springfield illinois maternity session

Where my name came from...

I ask a lot of my clients. I ask them to be open and vulnerable which is never easy. I ask them to tell me about them. Their likes and dislikes. Their strengths and their weaknesses. I want to know their story. I want to be able to produce images that when they look at them, they are brought to tears. For what they are seeing is not just a picture of them but a picture of their soul. 

I realize that telling ones story is not an easy thing to do. We all have doubts and fears. Which is why I'm implementing this *new* little exercise for all of you here on social media. I'm not sure what I'm going to call it... (if you have any ideas let me know 🤣). But every Friday I'm going to reveal little truths about myself. Some will be silly icebreakers, some will be more deep, but all will be 100% honest and true. Because, if I expect you to be vulnerable with me... I realize that I have to do the same! <3

So here is the first one... 

My name. I was, in fact, named after the little mermaid. My parents took my 2 older sisters to the movie theater to see it when my mom was pregnant with me. My dad REALLY loved the name. So he told my mom, "yup! We are naming her Ariel." Before that I was going to be named Alexandria. I am the third girl and all our names start with A's. Ashley, Amber, and Ariel. Did I get made fun growing up because of my name? No... not really. Other than the occasional "mermaid" which didn't really bother me. I've always loved my name. I even considered naming one of my own children after a Disney character just to keep that little thing going. <3 So now its your turn... were you named after anyone special or do you have a special story regarding your name?

Illinois Photographer, Springfield Illinois Photographer, Central Illinois photographer, Lincoln Illinois photographer, peoria Illinois photographer, Bloomington Illinois photographer, normal Illinois photographer, Decatur Illinois photographer, photos by Ariel, personal branding, where my name came from, how I got my name, photography blog

Uptown Maternity Photo Session in Normal, Illinois

I was ecstatic when I got a phone call from mom-to-be, Brea Wimbley, to see if I could photograph her and her husband, Keenan Wimbley, as they transition from a family of 2 to 3! Of course I said yes because is there anything more beautiful than an expecting mama?

Our session was in Uptown Circle in Normal, Illinois about an hour before sunset and it was absolutely perfect! Brea and Keenan were former Illinois State University athletes so it is only fitting that they are still a part of the Redbird Family. Brea is a professor in the Psychology department at ISU and Keenan is the Senior Academic Coordinator and works directly with Illinois State’s football and gymnastics teams. Brea and Keenan have two of the kindest hearts! We had SO MUCH FUN during out session and I cannot wait to meet their little one whenever he/she arrives. They both gave me the great compliment a photographer could ever imagine, “I wish we would’ve used you for our wedding. You are so friendly and personable and made us feel so comfortable. This session wasn’t at all like pulling teeth…. It was FUN!” You guys…. a MAN actually thought this session was fun! Quick, Painless, and Fun is my motto for EVERYONE involved in the session!

Brea and Keenan… may every child on the planet know the kind of love you’ve already shown your little one. And I hope that these images will serve as a constant and consistent reminder of how much you love him/her and each other.

Enjoy your sneak peeks from our time together!

My 9 favorite pregnancy products...

My pregnancies were HARD. I had severe hyperemesis gravidarum (extreme morning sickness) which led to weight loss, many hospitalizations, IV's, and nutrition bags. Then I had typical pregnancy problems of extreme exhaustion, fainting, bloating, swelling, insomnia, sciatica, back pain, and all the other wonderful things that happen when we were pregnant. Don't get me wrong... having had two miscarriages I was extremely grateful for the sweet lil' babe in my belly but my goodness it was definitely not an easy time. So, I decided to share some of my favorite pregnancy products that got me through with all of you pregnant momma's out there..... 

1.) Sensodyne Toothepaste. Ha! Bet you didn't think this would be on here, huh? Well, turns out when you vomit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 10 months it RUINS the enamel on your teeth. Take it from me, if you have vomiting, use this enamel protecting toothpaste. 

2. Belly Bands. These wonderful things can be found here. During the first 20 weeks or so of pregnancy it's a great way to still wear your normal pants and you can wear them unbuttoned with these things. Great transition piece from regular clothes to maternity clothes. 

3.) Stretch Mark Cream. I used Palmer's Cocoa Butter in all 3 of my pregnancies and managed to make it through without 1 stretch mark! Not making any promises, but this stuff worked for me! It can be found here or at any major drug store. 

4.) Pregnancy Pillow. Sleep gets super hard towards the end of pregnancy. With the constant peeing and the not being able to get comfortable, its just tough to wake up and feel rested. A pregnancy pillow similar to this one helped me tremendously. Yes it's big and obnoxious but who cares if it means you get good sleep! Especially when this is baby #3 and you have to wake up bright and early to take care of two other littles. 

5.) Heartburn Medicine. Pretty self-explanatory but I CANNOT stand tums. Heck, I couldn't even keep ice down, much less those nasty, chalky tums. But these were amazing. They taste like starburst! Yes please! You can also by them at CVS, Walgreens or any other drug store. 

6.) Maternity Leggings. Leggings are comfortable all the time but in pregnancy they are a MUST (plus they are great for postpartum too)! When that awkward "things fit, but not really" stage comes along, it happens fast and you'll want to wear something that feels like nothing. :) Cute and Comfy clothes are non-negotiable in pregnancy. Just do it. 

7.) An awesome water bottle. I use this one but it really doesn't matter what one you use as long as you like it. I tend to drink more water if I use a water bottle with a straw. Not only is this a wonderful pregnancy product but also an amazing postpartum product, especially if you are nursing! 

8.) Chiropractic Care. With all the terrible pains I struggled with during pregnancy, I decided to try chiropractic care and it worked wonders with my sciatic pain and migraines and overall energy level. Some women say it even helps their morning sickness (didn't really help mine). Still recommend it. Made my pregnancies tolerable. :) 

9.) Photographer. Get an amazing maternity photographer. Not just one who "does" maternity photos but one who truly specializes in maternity and babies. Pregnancy sure does a number on women. In addition to some of the not-so-glamourous symptoms, we have to watch our bodies transform into something we aren't used to seeing everyday. And even though we know in our minds why it is happening and how we are growing a human, it still does a number on our self-esteem. Hiring an awesome photographer who knows how to pose different body types, which angles to shoot from, etc. will only help you see the beauty that every one else sees when they look at you during this season of your life. Treat yourself to a maternity session! You deserve to feel as beautiful as you are! Click here for packages and pricing. 

Well, those were my MUST-HAVES for pregnancy. What are some things on your must-have pregnancy lists? Also, enjoy these maternity photos of this beautiful first-time mama! The location of Washington Park in Springfield, Illinois was the perfect setting to reflect what this beautiful couple feels at this amazing season in their life. Can't wait to meet their sweet baby boy! 

maternity pose, maternity photographer in illinois, maternity photographer in central illinois, maternity photographer in bloomington illinois, maternity photographer in normal illinois, maternity photographer in springfield illinois, maternity photographer in peoria illinois, maternity photographer in decatur illinois, photos by ariel, washington park springfield illinois, outdoor maternity pictures, summer maternity pictures, my favorite pregnancy products, photography blog, maternity pictures, newborn pictures, maternity photographer usa, newborn photographer usa, Illinois maternity photographer, central Illinois maternity photographer, Lincoln Illinois maternity photographer, springfield Illinois maternity photographer, Peoria Illinois maternity photographer, Decatur Illinois maternity photographer, Bloomington Illinois maternity photographer, normal Illinois maternity photographer
maternity pose, maternity photographer in illinois, maternity photographer in central illinois, maternity photographer in bloomington illinois, maternity photographer in normal illinois, maternity photographer in springfield illinois, maternity photographer in peoria illinois, maternity photographer in decatur illinois, photos by ariel, washington park springfield illinois, outdoor maternity pictures, summer maternity pictures
maternity pose, maternity photographer in illinois, maternity photographer in central illinois, maternity photographer in bloomington illinois, maternity photographer in normal illinois, maternity photographer in springfield illinois, maternity photographer in peoria illinois, maternity photographer in decatur illinois, photos by ariel, washington park springfield illinois, outdoor maternity pictures, summer maternity pictures, my favorite pregnancy products, photography blog, maternity pictures, newborn pictures, maternity photographer usa, newborn photographer usa, Illinois maternity photographer, central Illinois maternity photographer, Lincoln Illinois maternity photographer, springfield Illinois maternity photographer, Peoria Illinois maternity photographer, Decatur Illinois maternity photographer, Bloomington Illinois maternity photographer, normal Illinois maternity photographer    
maternity pose, maternity photographer in illinois, maternity photographer in central illinois, maternity photographer in bloomington illinois, maternity photographer in normal illinois, maternity photographer in springfield illinois, maternity photographer in peoria illinois, maternity photographer in decatur illinois, photos by ariel, washington park springfield illinois, outdoor maternity pictures, summer maternity pictures, my favorite pregnancy products, photography blog, maternity pictures, newborn pictures, maternity photographer usa, newborn photographer usa, Illinois maternity photographer, central Illinois maternity photographer, Lincoln Illinois maternity photographer, springfield Illinois maternity photographer, Peoria Illinois maternity photographer, Decatur Illinois maternity photographer, Bloomington Illinois maternity photographer, normal Illinois maternity photographer    
maternity pose, maternity photographer in illinois, maternity photographer in central illinois, maternity photographer in bloomington illinois, maternity photographer in normal illinois, maternity photographer in springfield illinois, maternity photographer in peoria illinois, maternity photographer in decatur illinois, photos by ariel, washington park springfield illinois, outdoor maternity pictures, summer maternity pictures, my favorite pregnancy products, photography blog, maternity pictures, newborn pictures, maternity photographer usa, newborn photographer usa, Illinois maternity photographer, central Illinois maternity photographer, Lincoln Illinois maternity photographer, springfield Illinois maternity photographer, Peoria Illinois maternity photographer, Decatur Illinois maternity photographer, Bloomington Illinois maternity photographer, normal Illinois maternity photographer    
maternity pose, maternity photographer in illinois, maternity photographer in central illinois, maternity photographer in bloomington illinois, maternity photographer in normal illinois, maternity photographer in springfield illinois, maternity photographer in peoria illinois, maternity photographer in decatur illinois, photos by ariel, washington park springfield illinois, outdoor maternity pictures, summer maternity pictures, my favorite pregnancy products, photography blog, maternity pictures, newborn pictures, maternity photographer usa, newborn photographer usa, Illinois maternity photographer, central Illinois maternity photographer, Lincoln Illinois maternity photographer, springfield Illinois maternity photographer, Peoria Illinois maternity photographer, Decatur Illinois maternity photographer, Bloomington Illinois maternity photographer, normal Illinois maternity photographer