How to Tastefully Decorate Your Home with Photos!

The easiest and most personal decoration any home can have is photos. I have photos ALL OVER my house. Lots of people aren’t sure what to do with all of the photos they receive from a session. You can only hang so many on your wall before it becomes too overwhelming. Am I right? Keep reading if you want to learn a thing or two about how to display your images without them taking over your house.

1. The Mantel. If you have a fireplace or mantel of some sort, girl get those pictures on there! Cute and simple frames, a few meaningful decorations and you can switch out the photos every season. Then of course, one large framed print above. It’s traditional yes, but it’s the perfect spot to display the one family photo you love.

2. Floating shelves. This is my favorite way to get creative with photos! You can purchase shelves anywhere like Etsy or you can easily have them made. Hang them together or separate and fill them with photos of different sizes. Add a couple accent pieces and TA-DA! You have about 9-10 photos displayed in one spot that isn’t overbearing.

3. Entry way table. Many people have a little table as you enter their home that politely screams, welcome! Why not use this opportunity to mix in some photos with a few seasonal decorations to help you home feel more welcoming and homey?

4. Decor with built in frames. Not like cheesy decor, I don’t do cheesy. But we received this gorgeous cross picture frame for our wedding, and up until we moved in to this house had no where to put it. It works perfect for our dining room and since it is more of a decor piece, the photos don’t take it over.

5. Kids rooms. Do your kids like to take your phone right after you take a picture of them to see themselves? Well then where better to display their photos than in their rooms?! Trust me, your kiddo will LOVE this surprise!

6. Above your bed. Yup, your room too. Falling asleep and waking up to my family leaves me with a sense of gratitude. And everyone who comes to our house and sees it LOVES it!

7. On your bedroom wall. It’s your bedroom. YOUR bedroom. Of all the places in your house to be reminded of your love, your bedroom should be the #1 spot. Having a photo of you and your spouse is a must. Whether it is from your engagement photos, your wedding photos, or your family photos (pro tip: always get at least one of just you two at family photos). Throw a cute sign up by it and there ya go!

8. Your nightstand and dressers. My oldest daughter has 2 photos on her dresser. One with her daddy and one with me. My youngest has a family one on her shelf in her room (changing pad still has her dresser taken over). Just one or 2, and I promise you will smile every time you see them.

9. On your desk and shelves. My office is covered in photos. I have a family one on my desk with a cute succulent. I have 4 on my bookshelf to add some accents. Then on the other shelf in my office I have 7 more. A couple newborn photos of each of the girls and some special candid family moments.

10. Albums. Give me all the beautiful albums!This is the easiest way to have all of your photos from a session in one spot or even from a trip. Before making albums here’s an important tip: order your professional photos from a professional. The quality will be absolutely outstanding and it will last generations. It gives you completely different emotions when you hold a quality album in your hands than a cheap one.

Why You Need to Reconsider Hiring a Birth Photographer

Why You Need to Reconsider Hiring a Birth Photographer

We like the think we will remember; remember very last details of the most important days of our lives. We do; well, kinda. We remember the feels, some of our thoughts and maybe what we said a time or two but how about the raw in the moment emotion? Will we REALLY (I mean, truly) ever remember that? Probably not. You will certainly remember how your heart felt like it was going to burst when they placed your baby in your arms but without a photographer, you will miss so much. You will miss all of the wonderful facial expressions and special details. The simple answer to photographing your child’s birth is, yes. It is worth the money and then some. Here’s the value momma, those moments, the raw emotional moments are ones you can never get back.

A photographer is not only another person along with you for this journey but a friend there with you, too. Maybe even an extra nurse, some would say. He/she will be there to capture you in all your glory; the tears, the pain but more importantly the moments you can look back on when you are in need of an extra reminder of just how strong you are. Birth photography will capture it all; those few minutes just before you became a mother and then, you can browse forward and view the images taken when you first held a part of your heart.

After you give birth, you will be SO exhausted. At the same time, you will feel a whirlwind of different emotions–excited, sentimental, maybe hungry, more then likely, thirsty; all the things! As awful as it may sound, photos can sometimes be easily forgotten. One thing leads to another and suddenly you forget to ask your husband to grab his phone and snap a photo of the baby’s height and weight.Just like that, it’s gone. It may sound like little things now but I promise girl, these are big things! Things you will want to remember and hold on to until the end of time. It is all sorts of little amazingly, wonderful life changing things and you should have someone designated to handle the importance of this while you and your spouse soak in all that is your newborn!

Hiring a fab birth photographer=relationships! You will bond in a big way with the photographer sharing the birth of your babe. Maybe he/she already snapped your maternity photos (maybe even your wedding) you could possibly have a little ground there already, however nothing will top being in the delivery room. That is as raw and real as you will get. Once the birth is over and you hopefully had a phenomenal experience with your photographer, you will have a new found friendship with this person, too. Regardless of if you were already friends, this will be next level (I mean, momma, you just gave BIRTH!) This is an opportunity for you to have a photographer you know and love, forever! As your family continues to grow, this is a relationship you will always be grateful for! After all, photos last a lifetime.

Hiring A Professional for Newborn Photography

Hiring A Professional for Newborn Photography

Photographing your beautiful new baby while he or she dozes off to dreamland; simple, right?! Wrong. Trust me when I say, you will not regret leaving these moments to a photographer. Someone who is trained in both handling a baby in shoot mode and in editing is the answer. Before you give birth (especially if this is your first) you may think you’ll have tons of time for taking cute photos, I mean what will you even do all day, otherwise?! Wrong, again! Sorry momma but you my friend will always have something to do. Whether it be laundry, meal prep or hey, a little nap while the baby naps? Before you know it, the window for capturing the perfect sleeping baby photos will be closed.

So–lets talk about that “window” I just mentioned, shall we?! Most newborn photographers will tell you its best to snap these memories as soon as possible. Usually, within the first week, two weeks being the latest. This is the time where your precious bundle will be soundly sleeping for most of the day and easy to “work” with. This makes taking the photos yourself even more tricky. The first two weeks are normally the time you are finding your groove as a mom or again, trying to catch up on some sleep! Once this time frame passes it is absolutely still possible to take photos but it will be much more difficult for everyone involved especially the squirmy little one.

Although time as a new parents seems to go by slow, I promise when you look back it will seem like it flew by. Photos are the one thing that you will have to cherish when that sweet time is passed. While your photographer is with you, be sure to include yourself, spouse and older siblings in a photo or two. This is one other really important thing to remember; doing these yourself will not allow you to be captured too. Maybe you don’t see the importance of that right now, today but someday you will and even more so, someday your little one will cherish those momma photos, too! The little fingers, the tiny toes, peaceful images of your sleeping newborn in the most adorable outfits; you will never regret having these images done and done well. I can’t however promise that you won’t regret opting out of a newborn session.


The Wedding Experience Magazine

The Wedding Experience Magazine

Over the past couple months we have discussed all things, wedding! I hope that some of my tips were useful as you plow through your to do list of wedding such things. The last piece of bridal I want to include in my little segment here is about a perk I offer, exclusively to Lauren Maggi brides. If you’ve enjoy talking wedding with me, I am sure you will love this bridal bonus, too!

If you decide to book with me, you are in great hands! Each of my bridals receive a printed copy of a magazine I created especially for this purpose. As a photographer I love details and this is my favorite way to walk each of my clients through literally each (and every single little) part of their day! From the moment you book me, you have a friend throughout the wedding process! In the magazine you receive I go over everything, no joke! After you flip through you will know exactly what to expect and as a bride, I know this will be so appreciated. In this exclusive piece of literature I walk you through engagement photos from session tips to outfit inspiration.

In the “Wedding Experience” I give you a sample wedding day timeline and from here explain just how the day will go, on my end. Back to loving details, I love capturing your accessories so in this magazine, I list just what I’d like you to gather up so you are able to have these great “detail” images to look back on. This magazine has everything from “getting ready” tips all the way to the reception tips. Thinking you aren’t into the “first look” thing? I give you some great information that believe me, you will want to read before making a decision! When we part ways on your big day, you won’t have to worry about the sometimes confusing online gallery. I got you Mrs. I explain that in the Wedding Experience, too!

I have been blessed to work with amazing brides, year after year! It is truly so wonderful to be a part of something so important. Capturing these special days is something I do not ever take lightly. As a photographer, I want to provide you with memories to last a lifetime as well as a flawless, enjoyable experience. When you look back on your images I want you to be completely satisfied with each and every piece. My calendar for 2019 is nearly full but I would love to work with you, too! So if you’d like to meet up and chat about how I may be a great fit for you, contact me to set up a chat! I can’t wait to be apart of your wedding experience!

The Dress!

The Dress!

Trumpet. Aline. Ballgown. Yes, the choices can be overwhelming. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t HAVE to be this way. Dress shopping can be light hearted, fun and one of your favorite experiences. Modern day shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” and of course, Pinterest make shopping for the perfect gown seem a little intimidating. How will I ever know? I haven’t cried yet, this must mean it’s still out there! Then the added, mom loves this one and you love that one stressor. Continue reading and I will let you in on some of the biggest bridal secrets.

The Appointment Crowd

It’s natural to want all your favorite girls present when shopping for your wedding gown. You want to share laughs, tears, dreams and this once in a lifetime experience; gotcha! However, here’s the thing about bringing a big group: opinions! They love you so they will (probably, maybe, usually?) feel like telling you their truest thoughts (out of love). On the flip side, even if they are a great, quiet bunch, opinions will still probably be a little overwhelming. Most stores have required appointments which means, you can’t necessary take as much time as you want. Weeding through “do you like this one?!” yes and no’s will be time consuming and also, your feelings may tend to get a little lost. Here’s a suggestion: take a small number of close family and friends, 5 tops. Once you have chosen your dress, ask to make another appointment to try it on and this time, bring the second half of the ladies who were not there the first time! Don’t want to hurt any feelings?! The store has a limit of people per appointment 😉

Tears? Or No Tears?

You may bawl your eyes out when you see yourself standing in THE dress. Your heart may overflow with sheer emotion and tissue will be a must. Does everyone cry? Absolutely not. One of the most common thoughts when shopping for gowns in the idea that you need that heart exploding, emotional feeling in order to know it’s the one. This can lead to a number of different stores, appointments and in the end, heartache! You may never cry. Some brides commit to a great dress without a tear but when they step into it on their wedding day, that’s when the emotions kick in. Follow your heart and bring some of your head to make the right decision. You will know in your gut but girl please, don’t wait for the tears!

Models are Models

The dress you have been staring at, dreaming about and crushing on for years is the dress you will wear on your wedding day. Until that is, you try it on and realize, it is so totally wrong for you. Bridal designers are smart, this is their profession so of course each gown is going to be modeled in the perfect, designed just for her, body. Often times, thicker girls will envision a ball gown to help “cover” what they don’t want to show. Thin girls will dream of the fitted gown to show off what they love. I am about to share something with you that will surprise the heck out of most. Mermaid gowns look best on curvy girls because YOU have hips, girl! This is a GREAT blessing to a mermaid or fit n’ flare. Ball gowns look great on thin girls because you girl, will rock it! Now, this doesn’t mean curvy ladies can’t wear ballgowns and slim ladies can’t do mermaids; my point is you will not know the fit that looks best on you until you try gowns on. Go into your appointment(s) with an open mind, willing to try whatever the consultant throws your way! You may be surprised at what you end up feeling confidently beautiful in.

Your Day; Your Dress

It can add some turmoil when your sister, mom, grandma, whoever, fall in love with a different dress then you do. If you are a people pleaser you may be tempted to agree with them because you start to believe they know what’s best or maybe just because, you want to make them happy. Regardless of who is paying for your dress, regardless of who loves it; it is yours! The dress you chose to wear on the most important day of your life sets a tone. It is so symbolic. You will be seeing photos of this very gown, forever! On walls, everywhere! Your children, your grandchildren; they will all want to know about your dress; no pressure! Don’t be afraid to chose the gown that is touching your heart, even if you stand alone in that choice. I can guarantee, your groom will love it as much as you do and on your wedding day, grandma will come around to loving it, too. Oh and when you find your dress, stop looking! It’s like a fiance, ladies; once you commit, don’t go searching more! This will only give you a giant headache.

Have fun with your searching experience. It’s not everyday you can play dress up in pretty dresses that make your feeling like a princess! Always be sure to be kind and respectful to the bridal consultants that work with you, they are pulling and lugging around dresses in hopes to find your dream one. If you are in Illinois, check out my favorite boutique Marien Mae for a wonderful dress experience. Tell them I sent ya and one last time for the ladies in the back; enjoy all the moments!