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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.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blake- 5 Days New | Alton, Edwardsville, Metro East Newborn Photographer

Mindy contacted me just over a week ago and wanted to know if I could take ONE more newborn session before I moved. And while things are completely crazy around here I jumped at the chance. It took a little finagling on my part to get there (thanks Michelle!) but it was totally worth it in the end. Why? Because I got to meet this sweet boy:


And his delightful parents:


And his absolutely gorgeous big sister:



Happy Sigh.



All I'm gonna say is....Ron had to really suck it up and take one for the team to get this shot. Mindy and I really, really, really appreciate it, Ron. ;)


Thanks y'all. Loved every single second I spent with you this morning.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Loading Up and Moving Out! | Alton, Illinois Portrait Photographer

You may have noticed the last couple of blog post titles carrying new keywords. Totally not a mistake. As of Thursday morning I will be transitioning my family from Dallas back to my hometown of Alton, Illinois.

A tiny Isabella helping me unpack in 2008

I expect the next couple of months to be a little hectic and hopefully a lot of fun as we reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. Once we're all settled into our new home and routines, I will resume shooting on a more limited schedule. Alton clients, I'll begin booking for May sessions sometime in April. "Like" my Facebook Fan Page to get a heads up on when I begin opening the calendar! And Dallas clients, don't fear. I'll be back for my first "working weekend" in May so you'll have an opportunity to book Breathtaking for your spring portraits as well!

Lots of new and fun things coming up! 2010 was an awesome year for Breathtaking and I have you, my clients, to thank for that.

Love y'all!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Hello, Annie! | Metro East Illinois Baby, Toddler, Child Photographer

Little Annie is about to be 18 months old! Her mother and I are friends and I've been lucky enough to attend a couple of births with her (L is a doula). I contacted her the other day about picking up a few hand me down items for Annie and we decided on a little mini-shoot while they were here.

I'm really loving the "in-home" concept for this age group and will definitely be suggesting it to clients from now on! She quickly got comfortable in our playroom and we had a delightful time playing with the kitchen set and reading books while I snapped away. Bonus points for my own toddler sitting still for 15 seconds so I could snap a pic of her yummy curls, too. ;)


Yes Annie, that's definitely where the bananas go... not exactly how they get in there. ;)


Beautiful smiles... check out her cute little TEETH!



"Where the Wild Things Are"


This profile shot just begged for a black and white conversion:


Toddler Toes


On the more serious side now...


Annnnnnd, she's all done with me. Just about 15 minutes of shooting and 15 gorgeous images for her Mama to take home. :)


Thanks for coming to play, Annie. :)


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Karma | Alton Baby Photographer

Or, What Happens When You Leave Your Baby With Me For An Afternoon (but that title was a bit on the long side).

This is Rhys.

His Mama did something extraordinarily kind for me the other day. I offered to take him off her hands while she ran my errands. Because, well, I know what it's like to want a little down time when you have a small child sucking up every moment of your day. And because it was AWFUL nice of her to take the time to help me out. And as Rhys was in a good mood, one of my toddlers was asleep, and I had my camera all handy and such... this happened.....

Would you look at that? Good Karma. Pay it forward folks. ;)


Thursday, February 3, 2011

7 Things You Don't Know About Chantel...

I was recently tagged in a post from friend/client/soul mate Abbi's blog "Musing of Motherhood" and now I'm supposed to tell you 7 niblets about myself and tag 10 bloggers. I don't actually have TIME to read blogs any more so I don't have 10 people to tag but I will happily rattle off 7 things you (probably) didn't know about me....

cell phone self portrait

1. I am addicted to coffee. More than the average bear. I have had this problem since high school (and a certain someone I met at the small coffee shop up the street from school every morning of my sophomore year) but this sort of crack-level addiction started when I had my twins. I literally had to be up for 24 hour stretches with only 30 minute cat naps to call "sleep" and caffeine kept me alive. I've quit "cold turkey" a few times, most notably last spring, and yet... yeah, I might be drinking a cup right now at 2 in the afternoon. ;)

2. I abhor the cold. In a way that's probably not completely healthy. Part of it is that I have a condition called Raynaud's Syndrome which means the circulation in my hands and feet is less than ideal. Temps below freezing actually cause me pain. I'm much happier in the heat and look forward to summer! Our current temp in DALLAS is 16 today. Brrrr!!!!

3. I have a running list of photography equipment that I'd like to purchase (or better yet, be GIFTED! HA!). The list is long, varied, and expensive. Next on my list? A Canon 5D Mark II and Canon's 28-70 2.8L lens. HEAVEN!


4. I'm seriously considering switching Breathtaking to weddings. I've got some research and details to settle (like the camera body and lens listed above) before I make the leap but since giving up births a mere two months ago I'm really missing the documentary experience. And yes, while what I do with portraits is somewhat documentary in style it's not the same type of storytelling. Births are a huge moment in your life that can never be replaced and retold. Weddings are the same (only much, much more scheduled *wink*).

5. I do my nails about once every year. It lasts approximately 48 hours before becoming chipped to the point of looking ridiculous. I posted this because I'm staring at this year's attempt and it's horrendous. Busy mom of six... not a great candidate for a manicure!


6. I used to be painfully shy. I'm not entirely sure how many weeks I chased my mom down the hall screaming at the beginning of Kindergarten but it was more than a couple. I hated school. At some point, for unknown reasons, I got over it and was actively involved in theater and student government in high school. Well, 'got over it' might be overstating. I'm still somewhat shy and unsure of myself. I just push through it. I like a good challenge.

7. There are three things I could not live without: chocolate, facebook, and my children. :)