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Breathtaking Photography offers on-location, natural light photography in Alton, Illinois and the surrounding St. Louis Metro area. Offering birth photography and portraiture.

Photography that will literally take your breath away.


Monday, December 28, 2009

The Winner! | Wichita Giving Is Awesome Photographer

Computer viruses stink! I'm sorry that I'm late posting the winner to the Giving is Awesome give-away. My computer has been on the outs for the past week. In fact, I'm not sure I'll even get through typing this before it freezes again. BOO! Thankfully I'm a smart photog and I back up all my images. ;)

The winner of the Giving is Awesome giveaway is Heather, mother of little Mr. E! And really, the timing could not be more perfect for this family. Heather and her partner Bob have been in the hospital for nearly two weeks with tiny Mr. E. He has some pretty serious health problems and has had many set backs. What a blessing that they were able to be home for Christmas! The year ahead may very well be a difficult one for them and I am excited to bless them with a little joy through photography. They've already had their newborn session when E was 5 days old and we'll get to see him throughout 2010 as he grows up!

E will have another session at 6 months and then again on his first birthday! A full set of 4x6 prints, one mounted wall print up to size 11x14, and a full resolution CD of images will be presented at each session. And at the end of this year Heather will receive a beautiful, custom made (by me!) coffee table book of images.

In addition, Christie, who nominated Heather, will get a free cake smash and portrait session for her darling baby girl I!

Thank you everyone and congratulations Heather, Bob, Mr. E, and Christie!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

ONE more day! | Wichita Giving is Awesome Photographer

Well, one more day left folks to nominate your friend, your sister, your mother, your random stranger. ONE more day for Giving is Awesome to touch someone you love or just someone who has touched your heart.

I will announce the winner here on this blog on Christmas Eve night. Keep an eye out to hear the story of both the giver and the receiver and then stay tuned this year to see the sessions!

Love, Chantel

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Teeny Little Guy | Wichita Newborn Photographer

Today I got to meet Mr. E. He's the newest son of my friend Heather, who we got to see here in the Fall. He's a tiny baby boy, weighing in at 5 pounds 11 ounces at his birth 5 whole days ago. Despite some pretty crummy weather today (freezing cold and drizzling, anyone?) I managed to scope decent light in their dining room. Mr. E was quite the little gentleman and happily snoozed through our session. Heather has had a pretty hard year and she's been nominated for Giving is Awesome by a mutual friend. And as she's my ONLY nominee at the moment (for shame you guys!!!!) and Eli had to be born early we went ahead and got the newborn session under our belts just in case she wins. Of course, if my wonderful readers send me some more names and Heather does not win she still gets a free newborn session so that's not too bad a consolation prize, huh? ;)

Ho Ho Ho! Merrrrry Christmas!!!!

Ho Ho Ho

He did this head prop all on his own, no Photoshop required! Silly five day old baby thinks he's big enough to hold that head up (and kept trying to wiggle away from me anytime I put him on his belly!!!)

Head prop

I can spot a breech baby a mile away (Mr. E turned head down just a couple of weeks before birth). My twins were born like this and to this day, 18 months later, they like to sit with their legs like this!


A tiny cocoon....

Tiny Fist

I had so much fun laughing with you guys today Heather. Thanks again so much for letting me stop by and take up your afternoon. :)


Saturday, December 5, 2009

December Special! | Wichita Maternity, Birth, Newborn, Baby Photorgapher

Ho Ho HO!

Tis the season for giving and Breathtaking is participating in the Giving is Awesome Giveaway. Click here for more details or email me to nominate the person in your life that need a little pick me up this holiday!

For the rest of you, I have a little something to stick in your stockings!

Book any regular, full maternity, newborn, or baby session and you will receive a beautiful 10x13 print mounted for stability and coated for durability. It comes ready to frame or can be displayed on an easel within your home. I have several of these that I purchased from my own maternity session and they are wonderful!


If you're expecting a baby in 2010 have I got something special for you! Book and pay for your birth in December and my gift to you is $200 off your total cost! This goes for Births AND the Belly, Birth, Baby packages.

Happy Holidays to you and yours! May you have a peaceful and joyful season. :)



Monday, November 30, 2009

Last Day! | Wichita Newborn Photography

Today is the last day of November and so the last day of the fabulous $100 off newborn session special! Next month will be something new, so if you will need newborn photography in the coming year, pay now to get a great discount. Gift certificates are available for the special expectant lady in your life. They will come beautifully packaged and ready to place under the tree. If your email is time stamped before midnight you will be able to get this special. Also feel free to call and leave me a voice mail any time this evening.


And stayed tuned for a great special coming next month! Tis the season, after all. ;)


Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Day of Twins Part Two| Wichita Baby Photographer

After having fun with Baby G and his twin cousins, I headed over to my friend E's house. Do you remember her newborn twins from a few months ago? Well, they are darling, bright eyed 3 month old babies now. And there isn't a darn person who can tell them apart yet. Yet E says to me "do you REALLY think they are identical Chantel?". Erm, yes E, I really REALLY do. ;)

M is the 'older' sister by 2 minutes:


E is the 'baby':


And together, they are some of the yummiest photo ops ever


I love me some twins. I think the universe knew what was good for me by sending me my own set. E, I'm SO glad our babies brought us together. I treasure this role I get to play in the life of you and your babies.

Love, Chantel

A Day of Twins Part One | Wichita Baby Photographer

I had two, count them, two sessions with twins today. First up is a session with sweet Baby G. This kid has hair that just won't stop. Seriously. I wanted to eat him up! He's so snuggly and sweet. Mama really wanted some "sleeping baby" images but I had to warn her--two month olds sometimes just don't cooperate. Well, silly me! Baby G wanted his Mama to have what she wanted for Christmas. Isn't that sweet of him? Already treating his mother like the queen she rightly is! Check this out ya'll. It's Breathtaking....


Oh yeah. Aren't those some luscious eyelashes? Ready for more?


Oh man, this is some serious cuteness! And what 2 month old session would be complete without a bright eyed, cooing baby?


Grandma had to get in on the act (uh, sorry about that pee grandma...)


Yes, you read that right. G.R.A.N.D.M.A. Yes. I am just as in awe as you!

Now, about this point you're probably saying to yourself "what the heck does this post have to do with twins???"

Meet Baby G's twin cousins, K&K. I practically need to give these guys their own post; so full of personality were they. 2 year old twins? Eh, ask me in about a year how that's going...

We'll just call them Mr. Serious One and Mr. Serious Two


Oh wait, what's that you have Ms. Photographer? Bribes?


Hmmmm, I think yours looks better than mine...


Oh what fun this family was today! Thank you all so much for sharing the morning with me. I can't wait to get your kids sugared up....I mean, shoot these kiddos again! ;)


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sleeping Beauty | Wichita Newborn Photography

I had the grand pleasure of spending my morning with a teeny bit of baby girl and her very sweet Mama. I hear that she usually sleeps like a rock between 7-11am. Did she today? Nope! Because babies know when I'm on my way. The sense my coming with their little baby sixth sense and they decide that it's much more interesting to be awake and alert.


But they are no match for me and my baby whispering ways...


I have power over newborn babies. They are putty in my hands....


Or, well, it could be all the warm milk? Nah. It's me. Hmmmm..maybe I'm just boring?


Whatever it is, sleepy babies sure make pretty pictures don't they? I love my job! Thanks for allowing me to meet your precious baby girl, J. :)


Sunday, November 22, 2009

I Love This Family | Wichita Photographer

Spending 24 hours in a hospital with one family? You're either going to love 'em or hate 'em.

Well, I love 'em.

And I think I maybe have been adopted! That's just fine by me. Close knit, loving, fun. Yeah, I can handle that (and my own family is far, far away).

You've seen em here, here, here, here, and oh yeah, here. Whew! Told ya. They are "my" family now. All other photographers back off. ;)

Today I got to shoot the last of the cousins. I've now done portraits for all 5 grandsons this year. Super cool! These two were fun from the second I arrived. We threw rocks, played in the water, trampled through the mud, leapt from logs. Good times! Baby A even came out to see us (and uh, he's gotten HUGE!)What a delight to spend some quality time with some of my favorite people. In the SUN no less.



Hmmmm, yeah. We mighta stuck them in a tree and told them they couldn't get down til they smiled. Mr. E called our bluff. ;)


And once more I say, FUN family!


Thanks so much you guys. Love you!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In The Spirt of Christmas--A Breathtaking Grassroots Giveaway | Wichita Birth, Newborn, and Baby Photographer


You know someone. You know someone who's experienced a tragedy, is struggling to stay afloat, is raising kids while holding down more than one job, or is volunteering selflessly despite extenuating personal circumstances. You know someone who is expecting and can't afford custom photography, but who would cherish it this holiday season. You know someone who deserves a year-round reminder of this amazing time in their life despite the hardships. Who wants to remember the life growing inside of them always as the miracle that it is.

You know someone. I guarantee it.

I want to know who they are, and I want to give them the chance to experience complimentary custom maternity, birth, newborn, and baby photography -- over $2000 worth, to be exact. The winner will receive a From Belly to Birthday package! I will document the growing belly and (if desired) the birth experience. And it doesn't end there! Then the sweet, sweet baby will get sessions at birth, 6 months, and on the first birthday! A full set of 4x6 prints, one mounted wall print up to size 11x14, and a full resolution CD of images will be presented at each session. And at the end of this year of giving Breathtaking will present the winner with a beautiful, custom made (by me!) coffee table book of images.

Oh, and the best part? The person who nominates the winner receives a free session of their choice (a $300 value!) I'll even shoot something besides a baby, in case the nominator is not a new parent ;). What better reason to show some love could there possibly be, people?

The rules:

* You cannot nominate yourself, and the person nominated must sincerely be incapable of purchasing my services. (Being unable to make mortgage payments for a two-million-dollar-vacation-home in Paris does not qualify as sincere financial need.)

* The nominee must reside in Kansas and be giving birth near Wichita. Tell me who you know, what they're experiencing, and why they deserve my artwork. Please include a way to contact both your nominee and yourself as well.

* You must e-mail me the full story :

The winner will be announced on Christmas Eve -- get nominating! I can't wait to read all of your entries! Nominations MUST be made before 9pm December 20th!

Open your heart to someone this holiday season -- and thanks for giving me the opportunity to open mine.

With love,


To see more photographers participating in this event or to nominate someone from a different region, please visit


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sweet P | Wichita Newborn Photographer

Sweet, sweet Baby P. Gosh, it was cold and gray today. I prayed all the way to my session this morning that they would have big OPEN windows and was so relieved upon arrival to find that they did. And they also had a darling Sweet Pea all snuggled up in her bassinet. Just 13 days old, she was a trooper during four hours of Mama and I harassing her. Come to think of it, Daddy was a trooper, too. ;) I really enjoyed collaborating with you Megan. I hope these images live up to your expectations.



The last shot is often one of the best, and this session was no exception. It was almost an after thought but I'm SO glad I took it.....


You can tell she's just glowing with the love for this baby girl, can't you? Thanks so much you guys, I'll have the rest for you shortly!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bright Eyes! | Wichita Newborn Photographer

Remember baby E from this post last week? Today I had the joy of meeting her again for a little session. She's a very, very pretty baby. She has the most beautiful skin of any week old newborn I've ever seen! No jaundice left and not a speck of newborn acne started yet. As I arrive, Crystal assured me that she was tanking her up on Mama milk and that she'd be passed out in no time. 2 hours and hardly a speck of sleep later.....


That's OK baby girl. I can get some of your teeny toes...


And catch a quiet smile as you finally nod off to slumberland...


And then leave your Mother breathless....


Love to you guys.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Three Blondies | Wichita Portrait Photographer

As I begin to narrow my focus and redirect Breathtaking towards birth, newborn, and baby photography, the days of my shooting family sessions are fading quickly. My friend Hannah wanted to snap up the chance to have me do portraits of her girls. I was thrilled because they are three of the cutest blond babies you've ever seen! My pleasure, for sure.

Can insane Kansas wind keep Hannah from looking beautiful? I think not.


Ahhhh, sisterly love! Aren't they sweetness? We had a rousing discussion about princesses.


The three K's, in birth order:




Thanks for hanging tonight guys! It was windy and getting dark quickly but we made it work! Hope you love them!


Swaddle Baby | Wichita Newborn Photographer

Top 2 reasons you should hire a newborn photographer in the first week of your baby's life (beside the gorgeous images you will cherish for a lifetime).

1) She might notice that your baby is tongue-tied and your nursing days will get a whole lot easier (it helps if your photographer is also a LLL attendee!)

2) She might also discover that your baby really, REALLY likes to be swaddled and napping will be forthcoming for the first time in six days.

Yes, yes, that's right, I am a multi-talented photog. ;)

First up, one of the sweetest nakey butt pics I've ever taken:


Then we discovered that Baby Girl A does NOT like to be naked. And hey, I can roll with the punches....



I can tuck your little arms out to make it seem like you're swaddled and still get my shot


Or we can just pile your crazy, rambunctious brothers on top of you and see if you can sleep through it swaddled (she did!)


Thanks guys. I had a tremendously enjoyable morning with you! :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Long Awaited Baby Girl | Wichita Birth Photographer

My friend C lost a baby girl last year at about 20 weeks. It was absolutely devastating. So when I learned that she was expecting again I offered to bless them with birth photography. I know they aren't well off and she's one seriously amazing Mama. I wanted to give her something few other people in Wichita can give; professional birth photography. And I'm so, so excited to say that Baby E came into the world pink and screaming and healthy this evening. C was a rock star and endured pitocin without any pain medication. I've given birth 4 times at home and I think she's amazing. I pretty much can't do pitocin without drugs (uh, tried and failed TWICE). I bow to you C, no matter how you felt you were out of control. I promise, you were NOT. E is a darling baby girl and it was an HONOR to be there for her arrival. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share it with you.






Monday, October 19, 2009

Changing Directions | Wichita Photographer

Do what you love and you'll never work another day in your life.

I read that once. And now it has begun to resonate with me more deeply. Do what you love. Do what you love.

What I love is newborn photography. I like doing other types of photography, but I love newborns and babies and births. So on January 1st Breathtaking is going to refocus on what I love. If you'd like to have your family or children's portraits done by me, please book a session before the end of the year. I have limited availability as the Holidays grow closer. Fall is a busy time in our house. We cram 1 anniversary, 4 birthdays, and three major holidays into three months!

If you are expecting a baby, then I'm your girl. I will be spending some time retooling my website to reflect my new focus. I have some exciting things planned, so keep an eye out!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Extended! | Wichita Newborn Photographer

My family is currently in the process of coming down with what I think is the flu (booooo!) so I will not be taking any new sessions for the month of October to protect my clients from possible exposure. Because of this, I've decided to extend my newborn special into the month of November!

$100 off a newborn session booked and paid for in the months of October and November. Contact me for more information. This would make a really wonderful shower gift for an expectant Mama! Newborn sessions are done in the comfort of your own home. I bring it all with me and use beautiful natural light to create your newborn's very first images. :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

College Football Fans!

When I arrived to this session I made the embarrassing mistake of forgetting who this family 'represented'. Sheesh! I'm not a Kansas native and I'm not a college football fan so I'm a little lost with the whole thing. Anyway, I've been informed this is K-State and they're quite proud! K booked a family session during my Holiday Card Minis and silly me, I figured that three teens would be a breeze! They were some tough nuts to crack! I eventually got a couple smiles but it was hard work. Lord help me when I've got my own SIX teenagers! Eep! Hope you enjoy the sneakers, family of Kim. Can't wait to see the finished Christmas Card! :)



I'm pretty sure they were laughing at me here. I was forcing them to do mean things like hold hands.....

See? I'm a cruel, cruel photographer ;)