Friday, May 20, 2011

naperville riverwalk wedding photos

the day was perfect.
a happy couple, an intimate setting (with a crowd of onlookers that is),
warm sun, soft breeze, water, trees, a covered bridge,
playfulness, love, & beauty all around.

thanks for giving me the privilege of photographing your wedding!
loving shooting on the naperville riverwalk.

grace & peace,

NEW! Adoption themed prints

{fine art prints available here}

it seems these days i am surrounded by friends who are adopting, i can think of at least 6 people in my life who are either in the process or have just brought a little one home. i cannot tell you how much i admire these families: they are literally changing lives for these children, giving them a hope and a future they most likely would not have ever had. they live out their faith and sacrifice for the sake of others.

i have had an adoption print for a few years which i created for DEMDACO, but when my friend brought home her little boy from the congo, she alluded to the fact that my artwork is a little "vanilla".

well, i agreed & took her up on a little photoshoot with herself, the proud mama of 2 beautiful boys, and her precious new baby!

{fine art prints available here}

i then created the above Scripture of Ephesians 1:4-6, as i have always loved the idea of being CHOSEN by God the Father, and as He adopts us into His heavenly kingdom, so my friends are choosing and adopting their children into their earthly homes.

{fine art prints available here}

and, the above passage found in james always makes me think of our old church, first baptist of downers grove. they are TRULY living out this Scripture: many of the women i know who are adopting or have adopted attend this church and the church runs an entire widows ministry in which they serve and encourage the widows of the church. it is truly amazing and incredibly admirable.

{fine art prints available here}

this is the original "vanilla" adoption print... and, in my defense, it is actually multi-cultural: can't you tell that is an asian hand with a mixed baby hand?! (my hubby & my daughter) ha!

if any of you are in the process of adopting and are doing fundraisers for your adoption, please contact me with your story and i would love to let you know what i am willing to offer. you can contact me through my shop.

grace & peace,

Sunday, May 15, 2011

2012 Seasons of Faith Calendar by Julie Chen

i am so thrilled to announce my 2012 calendar has recently arrived at my doorstep! it is a very handy-dandy utilitarian calendar in that at the bottom of each month's design there are 2 pockets in which you can store cards, receipts, tickets, invitations... you name it... any type of reminder you need is at your fingertips.

the calendar is produced by avalanche publishing who is the sister company of lang!

here is a month by month sampler of art:

i will have these for sale in the shop later in the year, but for now KELLY McC YOU will be getting one on tuesday as a special thanks for giving me the idea to create such a product. (she so sweetly last year said, "i would decorate with more of your art, but am out of wall space! can't you make a calendar?!" or something like that :)

grace & peace,

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

downers grove photography locations

downers grove photography!
i wanted to be able to show my child & family photography clients some recent shots i have taken around town and in neighboring suburbs, so that they can chose what will fit their "look" the best... here goes! (get ready, there are LOTS of adorable chen kid photos in this post :)

{must be shot on a sunday afternoon, when the shops are closed & the town is nice & quiet. has great brick textures, pathways, landscaping, and brightly colored doors, as well as close to the traintracks so that we can get an urban feel}


{to die for bluebells, though i do not know how much longer they will be in bloom; a great barn to create a grid for your pic, sweet bench, path, trees, and a big ole white porch}


{great stone textures and steps to frame a family; a lovely bridge; nature; paths; beautiful anytime of year!} {see more here}

{tons of green grass; a HUGE hill for great angle; a bridge; rows of trees; playgrounds}

{especially stunning in the fall, but anytime of year...a lovely forest and another bridge; some stonework nearby}

{anything nature you can imagine: trees, flowers, lush grass... one of my favorite all time locations ... does cost extra though for a photography permit} {to see LOTS more of the morton arboretum shots, just click on my label on the left}

there you have it! thanks for sticking with me :)
enjoy choosing your favorite locations!

grace & peace,

Monday, May 9, 2011

mommy guilt

{my lovelies at the morton aroboretum}

i hope all of you mommies had a lovely mother's day! our day was great. earlier in the week pumpkin poos gave me a splendid paper crown & macaroni necklace (which i wore all day), my favorite little mister wrote me an acrostic poem and woke me up with origami flowers (which will never die) & my sunshine girl created a whole "MOM" book in kindergarten...

just what i needed from sunshine girl: a little dose of mommy guilt! if you cannot read the page, it says, "All day my mom works" & the drawing, well! it is EXACTLY what i look like!


i know it's perception & i do my best to work when they are fully occupied, but evidently that is not going as well as i had hoped, as this is what she thinks of me?!

i also created this custom art for a friend, whose hubby did great arranging for the gift & kiddos kept the secret from mommy! it was such a fun shoot, full of bribery & piggy toes. the poem was given to my friend from her grandmother & i am now thinking i will need to create one of these images for my own home too!

grace & peace,

Thursday, May 5, 2011

some thoughts on mothering

{an authentic robin's nest taken after our visit to the farm
at my hubby's cousin's house;

mama bird decided to nest on their front porch!}

with mother's day soon approaching, i have been thinking about how i have personally changed as a mommy of three wonderful blessings. mothering has grown me in ways i did even know were possible. you see, though i always wanted to have children, i am not the "kid type"... well, more like not the "baby type". pass me your baby & he or she will surely be crying within minutes. that said, sam & i waited a bit to start our family & wow.... how God has blown me away at the pure joy of mothering.

it is an awesome blessing & responsibility to nurture my little ones into adults who will someday spread their own wings and fly out into the world. who knew my heart could love so much? so endlessly. so selflessly. so unconditionally. i try to with my hubby of course, but really, in a marriage relationship there is give & take. a thank you. a smile. a gesture of love given back.

but, a newborn?! they sleep. they poop. they cry. a lot.
and yet, the instant i met my miracles, my heart fell fully in love with them forever. not based on what they did or who they would become, but simply because they were MINE. flesh of my flesh.

and, that gave me just a glimpse and realization of how our Heavenly Father loves us. definitely NOT because of what we have "done", but simply because we are His. He is all-out-fully in love with us. we are His.

as a mom, i have grown:
more compassionate, more selfless, more aware of our world and it's needs, more playful again (woohoo! an excuse to jump through a sprinkler or fingerpaint), more discerning towards others, more loving, more generous, more concerned for others well-being (like the other mommy who may be having one of those days & i can just smile & say, "i've been there too... my child too threw a fit in the library while trying not to leave, so i had to carry her football style out with everyone watching."), and i am sure i have grown in other ways also.

what has most changed in you since entering the journey of motherhood?

{here is the day i was forever changed,
the day my favorite little mister was born}

{here is the day my heart expanded even MORE,
how could i love ANOTHER child so much?!
well, that love came so strong & i love sunshine girl so much}

{and, here is the third surprise blessing in my life,
pumpkin poos, i could not imagine life without you;
your smile, your spirit, your kisses & hugs
and look at what a great photographer daddy became!}

happy early mother's day to all you mommies out there! and to the grandmas who are STILL mommies :)

grace & peace,