Decatur Illinois Families | Summer Portrait Sessions with Sarah Jane

Well SJP summers are usually chock full of the latest senior class (hey class of 2022, we see you!), but whew boy is summer 2021 all about these stunning Central Illinois (and Missouri…. yes, even though I said I wasn’t staring work in Missouri until 2022, oooops… I did!) families!

I’ve gotten to celebrate not one, but TWO, 50th wedding anniversaries this summer by creating brand new family portraits for these lovely couples and the generations they’ve grown. Plus, I created my first ever 4th of July ‘Christmas’ cards for a brand new SJP family.

First up, to share today are a few of my favorites from the Kuhn family. I am just so grateful and thankful for them trusting me over the years. They have two seriously great kids, who are I guess really not ‘kids’ anymore now! And they are always such a pleasure to work with and create for. We just put the finishing touches on their family album which we selected to match Alex & Lindy’s senior albums. Plus, I cannot wait to see their final canvas selection above their mantle soon.

I’m so excited for the three image collection we designed for this next family’s wall. My favorite part is the little surprise in the palm of the littest’s hand…. a daddy long leg she found got to join them for the session. Dad says she loves them so it was a perfect little dose of personality that only a knowing eye could find! And we ended up with almost perfectly mirrored images of both girls that worked perfectly on either side of the main family portrait.

Last up today I get to share the Anderson/Jones family! These guys were all laughs on session and their energy was infectious. I’m excited to get their whole family portrait framed up in the next week so it can make it to it’s home on their walls.

Maternity & Newborn Portrait Sessions in Central Illinois

Our last blog post took a look at the very end of our Baby Grows Portrait Plan. Today, we get to take a look at the very beginnings with two families! This beautiful family had one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever photographed (and I mean the could all be super models!) so I was so thrilled when Britnie got in touch and let me know they were expected to welcome the newest member to the family in June and they wanted me to create the portraits to celebrate. This little lady is expected to arrive in just a few days and I cannot wait to meet her soon.

Remember Jase from the last blog post!?!? Well this is his beautiful new little sister, Stella! Not to brag, but I get to hang out with her through the next two years and I cannot wait to see her little personality blossom and grow. It’s so much fun to see these little lives begin. We created a canvas series like this for Jase’s newborn so, of course, we designed one with Stella to match!

Baby Grows Newborn through Toddler Portrait Sessions

Nothing can pull at my heartstrings more than the final client pickup as a kiddo ‘graduates’ from their baby grows series. It feels like we’re taking them out of the precious little toddler bubble and sending them out into childhood to take on a bit more of the world and as we all know to keep on growing faster and faster.

The birth of my own little ladies led to a quick expansion of our ‘Baby Grows’ series because I realized that one year was not enough. SO much changes from 1-2 years old. They seem to become themselves in that time, morphing from a little squishy baby literally toddling through the world bouncing off one thing or another into a little person making choices and testing the limits of their world. They get taller, their little baby cheeks get a bit slimmer and their eyes get a whole lot ornerier (<<< spelled it right the first time, no lie).

This spring not only did I have TWO little boys finishing up their entire series but one of them has a new little sister who just started hers. These kids, and their families, are quite literally my own family’s roots in this community. We planted SJP here 10 years ago and ya’ll have helped grow this little dream into this career and I love you all for it. Keep bringing me these perfect little squishy babies to cuddle too because we are done done done making our own. 😉

Take a look at Jase! I’ve been photographing his family since his older brother Grant was born and I just got to do their largest family portrait yet when they welcomed his litter sister Stella to the family too! It’s been such a joy to watch this family grow. They make some seriously cute kids!

And Hudson…. well omg can I just tell you this kid makes me smile every single time. He’s been smiling from his very first session and I swear it just melts your dang soul! Plus, I’m totally in love with his love for his big sis, she’s got the magic touch and always the best assistant in getting the laughs on session.

And after hanging out with these kids for TWO years we even gift them something special for the wall so they never forget these tiny little moments/expressions.

| Layla & Aaliyah’s session at the SJP studio! |

I talked to Santa this week guys… for real. We’re looking ahead to great things coming your way this holiday season at SJP including the chance to not just meet Santa but to hang out and decorate some cookies with him too. Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 14th (Christmas set without Santa Limited Edition Session) and Sunday, November 15th for Santa Experience. Why am I telling you about all this right now?!?! Well, we still have One for One gift cards available this month only (buy one gift card for yourself and we’ll gift one to the essential worker of your choice!) and that gift card can be applied to any sessions this year including your Christmas portraits and Santa Experience!

Any to brighten up your afternoon how about a peek back at one of this year’s Christmas sessions. Aren’t they just the sweetest sisters?!?!

| Alden’s One Year Old Cake Smash Session at the SJP Studio! |

Alden might just hold the new SJP record for farthest traveled for his big session day… all the way from South Africa! And let me tell you it was a real treat as he’s just the sweetest. He had me wrapped around his little finger before the session was even over.

We knew ahead of time we’d be planning for a Captain America cake smash session and while Christmas shopping I just happened to find these perfect cookies and couldn’t resist picking up a couple for his session. They gave us the perfect not so messy treat to photograph before we let him dive into the whole cake!

And this gorgeous cake… brought to you by local favorite Bodine’s Baking Company! They’ve done some amazing cakes/cookies for my own girl’s birthdays and I always highly recommend them for our cake smash sessions.

I’m SO ready to celebrate some of your BIG little birthdays again! I’ve got an April baby myself turning 5 next week and I’d love to hear any creative ways you guys have celebrated your little’s birthdays while staying at home this year. Be sure to follow our personal IG to tune into my attempt to create a mermaid cake as requested (I’ve failed at simple chocolate chip cookies THREE times during #stayathome2020 so this should be fun).