase and I’m so incredibly proud to be with you on this journey! Can’t wait to see where life takes us!

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My ALL-TIME favorite places to get clothes for photos

1.) Old navy

Here’s what I love about Old Navy. Everything is color coordinated. They typically have color themes throughout the whole store for each season. It might be navy and wine color or mustard and blue or whatever…. but either way, this makes coordinating clothes for family photos SUPER EASY. All of these options are available on their website RIGHT NOW!


2.) Harper’s Chic Closet

This children’s boutique is full of chic & timeless clothing options for little’s of all ages. They have everything you will need, accessories, headbands, leggings, outfit sets, dresses, rompers, hats, leg warmers, purses, and not a clothing item, but definitely worthwhile, they carry the world’s most adorable cloth dolls!!!! Get your wallet ready for this one! Visit their website HERE.


3.) Jane

You can go to their website HERE, or you can download their app (which is my method)! I love checking their site every night before bed and seeing what the new deals of the day are. I had one of my best clients introduce me to Jane and i’ve been hooked ever since. If you see something you like, buy it right then because the deals are constantly changing and you never know when it’ll be back. The thing I love about Jane is:

  • everything i’ve ordered has been AMAZING quality

  • it doesn’t look like it was bought at a chain store

  • They are unique and one-of-a-kind

  • They look expensive but aren’t outrageously priced

  • They look like you got them at a boutique!

  • Their pieces are usually timeless.

  • They get new items daily!

4.) Amazon

I’m not exaggerating when I say that 90% of my life comes from Amazon. Diapers, Wipes, Vitamins, Snacks, Coffee, Clothing, literally EVERYTHING! Here are some of my favorite clothing items for family pictures available on amazon.

5.) Bailey’s Blossoms

If you are looking for reasonably priced but STUNNING and GORGEOUS little girl clothes… look NO FURTHER than Bailey’s Blossoms. Also, make sure you follow their email list so you can find out when they have their $1, $3, $5 sale!!!

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6.) Target

Target always has amazing options that are the perfect amount of dressy and casual, trendy and timeless. I actually have a family photo session/branding session coming up in June and I went to Target this weekend and found every single person an outfit there all in under an hour!

Check out this replay of my LIVE video where I talk about my thought process behind the pieces I selected.

7.) Petals & Peonies

This adorable online boutique has some of the most timeless, beautiful baby items i’ve ever seen for both BOYS & GIRLS! I love their pieces because of the simple beauty of them. I love the textures in the fabrics, the designs, and the colors. All of their pieces make don’t steal our eye away from baby but instead just accentuate their beauty! Quality is amazing! I’ve NEVER been disappointed with ANY of my purchases from here! Follow them on Facebook or visit their website HERE.

8.) Bella Ella Boutique

This online boutique is dedicated to women and women alone because lets be honest… we NEVER treat ourselves and we SHOULD! Especially when it comes to picking outfits for a photo session! This boutique is committed to empowering women through the clothes they wear and this is a mission I can ALWAYS get behind. Make sure you check out their website HERE, or follow them on facebook and instagram!

9.) Bitsy Bug Boutique

This AH-MAZING online boutique is perfect for both boys & girls clothing. The owner is a mom who totally gets it! She offers adorable, one-of-a-kind clothing for kids without making us spend their college savings. Plus free shipping over $30 AND free returns for 30 days (thought I’ll doubt you’ll need it!) Follow them on facebook, Instagram, or visit their website HERE.