2 year old toddler {sunglasses + apples} | rockford illinois child photographer

Wowzers, the last couple of years have gone by at lightning speed?! Most moms can probably relate to how hard it can be to just get through the day sometimes (especially when winter seems to last for half the year in northern Illinois and we're all going stir crazy inside). But then bedtime comes, books are read, songs are sung, we say our prayers, and I'm reminded that we're right back to where we were the day before, thanking God for the blessings of another day. There sure is a lot to smile about with each day, even though I find myself often asking in exhaustion or exasperation, "when will daddy be home!!?" as I break open a bag of 80% cocoa chocolate chips. Then, one day you realize two years has gone by, and you'll never get those years back with your children. Tomorrow they will be a little bit bigger and brighter than the day before. These are just few things I've been learning over the last 3+ years as a mom...

Each day is a gift.

Find the beauty in the current moment.

Stop to breathe and be present with your children.

Pay attention to all their little features and behaviors.

Smile, A LOT, because smiling is a lot easier than complaining.

But the biggest thing that I've learned is...

I'm not in control of each day—God is!

Relinquishing the need to control, so He can do His work, allows me to just enjoy the ride. God gives me my strength; He is my help. I have to renew my mind with these truths every day, or else I'm a floundering mess. 

Today I reflect on how God has used my daughter to teach me to rely on Him and not myself, and to be transformed by His love. I celebrate June's life and her love for so many things—dresses, sunglasses and apples, to name a few. These images make me so happy because they are SO her. The only thing missing would be a mud pit and a dump truck, lol, but that's for another day. A shout out to Cara Peterson Photography for being so gracious to let me use her gorgeous studio space for this session and to Target for always having the coolest accessories (furry, flowery pillows, lacy dresses, and sunglasses with a retro flare). 

Louisa Nickel is a Rockford, IL photographer, serving Northern Illinois and Chicago suburbs. She specializes newborn, baby, and child photography. 

Follow me

facebook.com/LouisaNickelPhotography
                                        instagram.com/louisanickelphotography                                               www.louisanickel.com

CONTACT ME to book your milestone photo session

sitting, crawling, on the go {6 month session} | rockford illinois baby photographer

I am SO appreciative of Cara Peterson Photography for letting me use her natural light studio for baby G's 6 month photos. I am always amazed at how much a little human grows in the first year, and I have to say this darling angel is one of the most active, strong, and happy 6 month old babies I have ever met. Not only was she a pro at sitting, but she was crawling everywhere, and daddy says she's already learned to navigate the stairs at home - wow! Her bright personality and adventurous little spirit was so fun to photograph.

A fun fact: Parents magazine contacted me about newborn photos of babies born on September 9th (the most common birthday in the US), as they put together a fun, visual piece for their September 2017 issue of up to eight babies all born on the same day last year. I was tickled for the opportunity to submit some of miss G's newborn photos since she's a 9/9 baby, and I'll have to wait and see if one of her images was chosen for their photo spread. You can see her in-home newborn session HERE; just look at how much this doll has changed in six short months....

Louisa Nickel is a Rockford, IL photographer, serving Northern Illinois and Chicago suburbs. She specializes in maternity, newborn, baby, children, and family photography. 

Follow me

facebook.com/LouisaNickelPhotography
                                        instagram.com/louisanickelphotography                                               www.louisanickel.com

CONTACT ME to book your newborn photo session

twin baby boys {double the love} | chicago il newborn photographer

How incredible to photograph these fraternal twin baby brothers. The experience is almost overwhelming - in every wonderful way - for you're seeing not one, but TWO perfect beings. I say this often, but being with a newborn baby is the closest I feel to God. They are a gift straight from heaven, completely pure, and perfectly designed. So two at once really leaves me speechless when I reflect on the intricacy and wonder of human life. 

The boys have the sweetest nursery—neutral with black, white and gold—charming and simple. Their gorgeous home had plenty of natural light pouring through all the windows and I love the feel it added to their images. And as it turns out, my brother and sister-in-law happen to live right down the road, so visiting them after the session made my trip to Chicago all the sweeter ;)

Louisa Nickel is a Rockford, IL photographer, serving Northern Illinois and Chicago suburbs. She specializes in maternity, newborn, baby, children, and family photography. 

Follow me

facebook.com/LouisaNickelPhotography
                                        instagram.com/louisanickelphotography                                               www.louisanickel.com

CONTACT ME to book your newborn photo session

natural newborn photography {sweet little angel} | rockford illinois baby photographer

After meeting baby A at the hospital for her first photo debut, I was so excited for her in-home newborn session too. She is SUCH a beautiful girl with perfect skin and rich black hair. She's a little cozy sleeper, and it wasn't hard to convince her to take photos.

I found a little nook with a window in her brothers' room with plenty of diffused light coming through, which is where I set up my beanbag and blanket for her portraits. Her creamy skin and dark hair looked exquisite on the white backdrops I use. Her mom had a little crown and a blush wrap that we incorporated into some of the photos. Little miss also wore an adorable peach bonnet from Noa's Knits, and it couldn't have looked cuter on her. The rest of the wraps, headbands,  and outfit with bonnet I made by hand. I love making my newborn props because they won't be seen anywhere else and are a unique piece to my brand. I can't stop looking at how precious she is, and I think you'll see why...

Louisa Nickel is a Rockford, IL photographer, serving Northern Illinois and Chicago suburbs. She specializes in maternity, newborn, baby, children, and family photography. 

Follow me

facebook.com/LouisaNickelPhotography
                                        instagram.com/louisanickelphotography                                               www.louisanickel.com

CONTACT ME to book your newborn photo session

hospital session with baby girl {rockford memorial} | illinois newborn photographer

During one of my family sessions this fall, we had a change in plans, mid session, and drove to a different park, hoping to get the last bit of sunlight for the day. As I was packing up after the session, I was approached by an expecting mother who was also at the park. She saw the family session and inquired about newborn and family photography. I am so thankful that our paths crossed and we were able to coordinate a hospital and newborn session for their baby girl.

These hospital images were taken hours after their daughter was born. What a special time to document such a new life and the first introduction she had with her two big brothers. You can also view their in-home newborn session HERE

Louisa Nickel is a Rockford, IL photographer, serving Northern Illinois and Chicago suburbs. She specializes in maternity, newborn, baby, children, and family photography. 

Follow me

facebook.com/LouisaNickelPhotography
                                        instagram.com/louisanickelphotography                                               www.louisanickel.com

CONTACT ME to book your newborn photo session

welcoming first baby {it's a boy!} | rockford illinois newborn photographer

I had been so anxious to hear news from baby Gus' mom about his arrival AND gender. He came after his due date and my hunch that it would be a boy was true! Little Gus was such a peanut, and greeted me with bright eyes. He really like to be wrapped up, so our session incorporated my simple and natural newborn posing where he stayed nice and cozy.

I use light, neutral backdrops and wraps for babies so all you see is just how tiny and perfect they are. We also switched things up with a black backdrop for some more dramatic images of a "womb" pose. I am crazy about these images when converted to black and white, and I think it's a powerful reflection of a great God who forms us perfectly in our mother's womb. Welcome to the world, baby Gus!

Louisa Nickel is a Rockford, IL photographer, serving Northern Illinois and Chicago suburbs. She specializes in maternity, newborn, baby, children, and family photography. 

Follow me

facebook.com/LouisaNickelPhotography
                                        instagram.com/louisanickelphotography                                               www.louisanickel.com

CONTACT ME to book your newborn photo session

park hopping with a toddler {fall lifestyle session} | rockford il family photographer

what i've realized over the last few years of doing family sessions with young children is that you can never plan on things going a certain way. you have to go with the flow and flex with the youngsters. and if a nap is cut short to make it to photos, the camera may not be your little ones best friend ;) Regardless of whether the kids are feeling photos or not, we're going to make memories and capture the trueness of who they are.

while this 2 year old wasn't sure taking pictures was on the agenda for the evening (maybe because he missed out on truck-or-treat), we still had fun creating a lifestyle session that reflects what little boys want to do more than anything else - PLAY! We started off a Rockford Arboretum, and then mom and dad suggested we head over to a neighboring park, which was their toddler's favorite park to play at.  the setting sun held out just long enough for us to get some shots of him in action at his familiar turf. 

Louisa Nickel is a Rockford, IL photographer, serving Northern Illinois and Chicago suburbs. She specializes in maternity, newborn, baby, children, and family photography. 

Follow me

facebook.com/LouisaNickelPhotography
                                        instagram.com/louisanickelphotography                                               www.louisanickel.com

CONTACT ME to book your family photo session

3 little boys {and newborn baby brother} | chicago il family photographer

I briefly met this family one afternoon at the park. Mom was just a day or two from her due date with baby number four. They were about to have four children under the age of five, wow! As I watched her three boys play, I couldn't help but think what an adorable family they would be to photograph. Fast forward a month or so later, and who connects with me?! This family, now with FOUR boys! we hadn't been formally introduced at the park the month before, so I was excited our paths happened to cross again (thanks to a client who referred them to me).

I'm always amazed by families with 4 or more children. Mom's comment to this was, "It's just our new normal...and soon we will wonder how we ever lived without him." Isn't that such a wonderful way to look at mothering and raising a family? Just look at how beautiful the blessing of children is....

Louisa Nickel is a Rockford, IL photographer, serving Northern Illinois and Chicago suburbs. She specializes in maternity, newborn, baby, children, and family photography. 

Follow me

facebook.com/LouisaNickelPhotography
                                        instagram.com/louisanickelphotography                                               www.louisanickel.com

CONTACT ME to book your family photo session

fall photos at Rockford Arboretum {family of 4} | northern Illinois photographer

This fall I've been photographing so many re-peat families (simply the best!), and this family is one of them. I'm always amazed at how much children grow with each year. When I arrived at the arboretum for our session, the kids were already out playing on a big rock, which ensued grass-stained knees and big smiles. Some of the candid action shots we captured of the kids are my favorite! We also had weather in the 70's (whaaat?!); it was such an enjoyable night.