mcquillan | family lifestyle photographer

Fall sessions with return clients who have become friends are one of  the reasons that I have chosen to be a photographer.  Anyone can take pictures of a lot of people.  But if those people don’t come back to you, you must be doing something wrong.  I want images that not only showcase my talent, but that tell a family’s story.

I know that most parents want every picture of their child smiling and behaving, but my favorite shots every time are the ones where the child lets down their guard and is comfortable enough with me to NOT smile.  That’s when I know I’ve won them over.  And those images, to me, are the most priceless.

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larson family | lifestyle family photographer

We could not have asked for a more beautiful or perfect evening when these pictures were taken.  We had had so much rain leading up to this session and more threatening to come later that evening.  We even talked about rescheduling again.  Yes, again.  The first time the kiddos got sick.  But I am so thankful we didn’t reschedule.

I have had two evenings like this in the nine years I have been a photographer.  Two!  This night was one of them and the other was a few years back at the same place when rain was on its way but we beat it.

Imagine, if you will, Nebraska with no wind, no annoying black biting bugs (or, as we Michiganders like to call them, “noseeums”) and perfect temperature.  I know, it’s hard to imagine but it happened people.  I’m telling you!  Throw into that mix my favorite set of triplets in the entire universe and their awesome parents.  Yeah, it was a perfect evening for sure.

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mamas | lifestyle photographer

{my babies}

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A mama loves her babies in a far greater way than anyone else can.  There is just something about that bond that can’t be broken.  Whether it be through birth, adoption, foster, or mentoring, no one can match that relationship.

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I have the world’s best mother!   She isn’t perfect, but that’s part of what makes her so wonderful.  She has always been someone I knew would be praying for me no matter the circumstance and continues no matter my age.   I can say without a doubt that she prays for me still, every day. I can see her now sitting at the kitchen table with her Bible opened and head bowed. That gives me so much peace to know that someone is interceding daily on my behalf.

A stay-at-home-mom who valued her family more than anyone or anything else.  I always knew that she would be there for me if I needed to leave school early,  had to stay home due to sickness or needed to walk home from elementary to have her fix my boo boo because she could do it better than anyone else, including the school nurse.  She has always been patient and intolerant of gossip.  And that is the kind of mother I always hoped I would be.  Whether I have succeeded or not is yet to be determined.

One thing I know is this… no other woman can love my babies like I can.  Motherhood is not easy, but there has never been a single day when I have regretted it or wished for something different.  My life has been more rewarding than I could have even hoped or imagined.  The day in and day out is not only something I cherish but it’s also something I miss terribly.  For me, personally, it was definitely my calling.

So to all of the mothers out there that are feeling overwhelmed, underappreciated, exhausted, less-than, I tell you this.  There is no greater reward on this earth and no higher calling.  I see you and I appreciate you.  And one day, your child will too.  And one more thing… no one else can love your babies like YOU can!

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claire and her babies | family lifestyle photographer

I have one blood sister and six sisters-in-law.  None of whom did I get to choose but would have if given the opportunity because I love them all dearly.  But Claire is a sister I have been able to choose.

We both moved to our community around the same time and were alley neighbors.  Our friendship grew as time passed and now I consider her a sister.  In fact, my husband and kids even consider her and her kids extended family.

It is always a privilege for me to capture her and her kiddos with my camera.  It’s not always easy to work out our schedules, but once we do we have a good time and I get to shoot some of my favorite little people.  Tell me that these four are not the cutest family you have ever seen.  I dare you.


mcquillan | family lifestyle photographer

I seem to be just a wee bit behind on my posts.  Looks like I’ll be playing catch up over the next week before Thanksgiving hits me.

I love it when I have a client who sees my vision.  Of course, it always helps when the client is a friend and really knows my work.  It makes the session so much more enjoyable and I don’t feel the need to constantly remind my family to have fun.  I mean, shouldn’t that come naturally anyway?  How much better could it get than playing outside on a beautiful fall evening with the love of your life and your kids?  Let me answer that for you.  It doesn’t get better.


young love | family lifestyle photographer

Just because your nest is empty and has been for quite some time, doesn’t mean it is devoid of love and laughter.  These two are proof of that and I love them dearly!  What a great example to younger couples around them.

I love how they look at each other as if each was seeing the other for the very first time.

I have no idea what they were saying to each other throughout the shoot, but I did have to tell them at one point that secrets don’t make friends.  That didn’t stop them though.     😉

My absolute favorites from this session are the ones on the front porch.  There is nothing more meaningful and real as someone in their own home.  Plus, they are such sweet shots and I have a special spot in my heart for front porches and days gone by.

I just love these two so, so much!



hadley family | family lifestyle photographer

Going into this night I was recalling the last attempt at a session with this family. We laugh about it now (and actually then) because it was just one of those things. The littlest one was younger and had to be awakened from a late nap.  Then, the sun was setting quickly.  There was just no winning.  If I recall correctly, it was a last minute thing because the temperature was perfect and the Mr. was not out in the fields with harvest.

But this attempt was a complete success!  No tears, no waking from naps, plenty of time before the sun set, smiles, silliness and an all around beautiful evening.