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Rosemary | Newborn | Champaign, IL Newborn Photographer

Posted in Babies, Champaign, Children, Connection, Family, Illinois, Light, Love, Newborns, Photography, Portraits, and Pregnancy

I love being a newborn photographer.

Who wouldn’t love getting to cuddle sweet babies in their first few days of life?  

Well, it’s not for the faint of heart let me tell you!  Being a newborn photographer is actually not as glamorous as you’d think!  Yes, you get to cuddle those sweet little darlings – and that truly is awesome!  BUT – you also getting peed, pooped and thrown up on ALL. THE. TIME.  And that’s OK.  That’s part of babies.  And they cry.  Seriously, I’ve always wondered how something so small and sweet could make so much noise!

All of the above happens at most every newborn session.  It’s expected, and thankfully everything is washable 😉  

Before each newborn session, parents are sent a set of requested guidelines for them to follow before the session to help ensure a happy, sleepy baby with a full belly.  When parents follow these guidelines, like sweet Rosemary’s mommy & daddy did, newborn sessions are extra successful.


I absolutely love photographing babies on neutral blankets without a lot of adornment, props, or anything else that could take the focus away from baby.  Newborn portraits are a way to preserve your baby’s uniqueness and sweet little baby features – it all goes by in the blink of an eye, but pictures last forever.  With natural posing, you can remember how your newborn loved to be all cuddled up when sleeping, or how she always slept with her arms above her head.  How baby’s hair curled or stood up, or how baby always tucked in her little bottom lip.  Every detail, down to baby’s tiny little eyelashes.

Neutral newborn baby girl

Neutral newborn baby girl


And where should these photographic memories live?  On a flash drive thrown in a drawer?  Shared only on Facebook and Instagram?  NO!!  kDarling Photography is pleased to announce that prints, canvases, albums and more can now be part of your customized newborn photography package!  These heirloom quality pieces will be treasured by you, mom & dad, baby, and for generations to come!

Neutral newborn baby girl


Neutral newborn baby girl

Neutral newborn baby girl

Neutral newborn baby girl

Neutral newborn baby girl


Lemenager family | Colt 18 months | Champaign, IL Family Photographer

Posted in Babies, Champaign, Children, Connection, Family, Illinois, Light, Love, Marriage, Natural Light, Newborns, Photography, Portraits, and Toddlers

The Lemenager family has been coming to visit kDarling Photography every 3 months for well over a year – until Colt turned 1 anyway – then I had to wait 6 MONTHS to see Colt (and his family) for his 18 month session.  It was wonderful to see one of my favorite families again.  Let’s face it, many of my clients come to me as strangers, but after our first session together it feels like we’re long time friends – one of the BEST parts of my job!

The Lemenagers could definitely be described as a family that embraces the outdoors!  They live in a cabin in the middle of the woods and love all things hunting.  We’ve phad sessions at their home before, however this time the mosquitos were just to vicious at their place, so we found an awesome alternative!

The old red cattle barn, silos, and sunflower patch provided the perfect backdrop for this sweet family and their 2 labs (who are the best dogs, I swear – I can’t get my kids to listen like these dogs do HA!).

family of 3 with 2 dogs and red barn

We started off with family photos, and them moved on to some of Colt by himself.  What a smiley little guy he was, and with the promise of Monical’s pizza after pictures, why wouldn’t he be?!  

family of 3 with 2 dogs and sunflowers





Mom, Lauren had brought a special teddy bear made from one of her step dad’s shirts, which added a sweet touch to a couple pictures.  


And, of course, no session with an avid hunting family would be complete without a few pictures of Colt with his hunting buddies.  {Please note, extensive safety precautions were taken when photographing this image.}


Our last image – which I think is a favorite of mom & dad Adam’s.  Who doesn’t love some adorable baby buns?

Thank you Lemenager family for trusting me with your precious photographic memories.

Tea for Two! | Champaign, IL Child Photographer

Posted in Babies, Champaign, Children, Family, Illinois, Light, Marriage, Natural Light, Newborns, Photography, Portraits, Toddlers, and Weddings

When Brynlee’s mom, Ashlee contacted me about a “Tea for Two” session for her daughter’s 2nd birthday, I knew it was gonna be special!

The Bertan family has been coming to kDarling Photography since big brother Jack was a baby, and watching this sweet family grow has been awesome!

Brynlee was born a tad bit early, and had a bit of a rough start.  I was honored to photograph her during her stay in the NICU as part of The Tiny Footprints Project.  The Tiny Footprints Project is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which matches affiliated photographers with families of infants living in the NICU to provide one complimentary lifestyle portrait session and one complimentary downloadable gallery with the digital images from the session.  The photographers capture the newborns earliest moments and are a part of the families precious beginnings.  Being part of this organization has been such a blessing.

Now Brylee is a vivacious 2 year old who adores her big brother, and is definitely a daddy’s girl.  During our session, she decided daddy needed a cuddle, and that Aaron needed to join her tea party.  The images of her sharing a cup of tea with daddy are absolutely precious!

Happy birthday Brynlee – may your second year bring you good health, lots of laughs, and a little mischief!

family of four poses for 2 year old birthday

As always, a couple family pictures are encouraged at every type of session, and this one was no exception!  So glad everyone arrived “camera ready.”  Didn’t mom do an wonderful job of coordinating everyone’s clothing without being too “matchy matchy?”

family of four poses for 2 year old birthday

Tea for Two 2nd birthday photo session

4 year old brother looking for pockets

Ask a 4 year old to put his thumbs in his pockets sometime…it is sure to give everyone a good laugh.  Especially when he asks if his thumb = his “daddy finger!”  I’ll let you all guess which finger that is!!!

Tea for Two 2nd birthday photo session

Tea for Two 2nd birthday photo session

family of four poses for 2 year old birthday

Tea for Two 2nd birthday photo session

I was so excited that Ashlee, Brynlee’s mom selected this lace romper from my “Little Darlings Closet.”  Have a selection of outfits for parents to choose from really takes the pressure off mom!

family of four poses for 2 year old birthday

Tea for Two 2nd birthday photo session with daddy

Tea for Two – that includes you daddy!

Tea for Two 2nd birthday photo session with daddyTwo year old tea party born premature

At the top of this collage you will see an image from Brynlee’s The Tiny Footprints Project NICU session, her 1 year image is in the middle, and her most recent here at the bottom.

John Deere bow on 2 year old

John Deere bow on 2 year old

2 year old in mom's wedding dress

Along with the Tea for Two theme, mom asked if we could take a couple pictures of Brynlee in her wedding dress, and we plan to make this a yearly tradition!

Love + Light + Connections | Champaign, IL Photographer

Posted in Babies, Champaign, Children, Connection, High School, Illinois, Light, Love, Marriage, Natural Light, Newborns, Photography, Pregnancy, Seniors, Toddlers, Uncategorized, and Weddings

My entire life I have been obsessed with beautiful light, romance of all sorts, and connections between families, couples and friends.  Some of my earliest memories involve the clicking of a shutter or the scratching of my pencil drawing on paper to preserve a moment.  Once a moment is gone, it’s gone.

Or is it?

If the shutter clicks — at just the right time — the moment lives on.

Photos become treasures.  Think about it.  In an emergency, if you could save 1 thing (besides your family/pet), what would it be?  Your closet full of clothes?  No.  Your jewelry?  Possibly, but it is replaceable.  Your family photo albums?  Most likely, they’re irreplaceable items that live on for generations.

How long is a newborn all sleepy and squishy?  How long until they start to hold their head up?  Smile?  Sit up or stand?  It truly goes by in the blink of an eye.

Newborn baby boy photographed in Champaign County

These are moments we treasure.  Moments we never, ever want to forget.

Baby girl in a floral crown and antique dress

Chubby cheeks, long eyelashes, and sweet smiles.  We want to remember every detail.

One year old girl with a fun cake smash

Soon, they’ve been tiny humans for an entire year!  They’re no longer “babies,” now they’re toddlers.  They’ve developed their own unique personalities.

Family photo session in Champaign County with antique tent.

What an honor it is, as a photographer, watch these little darlings grow!  Year after year I am blessed to photograph many of the same families for updated family photos and meet new ones.  To hear the love an laughter between a mother and her babies.  To see a dad beam with pride.  This is what makes me fall in love with my job over and over.

Senior prom photo shoot, beautiful couple

Having the privilege to photograph them on their way to the senior prom.

High school senior girl, early spring flowers in the woods

To get to meet such wonderful high school seniors as they embark on their lives as young adults.   I adore getting to know each and every senior I photograph.  It amazes me how strong and self-confident they are.  They know what they want for their future, and are not afraid to go for it!

Engaged couples, weddings, and love during the golden hour photo session

Ahh…romance!  Without it, there wouldn’t be babies and toddlers and seniors – Oh My!  Capturing love with Sweet Darling Weddings and my “partner in clicks” Heather is truly such a honor.  Let’s face it, these blushing brides have been dreaming of their weddings since they were little girls, and preserving their memories for a lifetime is an awesome responsibility we don’t take lightly – although we do have tons of fun doing it!

Early spring maternity session pregnant with baby girl

First comes love, then comes marriage – and more little darlings for me to photograph!


Until next time darlings – love, Kristin

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