April 2018

Fake Fall Family Portraits

I'll tell you, the weather really can mess with us.

Sometimes it's bad - like rain on your wedding day (thank you, Alanis) or snow in the spring (no thank you).

On the flip side, sometimes it can actually work to our advantage - like when there's NO snow in December. 

I met this lovely family - TWENTY-ONE strong! - in December. There should have been snow on the ground and a sharp windchill in the air. Instead, we had what I'm calling Fake Fall. 


Not only was it warm enough to be outside, this Fake Fall day was warm enough to be outside with NO COATS! In December! Lucky us!

So what if the weather didn't cooperate? Here are three options I offer my clients:

  1. GRIN AND BEAR IT. If it's super-windy, cold and freezing rain, this is clearly NOT an option. But cloudy and cool? No problem! 
  2. GO INSIDE While this one seems simple, it's not always a favorite choice if you've had your heart set on photos outside. I get it, but the change in scenery sometimes works out better than you'd think! Plus, depending on the size of your group, this may be a WAY EASIER choice than finding another date that works for everyone. We can use your home, my studio or another venue with permission.
  3. RESCHEDULE. While I try not to reschedule unless ABSOLUTELY necessary, sometimes it just is. 

Back to this great family.

Their fearless leader, Laura, told me ahead of time that her family can be loud and fun. I know she meant it as a warning, but all I could think is, "well, these must be my people." Yup. We were loud, we had fun and I could DEFINITELY tell they are a close-knit family. The love was absolutely palpable.

(Plus, there were dogs!)

Sometimes you just need to have fun. Sisterly love at its finest...


Thank you Belsky family for a wonderful Saturday afternoon in December and inviting me into your little corner of the world. It was truly a pleasure to get to know you all! xo

Do you have a family reunion or a holiday gathering planned for this summer? I would love to work with your family - large or small - to coordinate family portraits. Let's talk!

Local Business Spotlight | Lori Mendelsohn

Lori Mendelsohn

Uncommon Man LLC



Who is your ideal client?
Men between the ages of 30-65 who want to develop their own personal style or do a fashion reboot

How did you get started in your field of work?
I have been a fashion designer for 33 years. I love helping people look great and feel great. And combining the two passions-fashion and helping people-everyone feels better for it.

What is something people THINK they know about your job? 
That to look fashionable you have to spend a fortune when the truth is... you don't! 

Name one thing you WISH people knew about your job?
That, as in every single business, you have to have a flair and passion for what you do to be successful. If it feels like a job, its not the right gig for you.

What do you love most about your job?
Having men call me and tell me how great they feel.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in your industry?
Understand how clothing is made and where real value is.

What is the ONE book that you think I should read RIGHT NOW?
Duct Tape Marketing    by John Jantsch


Company Website   https://uncommonman.net
Business Phone   414.941.5715
Email       hello@uncommonman.net or lori@uncommonman.net

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Elm Grove Family Portraits | At Home with the Kandulas

I really enjoy going to the homes of my clients for portrait sessions. Not only do I get to steal their decorating ideas (hee hee), it gives me a chance to push myself photographically, challenge my creativity and rev up my imagination.

Shooting in clients' homes is not as easy as setting up in my studio. There, I know what to expect from the surroundings, how much space I have to work with and what the background will look like. It's MY home base.

When I go to a client's home, sometimes I get to preview the location, but sometimes it doesn't work out. So I have to wing it. And think on my feet. 

Luckily, I've been to the Kandula home before. The last time I was there, we created some full-on Christmas portraits as well as some beautiful time-neutral extended family portraits.

Merry Christmas, 2015! (Don't forget your fur baby!)

Merry Christmas, 2015! (Don't forget your fur baby!)

This time, they wanted to do something different -- and maybe not quite as festive. After a brief tour of their (gorgeous!!) home, I set my vision in motion. We settled on two rooms (saving some others for next time, perhaps?). One was a basement bar and the other.... well, let's see if you can figure it out.

Aren't they classy? This family has some exceptionally great taste. And that bar? It's not your average Wisconsin basement bar, that's for sure!

Here are some others from the same session... would you believe we were in a WINE CELLAR? The brick wall was calling to me. 

Oh, and you know how I always say, "Quick before they grow up?" The photos below were from our session in 2015. I never kid around when talking about babies growing up. It happens too fast, and amazingly, right before our eyes.

Do you want some in-home family portraits? Would you rather come to my studio for a cleaner look? Or maybe you want an outdoor setting? I aim to please! My number one goal is to create images that will reflect your style and personality. Let's talk!

Northern Illinois Family Portraits | And Baby Makes Four

I first met Matthew on Leap Day in 2012.

Matthew, just a few weeks old in 2012.

Matthew, just a few weeks old in 2012.

If you would fast-forward with me to 2017, I got to meet his little brother, Evan. Aww. 

Evan, a few months old in 2017. (Raise your hand if you love your mama!)

Evan, a few months old in 2017. (Raise your hand if you love your mama!)

I've been honored to be this family's official photographer. Year after year, I love seeing how much kids grow. I love marking their ages by capturing them having belly-time, sitting up, crawling and then, finally, running (away from the camera, natch). 

Of course this means Jenna and Dan will have a great trove of family history to look back on. Here are just a few from over the years... (Is something in the air? I'm feeling sentimental!)

That little baby in the first picture up at the top? He's now in KINDERGARTEN. Time flies, my friends. Time flies.

I adore this kid but it's a real shame that he's clearly got zero personality. Yeah... I'll bet his teachers adore him.

And then there's the baby of the family... Mr. Evan of Chubby Cheek Land.

Jenna told me that Matty's favorite thing is to play with trucks and cars and dinosaurs.

Evan's favorite activity? Waking up every three hours. 


It's always so nice to see Jenna and Dan and the littles every year. We get to briefly catch up - between smiling, chasing and snack times, that is.

And then there's nap time. Good night!


Since the midwest apparently has no Spring, I am now booking family sessions for this... SUMMER. (wink wink)

Muskego Children's Photography | Spring-time!

I've had parents come to me with their energetic little ones and give me the knowing head nod. The head nod that says, "We've been here before. Good luck. I'm not so sure you will win this battle."

To which I say, "Game on!" I accept your challenge.

Mara, a wonderful mom of three met me at a local park on what turned out to be an incredibly windy day. And then it started raining. But not before we got a LOAD of amazing, beautiful, expressive shots of her darling kids.


When the three siblings were together at one time, it was clear that they DO actually like each other. This is photo is proof. 

Sometimes it's just a little easier to photograph siblings separately. What I loved about these three is their highly distinctive personalities. Clearly, Henry is the adorable, silly baby of the family. You may be able to guess who the middle, spunky child is. That's Hailey. And Hannah is the oldest, therefore, self-declared leader of the group.

When I look for locations for my photo shoots, I like to find places that have a variety of settings. Our location on this day, for example, has a large, open grassy field. It has some old, barn-wood buildings. It has rocky paths leading around wooded areas. 

Not only is it nice to have some variety in the background of the photos, walking from place to place keeps the kids entertained and focused. Win, win.

On this day, the most important part of the park turned out to be a wooden pathway underneath a canopy of trees. Why so special? Because it started to rain! But underneath nature's umbrella, we had no idea just how much it was coming down!

By the end of the session, the kids were worn out, they had earned their lollipops and I had what I needed to show mom that I won her challenge. These are three absolutely beautiful and spirited children. 


I'm now booking sessions for family and kids. It may be blustery outside but Spring and Summer ARE coming. They literally have no choice! (I say so.) Contact me right away to get your session booked for good (or even "decent") weather.