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valerie-maternity-40-Editfall maternity photo ideas poses natural light

Before it officially became winter here in Chicago (like yesterday, gah!), the fall foliage still tempted with its rustic beauty. Enter Valerie and her stunning bump – perfect for a roll around the leaves. This lovely momma-to-be will welcome her second baby any day now around Thanksgiving, and I can’t think of anything to be more grateful for at this time of year. And doesn’t Valerie look like an angel clad in a flowing white gown?

Some readers have asked how it seems like my clients always know just what to wear for a shoot.

In case you haven’t worked with me, I typically go over wardrobe with my clients, which helps them prepare and feel more comfortable in front of the camera. I also usually have a very specific vision, and if they don’t have what I’m looking for, they often will go out and hunt it down, wear it for the shoot, and return it. If you’re not actually a professional model with tons of clothing options at your disposal, this is what we average folks do!

There you have it – now that this pro tip is out the bag, hit me up here for more trade secrets on nailing the perfect shoot!

xo, Melissa

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enhanced-11789-1415400405-8It may only be the second week of November, but believe it or not, the holiday season is already in full swing – and taking THE festive family photo for the perfect card is about to become a major priority. BuzzFeed’s roundup today of babies who totally nailed their first Christmas shoot provide some fun inspo – including two photos of Lil G! These two happen to be my most pinned, most stolen images – so thank you, BuzzFeed, for the appropriate credits! As of this post, I’ve gotten several thousand hits on my Facebook page in just a couple hours. Now go on – feast your eyes on all these festive cuties and take some cues for your own holiday card! (Click here for more tips from me on how to take unique holiday photos!)

xo, Melissa

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fall portrait ideas

Have you ever met someone who is so darn likeable – the sweetest really – and is also, like, next-level hotness? It seems a little unfair that someone could be so all-around badass, but there you have it . . . meet Diem, the sweetest, hottest, best blue crab-eating partner, and most badass beauty artist around town. Did I mention that she’s also a self-made entrepreneur? Yep, when you and I were partying our arses off at 19, Diem was busy starting her own hair and makeup artistry business in Chicago. Fast forward 6 years, she is now one of the city’s (and beyond) most sought after beauty experts. Diem manages a traveling team of professionals and has worked her magic on models, pageant winners, brides and celebrities alike.

I’ve known Diem for as long as she’s been in business – in fact, I was one of her earliest supporters. I may have taught her a thing or two about networking and marketing, but Diem is so likeable and that goes a long way in being successful in business. It is also the one quality that genuinely comes through in photos – more so than an exquisitely styled outfit, good hair and makeup, or perfect props – you can’t fake it and you can’t buy it.

It doesn’t hurt that the girl also knows how to work those angles, that lighting, and we can all learn a thing or two from Diem about putting your best foot forward. Your perfect selfie (or, you know, pics taken by actual, other humans), is right this way . . .

xo, Melissa

fall foliage portrait ideas

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