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chicago boutique loft

Two #MondayFunDay facts for ya – 1. I used to be Baha’i. 2. Shayda here is over 40! Hellooooo, hottie!

I know this gorgeous woman from when I used to belong to the Baha’i community years ago. We became friends and I also shot Shayda’s Trash the Dress session. Though she’s no longer married, she is happily dating and this is a ‘Just Because’ portrait session to celebrate herself! Shayda is a classic beauty – she’s composed and strong. The type of woman you see on a street that effortlessly exudes grace and confidence. (You know, that woman we all wanna be.) As an attorney turned marketing manager at a big law firm she’s also got the smarts. So… kinda the all-around package, no big deal! And let’s be honest, who else is envious over her amazing skin – not a wrinkle or fine line anywhere to be seen!

Thanks, Shayda, for letting me photograph you!

xo, Melissa

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Well, if this picture doesn’t just holler out a warm Windy City helloooo, then I don’t know what does! This lovely lady (we agreed not to use her name) was one of my clients for the highly anticipated boudoir marathon I hosted a couple weeks back. As a flirty surprise for her boyfriend, who had converted her over from the Sox, she donned a Cubs jersey. How’s that for #GirlfriendOfTheYear?

By the way, my boudoir marathon took place at the stunning Boudoir Home Loft, which is this incredible urban-industrial-vintage loft in the city, replete with tons of eclectic backdrops and cozy nooks. A photographer’s playhouse! I was nearly booked full – probably in part because of the extraordinary location. Some of my clients are also moms, and they told me it felt amazing to get glammed up and be a little sexy for a day. Enjoy these pics of my stunning model! My favorite is the one of her applying lip gloss in front of that gilded mirror – there’s something so seductive about such a simple gesture!

xo, Melissa

p.s. If you missed this one but like what you see, I will be hosting another boudoir photo marathon in January! Details to come.

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fun family of five photos with peacock chair

No, we’re not pregnant again! You’ll have to scroll down to see the special announcement.

My friend and fellow photographer Katherine Davis of DeepEnd Imagery shot our family session recently, our first shoot as a family of five. Deep within Busse Woods we found the perfect tree for staging this gorgeous scene. The aptly named Magical Thinking macramé curtain from Urban Outfitters, and this regal Peacock Chair, provided just the whimsy I envisioned. We were attacked by mosquitos, though you wouldn’t know it from looking at all our happy, smiling faces in these gorgeous shots captured by Katherine.

fun family of five photos with peacock chair

Would you believe it if I told you that Rhys, my LWG, is my favorite child? Shocking, I know, especially as I complain about him literally. every. single. day – and how I often talk about Roman, who is my super sweet, super easy child. I love all my children equally and differently, but Rhys is so much like me and I love him for this. He is a firecracker, has no fear, emotional, passionate, a clown. He’s a natural comedian and doesn’t even know it.

In this spirit of getting personal, I thought I’d take some time out to tell you a few other things you didn’t know about me.

The best food I ever ate was in Singapore. I’ve never had a bad meal there. Ever!

I would move in a heartbeat to another country with Michael and the kids. Learn another language and immerse ourselves in a foreign culture. I’m a dreamer, a traveler, and explorer. I feel like I can’t live life fully unless I expose our children to all that. (Hey, Giant, hey hey…)

If I could have lunch with any woman in the world, it would be with Marilyn Monroe. And the Queen of England. Not necessarily together, though wouldn’t that be interesting??

I wish I could swim. Also, I wish I knew how to fly a plane so I can take myself anywhere in the world.

My favorite book is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

If I weren’t a photographer, I would be a dancer.

And finally, I own a LOT of dresses – so many that I can’t disclose that exact number or else The Giant would kill me. Let’s just say it’s in the triple digits, and leave it at that! On this note, I have a little announcement – I am planning to launch a fashion-focused blog in the near future, separate from my professional photography space here. Fashion has always been a passion of mine, and more so, continuing to make “me time” a priority even with three kiddos. If my little fashion blog could inspire even one mom out there to take time for themselves, that would be just awesome. Please join me as I embark on this endeavor, and help me name my new blog! Taking suggestions here!

xo, Melissa

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